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Other BSD and UNIX/UNIX-like Any other flavour of BSD or UNIX that does not have a section of its own.

View Poll Results: what linux distro do you use and/or like?
Redhat / Centos 23 18.25%
Suse 2 1.59%
Debian 26 20.63%
Slackware 23 18.25%
Gentoo 12 9.52%
Ubuntu 20 15.87%
Others 20 15.87%
Voters: 126. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 3rd August 2008
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It is on Arch. I know Debian used to, if you installed X, make it necessary to manually turn it off in the startup scripts, but I haven't used it in awhile.

Fedora, Ubuntu, and no doubt several others, tie far too many things into their default Desktop, whether it's KDE or Gnome. At present, on the latest Ubuntu alpha, if I don't boot into Gnome, it's a song and dance to get the NIC working--however, I haven't spent any time looking into it, as I only throw that on in case one of my users or a family member asks me about it.

On Fedora, one can boot into runlevel three and do start X. Their default, however, is to use Gnome, and they have various and sundry things such as sound and networking tied into it. I know a bit more about RH systems, though, so the workaround is easy.

At one point, in Rawhide (their testing rolling release, more or less) they changed the typical behavior of deciding upon whether you boot into text or GUI by editing /etc/inittab. They put it in another file, with no real documentation. As I'm on the Fedora testing list, I mentioned this, got the answer, and then asked was it documented.

When told that it wasn't really, I suggested that they put a note in the /etc/inittab file since the people who would change the default behavior would look there first to make the change. The developer agreed and the next day's version had a modified inittab, which was a nice change from the typical RH attitude which seems to be, "Documentation? Haven't you heard of google?"
(In the end they changed that behavior back but left a note in the inittab file mentioning that it is the only behavior that is covered by the new version of the file.)

Both Fedora and Ubuntu, in my opinion, keep protecting the users from themselves, and it aggravates a lot of people--I know about it mostly from Fedora as I'm on the testing list--tonight, they did another where something that wouldn't run as root was reported as a bug and the developer disagreed.

Both contravene CarpetSmoker's sig that Unix doesn't prevent you from doing stupid things, etc. (Yeah, Linux isn't Unix and all that, but Apple is, so whatever.)

This irritates a lot of the more knowledgeable people, including at times, Alan Cox, one of the main kernel people. I remember a quote of his on one of these, when one more thing (I've forgotten what now) became something that root couldn't do--he wrote, "What's the point of this, to prevent you from fixing a broken machine?"

So, as far as that X thing goes, you can do it in Fedora relatively easily, but it takes a wee bit of knowledge to ensure that your network and sound work. Arch, on the other hand, will boot to runlevel three by default, and you don't run into its functions being tied to any particular desktop.
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Old 3rd August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottro View Post
I'm actually surprised Arch didn't do better in this poll. I would think it would be the first or second choice for BSD users. An /etc/rc.conf file, minimalist default install, , flexibility in using binary or source...
Draco Linux is even more BSD like.

-- OSS by default instead of ALSA sh!t.
-- /etc/rc.conf
-- pkgsrc.org for package management
-- minimal install
-- BSD style init scripts (like Slackware)
-- at the beginning based on Slackware
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Old 3rd August 2008
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Do you guys think CentOS might still be better for me since my host uses it? My thought is that it's one less thing they can throw at me if I have a problem. Since it's tied into Fedora I assume I won't have any package issues finding anything I want.
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Old 3rd August 2008
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It's more RH than Fedora, meaning the packages will be older. The only real problem I've had is sound on a particular laptop, which I believe is due to an older version of alsa. (I haven't had this problem on my desktop.)
There is a 5.2 live CD that you can try to make sure it works with your hardware.

The forums are far smaller and more serious than Fedora's. (Their forum software is also old, though that's going to be updated sooner or later.)
Intelligent questions are usually answered relatively quickly though. (However, completely beginner questions, showing the user hasn't done any research are either ignored or sent to the various resources. In contrast, Fedora's forums will often start a silly off-topic thread leading to beer. I think it's because the CentOS people tend to be IT professionals and probably older.)

