Posted by: duskfire | October 1, 2011

Going Distro-hopping

Just a short post to mention that for the next month or two I plan to move on from Linux Mint Debian edition to explore a few other versions of Linux. In our community this is known as “distro hopping” and sometimes people can’t settle down and stick with one Linux distribution. I’m very happy with Linux Mint 11, and LMDE was a close second. But there are other distributions out there which have many fans, and I’ve gotten curious about what they are like to use day to day.

At the moment, my plans are to try Mageia 1.0 (a community fork of Mandriva), Arch Linux, MEPIS, and Slackware or one of its close cousins like Zenwalk, each for at least a week. I will see how they are for a game and music loving person to use.  When Fedora 16 gets to a Release Candidate I will be trying that one out for sure – GNOME 3.2 has been released and I’m looking forward to using it. There has been a lot of criticism of GNOME since they released 3, but I actually didn’t have a poor reaction to it. I have read that Fedora’s release schedule had to be delayed by 2 weeks but that just means they are committed to only releasing a top quality operating system with few bugs.

(Just to clarify for Windows users, GNOME and Unity are not Linux operating systems, they are desktop user interfaces. In Windows you only get one real choice – Microsoft’s – so experimentation with new ways for users to launch their programs and games is not as well known.)

The most popular and best known distribution, Ubuntu, has a release in mid-November, but my experience with it this past spring was not as enjoyable as Fedora, so I don’t plan to check it out until April 2012, which I think will be a LTS release (Long Term Support – for 3 years). I really wasn’t happy with their Unity desktop, and the rest of it is basically Mint without the added Mint touches that I love. So I doubt you will be seeing me recommend them.

I’ll definitely return to Mint 12 (the main, Ubuntu based edition) when it gets a final release at the end of November. The team has mentioned that they will have a GNOME 3-based desktop, with the Mint touch that has made it my favorite edition to use and recommend.

[EDIT 10/20 – What I ended up doing was focusing on Slackware-based distributions: SalixOS, Zenwalk, and Vector Linux. I still plan to look at MEPIS at some point.]



  1. Hi Duskfire

    as one of your fans I appreciate your fantastic reviews, especially if I hear something about my beloved Linux Mint and possible alternatives. A Fedora 16 review will be done for sure, I will wait for it. Don`t you want to look at cruchbang linux, which is a very stable and “clear” distribution, which is based on debian stable. The only problem I have is to install the NVIDIA priority driver but besides that its nearly perfect. Another candidate would be the coming PC-BSD.

    Thanks for so much work.


    • Thank you MGM. I might look at Crunchbang sometime in the future, but I’m not sure when. At the moment, my plans are for Fedora 16, Mint 12, and openSuSE 12.1 (which I have neglected to cover). In between I was going to try and return to various game topics and reviews, and settle back down to Linux Mint, which I love as well.

  2. What is the upside of Mint over pure Debian? That was never quite clear to me.

    • There are advantages and disadvantages, mostly discussed on the Linux Mint blog posts relating to the LMDE releases. Some people prefer the Ubuntu base, while others prefer Debian. Mint’s advantages are mostly the little extras it adds to Ubuntu that keep users in mind.

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