Skip to comments.Analysis of the top 10 Linux operating systems
Posted on 02/11/2014 4:52:32 AM PST by ShadowAce
thanks for posting
This distro or that, this window manager or that (gnome, unity, xfce, KDE...) they all have their strengths and weaknesses, their own quirks. The nice thing is, with an 4GB thumb drive, a broadband internet connection, and an afternoon, you can try out several and see which strikes your fancy.
Thanks for the post.
Have been using some form of Linux since 1994-1995.
Started with UMSDOS version of slackware.
Migrated to Mandrake and used Redhat for a number of years. But I became unhappy with the software bloat under Gnome & Unity. Then I discovered XFCE and applied that on RedHat 8.0
WOW what a difference.
My last install was Xubuntu, which has XFCE as the native Window Manager. I like it, but am always interested in something better. I got caught in an upgrade problem and will in the future re-install the OS on this computer. Do you have any advice for an improved OS that uses a light Window Manager like XFCE?
Excellent timing. I need a new distro. The Ubuntu I’m running now on my secondary machine is a pain and my main machine is running Win7 and is ready for retirement - and I AIN’T going to Win8. I’ve used SUSE in the past and found it wanting though their current graphic looks interesting ;-)...
Ping for later
When Ubuntu switched to Unity, I too moved away.
Using Mint now and couldn’t be happier.
Mint was fast and easy to set up, complete, and my 6 y.o. grandson, who had never used linux before had absolutely no problems hitting the ground running with Mint.
With your stated experience, it should be no problem for you.
I’m also writing this on Mint but with the Cinnamon desktop. I have several installations of Mint at home including Mint 13 which has support until 2017. I also use Ubuntu (what I started with) but I don’t really like the Unity desktop. I also run Debian for more limited purposes. I am not that proficient yet.
Thanks for posting.
No, I am sure I could easily load Fedora. I have thought about it, but the issue is more than just using XFCE. The bloat problems comes from what I think is a unclean marriage of underlying components that add to the complexity and suck performance.
I love good clean design and efficiency. Simple works. I am pretty simple. hee hee hee
.. so, for the op system challenged, if the old box is running Vista and only has 1 Meg of memory, ... how do you change systems???? Do you open a DOS prompt and somehow down load Mint? Do I open Vista and then download Mint and then how does one “switch” to the other operating system?
tia for any process steps anyone can share with the IT challenged crowd!
There’s a lot to like about openSUSE these days. The package selection is very good thanks to the Open Build Service, the development approach is middle-of-the-road so that you don’t get stuff that’s too old (Debian) or too new (Fedora/Arch), and anybody with a modicum of Linux skills can build their own custom version of OpenSUSE with SUSE Studio.
A lot of distributions like to claim that they’re good for everyone to use. OpenSUSE really nails that: it’s easy enough for beginners but includes features for power users as well, mainly through their YaST control panel.
I, too, switched away from Ubuntu after Unity, and KDE on SUSE has been my home ever since.
The Mint site has pretty good instructions on how to do the install. Basically, you download the iso file. From this you burn a disk (DVD). You have two options, one is to try it out in Live mode, the other is to install it.
Pop the disk into your drive and boot from the disk (you may have to enter your BIOS to alter your boot priority). Mint will then run and you can get a feel for it.
If you want to install it beside your Vista, just click Install Mint on the desktop. The install is very easy, just follow a few instructions (language, etc.) It should give you the proper defaults.
After it’s installed, when you start up your computer you will see a screen asking you which OS you want to run.
For your small memory, you may want to either add some more or use one of the lighter weight desktops.
If you don’t want to mess with burning a disk, you can get Linux distros from companies like osdisc.com. They cost about $6 plus postage.
Try it, you’ll love it.
You would download a copy of your Linux distribution of choice, burn it to a CD (or DVD, if it’s too big to fit on a CD), and then boot directly from the CD.
Exactly how to boot from a CD can vary from computer to computer. Some computers are set up to boot from a CD automatically if a bootable CD is inserted; on other computers, you need to press a certain key right after starting up your computer so that you can select which device to boot from (I.E. a hard disk versus a CD). On my laptop, that key is F12.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to have Windows OR Linux on your computer - you can have both! Linux can be installed side-by-side with Windows. This is called “dual booting.” If you do that, every time your computer boots up, a graphical menu will appear that you can use to select whether you want to load Windows or Linux.
If dual booting sounds difficult, it isn’t. The Linux installer will handle that for you if that’s what you want.
I recently bought a new PC. Linux 8.1.
I love the new OS. However I also installed Linux on a spare hard drive, and that’s what I use.
Don’t toss out the new Windows however.
Best I’ve seen.
Sorry, Microsoft 8.1.
OK, so which one should I use? :-)
I’m a former unix admin, so none of them scare me. However, I use a Win7 system due to software. I LIKE Office and windows gaming....
Is there a decent emulator available for those progs that are not Linux-native?