They pay more attention to getting things properly documented than do either Fedora or RedHat. For example, a major change in bind (location of files) wasn't listed in RH's changelog. Someone filed a bug report on RH's horribly slow and cumbersome bugzilla, suggesting that a README.RedHat be included in /usr/share/doc if nowhere else, and the developer said, nah, you've posted it here.

In contrast, CentOS quickly had it in their FAQ.

If the liveCD works with your hardware, I'd say go for it. It's far more stable, there are far fewer updates, and the QA is probably better than RH's and definitely better than Fedora's.
(In fairness, Fedora never claims to be anything else save on its public web pages. However, when people come on the Fedora forums complaining how updates broke something, they're often told, nicely as a rule, that they might be better off using Ubuntu or something similar. We Fedora veterans expect it to break, especially just after a new release.

Some more esoteric packages might be harder to find. You're using different repos, things built for RHEL 5 rather than Fedora--there are a few people, such as Dag Wiers, however, who serve the equivalent of Livna repos, though again, the packages are usually more stable and better tested. Like Debian, they put emphasis on stability rather than having the latest and greatest.
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Old 3rd August 2008
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Yeah, I did mean RH, not Fedora. Thanks.
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Old 3rd August 2008
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Oops. Yes, you can always use RHEL<version> with the CentOS version, 5.x at this point. (The rpms will usually just be marked RHEL5.i386 or x86_64).
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Old 3rd August 2008
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@Vermaden--while I agree that alsa seems to be the answer to a question no one asked, isn't that part of the issue with Flash 9? (The reason, when I worked in a more BSD environment, that I kept Linux on a machine--Arch, in that case. Oh, and for VirtualBox.)

If I'm correct about that--not sure that I am--and I were back in a more BSD oriented environment, it would defeat the whole purpose of using Linux in the first place. I did look at it last time you mentioned it as it seemed interesting, but it didn't seem well documented at the time, which is usually my biggest complaint about Linux--it's another plus for Arch, they have an excellent wiki, and they seem to pay attention to getting things documented.

As an aside--I think that one reason Gentoo exploded on the scene when it came out was due as much to the docs as anything else. Daniel Robbins, who writes some good articles for IBM developer works, writes great docs. He documented what was, especially back then, a rather complex installation process, enabling newcomers to become geeks quickly.
As we all know <cough>cacti</cough> often, the biggest problem isn't that a program is so complex, it's that the documents are lacking.

He had the right (in my opinion) attitude as well. Originally in describing the creation of /etc/fstab he would use hdXX. As Gentoo quickly became more popular, a lot of newcomers made errors with that, copying it exactly---rather than whining about their lameness, he added a line explaining the XX.

That's just one example. Far too often, when a newcomer can't understand documentation, it's blamed on the newcomer, rather than the doc itself.

But that's another thread. Still, as time passes, you get more people, such as the aforementioned Vermaden, who when they write a howto and someone doesn't understand it, takes that as a bug in his software (the howto is software in a way) and fixes it rather than blaming the user.
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Old 3rd August 2008
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@scottro

Dunno if flash 9 works with OSS on Linux, never tried, I am personally more interested in OpenSolaris (Flash9 + Java working out of the box with OSS4). VirtualBox also runs good on OpenSolaris, even seamless mode works

I have a buddy that uses OSS4 on Gentoo and he has sound and everything with Flash 9. Also now everything is smooth, while when he was using ALSA + pulsesh!t + other typical Linux audio layers everything that played sound was choking from time to time but when he switched to OSS4 wverything is smooth now, and he does not have old box (C2D 2.4GHz + 2GB RAM).

Draco is very young project, while Arch is several years old, pacman isnt all that bad, and as all other Linux, Arch also can be used with OSS4, but I like idea behind Draco to use these things as defaults.

Documentaton always was and is a problem in Linux world, even if you have pretty good documented userland and /etc like in Gentoo or Arch, the Linux kernel itself still remains one big mess, I often have a feeling that doing make random will do better then if I would add options myself.

