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Hi All! This is my first post in *years* I remember when I first started using gnu/linux, it was stable as a lead weight mounted in concrete, you could do ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer
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    Cool Desktop distro, STABLE and slick - please help!


    Hi All!

    This is my first post in *years*

    I remember when I first started using gnu/linux, it was stable as a lead weight mounted in concrete, you could do whatever you wanted with the right amount of time and tutorials (with a few exceptions). Now the situation has been reversed in some regards, ease of use and feature completeness has increased massively but with a downturn in stability (crashing applications, stuff not working after upgrades).

    What I am looking for is a distribution that has the following:
    • Stability in the OS and applications
    • Rolling app upgrades (not have to upgrade whole os to get a new version of a package)
    • Easy to use on a daily basis for work (sysadmin)
    • Looks nice
    • Not too out of date


    Debian is either stable and old or unstable and modern
    Ubuntu is unstable and modern
    Fedora is very modern and feature rich and very unstable

    I need some help finding a good middle ground, I have looked at linux Mint today but worry that it will have all the same issues as Ubuntu.

    Please help me choose the right work desktop OS that I can use day in day out reliably. The specs of my work machine are:
    • Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T9600 @ 2.80GHz
    • 4GB Ram
    • Nvidia Quadro FX 370M
    Last edited by variant; 01-24-2010 at 11:17 AM. Reason: clarify that its' a request for help

  2. #2
    Just Joined! regexorcist's Avatar
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    Hi variant,
    can't say I agree with you as I had quite a few problems back in `96 or `97
    and my lead weight Red Hat 5.1 (Manhattan) had Xserver problems, modem problems
    and when I got around to trying Enlightenment, all kinds of WM problems.

    Flash forward to today...
    I had very specific criteria also and went through about 15 distros looking for a Linux that fit my criteria and first one that did was Arch.
    It's very simple, no preconfigured distro will give you "exactly" what your looking for, so that leaves just a few which you personally build/customize. LFS, Gentoo, Arch or a minimal install you build on, etc... I was initially using Gentoo prior to Arch, but I was installing and uninstalling IDEs regularly so working with binaries better suited me.

    Good Luck

  3. #3
    Just Joined!
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    I think in today's market, with all the hardware available, a lot of programmers have become rather lazy about memory footprint. It's insane how much more the modern Linux distros use than back when I used Red Hat 5. Some of the GUIs for these distributions are not even superior to Windows 98 in terms of ease of use, but they suck of resources like a black hole comparatively. I have to admit I am pretty disappointed returning to Linux to find that the sleek little OS I saw back then has become so demanding. The GUI has always been the thing that kept making me abandon Linux in favor of Windows, but it is something that really should not demand so much. I know that in addition to the GUI itself, things like Gnome, KDE, etc. all have extras, but it's just sort of amazing that now they seem to need 20 times(literally) as much RAM to even function smoothly. What happened?

    Edit: Just thought I would add: I am running Mandriva 2010.1 and I have 64 TIMES as much RAM as I had when I ran Red Hat 5. I never ever had to reboot Red Hat unless I was modifying the system itself, and usually not even then. With Mandriva/KDE, I have to log out or reboot at least once a day or my CPU usage spikes and my audio gets choppy. I will admit not being a Linux expert, but I wasn't then either and a mere 32mb of PC100 SDRAM on a Cyrix 6x86 150mhz was enough to run smoothly, but my dual core Pentium 4 with 2gb or RAM is tanking daily.......
    Last edited by Amish_Fighter_Pilot; 09-30-2010 at 08:11 PM. Reason: New math

  4. #4
    Linux Engineer Segfault's Avatar
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    Gentoo - of course.
    I haven't had a system crash since I switched to Gentoo six years ago. (I've had a few hardware lockups due to overclocking.)
    You reinstall only when your hard drive dies or you do something really silly.

    BTW, once I had an assignment in Uppsala, spent three weeks there.

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