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#26 2013-11-26 13:48:03

drcouzelis
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From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,441
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Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

nomorewindows wrote:
cfr wrote:

By the way, what exactly can't you do on OS X that you can do on a Linux box? I'm just curious as I'm finding it hard to think of anything which is not just Linux specific.

OS X is just FreeBSD or so I'm told.  Maybe OP wants ArchBSD?

Some code might be shared between the two, but Mac OS X is very much not FreeBSD. I don't mean to sound argumentative but I do mean to sound emphatic: I'm not the OP but I think ArchBSD is exactly NOT what he wants...

...but I do understand the question by cfr: I know there's a lot that can be done in Arch Linux that can't be done in Mac OS X, but what specifically are you (OP) looking to do with your Linux installation? That might help us better suggest a Linux Distribution. smile

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#27 2013-11-26 17:24:42

ANOKNUSA
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Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

minus wrote:

I will have a look at CRUX and Darwin as you have suggested.

nomorewindows wrote:

OS X is just FreeBSD or so I'm told.

The Darwin project is the basis for OS X, and was forked from the BSD code tree some years back. OS X and FreeBSD share many traits under the hood, but the difference in approaches is significantly different.

This may be a bit of topic, but @minus: Have you already looked into MacPorts or Mac Homebrew? They're a ports system and package manager, respectively that allow OS X users to install most of the *NIX goodies we're used to using on Linux/BSD. Because OS X is built on Darwin, most of the core UNIX utilities already exist on Mac, and MP/HB can allow you to install much more third-party software.  You can install up-to-date versions of, say, various language interpreters (Ruby, Python, etc.); most text/cli stuff we're familiar with is available, and I know folks have gotten at least Xmonad and DWM working on Mac. It probably won't help with any Linux-exclusive things you want, but it might allow you to install a great deal of the things you're looking for; you might find in the end that just having a Puppy Linux or TinyCore setup is enough for whatever's left.

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#28 2013-11-26 21:39:16

Gulver
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Registered: 2013-05-24
Posts: 208

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

If you are going to use your computer once in six month, regardless of how cool a distro or os you want; Debian is what you need. Redhat is also a smart choice but its not gratis.

BSDs are also cool but I don't have any deep knowledge about them to suggest anyway.

Last edited by Gulver (2013-11-26 21:44:27)

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#29 2013-11-26 21:46:51

anonymous_user
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Registered: 2009-08-28
Posts: 3,058

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

Gulver wrote:

Redhat is also a smart choice but its not gratis.

CentOS then?

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#30 2013-11-26 21:57:26

Gulver
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Registered: 2013-05-24
Posts: 208

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

anonymous_user wrote:
Gulver wrote:

Redhat is also a smart choice but its not gratis.

CentOS then?

Yeah, there is that but I, for myself wouldn't go for a spin-off while there is Debian. Yet it would be wiser if the machine will run as a server somehow.

That's just my opinion of course. I have to say that I'm generally way off when it comes to suggestions big_smile

Last edited by Gulver (2013-11-26 21:58:37)

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#31 2013-11-26 22:51:36

WonderWoofy
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From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

CentOS isn't really a spin-off in the way that Arch based distrolets are. It is just a rebuild of Red Hat with CentOS branding in place of the Red Hat stuff.

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#32 2013-11-27 16:36:09

minus
Member
Registered: 2007-12-20
Posts: 21

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

I am a bit suprised that there are so many replies.

@Spider.007:
You are perfectly right about not discussing OS X desktop search vs linux desktop search, I was just curious if there is a linux alternative that I am not aware of that just works (last time I checked was a couple of years ago).

@blackout23:
I guess Frugalware and Slackware are both good distros (haven't ever used them), but I think I'd like to go with one of the main stream distros, as it should be easier to find solutions to problems with a larger community as backbone.

@x33a:
Same as for Furgalware or Slackware, Manjaro seems to be too special for my purposes.

@fsckd, graysky, mianko, Gulver:
Debian seems promising but outdated packages also sounds like potential problems if I really need the current version of a particular programme.

@sitquietly:
I think your objective is very similar to mine. As OpenSUSE has already been recommended to me I will give it a try (even though I did not like it when doing my very first steps with Linux).