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As we all know <cough>cacti</cough> often, the biggest problem isn't that a program is so complex, it's that the documents are lacking.
Yeah, dont tell me
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Old 4th August 2008
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vermaden, I was speaking from experience. Arch is very BSD-like, but the installer is unpolished, for one thing. It's a little complicated to use with respect to the NetBSD and FreeBSD installers. Even the OpenBSD installer is a little more simpler to use than it. Pacman, as it is, needs some work and the AUR build system is complicated and less automated than ports. The AUR build system is what turned me away from Arch. However, you know what happens when a person crosses the line over to the BSD camp and becomes accustomed to the BSD camp. They become spoiled by the consistency, stability, security, and performance of their operating system. Linux is still too stuck in the crusader-type philosophy for its own good. The idea that users should help in the debugging process is a noble one, but it's no excuse to release alpha code in a stable release, and I suspect the Linux kernel is beta code at best.

Also, I'm with you on OpenSolaris. I look forward to OpenSolaris maturing because the prospect of Flash 9 and Java with OSS4 on a traditional Unix is just amazing. Right now, my combination of FreeBSD and Mac OS X lets me accomplish everything I want to. If OpenSolaris matures to my liking, then I might as well add an OpenSolaris box to the mix too and use that when I need Flash. Swfdec runs relatively well on FreeBSD, but it's no prize. I was testing out pkgsrc on OpenSolaris today. It bootstrapped, but libiconv was giving me grief. It was a dependency for musicpd. I just gave up. One thing I do like about OpenSolaris is IPS. It's possibly the best binary package manager I've seen.
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Originally Posted by ninjatux View Post
vermaden, I was speaking from experience. Arch is very BSD-like, but the installer is unpolished, for one thing. It's a little complicated to use with respect to the NetBSD and FreeBSD installers. Even the OpenBSD installer is a little more simpler to use than it. Pacman, as it is, needs some work and the AUR build system is complicated and less automated than ports. The AUR build system is what turned me away from Arch.
To be precise, I also like Arch and its philosophy, I am not against Arch. Currently I do not have time for that, but I will sure try Arch in some future (after I finish my master's thesis).

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However, you know what happens when a person crosses the line over to the BSD camp and becomes accustomed to the BSD camp. They become spoiled by the consistency, stability, security, and performance of their operating system.
Yeah, once I got used to BSD standards I feel very handicapped when I use Linux.

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Linux is still too stuck in the crusader-type philosophy for its own good. The idea that users should help in the debugging process is a noble one, but it's no excuse to release alpha code in a stable release, and I suspect the Linux kernel is beta code at best.
Tell that to Linux developers, and they will tell us that BSD is dying ...

... for Linux documentation check options.c

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Originally Posted by ninjatux View Post
Also, I'm with you on OpenSolaris. I look forward to OpenSolaris maturing because the prospect of Flash 9 and Java with OSS4 on a traditional Unix is just amazing. Right now, my combination of FreeBSD and Mac OS X lets me accomplish everything I want to.
I also tried Mac OS X (10.5.2) and I liked it, the only bad thing was that my Intel X3000 card is not supported but X3100 is :/ but all other things woked very well. I must also try Mac OS X with MacPorts.

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Originally Posted by ninjatux View Post
If OpenSolaris matures to my liking, then I might as well add an OpenSolaris box to the mix too and use that when I need Flash. Swfdec runs relatively well on FreeBSD, but it's no prize. I was testing out pkgsrc on OpenSolaris today. It bootstrapped, but libiconv was giving me grief. It was a dependency for musicpd. I just gave up. One thing I do like about OpenSolaris is IPS. It's possibly the best binary package manager I've seen.
Good package management always was a big disadvantage for (Open)Solaris. I recently tried 2008.05 with blastwave, generally worked well, but if I wanted to add tetex it failed, update / -f did not helped, si its still not mature/stable enought. I would like to use pkgsrc.org on Solaris also, I have read some howtos how to add it to OpenSolaris, but liek with Arch did not have time to play with it.

The IPS currently dissapoints me, they say that they have 10435 packages, that seem to be a lot, but they have 5-10 versions of each package (for every Solais version) so its count is limited to about 1200 as I last checked, that is almost none, there is only x11 + gnome + openoffice + some small addons.

There are no window managers, file managers, small utilities, ides, editors, its just so limited.

Maybe as time passes by developers will add more pachages to IPS, then it will be ok, but as of current state, package management on OpenSolaris still exists, unfortunelly.

