What distros have you been testing recently?

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Re: What distros have you been testing recently?

Post by crosscourt » Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:22 pm

So far PCLinuxOS seems to have improved quite a bit and very usable even on my older hardware.
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Re: What distros have you been testing recently?

Post by wove » Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:05 am

As of now I have Ubuntu Focal build on Armbian running on the Pinebook Pro and Trinity built on Raspberry Pi OS running on Pi. Trinity was very sketchy after the upgrade to 14.0.9 and a huge update to Raspberry Pi OS, but after a couple days of use it really settled down and is now behaving very well indeed.

Armbian has reached parity on the Pinebook Pro with Manjaro. Power management is still a big short coming on all OSes. I could have built KDE on Focal, but when I tried Kubuntu 20.04 I did not like it. Gnome is a heavy desktop, but it it has a lot of useful application that fit well in their desktop environment.

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Re: What distros have you been testing recently?

Post by crosscourt » Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:55 pm

What was it you didnt like about Kubuntu 20.o4? Its a pretty vanilla KDE distro and has been very stable in my use.
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Re: What distros have you been testing recently?

Post by wove » Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:55 pm

I was dismayed when I installed KMail and all the other pieces to Kontact. Installing KMail did not also install the Akonda back end needed for KMail, KOrganizer and KAddressbook. Then when I installed Akonda, it did not install an SQL back end that is needed, and adding the MariaDB back end which is the most commonly used back end, I was informed that I lack sufficient permissions to use MariaDB.

It was annoying to say the least. I just repaved the HD and moved to something else. It is a KDE Plasma distro and in my opinion it really should come configured so the user can run whatever KDE Plasma applications they wish to run with the need for lots of extra work. Manjaro has similar flaws in my mind. I am frustrated with KDE overall. It has gotten prettier, easier to configure and low resource usage, which is good, but at the same time it seems like it is getting harder and harder to be productive in it.

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Re: What distros have you been testing recently?

Post by crosscourt » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:40 pm

I dont use the KDE apps much at all,as I use Thunderbird for email. I select all the apps I prefer to use and havent had any issues.
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Re: What distros have you been testing recently?

Post by wove » Fri Dec 04, 2020 4:24 pm

Linux has a great many applications that really do belong in best of class catagory for any platform. Those application are stand alone packages, self contained with very few ties to the desktop environment they might be running on. The weakness in my opinion is that these applications tend to reduce the desktop environment to being little more than a fancy launcher and storage container.

I still am not sure what I think about all that. It does seem to provide an explanation to the rise in popularity of tiling window managers and more bare bone desktop environments like xfce. I found the pop shell, which forces a tiling layout on the Gnome Desktop to be very useful and recently I discover Reogolith which comes as either a Distro or as ppa to install on Ubuntu. It replaces the gnome window manager with the i3 window manager and adds a great many keyboard shortcuts for navigating the system.

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Re: What distros have you been testing recently?

Post by crosscourt » Fri Dec 04, 2020 4:58 pm

KDE has many excellent features that make it a great DE but yes it is a glorified launcher and I dont have an issue with that.
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Re: What distros have you been testing recently?

Post by crosscourt » Sun Dec 13, 2020 4:16 pm

Ive been getting back into RPM distros and recently tested PCLinuxOS KDE and its Darkstar variant and it went very well. I was doing testing on ROSA but its really not been keeping up recently with support. Mageia 8 Beta 2 released so I installed it and this was an amazingly nice distro for a Beta. It felt more like a final. Will be testing GeckoLinux soon to see if their more user friendly OpenSUSE is worth using.
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Re: What distros have you been testing recently?

Post by wove » Sun Dec 13, 2020 7:34 pm

I can not really say I am using distros, so much as just assembling my own desktop environments. Armbian has really hit a nice stride providing a very nice base system for the Pinebook Pro. Sleep still does not work, but it goes into an idle state and recovers without hitch, which does mean the battery lasts for several hour of running time, and many hours of idle, giving 24-36 hours between needing to find power. A nice feature of the Pinebook Pro is that it boots by default from an SD card, so switching environments is as easy as starting with a different SD card in the slot.

As of now my favorite is the Trinity Desktop on top of Armbian's Ubuntu Focal release. It is fast and very well behaved. I have also been working with the Pop shell running on top of the stock Ubuntu Gnome shell. It is a pleasant user experience, but often feels a tag laggy. I have in the last few days been Playing with Regolith, which does have a full distro of its own but also uses PPAs to install on Ubuntu. It uses Gnome software for applications, but forgoes using the Gnome shell in favor of using the i3 window manager. The i3 window manager does away with any laggyness, but being almost completely keyboard driven makes for a fair sized learning curve to use.

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Re: What distros have you been testing recently?

Post by crosscourt » Sun Dec 13, 2020 7:38 pm

I use small SSD drives, typically 128gb to run my test distros. I pop them in my laptops and switch them between systems. These Dell laptops have external bays so pulling them in and out is very easy. Ive never used ARM based hardware so the experience would be quite foreign in many ways.

My first distro was Xandros but I spent a lot of time using Mandriva early on.
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