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Hi, I'm hoping to find a Linux distro that I can use for life... or should I say will stick with me for life. So I'm looking for a Linux ...
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  1. #1
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    Please help me switch my Linux ONE LAST TIME!!!


    Hi,

    I'm hoping to find a Linux distro that I can use for life... or should I say will stick with me for life. So I'm looking for a Linux that I can use and update over time. Here's why...

    I selected PCLinuxOS 2009 back in July of '08 after a pretty exhaustive (and exhausting) search. Installation was not a trivial matter. I have dual screens and some legacy hardware that was a chore to get running. Never got my TV tuner to work, but I'm OK with that. WINE was another challenge, but eventually I got that working too.

    Things were great until mid-2010 when PCLinuxOS 2010 was released and '09 repositories were frozen. That was OK, but then later in the year, the '09 repositories were removed. So I could no longer install old apps that used to be available. I don't need them often, but when I do I have no options.

    The reason I didn't update to 2010 is because there is no update avaiable. You had to do a clean install, start from scratch, and re-install all of your applications. This is exactly why I quit Windows! After my Vista crashed with a KSOD, I had a choice of starting from scratch with Windows or Linux. I picked Linux thinking my path forward would not be interrupted with start-overs. Recently I've run into some old WINE bugs which force me to find a way to update WINE. There's no repository for my Synaptic to get code and there are no RPMs available for my system.

    So I'm at the crossroads again. This time I want to install an OS which will always (at least for more than a couple years) let me upgrade instead of having to reinstall.

    So my questions is, Is there a Linux with a long history and a philosophy of in-place upgrade installs as opposed to clean installs?

    Naturally, I would like something that is highly compatible and mostly uses GUI for management and configuration.

    Hope I'm not asking for too much. Suggestions and recommendations are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by yopered View Post
    This time I want to install an OS which will always (at least for more than a couple years) let me upgrade instead of having to reinstall.
    You might want to take a look at some "rolling release" distros such as Arch, Gentoo, and others in the rolling release link. They do have new releases now and then, but as long as you keep updating your system on a regular basis, you don't have to reinstall again at any point unless your hard drive dies, or you choose to reinstall for reasons of your own.

    I've been running Arch for about 6 years now for that reason.
    oz

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    Hi ozar,

    Thanks for the reply and thanks for the link and terminology I was looking for. I see that PCLinuxOS is listed as "partial" for rolling release. I will check those out. Out of the ones listed on Wikipedia, which of those will thave the most complete GUI control panel?

    I've been using KDE and want to stick with it, so looks like Chakra would be the Arch derivative for me, but the alpha stage scares me.

    Can you tell me more about Arch benefits/drawbacks?
    Last edited by yopered; 02-13-2011 at 08:10 PM. Reason: Add details

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    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by yopered View Post
    Can you tell me more about Arch benefits/drawbacks?
    The biggest benefits in my opinion are the package tool for Arch, known as pacman, and the various documentation pages. Note that pacman was designed to be used from the command line, but several popular GUI front-ends do exist.

    The biggest drawback for some users is that Arch isn't really isn't intended to be a beginner-oriented distro. That's not to say that new Linux users can't run it because plenty of them have been successful at installing, configuring, and running it.

    Best of luck with your research, and your future distro.
    oz

  6. #5
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Rolling release ... Mint Debian Edition ... probably a better option in your case

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    Wikipedia says LMDE comes with Gnome but KDE can be installed. Is that right? I looked at the LM site and couldn't find a clear answer.

    I tried searching the LMDE mint forum, but their search seems to be broken.

  8. #7
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    kde is in the repositories ... so yes you can install it if you want ... have not tried myself. Used kde 3.5 but just did not like kde 4 so I switched to using IceWM ...

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    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    +1 for Arch. I found it to be completely worth the initial investment of time and energy.

    It doesn't have a lot of GUI tools, however. Though if you're planning on running KDE, the usual KDE tools are there which cover a fair bit. You can install webmin, though, if you find yourself missing a GUI for some configurations.

  10. #9
    Linux User zenwalker's Avatar
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    "So my questions is, Is there a Linux with a long history and a philosophy of in-place upgrade installs as opposed to clean installs?

    Naturally, I would like something that is highly compatible and mostly uses GUI for management and configuration."

    points to a Debian rolling release, IMHO.

    Begin your narrowed search with aptosid, which can use smxi to simplify custom upgrades, as is also true with CrunchBang-10 and others. Smxi is the easy way to add liquorix kernels, for instance.

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    I will second zenwalker on aptosid or CrunchBang.

    There are a few things to point out though. Rolling release distributions are not as stable as interval release distributions. Occasionally, if a package changes drastically, you will lose all of the settings for that package and potentially data associated with it. There is also the threat of an update leaving you in an inoperable state.

    If you want the best in terms of stability, I highly recommend Slackware, CentOS, Scientific, or Vector Linux Standard. Of course, there is one more thing. When you do your partitioning I highly recommend that you put /home on its own partition. This way you are forever safe from reinstalls. You keep your configs and files, even if you do have to reinstall your OS and applications.

    :: EDIT :: There is a scientific rolling release btw.

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