On Tue, Mar 06, 2018 at 10:52:35PM +1100, Andrew Greig wrote:
> I had a looked for Raid 1 + Tumbleweed and it seems that there are a few
> "gotchas" in using btrfs in opensuse TW
> It is interestig that Yast2 is held in such high regard for its installation
> and configuration abilities. But for my money the gurpmi command (also the
> Mandriva Control Centre ) was the slickest and easiest I have ever seen.
> Hardware was never a problem for Mandrake/Mandriva, and installation was
> much faster.

Sorry, I have no specific advice about suse.  I've only ever used it when I
had no other choice (i.e. the system already existed, and I had to look after
it, and rebuilding it as Debian or Centos wasn't an option).  The nicest thing
I have to say about suse is that I don't like it, and the only reason I can
think of to use it instead of any other distribution is if you know lots of
other people who use it.

I've got a strong preference for debian (and derivatives like ubuntu) but I'm
happy enough to use nearly any other distro. suse is one of the few I don't
want to work with.

> Sorry about that digression.  So is there a platform that handles RAID
> really well? I went to OpenSuse for mapping. But now photography is my
> main work, so maybe I should be looking at installing the distro which is
> preferrred by developers of the GIMP and also Darktable.

Distributions differ mostly in their management tools, not in what software
they can run.

Some do have significantly more pre-compiled packages than others, so if you
want the largest selection of software, install debian (or ubuntu with the
"universe" repository enabled).

Debian "sid" currently has around 58,000 packages available.  There'll be
slightly fewer in the current "stable" release.  And some of them will be
"duplicates" (because packages are sometimes split into -doc, -dev, ētc
packages).  Still, there's at least 45-50000 distinct, separate software
packages available for installation with an `apt-get install` command,
including gimp and darktable.

The key thing is to get your system rock-solid stable so that you can rely on
it to get your work done.

Then stop fiddling with it and start working :)

Just keep upgrading regularly, for security and major bug-fixes. Every
so often there'll be a new major release to upgrade to.  Any of the
debian-derived distributions (debian itself, ubuntu, mint, etc) will make that
a breeze - smooth well-tested upgrades have been one of debian's strengths
since the 90s.

Other distros...not so much.  Some make a reasonable effort, but most just
give up and say "back up your data, install from scratch, and restore" as if
that's a reasonable upgrade procedure, as if hours of downtime is acceptable.
The only thing good about that is that it's a rehearsal for a disaster
recovery procedure.

So if you're asking for my advice on what distro to use - it's Debian, Ubuntu,
or Mint.

Of the non-debian distros, probably Fedora or Centos.

BTW, it's not always a good idea to follow install instructions from
developers.  Many of them are focused exclusively on their pride and joy and
don't give a damn about the operating system it runs on....and many see the
OS as an obstacle to be worked around.  Distribution maintainers, OTOH, have
to think of the bigger picture - the user will be using their system for more
than running just one application, they need a functioning and maintainable
*system*.  So if you see developers giving instructions like "make install"
or something insane like "run 'curl URL | sudo bash'"" then check to see if
that software is already packaged for your distro.  Even if the package is a
version or two behind, it's not worth breaking the system just to have the
newest, shiniest version.

Often someone has made a package for newer versions anyway - maybe on
backports.debian.org for debian or PPA repositories for ubuntu.


craig sanders <c...@taz.net.au>
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