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

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mpalermo73 profile image
Matt Palermo

Manjaro. Hands down.

After 17 - yes seventeen - years of using Gentoo for the exact reasons you did, I decided that useflag hell was getting old (especially the python 2 and/or 3 moves...). I tested out Arch proper for a bit in a VM. I found that I was still running into similar package conflicts and on top of that sometimes the SAME package would be updated 2 or 3 times in one day. Why? Lack of testing. YOU are the Package Guinea Pig when using Arch proper. That's not the way I like to roll.

Manjaro has full system updates "only" about once a month (though critical updates happen anytime) because everything is actually tested and allowed to bake for a while before being released to the masses. After 2 years with Manjaro, I have not had one single problem (that I didn't cause... ;-) ).

M.

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deciduously profile image
Ben Lovy Author

YOU are the Package Guinea Pig when using Arch proper.

That's precisely why I hopped ship in the first place! This is a great review, we're definitely coming from the same place. Good food for thought, thanks.

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Matt Palermo

I wanted to throw one more wrench in your gears.

Manjaro, like Gentoo and Arch proper, is a rolling distro. I know you know that, but where I'm going with it is that I use Dumbuntu ( :-D ) on my work laptop. It's sometimes maddening to use such old libraries, etc. I've since kinda converted it to Neon (KDE's "distro") so I can have a Desktop environment that's not 2-ish years old.

Sure you can add a bunch of 3rd party repos to get newer-ish packages here and there. However, that only helps the NOW. Good luck trying to update your machine to the next major distro release. I'm not saying you WILL get mushroom clouds, but I am absolutely saying you've drastically increased your chances of it.

These "versioned" distros, Ubuntu/Fedora/SuSE/etc, are kinda nice in the sense that package updates are almost guaranteed to work. They're also almost guaranteed to be OLD.

You won't get much/any of the Wizz Bang Cool Stuff (tm) that you read around the intertubes until the next release - a year or two or so from now. With rolling distros, you get them as fast as the package maintainers can tag them for release. In the case of Arch proper, it's often before they've been verified to not eat your kitten (as we've already agreed). Manjaro? Middle of the following month (give or take) you'll get baked and blessed packages that you don't need to hide your kitten to install. Ubuntu/etc? Next year sometime. Maybe. If you're lucky.

Just a little more food for thought after being back at work and trying to update my laptop...

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deciduously profile image
Ben Lovy Author

This is a good point, and my biggest hesitation about choosing Debian. At least right now, I don't think I care about having a system that's years behind, but it's the sort of thing I can't really judge until I run into problems that arise from it. If I do want to try something out, I'm also running NixOS, which should be a little more up to date if I want to take a test drive.