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Choosing a Linux Distro

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asqwerth
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Re: Choosing a Linux Distro

#21 Post by asqwerth » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:20 am

My initial problem with xfdashboard and MX17 was that I like to trigger it using a hotcorner in the top left of the screen, just like the windows overview in Gnome 3.

However, the xfce Hotcorner panel-plugin had not been maintained for some time and was no longer working in MX17 (still works for MX15/16). So in MX17, apart from triggering xfdashboard with keyboard shortcuts*, I also installed Brightside (also in the repos) to get the hotcorner functionality. But Brightside's reaction time to activate xfdashboard after you hit the hotcorner is super slow.

In the end I reverted to an old hotcorner solution, which I use in another (non-bunsenlabs) distro: bunsenlab's bl-hotcorner script.

I set out the procedure in the MX Wiki: https://mxlinux.org/wiki/applications/hotcorner

I also have the right bottom corner set up to trigger the 'show desktop/minimise all windows' command.


* @rasat, I note from your screenshots that you use a launcher in the top left corner to launch xfdashboard. I can't believe I didn't think of that as a compromise!
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Re: Choosing a Linux Distro

#22 Post by asqwerth » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:40 am

Regarding the original post, there are pros and cons to choosing a fixed release distro like MX vs a rolling distro like the one that was previously criticised in this thread. I use both these distros.

MX Pros:
1. stable, quick and reliable Debian Stable distro with great tools;
2. One-click updates from MX-Updater that you don't really need to worry about. No need to check on any update announcements or advisories before installing updates for fear that an update might break something.
3. Packaging Team really does a great job giving us packages that are not found in standard Debian repos or which are updated beyond the versions found in Debian.

MX Cons:
1. there does come a point at which updates of certain packages can no longer be repackaged for MX as they depend on a higher version of certain key platforms on which that Debian Stable branch is based.
2. Eventual need for reinstallation. Fixed releases like Debian/Ubuntu based distros have a base of key platforms/packages that don't change, and everything else for that version is built on these platforms. Every 2+ years, a new release with the latest base is released. Eventually you have to reinstall to get the latest base, because at some point in time, newer versions of some of your applications may no longer be installable on the older base since they will be built to depend on the newer base. Even if you don't care or need newer versions of programs, you should upgrade once they no longer provide security updates for your version of Debian.

I will state that I don't find the reinstallation every 2+ years that difficult. You can preserve the /home partition of your current MX install when installing the new version of MX over the /root partition. And besides, backing up your data isn't so hard if you already store most of your data and media in a separate partition or drive rather than in /home of your distro. That way, the installation process doesn't affect the main place that you store your data.


Rolling distro pros:
1. rolling distros upgrade everything, even the key platforms the rest of the distro gets built on, all the time. If your favourite package has some new feature coming that you really want, you'll get it soon enough.

In Debian, you may have a scenario where you are looking forward to a long awaited feature or a bugfix for an annoying (but not serious/dangerous) bug in an application, then you find that the new version of the app with the new feature or fix can't be built to work on your version of Debian.

2. no need to reinstall the distro as it just keeps rolling on.


Cons:
1. in return for the above benefits, you will generally need to give the distro more care and reading up before installing updates/upgrades. Since everything is being upgraded, even foundations, updates can sometimes be a little tumultuous. Some rolling distros are easier to manage than others, because the developers try to control and moderate some changes before releasing the updates to the users. Some just throw all updates into the repos and the user has to do all the work.

The one you mention is not difficult as long as you don't jump straight into updating when you are notified of any. Wait 2 days then read the update announcement forum thread to see if some known issues have cropped up and what the solution is. Then update, incorporating the solutions if needed. Most of the time nothing's going to go wrong even if you don't read the announcements first. But once a while an update will come along that bites you in the butt, and knowing Murphy's Law, it'll be the one for which you didn't do your homework.

2. you may also need to carry out some regular maintenance on certain config files.

During updating, some config files may have updates but your existing .conf file will not be written over. Instead, the new version is saved with a different suffix. I ignore most of these changes, but there are one or two config files where I do take notice of new versions. Some changes might need to be merged into the current config file. But I do it at my leisure, maybe once every few months.

Conclusion:
You have tradeoffs in time and convenience, depending which you choose.
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dreamer
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Re: Choosing a Linux Distro

#23 Post by dreamer » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:16 pm

richb wrote:Dolphin is available in the repos. You would need to install other packages to get full functionality. I installed KDE from the MX Package Installer and you get a functional dolphin. It can be themed if you also install systemsettings which is the KDE System Setting app. I then run it in xfce. Why install KDE, I like to fool with it on occasion.
Yeah with KDE you have to go all in because everything is so integrated. I'll give MX-17 a try when the time is right. Dolphin is nice but I don't know if I want to install the KDE/Plasma DE. Sometimes KDE can mess with GTK DEs (theming). I had Dolphin themed in XFCE in both MX Linux (KDE version) and PCLinuxOS, but there were just enough quirks that I decided that KDE apps in a GTK DE isn't really worth it. I was hoping to find a Dolphin AppImage (LibreOffice as AppImage works great), but not much was available. So for now I give up Dolphin, thanks anyway.
rasat wrote: xfdashboard is also in the repos.
Nice. I didn't know this existed for XFCE so thanks for posting images.

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Re: Choosing a Linux Distro

#24 Post by chiguy1256 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:40 pm

As as I said earlier, I have been trying out a lot of Linux distros lately. The majority of the ones I like are Debian based. There are a few independents and other distros that have some features that I like, but it always seems like I turn back to MX Linux and its smaller cousin AntiX. Most of the Debian based distros I like, either default using the xfce desktop or have that as a choice. I would have to say, that by far the MX Linux implementation of xfce is the best.

One thing I need to ask and I hope I don't have any rotten tomatoes thrown at me is why don't some of the Debian based distros try to use YaST? Just curious. I find that this is the one feature I do like about openSUSE.

I appreciate the feedback.

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Re: Choosing a Linux Distro

#25 Post by chiguy1256 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:41 pm

As I said in the beginning of this discussion, I've been trying out various Linux distros. It seems for the most part I tend to be attracted toward Debian based distros. I also like distros that have their own implementation of the xfce desktop. I also tried Fedora, Manjaro, Solus, openSUSE, Gecko Linux, and OpenMandriva. Of these non-Debian based distros I just listed, the one thing I do like about openSUSE and Gecko Linux is the YaST control center. I was wondering why don't other non-SUSE based distos have YaST. I did some Googling and found that there was a project called YaST4Debian, but it has basically been put on hold. Does anyone know if YaST4Debian is going to move forward? Thanks.

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Re: Choosing a Linux Distro

#26 Post by dreamer » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:38 pm

I'm not qualified to answer your question, because I know next to nothing about Linux packaging. I don't think there is anything YaST can do that can't be done with with apt. In Debian/Ubuntu we have Synaptic and many tools developed around apt and deb packages. MX Linux is a perfect example of that. Instead of asking why YaST is not part of Debian/Ubuntu, maybe it's better if you describe what you miss in Debian/Ubuntu that YaST can accomplish. I tried openSUSE many years ago and yes its installer was very capable and the YaST tools are good. However I feel YaST is/was developed with enterprise in mind, not the home user. Overall the package quality is lower in openSUSE than Debian/Ubuntu so that made me leave openSUSE.

rasat
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Re: Choosing a Linux Distro

#27 Post by rasat » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:08 pm

Coming from a SUSE background, YaST was a big thing.... rpm package. Later when comparing with other package management, rpm didn't have the flexibility what others have. In other words, YaST is limited.... easy to use but....

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