As for Office, LibreOffice is quite good, and it comes in a Windows version, so you can try it out before you make the OS switch.
There are quite a few games available on Linux--including Steam. I use Wine to run the one or two Windows games I like (Civilization, mainly), and Wine usually comes with the distro's repository, so you can install it with a single command.
I appreciate the info. I used an early iteration of Wine years ago and it sucked pretty bad; is the newer flavor ok? I have a love-hate relationship with winblows... love the applications, hate the OS.
love the applications, hate the OS.
I definitely understand that. There are days when I kinda wish I ran Windows, so I could play a game I'm reading about, but Windows just keeps getting in the way. I'd much rather be free from prying eyes/big brother/registration/etc.
I use the predecessor of Libre, openoffice.
Many, many, many file formats, covers all the bases I need.
In other words, you have word docs, excel, project management, graphics, slide presentation files in the m$ format, or in the native openoffice / libre formats.
They are a full office suite, you can exchange files with people using windoze, just save in their format.
Download a powerpoint presentation from a website ? Just run it ! It works. Your bank has the ability to download Excel files of your bank activity ? Download and boom, openoffice / libre can read them.
Also very cool is that there is a windoze version of openoffice (I assume so for libre). You know, that version is a windoze program that runs on M$. So you can get friends & family to run that version even if they don’t switch to unix (oops, linux) right away. I find the user interface to M$ office programs, every new version, wacks out with all these cutesy graphical junk things - and everything changes in where its located. A new version of Excel is thus a pain in the neck to re-learn how to do what you used to do. My old openoffice does not try to be cute, it is pretty straightforward. I hope after I upgrade it will be just as easy - I think it will.
In addition to openoffice, Linuxes have a decent working email client as well, just point it at your email server and go.
Linuxes also allow you to download software like Gimp that lets you create or edit existing pictures.
As always, learn about the operating system you are running in terms of security ! Lock down your PC.
Most windoze users simply don’t do that. And to a large extent, windoze is designed to have more open doors and be be more confusing for the local admin (you). But linux/unix also needs to have its security doors closed. Hour for hour spent learning, you’ll be more effective on linux at doing that. Linux has more upfront learning time since it’s such a broad operating system. But the nice thing is your old knowledge for the most part does not have its usefulness disappear with the next version. People who worked with unix in the 1960s could sit right down and be productive on a modern unix. If you knew Win95 well, a lot of your knowledge was win95 specific and has been superseded by 1,000 times more things you should learn. There are whole “frameworks” that never existed in win95, things work very differently.
Of course, if you’re on linux brand 1, then want to blow it away and install linux brand 2, etc., you’ll want to have all your files under one directory. Then you can just copy that to your new install and you’re right back where you were.
Of course, you should keep backups of your data should anyhoo as a matter of routine.
I’ll probably leave mine dual-boot, just so I can use winblows natively when I want to (games) and a Linux environment for the rest of my computing. I have used openoffice before. The version I used was a little cludgy, but I understand the later editions are better.
I played with debian and Ubuntu before, and Have setup a CentOS webserver for a nonprofit I work with, but personally I am looking for a simple desktop OS that allows me under the hood for small custom stuff (cron, shell scripts, etc.) I may want to crank up a httpd for a temporary use or setup an inhouse email server. Again, nothing major, but I don’t want to have to babysit a Linux OS any more than I like to debug and secure my Winblows machine.
Kubuntu KDE all the way ;^)
Ubuntu, Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS are considered the easiest for new users who want to get productive in Linux as soon as possible without having to master all its complexities. On the other end of the spectrum, Slackware Linux, Arch Linux and FreeBSD are more advanced distributions that require plenty of learning before they can be used effectively. openSUSE, Fedora, Debian GNU/Linux and Mageia can be classified as good "middle-road" distributions. CentOS is an enterprise distribution, suitable for those who prefer stability, reliability and long-term support over cutting-edge features and software.
That being said, I think I opt for one of the "middle of the road" distributions.
Agreed. I have wanted to switch to a Linux desktop for a long time.... just never seemed to find the time to get one the way I wanted it, though I have come lose.
I spent some time with RedHat and fedora, early FreeBSD, Debian, etc. Set up a CentOS webserver for a non-profit.
Really just want a simple desktop for 80% of my computing needs with the ability to get into the weeds as the need arises.
Neither of the previous replies to you mentioned that you can install (or boot LiveDisk without having to actually install) on a USB too... I install all of my OS’s from USB.
Download an ISO, boot with it (either from DVD or USB) and mess around with it to see if you like it (meaning the different distros)..
If you like it, you can choose to install. Mint, for sure, is pretty automatic with detecting and using your ‘net connection upon boot (has a weakness to one brand of wireless, can’t remember which one, since the one I use worked with no problems).
