Top 5 best linux os distributions

Sadly, most linux distros try to do everything on their own – that is great if you want to use it as a shovel (like windows), but it gets terribly wrong as soon as any internal problem appears. Last one I got into today with mandriva (that is far more stable and user friendly than fedora) – after tranfer of system from drive to drive system keeps waiting two minutes for the root partititon it already found according to dmesg – kernel is probably not a reasonable source of hw information anymore. After this everything works as it did before. All redhat things from rh5 to latest centos fail install when they encounter a problem with install media – that is too absurd. I reported it in time of rh6 (even before getting first debian) and 10 years were not enough to add one if statement.

Specific distro based preconfiguration options for Grub are big nightmare in many cases (at least ubuntu and mandriva).

This kind of problems is very non-unix by their nature, but they started to appear as companies try to make money of linux by porting windows problems to it to make it comparable. That is the same mistake Apple did in System 7.6 and every next to end up just as a bit better type of windows without any real advantage (eye candy is no advantage, it’s just eye candy). I used Apple system 7.5.5 until 2001 for all my office work no matter what linux/windows/OS2/whatever was on my PC.

I find it very distressing that Ubuntu, a distro that exists only because impatient people with money to throw at what they saw as a problem petulantly disrupted an entire community because they could not be bothered to switch to Fedora or SUZE or any of the myriad of distros focused more on features than stability. In fact, there are distros based on Debian stable that are oriented to beginners (MEPIS comes to mind) that offer a far better experience than the overhyped Ubuntu for the beginner. This same beginner, if they had a successful experience, might join the Linux community in a far more active fashion and one more productive than all the shouting that they will do as to how horrible the experience was at the hands of Ubuntu.

Debian, in the raw, is not intended for the beginner and graphical installer notwithstanding, really should not be a beginner’s distro of choice without some handholding; MEPIS does a great job of that and provides the tools needed to transition and grow in a safe and stable environment. There is an excellent book (the name escapes me but Tux is laying on a hammock on the cover) that includes a distribution of MEPIS and is specifically aimed at beginners. It is not an intimidating 1000 page monster (as, inevitably, Ubuntu guides tend to be being based on something that pros deem UNSTABLE) and it is geared towards someone who left windows behind just after getting the distro. Moreover, MEPIS has a very active community with many people that have survived the initial period of adjustment and have successfully left windows et al. behind.

That being said, it is unlikely -dare I say, certain- that my words will not derail the Ubuntu onslaught. I would hope that my words would reach someone and make enough of an impact that they might consider a distro, any distro, based on Debian Stable before considering something like Ubuntu.

The stability and reputation of Debian is legendary and it is not worth damaging it just so the latest gadget that may or may not survive the marketplace -Intel invented Thunderbolt; aside from Macs, anyone seen any Thunderbolt around?- and that might make sense if the goal was to attract retail dollars but that makes zero sense when the goal is to grow a community. Once, the problem was the infamous winmodem and that has long been relegated to the graveyard; what is the problem today that would cause someone to choose something that is specifically labeled as UNSTABLE when entering what for almost everyone is an entirely different approach to computing? At most, Ubuntu might have gotten an honorable mention [sic] UNDER Debian but nothing more. Slackware and Red Hat/Fedora have their own defenders and I will leave their defense to them.

I have used Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo, Suze, and others at one time or another (to talk about something, some experience is needed) and all I can say is that for those who like it, more power to you; however, there are far, far, better distros around. If Ubuntu deserves mention in some form is that they have taken a marketing approach that might best be described as Apple for Open Source. One last thing: there are some obscure distros out there focused on particular fields and they may well be great indeed; however, do yourself a favor and join the Linux community with something with a large and widespread support community and when you know enough to take the plunge to the obscure distro dedicated to your particular interest, do it first in a non production environment so you can ask around when you get stuck.