Your favorite linux distro(s) and why?

I don’t have a favorite yet, but I’ve tried.

Knoppix (the first)
Fedora (Core 3)
and now

Knoppix was cool because it got me interested. Fedora was cool because I learned a lot trying to get things to work :smiley: . Mepis is nice because it boots and installs off of the same CD and seems to have the software an average user would want. Ubuntu seems like it’ll be pretty cool (I’m going to install over Mepis now, maybe I’ll get a dual boot thing rigged this time round), but the thing I like about it the most is the whole idea behind the project (see website).

Knoppix didn’t seem very usable (never took the time to figure out how to do a hard drive install). Fedora was troublesome, but I’m sure it makes for a good server. Mepis and Ubuntu feel really nice.

One nicer thing about Mepis is that it comes with Divx drivers, the ability to play MP3s and stuff like that straight off the CD. Ubuntu doesn’t as to not get into legal trouble.

There’s my fity cent.

I can only rate those with which I’ve experimented (about 16 “flavors” since I first got into GNU/Linux last year).

1 - Mepis
2 - B2D
3 - Knoppix
4 - ATmission

1 - a) installing is ULTRA simple; b) instant Wacom support; c) GREAT software selection and hardware detection (see “b”).

2 - a) installing is really simple; b) instant Wacom support :slight_smile:; c) GREAT software selection; d) GNOME-based, so very eye-pleasing; e) makes a great Chinese GNU/Linux distro because of how it incorporates XCIN seemlessly. (Negative: I’m having mounting problems and hardware detection problems. But it’s a great learning experience!)

3 - a) like miltownkid, it got me hooked on GNU/Linux; b) makes a great data recovery tool; c) good software selection, especially KStars.

4 - a) based on Fedora Core 2; b) instant Wacom support :slight_smile:; c) nice interface. (Too bad it’s only a LiveCD and can’t be easily installed to hard disk.)

Haven’t tried too many, but here’s my list:

  1. Kanotix - the only distro I’ve found that supported, recognized, and set up my USB wireless adapter right out of the box. This is on top of all the excellent points that Knoppix brings. And running it off HD with Enlightenment am GOAL.
  2. Mepis - I’ve only used it briefly, but it made quite an impression - lightweight, easy to use, good selection of software but not overly bloated with software redundancies.
  3. Knoppix - Pretty much what jwar said, along with the easy install to HD, easy to use, and eventually even let me use my wireless. Being built on Debian helps too, makes software installation easy as hell, which was the single biggest putoff when I tried Red Hat a few years back.
  4. Linspire - Surprised me, but it was a really slick package, reasonably fast, quick to install, and very user-friendly. Now if only they didn’t charge for it…

Tried and given up on (for now):
Red Hat (granted, I was on dialup which is a dumb idea with Linux, but dependency hell can piss right off), Gentoo (far too complex for me.)

Recently I only worked on Fedora Core 3 and Debian, although I must admit I know Debian much better than Fedora. I would always install Debian as a first choice.


  1. The packageing system for Debian is just great, once you installed your system you never have to get any upgrade CDs or what so ever, just run 2 or 3 simple commands and your system is up-to-date.
  2. You also have the choice of a stable, testing and unstable version, where in my experience the unstable version of Debian is as stable as the release version of Fedora. And of course Debian stable is rock solid.
  3. Unstable also delivers most recent software more frequently than any of the other distributions. Debian packages of virtually any open source software are available within one or two weeks after release.
  4. As a purist, I like to have the software the way it was meant to be when wrtten, and not in a crippled version like Red Hat provides. With the release of Red Hat Version 8.0 I stopped upgrading, or I actually upgraded to 8.0, then downgraded back to 7.3, and eventually migrated to Debian.

There are of course many more reasons to like Debian, the large community, the quick responses, the more than 10,000 packages to choose from etc.

First, Miltownkid, I’m the one who recommended Ubuntu on your blog, so I guess you’ll know which distro gets my vote. I don’t know a lot about linux, so keep that in mind. Ubuntu is based on Debian so it’s gets all the great things about Debian, but also has some great project goals to guide it. It’s the first distro I’ve tried where everything hardware related just worked the way it’s supposed to. I’ve never tried Mepis, but I’ve tried many of the Gnome based ones and they’ve never done the job 100% correctly. The big stuff all works, but it’s really great that the little things like the scroll button underneath my touchpad works perfectly too. The one thing I wish Ubuntu could find a better solution to is multimedia. Anyways, I’ll be sticking with Ubuntu for the time being.

