Y’all remember my awkward attempts to come up with recommendations about what woud be the bestest Linux distro to get you started with. Ya, terrible. Me with my very limited experience and know-how telling you anything about what you should do … is like a blind leading the blind. Ultimately our conga line would walk thru some windows or crash the gates. And that, I guess we can all agree on, must be avoided.
Now I stumbled over an article in the Linux Voice, a very nice print and online magazine (I wonder why I didn’t find it earlier), a little bit oder article about the Best Linux Distros 2014. Now this article is particularly nice since it isn’t entirely about This is The Shit for n00bs! but it’s splitted into several categories, and very well reasoned in every department. They made their choices in these categories:
- BEST FOR BEGINNERS – The ideal gateway into Linux for new users.
- BEST LOOKING – An attractive environment makes everything better.
- BEST FOR PACKAGES – Which distribution has the most software?
- BEST FOR DOCUMENTATION – When you need help, who you gonna call?
- BEST FOR SECURITY – The price of security is eternal vigilance.
- BEST FOR PERFORMANCE – Forget upgrading your hardware – get a new distro!
I particularly loved the unexcited way in which the author discussed the disciplines and the candidates in each. He also refrained from making bullet lists or rankings but just listed what single distros do particularly well or better than others. Hey, you might find your perfect starter distro not in the Beginners category but somewhere else. Maybe you have your bias somehwere else anyway and are confident to get into Linux without training wheels so you’re looking for some eye candy or super professionalism.
And while you won’t get any helpful hints and tips and tricks out of this article you’ll at least know what to pick from the unbelievable amount of Linuxes out there. So when Orca starts to drone about Architect, Antergos or Manjaro, as a beginner you’ll at least know better than to listen to her. 😉
Or is it? Maybe you should listen to her because … because you’re not stupid, you’re a Windows veteran of 20, 30 years and know your way around computers. So a slightly different OS can’t shock and awe you but just makes you curious, maybe even looking for a slight challenge, or you might wanna see something totally different than your usual Windows layout. Then, by all means, skip all the *buntu crappola and join the really cool kids of the Arch scene. Or try some real fringe product. And Buddha knows there are a lot of those out there in GNU/Linux FOSS land. From all sorts of countries, for all kinds of usage scenarios and all purposes.
And let’s be perfectly honest here, maybe even brutally honest, and forgive me when I make this statement:
/me steps up on the soap box and shouts out
»LINUX is LINUX!«
Whoa! Orca, you fukn bitch! How dare you??? That’s blasphemy, you clueless old woman have no idea what you’re talking about! Shut ya piehole and go home, you’re drunk.
Sorry to inform you I haven’t had a single drop of alcohol since my late 20s and I know exactly what I’m talking about (well, kindasorta). At least I have a better idea than you … and you … and you too. Listen, all Linux distros are using the same core, the legendary mythical Linux Kernel. This is the same in all distros, no matter what flavour of desktop you’re using, no matter if your distro looks like MacOS and is aimed at beginners or if it’s the most cryptic stuff for geeky gurus. They might be of difference in age and have more or less stuff added or taken off but principally they’re all just the same. All the rest, the stuff we’re fighting over in “the community”, the desktop environments, the GUIs … it’s all just smoke and mirrors, just make-up, eye-candy and fluff. So basically an Arch distro ain’t any more complicated to use than, say, Zorin or Lubuntu or LXLE or something like that. Just need to get used to it, soak it up, adapt. And if there is anything we humans do rather well, we’re predestined to do, it’s adapting to environmental conditions. And believe me, if we managed to loose our skin pigmentation (well, not all, but many of us did) we shoud also be able to adjust to a new user interface. No?
Or would you say Windows is hard to use? Or your fancy new Macbook? Sorry again but I guess for me they would be hard to use. Well, prolly not the Mac since they are made with dummies in mind, but the Windows machine??? Oyoyoy 😦 Look, I passed Win8, Win8.1, and now Win10 … and I’ve forgotten everything about Win7 in the meantime as well. Would you force me to sit down in front of a Windows ‘puter I’d need a couple days to readjust as well. Getting used to the daily routine of cleaning the registry, of updating virus definitions and shit … I’m totally out of that.
So it really isn’t a big difference in between Ubuntu and Arch, not more than between Win7 and Win10. It’s more or less just details. Don’t get me wrong, details make all the difference, I know. They can make or break a distro for you as a beginner. But what I wanted to clarify here is just that there is some sort of learning curve in everything, in every new technology and what is that thing. 😉 That curve can be more or less steep but it’s not impossible to master. Remember 30 years ago, when you typed very carefully, almost shy, your first queries and commands in the DOS terminal (or Console or whatever the name was)? Well, you mastered that new thing. Obviously! Else we would’t meet here, in this romantic place under Orc’s imaginary cherry tree.
And I can and will guarantee you that the learning curve won’t be that steep once you decide to upgrade your digital life to a GNU/Linux system. And to tackle that curve … it will be worth it!!!
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