@ewaller:
I figured out on my own that Gentoo is definitely not for me, but thanks for the confirmation, though smile
I cannot use Windows as baseline really, as I have not used it regularly for a while. But if I compare Arch to OS X I would say that Arch required twice the amount of maintenance than OS X, given that I use Arch regularly. I must admit that Arch lets me do with my system exactly what I want - but I'm happy with (unchangeable) default settings as long as they are tuned very neatly, which most of them are on OS X. Still, Arch would be my first choice if I would be after a linux for regular use...

@cfr:
Just a few examples: Matlab is way more stable on Linux than on OS X (as the OS X version is relying on X11...). Also, as mentioned earlier I do have quite a few linux-formatted harddrives, which OS X is not happy to let me read them. Last but not least, out there are a few very specific tools for medical image analysis research that are built for linux - surely I would be able to get them running on OS X, however, linux is the easier (time-saving) way.

@ANOKNUSA:
I am very happy with homebrew (at least on my new Mac, my old Mac needs a reinstallation as MacPorts has somehow messed up which Homebrew doesn't like...)

So, to summarise, my focus now is on the following distros:
Debian
+ stable
- outdated packages

OpenSUSE
+ GUI for configuration (saves time for diving into distro-specific details)
- RPM package system (not really familiar with it, but my first impression were not so good)

Ubuntu/Mint
+ long-term support option

CentOS
(no idea, yet)

My guts tell me that I should go for Debian/Ubuntu/Mint (I am at least a little familiar with apt-get and .deb packages), but I cannot really tell the differences between the three, apart from the observation that Ubuntu is more frequently used by linux novices and condemned by many Unix people, whereas Debian seems to be dominated by oldschool Unix folks. The latter might be a hint that Debian requires more terminal work smile

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#33 2013-11-27 16:40:52

anonymous_user
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Registered: 2009-08-28
Posts: 3,058

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

If your concern is outdated packages then consider using apt-pinning (for Debian) or PPAs (for Ubuntu). Depending on which packages you need up-to-date this may or may not suffice.

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#34 2013-11-27 18:16:15

minus
Member
Registered: 2007-12-20
Posts: 21

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

I have just read a bit about Debian and the stable version seems attractive to me. I have read about Backports, in order to use testing packages in stable - how is this related to apt-pinning?

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#35 2013-11-27 18:46:00

2ManyDogs
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Registered: 2012-01-15
Posts: 1,657

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

minus wrote:

I have just read a bit about Debian and the stable version seems attractive to me. I have read about Backports, in order to use testing packages in stable - how is this related to apt-pinning?

You are starting to ask questions that would be better asked on a Debian support forum. You can't really get Debian support here. If you would like to try a Debian stable distro with a helpful forum, you might try Crunchbang.

Last edited by 2ManyDogs (2013-11-27 18:47:31)

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#36 2013-11-27 19:15:23

anonymous_user
Member
Registered: 2009-08-28
Posts: 3,058

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

minus wrote:

I have read about Backports, in order to use testing packages in stable - how is this related to apt-pinning?

iirc, Backports are packages that have been recompiled to run on Stable. OTOH, apt-pinning allows you to fetch package and their dependencies from the Testing or Unstable repos without upgrading your whole machine.

Like 2ManyDogs has posted, you may be better off asking on a Debian forum. They might be able to give a better explanation or give a practical advice concerning outdated packages.

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#37 2013-11-27 19:27:48

drcouzelis
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From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,441
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Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

minus wrote:

I am a bit suprised that there are so many replies.

You asked for an opinion, and if there's one thing this forum has it's opinions. wink

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#38 2013-11-27 20:16:52

sitquietly
Member
From: Moscow, Tennessee
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 216

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

minus wrote:

.....
OpenSUSE
+ GUI for configuration (saves time for diving into distro-specific details)
- RPM package system (not really familiar with it, but my first impression were not so good)
.....

rpm/deb/pacman are very slightly different ways of tarring up an image (/usr/bin/xyz, /usr/lib/libxyz.so, /usr/include/xyz.h...) along with some meta data like the {pre, post} {install, remove} scripts. The differences are small and arbitrary.  What I like about OpenSUSE packaging is that they use Open Build Service to build them, and they have the best dependency resolver in the business (which is being adopted by Fedora as well).  All the user/admin really sees is the package manager.  In OS that pretty much means you need to know

zypper install <package>
zypper update
zypper remove <package>

When packages are added via the web interface at software.opensuse.org the repository the package comes from is automatically included in future updates -- there's no searching for unoffficial repos as you have to do for Debian, or for ppas for Ubuntu.  .