Also, since you are limited, I suggest either Mate or XfCE, it works wonders on old laptops and PCs.. and I am talking about 10+ years old; XfCE is Not as user friendly though.. Next, I would recommend KDE.. a little bit more resource needed, but is manageable... Cinnamon (and Unity/Ubuntu) are both resource hogs (eye candy stuff)).
I still have a RedHat CD from around 2000 (or so) buried somewhere.. I should stick it in and see how it performs on my system now :)
BTW, have you tried out Mint XfCE? It may be what you are looking for...
MINT KDE.. You have the experience.. that’s all you need to be up and running in NO time. From booting the LiveCD (USB), through getting the updates.. no more than 20-30 minutes (and only 1 reboot.. that was after the initial install).
The most flexible Linux I know of, as long as you can use terminal comfortably (don’t even need the terminal, but it helps).
(And, it doesn’t have to be Mint either... there are Debian based KDE distros out there with rolling updates so you don’t have to go through the dev update every few months... But, I stick to the Kubuntu since it gives me an excuse to do a fresh install every few months..).
I will definitely check out OpenSUSE KDE.. I am pretty partial to KDE.. not many of the others give the flexibility of KDE.
I was wondering what Linux 8.1 was ;^)
Libre can run M$ Office docs... WINE (WINE Is Not and Emulator) can run many, if not most games (for free)... and there is another that is called Crossfire (sets up and install pre fixed configs for apps and games), but it is pay and play.. :p
One more option we haven’t mention.. VirualBox... You can run Windows inside your Linux OS.. some slight limitations (case-by-case).. but it is what I use for PhotoShop.
Middle of Raod.. in my experience, would be any KDE Distro.. not beginners stuff, but very easy to catch up with the differences.. As far as I know, it is the most flexible.. you have complete control of what and where to put things... you can even make it look like WinBlows, if you want.
Any idea what’s up with CentOS?
Wanted to test it out, but it seems to be gone now :/
**correction: VirtualBox **
sorry for typo :p
P.S. You can even install it on your WinBlows to run Linux inside it too.
Thanks for the help. I’ve been looking at DE’s since the first posting and I’ve already decided on KDE. I am a former AIX/HP-UX/BSD administrator, so no problem with the occasional complexity. I just don’t want to HAVE to constantly tweak every little thing.
I’m a nurse now.... got out of IT for a reason. ;-)
Also, I do still have duel boot... maybe once a month (or 2) I want to play a game that I haven’t been able to play yet on Linux.. But, I have Win totally cut off from net.
No, I have not tried Mint. There are quite a few who swear by it.
It is XFCE based from what I have heard.
The issue is the underlying assumptions as to OS. It is not necessary for function to have all the “stuff” that is in the Ubuntu and Debian OS.
Remove the stuff that is required by Gnome desktop and by Unity and it is a lot more efficient. Some of that is probably necessary, but not all of it.
I have thought about trying Mint. The only thing I don’t like about Xubuntu is the upgrade process. I tried to use it long ago and had a crash and had to really work to get it recovered. That is why I am probably going to re-install soon.
Oh, yes. I have a lot of those old Linux discs. Actually some of those were pretty darn good. Especially the early Mandrake systems.
Im a nurse now.... got out of IT for a reason. ;-)
I will tell you same as I have told others (with at least a little experience... try KDE.. not a resource hog like Unity (Cinn is as bad as Unity, btw)...
Mint Mate is very clean from bloatware.. and if there is something you don’t like, easy to get rid of (not sure I can remember any bloatware, except for the audio player, which I didn’t like (man, I miss WinAmp :p)..
Give Mint Mate a try.. and for more flexibility in control of your computer, go KDE. A little more resource heavy, but many layers lower than many, if not most others. XfCE is hard to match, and both XF and KDE have been around for 2+ decades.
Yup. That is my plan too. Cut the Win partition off and do may basics with Linux.
I was never much of a programmer.... although I can do a lot with ksh scripts and sql calls ;-). I was more of a hardware/os/network type.
I’ve tried to keep relatively current, as a hobbiest, but I don’t really have time to babysit a buggy or unstable OS. I get downright ILL when winblows screws me over, as it has of late. I really need to wipe/reinstall my win7 system, but think I’d rather leave it alone and just go to Linux.
BTW.. something I didn’t mention... Mint is one of the easiest to install.. (there is a newer Distro called SolyD.. made from and around Mint.. but it doesn’t have encryption options yet, and is based purely on Debian rolling)..
I recommend that you format your partitions/HDs and pre set them up. (I made about 8 separate partions, including SWAP) before you run the installer. On the LiveCD, sometimes it is a race against time to finish the ‘fixing’ of the HD partitions to start the actual install.
It took me 3 tries last time (it would kick back to the LiveCD desktop) before I was able to get it to start the actual install.. Frustrating, but well worth it once the install gets going.
(BTW, I am still using Ext2 on everything except root)..
I agree about XFCE, have been using it since Redhat 8.0 came out. (Release date was Sep 2002)
It has been my preference since then.
Will look at the other. Thanks.
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