Originally Posted by PhotonFanatic
1. This is just an aesthetics question, and really is just my own personal opinion. But it does bother me. Why do pretty much all linux fonts and icons and even layouts, look so Mac-esque?
2. Why don't they support a distro for longer?
3. This is related to question 2. If linux is so modular, and so interchangeable, and so much more customizeable than other OS's, then why do they even need to make all these big changes every 2 years?
4. How come there isn't just one big repository, for ALL linux distros? It looks like some of the software will work on some distros, but not others. Why is this?
1. It's pretty dependent on the desktop you're using, or the default that comes with your distro. My fonts currently look very much like terminal fonts, very geeky style as I use the openbox window manager. I couldn't say why yours looks like Mac as I'm not much of a ubuntu/mint user but it's worth pointing out you can change the fonts or even the desktop if you don't like how it looks.
2. You should have a look at LTS releases which try to support the distro for much longer. Try to remember that just because they release a new version doesn't mean your LTS distro isn't worth using anymore. Debian tends to have a longer support cycle than most distros, as their long term support releases start after official support has ended so you can use the same release for up to 7 years if you want.
3. There are a couple of reasons for this.
3a) Recently there was a big change in the form of systemd with more likely to come as systemd is often changing. Some people are unhappy about it and looking for alternatives whilst others are fine with it. You should make up your own mind about systemd but it does mean a little reading. If you find it's not for you then you can check http://without-systemd.org
for distros without systemd.
3b) A lot of ubuntu style distros try to keep track of upstream changes, and have a "rolling release" system where they only support their release for a short life time before you have to upgrade to the latest and greatest software. LTS releases as mentioned before are the way round that, then you can just upgrade to the latest LTS if you feel like it.
4. The good news is a lot of distros already come with thousands (think 10-20k) of packages. In the ubuntu based distros there seems to be a lot of PPA add-ons. Some distros (Debian and Gentoo to name a couple) just have one big repo to get everything from.
One thing to add - the point of gnu/linux having different distros is indeed so that each distro can be different. With windows it's a case of they release an OS and you either upgrade or you don't, on GNU/Linux if you don't like something you can try something new to see if it suits you. Though keep in mind some more advanced distros have a steeper learning curve.
Good luck Edited by etplayer - 6/6/16 at 12:49pm