Looking for rolling release distro for mother

I am looking for a solid Linux distro that supports Mate DE and is rolling release. The hope is that I wont have to "upgrade" her OS anytime soon but will still get the latest software. It needs to be ideal for "new" users even though she has used ubuntu off and on for years. I am leaning towards OpenSuSE Tumbleweed.


Rolling doesn't sound ideal, it'll be constantly updating and more likely to break. In general don't fear the upgrades, my mum is on 14.04 and unless something else is needed will be on that until 2019.

isnt LinuxMint on shakey ground security wise? Didnt they just get hacked and backdoored?

Yes and no. They had their ISO teir 0 mirror compromised. They found out very quickly and released a PSA. I'm not sure what happened afterwards, as far as remedies for the situation go. That said, I would say Mint is a good beginner distro for those who don't know much about their system or don't want to monkey around on the CLI every time they want to get software.

As far as rolling vs non-rolling goes. For end user applications like Firefox, Chromium, Thunderbird and LibreOffice, most non-rolling release will be either on the latest stable or within two of the latest. I wouldn't worry about keeping the latest and greatest features.

what about how Linux Mint has not kept up to date with the latest versions of Ubuntu? After all, they are based on Ubuntu and in the past followed the releases fairly closely.

I really like Antergos. I've used Ubuntu and Linux Mint for years.
Decided to try something new, stuck with Antergos.
Opensuse's DE crashed for me 3 times in 2 hours and after 3 hours the whole OS locked up so that was that.
Zabayon seemed to require EFI-boot, not something I need or want so that was a no go.
Ubuntu 16.04 has "issues". Some really bad. Avoid currently.

Antergos is built on Arch but it comes with everything included, DE etc. AUR is awesome too.
Rolling release. I'm running Cinnamon on it. AFAIK, it's very similar to Mate. IIRC, I installed cinnamon afterwards, can't remember what it came with. DEs are usually no problem to switch out in any distro.

1 Like

Since this is the first I've heard of it, I'm not qualified to speak to it.

If you don't like Mint, look at Elementary OS or Solus (less packages on there, but still awesome, not a derivative of any other distro)

I really like Antergos. I've used Ubuntu and Linux Mint for years.

The problem with arch is that it's not for the "unwashed masses." You can't just throw your mother on there and expect everything to run smoothly. Arch is more bleeding edge than most distros. It's called "bleeding edge" for a reason. You can't run it without a little blood, sweat and tears. Don't get me wrong, arch is great but I can't justify recommending it to someone who doesn't have at least 4 years of linux experience and wants to play around in the command line every other day.

my mother seems happy with Mate as the DE.

I wouldn't recommend a rolling release either. I installed Kubuntu on my parents' computer. U can get Ubuntu mate.
Firefox and other programs will be updated automatically or manually and are unlikely to break the system.
However new kernels and bleeding edge technology has way more frequent updates (which can be annoying) and are more likely to break the system.
Just get als LTS version of Ubuntu or any other distro.

I am part of the unwashed masses. I don't do sysadmining on linux all day. I don't have to run 'sudo pacman -Syy' in CLI. Theres a systray tool that notifies me and then I just click it and it does the rest automatically. That's about as much you need to tinker with it.

It's no harder than Ubuntu.

But, when I do tinker with droplets, I always load up a Ubuntu 14.04 droplet. Just tons of good documentation out there, tutorials etc. And it's stable.
That is my 2nd choice for desktop.

I find Debian pretty good at that, specifically the 'testing' release. Will need some setting up beforehand but should be pretty stable.

Manjaro would be a good choice if you are looking for a rolling release distro.
Their official versions come with either XFCE of KDE plasma 5.
But there are also community releases with Cinnamon.
but you could basicly install any DE you like,
as long as you dont pick the KDE base one.

1 Like

I use manjaro with cinnamon, but I'm pretty sure there's a mate version too in the community releases, but as @MisteryAngel says you can just install mate on any version. It's rolling and has built in tools which make it really easy to do kernel updates, but personally I'd suggest leaving it on whatever it recommends unless you really need the latest kernel.

Also the AUR is really cool for installing packages which aren't in the official repositories.

latest Ubuntu Mate 16.04 is not a rolling distribution, but is a Long Term Stable release, supported for 5 years. This distro has been mentioned in many places as a good version of Linux for beginners, because they have a welcome centre displayed at launch to help newcomers

Also seen a great article for supporting family with a Linux distribution
Poor man’s Guide to Remote Linux Desktop Support

Not tried any of the backup and remote support in that article, but is easy to have same Linux version installed twice to same machine. If anything breaks on the install 1, boot install 2 and keep using machine until able to repair install 1; or save settings across to Install 2 and reinstall 1.

i decided to just stick with mate 16.04. now I just need a good theme. Anyone know how to get gtk3 themes in ubuntu mate? Im specifically looking for a Windows 7 or 10 theme. I guess a gtk2 theme is fine too. I want her to feel at home as much as possible.

Get Netrunner Rolling and just install mate. Its arch, so rolling, has pacman, add mate, you're good.

Whyyyyyyyy not use windows?

To quote @FaunCB , "Whyyyyy not use windows?
But to answer your question:

1 Like

because we are not. simple? capiche? Does that compute?

I mean you could just save the pain in the ass... Might be a wierd thought.

Unless of coulse mom is an archer, then all to you of course.

There's plenty of reason to tell Microsoft to kindly fuck off. But you know that, I've seen a bunch of your posts.

I recently got my mom to switch to Mint, advertising a super windows-like appearance without all of the annoying updates and phoning home.

1 Like