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Which Linux distro do you use?

alexgeorgiev17 profile image Alex Georgiev ・1 min read

Hello everyone!

A few weeks ago I've created a blog post and asked if you use Linux and why. Following this one, I would like to use you which is the Linux distro that you use and why you've chosen it. Also, feel free to share your experience and what other distros you've used along the way before choosing your current distro.

For me, it was Linux Mint for my work PC. This was my first Linux experience. I've bought a laptop that came with OpenSUSE and I've used it for some time, but then I've upgraded to a dual boot setup with Ubuntu 16.04. Now I'm using Ubuntu 20.04 with KDE and CentOS 7 for my servers.

I'm curious to hear what you're using and what was your journey as well!

Discussion (87)

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Fábio Gomes

I'm using Pop!_OS because it "just works" with my notebook's NVidia VGA (Dell XPS 9570 with Geforce 1050ti), but I'm a big fan of Elementary OS, it's really simple and very clean out of the box. Unfortunately, I tried eOS and it was really hard to set up the VGA and it was draining the battery like crazy, so I've moved to Pop and it's working great.

Another thing I noticed on Pop is that it handles things like changing to external monitors and plugging in a headset a little better, it displays an overlay on the screen to select which kind of headset you plugged in, and it's really nice.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I've always wanted to try Pop_OS and Elementary OS. Thanks for the extra info on the external monitors, because with my Ubuntu it sometimes requires a reboot in order the monitors to be detected (I'm using a docking station as wel)

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Fábio Gomes

I'm using a docking station too. I didn't have any problems with monitors not detecting, but I've noticed that when I boot up neither eOS nor Pop_OS remembers the setup, so I always have to hit Ctrl + P to change to the external monitor, but it's not something big for me.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Yes this does not sound like a big issue, as long as it can detect the monitors :D

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zakiazfar profile image
zakiAzfar

Checkout deepin it is awesome

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cmuralisree profile image
Chittoji Murali Sree Krishna

At first I installed linux mint,
Then I started distro hop to ubuntu, opensuse, popos, manjaro, later I heard about Vanilla Arch
and installed it, Finally a distro that impressed me a lot, and I've never thought about hopping anymore.

But I still hop desktop managers and window managers, but I use i3wm as my daily driver.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I also tried several desktop managers on Ubuntu, but the KDE seems to suit my needs pretty well.

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cmuralisree profile image
Chittoji Murali Sree Krishna

Yeah kde is good, it gives good alternative to windows desktop

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Yes, indeed!

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arvindsridharan profile image
arvindsridharan

Xfce desktop is simple and fast. Next preferred Cinammom

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

Never really tried KDE for at least 5 years. What was your impression, especially of customization and bloatlessness?

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

The customization is pretty cool and you do a lot of things, but I find that it can be quite resource consuming compared to GNOME. The KDE Plasma looks really good compared to GNOME and there are a lot of themes that offer different features and widgets as well.

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cmuralisree profile image
Chittoji Murali Sree Krishna

Kde will become more hungry when you start it customize a lot, I don't know about recent updates,

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

What was your impression of Arch? I have never tried it at all. I am currently on Manjaro, though.

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cmuralisree profile image
Chittoji Murali Sree Krishna

Vanilla Arch is know for its simplicity and extremely lightweight distro, basically you are building you own system,

Installation will be fun, people often say they reinstalled many times, but i have installed it only once still using it,

You can customize it however you want, this is the only distro welcomes you with an terminal

The only thing I hate is it leaves back the config files and folders after you remove the package 😑

If you wanna give it try, then these steps might help you,
Iso will be somewhere around 700mb, and installation will be like 1gb or so.

codepen.io/murali-sree-krishna/pen...

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

But, is it really different from Ubuntu mini / server? Is it more stable / updated?

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Thanks for sharing it, Krishna! I will check this out.

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cmuralisree profile image
Chittoji Murali Sree Krishna

Yes it is different from ubuntu mini,

I've never used any servers, bcz it's an bleeding edge, but people won't suggest Arch Linux on server, bcz the libraries very much often refresh and update almost a day, so sometimes some projects might get issues, so they often stick with centOs or ubuntuLTS or etc,

But arch is stable until unless we mess it up by downloading whatever stuff from unauthorised sites.

