An Outing With OpenSuse
Since I had omitted OpenSuse from my previous list of popular Linux distributions I decided to give it some attention last night via running it off a USB thumb drive. That way I could continue testing my current Debian setup without reinstalling, and OpenSuse would run faster than what my ancient hard drive could muster anyway.
As a primer, let me say that OpenSuse’s development process is very similar to Fedora’s, in that it’s a testing platform for a company’s official, paid-for distribution, Suse. I still don’t want to be a beta tester on my primary computer or feel that I have to pay the “big bucks” to get a stable platform.
Bumps In The Road
Remember how I said the greatest strength and weakness of Linux lies in its plethora of choices? Well, not everything has gone smoothly with my decision making process.
Cheating On Debian
Yes, I admit it! I cheated! I couldn’t stop distribution hopping! My poor mule must be furious with me, but I’m enjoying seeing what’s out there a little too much.
Xubuntu keeps grabbing my eye because of it’s sheer beauty and amazingly streamlined system. Talk about a great performer. Then, there’s Linux Mint that takes ease-of-use to an almost a Mac-like level.
What’s an operating systems geek to do?! I still have reservations about anything built over Ubuntu’s packaging and architecture. Though both Xubuntu and Linux Mint have shown a penchant for giving up the corporate “sins” of their father distribution. It’s a tough call that I’m going to have to revisit later after giving due time to Debian.
Narrowing Down the Options
Ubuntu 13.10 was a bust before I even got to testing my list of necessary tasks. Incredibly disappointing, but I haven’t given up. Since then I’ve wasted quite a bit of time willy-nilly installing Linux distributions in an attempt to find one I enjoy, but am starting to feel as if I need more direction before my poor mule becomes schizophrenic. Time to hit the ever enjoyable research mode!
Choosing A Base To Build On
Linux in and of itself is just a kernel. That’s really all any operating system actually is: a program that creates an interface between the user and the machine. I personally started back in the MS-DOS days (and Atari before that) where you were greeted with something like the picture on the right after booting up your machine.
Later, Apple created a graphic user interface and Microsoft was quick to follow with their “Windows” environment that sat on top on DOS. One thing led to another, and eventually our operating system became large, hulking desktop environments that did everything from perusing attached storage to browsing the Internet.
With that paraphrased history in mind, I’ve already chosen Linux as my base operating system to build off of, but now I need to choose what’s called a “distribution” (a collection of software built on top of the Linux kernel) that’ll give me all of the goodies that I’ve grown accustomed to having. Numerous choices exist, each with their own goals and addendum, and it’s a been a bit of a chore finding the one that I’m most compatible and comfortable with.