Probably everything you need to know about zypper is here.

Package management on OS feels to me like a nice mashup of Sabayon's Rigo web interface and Arch's pacman command line.  I too was more familiar with apt-get than zypper but in use I'm finding zypper to be simpler and more understandable.

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#39 2013-11-28 03:03:41

nomorewindows
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Registered: 2010-04-03
Posts: 2,978

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

FreeBSD would be a good choice if it does what you need it to, and it can be stingy.  Debian or OpenSUSE would be my recommendation.  Maybe a look at the forum thread "If not Arch, then what?"  I think it's under Try This.


I may have to CONSOLE you about your usage of ridiculously easy graphical interfaces...
Look ma, no mouse.

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#40 2013-12-04 22:55:08

hawaiicharles
Member
Registered: 2012-12-21
Posts: 71

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

minus wrote:

I guess Frugalware and Slackware are both good distros (haven't ever used them), but I think I'd like to go with one of the main stream distros, as it should be easier to find solutions to problems with a larger community as backbone.

I admit that I may not be the most knowledgeable person on the subject, but I had always thought Slackware was one of the most well-respected distros available.  In other words, if Slackware isn't mainstream, then what is?

My own experience with Slackware is limited, but it's the first Distro I thought of when I opened this thread.

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#41 2013-12-05 00:37:32

drcouzelis
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From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,441
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Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

hawaiicharles wrote:

I admit that I may not be the most knowledgeable person on the subject, but I had always thought Slackware was one of the most well-respected distros available.  In other words, if Slackware isn't mainstream, then what is?

My own experience with Slackware is limited, but it's the first Distro I thought of when I opened this thread.

You are correct, Slackware is certainly a mainstream distribution.

Even so, it would not be a good alternative to Arch Linux for the OP, since, without a package manager, it lacks the simplicity of having pacman.

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#42 2013-12-05 22:11:38

Ultraman
Member
Registered: 2009-12-24
Posts: 242

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

I've switched to Debian after 4 years of using Arch for pretty much anything.
I use Debian Wheezy (stable) on my laptop, because this thing is important to me and needs to keep functioning. I mostly use the software available from the stable repos, so X, KDE 4.8, Iceweasel ESR (Firefox ESR) and Icedove (Thunderbird). I also use some wheezy-backports, for example the Linux 3.11 kernel and LibreOffice 4.1.2. And some small stuff from Jessie: youtube-dl.
It's perfectly usable, it's stable and it does not feel antiquated at all.
If something from the stable repo happens to be too old I can get it from backports or testing most of the time, including dependencies, and it just works.

My PC @ work runs Debian Jessie (testing), so it's a bit more up-to-date. This release is in a rolling state at the moment, until the freeze will happen in November 2014. Also works without any trouble and I can trust it to work after an update.

If you really want something like Arch you could look at Debian sid. There are some notable derivatives based on it that might interest you, "apttosid" and "siduction" come to mind.

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#43 2013-12-05 23:53:35

blackout23
Member
Registered: 2011-11-16
Posts: 780

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

drcouzelis wrote:
hawaiicharles wrote:

I admit that I may not be the most knowledgeable person on the subject, but I had always thought Slackware was one of the most well-respected distros available.  In other words, if Slackware isn't mainstream, then what is?

My own experience with Slackware is limited, but it's the first Distro I thought of when I opened this thread.

You are correct, Slackware is certainly a mainstream distribution.

Even so, it would not be a good alternative to Arch Linux for the OP, since, without a package manager, it lacks the simplicity of having pacman.

I often hear that Slackware has no package manager and no dependency resolution, but there seem to be some package managers/helpers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slackware# … management

Their community is certainly smaller but probably very knowledgeable and competent.

Last edited by blackout23 (2013-12-06 00:06:45)

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#44 2013-12-07 11:09:56

lmello
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From: Brazil
Registered: 2012-11-06
Posts: 289
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Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

If you dig KDE, then Slackware is for you. I had an Slackware box as a file/printer server for my home network. Too bad its HD died, so at the moment I'm only on Arch. The KISS aspect of Arch you will find in Slackware, and it's pretty damn stable like Debian - Pat only releases a new version only when 'it's done', yet its release 'cicle' is shorter than Debian's. Another great thing about Arch and Slackware is that the library packages are not split into 'devel' (containing the header files) package and the actual .so library package, thus you won't find problems compiling software. Maintainence is a bit trickier, it uses BSD-style boot scripts and pam is abscent. The major problem is the lack of third-party packages but you will find thousands build scripts at slackbuilds.org and sbopkg is a great little interface program that automates the build process. Also, all packages are as 'vanilla' as they can get like in Arch Linux.

