3 Linux Distros Compared

6 Jul, 2004 | ComputersTdp

In an earlier post I listed a few things that Linux needed to get right before it could hope for widespread uptake.

Like I said, I run RH9 and have always run RH products. Today I found (hat tip: Matt) an article comparing three of the biggest commercial distros: Fedora (replaces RH), Suse and Mandrake. I'd like to say well done to Mike for writing a thorough and detailed report on the distros, seemingly unbiased and focusing on the things that are important to the majority of end users.

It runs to 9 pages (worth it), but I think his sum up is excellent:

To sum things up, if you like a system that has a good base and aren't afraid to use the command line to administer or build packages, Fedora is a good choice. If you like to have all the applications you use readily available, nice utilities to administer the system and a single website that you can go to for help, Mandrake is a good choice. If you like a polished, easy to configure system with additional corporate support, Suse is a good choice.

He discusses many of the issues I raised in my previous post, including software installation, dependencies, hardware, etc.

It doesn't answer all of my questions, but it gave me enough hope to think about buying a copy and playing. I think Suse sounds promising for the person, like me, who wants to install it and get on with being productive.

One thing I did notice is that only Mandrake has the ability to shutdown the computer while logged in in both desktop environments (KDE and GNOME). Now, does that suck or what? I've got a hack at the moment that lets me do it, but how many people want to log out, then shutdown? COME ON GUYS, THIS IS SIMPLE, FIX IT NOW! Two second job to incorporate, surely?

I go on about Linux because I want to get away from Windows. It's a nice enough OS, but it's hole ridden and I'm not a fan of MS's business ethics (as in, they don't have any). A Mac sounds nice but is a) pricey and b) means dumping all the hardware I've aquired over the years and I'm not too sure about that, plus upgradability is not a high priority for Apple is seems (I may be wrong).

Incidently, I would like to say that once again the Dictionary Search extension for Firefox has proved invaluable.