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What made you choose and stick with your distro? - Page 2

post #11 of 37
My story is so old few here will likely relate. I started with a RedHat CD I bought at CompUSA but a tech friend said I should "try Mandrake since it's already optimized for Pentium CPUs" . It was pretty cool for a few months until one day I ran the equivalent of "rpm --dist-upgrade" and booted to a broken system. Trying to fix it just made things worse but thankfully I had it booting to CLI and had an ncurses IRC client I'll have to refer to as FemaleDogX, to get past the ridiculous curse bot.

I had been spending a lot of time in Linux channels on IRC and started asking all the guys I respected most what they used. The majority all said Slackware and one guy whom I asked "Why?" (I knew he was a total distro hopping fanatic) said simply, "I dunno...stuff just compile right in it". That sounded great to me after the Mandrake disaster and I loved it immediately and that was almost 17 years ago. It has even gotten a lot easier to use but still hangs tightly on to that vanilla KISS design imperative that makes "stuff just compile right" and the system is never at risk from botched package(s) install. I like that. It's ultimately less work with no underfoot butlers second guessing what I want.
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post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

My story is so old few here will likely relate. I started with a RedHat CD I bought at CompUSA but a tech friend said I should "try Mandrake since it's already optimized for Pentium CPUs" . It was pretty cool for a few months until one day I ran the equivalent of "rpm --dist-upgrade" and booted to a broken system. Trying to fix it just made things worse but thankfully I had it booting to CLI and had an ncurses IRC client I'll have to refer to as FemaleDogX, to get past the ridiculous curse bot.

I had been spending a lot of time in Linux channels on IRC and started asking all the guys I respected most what they used. The majority all said Slackware and one guy whom I asked "Why?" (I knew he was a total distro hopping fanatic) said simply, "I dunno...stuff just compile right in it". That sounded great to me after the Mandrake disaster and I loved it immediately and that was almost 17 years ago. It has even gotten a lot easier to use but still hangs tightly on to that vanilla KISS design imperative that makes "stuff just compile right" and the system is never at risk from botched package(s) install. I like that. It's ultimately less work with no underfoot butlers second guessing what I want.

Wow, that is quite the story. I've always respected those who love Slackware, I love that it feels like it relates to Unix/BSD with that KISS philosphy and simple design along with of course its vanilla slow moving tone.

I can certainly relate to your last sentence, that is how I feel about Gentoo. It lets you make the system yours and lets you do what you want, it ends up being less work because it is designed that way and does not fight you.
post #13 of 37
I stick to Arch on embedded installs because cutting-edge matters there, and on low-resource x86 Alpine is a good match. On daily-driver x86 I'm using minimal Debian installs running off backports, mainly I stick with it because Debian is a great middle ground between "just works" and "do anything".
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post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol View Post

I stick to Arch on embedded installs because cutting-edge matters there, and on low-resource x86 Alpine is a good match. On daily-driver x86 I'm using minimal Debian installs running off backports, mainly I stick with it because Debian is a great middle ground between "just works" and "do anything".

Interesting, thanks for sharing. Whats Alpine like to work with on your low resource x86 purposes and projects? If its busybox instead of coreutils is scripting any different, seems like it'd be more stripped down so you would be missing a lot of common switches

Another neat, lightweight yet pretty cutting-edge distribution is Void Linux
post #15 of 37
FreeBSD for hosting, as entertainment platform and etc. Most of my experience with computers involves it in some way heh.
OpenBSD for network appliances and for learning network.
Void Linux as secondary daily driver and so I don't forget linux exists. (also going to be buying rpi3 and slapping void on that, so I can help few friends without muscular servers run small things they wanted, like tv rider or email server etc.).

I am going to hopefully take the plunge either on a KVM machine or XenServer but god I do not want to deal with systemD x.x... but I do want multiheaded machine to finally confine windows to a vm.
Which with that I will definitely never touch any other distro outside of void (or alpine if void dies, I know alpine isn't going anywhere) and slackware so I can spin up vms quickly with a purpose in mind.

