linux users are all crazy fundamentalists

I’ve spent the last two days googling the different linux distributions (or distros, as the too-cool-for-school developers themselves refer to them. distro. rhymes with disco.) to figure out which of the options offered by my VPS hosting company (slicehost.com) I should go with. I’ve been trolling through linux users forums, hanging out in IRC chat rooms, and just generally starting flamewars everywhere I go.

Hint: want to start a flamewar in a linux chatroom? Just casually pop in and ask people which distro you should use. People will light up the channel with everything from the helpful,
Ubu4lif: There are a lot of beginner tutorials for Ununtu, you might want to start with that
… to the passionate,
DebCoreDev: Ubuntu is destroying linux! 4 out of 5 Ubuntu users are baby rapists! Do you love baby rape? DON'T USE UBUNTU!!1
… to the downright insane,
Blwinkl48: I compiled my own linux distro called ScurvyLinux. ScurvyLinux is the only distro that correctly handles packet addressing with Cyrillic text modifiers. You are completely vulnerable to attack from former Soviet hackers unless you use ScurvyLinux!
On the whole, not particularly helpful. Any conversation about linux distributions starts to very quickly sound like a fundamentalist tent revival. It’s all black-and-white, and any new user is a potential convert. The louder you shout, the more right you must be.

I started out on a simple quest: I need a basic LAMP server, capable of running multiple domain names on a single IP address, with some ftp access. That’s about as vanilla a setup as you can possibly get. Based on this simple setup, I sought some advice from the natives on which linux distro would be the best choice for me. I’ve summed up their advice here in this here handy list:

Debian

Pros: Debian places a high value on stability. If Debian tells you a package is going to work on their distro, it’s going to f’ing work. Like a Clydesdale. It has probably the largest user base, which just means that when you have a question, there are 50 arrogant pricks to mock you for being an idiot instead of 6. There are no tutorials for Debian. Debian users are too busy working for a living to write tutorials.

Cons: Debian refuses to support the GVideo Awesomo Force GX45800 Accelerator Card! Don’t they know that all L337 GaMerZ use the GX45800? Debian is so dumb for not supporting that card (repeat 50x, insert favorite obscure piece of hardware). Debian is the linux equivalent of your grandpa, sitting on his porch rocker muttering, “I just don’t think this new-fangled Frequency Modulation radio is going to be around for long. I’ll stick with AM. It’s a stable, mature technology …”

Ubuntu

Pros: Oooooooh, pretty! Ubuntu is Debian, with support for the GVideo Awesomo Force GX45800 Accelerator Card, and every other thing people complain about Debian lacking. It also includes support for new utilities and program upgrades sooner than Debian does, but sometimes that means they jack up the implementation. There are roughly 19 billion tutorials for how to do anything you would ever want to do with Ubuntu. Unfortunately, they are all written by a 12 year old who knows even less than you.

Cons: Every other distro talks about Ubuntu in the same condescending tone of voice that the Romans used when talking about those silly Vandals, right before the Vandals sacked and burned Rome to the ground. Admitting that you use Ubunutu is the linux equivalent of putting a spoiler on your Hyundai – the only people who think you’re cool are other people with spoilers on their Hyundais. Also, Debian developers keep bitching about Ubuntu developers … something … taking from the open-source community … never giving back … I dunno, I dozed off after a while.

Gentoo

Pros: Apparently, with Gentoo Linux, you have to build the whole operating system yourself. Yes, this is the big upside that every Gentoo user keeps touting. Oh, hooray, I not only have to build the website myself, now I have to handcode the damn OS too. Hang on, let me get my soldering kit and some steel framing and I’ll wire up my own power supply while I’m at it.

Cons: uhhhhh … you have to build the whole thing yourself?

CentOS

Pros: CentOS is NOT affiliated with any big name corporation. Not in anyway! Not us! It says so right on our website! If you’d like to try it out for yourself, you can downloaded our totally unaffiliated distribution at ftp://ftp.redhat.com. Not that there’s anything wrong with that …

Cons: Lying bitches. Also, according to one very helpful Gentoo evangelist, people who use CentOS are more likely to have unprotected sex. I am so completely not making this up. There are some batshit crazy ass people out there in linux land.

Fedora

Pros: see CentOS.

