The Linux Quest

Preface

As I wrote before, I’ve been using Kubuntu Edgy 64bit and I was pretty much satisfied with it.
The only problem I had was with my laptops built-in web camera. There are no drivers for Linux and it doesn’t seem there will be anything in the near future.

(Note: there are some people out there struggling to create those drivers but I don’t think they will have any good results till end of this year)

And when my parents asked to set up skype video conference with their friends I had no other choice then installing windows.

And as I’ve been using the Kubuntu for 4 month I decided to reformat my entire system and do a clean setup of Windows and Linux.

The Main Story

Since it has been a while (haha – 4 month) since I’ve looked at different Linux distributions I decided to try something new :)

Sabayon 3.26 64bit

This is a quite impressive distro built on top of Gentoo and proposed to be 100% Gentoo compatible.

Installing

It was pretty easy but took a lot of time (as I found out later because it installed all the packages that were on its dvd)

Using

This is the only distro (among all that I’ve tried) that got correct resolution for my laptop monitor and wifi with WPA working right out of the box.

It has all the multimedia codecs installed so it is ready to rock.

Plus it has a nice default KDE theme, but not very good integration with Gtk so Firefox and Eclipse look a little inconsistent.

It really seems to be Gentoo compatible since it uses Gentoo’s online repositories (correct me if I’m wrong).

It is horribly slow. It starts up and shuts down on my dual core laptop longer than Windows XP on my old AMD Duron box.

Searching for the programs you need takes a while because it has installed so many packages that the you can get lost.

Result

I decided to find something else because it was just too slow.

MEPIS 6.5 beta 7 64bit

I decided to try it since I’ve read so much how good it is at auto configuring the system and because it is Ubuntu based (Yes I do like Ubuntu :))

Installing

Fast and simple!

Using

Didn’t use it for too long cause the damn thing didn’t auto configure my wifi and after googling a little I had an impression that there is some problem in MEPIS with madwifi drivers (thats what my wifi card uses). But still don’t want to say anything bad about MEPIS since I used a beta version.

Result

Moving on :)

openSUSE 10.2

Well it’s SUSE :)
It gotta be good.
There are some not nice things regarding Novell and Microsoft. But it doesn’t bother me that much yet.

Installing

Easy + configurable. Not fast and not slow.

Using

I got my monitor conifgured during installation. But wifi drivers didn’t install automatically. The good thing is I just needed 5 minutes of googling and then another 5 minutes to install the drivers manually.

Result

I’m sticking with openSUSE for now, at least until Feisty Fawn is out.

Note
I think I’ve also tried Mandriva 2007 Powerpack between Sabayon and MEPIS but can’t realy remember why I dumped it :(

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4 thoughts on “The Linux Quest

  1. You are quite a maniac.
    Recently I’ve also decided to try something new. I had following criteria:
    1. must be stable
    2. must have good UI
    3. must be easy to configure
    4. must have no issues with hardware
    5. must have good tech support and community

    Vista doesn’t match 1. (it is less then 4 month in prod) and 2. (I’ve seen nicer themes for XP)
    Most open-source stuff doesn’t match 3. (a little) and 4. (win-modems, cameras, wifim …)

    Mac OS seems to match it all. It is a bit pricey, but you get stable UNIX-based OS with sexy UI, no problems with hardware a priori, easy config and tech support that answers you the next day. Yes, and you also get nice keyboard that glows in the dark.

  2. Well, what can I say. I’M JEALOUS!!! :)

    But there is one big advantage Linux has, it’s choice.
    You have big choice of hardware and software to use.

    And actually all points you made can easily apply to Linux if you could buy your laptop with pre-installed Linux:
    1. it is stable
    2. it does have good ui
    3. Mandriva has very good configuration tools, SUSE does have good configuration tools
    4. well if Linux came pre-installed with your hardware I can hardly imagine any problems
    5. community is obviously there, and tech support is available if you are ready to pay for it :)

    The only problem is there are few companies that do sell hardware with Linux pre-installed. But still there are and there should be more in near future.

    P.S. there is one thing I hate about Mac keyboard, there are no damn End, Home and Del buttons. (I know you can Ctrl+smth to do the same but that just does suck)

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