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blog:9-30:laundry-list

September 30 - Operating Systems and a Laundry List

If you recall, I had earlier mentioned that I ditched Windows and went back to Linux because reasons.

Since the ditching I've been distro-hopping, aka test-driving different linux distributions. There's dozens upon dozens of 'distros' to choose from and the first time you 'get the lay of the land' it can look overwhelming.

linux distros map
I tend to divide the linux distribution landscape into three major groups: Red Hat, Slackware, and Debian. Many dozens of distros are derived from these 'big three'.

Each distro consists of a user interface plus applications and utilities wrapped around a linux kernel. There's a thousand different recipes for blending those four things into an operating system, which is both good and bad. Good if you like choices, bad if you don't like doing a lot of taste-testing.

My go-to resource for this is DistroWatch because they have their thumb on the pulse of operating systems. They have a neat filtering tool so one can filter the many offerings down to a subset of distros that can then be ranked by popularity if you want.

Some distros are supported by corporations that help develop them. Others are created and maintained by one or more people.

I decided to avoid the smaller, less popular distros and stick with the big three and their progeny. Slackware is backed by Novell, Red Hat by IBM, and Debian, well, Debian isn't really backed by a large company but one of their offspring (Ubuntu) is supported by Canonical.

In the Red Hat space I tried the very popular Fedora for a few weeks. My problem with Fedora was that things didn't work quite right when it woke up after suspend. I had to manually start up a few sound related utilities each and every time it woke up. I found no solution. I don't need that in my life.

In Slackware's corner I tried OpenSUSE (OH-pen-SOO-zah). My problem with OpenSUSE was getting my printer to work. Hard to believe but there it is.

I tried Debian and ran into a brick wall while trying to get my vpn working. After much fiddling I never did get it to work so I wiped the test-drive usb stick and went elsewhere.

I turned to Ubuntu, the very popular Debian offspring. I test drove it from the usb stick. It found my networked printer like that <snaps fingers> and the vpn app installed slicker than ice on ice.

Having decided on an Ubuntu core I had to choose a user interface. As you may know, the user interface is all about the icons, window details, fonts, colors, menu bar location, etc. and how configurable everything is. A bit different from Windows or Mac where for the most part you have limited options.

I had past experience with XFCE but was never really happy with it. In my opinion KDE Plasma is too configurable (something they take pride in) but it's just too much for this old man to wrap his wooden head around. GNOME (pronounce it however you like) is the most popular UI in linux-land. I loaded it up and started test driving. I soon warmed up to it.

So there you have it. Ubuntu with a GNOME DE (Desktop Environment). Mainstream to say the least. It's been several weeks now and I have zero regrets. One thing I know for sure is there's no data collection. None. This is what made me drop Windows for the second time.

I could go on but I have other stuff to do. Ellen is running errands, Kim is doing something crafty, and the dogs bark occasionally. A few days ago I walked around the house and property and wrote down the major things I saw that need doin'. The list is, well, staggering,

 Stuff To Do

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blog/9-30/laundry-list.txt ยท Last modified: 2022/10/05 17:07 by john