Some General Linux Thoughts

G’morning, you magic beeings.

Let’s start with the usual wannabe statistic of the DistroWatch website, ok?

No, not much has changed in the Top 5 of the ranking. I guess there wasn’t much of movement in the following distros below the Top 5 neither. But we don’t care about those, do we? This is all a part of Linux consolidating and establishing itself as an acknowledged part of the small number of actively developed computer operating systems. Let’s see … Chrome, Windows, MacOS, Linux, BSD, Unix … after that we enter the realm of the obscure freakish systems only geeks could love.

Let’s examine a bit closer, so we notice of the Top 5, four are showing a downwards trend, only one a positively upwards movement: Linux Mint. More about that a bit later.

First let’s look at those charts. As I subtitled them they are fairly – in fact really and totally – insignificant. They don’t show factual distribution numbers, or how many copies of each distro are actually installed on hardware all over the world. The only thing it shows us are how many clicks each of the projects websites have received on a daily basis, the *HPD number. And there are many factors that determine the number of clicks. For example did the Mint team just release a BETA version of their new Linux 21 release. Of course such occurance creates heightened curiosity among the Linux community and the clicks are skyrocketing for a while.

Logical, no? So, the ranking doesn’t tell us anything about the “quality” of a dstro at all. And it doesn’t matter, your perception of quality probably differs wildly from mine. We wouldn’t be humans if it was any different.

But still, the Top 5 distros are at their ranks not completely without reason. We may assume that these distros have huge installation bases and many many users. Because they are good. Because for many people they are the best systems to run on their computers. Logical again.

And now finally, after that long intro, let’s talk about Linux Mint.

You might have heard about Ubuntu. Itself a descendant of the very very ancient Debian distro, it was the first distribution to make Linux approachable for human beings. Yes, even for littlest kiddies and old housewives. Ubuntu got rid of the terminal and keybord centered command line operation of the terribly geeky Linux of the time in favour of a mouse and keyboard operating style. Yes, as we know it from WinMac.

And then some rebels in the Ubuntu community started their own project: Mint. Which took Ubuntu’s ideas, ran away with them and made it even more comfy. Mint focuses on only three desktop environments: Cinnamon, Mate and Xfce.

Legit reason!

Needless to say those are also the most easy to operate and comprehensive enviros to operate in. A KDE/Plasma spin would’ve been nice to have but they have their own geeky reasons for stopping development for that desktop. And who are we to argue with the experts? We don’t, and accept it as what it is: No KDE for Minty goddesses. 😐 If you really want an Ubuntu-ish experience with KDE, there’s always the wonderful Kubuntu available for you.

Why am I telling you all that boring shit? Because, as I do it for years already, Mint is my personal #1 favourite Linux to recommend for you. The devs never claimed their own creation to be explicitly a n00b distro, they just cared about making it friendly, easy to install and easy peasy to operate. In other words: Linux Mint is perfect for new users. But there is no shame in using it for the rest of your blessed life neither. Other, much less approachable distros are not better by any means, they are just more complicated. Enough old salts and Linux experts are using Mint happily as their daily rider.

Did I enlighten a few of y’all?

Wanna try out Linux for yourself now? As it so happened, a couple years ago I scribbled a little series for total n00bs. I guess it’s still a good starting point:

12 comments

    • Mhm, exactly Renard. For all of us coming up on Windows, Cinnamon shouldn’t pose any problem.

      I take the DW charts semi-seriously. They are far from giving us an exact insight but they are good for feeling out what’s going on in the scene, what’s hot and what’s not. And MX, EOS, Mint and Manjo aren’t sitting in the top spots for no reason. MX is probably the bestest Debian distro around, and EOS and Manjo are marking the top of Arch development. Each in its own way. And, ok, that Pop stuff did find some lovers as well.

      Have a spectacular day yourself, Renard. ;x

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The Top 3 are pretty much controlled by college fraternities, and the Top 4 & 5 are also doubtful. Ubuntu has more users than any other Linux OS…Fedora is #2. All after those two don’t even reach blip status.

