Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

Summary: After almost twenty years of working with Linux desktops, here’s Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols’ pick of the litter.

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  •  YaST also makes it possible to easily set openSUSE up as one of many different kinds of server. Here, I'm getting ready to set up a Samba Common Internet File System (CIFS) server.

  • Number 3: Mepis 11

    This is MEPIS' default KDE desktop. To my eye, even before I've customized it, it's a more attractive take on KDE than openSUSE's more standard KDE approach.

  • And, after a very little fiddling with it, I'm very happy with my MEPIS KDE-based destkop.

Topics: Linux, Hardware, Operating Systems, Software

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  • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

    Mint for general use is unarguably the easiest and best to work with. And, it still being Linux, is still as open and versatile to work with as many/most of the other distributions. The others may charge ahead with a few features here and there but, most of those are also available for Mint, and they simply don't beat it on hands down ease...esp for newcomers to the Linux world
    Vailhem@...
    • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

      @Vailhem@... I agree - Mint is best for Windows immigrants. It behaves like a mixture of XP and 7. Personally I'm an Ubuntu addict ^^ I think Unity is gorgeous and functional.
      Imrhien
    • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

      The sense of entitlement of the youth of today. Next she'll be telling Apple how they should run their company. Hear it all the time. <a href="http://www.ayimpex.com/FAQ/FAQ_1.html">pellet for sale</a>
      smile520
  • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

    I have tried the following distros in their 64-bit flavors. CentOS, Redhat, Oracle, Corel, OpenSuSE, SuSE, & Debian, Slackware, & Ubuntu.

    My Two favorites are #1) Slackware 13.37 & #2)Kubuntu 11.04. I am running Kubuntu currently for school needs.
    toolman30044
    • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

      @toolman30044

      That tells us more about you than it does about Linux.

      Slackware tells that you like to tinker and build stuff. Kubuntu tells us that you like KDE with a configured front end.

      Mint is smoother than Ubuntu generally. Otherwise it's the same. Debian is less finished than Ubuntu. It's a parts basket to build distributions out of.

      Personally, I like Debian. Mint's new Debian based rolling version is nice too.
      YetAnotherBob
  • Well that was nice.

    Case you didn't know, I am a Linux Advocate, so, Steve is doing well when he keeps Linux in the limelight.

    My choice: Ubuntu Linux 11.04 hands down.

    But I'll tell you this, Unity was a hard sell and I didn't like it at first. Now I am fine with it.

    Still, you'll be happy to know there is an article that adds 5 tweaks to Unity that you can't do without:

    h-t-t-p://www.techdrivein.com/2011/06/5-useful-compiz-tweaks-for-ubuntu-1104.html

    Follow the instructions and the usability factor increases two-fold.

    As for Mint, I just don't see the point--it uses the slab menu--fine, but why follow the leader?

    Ubuntu Linux: the best and safest operating system on the planet.

    Don't think so? Just ask me. Go ahead.

    I stake my reputation on it.
    Yesirree Bob.

    Thank you Steven.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, *~* Your Linux Advocate
    • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, *~* Your Linux Advocate

      Ubuntu takes several short cuts for user convenience that lessen the security available. You might be able to tell a typical Windows user that Ubuntu is more secure, and still be honest, but don't try that with a Fedora SELinux user. They are used to security that is close to an order of magnitude greater than you get with App Armor on Ubuntu.

      Plus, very few Ubuntu users know to even use App Armor.
      YetAnotherBob
      • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

        It's not trivial to disable App Armour.
        JeremyBoden
      • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

        @YetAnotherBob
        AppArmour is used by default.
        rMatey
      • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

        @rMatey
        Yes AppArmour is enabled by default but Ubuntu includes profiles for very few desktop applications. I think this is something they really should address because one of Ubuntu's greatest potential security features is currently underutilised.
        tomdwright
    • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, *~* Your Linux Advocate

      I am using 11.04 also. The best tweak I could find was to dump Unity and go back to Gnome. Unity is not ready for primetime. It is barely beta software. Since going back to Gnome it has been rock steady.
      BoloMKXXVIII
    • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, *~* Your Linux Advocate

      I too am a Linux lover but was turned forever against "u-punt-too " by an early distro, unavailable download, months long wait for a disc and an install which functioned ONLY when America was NOT chosen as the home country. This OS has left me with a bitter memory and I'll not return. Besides, there are too many other excellent choices out there including the ever more awesome and maleable PUPPY !
      materva
      • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

        @materva
        Puppy is a fairly amazing distro though it's a bit too geeky for new users.
        Ubuntu does most things, including finding proper drivers, for the user.
        While I agree that Unity should've been worked on a bit more, it's quite useable in it's current state. I've even come to enjoy using it as it gets out of the way of the user in much the same way as OS X does, though in a different way.
        Linux Mint is quite nice and does have several nice tweaks. It just leans too much towards hand-holding. If I'd started with Mint, I'd have learned much less than I have with Ubuntu.
        tmsbrdrs
  • Nice, but...

    ...I'm not the only one who's gotten to where I won't click patiently through twenty (20!?!) "gallery" pages to get the same combined value as on, say, one page of distrowatch.com. I recognise that we readers aren't the customers here (the advertisers are, of course), but still, insulting people's intelligence on a regular basis is a good way to make sure they don't come back.

    While I have all the respect in the world for SJVN, who was a lone voice in the wilderness of ZDNet for far, far too long, enough is enough.
    Jeff Dickey
    • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

      @Jeff Dickey I wanted to give enough screenshots to show each system to advantage, and our gallery system pretty much locks us into one page/one image.

      Steven
      sjvn
      • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

        @sjvn@...

        Got to agree with Jeff, lose the slide show B.S. or lose me. . .
        materva
    • agree

      @Jeff Dickey

      I agree. When I see this rubbish (not the content, but the 20 pages to click) I usually just close the tab.
      qs.dz@...
  • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

    As per me I am a hardcore Debian user and find no reason to change over to any buggy system. The amount of freedom I enjoy in Debian is hard to beet. My preferences are (i) Debian (ii) Musix GNU/Linux (iii) LMDE (iv) Aptosid and (v) Knoppix. Thank you.
    ragpickr
    • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

      @ragpickr
      If I'd been thrown into any of those worlds, I doubt I'd have been able to get online without having to RTFM quite a lot.
      It's great that you've got the skills for using those systems, most new users don't.
      Thankfully, due to the tendency of Linux systems to allow it's users to learn, many will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to join you.
      tmsbrdrs
  • RE: Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions

    I see everyone has an opinion! I'd say 1. PCLinuxOS KDE, Linux Mint, LPS public version secure Linux by the Dept. of Defense-runs in RAM-encoder,decoder, etc., Ultimate Edition 2.9 for eye candy and BootMed for rescue Disc. Sorry, anything related to Unity or Gnome 3 belongs in the garbage! Honorable mention to Crunchbang. Let's face it, we have a lot of good distros to choose from. we also have a lot that aren't so good! Find one you like and stick with it! But keep an open mind to anything new!
    athenroy