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The pleasures and perils of less popular distributions
By Howard Fosdick on 2013-03-28 21:49:26
Like many OSNews readers, I use Ubuntu. I also use several less popular distros. What is it like to use these lesser-known distros compared to the dominant systems? How does running, say, VectorLinux or Puppy or PC-BSD, differ from using Ubuntu or Fedora? This article offers a few ideas. Obviously, it broadly generalizes about distros for the purpose of discussion.
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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-28
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Not a distro
By twitterfire on 2013-03-28 22:31:40
PC-BSD it's not a distro. It's FreeBSD tailored to GUI/desktop users.
Permalink - Score: 3
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RE: Not a distro
By acobar on 2013-03-28 22:56:58
Can you explain what is the difference? It always seemed like it had the same coupling present on Linux Mint Debian Edition -> Debian (except that PC-BSD is older than LMDE, I think) and we call LMDE a distro.

Actually, to me, if someone gives a new name to a new generated system install, they create a new distribution. This is precisely what CentOS does (well, there is the problem related to compilation order too on this case).

Edited 2013-03-28 22:57 UTC
Permalink - Score: 6
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I agree with the author
By sforstall1983 on 2013-03-29 02:16:55
I have found that some of the smaller ones have better support. OS4 which I have mentioned on this site, http://www.os4online.com and PCLinuxOS, http://www.pclinuxos.com are two great examples of this, Roberto and Mike with OS4 are always very helpful and get me answers QUICK whenever I have problems. They recently ventured into the Enterprise sector with OS4 Enterprise and it was a great way to support the distribution. At first I thought, $100.00 USD was a little steep but when I bought it, installed it and the capabilities are well worth the money. It has become my main distro and now that they went with a more traditional desktop layout, its become a really great distribution.

PCLinuxOS is my favorite KDE based distribution. Texstar and team are always on top of it when it comes to service and support. Its fast, very professional looking. A couple of the apps crash and dont work well unlike with OS4, but for a good XFCE professional distribution, OS4 is the distro of choice. KDE which seems like the red headed stepchild on most other Linux distributions with PCLinuxOS, its the distro of choice.
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE[2]: Not a distro
By YALoki on 2013-03-29 02:58:23
I used to be an IBM Linux instructor and that is where I learned that Linux is only a kernel around which many purveyors put their own choice of userland programs and applications.

So Linux packaged with other stuff makes a distribution.

I use OpenBSD which, like all the BSDs that I have ever seen together with other Unix and Unix-like OSes, comes with a comprehensive collection of typical Unix-derived tools.

All those pieces are compiled using the toolset that produced the matching kernel. Thus we get an Operating System. AIX, SunOS, Micronix, HP-Ux are others.

PC-BSD is an OS. Linuces with BSD bits hung on are still distros.
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE[3]: Not a distro
By terra on 2013-03-29 04:25:10
> PC-BSD is an OS. Linuces with BSD bits hung on are still distros.

However, PC-BSD is a FreeBSD "distro" which does not use Linux kernel at all.
Permalink - Score: 3
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RE: Not a distro
By terra on 2013-03-29 04:27:01
> PC-BSD it's not a distro. It's FreeBSD tailored to GUI/desktop users.

It is a FreeBSD distro tailored to desktop users where as FreeBSD is a BSD distro(distribution).


http://www.freebsdwiki.net/index...
Permalink - Score: 3
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RE: I agree with the author
By benali72 on 2013-03-29 04:56:07
I had the same experience with PC-BSD. When I had an installation issue due to having two kinds of disk controllers on my machine, Kris Moore himself stepped in to help out. You just don't get that kind of personal attention with the big distros.
Permalink - Score: 5
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RE: Not a distro
By Soulbender on 2013-03-29 06:57:18
> PC-BSD it's not a distro. It's FreeBSD tailored to GUI/desktop users.
Well, you could call it a FreeBSD distro....
Permalink - Score: 4
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RE[2]: Not a distro
By twitterfire on 2013-03-29 08:50:25
Nope. It's just FreeBSD with a new installer and PBI system. Any change in FreeBSD base will reflect in PC-BSD. Anytime FreeBSD version is bumped, PC-BSD version is bumped, too.
Permalink - Score: 3
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Ubuntu pulls an Apple
By twitterfire on 2013-03-29 09:26:49
Ubuntu announced few weeks ago that it won't use Wayland display server like the rest of the linux world, instead developing its own display server, Mir. Mir won't be compatible with Wayland and will support Android graphics drivers. It will be used on both mobile devices and desktop.

Using Unity on top of Mir, talks with Nvidia and Amd for graphics drivers, exclusivity for Steam, switch to Qt, we can see where this is heading. They will try to head towards a better integrated system with a stable api but at same time higly differentiate from the rest of linux world and break compatibility with the rest of linux distros. Kind of the Apple of the linux world.

They will probably fail. I don't think they have the know how and developers to release a quality and stable display server in a year as they say. I don't think Nvidia and Amd will write graphics drivers for them, unless Canonical puts their money where their mouth is and pays for development.

But if they manage to do this, release in time, have GPU vendors release drivers for Mir instead KMS/Gallium3d, have Valve release some AAA titles on Steam, they may become the only linux derivative with a desktop market share worth mentioning.

Edited 2013-03-29 09:28 UTC
Permalink - Score: 2

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