Golden Rules of Disto Choice

Ive been on open source operting system user for a good number of years now and about 3 or 4 years ago, after exetensive testing, I came up with my “three golden rules of OS choice”.

They were

  • Centos on a server
  • Fedora on a Desktop
  • Ubuntu om a Laptop

Two out of those three are obviously redhat based and so you may say why Ubuntu on the laptop? I love Fedora, they always seem to get the good stuff ahead of any other distro and always seem to be inovating in the areas that Im interested it. That said, all that bling/goodness comes with a hit and laptops are generally less wel endowed. So I have always opted for ununtu on a Laptop as it feels lighter and they seem to pay a little more attention to performance tweaks.

So those were my ruls and whenever I broke them, I always always seemed to regret it. with that said, with the advent of Fedora 9, I broke my own rules (as I say, usually never ends well) and put Fedora on the laptop – and it worked well.

Ive been running this way ever since (and upgraded to F10 when it came out) and so Ive been thinking its time to re-evauate the golden rules. With this in mind and with everyone saying how fast ubuntu 9.04 is now I decided to revert back to the original ruleset and get ububntu back on the laptop.

Things havent gone well.

There are things that have come on a long way in Ubuntu – the installer is now much better (much more like anaconda 😉 ). The boot up time and general performance is undoubtably superb. The theme is starting to look really good these days, although still brown but, and heres the killer, I cant have my system locking up three to four times a night and needing me to hold my finger on the power button.

Intel Graphics

Yes, before you say it, I have intel graphics but thats hardly uncommon in a laptop. Its hard to understand how this got out the door in this state (see here).

So while I had high hopes I just cant get passed my system being unusable – that said it couldnt ever stay on my laptop anyway as it doesnt have whole disk encryption. This is really important to me, especially as its a laptop, and has been available in the last two releases of Fedora. I know there is the ability to encrypt individual files now, but thats not what I need.

So overall, my instinct is that this (Ubuntu 9/04) is a great release if you dont have intel graphics, if you do it will be worth you hanging back until thats resolved. It certainly felt much more spritely than Fedora but some of that will no doubt be the fact that it doesnt have the encryption overhead.

Here are my revised new Golden Rules

  • Centos on a server
  • Fedora on a Desktop
  • Fedora on a Laptop

OSG

Additional note: Ive been advised that turning off desktop effects may stop the lock ups – will give it a try and see if it works

4 Replies to “Golden Rules of Disto Choice”

  1. People and their distros

    I usually opt for Opensuse on Workstations/Laptops/Internal servers. Though I have recently installed EasyPeasy (Ubuntu based) on my ASUS eeePC

    I usually opt for Debian on external facing servers or monitoring equipment.

    As for graphics chipsets for laptops, I usually buy a laptop based on it’s graphics chipset (apart from the eeePC). I usually select laptops that have NVIDIA graphics

  2. A bit late I know but you know the alternate install CD can do whole disk encryption and has done for 3-4 releases now. Plus usually has habit of installing when the live CD version breaks stuff.

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