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A Linux Dilemma. Which distro to use?

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:18 pm
by Jarod
So recently I've been using linux mint. it works really nice, its easy to deal with, updates are quick, and its pretty snappy as far as everything goes.

I have had issues with the kernel, and some of their repos don't have very up to date stuff, which can be problematic for myself.
I like the cinnamon window manager very much, I hesitantly say I like it more than KDE that I used for years.

So here is my dilemma.
I'm thinking of installing a different distro onto a spare partition that currently holds a gentoo system from my old athlon xp.

Should I install a new amd64 gentoo, arch linux, or wait a few months and get the new mint 15?

For years I was a gentoo user all the way, people talked about ubuntu, mint, and other binary distros and I laughed at how it took more than 20 seconds to boot.
I mocked windows users because my computer was up and running and i'd been on the web for 30 seconds before windows had even displayed the loading splash screen.

I definetly enjoyed how fast gentoo was back in the day, but now I have 6gb of ram, sata drives, high end ati card, quad core cpus, and even with my dual core, the difference between the pure source built fully optimized gentoo and mint was marginal at best.

Is it even worth it to mess with it, or should I just not bother doing anything and redo my mint I have right now?
Or should I not even do that, and find something constructive to do, like build something that makes loud noises like a cannon or explosive of some sort?
perhaps I should work on my car, or pack stuff to move. I'm not sure.

Re: A Linux Dilemma. Which distro to use?

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:46 pm
by foxmiles
I've faced the same dilema, I think it comes down to how you want to spend your time.

I'm using Linux Mint 14 and I like it. I also always used gentoo, but like you said, the huge speed differences aren't there anymore. When I went from redhat 7.2 (I think) to gentoo it was like going from a 50cc moped to a 1000cc streetbike. It blew me away. I'm sure its still faster, but it's more like comparing a working 600cc someone is giving you and a 1000cc that comes in a big box of parts that may or may not fit nicely together. The 1000cc may be faster, but with all the speed limits around it really doesn't matter that much. If you love putting things together you want the box, if you love to ride you want the bike. I like putting things together, but for me, the speed difference of mint vs gentoo just isn't worth my time at the moment.

I once read a book entitled "How to Live on 24 Hours a Day" It was written somewhere around the late 1800's early 1900's. The point I got from it was we all get 24hrs a day, no more, no less, regardless if we are rich or poor. It's more valuable than money for just that reason. We can spend it, trade it for goods or money, give it away, or squander it. What we can't do is get more, once it's gone it's gone.We need to think how we spend it, and even if we squander it, do so knowing we can't go back and spend it a different way.

Now I try to think how long I have to work to pay for something before buying it. It's only $100? That's 5hrs at $20/hr. Is it worth 5hrs? Worth 10hrs if I'm only making $10/hr? Time too for that matter, I try to see if the end is worth the means when comparing alternatives. I want to browse the internet, check my email, code for arduino? I can spend 1hr installing Mint or 20 compiling and configuring gentoo. On the other hand, if I want to compile gentoo, installing mint doesn't help does it?

Got kind of off topic there, but I think I made my pointless. It's your time, only you can decide how to spend it

Re: A Linux Dilemma. Which distro to use?

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:10 am
by Jarod
good points.

I think I've decided to play video games and pass gas instead. or at least thats what i ended up doing. along with moving some furniture, attaching cabinet doors, making a video, recording another video to edit together sometime, making macaroni, reading legal mumbo jumbo online, and then playing some more games.

I guess I'm sticking with mint.
Gentoo was fun, but also very irritating at times. whole system is broken because I forgot to set the -breakeverything use flag.

I want a windows replacement. mint is close. video editing is still severely lacking. I do it, but there is no comparison between the windows editing world of Premiere, Avid, Vegas, etc and the linux world of kdenlive and pitivi. they work. they usually don't crash, except if you try to load 60fps video, then even the windows ones fail horribly.

linux has come a long way. video editing on linux hasn't moved a whole lot in the 10 or so years i've been on linux. it has moved, just not nearly the same as commercial software has. i suppose that is normal though. when people are beating down your doors to throw $600 at you for a video editor you'll spend a lot more time polishing it than if there's only 15 people in the whole world that want it.

Re: A Linux Dilemma. Which distro to use?

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:03 am
by foxmiles
Yea, the use flags were both a blessing and a curse. usually I would have a perfectly working system except for one thing (like hid) and have to recompile a dozen libs so I could use my kb in X. or some app I wanted to try out needed a use flag (cairo comes to mind) and I have to recompile an important lib (like libc or something) and then break everything that depends on it and I end up with no X for a week while try to I pick up the pieces.

Of course I learned a lot more doing that than if I had watched TV or played hours of video games instead (I did watch TV and play video games, but not all the time). I'm over it, I can figure out a lot of problems, especially with the help of the internet, when I need to. I make enough problems to fix without trying! I've moved on to other interests, that doesn't mean I won't be back. I seem to go in circles, I'll tire of something for a while, then a year or ten later I'll "rediscover" my interest in it.

I think every teenager should spend a year or two running a bleeding edge Gentoo install. It would keep them occupied and out of trouble, not to mention a non-booting computer or a virus would never require a service tech again. (some panic is normal.) If they were as good as I was with keeping sda3 and sda4 straight they would have their files backed up or at least be mentally prepared to loose them.

Yes, OSS has one of those blessing and curse thing. It's that OSS is usually developed by the people who use it. Which is a good thing unless the people who want it can't (won't) develop it and the people who can don't find it interesting. Video editing is a good example, it's way out of my league, and most people want it to work, not to debug it. I think it may take off though, lots of HD consumer gear on the market now, more and more people have files that need editing. As more of the people who can build this sort of software get files that need editing they will suddenly have an interest in fixing, improving, etc. It will come.

Re: A Linux Dilemma. Which distro to use?

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:27 pm
by Jarod
I think basic computer knowledge should be a part of school, they do supposedly have a computer class in most schools nowadays, but they teach kids how to use word and excel and junk like that.

word isn't gonna do you any good when your pc won't POST. or if your video card comes slightly out of the pcie slot and all of the sudden you have no display. (i wonder why mine does that randomly)
or when your laptop fan runs at full bore and powers off after about 10 minutes of use...

people are expected to be capable of using computers, but nobody realizes that computers don't just work all the time.
I suppose this is why people have careers in IT though. if everyone knew how to fix a damaged bootloader, or use a livecd to remove that nasty virus then there wouldn't be much need for computer techs.