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Your preferred Linux distribution for 2013?

Displaying poll results.
Mint
  5085 votes / 16%
Ubuntu
  9766 votes / 32%
Fedora
  2791 votes / 9%
Mageia
253 votes / 0%
Debian
  4925 votes / 16%
openSUSE
  1269 votes / 4%
Arch
  1839 votes / 6%
Other
  4380 votes / 14%
30308 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Your preferred Linux distribution for 2013?

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  • Give me some Slack (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 09, 2013 @08:13AM (#44518707)

    Slackware still at the top for me...

  • Crunchbang (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Friday August 09, 2013 @09:13AM (#44519155) Journal

    Last year, I would have said Arch. Then they made a messy move to systemd. If you upgraded your system, was a high chance of making a mistake and rendering a working system unusable. I tried to dodge the issue by upgrading only small pieces, such as Firefox. That worked until the library dependencies changed. As for a fresh install, they trashed their installation scripts, turning new installs into a lot more manual work.

    One thing I like is light weight. Desktop environments, even LXDE and XFCE, are resource pigs. What do these really do that a window manager such as Openbox doesn't do? Automatically mount flash drives? But HAL is gone and dbus does that now.

    I've found that turning off the text hinting and anti-aliasing gives a modest performance boost. Problem is of course that text looks awful, with one exception: the Terminus font. I've been keeping an eye open for a proportional font that looks decent at the most common sizes, without the hinting and anti-aliasing, but haven't come across any. They're all monospace. Anyone know of any good proportional fonts?

  • Re:Crunchbang (Score:3, Interesting)

    by azeotrope (2763333) on Friday August 09, 2013 @09:42AM (#44519483)

    The systemd move on arch was messy and there have been lots of stability problems in the past, but it feels like that has changed. The systemd "core" in terms of unit file creation and other configurations is starting to level off somewhat. Overall I'm glad that I've taken the time to learn systemd and I honestly cannot think of anything (useful) I could do with an initscripts systemd that I cannot do with systemd. Less than 2 seconds from bootloader to desktop with an SSD is fairly common for me now, I couldn't dream of anything close to that with a shell-centric init.

    As for fonts, if you like small text but don't have a "retina" display, bitmap is the way to go. Dina is currently my favourite bitmap font; proggy is also very good.

  • by AkumaKuruma (879423) <Millenia2000 AT hotmail DOT com> on Friday August 09, 2013 @11:20AM (#44520705) Journal

    I prefer a real UNIX derivative so i go with BSD, either FreeBSD or OpenBSD, depending on the purpose of the system.

  • by Andy Prough (2730467) on Friday August 09, 2013 @11:26AM (#44520811)
    All proprietary software is now a potential carrier of hidden surveillance backdoors - especially if its being developed by Americans. Debian without non-free sources is the way to go.
  • Bodhi (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 09, 2013 @11:52AM (#44521191)

    After using ubuntu for years... and running into some major bugs in version 11.10, that went away in 12.04 and were re-introduced in version 12.10... I was about to go back to windows for the first time in 15ish years.... by random chance I clicked on a bookmark to see what it was and I found bodhi.... had a little bit of trouble getting it setup with the latest ati drivers, something to do with the drivers and the newer linux kernel.... after I got past that the system ran perfectly.... very low memory footprint, ran super fast... and is the most stable linux dist I've used in the last 7-8 years.... ( also it's quite a looker ).... to me ubuntu is making many of the same mistakes I watched microsoft make with windows in the name of user friendliness...

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Friday August 09, 2013 @12:07PM (#44521425)

    The reason why I so strongly dislike Ubuntu can be summed up in one word: sudo

    I personally don't have much gripe against sudo, but the password conventions of Linux in general might still be problematic. Two things:

    1) Asking passwords too often. There are still distros which ask a password for silly thing like saving a WiFi profile.
    2) Having the super user password same as the user password.

    I bet that if desktop Linux gets more popular (which could be Ubuntu), these kind of things will be potential bombs. "Hey, cool_dog_video.deb, please type your password, yada yada, it asks this all the time. Wait, why is my computer owned, there are no viruses for Linux".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 09, 2013 @01:08PM (#44522331)

    There should be a test during installation that determines a user's ability to handle root privilege. That should then be the basis as to whether or no 'sudo' is enabled for the user. If it is not enabled, then they should be automatically subscribed to paid support if they want to proceed with the installation. The fact is that users SHOULD have root access if they are doing something that requires it. Making changes to the kernel, or installing software that is system-wide instead of in the home directory are notable examples that can't be handled any other way.

    While Gnome 3 is pretty ugly, you must admit that Gnome 2 is long in the tooth and being passed by, by newer and better UIs in the Windows and Mac OS X worlds. Gnome 2 lacks so much in comparison. Where is the indexed search of the system? That's a key feature these days. Users don't want to know where their data or applications are or even if the applications are installed on their system. They just want to do their work. These expectations have come from the mobile device and tablet worlds. There, you just search for the app you want, then hit install and it comes from a central repository for a fee or gratis with the strings that are attached by advertising. You can't fight that. This is coming to the desktop whether you like it or not.

    PulseAudio, when done right, is perfection. I hear a lot of fools argue that ALSA is all that is needed because it can do everything that PulseAudio can, only better. This is completely untrue. While ALSA has been expanded somewhat to handle some cases, there are still plenty of cases it doesn't handle that Pulse and JACK can do better as layers on top of ALSA. For those who really don't understand how audio works in Linux, ALSA is the "driver" layer for lack of a better term that most people will understand. It's the software layer that mediates interaction between user level audio applications and the hardware via the kernel. It does it's job (managing the conversation between user space and hardware) very well and supports a HUGE list of audio devices.

    Where ALSA fails in it's most basic configuration is it's ability to handle multiple simultaneous audio streams. One stream going directly to an ALSA device, locks that device for playback thereby preventing any other application from using it. To solve this problem, the notion of the sound server was invented to virtualize the audio hardware for multiple inputs. The sound is essentially the equivalent of a multichannel mixer in software. Where the ALSA purists get their panties in a bunch is the fact that many sound devices have a hardware mixer, and ALSA also implements a mixer as well. But these mixers are so basic as to be COMPLETELY USELESS FOR ANY MODERN PURPOSE.

    Hence the invention of the sound server, with Esound (AKA esd) being the first most common implementation. Esound was a nice step up from ALSA/OSS (I refuse to talk about OSS because it was just shit). Not only did it allow multiple applications that were Esound and ALSA/OSS compatible to be able to be able to share the sound device, but it also added network transparency like X. While Apple users may think that streaming audio between devices was theirs first with AirTunes, it was actually Esound back in the 90s that came first. Identical approach.

    The problem with Esound was that it wasn't perfect. I used it to stream the audio from my "media center" Linux box in the basement that displayed in the living room to my living room laptop. That way I could play the movie on the HD screen on the wall, but hear the audio by plugging in headphones into the laptop so I wouldn't wake the family at night. While it worked, I always had to play with the A/V offset in the Xine media player to get good A/V sync. That was Esound's primary flaw.

    I discovered PulseAudio back when it was called Polyp. I set it up and was amazed that A/V sync over my 100 Mb/s network was rock solid every time. I rewrote my media player scripts and never looked back at Esou

If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley

 



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