LXF94's Ultimate Distro Test -- post your thoughts here!

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LXF94's Ultimate Distro Test -- post your thoughts here!

Postby M-Saunders » Fri May 25, 2007 10:44 am

This thread, as pointed to in issue 94's distro showdown, is your place to discuss the feature. Has it made you switch distros? What do you think is the most important aspect of a distro? And what else should be taken into account?

The debate starts here!
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RE: LXF94

Postby towy71 » Fri May 25, 2007 10:52 am

Not got the mag yet :roll: :evil:
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RE: LXF94

Postby M-Saunders » Fri May 25, 2007 11:05 am

Then don't post :-)

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RE: LXF94

Postby towy71 » Fri May 25, 2007 11:05 am

Hah postie has just been now to get reading ;-)
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Postby 1slipperyfish » Fri May 25, 2007 1:46 pm

i have only just started reading lxf93, i'll have to get some overtime in if i'm to be able to buy lxf94 :roll:
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Postby marco » Fri May 25, 2007 6:30 pm

Hi guys,

I agree with you - Ubuntu is by far the best Linux Distribution around. It installed flawless on my Latitude D620 and the NVIDIA driver were activated within seconds.

I run Slackware for many years, but it's lack of release planning and GNOME made me change to Ubuntu - although I am more and more using KDE applications.

Ubuntu is great example how Linux should be in 2007, the community is fantastic and all the release planning and testing is extrememly open (not like Mandriva).

It is a shame that I never really liked openSUSE, especially since it is developed in my home town. I think it is too bloated and YAST is a nightmare - I rather edit config files :-)

Marco

PS: Great Linux Format issue - as always.
Last edited by marco on Sat May 26, 2007 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby adam.spiers » Fri May 25, 2007 10:03 pm

marco wrote:Hi guys,
It is a shame that I never really liked SUSE, especially since it is developed in my home town. I think it is too bloated and YAST is a nightmare - I rather edit config files :-)

Marco


Bloated in what sense? A default install is just that - default. If you need a smaller install, choose not to install all of the suggested packages. One size never fits all.

I think it's rather unfair to say YaST is a nightmare, since it certainly doesn't stop you editing config files in the traditional way, but on the plus side, if you are too busy or inexperienced to learn new config file syntax and want a job done quickly, it's a beautifully consistent interface for configuring the whole system. Definitely puts it way ahead of many distributions IMHO. Additionally all configuration can be moved into autoyast for reproducibility, which is another huge win.

openSUSE suffered in the boot time category, but the good news is that there is WIP to improve this. I wonder if it also suffered in the default install time and size categories because it is the only distro to offer both KDE and GNOME as choices for default desktop?

Overall, an interesting and worthwhile article. However, I do think the authors should have adhered to a more "open" approach in keeping with the community spirit. For instance there were a number of categories where it was not at all clear how the results were reached. For example, Debian apparently provides "18,059 packages as standard". Presumably this includes packages available online rather than as part of the install media? In which case, which online repositories were also included for Fedora, openSUSE etc.? Kudos for partially explaining how the scores for popularity, support, and activity were reached, but why not go the whole hog and provide the raw calculations online via a URL?

On a higher level, how were the 3 benchmarks in each section combined to reach the standings for that section, and how did each section contribute to the overall standings? Were there weightings involved? Again, if the full calculations were released (e.g. as an .odp file) then the community could put them online, add automation, refinements, the ability for users to dynamically weight certain benchmarks based on personal preference (e.g. most people will not care how many architectures the distro runs on - only that it runs on x86 32 or 64-bit), and so on. The Great Programming Language Shootout used to be a great example of this approach, using CGI to allow people to tailor the results to fit their own requirements. Sadly the revived version of the site doesn't have CGI any more.

Finally, SUSE is the brand name, and openSUSE is the project and distro. Mixing the two up increases the risk of people getting confused about the difference (and relationship) between openSUSE and the SUSE Linux Enterprise range of products. C'mon LXF, you know better than this!
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Postby marco » Sat May 26, 2007 1:09 pm

Hello Adam,

Well - that is a rather harsh reply. I did not want to upset anyone! Sorry...

Just some comments to your reply:

Bloated in what sense? A default install is just that - default. If you need a smaller install, choose not to install all of the suggested packages. One size never fits all.


You are right I could deselect many packages, but even then the whole system feels still quite sluggish in comparison to Debian and Ubuntu.

I think it's rather unfair to say YaST is a nightmare, since it certainly doesn't stop you editing config files in the traditional way


That is not correct! YaST actually stops you from editing config files manually because it always overrides all your changes you did manually.

It is the only distro to offer both KDE and GNOME as choices for default desktop


What about Mandriva, Debian, Fedora, Centos, ... they all offer Gnome and/or KDE during the installation?!

For example, Debian apparently provides "18,059 packages as standard". Presumably this includes packages available online rather than as part of the install media?


You can download a full set of CDs with all packages from here for example.

Finally, SUSE is the brand name, and openSUSE is the project and distro.