Cons: You remember that asshole who lived down the hall in your dorm, the one with the Che Guevara t-shirt who kept talking about freedom and the rights of the people, except for the right of the people to not have to listen to him playing Bob Marley’s Legends CD all night long? Fedora is kind of like that. It’s all about freedom. Freedom from copyright. Freedom from intellectual property restrictions. It’s all about freedom, until it comes to your own freedom to install whatever the hell you want on your own computer. Then, not so much with the freedom.

concluding thoughts

It’s an operating system, not a religious movement. I’m not looking to become a convert, I’m not going to give my 10%, sing your songs, fly your banner from my rooftop. I just want to setup my blog.

I was amazed at how hard it was to actually get decent, reliable, non-biased information about the differences between linux distros. Why can’t someone just say, “Debian is designed around this idea, Ubuntu around this idea, Fedora does this really well, but Gentoo is better at this.” After swimming through the muck for a few days, I’m left with this thought:

The Linux community needs fewer fundamentalists. I can’t hear you talk above the noise of your shouting.

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91 thoughts on “linux users are all crazy fundamentalists

  1. I’ve tried most of the distros you mentioned, at one time or another.

    Gentoo’s attraction really *is* that you get to (have to) create your own system, because this allows you to choose only the things you really need. For most users, this is not a benefit, because their systems can accept bloat. However, for older hardware, or for high-use servers, excess bloat can slow the system to a crawl or bring it to a halt. You then would want only the necessary modules and programs, and you’d want them compiled and optimized specifically for your hardware.

    Your “downside” for Ubuntu appears to be that other people might laugh at you for using it. That is hardly a reason for choosing or rejecting an operating system. If someone is that sensitive to criticism, then he should probably stick with Windows. Most people still use Windows, after all…

  2. One thing I know about Ubuntu is that it does what it can to keep the user from messing things up. However, an old version that I installed (6.06) messed things up so completely that it wouldn’t mount my flash drive untill I logged in as root in the shell and forced it too, other permissions problems also exist.
    I’ve been planning to get Sabayon, the official distro for Beryl, for a while, but can never get around to it, hopefully tomorrow.
    Anyway, great post, and I guess in the end the best thing is probably to try it for yourself.

  3. I used Windows for years and always thought about trying Linux. I did finally when Feisty Fawn came out. Ubuntu was pretty good I thought but then I found Kubuntu and, since I need my laptop for work, it was perfect. So really, you have to try, try, and try again to find the os that suits you. And anything that gets you away from the spend, spend, spend of MS will be great!

  4. You should do research about stuff instead of making assumptions about it when you decide to publish an article about it. That would be much more responsible.

  5. Ubuntu is probably the smoothest conversion from Windows. You can learn the command line at your leisure without giving anything up.

  6. I’m trying out different linux distros myself. But it is true that fanatics don’t take too well to being laughed at. Keep up the good work!

  7. As a novice user, what I really liked about Ubuntu was the support. Besides the fact that pretty much any problem that you or I (beginners to intermediates) may have has already been answered and is there for the searching, if it really is a unique problem people are more then willing to help. Granted, I wouldn’t ask a question without knowing for sure that it hasn’t been answered yet, for fear of being pelted with digital rotten fruit, but even then the answer may be written on the side of a moldy apple.

  8. ubuntu is kind of a half-way house for ex-windows/mac users. it gives you a lot of freedom and tries to make it difficult to mess things up. when it comes to serious customization, i’ve found it to become more cumbersome and unweildly. my advice would be to play with ubuntu til you’re comfortable with the command line, package managers, and occasionally compiling things from source, then if you make the switch to debian you’ll find it just about identical on the surface, only with a lot more freedom if you’re willing to learn how to use the more esoteric tools of linux. i’ve tried out every release of ubuntu from breezy on up, and i just got tired of the bloat and the relative inflexibility. but then i work on a few bottom of the line systems that i pretty much built myself out of junk, and performance tweaks are the norm on that kind of machine. in my experience, debian etch runs a lot faster than ubuntu edgy, which uses a more recent kernel, and it’s a lot easier to customize under the hood. and the default repositories are enormous compared to ubuntu’s.

  9. A few months ago I was happily running windows on my desktop at home, when suddenly my hard drive started acting up. It absolutely refused to boot 90% of the time. I reformatted, reinstalled, the whole 9 yards, no fix.
    Then I found http://www.howtoforge.com/the_perfect_desktop_debian_etch, and decided that to not at least try would be a crime, so I downloaded the ISOs for Debian on another machine and popped them in.

