DEV Community

loading...

Discussion on: Au Revoir, Gentoo - Sell Me A New Linux Distro

Collapse
citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl

I used to be a Gentoo developer/package maintainer way back when it was relatively new (2004-2006 if memory serves). I stopped for pretty much the same reason you outlined above and went back to Debian-based distributions. At several jobs I used Fedora as my main OS, mostly because it tends to have much newer packages/libraries than Debian which makes for a more pleasant development experience.

I actually prefer FreeBSD and used it as my daily driver on the desktop before, but it didn't work so well on laptops back then. Admittedly I haven't tried that in ~10 years, but I'd bet Linux is still ahead there.

Collapse
deciduously profile image
Ben Lovy Author

At several jobs I used Fedora as my main OS, mostly because it tends to have much newer packages/libraries than Debian which makes for a more pleasant development experience.

Sounds like despite this Debian is still the safer choice, though?

Collapse
citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl

It depends. If you want to use it as daily desktop OS, you may potentially end up with testing or unstable anyway, since stable can be quite dated. Honestly, I consider most major distro nowadays to only differ marginally, so unless you care about nerd street cred, just use whatever you're most comfortable with.

Thread Thread
deciduously profile image
Ben Lovy Author

only differ marginally

The core of it to me is the package manager, not necessarily the set of stuff on the install disc. That said, is DEB vs RPM pretty much cosmetic?

use whatever you're most comfortable with

Unfortunately at this point that's Gentoo, and not much else, which makes me think Manjaro might be the right call here. I don't care about nerd street cred, but I do care about using the "best" tool for the job. I guess the better question is whether not subscribing to one of the more mainstream package managers shooting myself in the foot in any significant way?

Thread Thread
ghost profile image
Ghost

Depends also on what to dev and if you usually try a lot of new SW, with AUR Arch has an availability second to none. And if you have used Gentoo, admin Arch would be a breeze. Debian feels too outdated for a desktop.

Thread Thread
citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl

The core of it to me is the package manager, not necessarily the set of stuff on the install disc. That said, is DEB vs RPM pretty much cosmetic?

People will disagree, because arguing is half the fun of being a Linux user 😉, but as far as I'm concerned the differences nowadays are mostly cosmetic.

I do care about using the "best" tool for the job.

Overrated in my opinion. Using a "good enough" tool for the job seems to often be the better choice. Unless you plan on switching every time a shinier distro comes out.

Also "best" on what axes? It's hard to beat Debian in stability, but that also makes it less attractive as desktop OS. Similar trade-offs apply to others. I'd wager you can use any of the top 20 or so distributions on Distrowatch and be happy with it, and if you have your home directory on a separate partition switching at a later point comes with marginal overhead.

Thread Thread
ghost profile image
Ghost

To round up a bit this point I would say, for someone who was using Gentoo, distros are reduced to: how new are the SW in the repos and how annoying is to install Steam if you care about that and as far as I've heard with Proton that's not even a problem anymore.

  • Default WM or DE? you can change that.
  • Package manager, in the past 10 years I don't think I've ever had a dependency problem. And for dev are less and less relevant, nowdays you have: pip, npm, cargo and that's besides Docker, Flatpak and AppImages.
  • Default programs, you'll probably install your own prefered ones anyway.
  • Ease of install, well, you had Gentoo, you'll be fine.
  • Stability, not sure about this, I used Arch for years and never had a serious problem, maybe a program update a little raw, but in those cases the fixed update came the next day if not sooner, so nowdays I'm not sure if having software from the middle ages is worth it. And even for servers, you endup just with systemd + Docker so in that case distros are even less important to me.
Thread Thread
ghost profile image
Ghost

and by the way "... arguing is half the fun of being a Linux user ..." I don't think is half, I would say is about 67%, it was 50% years ago when ....

Thread Thread
deciduously profile image
Ben Lovy Author

Right now, the "best" tool is one I won't ever feel tempted to switch out. I think we're saying the same thing, ultimately.

Thread Thread
dm17 profile image
dm17

Perhaps temptations have an inward rather that outward cause. In more modern language: it is the dev, not the tool.