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Tracking the big three - a summative of the current pre-releases

post #1 of 7
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We often hear from readers who want to track the development process of their favorite Linux distribution but don't know where to start. Budding Linux enthusiasts frequently ask how the release cycles work, what the version numbers mean, and what options are available for end-user testing prior to official releases. The answers to those questions differ depending on the distribution, but we are going to attempt to address those questions for Ubuntu, Fedora, and openSUSE—three of the most prominent desktop Linux distributions. We will also provide a brief visual comparison of upcoming versions with screenshots of the prereleases.
http://arstechnica.com/articles/paed...ck-linux.ars/1

Fedora is typically bleeding edge, Ubuntu is typically flashy and refined, and I'm not too sure what to make of openSUSE. It's only recently made it into stable alpha's so not too many impressions are available. I wish they would have dwelled more on the features rather than the looks, but I guess they have to appeal to their audience.
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post #2 of 7
Suse is from where my Linux roots stem. I've tried virtually every distro under the sun, but I always come back to Suse.
post #3 of 7
Ubuntu is based off of Debian unstable, so it's usually pretty bleeding edge too. Fedora tends to have "better" hardware support because they tend to go for the latest kernel (proprietary video drivers are always a problem at first due to this). Suse is a bit in between; it tends to have a bit older (and most of the time more stable) package versions than Ubuntu and Fedora, and the kernels used are usually a bit more "tweaked" than the ones used in Ubuntu. Ubuntu has the biggest repos of the three (Debian wins by far though), with Fedora coming second (but behind Mandriva by quite a bit), and Suse coming last (in this regard Suse is a bit anemic).

As for ease of use, I find Debian (and by extension Ubuntu) to be the easiest to work with, in terms of configuration and installing video drivers (and getting them to work). Suse is alright, but Sax2 can be a bit problematic when dealing with manual graphic driver configurations (it's usually a nightmare to troubleshoot as well). Fedora is fine as long as you stick to *their* stuff. Example, installing graphics drivers can either be a breeze (get them from their repos) or a complete nightmare (trying to install them yourself)... this is usually due to the bleeding edge kernels.
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post #4 of 7
Just tried Fedora 9 Live on my Lappy and got no wireless joy. Same with SuSE.

I just upgraded to Xubuntu 8.04 Beta 1 and love it...
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post #5 of 7
I sometimes get confused, I'm using Linux Mint which is based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian, how far removed can you get from Debian before your no longer using Debian, or am I already no longer using Debian, confusing 'aint it ?
post #6 of 7
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Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
I sometimes get confused, I'm using Linux Mint which is based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian, how far removed can you get from Debian before your no longer using Debian, or am I already no longer using Debian, confusing 'aint it ?
I'd say as long as it accepts .deb's [natively] you're still using a form of Debian. Once you get to a distro that's based on such a distro but removes said capability, that's when you've crossed the line.
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post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
I sometimes get confused, I'm using Linux Mint which is based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian, how far removed can you get from Debian before your no longer using Debian, or am I already no longer using Debian, confusing 'aint it ?
It's only "Ubuntu-based" because it uses a lot of what Ubuntu comes pre-installed with. Debian is still the base.

They all still use the Synaptic Package Manager and apt, and that's one of the main things that makes a distro "Debian-based."
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