@Petrol
One day I'll use alpine... one day lol.

p.s. as for why am I using each.
On BSDs it should be obvious = P - sane syntax, frozen core UI but massive ever improving collection of extra UI utils if you need them, native containerization that is ancient and tested and sane in structure, sane hierarchy, sane filesystems, sane management scripts. I can't speak as much on dtrace as I am as dumb as sack of brick with it for now. but I heard it is the alpha and omega of debugging and I know its natively debugging containers without issues.
On particulars, FreeBSD is the userland lab with stagnant structure but massive userland and while new features do make it in, its takes awhile. But userland is evolving quickly and in my mind only slightly gets edged out by linux's userland.
On Open, well its an InfoSec lab of the world, that comes with all the things I love about unix = ] Its network stack is also second to only few even in terms of performance.

On Void, well musl and no systemd really sold me. Runit is a fine starting script and xbps is an ok pkg manager, but full musl builds with ton of userland build against it is just to nice and is hard not to try.
On why I want to use Slack? Modular deployment system. It has, with its package groups probably the sanest installer I've seen. So making fire-and-forget vms with it should be a breeze? I sure hope so at least ^^
Edited by _Red_Dog_ - 10/10/16 at 8:56am
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post #16 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Red_Dog_ View Post

FreeBSD for hosting, as entertainment platform and etc. Most of my experience with computers involves it in some way heh.
OpenBSD for network appliances and for learning network.
Void Linux as secondary daily driver and so I don't forget linux exists. (also going to be buying rpi3 and slapping void on that, so I can help few friends without muscular servers run small things they wanted, like tv rider or email server etc.).

The FreeBSD and OpenBSD usage applications you mentioned seem really common, each one has its strengths for different areas. I love FreeBSD as well, such a great system.

For mail servers, it sounds like you're the sort who can get one running on your own but I'm curious if you have ever used or heard of Mail-in-a-Box? It seems like they've got a good setup going but first thing that through me off was the installation recommending curl into a bash root shell lol
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Red_Dog_ View Post

I am going to hopefully take the plunge either on a KVM machine or XenServer but god I do not want to deal with systemD x.x... but I do want multiheaded machine to finally confine windows to a vm.
Which with that I will definitely never touch any other distro outside of void (or alpine if void dies, I know alpine isn't going anywhere) and slackware so I can spin up vms quickly with a purpose in mind.

I can relate.. However I can recommend ProxMox. Despite having systemd (Debian based) it was quite good for a free product. It never broke while I was using it and never had to deal with systemd.
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Red_Dog_ View Post

On Void, well musl and no systemd really sold me. Runit is a fine starting script and xbps is an ok pkg manager, but full musl builds with ton of userland build against it is just to nice and is hard not to try.
On why I want to use Slack? Modular deployment system. It has, with its package groups probably the sanest installer I've seen. So making fire-and-forget vms with it should be a breeze? I sure hope so at least ^^

Interesting to see you having a similar experience with Void, I really liked that it was musl based and also systemd free. Runit is actually really fast too. Only thing with xbps was that when referencing package atoms the default was to have to include the full package name including the version? Maybe I was doing it wrong, I didn't look into it too deep since it was a brief distro hop.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by 100557662 View Post

Interesting, thanks for sharing. Whats Alpine like to work with on your low resource x86 purposes and projects? If its busybox instead of coreutils is scripting any different, seems like it'd be more stripped down so you would be missing a lot of common switches

Another neat, lightweight yet pretty cutting-edge distribution is Void Linux

Busybox utils actually have most of the options likely to be used but there are syntax differences and having to hunt down Bashisms constantly is also annoying. Pretty much anything installed from source needs at least modifications to the makefile, and successfully building against musl is confusing if you don't understand where exactly it differs from glibc and how to identify code that will trip over these differences. So it's not surprising that Void offers a choice between musl and glibc. Alpine does have the GNU software in the repo but mixing Busybox and musl with coreutils and glibc seems messy. Either way, for a lean system it's tolerable to use Alpine and reading other makefile mods made by the maintainers helps in figuring out how to DIY the process.
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post #18 of 37
I've messed around with a lot of operating systems to serve up SMB shares. Windows is just too needy IMO, and I have explored many many OSes until I've settled on something that suits my low end hardware and supports XRDP.

