[Techtalk] Same old question -- which distro?

Isabelle Hurbain isabelle.hurbain at free.fr
Wed Feb 5 22:37:48 EST 2003

> I'm sure everyone will give me their true-blue opinion of their 
> particular distro... but I'm particularly interested in finding out if
> someone has experience with multiple distros and can offer information
> on why they switched, whether they're happy they switched, how they 
> measure up against each other and so forth.

I've recently tried several distros to replace my good (too) old
In order of the tests :
- Debian 3.0 : I've run a Potato and then a Woody for over 1 year and
1/2. I really find Debian the most convenient for installation (apt-get
is reaaaally fantastic). But the packages are really too old for a
desktop use (well, they are when your boyfriend and friends run SuSE and
brand new KDE and you're here saying gaaaa). I've tried to install KDE3
on a Woody : it worked but the whole package management was more or less
broken and I considered it was less difficult to reinstall the whole
thing than to fix it without breaking KDE. I still miss apt-get though.

- SuSE 8.0 : very good and well polished. I've got some
"philosophical" problems with proprietary YaST and so on, and the fact
that you're almost obliged to go through it to do any administration.
But globally it's a good product - worth investment IMHO if you have
nothing against mouse administration ;o)

- Slackware 8.0 was indeed a very good surprise - I remembered Slack
several years ago and it evoluted well. Good install process,
guru-friendly but not too much, and up-to-date software. Big
inconvenient: the packages set is a bit reduced. checkinstall is a must
have on a Slack(it allows you to have clean packages after compilation).

- RedHat 8.0 displeased me much as there is a huge bug after install on
accents - being French it is the kind of things you remark right after
the install. To be honest, I didn't even try to fix it, and installed a

- Mandrake 9.0 is what I actually have on my PC and laptop. I've been
really impressed by the progress they made on the last 2 years (my last
install of Mandrake never finished !). Smooth, agreable, and urpmi
rocks. Too bad they have such problems :(


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