What's your favorite distro, and why?

Dan Egli ddavidegli at gmail.com
Tue Dec 3 00:13:26 MST 2013

Since it's been so dead lately, I figured this would start some lively
discussions. I'm not looking to start a flame war here, but I am curious
why everyone uses whatever distribution they do. I'd like to hear back from
people, especially those not using things like Fedora or Ubuntu or Debian.
The less popular distributions have always been a curiosity to me.

So, I'll go ahead and start this one off. My personal favorite distribution
has to be Gentoo. Yes, it's complicated. But I like that. I also like the
fact that it's not a binary distribution, so someone else's ideas on how a
package should be built are not necessarily the same ones I'll use.

Let me give an example on that one. Years ago, when I first started fooling
with courier-imap and the Maildir format (vs. UW's Mbox format) I tried to
install the courier-imap package on my Fedora Core 2 system (yes, FC2, it
was that long ago). The rpm failed to install because I didn't have all the
dependencies. What was missing? Ohhh, just the database libraries for
nearly every SQL based open source database available at the time! I
already had MySQL installed, so that was fine. But then it insisted I
install (among other things) mSQL, Pgsql, OpenLDAP, and (I think) sqlite. I
was floored. Why on earth would you compile the package to have so many DB
libraries required? I finally bit the bullet and installed them, but that
always seemed a waste of disk space and resources, considering I'd never
use any of those systems.

Meanwhile, with gentoo, all I'd have to do to make sure courier-imap was
installed and only needed the mysql libraries would be:

USE="-* mysql" emerge courier-imap

Easy enough, no? :)

I could go on, but that would be (I think) enough to get the thread going
and hopefully liven up the Plug list a bit. So, what's YOUR preferred
distro, and why?

--- Dan

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