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arvindsridharan profile image
arvindsridharan

It has an awesome package manager yay or pacman. Install any software from terminal.

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djuber profile image
Daniel Uber

I've been using Debian for about 15 years.

Pros: The projects management has been consistent for decades, the releases are about as frequent as the LTS releases of Ubuntu (roughly every two years), there's a lot of documentation both from the project and available on sites like stack overflow, and they're conservative in changes without being a retrocomputing project. The number one pro in my book however is the maintainability through upgrades, and the security that this project will not get abandoned (there are a lot of people using and contributing to the debian project, and the available and tested package set grows every time they release). The build-dep feature of apt is amazing (if you wanted to build a program from source, there are a lot of libraries and tools you'll need, and you could discover this by running ./configure until it stops failing, apt-get build-dep somepackage will install for you all the tools the system required to build the package, saving a ton of trial and error and frustration).

Cons: You probably won't have built in support for things you want, like laptop wifi or newer video cards (and for a lot of users that can be a total blocker). The debian project sticks to its position and doesn't include (by default) non-free binary drivers for these items, and many of the laptop wifi and newer video cards either don't have a linux driver at all or only work with a vendor supplied binary driver blob. Also, while it's certainly not intentionally ugly, they don't invest a lot of time window-dressing the UI (so you probably won't have the fanciest desktop theme when you login).

I used Fedora at work for about 7 or 8 years (Fedora 18 through 33), it worked well and tended to have much newer versions of software (releases about every 6 months, on par with Ubuntu's release cadence), but the downside was less documentation/mindshare, and a feeling like you were beta-testing RedHat's next product line for them. As a linux user, rather than a linux developer, I'm totally happy letting the next generation of improvements get debugged on someone else's machine.

My experience with Linux has been that once you find something you understand how to control yourself, you will no longer need to go distro-hopping. Early on linux users tend to install a lot of different distributions and window managers to see what's possible and experience a curated set of defaults. Feel free to experiment, but focus on developing the skill and knowledge to see something you want, and find out how they did it, then do it for yourself. You'll save a lot of time installing new OS's if you configure the one you have installed already.

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Eduardo Weiland

My experience with Linux has been that once you find something you understand how to control yourself, you will no longer need to go distro-hopping

Totally agree. I use Fedora since version 15. Before that, I tried many other distros (Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Slax, and others). Once I decided to stay on Fedora and learned it, it just feels easier to configure it the way I like. I feel I'm in control of my OS when using Fedora, and I think that is the main reason to use Linux first of all.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I've never used Fedora on my laptops or PC, but I've used it for work-related projects and I liked it because of the latest packages.

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

lol, I was distro hopping from about 10 years ago; and then macOS user for some time.

Now, I am back to Linux and want something that "just works", and I can spend time on, rather than just hopping.

I had got best impression on Ubuntu and Xfce, and decided to settle with it, Xubuntu actually. (I did use Elementary OS and Ubuntu with GNOME / Mate as well, but did not settle.)

Lack of official desktop env support, and bad Wifi driver anyway, I am now on Manjaro with official Xfce. (And now Wifi driver works.)

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I've spent most of my time using Ubuntu 18.04 and Kubuntu 18.04/20.04, I've also tested few Linux flavours on my Raspberries which were fun and interesting to configure at the same time.

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Alex Georgiev Author

Thank you for the detailed response. I also agree with you that if you find the right distro and you can control the flow, there is no need to use another one in case you just want to try it out I guess.

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Mohan barman

My first distro was elementary I loved it a lot and after breaking apt for many times (because of dependency errors) I decided to make a switch then I found Arch gave it a try I was totally in love with it's simplicity, One of the biggest thing I love about Arch is AUR (Arch user repository) is very big almost every software that is made for linux can be found here. Now I don't have to worry about packages anymore

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

I have got bad experience with pgadmin4-5.1 not exists in AUR, though.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Yes, eventually there will be a package that won't be included in the repository. What matters is you'll have the backbone of packages that you need available in the repo.

