Make Your Computer Easier, Faster and Smarter, for Free

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Re: Make Your Computer Easier, Faster and Smarter, for Free

Post by editor »

Time marches on, and the distros that don't die are inevitably incremented to newer versions.

There are dozens of actually relevant Linux distros. They all have different characteristics, but underneath they are all still Linux.

Unlike Windows, which has a single desktop environment, with Linux you can choose from many different desktop environments.

Some of the more popular are Gnome, XFDE, Cinnamon, Mate, and KDE. My favorite is KDE, but I also have machines running Mate. All the desktops are usable, and which one you may use is just a matter of personal preference. The server which runs the Lawful Path website has no desktop environment. For that I use a console (text only). Actually, even when I'm running KDE I often use a console. There's one open on my screen as I write this.

Most distros are derived from a larger, more mainstream distro. For example Kubuntu is a derivative of Ubuntu, which is a derivative of Debian.

Distros and their derivatives are most easily sorted out by their package managers. A package manager is a system for installing and managing new software. The two biggest ones are RPM, which is RedHat Package Manager, and Apt, which is Debian.

Others include Pacman, which is Arch, and Yast (if I remember correctly), which is OpenSuse. Some distros, like Slackware and Gentoo, you have to build everything from source.

I started out, 20 years ago, using RedHat (now known as Fedora). I tried a few other distros and settled after awhile on Mandrake, which later became Mandriva. I used that for a long time, until I noticed it wasn't being updated properly. After some research I switched to Kubuntu, but by then I was less nailed down. I used Mint for quite awhile, which is a derivative of Ubuntu. For about a year, I used Netrunner, a derivative of Manjaro which is a derivative of Arch.

Confused yet?

On my main computer I'm currently running Ubuntu 16.04. With Ubuntu, the even numbered releases with an ".04" after them are what they call "Long Term Service" releases. That means they'll be supported for at least five years. So you can install the newest even.04, and know you'll get security updates for a long time, without having to do a major upgrade or new install.

The only reason I'm not running 18.04 is I haven't had time to upgrade. I may wait until 20.04 is released.

Ubuntu does not come with the KDE desktop by default. But it's easy to install and switch to KDE after the fact. Sometime there's a little tweaking required to get it just the way I want it. But I ended up liking that better than using Kubuntu, which is the pre-installed KDE version of Ubuntu. That's mainly because I'd seen a few bugs and inconsistencies in Kubuntu the last couple times. Nothing serious, but enough to make me want to take responsibility for it myself.

Make sense?

I like Ubuntu for my everyday computer because it "just works".

There are a lot of choices with Linux. None of them are wrong. It's a matter of personal taste, and fine-tuning as you advance up the learning curve.

Windows gives you only one choice: Use this clunky interface, on this terribly designed operating system, and have everything you do recorded and transmitted to the NSA. Not much of a choice, in my opinion.
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