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Old 30. Oct 2018, 01:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South American Banana Republic, third bunch from the left
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Default Linux Distros 'best of'

I often see references to the ‘Linux community’ and have a little laugh. Of course there are some great distros but the word ‘community’ infers a kind of togetherness that is sometimes hard to find. Team members fall out with each other, break their toys and stomp off into the wilderness to create their own fork of something folks probably didn’t want in the first place. Then there’s a deluge of ego inspired vanity distros that do little or nothing for any Linux community. Some even switch off the comments on their SourceForge pages to prevent exposure to negative feedback which says it all.

Still, over the last 12 months I’ve had hands-on experience across a wide range of distros the result of which might be useful to someone.

Any of the editors here will tell you that compiling a ‘best of’ list is a difficult and often thankless task. Some candidates are obvious but personal preferences will always muddy the waters for the rest. Here though is mine based on one particular desktop environment bearing in mind that some of these have multiple options.

The DE’s are not listed in any order of personal preference.

Xfce – MX-17, Zorin Lite and Modicia O.S.

MX-17 is worth the install for the tools it contains alone.
Modica is an interesting product from a bunch of Italian IT professionals. Bear in mind it uses a unique installer. This works well enough but you might end up with GRUB somewhere unexpected so being able to make a test install first time round would be an advantage.

Cinnamon – Makulu Lindoz

Makulu offers a choice of desktop profiles at install and depending on your location and internet speed, these can take some time to download and complete.

Deepin – Manjaro (Community edition)

Trinity – Q4OS

KDE – ROSA FRESH R10 (KDE4), Manjaro and Bluestar.

Yes folks, KDE4 still lives with support in a couple of places and ROSA does it best although your initial system update will be quite slow.

I’ve included Bluestar simply because it’s pretty unique in both concept and application. Like Makulu, Bluestar also offers a choice of system profiles at install and this inevitably leads to a long drawn our procedure depending on your location and internet speed. I chose the plain ‘Desktop’ profile and the whole process took over an hour to complete and install even with a fast connection. If I had chosen the ‘Desktop Pro’ or ‘Developer’ options this would no doubt have been longer.

MATE – Ubuntu

Openbox – BunsenLabs

I’ve purposely left out a range of other DE’s that no one needs including Pantheon, Lumina, Nomad, Enlightenment, Budgie, blah, blah, blah – and yes even GNOME. I’ve never understood why GNOME 2 was dumped in favor of the V3 garbage users are now presented with. You could make a similar argument about KDE4/Plasma5 but at least the latter has evolved into something useful.
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