    I’m no expert. I haven’t even worked my way up to mediocre. But I can say that my transition from windows to Debian was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done on my machine. Following those instructions, I got all of the software I could need for a while, and enough experiential knowledge to get me going.

    And to top it all off, I don’t have any more hard disk issues!

  10. As a linux user etc…. i would say ubuntu is good for desktop computer but if you want to host something… i would see something like redhat or fedora because they have better security application. RedHat is probably the most secure Linux distro.

    http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/06/18/1224243
    Fedora is mostly the same thing as Redhat.
    I’m now a ubuntu user because one of the thing i hate about fedora / suse and may be other distro that have commercial homologue.

    Is that these distro (fedora/openSuse) may be used as test bench to the community. Like redhat include some things into fedora to test if it’s stable or not. This is may be why fedora is probably the only distro with the latest version possible of any software. I believe that since it isn’t fedora core anymore, fedora may be a good distro to use.
    I’ll have to try this out one day. fedora 8 or 9 because it evolves so fast…ah yeah the thing i hate too. Having 3 version of this distro per year is more than enough. With ubuntu/debian. You have longer support per version but it lack of update with softwares…->gaim beta while the project has been renamed to pidgin and there is a stable release. That suck…
    Anyway ScurvyLinux! is here to protect against soviet… ahaha

  11. debian is really the best choice for a simple server setup, without getting your hands all to dirty…

    look on howtoforge for some tutorials
    http://www.howtoforge.com/perfect_setup_debian_etch
    complete webserver setup, just skip what you dont want

    ubuntu is nice for desktops, easy to setup and use

    gentoo’s idea is great, ill be installing it sometime soon

    dont know much about fedora, but have heard some good things

    http://www.polishlinux.org/ has a nice disto chooser, and also comparison between all the mayor distros

  12. I have used windows for all my life and was kind of good at it… I mean I knew more than most of my friends did, helping the fix some problems, or installing it on their computer, etc… I got really fed up with windows, for the main reasons that are usually mentioned by linux fans so I decided to give linux a try. Well the first months were a total disaster. Going from forum to forum to try and sort out the problems, even understand how to get this thing properly installed and running smoothly.
    From this I understood two things:
    1) linux has a lot of choice about anything. It doesn’t matter that much the distro you are using, every distro can do whatever you want it to. But there is so much choice that if you are new to linux you need someone to guide you and forums may not be the best place to find that someone. You will be bombed with many different answers for the same question, many if not all correct, but all different. So you will have to decide for yourself which one suits you better, but of course, for someone completely new to linux, this is very difficult. So you either try and see what works for you or you find a friend that knows exactly what you want.
    2) overcoming that first difficulty you end up actually learning a lot. What looked like nonsense starts making sense and it doesn’t take much to understand what is going on and start figuring out for yourself the various ways to solve a problem that might appear. This is something that never happened to me for windows. A problem in windows can either be solved installing the X software that cleans up the registry, corrects errors or I don’t know what, or by formatting/reinstalling. Linux is different. You get to finally understand the various files and learn how to edit them yourself.

    I have used MS from DOS to Windows XP, which is a lot of time and I can say I do not know and I don’t care anymore to find out, how to fix the damn thing that breaks all the time.

    So, linux is more complicated because it has more options than windows. Same way the home DVD player is more complicated to use than the home VCR player. You can do more things with the first one, but you will need more patience to learn it. And linux is far from perfect, you will have many problems, depending on your hardware and use of your computer.

  13. Oh man! So hilarious!!! I use Mepis, SimplyMEPIS to be exact… Got anything to say about that???

    I have one thing in the Con section… It’s apparently based on Ubuntu (which in turn is based on debian, as if it makes sense to have something based on something that is based on something else)… anyway, I pull it out and it does my laptop’s wireless “out of the box” which is why I left Ubuntu, and I load up synaptic to make sure my system has all the latest bells and whistles and I check the repositories and they’re all keyed for Ubuntu Dapper Drake (about 2 versions ago)… so I replace them with the Feisty repositories. Smart, right? Yeah, no… Lemme just say I had to reinstall b/c the thing wouldn’t boot up anymore after that!!!

