Shopping around for a new "day to day" distro

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Shopping around for a new "day to day" distro

Postby mccabee » Nov 19th, '15, 16:12

First off, I want to apologize for my first post here being a rant, but i stumbled across a thread trying to find some comparisons of a few different distros for everyday desktop use and just ended up angry. I mainly use Kali on my laptop, and have a few distros i play around with on an older desktop, but Kali isnt the most pleasant when trying to install and use everyday software and is causing things to get overly cluttered with pictures and all that. It also helps I got my hands on a KVM and can switch between the two easily and still use the laptop if needed. I like the stability as far as releases and the community goes, i fear too sharp of a bleeding edge of rolling releases that can go down from something as small as a buggy update or Fedora which I loved, i had a few minor problems, they but left a bad taste in my mouth after something to do with Gnome Tweaks caused the system to repeatedly crash a fresh install, but not the second box I had yet to start adjusting. It seems like a solid middle ground between staying up to date, but without rushing out faulty updates. Has anyone noticed any pro's/con's for either Mageia or other distros? I'm still shopping and messing around with live disks, but any feedback would be great. I like to hear people's subjective opinions about what they like and what they'd change to see if that's something I like/dislike too. Or there is something you miss about aptitude vs yum. Whatever positive or negative.
A little history of my PC use, over the years. Rare occasions, I'll use Windows, I can't stand OS X. I'm very comfortable with the terminal and wont hesitate to get my hands dirty, or RTFM. I've used openSUSE, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Mint, Fedora workstation and server, Raspbian for small Pi projects like VPN's, and NAS. Open-WRT routers, BackTrack and Kali Linux mostly the last year or so. Planning on a low level distro like LFS, Slack, a BSD or Gentoo in the future when things are less hectic for the challenge.
It's a pleasure to meet everyone! Look forward to hearing from you all.

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Re: Shopping around for a new "day to day" distro

Postby benmc » Nov 20th, '15, 02:43

Hello mccabee and welcome to Mageia.

I can only respond as a general desktop user - web browsing, email, some video + audio editing use.

Mageia, for me, has been very stable, only a few hiccups after updating that were easily cured.
Mageia run a " we're going for stability over bleeding edge , friendly for newbies but easily customisable if desired", community driven distro.

As you will be well aware, what works for me, may just not work for you. All distros have their quirks.
Hope you enjoy testing out Mageia, and hope that you stay with us,

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Re: Shopping around for a new "day to day" distro

Postby mccabee » Nov 20th, '15, 06:58

Benmc, thanks for your reply! That is mostly what I'm looking for, Kali suits most of my needs, however they recommend to not add any other Debian repositories or risk hosing your distro. I mostly focus on security and pentesting. Recently things have been getting a little crowded with running VM's, the occasional need for a MS office suite, backing up pictures and files from Dropbox to a distro meant for security. I also have recently needed the ability to edit videos and would rather use my extra box for those tasks than clog things up. It's an old dell with some minor upgrades to RAM and HD space. So far i've enjoyed using Mageia, and I like the move away from Debian based systems. I've also enjoyed using Manjaro and Antergos (both derived from Arch) However, while reading over forums and various posts by diehard users from the Arch, Manjaro, and Antergos factions and the lack of civility between them has been off putting. Arch is out of the picture, as I said before now isn't the time to work hard to put together an OS and read through tons of manuals. Antergos is essentially Arch with a GUI installer and Manjaro has some bad blood with Arch. Manjaro is behind the updates of Arch and Antergos so they squabble over which blade is dripping more or less blood than the others or who has the better package manager... That is one slight turn off is the perceived elitism and bickering between people who back different distros. However, I did try out the Live CD for BlackArch, a Pentesting overlay for the Arch distro and I was pretty impressed, like I said before right now I'm looking for simple, to do the basics. In the future, configuring a distro from the ground up for fun. Just not the right time. Back to the research as far as what will suit my needs better. Getting the feel of each of them and the pro's and cons of each. Taking note of the front-ends, software i prefer, and all that. Writing up side by side lists comparing them haha. For whatever reason i have a feeling I will be sticking with Mageia. Glancing around the forums, its nice to see civil talks rather than picturing the person posting filing down a shiv and waiting for someone to say "X is better than Y." A strong community is what keeps user's loyal and a distro alive.
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Re: Shopping around for a new "day to day" distro

Postby tlmiller » Nov 20th, '15, 08:09

I like Mageia. I wish they had a "backports" like Debian, so that you could run latest Firefox, Libreoffice in the stable version, but other than that 1 minor inconvenience, Mageia 5 has been completely stable and has just "worked" for me. I use WPS office to avoid having to use the older Libreoffice, and anymore there's not that big a difference from ESR to current, so just run the stock Firefox. The only minor inconvenience I had was getting sound to work on my Chromebook, which I never did succeed on, and so was forced to run Fedora on it.

Since they're both geared toward the desktop, a quick comparison against Fedora. Fedora is definitely more "bleeding edge". 23 at the moment seems stable enough, but Fedora has been known to release with lots of bugs, so sooner or later, probably going to get them. Fedora releases only supported for 9 months total, there is no LTS. While also no LTS for Mageia (although there has been a lot of requests for it, and they might be considering it), they are supported for a bit longer (I believe 12 months). Installation is super easy on either one, software management super easy. Really, IMO, it comes down to preference for urpmi/urpme/urpmq or dnf (I like both and I generally dislike gui package managers, so can't speak to whatever it is Mageia uses or if Fedora even has one) and if you really want the newer software or the more stable software.
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Re: Shopping around for a new "day to day" distro

Postby mccabee » Nov 21st, '15, 06:57

I've always seen Fedora as RHEL's test shop/unstable release since they own Fedora. Definitely agree its more bleeding edge. I've only ever had two complaints and only with the work station, Fedora server has always been great to me when i've used it. The first being the strict adherence to only open source software in their repo's which forces you to begin with work arounds to even listen to MP3's. The bleeding edge aspect has caused me problems in the past after spending the day setting up my preferences, installing the software I typically use, and messing around ended with some bug in Gnome Tweak or the release itself caused a crash leaving me with a SNAFU. Another Fedora release later, I screwed up partitioning and decided to just go back to Mint for a while out of convenience because I recently switched a friend from Win 7 to Mint with all the same software and wanted to be able to walk him through anything over the phone since he isn't the most tech savvy. I grew tired of it again. Just a desktop to use so I'm not jamming up my pentesting distro with personal stuff and unnecessary software. As I said, no need for bleeding edge or LTS. Distros come and go all the time, and I accept the fluidity of it. There is no silver bullet. I really would only worry about LTS for a Web Server or , likely in that case I would go with CentOS or FreeBSD. That's another topic though. Both have working GUI package managers, sometimes it is nice to have a visual representation of the different software options to read through. Depending on the distro and how up to date the repo is, i generally prefer the terminal but will sometimes use GUI just to check what versions they have or look for the hell of it. Going to install it tomorrow morning, worst case I hate it, maybe learn something new by trying it out, wipe it and find something else. Thanks for your input Tim! I rarely have to use any Office Programs, but I'll keep WPS in mind since i'm a little out of the loop and have just used what i was given with the distro for the last year or so.
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Re: Shopping around for a new "day to day" distro

Postby Germ » Nov 22nd, '15, 22:33

tlmiller wrote:I like Mageia. I wish they had a "backports" like Debian...



Run this command from konsole and you can add backports and testing:

Code: Select all
drakrpm-edit-media --expert
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