Why do people distro-hop?

BigBadBeef

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New Linux users have often been accused of hopping distros, but why would they do that? I'm a new Linux users, and I'm on pop!_os since beginning and I've pretty much gotten it to do whatever I wanted it to do, and it wasn't even hard. Granted I am a graduated computer technician from the days when TurboPascal was still a thing but its been a decade since I've done even the most basic scripting. I've customized and have gotten linux to do pretty much whatever I've wanted it to do... except vr with a rift, and I don't think any distro in existence is going to help with that one for the foreseeable future. Even got my desktop look like that cool, glassy windows 7 look:
Screenshot from 2021-12-08 11-07-05.png
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The ones I've found hopping distros are the experienced ones. Why do they do it?
 


Condobloke

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Curiosity. Exploring the finer points of each of the chosen distros.

Savouring the ultimate feeling of freedom, being able to totally control the many and various environments, with the certain knowledge that the cost of all these marvels is zero.

(and, because they can)
 

captain-sensible

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different reasons can't remember why ubuntu -> slitaz ngu/linux-> simply mephis -> antix -> zenwalk (& zencafe) ->a few others -> slackware

but i can tell you why i jumped from Slackware to Arch

I was on Slackware stable , officially even still maintain a slackbuild for it ; but it got stale , i couldn't work with latest php for some frameworks. people say well you could have just upgraded the php and python 2.7 to 3 + then get rid of python 2.7 for instance. No that wasn't possible since a bunch of core stuff relied on python 2.7. So what i'm saying is , not that simple and why bother. So i jumped to Slackware current; then thought its more or less a rolling release, so why not look at others that look like they are sustainable . With just one guy maintaining Slackware and Alien Bob stating he's giving Slackware a break for a while ; slackware is really vulnerable.

So i'm now on Arch, no problems no breakages and i routinely create a snapshot with timeshift
 
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BigBadBeef

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Curiosity. Exploring the finer points of each of the chosen distros.

Savouring the ultimate feeling of freedom, being able to totally control the many and various environments, with the certain knowledge that the cost of all these marvels is zero.

(and, because they can)
So you're seeing your OS as more than a means to an end?
 

kc1di

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I think Curiosity is a big part of it. Different communities is another. Many folks are just curios about what other distros do and how they do it. Over time the change gets old and they choose one distro as primary and do most of their work on that one.
But still they try different ones just in case. I have tried hundreds of Distros since the 1990's some very good other just passing.
I always seem to end back at Mint eventually. Others do the same and end up at a different spot. So it has to do with freedom of choice also. There is no one Distro that will be right for everyone. Also some hop to give other distros feedback on what works and what doesn't There are as many reason for it as there are people who do it.
 

brickwizard

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I don't often hop, I have several bits of kit all running different distro's which I have chosen to perform best with the spec of each individual box, I also have a selection of drives with different distro's for testing [if we didnt test on our own kit how would we spot potential problems] and a couple of pendrives and several DVD iso's for rescue work
 

old timer

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I have several bits of kit all running different distro's which I have chosen to perform best with the spec of each individual box, I also have a selection of drives with different distro's for testing [if we didnt test on our own kit how would we spot potential problems] and a couple of pendrives and several DVD iso's for rescue work
Choosing a Linux distro is kinda like choosing most anything else ya see what's available and suits your needs the best and then make a choice or choices. ;)
 

kc1di

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I think Curiosity is a big part of it. Different communities is another. Many folks are just curios about what other distros do and how they do it. Over time the change gets old and they choose one distro as primary and do most of their work on that one.
But still they try different ones just in case. I have tried hundreds of Distros since the 1990's some very good other just passing.
I always seem to end back at Mint eventually. Others do the same and end up at a different spot. So it has to do with freedom of choice also. There is no one Distro that will be right for everyone. Also some hop to give other distros feedback on what works and what doesn't There are as many reason for it as there are people who do it. Another reason is every time you install a new distro you learn something new.
 

f33dm3bits

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Everyone's Linux journey is different because everyone has a different learning style and speed. As for why people distro-hop, in the beginning out of curiosity/interest as well as lack of understanding. When they can't get something done in one distribution, they try the next. After you gain enough experience and understanding of how Linux works then you realize that if you can get something done in one distribution you can get it done in other distribution. Also because of philosophy some people start with Linux and than find out they like the philosophy of one distribution better than the one they are on and then they move to that distribution and lastly because they are looking for a new challenge when for example when deciding to move from Ubuntu to Arch or to Gentoo.