    Pro: it has about 4 “Assistant” utilities that are guided wizards for several tasks that make things like networking really simple, and it’s about as easy to install anything as it is in ubuntu (unless it’s in the feisty repositories, apparently)

    I like it, as long as I don’t dist-upgrade…

  14. I think your tone is spot on. I’ve been using Linuxes since Redhat 5.2 was on a cover CD about seven years ago and I’ve always had a problem finding the distribution I wanted, in large part, because of the [Insert-Distro-Here] Military Police, who rarely understand what they are talking about.

    The fact is that there are few differences between most major distributions and it is more a case of one having this or that feature first and then the other catching up.

    Sometimes their supposed principles do make a difference – Slackware really is a stripped-down affair, and Ubuntu really is a distribution for those less concerned with computer science as a discipline. But then, Linux-from-Scratch will teach you more than Slackware and frankly, a Windows user is unlikely to have any more problems with Fedora or Suse than with Ubuntu.

    Back in the day when Linux was almost exclusively the domain of academics and hackers, whether they referred to themselves as that or not, the proliferation of distros was a very good thing, because users didn’t think twice about compiling this, that and the other.

    These days, new users are coming from an angle at which they don’t care about these principles – they just want it to work and for there to be no hassle.

    The Distro Police are holding Linux back, because they honestly believe that it is best to get the distribution with most This and the most That and you’re just a moron if you choose something else. I recognise this because I’ve done it myself. But what Linux really needs is a bit of consolidation of code and purpose, because its excessive variety really screws up a lot of new users.

  15. there really is no such thing as an unbiased linux advocate. that is part of the beauty of linux. it seems like it would be annoying, and it probably is from a newcomer perspective. this is also why there are so damn many linux distros. you didn’t even mention a whole slew of distros who are also main stream, like mandriva (formerly mandrake), slackware (yes, it’s still around) and many many MANY more.
    linux iteself is a very personal thing, i find. many people place emphasis on different things, ubuntu on the “windows like experience”, gentoo on the “runs like greased lighting”, centos on the “i am an enterprise”, slackware on the “1994 never ended”. i joke, but really this is why there are so many, this is why everyone gets up in arms – in the end, choosing a linux distro is a very personal thing – and you should choose it based on your preference.
    instead of visiting blogs, or (ugh!) IRC channels and starting flame wars, why not decide what is important to you, graphics, development, security, ease of switching from windows; arm yourself with a bit of information, and the linux guys will come around.
    approach them with a goal in mind, not a “what do you think” sort of view. everyone has their own opinion (and distro) and will press their ideals on you – but if you approach with your own ideals, it is VERY likely that they’ll do their best to help.
    there are always assholes, but a statement like “i’m looking to switch easily from windows to linux, what distro would you suggest?” would work better than “hey, what linux should i use?”

  16. Heh, I thought your post was funny… spot-on. I know that I personally will quickly close out my web browser window if I’m at a site like Digg or something and people start arguing about Linux distributions. Frankly, it’s just embarrassing. Nothing is accomplished, and it reminds me of two dorky kids in elementary school arguing, with tears in their eyes, over which Star Wars character had a better helmet, Darth Vader or Boba Fett. It’s pointless, and they basically just agree with each other to begin with (i.e., they both think that Linux — or Star Wars — is great).

    In all fairness though, you would have had to be specific about stuff like what you wanted to do with your Linux system, how experienced you are with Linux, and what your biggest priorities would be for this particular project (ease-of-use, speed, etc.) if you really wanted someone to give you any help. Simply asking, “What’s the best distro?” is either going to get people pissed off at you, or they’re going to get all defensive of their favorite distro and argue with anyone who suggests a different distro.

    By the way, IRC chats can be the worst place to get non-biased information about anything. When people are put in a chatroom where they’re basically anonymous, their egos tend to take over and they’ll get into heated arguments over just about any insignificant thing.

  17. I recently went on a crusade to find the distribution that worked best on my new Dell Inspiron. After trying, Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, and Debian, I finally found that PCLinuxOS worked right out of the box, wireless drivers and all. Even had ATI GL support ready to go.

    I’m REALLY tired of people talking about how close Linux is to being a feasible desktop replacement when it took me close to a week to get basic things like drivers and 3d acceleration functioning properly. It’s just not ready for big time. No linux distro is yet.