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mohanbarman profile image
Mohan barman

It exists in community repository

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

It's outdated, though.

$ yay -Ss pgadmin4
community/pgadmin4 4.30-1 (30.7 MiB 118.4 MiB) (Installed)
    Comprehensive design and management interface for PostgreSQL
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Thanks for sharing this. I've seen that a lot of users share the same experience with AUR.

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Eduardo Weiland

I'm using Fedora, because I'm already used to it.

Back in the time I started using Linux, I was testing many distros, but they all looked almost the same (GNOME 2 with different themes). Then GNOME 3 came out and it looked really good, very different from what I've seen before. I tested it with Fedora 15 Alpha. Being an Alpha version, I expected some issues, but I was surprised because it was very stable.

Since then, I only use Fedora as my desktop (currently with XFCE). For me, at least, it "just works" most of the time and, in the few cases that I experience some problems, I know exactly where to look for solutions.

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt • Edited

I tried to avoid GNOME 3 / Unity, though. I found it less customizable. MATE is OK-ish, but currently on XFCE.

That's my reason to get away from Ubuntu.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

At the moment I've tried KDE on Ubuntu that was my choice instead of the GNOME

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Do you often seek advice in the community or some other forum?

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eduardoweiland profile image
Eduardo Weiland

I usually find the answers already in Ask Fedora. But it depends on the package. For NVIDIA drivers, for example, the RPM Fusion wiki is the place to go when looking for common problems.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Thanks for sharing this!

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darkain profile image
Vincent Milum Jr

I moved away from Linux to FreeBSD a few years back, because FreeBSD offers a greater degree of freedom. :) There isn't fights over licensing restrictions as you get in the GPL world. As such, things like ZFS and Dtrace from Sun Microsystems is the norm and default included as part of the base operating system. Jails are also a more secure and more powerful form of containerization compared to Linux cgroups, as they work more like full virtualization but still use a shared kernel and set of resources. FreeBSD also has the Linuxulator for running Linux binaries natively. The Ports Collection with FreeBSD is by far and away the easiest way to compile and package 3rd party software. All around, for the work I do, it has cut down administrative time considerably while offering better performance and reliability compared to Linux.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I've used FreeBSD but only on job-related servers and not on my personal servers that I use. FreeBSD indeed offers more freedom and people can take advantage of a lot of features.

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

Please elaborate. I'd like to learn, and choose my next distro. (Maybe between Fedora, Arch, FreeBSD.)

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

It basically depends on what you're planning to do. I'll be quite happy to try out Arch and see how it will go with the time. Fedora is considered as the bleeding edge, however a lot of people say it is stable enough so this might be a suitable option as well.

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darkain profile image
Vincent Milum Jr

Feel free to ask anything you'd like to know.

FreeBSD isn't Linux based at all, but most userland utilities are the same. One major thing is FreeBSD doesn't use Docker or Linux based containers, instead using its own Jails system. I personally use iocage as my Jails manager, which makes things easier.

Jails on FreeBSD act more like a traditional virtual machine, where they get their own "filesystem" (a dataset from ZFS on the host), and optionally their own complete independent network stack via VNET. This means you can do things like DHCP client within a Jail to get its IP address, SSH into the jail, install any networking or other utilities, and they all "just work" without fussing around. With changing some security flags, you can even install VPN clients inside a Jail too.

For things like databases, Jails are nearly perfect! With persistent and direct access to the storage system, these high performance applications run at native speed, and act exactly as you'd expect them to if they were running on bare metal (because they essentially are, but within a security isolated environment)

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RangerCoder99 • Edited

I use Ubuntu latest in servers but always working in Windows why would you want work on Linux?!

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RVxLab

Because, in my opinion, programming on Windows is such a massive pain in the ass to do simple things such as trying to set up SSH keys in a meaningful way.

I know WSL2 exists but that eats 30GB of RAM (somehow) and just doesn't work for well for me and if I see one more error stating I need admin permissions to delete node_modules or vendor I'm going to scream.