First I started off with Manjaro Linux, I was constantly faced with kernel panics and recovery mode when trying to update the system, not to mention my poor abilities to utilize pacman. After that , it was recommended to me to try compiling my own barebones Arch distro. I did just that, and put GNOME2 on it. It served its purposes but again had issues like Manjaro had. I finally gave up with the difficulty and switched to Lubuntu. I have had the same installation in two different machines (when my old server started dying, it was as simple as moving my drives into a Dell PowerEdge and booting up). It's reliable as heck and while it is an outdated distro, it still gets the job done and runs with a tiny footprint on a Dual core 1.4GHz AMD Opteron and 1GB DDR2 5300F ECC RAM. I use LXDE locally, and KDE as the alternate for XRDP, so I can set up different views and layouts for server-side and remote-side administration.

I think there was a stint in which I used Mint, but wasn't impressed with some aspects (can't remember, it's been years).
Edited by raidmaxGuy - 10/10/16 at 2:36pm
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post #19 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol View Post

Busybox utils actually have most of the options likely to be used but there are syntax differences and having to hunt down Bashisms constantly is also annoying. Pretty much anything installed from source needs at least modifications to the makefile, and successfully building against musl is confusing if you don't understand where exactly it differs from glibc and how to identify code that will trip over these differences. So it's not surprising that Void offers a choice between musl and glibc. Alpine does have the GNU software in the repo but mixing Busybox and musl with coreutils and glibc seems messy. Either way, for a lean system it's tolerable to use Alpine and reading other makefile mods made by the maintainers helps in figuring out how to DIY the process.


I see, that doesn't sound too bad. I'm very, very used to BASH so to also go through these 'bashisms' would likely be a painful experience haha

I do agree that mixing them would be messy, especially if you ever wanted to share your script(s). So sticking with either one or the other definitely would become a must. Still, something to explore regardless!
Quote:
Originally Posted by raidmaxGuy View Post

I've messed around with a lot of operating systems to serve up SMB shares. Windows is just too needy IMO, and I have explored many many OSes until I've settled on something that suits my low end hardware and supports XRDP.

First I started off with Manjaro Linux, I was constantly faced with kernel panics and recovery mode when trying to update the system, not to mention my poor abilities to utilize pacman. After that , it was recommended to me to try compiling my own barebones Arch distro. I did just that, and put GNOME2 on it. It served its purposes but again had issues like Manjaro had. I finally gave up with the difficulty and switched to Lubuntu. I have had the same installation in two different machines (when my old server started dying, it was as simple as moving my drives into a Dell PowerEdge and booting up). It's reliable as heck and while it is an outdated distro, it still gets the job done and runs with a tiny footprint on a Dual core 1.4GHz AMD Opteron and 1GB DDR2 5300F ECC RAM. I use LXDE locally, and KDE as the alternate for XRDP, so I can set up different views and layouts for server-side and remote-side administration.

I think there was a stint in which I used Mint, but wasn't impressed with some aspects (can't remember, it's been years).

For your purposes you may be interested in NAS4FREE? It can do a ton of different sharing options including SMB and NFS out of the box. It is accessible through your web browser so you do not need to set up any remote desktop. It is based on FreeBSD, so it is massively stable - I use it and never get any crashes it just runs and runs for months.

Despite the almost gimmicky name, if you are familiar with FreeNAS this was the original project before it was bought out and they could no longer use the name. FreeNAS is a good product and I like it as well, but I had more issues with it then I did NAS4FREE although as usual your mileage may vary.
post #20 of 37
I use about four different distros so I haven't really stuck with one in a sense. I use Arch on my desktop because I like having the updated packages, i like the rolling release more then I thought I would. I use Fedora on my laptop because it is more up to date compared to Centos but it's easier then Arch, I've had issues updating Arch after weeks and I want my laptop to just work. I use Centos as the base on my server because it's pretty stable. Then most of my VMs are Ubuntu server because it's just easier with most programs running on it. Like smb won't work right with Centos but the same configuration works on Ubuntu for some weird reason.
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