  18. I’m a (dumb linux user)/java/IT architect. And in my line of work, I need to deliver everything fast. Ubuntu just does what I need in the most minimal effort. Sure I would proudly say I’m a noob linux user, and I don’t care, because thats the idea of open source right? Freedom, regardless of competency. And I’m glad there’s some linux distro’s that does not throw crap at you because you were not with them from the start. As long as it gets the job done clean and well and more importantly fast. Thats what would help you in this industry the most.

  19. RE: Ubuntu — it is easiest, period. I don’t use it, but I recommend it to anyone trying Linux for the first time. Moving to Linux there are two big problems — one is getting used to the subtle differences in how you do things (I mean just keyboard shortcuts and stupid shit like that — it is what takes most of my time whenever I change anything.)

    RE: Gentoo — not as hard as it looks. It does take time — the advantage is that the time you spend is time actually learning about your computer, and the standards that describe the technology your computer as opposed to the user manuals that apply to just one program.

    If you actually start researching what is available on Linux, you will shortly find that besides web servers, you can find development environments for every language, image editing programs, movie making programs. All of that is free and available to you — but no one feels a particular need to spoon feed it all into your mouth. This looks brusque at first, but think about it — if I tell you “Check out the Gentoo handbook — follow everything they say exactly.” — and you come back with a question without having read the handbook (which takes some time) you are wasting my time. Now if we are at your work, and you are asking me about configuring your desktop on Windows, I’m getting $20 an hour to have my time wasted, so I don’t care.

    If I am offering advice for free on the web, with regard to how you use thousands of dollars worth of software which is all free, and all has free documentation and manuals and tutorials available to you 24 hours a day, then I want you to do whatever is necessary to make it as easy for me as possible — because I am not getting paid, and believe it or not I don’t actually care about you all that much.

    And if I want to talk about my Sailor Moon obsession in the middle of my response — you just have to deal with that, because I don’t work for you, and if you don’t like me you can talk to someone else.

    Look at yourself in the mirror and say, once every morning until you get it: “It is my responsibility to decide what I want and to think for myself, and no one owes me anything.” Alternatively, offer a reasonable sounding person $200 to look into the question, and provide you with a clean, double spaced professionally written report comparing distributions. $200 is an insult to any competent technical writer, but at least it will show that you care a little bit about the answer you get.

    Maybe not friendly, but respectfully,

    James

  20. Gosh. Isn’t freedom and choice hard. Gosh. Wouldn’t it be lovely if there were no options and opinions. Life would be so much simpler. Move to another universe, or just gobble up the pre-digested proprietary options. Nobody said that freedom was simple or uncomplicated, or full of obvious, objective paths. Self determination requires that you be a critical thinking adult. If you can’t stand the heat of liberty, get out of the kitchen.

    Nobody owes you a living. They will, if you’re lucky, give you an opinion. If you need a stable, configured distribution, put in the legwork and research it, or buy it preinstalled (as you would with Windows). Just stop whinging like a Kindergarden pupil who’s just discovered that there’s a world beyond the chainmail fence.

  21. You’re very right about a lot of things here.

    I think it’s a shame that Ubuntu seems to have a reputation as a beginners’ distro, I moved to Ubuntu after several years on Debian because I quite like the FM radio ;) I’ve not experienced a big difference between Debian and Ubuntu in terms of stability but having said that I use Debian on my server and wouldn’t use Ubuntu on it as it’s just not necessary.

    As for Gentoo, I tried it once, having to build it yourself teaches you a lot about how Linux works but I don’t really like waiting 4 days for my operating system to compile.

  22. My advice has always been: try everything. With over 100 choices (last time I checked) something out there will just click with the way you work, and you’ll like it.

    That said, for running a LAMP server, run Debian. Do NOT use Gentoo.
    Debian=good because it’s quick, well supported, the package manager doesn’t suck (more on that in a minute), and the security updates are a high priority.
    Gentoo=BAD because it’s like an old car… needs to be fixed every week or so, but gee is it fun to drive. Not what you want for a server.
    As for ubuntu server, I’ve heard it’s quite nice, but can’t make a personal reccomendatuon.
    Then, theres fedora/RHEL/CentOS, which I collectively refer to as RedHat. The package manager (RPM) sucks. It’s slow, inflexible, has had a tendencey to fall over at the slightest touch, and is just painful to use. However, it just happens to support various servers that nothing else supports, so you sometimes don’t have a choice.