The IPS itself is ok, generally very simillar to apt-get from Debian (also created by Ian Murdock) or pkg_add in BSD but if they will not add new packages there, then IPS will be (and currently is ) useless for anthing more then base system + gnome.
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Old 4th August 2008
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Good for starters, i think Ubuntu is the best linux distro and it is free.

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Good for starters, i think Ubuntu is the best linux distro and it is free.
There is no such things like best distro, there exist only these distros that piss you more or less.

But Ubuntu is not bad when you need desktop instalation fast.
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Old 4th August 2008
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Dunno if flash 9 works with OSS on Linux, never tried, I am personally more interested in OpenSolaris (Flash9 + Java working out of the box with OSS4). VirtualBox also runs good on OpenSolaris, even seamless mode works
I might consider using OpenSolaris in a year or so, but right now it just sucks on several different levels (It's just an unfinished system).
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@Carpetsmoker

Unfortunelly, that's true, especially lack of good package management is big con here.

Currently there is avialable refresh ISO of Opensolaris 2008.05 based on build93 SXCE, but I am curious about next major release, 2008.11.
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Package managment is one thing, the lack of documentation is another, not to mention several pretty sloppy errors/mistakes I came across ...

At this point, if I had to choose between Linux and OpenSolaris, I would choose Linux and not have a second thought.
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@Carpetsmoker

There is no such thing as Handbook for Solaris or OpenSolaris, but there are a lot of docs/books on docs.sun.com, for example their book about Administration with Virtualization has 540+ pages and 42 chapters, and thats only about virtualziation.

I think that we just need to get used to other model of documentation then handbook:
http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/coll/47.23

Linux kernel does not have documentation at all and you have to check options.c for details.
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Ok, I already removed OpenSolaris from my system ... So too late I guess ... Maybe I'll try again in a year orso...

Meanwhile I decided to install Debian ... Not sure why, seemed like fun ... Well, it turned out to be just as much fun as getting gangraped by a group of male Klingons.

The end result was three wasted hours, a lot a frustration, and a shattered Debian CD ... I didn't even manage to actually boot the OS.

Why-o-why is it that:
o I can not configure grub or lilo from the debian CD WITHOUT installing the OS itself?
o The debian installer reports vague errors but then continues like nothing happened?
o Linux can't just boot like any other OS ... But HAS to use grub or lilo?
o The linux kernel panics when it can't figure out the root FS (Instead of asking the user).

Also, the system requirements of Debian are incomplete, in order to install it, the user must not be epileptic, or I fear he/she will get seizures when using the retarded debian partition manager.

Today I am reminded again why I don't use Linux, and even more so why debian is the most retarded Linux distribution of them all ...
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Old 4th August 2008
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Also, the system requirements of Debian are incomplete, in order to install it, the user must not be epileptic, or I fear he/she will get seizures when using the retarded debian partition manager.

Today I am reminded again why I don't use Linux, and even more so why debian is the most retarded Linux distribution of them all ...
Ah, come on Carpet, before you damn the debian partition manager you should try OpenBSD - then you know PITA.

Maybe Debian is too easy for you. Or you had just some kind of bad luck (could happen to anyone!). I'm using Debian since 2003 and I have installed it on several systems - without any problem.

As always truth lies in the eye of the one who watches

... no harm, just kiddin'
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Ok, I already removed OpenSolaris from my system ... So too late I guess ... Maybe I'll try again in a year orso...
Its never too late, but the later you try it, the better it will be

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Meanwhile I decided to install Debian ... Not sure why, seemed like fun ... Well, it turned out to be just as much fun as getting gangraped by a group of male Klingons.

The end result was three wasted hours, a lot a frustration, and a shattered Debian CD ... I didn't even manage to actually boot the OS.
You should try ArchLinux if you want Linux, or Draco Linux.

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Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
Why-o-why is it that:
o I can not configure grub or lilo from the debian CD WITHOUT installing the OS itself?
o The debian installer reports vague errors but then continues like nothing happened?
o Linux can't just boot like any other OS ... But HAS to use grub or lilo?
o The linux kernel panics when it can't figure out the root FS (Instead of asking the user).
Welcome to the Lnux world, paraphrasing the Matrix quote: Linux, only kernel.

