alternitive to archlinux?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by lodore, Feb 25, 2011.

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  1. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    I like archlinux but it breaks to often. has anyone else had this experience of arch?
    Im looking for a distro with a stable base system and the latest desktop applications.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011
  2. firefox2008

    firefox2008 Registered Member

    May 17, 2007
    Is Debian 6 not a good answer?
  3. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    i use fedora 13 default system and ubuntu LTS both are very stable :D
  4. JConLine

    JConLine Registered Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    Linux Mint 10 has the latest software and is bulletproof stable.

  5. codylucas16

    codylucas16 Registered Member

    Nov 17, 2009
    Your best bet is to go with Debian(stable or testing) or Gentoo. They're really the only thing even close to being like Arch. Ive had similar issues with Arch breaking all the time, especially when it comes to my wireless drivers.

    This is interesting because I have had nothing but instability issues every time I try Linux Mint. Especially with the mint menu
  6. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    just installed debian 6 squeeze on my laptop and its working well.

    now i currently have debian squeeze on two machines:
    dell inspiron 1545 laptop
    dell dimension (pentium 3 256mb ram) text only teamspeak 3 server.

    debian seems to be the best distro ive tryed tbh. i would advice otherpeople to try debian squeeze. unlike what people think debian works great as a desktop distro and is easy to setup IMHO.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  7. katio

    katio Guest

    Stable OS, latest software + KISS?
    The closest thing is probably *BSD...

    Debian unstable got the up-to-date software but lacks in stability while in testing/stable it's the other way round.
    Ubuntu is a good choice. LTS + PPAs for the software you want the latest version of gets really close to that but IMO PPAs aren't really that stable and supported, especially when it comes to low level and system wide software.
    Gentoo is really close to Arch. Both are rolling release, focus on performance, latest and greatest. But I wouldn't call Gentoo KISS. Compiling on a newish PC isn't that bad (as long as you don't regularly update GNOME and OOo via sources). What really takes up a lot of time is maintaining USE flags and hand-holding portage, because it isn't nearly as automated and hassle-free as it could be. If you can and wand invest the time, say a few hours each weak to run emerge world and do the subsequent system fixing and tweaking it's an awesome distro.

    FreeBSD (and most goes for the others too, Open, Net, Dragonfly...)
    If you are coming from Linux there's a fundamental difference how FreeBSD is developed: The "distro maintainers" and upstream are the same people.
    The FreeBSD devs write their kernel and core userland and release the finished "distro" too. If there's a bugfix or security patch in the kernel or user land you get it faster than Linux distros.
    Like Debian and commercial OSs there's a stable release and point releases every now and then.
    On top of the OS you can run the latest software by installing them from the ports. Like Gentoo it's source based. There are also binary packages but AFAIR they aren't updated as often.

    The port collection is huge, it's comparable to Debian and Arch when you include AUR. In terms of how fast they get the latest version: They are about the same as Arch. In other words, they are faster than Gentoo and faster than ALL the other Linux distros!

    Sounds awesome, right? Where's the catch you might ask. After all FreeBSD isn't nearly as successful in the desktop space as any single Linux distro mentioned.
    The biggest problem with FreeBSD is that it isn't Linux...

    Linux only binaries are few and far between (Wine, Flash, Skype) and they aren't really that much of a problem because FreeBSD got a binary compatibility layer built in. Though of course this doen't always work completely seamless or stable.
    Not having GNU userland and bash is a problem for cli junkies but that's just the default setup and more familiar tools can be installed via ports.

    IMO the biggest problem is graphic drivers. There's no KMS, GEM and no fglrx. Intel and ATI is really a problem right now. Porting this stuff from Linux is in the works to support the open source drivers. But they really just started in January this year I think. If you have this hardware you are stuck with what Xorg looked like in Linux 2 years ago or so and it looks like it will be like that for at least another year. Nvidia releases binary drivers for FreeBSD too but I have never tried that. If it's anything like the Linux drivers it should be fine (if you can live with the licensing).
    If you have a lot of other fancy hardware that might be a problem too, wifi can be a problem but for Desktop PCs with standard gadgetry hardware support isn't a show stopper.
    You could give the pc-bsd live CD a spin and test it for yourself.
  8. katio

    katio Guest

    For me the big problem with Debian is the lack of proactive security. Though as I recently found out this is set to change with wheezy:
  9. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    Hello katio,
    thanks for all the information.
    I have actually tryed vanilla freebsd 8.2 amd64 version on my laptop and managed to get wireless working, gnome desktop etc but it did take awhile to get working. im surprised in 2011 freebsd doesnt have (as far as i know) a graphical wireless connection tool. i had to edit around 4 different text files to connect to my wpa2 encrypted router. i have tryed pc-bsd as well but i dont like the pbi files. freebsd already has all the lastest applications in ports just one command away so why dont they just make a graphical package manager frontend for ports? plus awhile ago i watched a video of pcbsd conference and the main speaker said that the update manager replaces user settings when updater which imo is subpar so that reason alone put me off it. I dont know if that has since been sorted or not.

    I like the idea of freebsd but the desktop experience isnt as good as linux and takes quite alot of work to get a basic desktop.
    I think for now im gonna stick with debian and have a look at backports for the lastest desktop applications.
  10. Beavenburt

    Beavenburt Registered Member

    Dec 17, 2006
    salix offers a base system with or without X to build your desktop on top of. It's based on slackware so it's very stable with relatively up to date packages.

    pclinuxos also has a base iso of every major de and you can build your desktop around it.

    zenwalk core
    sabayon core
    tiny core
    debian netinstall
    ubuntu mini iso

    The list goes on and on.

    salix is my personal favourite for a minimal stable base.
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