The end of Linux "distrohopping"

Interesting piece over on ExtremeTech by Jim Lynch which ponders whether the Linux Mint distro isn't killing off the practice of "distrohopping."

Interesting piece over on ExtremeTech by Jim Lynch which ponders whether the Linux Mint distro isn't killing off the practice of "distrohopping."

Distrohopping is the name given to the activity where Linux users would go from distro to distro searching for the "perfect," "ultimate" of "apotheosis" of distros. While I'm no Linux fanboy, I myself have done a fair bit of distrohopping in my time.

Problem is, according to Lynch, is that Linux Mint, a particular distro based on Ubuntu, has become too good.

I've noticed that some of the folks that used to be dedicated distrohoppers have now settled in with Linux Mint and don't really bother with other distros all that much anymore. They've found that Linux Mint simply does everything they need a desktop operating system to do, and easily: In addition to the multimedia codecs, it provides built-in tools such as mintMenu, mintInstall, mintUpdate, and mintUpload. So why spend the time installing other distros?

I've seen this trend myself over the past couple of years. When I first became interested in Linux, I remember asking the Linux community what distro I should use and ending up with a list as long as my arm, made up of all sorts of strange and wonderful distros. I asked a similar questions a couple of months back and got a much shorter list this time around.

To be honest though, from a user point of view, this isn't a bad thing. I've tried Linux Mint myself and find it to be fully-featured, easy to use and easy to set up. It's an ideal OS for those wanting to break free from paid-for operating systems. I don't think that the average user (or for that matter the average Linux user) really wants to spend their time trying out endless distros in an attempt to find that one "perfect" distro. hat people want is an OS that is easy to set up, works, and acts as a platform for them to get on with the things they want to do.

But does this mean fewer distros? I don' think so. Linux is enthusiast driven, and I don't think that the enthusiasts are going to go away and stop producing distros that are the right distros for them. After all, why would they. Linux is an interesting platform in that it isn't driven by popularity or profit, but passion. I don't see that passion disappearing any time soon.

Thoughts? What do you think about distrohopping? Are you a distrohopper? What's your Linux distro of choice?


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