    However, DW can still be used as an indicator of the rise or fall of the other Linux OSes. For example, take a look at the rise of my Favorite Linux OS, Porteus, over the last 6-months. I’m using their new Porteus 5.0 Cinnamon…best Linux OS I’ve seen ‘n used since 1996…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know for a fact that 2 and 3 are made in the Netherlands and Ireland respectively. You won’t find fraternities in those countries, and the makers are very clearly out of college age. Yes, Ubu has probably still the widest install base, which is no wonder since a majority of its users are corporate salary slaves and didn’t really have a choice.

      And #4, the most wonderful Manjo, is developed by a team around German or Austrian automotive engineer Philip Müller. Also clearly grown out of fraternity bullshit.

      Tell me more about Porteus, please. Is it awesome, easy to install, comes with all the proprietary drivers? Most important, is it Arch based so I can use the terminal to install my specialty apps?

      Like

      • “I know for a fact that 2 and 3 are made in the Netherlands and Ireland respectively. You won’t find fraternities in those countries” – Orca

        As usual, you make claims w/o any facts at all:

        University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Wageningen University and Research Center, Leiden University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, University of Groningen, Radboud University Nijmegen, Delft University of Technology, Maastricht University, and more that I won’t bother wid in a short post. Then there’s Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, The National University of Ireland, Galway, University College Cork, and too many more to list in this short post.

        Puppy Linux offered Nvidia drivers before the Arch-based OSes you have used. Porteus offers Nvidia modules…my Cinnamon version’s ISO weights in at just 359 MBs, i.e. none of the massive *BLOAT* of your Arch-based OSes.

        “Most important, is it Arch based so I can use the terminal to install my specialty apps?” – Orca

        All Linuxes are Terminal-based OSes, like DOS, and that includes Porteus…

        Liked by 1 person

          • I didn’t claim NL and Ireland don’t have unis and colleges. Of course they have. But what we don’t have in Europe are those idiot fraternitiy thingies. Particularly in Germany we have very old student clubs, which are used by students of rich parents. They practice sword fighting and hard drinking (hopefully not at the same time) and are mostly hardly legal rightwingers, future captains of industry. aka despicable human beings. But we don’t have these faternity houses on campus, where everybody lives who gets a place.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Burschenschaft
            https://en-academic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/637112
            https://www.wikizero.com/en/Burschenschaft

            In Germany students live either in state/uni owned dorms or they are just share flats. It’s a completely different culture.

            Like

            • “Puppy Linux offered Nvidia drivers before the Arch-based OSes you have used.”
              Again I didn’t claim Arch doesn’t offer Nvdia driver until recently. But Arch didn’t offer an easy installer for Nvidia.

              “Porteus offers Nvidia modules…my Cinnamon version’s ISO weights in at just 359 MBs, i.e. none of the massive *BLOAT* of your Arch-based OSes.”
              What you mean with modules? As long as I can’t install the driver with a single command/mouseclick I’m not interested. One reason why I went from EOS back to Manjo.

              “All Linuxes are Terminal-based OSes, like DOS, and that includes Porteus…”
              Didn’t you state your Porteus runs on Cinnamon? In the real world we don’t give half a fuck about if anything is terminal based, as long as we can operate it from a luxury desktop like Cinnamon it’s all good. And how much RAM it uses is even less important. So again not even half a fuk is given about lightweight distros. 😮

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Fraternities are in most countries…maybe not all Universities, but like the Netherlands, Germany also has fraternities…

    Also, university/college dorms & student societies ‘n “student clubs” ‘n etc. would be prone to helping out their favorite DW Distro…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dorms are available for everybody, not sorority members. Those have their dark villas in more rural areas where they have their drinkingh and swordfighting rituals.

      I’m well aware that most distos are predominantly used by students, that’s the same everywhere. But the distro makers, then devs and project leaders of at least Manjaro and Endeavour are not students anymore:

      Like

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