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Everyone in the Linux shop, it's time to do a distro-hop

Jul 3, 2010 3:24:02 PM

I know what you are thinking. With witty lyrics like that, how is it that I am not in California writing dope rhymes for Snoop? Well, I've always believed that you have to do what you love, and while banging out classics with Snoop would be fun and all, I love working with computers.

Speaking of computers, they require an OS to run, and  I've been a Ubuntu user for a long time. I am not a Linux zealot by any stretch of the imagination, as  I believe everyone should use an OS that they like. I prefer Linux due to the console that it offers. The command prompt on Windows annoys me to no end, so I switched to Linux so that I could use a terminal that was a little more refined. The terminal is the window to your OS's soul, and the command prompt on Windows ironically, has become dirty and clouded.

So I found Ubuntu and I have used it for the past 4 years. It was a happy union until I read through a particular post on gnome look. This person posted an icon theme that he claimed was only for Fedora. They then went in to an angry tirade as to how Ubuntu was making things too "easy", and becoming more and more like Windows everyday. I don't necessarily agree with their points, but I did start to think, had I learned every thing that I could from Ubuntu?  I could install Ubuntu on my laptop and get up and running in fairly short order. I know how to configure it too my liking and get around most of the issues that exist in it. So where is the challenge, and thereby the fun in that?

I figured it was time to switch to a new distribution, but what would I choose? I paid a visit to distro watch, and went through the top 25 distributions that were listed there. I found a couple that met my requirements ( mainly gnome support ), and tried them out on my home desktop machine, as switching to a new distibution on my work laptop without knowing how it performs seemed somewhat dangerous.  I picked one, used it for a week on my home desktop machine, and now I use it on my work laptop.

In the end, I chose Arch Linux, and it's been a blast to learn.  The install was fairly straight forward, but I still managed to accidentally blow away two partitions on my home machine that I would have preferred to keep.  It was my own fault, I was reading stuff too quickly, and not paying attention to what I was doing.  It's package management ( called pacman ) is powerful.  Also, installing unofficial packages from the AUR's is simple using a utility called yaourt.  For the most part, I feel that I have more control over what is installed on my system, and there are a tonne of "Arch Wiki's" to read.  It's best feature though has to be that it's origin is Canadian.

It would appear that as long as there are different Linux distributions for me to try, I  won't be moving to California to be "rockin' those beats".  Sorry Snoop.

- Rodney

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Written by Rodney Dowdall

Storyboard Browser Architect at Crank Software

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