Top 5 linux distributions by my taste
There are a lot of posts about this. All of them are personal impressions. There is no possibiliy to make unbiased post as linux distros are often tagged as “Flavors”, so as they are actually a kind of flavor, tastes are not to be discussed. Each distro has its own purpose, strengths and weaknesses. There are literally hundreds of different tastes, but few of them are major and more general purpose.
I have presented here distros I actually had and worked on my machines, longer than few months, selected by my own taste and opinions. So, lets begin…
This is my favorite of all. Both user and expert friendly, openSUSE is one of the most complete and most polished distro around. As people says “devil is in the details”, this one has those small details polished to the last bits. To illustrate that small bits, KDE4 of openSUSE has menu on restart button, which allows you to boot directly into another operating system or kernel, without waiting for machine to reboot and then select desired boot menu. Lack of this feature annoys me pretty much on other distros. It’s setup tool called YaST is ultimately the most complete user friendly system control panel you’d find anywhere. Besides, openSUSE is fast and rock solid. It’s KDE4 integration is simply the best of all distros around. If you are KDE4 lover, there is no better choice.
However at this very moment, I don’t have it installed on any of the machines. Reason for that is it’s 9 month release cycle. Which is both good and not. In my case, I am still 3 months away from new release, but I bought newest laptop I could find. Had some trouble with wireless drivers which I resolved with more or less work, but I decided to wait for new release with my second choice.
This one is my second choice and UTTERLY the first choice when I have to recommend it to Windows convertees or users that are not so techie. Based on Ubuntu, it has vast community of users and developers. Mint adds it’s own taste by including proprietary drivers and codecs, as well as rebuilt software manager, desktop and look & feel in general. It’s Gnome based (there are community editions with most popular desktops), but any of it is easily installable if desired. Definately, this is the most easy-going distro around. I often refer to it as “Turbo charged Ubuntu”.
Again, my recommendations for this one!
LMDE – Linux Mint Debian Edition
I can say that is almost the same as the above, but I find it more stable and MUCH faster. It does not have automatic proprietary driver find&download, or it didn’t worked for me. There is one thing that worths to me a lot: It’s Rolling edition, which means that there are not versions released. Standard update gives you everything new there is. I have this one on older laptop. However, it is not sooooo user friendly as standard Mint. Its based on Debian Sid, not Ubuntu, which gives advanced user more advantages. I am not newbie so I couldn’t actually see if there is a difference in user-friendliness, but I am sure there is, as own developers says so. For me, it is desktop ready and recommendation if you need a workhorse machine.
This one is based on Gentoo, but far-far more user friendly. Sabayon team made a good job making this distro so nice and polished. There is not much to say about this one. It’s stable, it looks very nice, it works and community is very friendly. It’s Italian distro and it’s name is suitably docile: Sabayon is italian sweet made of egg yolks and wine.
This one is not actually my favorite, but it’s what I like to have around. It’s bleeding edge distro. Everything newest it’s there. Newest usually equals FAST and UNSTABLE. This distro is actually a test-bed for Red Hat enterprise distro, so if you’d like to see what new is comming and don’t bother if something needs more or less work to make it working, is a way to go.