So Miltownkid, are you still using Ubuntu? What do you think?

I like it a lot. I think it’s the one I’m going to stick with. The thing I like about it the most is the community that goes along with it and the philosophy driving it.

Plus this site is going to make it really easy to switch from Windows (which I’ll be doing next month):

I use Fedora Core 3, FC 2 I used previously, but it had issues with some of my hardware. I like FC3, but annoying trying to keep the kernel up to date for the ATI graphics driver and than trying to modify it again for NTFS mounting :frowning:

I stick with FC tho cause its based off Red Hat, so think it’ll give me da most application support wid da major engineering packages I may require. Its a pretty solid OS, but never tried any other UNIX flavours but RH, so dunno.

I have SUSE 9.2, and think it’s super. Having a 16-bit processor makes great use of it. Although it’s the only Linux OS I’ve used so far.

Debian. The packaging system. See ratlung’s post.

Well, I bought that book “Point and Click Linux” (I ordered it a couple months ago, it came in a few weeks ago, and I finally went to pick it up last week). I ended up learning just about everything the book had to offer while waiting for it, but I decided to buy it anyway.

Well, I think the book is pretty cool. If you didn’t click the link, the book is a guide to SimplyMepis. As simple as the book is, it did motivate me to do one thing that’s been on my todo list for a while, have Windows and Linux dual boot on my main machine.

So, I’m happy to report that my main computing environment is now a *nix one :smiley:.

I don’t really have a favorite yet, but I still plan on trying out all the major distros, and I plan on building a “always-on” webserver soon (using FC2/3 I think). Ubuntu is still going strong.

I’ve been using Mepis daily and I’m just more and more impressed and satisfied with it. The Synaptic package manager is the most convenient program I’ve ever used (be sure to connect to Debian sites in Taiwan :slight_smile:.

After installing PWM and Ratpoison window managers, it has proven that GNU/Linux-based OSes are easily the most customizable and user-friendly OSes out there.

(I highly recommend PWM [not TWM] for GNU/Linux users: Get PWM

The Debian-themed OpenOffice is great, too.

Did I mention the Guarddog Firewall that comes with it? :slight_smile:

Consider an upgrade to The Community ENTerprise Operating System.

Overkill for most single users but I thought I would share.

ML McLean & Associates Co. Ltd.
Main number: +886 2-6620-5251 ; Email:

Since I tried ubuntu linux I didn’t find any better linux distro. The gnome desktop manager is just excellent, simple, light, fast and easy to use. KDE is to classical for me.
And ununtu has real easy package management, which makes it real easy to use. They have nice forums, if you need help and is a great site for beginners. Ubuntu just works for me.

Dyne:bolic is an extremely cool distro of Linux if you are into music or video production or broadcasting.
It is aimed mainly as music users and people who want to broadcast on the net.
The distro runs completely off of a CD, so with the CD and a USB card, you can take your portable broadcasting setup anywhere in the world. Cool idea, and great community.

Of course it is all GNU public licence.



Kanotix just did its third release this year:

I just love the way this distro stays so up-to-date. Could you imagine Microsoft releasing a new version of Windows every two months, with all new up-to-date apps? Not to mention that it’s all free.

I’m going to send Kano a donation. He deserves it.


Slackware is a great way to start, if you want to know the OS, but for useable systems…

Debian: I use it on all my servers. Its very stable, has security updates and an upgrade path! Very low maintenance

Ubuntu (or Kubuntu for the KDE version): I use it on my desktop. Like debian except (arguably) more up to date and quicker to setup if you want a GUI and apps preinstalled.

I dwnlded the ubuntu install and live CDs, and it looks like a good OS. The only annoying thing is it doesnt have built in NTFS write support or proper ATI drivers, I realize both of those are propertiery, but still annoying.

If anyone has installed Captive-NTFS or ATI Radeon drivers for their latest Ubuntu OS, plz tell me.


Here’s a How-to on installing the ATI driver.

I’m not sure about NTFS support, but you can search the Ubuntu forums for that.

And finally, this wasn’t requested, but someone might find it usefull. This is for Chinese input.

  1. Gentoo

After that, it’s hard to tell an order, it depends on what I like to do.

Since many distributions were already mentioned, I would like to point those interested to the Tainan County TANetwork Centre. They are pretty active and introducing all kinds of distributions built on (especially) Knoppix, but made for the local “market”. “Stanix” and “Studentix” are quite interesting…