With Linux all these pain points just don't exist and with Docker everything just becomes a breeze.

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

It eats 8GB of RAM for my 16GB laptop though.

Also, it seems that it's known issue, and RAM hogging can be somehow turned off.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I have the issue it eats the 8GB for my 8GB RAM laptop :D

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I have a lot of less RAM on my Windows PC with the WSL2 setup however, so far I haven't got any issues with it. Usually Chromium "eats" the memory and cause issues.

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt • Edited

Why not Debian stable in servers?

I also heard some people like CentOS on servers for some reasons.

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mohammedayman2018 profile image
Aymoon

Cuz window eats lot of my laptop's 8gb rams 😅

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Do you use the 20.04 LTS or some other version?

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Heiker

I've been using the stable branch of Debian for about 9 months now, it's been a nice experience. Having relatively old packages is not as bad as some people say. Most of the tools I use for web development work just fine with the version in the official repositories. That said, there are some "non-essential" cli tools that I like to have on their latest version, and for that I use homebrew for linux.

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Alex Georgiev Author

I've never used homebrew for Linux, just on macOS. I'll check it out and see if there are some cool and useful features

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Daniel Diaz

I'm using Arco Linux. It's an easier to install Arch based Distro. comes by default with all the software I need to use right away and has all the benefits of arch like quick updates, extremely good performance and the AUR

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Alex Georgiev Author

Thanks for sharing this!

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vinod • Edited

I started my journey with Sabayon Linux way back. I tried many Linux Distro. but i stick with few of them like Ubuntu, fedora and Elementary.
Currently I am using Elementary as i found its speed up my multi-tasking. But currently i am planning to check feasibility of Arch Linux for day to day work.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Did you choose Elementary because it's also macOS look-alike or not?

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pandeyvinod profile image
vinod

Yes it also one of the reason as I also have MAC for office work & it feels seamless transition for me.

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Yep, I also feel the same about ElementaryOS. Thanks for sharing this!

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Manuel Ojeda

Well, my story in Linux started in Fedora 11 around 2009 and in that Linux wasn't a pleasant UX as is today and since then I kept using Windows until last year in January.

Before I started using Linux again, I was completly afraid using this OS because my main fear was that I could make my PC useless (misinformation mainly) and before starting using a Linux OS I trained using Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

After that and losing the fear using the console I installed Ubuntu 18.04 and was great for me, then 20.04 and since then I started to look for the best user experiencie distro that I could find.

I used Linux Mint and was great; awesome hardware support and felt like Windows, but that was the problem, I didn't what something like Windows, I wanted something with a unique UX, so I returned to Ubuntu again for around 8 months (because I like it Gnome and how felt) until I got the curiosity to Pop! OS.

And now I can say with security Pop! OS is my main distro because:

  • Best User Experience, the one I was looking and felt like running MacOs
  • This distro has a lot of hardware support since System76 is a hardware manufacturer
  • GNOME
  • Is mainly focused in productivity
  • Has a lot of tools that Ubuntu doesn't have like: Pop Launcher, Popsicle (making a bootable ISO USB), Windows Titling System and many more
  • The 20.04 LTS ISO has Linux 5.11 which is great if you have and AMD System
  • Ubuntu and Debian based Distro, so you can have a great time with many apps working and a lot of documentation around

I'm eager to test Pop 21.04 with COSMIC DE and i'm sure i'm not the only one who likes a lot PopOs over any other distro.

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Alex Georgiev Author

Thanks for sharing this! I'm planning to test Pop! OS in the next few weeks!

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BezPowell

I use Fedora. I used Mint, Solus and Ubuntu before I settled and, despite its reputation as being bleeding-edge, Fedora has been the most stable of them. I've had very few issues over the years, and most of them have been with the up-stream kernel that would probably have effected me regardless of distro.

I love the combination of stability, but up to date software that Fedora gives. My only real complaint is that the boot time is a bit slow compared to Ubuntu.

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Alex Georgiev Author

A lot of people say that they find Fedore stable despite its been described as the bleeding edge for all the packages and software which can sometimes cause issues to configure your enviroment.

