Pop! OS from System 76 is my current favourite. It’s based off Ubuntu, but with a lot of polish on top. I’ve been using it for a few months now, and it just works. I find I used to enjoy treating Linux as a little zen garden that I tend to, but nowadays I really just want an OS that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
VoidLinux because is simple, minimalist, rolling release and there is no systemd, but I’m so lazy always ended in Xubuntu.
Almost the same for me, except I always end up on Manjaro (at least on my desktop, it’s just so convenient, especially with games). I use it on my Laptop though.
The musl flavour is also something that I really like about Void Linux. And not to forget their huge repository.
Arch Linux, it just overall easier to build it exactly how I like it and it have just about one of the best programming environment out of any distro I’ve tried. When you install a package, you can expect that package to include header files whereas you have to install *-dev or *-devel on other distro and sometime those *-dev packages would be missing anyway making it frustrating to use other distro.
Arch Linux interestingly enough is very stable apart from other distro and about several months ago, I had an update for KDE Plasma that resulted in a bug that limit the usability of my desktop, so I simply update the mirrorlist and revert Plasma update and check the bug list for that issue, it get fixed in the same day within 8 hours after I encounter the bug and package would be updated within another 8 hours and I simply restore the mirrorlist and then re-try the update to see bug being fixed, this is perhaps one of my best experience in using Arch Linux. You can catch a bug, patch it upstream, and see the package get updated all within the same day.
Same, arch for life for me. Even as a rolling release, its been more stable than any other OS for me.
I’m using Debian, but I kinda still miss the Arch days. In Arch, everything was so straightforward and simple. In Debian, even when it doesn’t seem to be complex and unstraightforward on paper… it still kinda is opaque to me in many ways. I can’t really put my finger on it, but I guess a part of that is that dpkg is doing a lot more than pacman is, and I don’t understand all of that.
I like GNU Guix System (OS built on top of GNU Guix package manager) because it’s committed to being fully-free software (meeting the GNU free distro guidelines) and because of the Guix package manager. I talk about the Guix package manager here
I really love gentoo, by being sourced-based it really offers a lot of customization and flexibility compared to other distros. Software availability is usually not a problem, there is a lot of overlays and in worst case scenario writing an ebuild is not that difficult. Unfortunately the compile time on my machine makes it unusable for myself.
In second Arch or Artix-s6, wether I need/want systemd or not. What makes arch good is clearly the huge collection of ports available on the AUR and the quality of the arch wiki (wich can work on other distros btw. If a package isn’t on the AUR, writing PKGBUILD isn’t very difficult. In the case of artix, the s6 supervision suite is a very good piece of software.
And finally on low spec hardware, I really like alpine Linux, it’s running very well on my VPS on wich I host some services. Alpine Wall is great for firewall configuration .Software availability is a bit more weak due to Musl, but I foud what I needed, also APKBUILD is very similar to PKGBUILD. Honnestly it’s been very stable in this server use-case, and l’m happy with it.
Pop!_OS. Its got the support and stability of Ubuntu, but without the restrictions Ubuntu forces onto you.
What is these restrictions? I don’t use the system.
They do some things that most hardcore Linux users disapprove of, like Snaps. They’re ok, but they really give you no choice but to use them, and will automatically install packages as Snaps. Pop!_OS still lets you use Snaps, but you aren’t forced to.
I like Fedora because I think it strikes a good balance between having stable packages while updating them frequently. OpenSUSE Leap is an extremely close second and personally I’d be equally happy to recommend both, but apparently it doesn’t update packages as often.
This is my distro hopping history and why I decided to move away for each:
When I wasn’t using Linux full time (mostly on USB live images and VMs), Linux Mint was my go-to simply because someone I knew recommended it. I also dabbled in Ubuntu which was most likely my first ever exposure to Linux.
When I bought a used desktop PC (currently my daily driver), I installed Ubuntu on it. It was my first daily driver Linux distro. However, I later installed an SSD to go with my hard drive, and Ubuntu’s default installer wasn’t able to set it up so that the system was on the SSD and the home folder on the hard drive, and then encrypt all partitions. I tried to set it up manually after installation but failed. I later decided to not go back Ubuntu again because of Canonical’s increasing unfriendliness to FOSS and privacy.
Then I tried Manjaro. Worked great, until an Nvidia driver update killed it. I now also have slight reservations about Manjaro’s friendliness toward FOSS
Then I tried Debian set to the unstable or “sid” package branch for some applications. Worked great until an app fiddled with the Qt packages and killed it.
