You might say I have a long distro history so I'll add my 1.7 cents (it was 2 cents before the recession).
Loved Mandrake until it got buggy.
Mandriva came from Mandrake but never recaptured the glory.
- Both had very easy to use but powerful administration tools.
- Wonderful menu structure
- Looked good
- Excellent hardware discovery. It could load the drivers for your blender if you could plug it in.
- Package management from the Gods when mortal man was painting on cave walls.
Why I stopped using them
- unstable repositories. Software was constantly broken.
CentOS for servers - it's just the most stable feature rich distro for servers (from the commandline).
SuSe for servers if you insist on using a GUI to manage it. Has the best GUI Server admin tools.
Ubuntu 8.04 - 10.10
- Tons of software packages
- Gnome2 became usable for bipedal primates with large frontal lobes.
- Install process so easy a baby stuck in a mineshaft could do it.
- Everything just works and when it stops shaking a rubber chicken seems to help. If it doesn't work on Ubuntu it probably doesn't work on anything that runs Linux including orbiting brain lasers and fembots with a penchant for evil.
Why I'm looking for a replacement
- Software packages broken.... sounds familiar.
- Got tired of looking at desktop color themes best reserved for a 1970s kitchen with accompanying man cave with wall to wall shag carpet.
- Moved to the Unity desktop which is targeted at a branch of hominids possessing much smaller brain functionality that have been extinct for roughly 4 million years. Possibly as a result of a poor market study with limited subject availability to question and those who they could dig up didn't have much to say.
- Including the word Ubuntu in my online dating profile has not improved love matches. In addition translating the original Swahili meaning to English only leaves me looking a bit creepy.
- Ubuntu sounds like something my kids used to say when they were a year old and needed changed. Looks like it too.
Distributions I'm interested in but haven't made a decision about
Linux Mint DE
- Based on Debian so the software packages may actually work
- Uses the XFCE desktop so any sane human should feel comfortable with it.
- A bit rough
- A bit ugly
- Linux Mint DE with a port scanner vs. Clint Eastwood with a Bowie knife would be a good fight.
- Having the same name as another distribution that has broken packages gives me the shivers.
- So far every single package in the repository works. Ex Mandrake developers who must have learned their lesson.
- Doesn't talk to me like I'm a baby
- Only two packages in the repository.
- Just when I learned to pronounce Ubuntu this comes along.
The nice thing about Linux is you can try them all for zero dollars. I think a good practice though is to have a shared network drive where you put all of your stuff so if you choose to wipe out your machine you don't lose anything. Actually this is a good practice on any OS.