why did you change distros?

Discussion in 'General Linux' started by mek42, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. mek42

    mek42 Member

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    I've been an OpenSUSE user in the past, but am researching distros as I contemplate having a Linux box at the ready again. I do realize that I'm the one who is going to have to decide which distro (and, more importantly, why) I go with, but I am curious as the reasons other folks here have changed distributions.

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  2. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Once I officially choose a distro (Ubuntu), I continued to use Ubuntu. When I did sample many distros, I would try another mainly due to lack of hardware support (usually my Atheros wifi card). The desktop interface was also a concern of mine (Xubuntu). OpenSUSE was almost my choice over Ubuntu, but OpenSUSE's performance was awful (at least on my hardware, I hear other users have great success).
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  3. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    I also changed distros a lot because of Atheros. When uploading bit-rate reached beyond ~50KB/s, the connection hung up, a major - collective - problem I faced when I first met Linux. This terrible wifi (AR9462) problem happened with distros running any kernel above 3.6.x (which was perfect for Atheros), until Backports Project reached kernel 3.12.x with a proper fix. Now, basically any modern distribution can benefit from full wifi functionality, at least when it comes to Atheros, after compiling its latest backport. If you come across a distro that seems really interesting, don't let your wifi keep you from using it anymore :)
    Needless to say, distributions featuring younger kernels (from 3.12.x on) should also suit Atheros wifi very well.

    To the OP: mainly, I change distributions to get a better feeling that I'm closer to full control of my operating system and specially for the sake of higher performance.
  4. pane-free

    pane-free Active Member

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    Chasing what little freedom is left on the internet and within the GNU/Linux realm are the primary reasons for switching from 'buntu-derived to Debian/AntiX and now to (it is becoming increasingly attractive), Slackware and Slackware-compatible distros. In a nutshell.
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  5. alug_Doc

    alug_Doc Member

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    I didn't have a choice. Back in March of 2010, my wife and I had purchased new Cyberpower gaming machines with i3 processors. We had been using PCLinuxOS, but at the time they didn't have a 64-bit version and the new computers would not load a 32-bit OS.

    So we switched to Ultimate Edition Linux 2.5 (later 2.7), before abandoning UE for the less bloated Mint 13.
  6. Archonsg

    Archonsg Member

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    The long and short is, ease of use, retains enough user control and tools included in the distro to make necessary changes *easily* with the minimal of fuss (I rather not have to compile from source) as well as removing as many roadblocks as possible.

    Used to run Fedora / OpenSUSE, then ran on the *buntus, but at this moment I *feel* that Linux Mint's distros (compare Xubuntu vs Mint XFCE for example) are a tad more friendlier / less irritating to use.
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  7. lobo

    lobo Active Member

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    No need to change distro - remove what you don't want and install what you do want...

    I started with Mandrake 9.x back in 02/03 and after years of on and off usage moved to Ubuntu in 2006. The dual booting continued - until about '08 when I discovered Debian. That was pretty much it for windows - haven't run it since.

    Nowadays I dual boot Slackware 14.1 and FreeBSD 9.2 - can't really imagine switching from Slackware now. I tried to switch back to Debian about a year ago and stuck it out for about ~ 2 months and went back to Slack'. Best GNU/Linux distro by far, in my humble opinion. Debian is still my second choice by a mile however.

    My favourite OS is easily FreeBSD however, quite a learning curve, but the old style UNIX simplicity and plain text config is very refreshing. It's also much faster on my old machine and extremely responsive.

    On both systems I run just fluxbox - if you want to run games, just run a window manager - frees up resources.
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  8. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    This seems odd, if you suggest changing is not needed, why did you change distros? (I am not trying to argue, I am wanting to understand your logic.:))
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  9. lobo

    lobo Active Member

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    Not odd at all in fact. There are valid reasons to change distro, but if it's just to change the DE or slim things down, there's often no need.
  10. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Oh, okay. I understand what you are saying.
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  11. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    I use Arch most of the time simply because of the HUGE selection of software and an awesome Wiki. And I love to customize my OS, not the other way around which is more Windows/OS X like.

    I also use Oz Unity of course. Helping out with that distro got me into Moderating.
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  12. Videodrome

    Videodrome Active Member

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    Started with Ubuntu like many. Wandered to MINT and back the other way to Debian. Messed with some "eye candy" distros like Bodhi.

    Eventually, discovered Crunchbang and it's been my standby OS for a long time since Waldorf came out. I like switching distros because things are generally ready if I want to reinstall or move to a new system. It may also be good as a LIVE Rescue CD.

