Distributions December 2007

Linux is a very fast moving landscape so I tend to do a major update of my systems once or twice a year.

Although I moved over to Linux at the start of 2007, I decided to do another move in December as my main installation was getting rather tatty from too much experimenting!

So I went back through the distributions that I had looked at before, namely:

  • Ubuntu (along with the variants Kubuntu and Mint) now at 7.10
  • SUSE now at 10.3
  • PC Linux OS
  • Mepis

I know that everyone has their favourites but these were ones that I’d looked at previously as being well supported, kept up-to-date and working well “out of the box”.
However, having moved on 10 months or so, I was less forgiving of issues this time round. All of the distros had moved on so they all should be better.

I should, at this point, tell you what my hardware is. An ASUS motherboard with NVidia chipset, a mix of PATA and SATA disks, an NVidia 7600GS graphics card and a Soudblaster Live! 1024 sound card. This is relavent because, although these are pretty standard parts, several of them cause issues under Linux.

This time round Ubuntu really let me down. After installation from the CD, GRUB got confused over which drives were which (this is a bug in GRUB when using a mix of PATA and SATA and affects most distros). Also, the NV video driver was installed which has a bug that stops it working with the 7600 series graphics cards. Even when I got all that working, there were still other issues and I gave up at that point.

PC Linux OS had the same GRUB issue and would not even let me into GRUB to manually edit so that got ditched.

I didn’t bother with Mepis this time round.

I did try openSUSE 10.3 though and got a pleasent surprise! It worked! That’s it, nothing more. Everything worked. No mess, no fuss.

So now I’m using SUSE. There are some issues, I’ll tell you about those in another post or two.