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Re: [tlug] Mandrake vs. Red Hat

Charles Muller ( wrote:

> Is anyone able or interested in commenting on whether there are
> significant enough differences between these two distros to make such a
> switch worthwhile?

I tried, and quite disliked Mandrake.  Way too much cruft between the
admin and the OS.  And stupid little bugs like my USB keyboard not 
working in the installer (but the USB mouse did; go figure) that
don't belong in a .2 release at all.  Mandrake is the sort of
distro I would recommend for people who basically *like* Windows
and either like or least don't mind the unnecessary levels of
obscurity they give you via poor interface design.  Windows
95 was Microsoft's highwater mark for GUI design, and they've been
going downhill ever since.  XP?  Puhlease.  But I digress.
Mandrake also puts too much between you and the OS, and that too
much is neither as intuitive nor as reliable as it ought to be.

Red Hat gets in your way a lot less, while being pretty similiar
to Mandrake in layout (naturally enough, Mandrake being based on 
it).  I also had much better luck with printing in Red Hat; Mandrake
uses CUPS and my printer didn't work in a default Mandrake install 
(same printer, same gimpprint driver, but lprng instead of cups
works under RH).  My dad uses Mandrake and has also had a lot of
printing trouble; that seems to be a major topic in Mandrake 

Debian?  I'm leaning strongly toward moving to Debian in my
Copious Free Time.  Apt-get is very nice.  Works the way
URPMI ought to work, maybe b/c URPMI is an attempt (not entirely
successful) to glue apt-get features onto RPM.

Debian is worth a shot.  Connectiva is also said to have
added apt features to rpm quite successfully.  Might be worth
a look.

Somebody will no doubt jump in here and promote Gentoo.
It seems like a good distro, but whether or not it's right
for you depends on how much you want to roll up your sleeves
and make it work, and how much you want it to Just Work.  If
the former is your thing, it's worth a look.


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