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OS testing March 28, 2009

Posted by Trezker in computer, linux.
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Since I started using Ubuntu I have often wondered if there are other flavours of free operating systems I might find enjoyable. But since I only had on computer to work with I just couldn’t comfortably try out anything since it would cripple my workstation for a full day. I don’t like having to shut down the IM, music, surfing, programming and other stuff.

This problem was remedied yesterday. I got to borrow a laptop from a dear friend. It seems to be a rather good laptop, but until I get something running on it I can’t be sure of that.

Anyway, the first OS I tried was FreeBSD, since that’s what was on it and it’s what he wanted me to try. But after half a day of confusion I found it’s installation system to be about as modern as my experience with Red Hat many years ago. Ok, maybe the dependency handling is better and the packages/ports have developed. But I’d really like to see them put a little more effort into the usability aspect. In my opinion you shouldn’t need a manual at all to get a decent window manager running. It should just be there, and vanilla X doesn’t fit in my definition of decent. I gave up on freeBSD for this time and decided to give some other distros a chance. I’ll get back to freeBSD another day and maybe try out some server stuff.

So next I decided to take a look at Arch Linux. I tried the FTP install, but it failed miserably. I think it may be worth another shot though. I’ve only tried to use the wireless so I need to at least give it a shot using wired network. If that doesn’t work I’ve also downloaded the image that installs from CD. I thought about the USB install but I didn’t see a boot option for that in the laptops BIOS.

The last distro I’ve done so far is LinuxMint XFCE community edition. This is something that sprung from Ubuntu, according to something I read, and it certainly seems to work as well as Ubuntu does. LiveCD that works out of the box with a decent window manager and it even properly used the wireless network as if it was the most natural thing in the world. It’s still installing the updates while I write this post though so I haven’t been trying it out in full speed yet.

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