[kwlug-disc] What's the best desktop distribution?

William Park opengeometry at yahoo.ca
Tue Feb 2 01:07:41 EST 2010

I don't understand this "learning curve" thing.  Yes, you have to know
how Unix does things.  But, this is Linux, and Linux is Unix.  Of
course, Slackware starts you off at console (runlevel 3), whereas other
distros go directly to X (runlevel 4/5).  But, once you bring up X and
KDE Desktop, it's difficult to tell which distro you're running.

Essentially, main difference that I see are (a) installation process,
and (b) package formats.  And, I like Slackware's way of doing things:

    - By default, you install every package from Slackware DVD, and then
      turn it on later.  This is faster than other distros, by an order
      of magnitude, in terms of cpu time and user time.  In other
      distros, installing means turning it on, and you have to run
      around turning things off.  Fedora/SuSe allows you to install
      everything, but you have to click a lot.  Debian expects you to
      know what you need at install time.

    - Slackare uses 'tar.xz' (was: 'tar.gz') as container.  It usually
      has a script to do things after extracting the tarball, mostly
      creating symlinks.  This is simple, fast, transparent, and robust.
      Again, an order of magnitude faster than other distro, in terms of
      cpu time and user time.

    - Slackware depends less on online depository.  So, you download
      original source, compile, install to DESTDIR, make ".txz" package,
      and finally install to system.  You can install directly into
      system after compiling, but that would make uninstalling
      difficult.  Slackware has no "dependency" issue, at all.  Again,
      saving me time.

    - Kernel upgrade is much easier on Slackware, because lack of
      modifications to original source.  Upgrading kernel is exactly
      like installing any other package.

    - Slackware depends less on GUI desktop, treating it as just another
      program that you run.  In other distro, GUI desktop is integral
      part of "user experience".


On Mon, Feb 01, 2010 at 08:55:01PM +0000, shane.msg at gmail.com wrote:
> Slackware is not a bad system but like many others there is a steeper
> learning curve than Ubuntu.  Since she mentioned an office environment
> the fastest to learn would be Ubuntu and since it is built on Debian
> it is very stable
> ------Original Message------
> From: William Park
> Slackware.
> On Mon, Feb 01, 2010 at 01:57:10PM -0500, Insurance Squared Inc.
> wrote:
> > It's 2010.  You're starting fresh, with no preconceptions, and
> > picking a distro for your home or office desktop.
> > 
> > What distro would you pick? 
> > 
> > I'm using Mandriva, but I do so because my ISP Mandrake on my
> > webserver back 10+ years ago and I've stuck with it ever since.  But
> > I keep hearing about all these other distros.

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