Distro Hopping!

Dreamer smorrey at gmail.com
Thu Sep 29 22:54:37 MDT 2005

Ok, so I've finally decided it's time to switch distros again.
After a few years of running Gentoo and quite happily I might add,
something finally got screwed up enough that my Gentoo box would no
longer boot w/o a whole new Grub and kernel setup.

I like Gentoo, don't get me wrong it's an excellent distro, and the
only reason it's broken is due to my own incompetence.

I'm not a huge fan of the Major Distros, but I've been giving them all
a shot over the years as various needs have arisen and each distro
addressed the need of the time.

So far I have liked SuSE the most, however unfortunately, only the
live DVD works on my system, and the autoinstaller pukes and dies, how
this is possible is entirely beyond my comprehension, but I do have a
few gigs of ram, so it's not THAT much of a hinderence.

However I want a more permanent distro, so I've moved on.
While in SuSE I downloaded and burned a copy of Elive 0.3, it's my
first Debian based distro other than Knoppix.

In short it's a great eye-candy, spectacle and I think it would make
an excellent gift to someone who is new to Linux, especially in e17
mode it's gorgeous.  I had a small bug that occured during hardware
detection, my monitor reported itself as a 17" Color Monitor
The version of X that ships with eLive couldn't handle this extra
quote, and so it puked and died, no big deal I went ahead and removed
the offending quotation mark from the config file and everything is
happy again.
Anyways it's a gorgeous distro, but enlightenment suffers from one
fatal bug I cannot abide by.
If you move a maximized window say for instance firefox, from within
the desktop pager by accident, your instinct is to maximize it when
switching back to the desktop it's sitting on.  This will cause the
open window to crash completely and leave a nice little core file
sitting in your home directory.  Also evidence, the file manager for
e16 and e17 is elegant but seems a little useless, there appears to be
no way to do alot of the things one would normally do, such as view
Hidden files and the like.  I'm sure there is a way somehow, but I
couldn't get it to work.  Thats not a really big issue for me since I
spend 9/10s of my file management time working from within a console

So I've decided to distro hop once again.  This time I've really
thought about what I want from a distro, and I want to try something
I've never tried before.
Almost all of the apps I really want to use on a daily basis, are
either sponsored by Sun or are Java based.
Open Office, Azureus, ZDE etc all want and need Java.
I've never in my life used Solaris, so I figure I'll download it and
give it a shot!

I'm starting this thread, so that others may share in my experiences,
typically I take a month or so once every 2-3 years, and try every
distro I can get my hands on that seems like it will suite my needs.
Last time I just wanted, a small fast customized OS, and I also wanted
to prove to myself that I COULD get gentoo to work, since the prior 7
install attempts had failed, so miserably.

This time around, I just want and need stable apps, and a rock solid
stable developers environment, since I am now moonlighting as a
paid-per-project programmer.  I just can't afford to have something
interrupt my work and have to do yet another re-install, or spend 6
days trying to track a bug.  Since all of my programming work will be
in Java and PHP, cross-platform isn't much of an issue.

So while I'm doing this, if anyone else is considering a Distro hop,
and wants to recommend a Distro for me to try before they brave out
into the unkown let me know.  Feel free to recommend one, the only
considerations are... Has to be free as in beer, and have either a
single CD iso, DVD iso or Net Installer iso.  I'm not going to wait an
eon to download  and burn 2-10 CDs.  Another consideration is a native
english port, I've noticed alot of smaller distros are getting into
more and more specialized languages, and I just don't have time to
learn a new Language (BTW eLive has alot of spanish in it, but it's
not that big a deal since the core OS stuff is all english).  Oh yeah,
it also needs to have an x86 version.

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