Last edited by lmello (2013-12-07 11:18:55)


Fundamental Axiom of the Universe (aka Murphy's Law): Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
First Digital Deduction: Nothing obeys Murphy's Law so well as computers.
Second Digital Deduction: Everything go wrong at least once.
Third Digital Deduction: Things go wrong even when there's absolutely no possibility of anything go wrong.

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#45 2013-12-14 05:20:34

shaunsingh14
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From: New York, NY
Registered: 2012-01-07
Posts: 97
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Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

It basically boils down to 3 distributions:
- Slackware
- Debian Stable
- CentOS (RHEL clone).

They're all incredibly rock-solid and it just goes down to personal preference.

Debian is incredibly rock-solid due to the stringent testing that the development team puts in during the freezing process and has a better package management infrastructure than Slackware or CentOS, along with a much larger selection of software in the binary repositories. However, there's NO facility like PKGBUILDs or Slackbuilds whatsoever. Debian also doesn't do a lot of updating to Stable. It's mostly just security updates. Software version upgrades outside of backports are rare (it CAN happen, but it rarely does). Backports are also a pain in the ass to get going.

Slackware, like Debian is incredibly rock-solid too. However, it's for different reasons. Slackware has very little in the way of system-specific modifications, and its package manager doesn't resolve dependencies. So basically, it's clean and bug-free because the developers don't get down and dirty with dependencies like the Arch, Debian, and Red hat developers do. Obviously, that's a bit hyperbolic but that IS one major reason why Slackware is clean and bug-free. The upgrade procedure is also quite complex, so no "pacman -Syu" or "apt-get dist-upgrade"

CentOS is pretty much like Debian, but with a more modest selection of software in the repositories by default (unless you go with RPMFusion, then the numbers are neck-and-neck from what I understand). CentOS also sometimes fails to deliver on timely updates, whereas Debian only provides security updates to Stable if the need arises. CentOS also is moreso catered to enterprise-level usage (considering the fact it descends from an enterprise distribution), whereas Debian is more general-purpose.


Before you run for help, always consult the All-Knowing ArchWiki
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Main_Page
New to GNU/Linux? Read this to succeed with Linux.
http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showthre … did=153396

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#46 2013-12-14 05:35:41

MALsPa
Member
From: albuquerque
Registered: 2013-12-10
Posts: 8

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

shaunsingh14 wrote:

it just goes down to personal preference

Yup. My personal preference is to have both Debian and Arch installed here. I like them both too much to pick one over the other.

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#47 2013-12-14 17:11:31

jkrx
Member
Registered: 2013-12-14
Posts: 5

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

3 distros comes to mind

Slackware
CentOS
Debian

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#48 2013-12-24 20:35:17

bladdo
Member
From: Blacksburg, VA
Registered: 2008-05-05
Posts: 111
Website

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

package manager / long-term maintainability-wise i'd have two recommendations:

1. slax
based on slackware, gives you a modular system with aufs packages
you customize the modules in your system in the fs with community and your own modules (simple to write your own)
don't overlook it because many just use it for removable media/usb simply. this is just one more advantage -- your entire system lives in your fs.
http://www.slax.org/en/documentation.php

2. gobolinux
good if you're running old hardware (x86) and only need limited packages.
it's a bit dated but depending on your hardware it could still work out for you.
the filesystem is the package manager's database.
http://www.gobolinux.org/?page=at_a_glance


bladdo / mil / Miles
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#49 2013-12-29 19:30:29

xtraroot
Member
Registered: 2013-12-17
Posts: 59

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

Why not Fedora? It has the biggest official repositories, third in cutting edge next to Gentoo and Arch I believe, and not rolling release. It sounds like the ideal distro for what you're describing.

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#50 2013-12-29 20:49:07

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 12,740

Re: A long-time Arch user is looking for an alternative

It has been suggested that this thread may have run its course.  We have not heard from the OP for a month.  It is time to bring this to a close.


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