Let’s do the distro hop!
January 14, 2008 1 Comment
I am an incessant distro hopper. I’m the distro bunny, moving around the Linux landscape, never staying in one place for too long. I sometimes come back to the same spots twice, but not for very long.
My foray into the Linux world started years ago, but it didn’t truly cement itself until the fall of 2001. I was using Windows 98 at the time, after having “upgraded” from Windows ME, and I was tired of the instability. Development inside of Windows 98 was painful, and sometimes I would end up reinstalling to clear up problems. While the rest of the world began upgrading to Windows XP, I began seriously investigating Linux.
The first Linux distro I installed was BearOps. I don’t remember why I chose that one, but I did. I printed off their user manual and put it in a three-ring binder. I downloaded the distro, installed it, and found it workable. However, I wasn’t completely happy with it, so I switched to Mandrake 8 shortly after that.
A habit was born. Every few months–or sometimes weeks–I would get tired of the current Linux install on my computer, and I would switch to a different one. Eventually it got to the point where I had several partitions on my computer that were just Linux installs so that I could boot into a different one and try them out. I tried source based ones, I tried binary based ones, I tried the big names, I tried the little names.
I’ve been searching for something, and I think I’ve finally found it. I’m incredibly demanding about the way my computer works, as can be evidenced by my constant switching when something just isn’t quite right. The distro I have finally settled on is: Arch Linux.
Arch Linux is fast. It’s just plain fast. It has a rolling update system so that I can get new software in a reasonable timeframe without waiting for an artificial “release”, and I don’t need to reinstall every six or nine months. It’s also just plain. No frilly extras, no pointless wobbly windows. Configuration is done from text files. As a bonus, it’s easy to add packages that I build myself.
After six years of looking, I have finally found my distro… I think.