[ale] Distro Question -- State of the Linux Nation

Eric VanWieren ale at codex.org
Tue Feb 24 14:20:44 EST 2004

This is not really a question on how to do something as it is a question 
concerning the state of distrobutions in the linux world and whether or 
not people are happy with their distrobutions. With  that out of the 
way, I am going to go into my explanation of what I am talking about.

When I first got into linux I tried RedHat and SUSE. While I was able to 
get both up and running, I felt that I was not learning much because of 
the interfaces. I was about to go back to Windows when my co-worker 
said, "Hey give slackware a try." I was skeptical, but after installing 
it, I was hooked. I continued to run Slackware for about 3 years. At 
that point I got a position where I was responsible for mostly redhat 
servers. In an attempt to learn that distro I switched. I was fairly 
happy with the distro, and ended up using it as my desktop for the last 
2 1/2 years. I even got certified on the latest version. However, 
recently, with the release of RH8/9 I have been more and more 
unsatisfied with the larger distrobutions. Redhat has morphed the 
desktop into the REDHAT desktop. So if you want KDE you get there 
version of KDE. Every distro seems to tweak the apps to run how they 
want them to run.

It was because of this that I began searching for a new distro about 6 
months ago. I started with all the regular ones. FreeBSD ( i know it is 
not linux ), Fedora (RedHat), Suse, Debian, and Gentoo. I tried a couple 
of other offshoots. Some were bloated and others were just broke. In 
addition, I am not hip on programs like apt-get and the FBSD ports 
system. I prefer to know what I am installing not just telling it to 
install and the program installing all sorts of dependencies that I 
would otherwise not know about. That being said, I even recently tried 
out Lindow, which is what I would recommend to someone that wanted to 
get away from windows without having to buy a mac.

So this still left me in a bit of a quandry. What distro was out there 
that was still pure. One that I could configure via the command line 
without having to use something like YAST. Finally, I thought what about 
Slackware. They have always been tried and true. So I downloaded it and 
installed. Ahhh.. this is where I wanted to be. KDE is kde not redhat 
kde, apps come straight from the source with little dicking around. I 
can once again run my system from the command line. Life is good, and I 
hope it stays that way.

My question for you is, has anyone else felt the same way about the 
state of the linux world? That most of the larger distros have gotten 
away from their roots, and are now moving on to please the masses?

I ask hoping that someone has an answer or an idea, not to cause a flame 
war between distros.

Thanks in advance,

Eric VanWieren

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