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Pandz18

I’m exploring various distros with Oracle VB . As of now , I’ve used Ubuntu and Ubuntu Mate and Linux Mint .

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Which one do you like the most?

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pandz18 profile image
Pandz18

Between Ubuntu Mate and Linux Mint , both are great but I would use ubuntu mate over Linux Mint .

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

Have you tried other distros?

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pandz18 profile image
Pandz18 • Edited

I’m planning on trying out , PoP OS , Elementary OS and Zorin OS . I’m exploring the software and am not using them for any specific use as you’ve mentioned that you used KED and CentOS for your servers

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

I am currently on Manjaro.

And, I don't get why non-Debian, like Fedora, BSD?

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

I haven't used Manjaro yet. Are there any specific features that you find useful and also absent from other distros?

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Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

Rolling release?

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Anthony Bouvier

CentOS is all I've used for years, since around the time of RHEL 3.

But now with recent changes I don't know what I'll use as my default server OS. I do less with full VMs nowadays anyway. Ubuntu is often the base of many images I use in docker space.

I don't use Linux as a dev desktop environment though as I find the Desktop experience just poor. Don't get me wrong, before MacOS came out, I was a diehard Fedora desktop and dev environment user. With blackbox/fluxbox as a window manager. But once MacOS came out and gave me *nix underneath a very nice desktop experience, there was no looking back.

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Alain D'Ettorre

Linux Mint, it "just works" and I'm fine with it.

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Alex Georgiev Author

Yes, it is a really simple and good choice for Windows users as their first Linux distro.

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Daniel Einars

Regolith.

All the cool stuff from i3, none of the hassle from Arch.

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Michael Crump

Arch, btw

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Abhishek Keshri

After hopping around a lot, I have found my happy place in Manjaro KDE, using it for almost 4 years now. <3

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alexgeorgiev17 profile image
Alex Georgiev Author

KDE is really cool on Ubuntu, I guess it is pretty nice on Manjaro as well.

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Tomas Fernandez

Arch + Gnome
Cycled through many WM/desktops and distributions. Finally settled in and I see no reason to change again.

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Rishit Khandelwal

Ubuntu 20.04 and sometimes manjaro

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Paul Crane

Manjaro with KDE. My mom has also been using it for about two years. Still haven't converted my stepdad yet.

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Your 🍟 Classmate

I use more arch and arch-based distros in my day life but on the server I choose Ubuntu LTS. Btw, I think Arch Linux on Windows WSL has a great experience.

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Alex Georgiev Author

I use WSL as well, but it feels like I also need to have it as a standalone setup without Windows.

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pawan deore

youbntu 😂

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jhaji2911

ubuntu Budgie LTS

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kToni73

Used Windows 10 for years, 2-3 years ago I was Distro Hopping constantly (Pop OS/KDE Neon) were my favourite, because they just worked with most of the things I needed. But I always found something that bothers me about it, from small things not working the way the way the should be, to downloading Snaps which are 10x the size of normal Application size. Found it really fascinating but something in my head never let me have peace with it, so I would be back on using Windows 10, and like 1-2 months later I‘d get back to Linux ._. It was really annoying.

And now, 1 week ago I have bought my first ever MacBook, and now I‘m Home. I still follow Linux news/Podcasts and I hope it gets bigger to the point people don't only rely on Windows/Macs.

Fedora 40 looks really exciting, first time I saw touchpad gestures integrated with a Distro, without using any 3rd party Software. Heard that Lenovo Thinkpad‘s support Fingerprint Scanner on the new Fedora 40, as a way to verify User in Terminal, so basically whenever performing something in Terminal that requires Administrator Access. That got my panties up, but my HP ProBook didn't support the Fingerprint at all.

That was my journey :D I would use Linux over Windows any time, It just needs to get supported a bit more.

Cheers

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Alex Georgiev Author

I'm working on MacBook for a few months now and I can say I find it really powerful and easy to use. I still work on my Linux servers, but I also enjoy how everything is configured and I seem not to be missing any major features from my Ubuntu setup as well.