I agree and changes it in my previous post. We don't want to confuse anyone :-D

Have a wonderful weekend,

Marco
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Postby Rhakios » Sat May 26, 2007 5:28 pm

I can't say I find openSUSE to be particularly slow on this hardware and I've tried a number of distros. It is somewhat slower to boot than some, but I only do that about once a week. No doubt the forthcoming parallel boot mechanism will help with that. I have found it to be noticeably the best for 32-bit/64-bit compatibility on a 64-bit system.
As for YaST, I have come to <cough!> quite like it, just about. It certainly isn't any worse than other GUI system administration tools I've encountered, and it's better than some.
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Postby davecs » Sun May 27, 2007 12:12 am

Some of the categories were laughable. How you got to the conclusion about Community was quite funny. I'm sure my friends in Texas will find that quite amusing.

Hardware Compatibility? Well counting modules, and kernel versions is no substitute for making things actually work...

Oh and we have Ubuntu-SuSE 1-2: now there's a surprise!
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Postby Rhakios » Sun May 27, 2007 9:34 am

Don't worry Dave, if they'd been testing Kubuntu instead, then PCLinuxOS would have come out ahead. :)

(That isn't a deliberate rhyme)
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Postby spd106 » Sun May 27, 2007 8:34 pm

I think the timing of this test did Fedora a disservice. As the last release (Zod) was far more conservative compared to the upcoming release next month. This meant it lost many places in the compatibility and performance parts. So I think it really deserved a higher place in the final table. In the end though I suppose someone had to lose out.

That's not to take away from the other distos like PCLinuxOS who have come on at a great pace over the last few months. It all goes to show just how competitive the market is becoming.

I'd also like to point out that Ubuntu does have community support for 3 more architectures, PPC, IA-64 and PS3. Obviously, this doesn't affect the table.
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Postby davecs » Sun May 27, 2007 9:53 pm

Rhakios wrote:Don't worry Dave, if they'd been testing Kubuntu instead, then PCLinuxOS would have come out ahead. :)

(That isn't a deliberate rhyme)


I've heard that about Kubuntu. Ubuntu is said to be a great Gnome distro, and similarly Xubuntu with XFCE, but they haven't got KDE right.

I'm not too fussed with the review except for the "community" section.

Over at the PCLinuxOS forums, we've been actively discouraging any "distrowatch" frenzy, removing posts and p/m-ing posters, yet the hits over there climb inexoriably upwards. The PCLinuxOS "cottage industry" designed the graphics, the community is amazing. We also had the plug pulled on us by our former web hosts, and the way everyone rallied round was marvellous. Coming 7th under "community" is the bit I really found unbelievable.

Speaking of Distrowatch, the figures in this month's edition seem wrong to me, PCLOS never relinquished 2nd place on the 30-day count after taking it a couple of months ago, and is actually now in 1st on 30-days. Someone must have printed the wrong chart...
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Postby adam.spiers » Thu May 31, 2007 12:38 pm

marco wrote:Hello Adam,

Well - that is a rather harsh reply. I did not want to upset anyone! Sorry...


Sorry if you felt it to be harsh, I wasn't particularly upset and certainly didn't want to upset anyone either. I try to present a reasonable and balanced an argument!

Just some comments to your reply:

Bloated in what sense? A default install is just that - default. If you need a smaller install, choose not to install all of the suggested packages. One size never fits all.


You are right I could deselect many packages, but even then the whole system feels still quite sluggish in comparison to Debian and Ubuntu.


I would recommend against making statements like "feels quite sluggish" when referring to performance, otherwise it turns into a rather emotive, subjective discussion. Better to refer to precise facts, e.g. number of seconds to boot, given equivalent configurations of which services are enabled on boot.

I think it's rather unfair to say YaST is a nightmare, since it certainly doesn't stop you editing config files in the traditional way


That is not correct! YaST actually stops you from editing config files manually because it always overrides all your changes you did manually.


Well, if you manually edit config files and then change your mind and use YaST to alter the same settings, what else would you want it to do? This is the only sensible thing it could do. You have to make up your mind which way you want to configure stuff. It's not fair to blame YaST for the result of an inconsistent approach.

It is the only distro to offer both KDE and GNOME as choices for default desktop


What about Mandriva, Debian, Fedora, Centos, ... they all offer Gnome and/or KDE during the installation?!


That's not the same thing. Offering the choice as default desktop occurs during the graphical login screen presented by gdm or kdm, and is only possible if both KDE and GNOME are installed. Therefore openSUSE can only offer the choice at run-time (not install-time) if it takes the hit of a longer install.

For example, Debian apparently provides "18,059 packages as standard". Presumably this includes packages available online rather than as part of the install media?


You can download a full set of CDs with all packages from here for example.


That may be useful to a minority, but I don't think it's fair to describe it being offered "as standard".

Thanks for listening :-)
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Postby Catsworth » Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:56 pm

Well, it was certainly news to me to find out that Ubuntu (and seemingly other distros) come with no firewall running - and there was me thinking that's what iptables was.....
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