    Only this week, I'm trying Arch and I'm impressed so far. This is the first OS I've tried that might lure me away from Crunchbang. For now, I'm keeping both on a multi-boot.
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  13. ryanc

    ryanc New Member

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    I haven't switched as such but I do encounter various different distros in my day to day wanderings. I have OpenSuSE on my rig at home, maintain Ubuntu servers at work and play with CentOS boxes at the Uni where I teach (as well as dabble on the command line in OSX).

    My belief is that whichever distro you choose, it's good to have exposure to others so you don't get too stuck in your ways.
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  14. atanere

    atanere New Member

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    All I have ever done is change distros (since about Red Hat 8)... trying new ones, and bouncing between more familiar ones. Thank goodness for Live CD/DVD's which has made this much easier. Currently playing with the latest Knoppix, CentOS, Fedora, Mint, and Debian. They're all good!
  15. MikeyD

    MikeyD Active Member

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    Started with Ubuntu -> Hated unity when it came out and bogged down my netbook.

    Switched to Mint -> Stuck with it for a while, but as I got more competent/experience with Linux I wanted something more minimal

    Switched to Fuduntu which I loved, (except for the name, its Fedora based not Ubuntu based believe it or not) but then it ended up going EOL

    Switched to Arch Linux as my "main" distro and haven't looked back. Great community, lets you literally build your own OS from the ground up, pacman is the best package manager around and has all the software I need in either main or AUR repositories.

    I've played with Puppy, Fedora, CentOS, Slackware, and a number of other distros on other PCs and VMs, but I've always kept Arch on my "main" machine.
  16. Videodrome

    Videodrome Active Member

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    Interesting. I hear good things about Slackware, but you still prefer Arch eh? Is Arch with Pacman easier for building up your system or Desktop? Are the Repos better?

    I've only recently tried Arch and I'm intrigued. It does have a super fast boot time.
  17. Luis Pena

    Luis Pena New Member

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    i used to love using Arch Gnu/Linux so much but there are a couple reasons why i stopped using it.
    and these are the reasons why it happned, maybe it was my fault for being a newb but
    1. Sometimes it breaks after an update, like pacman package manager would just break
    2. the packages are always the lastest and not always the most stable.

    but to be honest i still love Arch Gnu/Linux i have recently started using it again but not as my main linux distro, i prefer using Debian Gnu/Linux because of its stability and community
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  18. MikeyD

    MikeyD Active Member

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    I think I may just be more comfortable with Arch at this point. I loved Slackware and if I was to pick another distro it would probably be Slack (or Crunchbang although I haven't tried it. Might test it out today :))

    I think pacman compares with apt-get although I just found it easier to edit/update the mirrorlists for pacman and customize its functionality. With RPM-based distros I always found it less convenient to have separate programs for managing packages (rpm) and installing new packages (yum or yast) versus a pacman or apt-get where it is all in one.

    I think for those control-freaks in all of us I just like that Arch comes out of the box with the minimal requirements for a working system. If I'm going to be using one GUI I don't need/want 5 different DMs on my machine and there is no "standard" setup so you can literally just install the packages you need with less chance of conflicts down the line.

    @Luis Pena does highlight the drawbacks though. You do have to diligently keep an Arch system up to date, although I've only had one update issue in my years using Arch which forced me to downgrade the kernel from cache, but even that was fixed with a couple commands (once I knew what I was doing heh)
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  19. Videodrome

    Videodrome Active Member

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    I'm still fairly new to Arch. It seems like if I update with Pacman -Syu, a side effect is it mutes my audio channel. I have to run alsamixer to reopen the channel.
    Not a huge issue once it's figured out, but maybe an example of how Arch can have surprises waiting in updates.


    Also, I've heard strange things about Slackware and package management. That it either requires manual dependency installing or more compiling. As opposed to Pacman which seems really simple.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  20. nephilim

    nephilim Member

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    Everyone has their own opinion... and on that note I recommend Crunchbang. I've tried DWM and Awesome, which rocked, but didn't configure it enough to be comfortable with it (not saying I wouldn't go back and do it better), but #! makes that swap from DE to WM almost too easy. #! is a distro with a simple WM that has already been set up. Screenshots and forums don't give its fast simple interface justice. It took me too long to use even an lxde environment. Watching your slow bulky OS turn quick on the same hardware is amazing. I'll get into my reasons to switch distros on another post. This is just a taste.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014

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