Break me of my debian based ways

I see a lot of you guys running Arch, Fedora, Suse etc. All I have ever used is debian based, and even now my go to is always ubuntu because theres something comforting about it. Well I think its about time I challenged myself to experience something new.

What would be the easiest distro for me to get into coming from debian?

inb4 install gentoo.
over my head.

EDIT: Maybe this would be better with a poll.

  • OpenSUSE
  • Fedora
  • Arch
  • Stay with Ubuntu and git gud
  • Something Else (Comment below)



OpenSUSE or Fedora.

Check out that website and read up on some distros that catch your eye.


Fedora is my recommendation. Open suse tumbleweed also comes highly recommended by many (and with good reason).

I have many reasons to not suggest arch and derivatives if your wanting it as your main OS. But that would take us on another topic.

If you like I'll give you a rundown on fedora and why it's a good choice :p


I'd love to see that.

Love to see the arch hate thread too

its totally relevant to this thread.

Edit: After reading the OP reply. Never mind.

"Break me of my Debian ways."


Never let people convince you that "Ubuntu is for n00bs," and never let anyone move you to Gentoo because "it's advanced." I moved to Ubuntu after being on Gentoo for years. I'm content for people to call me a n00b. While they're pointlessly watching compiler messages scroll by, I'll actually be getting work done.

I mean, if you want to jump ship over to CentOS or Fedora, more power to ya. But the challenge there is just learning how another distro manages itself. In the end, it's Linux. It's all Linux.


If you want to get into arch get Netrunner or

Hopefully you get a good antergos image.

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For me its not about that. I just want to see what else is out there and why people are on it. I stick with ubuntu simply because its all I know and its easy to google solutions, which I feel holds me back from understanding how to fix my own issues.

Bottom line, I want to learn but there is so much out there and I'm just looking for a direction.

I definitely dont want this thread to devolve into a dick measuring contest. I guess I should have asked a different question. Maybe I should have asked "Why do you use the distro you use?" too.

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Use what works for you. I happily run Ubuntu these days but everything I do professionally is Amazon linux on AWS or RHCE. I don't have any difficulty with either. Gentoo just reminds me of the old days with Solaris when it used to take 3 days to upgrade Apache lol. I get the fact that it's optimised for your specific hardware but I run almost everything in virtualisation these days.

If it's about the learning curve I'd recommend either looking at Centos or OpenSuSE before Gentoo. I've never touched Arch so I couldn't comment on that.

I stick with ubuntu simply because its all I know and its easy to google solutions, which I feel holds me back from understanding how to fix my own issues

I don't think this is fair, I think you perhaps underestimate what you can learn by the slight adaptations you have to perform to get fixes to work for you. It's just a case of learning to understand why what you did fixed it. There are people in the community who behave like you're somehow emasculated if you can't build everything from source. I have to manage an estate in excess of 100+ virtual servers plus physical servers, MySQL servers and an Amazon infrastructure. I don't have time to mess about. I use Puppet to manage as much as I can and aim to never have to directly log on to servers.

I tried Arch for a while... it was too much work for me. I did learn a lot though and the Arch documentation is A+ even when using other distros.

I also briefly tried fedora but had driver issues and didn't care for the feel of it. Apparently the fedora leadership is a clusterfuck too.

For now I stick with base debian. It works perfectly... all the freak'in time. Only down side so far is that sometimes if I want the latest version of something I'll have to manually get it since the package repo is kept at maximum stability.


I had a colleague who would've replaced his engine management system with Debian if he could. He'd have installed a keyboard and changed gears in bash too. When forced to install something on Red Hat once, he installed Debian in a chroot and ran the service from there.


It's been on my mind for a while to try something else out as well. However, I do like Ubuntu. I like how familiar it is, while giving me a lot of the same flexibility that everyone praises about Linux.
I'm one of those people who like Windows as well, so some familiarity is nice to me.

However, I'm delving more into the command line so I can learn more about how my OS is working. There are a lot of benefits to that.