Once upon a time (199x) BSD was on the strait road for the primary open source alternative, a great one, but then Linux shit happen (thanks torvalds :/ ), this reminds me the history of AMIGA, not Commodore AMIGA, AMIGA, check Ars TEchnica for the whole history: http://arstechnica.com/articles/cult...iga-part-1.ars (there are 7 parts, make a coffee).

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Today I am reminded again why I don't use Linux, and even more so why debian is the most retarded Linux distribution of them all ...
I use Debian at work, generally works, but I also do not consider it a bet choice. There is one thing though, in Debian installer that I like, continue installation using ssh mode. I will not mention here that you have to first type expert at cd loader, because without that you will not be able to choose taht option (fuck like a tought quest in Fallout ...), then load cd components, then at last continue ...

But I like that feature, its very usefull, when you want give the choice of the installation to thebuddy that is miles from you, or just go back to your workstation and continue.

But I do not see any other innovation in Debian generally.

I also hate their www server defautl configs. In FreeBSD we have ONE nginx.conf or httpd.conf simple, but in debian we have a whole bunch of files links dirs and so, sites-enabled, sites-disabled, modules-enabled, modules-to-consider, just great ...
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Old 5th August 2008
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To be precise, I also like Arch and its philosophy, I am not against Arch. Currently I do not have time for that, but I will sure try Arch in some future (after I finish my master's thesis).
I am not against Arch as well; I like the ideology behind Arch. However, the developers have a lot of work to do before they can claim that it's up to BSD standards, assuming that's what they are trying to accomplish along with maintaining a bleeding edge distribution. I've never understood why Linux distributions have always had problems combining stability, security, and performance with bleeding edge technology. All of the BSDs are bleeding edge (you could make a case for OpenBSD otherwise). However, at least FreeBSD and NetBSD are bleeding edge operating systems, but stable nonetheless. I've gotten better stability and quality with OpenSolaris, which is still very much a work-in-progress.

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Yeah, once I got used to BSD standards I feel very handicapped when I use Linux.
I hear you. I like Debian because of the quality, but I'd pick a BSD over it any day. My proven combination is Mac OS X and FreeBSD.

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Tell that to Linux developers, and they will tell us that BSD is dying ...

... for Linux documentation check options.c
They can say that, but they will embarrass themselves as usual. I recognize that the BSDs, ever since the dominance of Linux, have occupied a niche market. That niche can only get larger as more Linux power users become constrained by the lack of proper development direction and the output of quality code. They do dominate web servers; they do fulfill server roles quite aptly. I like to point out to the naysayers that Apple chose BSD as a foundation for Mac OS X. If you count Mac OS X as a BSD operating system, which I do, then the BSD marketshare beats out Linux's by four-fold in the desktop market. That doesn't mean much, but Apple's adoption and return contribution (without any necessity to do so due to the BSD license) to at least FreeBSD is a blow for Linux. BSD isn't dying, but Linux is on the path to destruction.

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I also tried Mac OS X (10.5.2) and I liked it, the only bad thing was that my Intel X3000 card is not supported but X3100 is :/ but all other things woked very well. I must also try Mac OS X with MacPorts.
Did you install it on a non-Mac? If so, how did you manage that?

I like Mac OS X as much as I like FreeBSD, which is a high complement; I used to bash it quite a bit in my Linux days, but I was oblivious. Once I started using it, I discovered that it behaves much like any other Unix I've used. You can do everything straight from the command line if you wish or just use the GUI. I didn't need to customize the look because the GUI is lean and has enough eye-candy. It's fancy eye-candy, but usable eye-candy, unlike Compiz, Compiz-Fusion, or Kwin4.

MacPorts is a nice package manager, but it does contain a limited amount of ports. The common applications are there, and those install and run very nicely, but if you need something that's not in the tree, then you will have to go through several hoops to have it run on Mac OS X. MacPorts integrates very well with OS X as well. The applications that are available via MacPorts natively are installed as .apps.
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"UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity."
MacBook Pro (Darwin 9), iMac (Darwin 9), iPod Touch (Darwin 9), Dell Optiplex GX620 (FreeBSD 7.1-STABLE)
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