    Disclaimer: I’m usually a gentoo fanboy.

  23. Right on about the distro wars. Dunno why people get so darn religious about their distro, but then the same is true of MS fans. Like a lot of folks pointed out – Ubuntu is trying hard to look windowish and keep everything nice and simple. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, Ubuntu will almost certainly be right for you. If you need a super hyper mega secure web/ftp server, you won’t get that out of the box, but should look into forums for specific distros like netBSD. It’s not Linux that is silly, it’s the people.

  24. For all his condescending, Nick Mailer is not intelligent enough to realize that he just proved your point.

  25. whole-lee-buck-its. haha. ur funny, i enjoyed reading this. but who is this Lynn Ux you keep talking about?

    just kidding. or am i?

  26. I have used linux as an enthusiast since 1995. I have always preferred Slackware as my distro of choice as it is so configurable, that is, until Ubuntu 7.04 aka Feisty Fawn. What took me days to do in terms of configuration on slackware now takes me minutes on Ubuntu.

    I couldnt care less about the linux snobs who choose to ridicule the very people who are making linux a viable alternative to every other os.

    Ubuntu & Debian are good partners and between them offer the best distributions today!

    There will always be a place in my heart for Slackware.

  27. Hi,
    First of all sorry for my bad English.
    So u r comparing linux distros.
    let me tell you, before comparing go through the differences these distros offer.
    Main thing they offer is freedom of choice.
    If u r ignoring freedom of choice, go stick to that faulty Windows.
    I m not criticizing u but, as far as my experience Windows sucks.

  28. If you love linux you should discern between shit and shot.
    Its all about doing things by self as well as collectively.
    Yes there is some respect for newbies and scant respect for those who are just out of newbies. But there are mature guys too – you get to know them if you stay long enough. As for shouters, you have to prove to yourself that you are not one of them, me included.
    Choosing distros –
    One – Yes it takes a lot of time to figure out what / which one is best.
    Two – Use any one to start with, they are all good for starting, difference appears when you are extracting last drop of juice out of it.
    Three – you will change as you mature and as your choosen distro matures.
    Four – You may work with two distros and improve your choice without a serious break that is if choice prvails over finality.
    Five – They all brage about their USP. That S is for Shelling not Selling.
    Six – It is best to be with the best so go back to CLI point no One.
    PS : You may ignore that last drop and pick next orange from your free basket.

  29. Linux has come a long way from slackware or whateverware and everyware. Each one has become easier to configure & above all became user friendly. Imagine sticking in a USB Pen drive on a linux box of 1995 or around; and what happens now – Pop comes the autorun that too out of box. (mind you, it can come in black & white too)
    So we are talking of modern Linux and with todays hardware it is out of fun+fab+fad to remain a/on CLI.
    Lastly I want to say linux is as much about you as it is about what you give out to uoy, that’s your image if any and that give away is not a cheque given to MS or a bank balance left behind.

  30. Just one more thought…
    See you been waiting for things to happen –
    and if that is what you subscribe too then find in the table on that Wiki page who uses latest kernel and compilers

    Further into it check out what is their USP … bang it is fedora the hot potato – don’t touch it if any thing like mission critical is in your chain of thoughts.
    Have a good Linux!

  31. Despite your claim that I am not intelligent enough to realise it, Mitch, in fact, I am very happy to “prove his point”. Perhaps you are “not intelligent enough” to understand that his “point” is based on a fallacy to begin with – the assumption that Free Software has a desperate need to attract whining free-riders like him, and must adjust its course to sweep him off his feet. No. If he feels happier in the proprietary world, please, by all means, STAY THERE! That’s his choice. As an American Judge once said: “Sometimes beauty is fierce; love is tough; and freedom is painful.” The 1933 German election proved that many people shared the commandlineidiot’s annoyance at the “chaos” of freedom, and wanted some nice, comforting proprietary choices in its stead. It’s a dangerous instinct, which you braying hyenas (or astroturfers) support at your peril.

  32. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Godwin’s Law in action. I believe Nick just equated my frustration over distro fundamentalism with … loving Hitler.