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I've posted something similar before but theres a few things to consider.

  • Its close to upstream.
    What you get is fairly similar to exactly what the software developers made. Fedora devs push fixes upstream for everyone as well.

  • It takes security seriously, from download to running it.
    Fedora has thought about security in pretty much all areas of the organisation, from intrastructure, to distro security (though sining, selinux, download verification, etc.), to incident responce plans. Many distros dont go much further than signed packages. (Debian also does it well)

  • Its well supported and has a good community
    Fedora has good backing, its upstream of RHEL (not a red hat beta test). Fedora is to red hat, what debian is to ubuntu. Theres lots of user support for it from forums, foedra ask, fedora magazine, IRC, here (theres lots of us here).
    The package support is pretty great too.

  • It has good values (freedom, friends, features, first)
    It tries to be leading edge instead of bleeding edge, so features come where there ready, not to late, not to early. You also find that it has a focus on freedom, and in that aspect, propriatory and patent encumbered software isnt included. You need rpmfusion repos for that (also supported), it recently had an infrastructure upgrade to align with Fedora, and it works well (its a few clicks to install). And the slightly inconvenience it hink it good in the long run if it keeps the distros free.

  • Its standard. It tries to be ahead of the curve when technology is ready to use, but tends to use technology that ends up being widely used and supported across free software.

  • Its up to date (the aim for leading edge not bleeding edge as mentioned)
    So things like amdgpu the new mesa, etc. will come out quickly, theres no need to mess around with extra repos for bleeding edge software (though you can if you want through copr repos that has the git builds of mesa and co). Itll come in the distro or will end up in the next 6 month release.

Fedora has some similarities to Debian, but you'll find it ahead of them in terms of up to date software. They also tend to be quicker to implement new technologies. I find it better for desktops over debian as debian ends up just being to slow to update to newer drivers and day to day software.

the main difference is the package manager. If your used to the command line, youll find dnf is your friend, you can do it all from there, search, install, check dependencies, manage repos, manage copr repos, etc. Its quite good. and the basics are the same (dnf search, dnf install, dnf remove).

Like debian, there on systemd, like them they're using standard file hierarchy standards.

If you give it a go you might want to get the live respin which is just the latest release with up to date packages

You can also use the netinstall, which will let you pick what components to install from the install (so you can choose what DE, dev tools, server, etc. to install)

hm.. theres probably loads more i could say. Question, just ask.


I was glad to see a tie between Fedora and Arch. I moved from Ubuntu ==> Debian ==>Arch but Fedora in there would be a good thing, I think. Debian is fine though, I just prefer Pacman. Then Arch's rolling release, the AUR, the ArchWiki and the granularity grew on me. So Fedora or Arch; and Fedora THEN Arch would be a good idea for comparison.

rolling release is all fun and games till your daily driver is broken and you just want to check your mail...


Or why not Fedora AND Arch: Fedora as the host and Arch in a container. Get the best of both worlds.

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IMO, despite my hard on for Solus, go Fedora :P

I sometimes get this itch to try a new distro too ...
When deciding what to try I usually get some inspiration from this

It's rare that anything lasts long though ... I was with Debian since the days of woody. More recently I've got Ubuntu on my server and Mint on my desktop. I feel no shame about this.

edit: I also find it useful to try something on live media first, so this is a go-to for me aswell

It has been over 4 years, most of that with a single Arch install, and that has never happened - even with a power fail mid kernel update. The only reason for the current second install was a personal choice to migrate, not any sense of necessity.

Sure for the learning curve, why not. However, especially with Arch, a VM will mask many situations that can only really be addressed on bare metal. One obvious example of this is bringing up the NIC and establishing network connectiions. In a VM your NIC is already up and running on the host and the hypervisor is just sharing or bridging another path.

Also many desktop environments suffer in a VM.

For learning the package management and some of the configuration though, a VM is just fine. Hell every Centos instance I have is on a VM. Thanks Linux Academy!!