Mike’s Linux Desktop Experiences

January 27, 2008

Day 0, Choosing a Distro

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mr. Mike @ 12:45 pm
Tags: ,

(I’ll be honest about this post. I didn’t have WordPress set up as I was selecting a distro. I’m writing this to describe my activities. Today is really February 17, but I’m going to pretend it is late January.)

Linux distro choice has gotten out of control.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Linux_distributions

Back in “the day” it was a matter of who was actually maintaining something. Slackware was the only serious choice. Redhat and Debian were unheard of.

A lot has changed since then. It’s not that I haven’t been following what’s been going on since 1995. I’ve *tried* a lot of different distros, but my exploration of destkop distros has been very limited. If I can recall:

  • 1995 Slackware
  • 1997 Slackware (again)
  • 1998 Caldera, Debian, Slackware, Redhat
  • 1999 Mandrake, SuSE, ZipSlack
  • 2001 Debian(dual-purpose livingroom server/desktop)
  • 2005 Knoppix (that was a network boot silent computer project)
  • 2006 Debian
  • 2007 Ubuntu, CentOS

This is not to say that I’m some uber-leet geek. It’s just to point at when somebody says “You picked the wrong distro! have you tried XXX? It’s MUCH better than YYY!” I’m really tired of that.

For the past few days I have been researching modern distributions. Because I admin Redhat systems, CentOS would be nice. I have a small notebook where CentOS is loaded on a spare drive. Redhat has seriously damaged themselves with their screwed up business model. It used to be that commercial products could target Redhat with binary RPMs (e.g., Oracle, DB/2, Kylix, Wordperfect… etc), but over time, the $1500/server/year license is just a bit stupid. It’s especially stupid if you’re contributing to the project.

The news that IBM, one of Redhat’s biggest supporters has targeted Ubuntu for Notes 8 tells me a lot about the future of Redhat (and CentOS) on the desktop.

So to go with the flow, I’m loading up a 64 bit Ubuntu.

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