Am I missing something??!!
Hi all :)
I have already posted a question in miscellaneous called making-music-linux-whats-best-my-laptop, but the replies I got to that led me to broader considerations, hence this new post.
On and off, for the past few years, I've tried out a few different distros. What I realise is that I'm only really checking out which desktop environment I prefer. If you can install pretty much any desktop environment on top of any distro, then I was wondering what the difference is, really.
So that question led me to the following:
Comparison_of_Linux_distributions on Wikipedia.
So I now know that package management is a big difference. I can see that Debian-based systems have a different way of handling packages than Red-Hat based systems or Mandriva, or Slackware, etc. But that doesn't really tell me why one would be better for me than another. If the technical aspect of why you would prefer .deb to RPM is too complicated for me to understand, then do I even need to know?
I'm not competent enough in the ways of Linux to take on Arch or Gentoo or any rolling distro.
That Wikipedia comparison seems to say that OpenSUSE has the greatest number of software packages available. So I'm thinking, if it doesn't really matter to me what type of package management a system has, as long as it works, then I might as well go for the one with the most software that's easily installable...
I know other things to consider are the length of time a release will be supported and the support that's there for users from other users, wikis, etc.
Also, it does matter to me who makes the distro and why. So, for example, that would make me lean more towards Debian than Ubuntu or OpenSUSE or Fedora because there doesn't seem to be that commercial focus behind Debian. But if you were to follow that logic, then would you not want to just go for a distro that is completely open and free, such as one endorsed by the Free Software Foundation? But I've a feeling that one of those distros would be too difficult to operate smoothly for a relative novice such as myself.
Of course, what best suits my hardware is another issue, but it's very hard to get information on that. Seems that trial and error are the only ways of finding out. (That leads me to a question: if I boot off a live CD/USB key, and all the hardware works, then can you safely say that it will work when the distro is installed fully on the hard-drive?)
I have other, more specific needs (about making and editing music) that might trump some of these concerns but I'm still curious.
I feel like I'm missing something....