The Corpus Callosum

Yet Another Gentoo Defector

It amused me today to see two blog posts, both about users switching
from
to .
 

rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link: Why I am making the switch from Gentoo to Kubuntu">Why
I Am Making The Switch From Gentoo To Kubuntu

href="http://fxjr.blogspot.com/2008/03/bye-gentoo-welcome-ubuntu.html">
Bye Gentoo… Welcome Ubuntu

Gentoo is the most complicated version of Linux, but also the most
customizable.  It enables the user to squeeze the greatest
performance out of their machines.  

Like the authors of the two posts, I recently switched.  I had
been using ,
a version of Gentoo.  It is a little easier to use than plain
Gentoo, but retains the customizability.  

Sabayon also was one of the first versions of Linux to get href="http://www.compiz-fusion.org/" rel="tag">Compiz
working reliably.  

The two authors I mentioned above gave up on Gentoo because of
persistent problems with the package management system, Portage.
 That I could live with.  Besides, Sabayon is
developing its
own package management system, href="http://wiki.sabayonlinux.org/index.php?title=Entropy#What_is_Entropy">Entropy,
which looks highly promising.  

What got me go make the switch?  


A new computer.  One incentive for using Sabayon is that I
wanted
the flashy desktop effects, but had an older machine that wouldn’t give
the level of performance I wanted without a lot of tweaking.  

It never was important to me to be able to get the absolute greatest
performance, but it was important to be able to get decent performance
without spending a lot of money.  This is a matter of personal
compromises.  Different people might have approved the problem
differently, coming up with different solutions.  That is
obvious,
but the reason I mention it, is that I am not saying the way I went
about it would be the best for anyone else.

The new machine is not a speed demon. In fact, the main design factor
was that I wanted it to be quiet.  The necessitated a balance
between the desire to not spend a lot, with the desire have a quiet
machine that is reasonably fast, and reasonably upgradable.  

Specs, for those who care, are: Intel E8400 processor, Asus P5KSE
motherboard, Giagbyte GV-NX86T512H  (8600GT with 512MB, and a
large heatsink with no fan), Zerotherm BTF90, 2GB Kingston KHX8500D2K2
RAM, Samsung SH-S203B optical drive, and a Seagate 160GB hard drive
(from the old machine).   This all goes in an Antec Sonata-3
case.
 The power supply is an Antec Earthwatts 500, with 80+
efficiency.
 For what it’s worth, I also got a Corsair Padlock 4GB flash
drive, the kind with a hardware combination lock.

The video card is kind of on the low end these days, but I have no
reason to burn a lot of electricity for graphics power, and the thing
is completely silent.  Similarly, the E8400 is a very
power-efficient part.  The Zerotherm cooler is almost silent.
It
usually runs at ~950 RPM, and keeps the CPU running at ~35 degrees
Celsius in typical use.  The Samsung DVD burner is the
quietest optical drive I’ve ever had.

Back to the software.  Kubuntu initially had problems with
power
management.  Now it uses Kpowersave effectively.
 Both of my
cores are usually running at just under 2GHz.  The suspend
mode
works, too.  KDE4 is available.  It works OK, but is
still a
little feature-poor.  My only little gripes are that href="http://www.nvu.com/" rel="tag">NVu is
not in the *buntu repositories;
isn’t either.  But after dinking around with Gentoo for a
couple
of years, I’m not going to gripe too much about installing software the
“hard” way.  

The other things like MP3 support, Acrobat Reader, etc, are installed
easily with .
 

Kubuntu is very simple to use and maintain.  The kernel is not
the
latest, but frankly the Linux kernel has gotten to be so mature, that I
don’t feel any need to use the latest one all the time.
 Another reason I liked Sabayon is that the
Sabayon folks are really good about updating the kernel.
 Earlier on, various bits of hardware were hard to use unless
you had the latest kernel.  That isn’t much of an issue
anymore, which makes some of the more simpler varieties of Linux
feasible for everyday use.  

I know it’s still an uphill battle, trying to get more people to use
Linux. What I’ve tried to illustrate, though, is that Linux is getting
to be much easier to use, but it still is incredibly versatile.
 

Comments

  1. #1 PhysioProf
    March 11, 2008

    If Adobe ports all their design software to Linux, I’m there.

  2. #2 Chris
    March 11, 2008

    Nvu is not in the *buntu repositories

    You’re looking for KompoZer, which is in the repos.

    As it says on the Nvu website, KompoZer picked up the Nvu codebase and has added several bug fixes and such.

  3. #3 Hussam Al-Tayeb
    March 11, 2008

    “Gentoo is the most complicated version of Linux,”

    I wouldn’t say “version of Linux”. It’s basically just another distribution.

    I keep hearing about issues with Gentoo…. but mostly developer issues. Those may be correct as I haven’t used Gentoo yet. I’ve been using ArchLinux since mid 2006.

    Regarding hardware support in the kernel, an older kernel might work for you, but there are still people who will need an new kernel just to get the Ubuntu live cd to boot their machines with all devices running including some simple network cards. Having said that, I’m glad Ubuntu is working for you :-)
    Back when Ubuntu 7.04 was releases, I downloaded the live cd and booted it. It didn’t have the driver for my network card. I suppose 7.10 does but nevertheless, they might still be a problem.

  4. #4 Janne
    March 11, 2008

    Automatix will unfortunately break your install in some subtle ways (you’ll have real problems upgrading). And Gutsy, the current version of Ubuntu, already has all those extra pieces available in the real repositories. It had its place for the first versions of Ubuntu, but now it is both unnecessary and dangerous.

  5. #5 Joseph j7uy5
    March 12, 2008

    Sure, “distro” is the correct thing to say, rather than “Linux version” but I wanted to make the post a little more readable for people who aren’t up on all the lingo.

    I’d never say that the driver problems are all in the past. It’s just that they are a lot less troublesome than they used to be. Considering that Microsoft is moving to a 64-bit architecture, I expect that Windows users are going to end up having just as many driver problems as Linux users. Also consider that getting a new network card is a lot cheaper than getting a license for the other operating system. Obviously with a new build, it is simple to avoid driver problems. Sites such as openprinting.org help.

    Thanks for the tip about Automatix. I’m not too worried about it, since I tend to backup everything to a NAS and to a fresh install anyway, rather than upgrading. But not everyone would want to do that. New users might want to avoid using Automatix.

  6. #6 youtube
    March 31, 2008

    It is a little easier to use than plain Gentoo, but retains the customizability.

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