Then I tried OpenSUSE Tumbleweed (their rolling release version). Worked phenomenally until an Nvidia driver update killed it. Actually, OpenSUSE worked so well that I reinstalled the system multiple times, more times than any of the other distros (which was really easy because the installer let me not even touch the encrypted home partition meaning I didn’t have to shuffle my data around), and each time Nividia driver updates killed it. The moral of the story here is to buy AMD if you want good Linux support, their drivers are open source and, as I’m told, worlds ahead on Linux than Nvidia.
Finally, I went to Fedora which is still my daily driver. Though I will probably give OpenSUSE another shot sometime in the near future.
openSUSE. I mostly like it for its automatic filesystem snapshots. Or rather, I get anxious using other distros, because I feel like they could break at any point.
It also offers a really good KDE experience, solid package management and YaST, which is a system settings GUI.
I really wanted to give openSUSE Tumbleweed a try not too long ago because of how nice of a distro it looks like, plus having access to OBS looks great. I just worry about it being too bloated with packages that I wouldn’t really want. Also, Gecko Linux is based on openSUSE and has some small extra features. You should look into it!
As for GeckoLinux, yeah, it can be nice for newcomers.
Personally, I don’t need most of its changes (e.g. I don’t even have any proprietary or patent-encumbered packages knowingly installed), so for me it’s simpler to get to my preferred system via vanilla openSUSE, but yeah, many people might prefer GeckoLinux instead.
Oh, worry not, because it is most definitely bloated beyond repair. The standard installation takes 40GB. A big chunk of that is for the btrfs snapshots, but yeah, they’re also quite the opposite of thrifty when it comes to the number of packages they hand out.
I mean, I don’t want to sell this as an advantage, but it did kind of “cure” me. I used to care for the number of packages, but now that I could at best chip a few MB away at 40GB, I’ve given up that battle and my life has in no way become worse.
In fact, I’d say it has become slightly better, because I don’t anymore have to figure out which optional dependencies I’m missing – basically all of them get pulled in when I’m installing an application – and I have had situations where I was without internet, but the many pre-installed applications (that I never need) had the features that I needed.
I mean, there is legitimate use-cases where fewer packages are nice, and I will say that openSUSE Tumbleweed loves to push out updates for thousands of packages every few weeks, so without a fast internet connection the number of packages will be painful, but yeah, usually it’s a lot less big of a deal than people make it out to be.
+1 for OpenSUSE. I tried to give Fedora a go, but dnf is really slow when compared to zypper so I went back to OpenSUSE.
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Probably because it’s written in Python, which is a mind-bogglingly slow language.
You can do things like rewrite individual performance critical methods in C or Rust, but only if there are identifiable performance critical methods.
If it’s just a general slowness across the code, you would pretty much have to rewrite the whole thing in another language to fix that.
You can use a backup app for any distro.
Well, 1) I’m a lazy bastard and setting something like that up sounds like work, and 2) snapshots are still nice by themselves. If I break my OS, I’m back to a working state in five minutes, even if I’m out and about with my laptop.
Timeshift is actually super simple to set up and works nicely, but yes I imagine having snapshots built into the OS must be much more seamless.
Yeah, I literally do nothing for my snapshots until the moment that I need them.
Obviously doing a little work for it isn’t the end of the world, but I like not having to think of it and not being able to fuck up, because I’m literally not involved.
I like Linux Mint. I enjoy the support and stability of being downstream from Debian and Ubuntu. The tradeoff is that sometimes my software isn’t the absolute latest version :( :( :( :(
I moved from Linux Mint to KDE Neon, and while I am happy, I still sometimes miss just how stable and FAST Linux Mint ran for me. Not to mention there was much less screen tearing for me on Cinnamon compared to Plasma.
My experience is somewhat limited, since I’ve only used Ubuntu, Mint, Xubuntu, OpenSUSE, and Fedora, but Mint always works best for me. Best out-of-the-box support and functionality for me, for some reason.
I use Mint too. The software managment is pretty good.
Manjaro, Arch for human beings, 2 weeks delayed bleeding edge.
I’m, using arco linux right now and I really love their DE/WM switching tools and their customization options are cool too. My favorite would probably be manjaro still but it has major issues for me atm.
I’m in the process of moving from Debian to NixOS, but have used Ubuntu and CentOS as well.
NetBSD - Unix , Portable , Secure
Artix Linux - runit version on Cinnamon, because it’s fast and rebellious lol
openSUSE, I love yast,
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