As myself in the beginning I hopped several times because of the same reasons just explained as what most beginners do a: Uut of curiosity and a lack of understanding. About 2 years ago someone told me about Arch and challenged me to try it and so I took on the new the challenge and still on Arch. In the end I found that Arch isn't much different than any of the other popular distributions.
 
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Linuxembourg

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I suppose many will have their own reasons. I would say the experienced ones (or nerds) would just enjoy trying out various distros. They might also have a need to try a distro with the new glibc or whatever that is. I suppose you also can't have much of an opinion on systemd if you have never tried a distro without it.

Personally, I have only hopped once, but I might do so again. I started with Lubuntu, decided quite quickly I would be hopping and moving to Debian. Although I decided on Debian after I installed it on a friends old laptop and managed to do it.

My motivations were that I don't need to bother with snaps, mainly. I also enjoy the challenge of a not complete beginner distro. If I decide to change, it would probably be to something arch-based and either way my motivation would probably be to get the latest Chromium (i have it currently but in a non-updating AppImage)

I suppose I have tried more than two, and have a sort of fascination with stuff like Slitaz and Puppy where it boots from usb very quickly and only takes up about 200mb in space. Not really sure what counts as hopping though. I have only really used two, but have tried about 5-10 in the last decade or so.
 

TheProf

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I distro hoped a few times before landing on endeavouros... My reasons where to try fixed release vs rolling release to see what the differences were. I game on Linux as well, so I needed something that would provide the latest drivers/updates. Every Linux Distro that I used, I could get to work pretty much in the same way, so it wasnt about the name or anything, for me it was more about how each distro was packaged and the model of how updates are released (rolling vs fixed).
 

stan

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I like to get a new/different car once in awhile.
I like to move to a new/different home once in awhile.
I'm on my 2nd wife.

Change is sometimes driven by need, and sometimes just for the sake of change itself... for something new and exciting. There's nothing wrong with that. It's true for Linux distros too.
 

dos2unix

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I used to, a lot more than I do now. Maybe I'm getting old. (Did I really say that?)
I know there are people who have used 30 or 40 different distro's (some even more).
But I doubt I have even used 20.

In the last 5 years, you could knock that down to less than 5.
But you do sometimes tend to get "locked in". That's not always a bad thing.

It goes something like... I drive a Ford, my daddy drove and Ford, and his daddy before him drove a Ford.
I'll never drive anything else. Then when you finally drive a Chevy or Dodge, you're thinking... this isn't too bad.
Once you start using a particular distro, you get hooked on it.

In my case, the last 7 jobs I've had were all Redhat shops. ( i.e. RedHat, CentOS, Oracle, Scientific, etc... )
So I've tended to "lean" to RPM based distro's. (Fedora)

But we do have some Ubuntu systems in the cloud, and one dept likes SuSE, so those are distro's where I spend
my time lately. Not much free time to hop around anymore.
 

wizardfromoz

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KGIII

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people say well you could have just upgraded the php and python 2.7 to 3 + then get rid of python 2.7 for instance.

Ugh... Don't listen to those people! :D

Never, ever tamper with the default Python that came with your system! Never! (It pretty much never ends well.) You can install a new version of Python beside the default system and then specify it for use, but never ever remove the version of Python that shipped with your OS.
 

JoeBlack

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When I was distrohopping, at the beginning, I was looking to see what's out there.... then the distrohopping became finding the set of things I want for my OS.
e.g. The right Overview, Tiling WM, Universal Cloud notes, steam/gaming, app store/repos, extensions/tweaks, the right UI Theme (I found the MacOS theme on PopOS looks different to the MacOS them on KDE MX)

Now I distro-"browse"... with curiosity, staying informed, a slight "grass is greener on the other side" mentality.
I'm curious about Deepin now. Heard it improved a lot. Finding a distro I can recommend to newbs. (No longer Ubuntu)

Sometimes I hear, see, covert a features that another distro or distro/family has

I kind of just bounce back to my PopOS setup.
 
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