Thursday, 18 August 2011

Moving off again

As so often happens with any box, little niggles crop up, gremlins find their way in and leave bugs strewn all over the system. We try our best to oust these pests, but sometimes they win.

This is such a case. Gentoo has it's good points, no one can deny that. The USE flags allow for instant removing or adding of functionality, compile-time optimizations result in a snappier system - but as time's gone past, I've found that it starts to become difficult to maintain.
So though it has served me well, and as always I've learned a great deal, I feel it's time I moved off it and began the search for a new distro candidate once more.

Some time back, I would have defaulted back to Ubuntu for a time until I found another one that caught my interest. However, with what I see as the stupid choices to go with Gnome 3, Gnome Shell and Ubuntu Unity, three of the biggest unmitigated failures I've ever seen disgrace a desktop, this is no longer an option. And that's not to mention the simple fact that I dislike Canonical's habit of hiding away things to make things easier for the users.

On Gentoo as it is right now, I've gone and nicked parts of Crunchbang to give me a nice Openbox desktop, and I like the minimal yet functional set up it gives me. Conky delivers what I want to know easily and tint2 provides a nice panel which neatly integrates running apps, the systray and a built-in battery monitor.
But the issue with Crunchbang is that they only offer torrent downloads, which are not a favourable method of downloading anything on my home network for many reasons.
Most of what it offers is easily obtainable in any distribution though, if one takes care to examine their wiki to obtain various config files.

Crunchbang is based on Debian, one of the oldest and most venerable distros out there. There's little it hasn't tried to do, and even less it's failed at. A great many distributions can be traced back to it eventually, though most through Ubuntu.
Debian is also an old friend to me, and somewhat of a frequent curiosity. Within it's vast repositories of packages lies nearly everything and anything one could ask for, and unlike Ubuntu it doesn't seem to want, need, or care much for third-party repositories. Certainly they exist, but seldom have I found reason to use more than a few.
But one of the most attractive features about Debian as I've discovered time and again is that it remains stable - nearly always with complete disregard to whatever you may be trying to do.

So where Ubuntu has made bad choices in desktops, and K/X/Lubuntu hardly seem to be much better most of the time, Debian takes over. Until I find another Distro out there that piques my curiosity, it's time for me to move back to the tried and tested, and get a stable system that doesn't take forever to set up and get configured.

If you have any non-Ubuntu based suggestions for other Distros to try, do feel free to suggest them.

Until next time folks.

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