    There are indeed some bat-shit crazy ass people out there in linux land.

  33. THIRTY-EIGHT (now, 39) responses to the post, “Linux users are all crazy fundamentalists”, when the average is zero or one! Who’da thunk it? Kinda makes your point, eh? Bat-shit crazy ass people, indeed.

    I chose Ubuntu. I’ve messed around with SlackWare, Fedora, and FreeBSD. Ubuntu just got traction with me, ’cause it’s not a hobby, I need something that works *right now*. I’d apologize to those who object, except I don’t really care.

    Like my spoiler? :-)

  34. Its more about the kernel some distros offer more support but there all basically the same they just have different base packages but all packages are able to go other distros as long as you have the dependencies figured out.

  35. I don’t particularly disagree with any of the humorous points you mention. However, the grizzle at the end was too much. If you spent all this time writing up a rant, why didn’t you also write the plain comparison that you so wanted.

  36. Nick Mailer – thanks for proving the point. Now take that $20 you were going to spend at Fuckhats’R’Us and go get a blowjob. Seriously. Then come back and have a Coke and a smile with the rest of us.

  37. While I won’t disagree with the content of your post (some Linux users are, indeed, crazy) it’s pretty obvious you went to the wrong place for your information. It looks like the kind of crazy ranting you’d see in an Ask Slashdot article. If you’re looking for more helpful information there are some great websites out there like Distro Watch that are relatively unbiased and objective.

  38. As I said, if people reasonably want help, I am more than happy to help them. But when, basically, they are selfish, whining, idiotic free-riders whose main recreation seems to be to bemoan the community they’ve chosen – bizarrely – to join, then why in God’s name would anybody want to help them?

    Go on about “zealotry” all you want, and mock conviction and principle. But, actually, as we enter the communication age, those who sacrifice their freedom for a contingent expediency *are* reflecting the very worst complacency that the human condition has to offer. Because it’s related to software, it’s easy to trivialise and to miss the grander point. Increasingly, software mediates almost every moment of our existence; whether the majority will remain serfs in this new world is a crucial question of modern ethics.

  39. This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title linux users are all crazy fundamentalists. Thanks for informative article

  40. :) you forgot distro which is teh b3st3r3st evva 4real!!

    truly amazing how protective individuals are of their own choice, and everyone knows that only your own opinion is the one true opinion: You are entitled to your own opinion, but your still wrong. Linux Zealots are all about efficiency, You are entitled to my opinion.

    But what can you expect? Linus is probably the one that yells the loudest and so clearly has no real deep understanding of OS design, but it’s ok, We are all entitled to his opinion.

    There are few distro’s out there i have never touched at all, Gentoo was my favorite, but at work i get paid for things other than setting up my computer, and at home i don’t want to f**k around that much, so i use Sabayon there. Don’t get your hopes up, they may be popular, but they have a long way to go yet. It’s amazing how their confidence of knowing the way to the perfect distro is capable of derailing them again and again.

    At work i use Fedora, not because i like it (it’s probably just less painful than *buntu) but because being born of Red Hat it works well with our Red Hat servers. For a quick and straight forward distro Slackware is the way to go, though recently they seem to have slipped behind badly. The latest release might turn things around … but unless they provide full x86_64 support i’m not going back.

    Just my 2 cents but at the end of the day, once you know either one of Gentoo, Slackware or Debian well, you know linux. If you have a good understanding of their differences to each other as well as RedHat / Fedora / CentOS you know all that you need to do pretty much anything with the OS itself. Course, no distro is the same, that would just make things too easy.

  41. You do realize that the reason CentOS claims not be affiliated with RedHat because RedHat specifically asked them not to… with lawyers and stuff.
    And also, more importantly because they aren’t.

    The CentOS project compiles the sources (which are by law, freely available) of Redhat, which in its compiled form, is quite expensive; takes all the Redhat logos, names and other trademarks and then provides the fully compiled ready to go form of said sources to the public for free.

    Naturally Redhat doesn’t like people knowing they can get the same software that they sell for free from another place, so they took legal action and now CentOS can no longer reference any names or trademarks of Redhat and now refer to it as ‘A Prominent North American Enterprise Linux Vendor’

    While the fedora project is similar, and also sponsored by Redhat, its not updated as often, and doesn’t have much in the way of support.

    Do some research before attempting sarcasm

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