Why does asking for a good Linux distro turn into a holy war?

You’ve got a point, but I think it really depends on the developer and what the role of the software is.

That said, I agree that relatively recent is a good way to go. I say, if you’re withing the last couple point releases, you’re fine.

People who engage in distro holy wars are small minded idiots who have nothing better to try and argue about.

They all have their pros and cons, it depends what trade-offs you want to make.

One man’s “bloat” is another man’s “i have vendor supported binary packages that actually support stuff i may want to do on this platform without spending half a day recompiling shit”.

Oh so much this.

For the everyman, Ubuntu LTS or Fedora is fine and well supported (and that’s important starting out - any problems YOU have are likely easily solved or common with other users).

Unless you find something that doesn’t work on Ubuntu LTS or is easier to get working on say, Fedora due to the more bleeding edge stuff, Ubuntu LTS is probably where most should start until they figure out why THEY need something else.

I say that as someone who started on slackware 3.1 and spent a lot of time with Redhat (pre RHEL days) and Debian in the 90s/early 00s. Also spent a lot of time with FreeBSD on the server side, because Linux is just different for the sake of being different a lot of the time and i used to deal with Solaris, SCO and a few other BSD variants in the past.

After some years with linux, my personal believe is, that there is no real difference in Distros. You have a choice of “delivery System” as in rolling or point release. But that’s about it. All else is changeable anyways. With a distro you are mainly buying into a s repository. You decide how you want your software delivered and how fast.

People get so hung up on the front end stuff and the little things that they forget how close it all really is.
I personally have tried many distros and never had a problem doing everything i needed on any of those. Yes, AUR is practical, but i can get all of that under Ubuntu too. Just different ways of getting to the same goal.


Easy answer: some people, to feel smarter than others, sunk hours and hours on end on distros like Arch or Suse to get it perfect. So to justify all that time spent (or wasted, depend on how you see it) the go guns blazing in every post on Reddit to back up their choice and feel good with themselves.

Someone sane would just ask: how familiar are you with Linux? What do you need it for? Because they’re not raging fanboys that need confirmations in their lives.

My guess is most participants in distro holy wars are relatively new Linux users. Moving to Linux can involve a few stumbles. So, when someone finds a distro that they can install and use that does not produce the stumbles their earlier attempts did, they may jump on that distro’s cheerleading bandwagon. In many case, they won’t have really understood the reasons for those early stumbles but simply started throwing distributions at their hardware until something worked. Ego and lack of self-awareness gets involved and fanboyism sets in.

Users with more experience are more likely to understand what attributes they value most in a Linux distro and which they value least , and then match those with a distribution’s characteristics.

Re: bloat – I don’t see the point of this. It’s not 1990 and we aren’t using 20-meg hard drives. The typical full Linux install consumes less than 10 gigs. What is the actual impact of a desktop environment using a couple hundred fewer megs at startup when it’s just sitting there, not doing anything? The browser people keep open gobbles more memory than anything else they run. Developers do not write interfaces in assembly code. More user-facing capabilities means more code. Linux is not built specifically targeting outdated weak hardware.

Rolling distros: Seem to me to have a use if some specific package(s) a user is interested in undergo rapid development with frequent updates that actually deliver improved stability, new features, etc. For example, someone who wanted to use KDE Plasma soon after KDE 4 was EOL’d would have benefited from using a rolling release to keep up with KDE’s schedule. On the other hand, someone who wants to keep up with Gnome’s current release just needs to use a distro with a release schedule that parallels Gnome’s 6-month release schedule (e.g., Fedora).

I find it necessary to point out that not all Holy Wars are wars. Developers love to flame about text editors, but usually that’s just that, flame. I think for a lot of Linux users it’s the same, they flame for a bit while it’s funny and move on. OFC there those who truly take it to heart that one distro is better than all others, but they usually miss the point of Linux, and that’s it can be tailored to anybody. And everybody wants a bit different stuff from it.

BTW, Ubuntu is the nano of distros. :stuck_out_tongue:


This reminds me of the old videos talking about how toxic the Linux community can be. So many people fighting the wrong battle. Even the ubuntu forums are spattered with negative responses. I like running different distros on different machines depending on the use case and hardware. Arch can be a great learning exercise but I find that for day to day use Debian/Ubuntu/Mint are just what I need. I use CentOS and Ovirt for VMs. Bottom line if you’re interested in Linux of any flavor I’m happy to help you try to make it work and do what you want. I just wish more people had positive experiences when starting out. I’m all for more normies in the community and hopefully with the launch of Steamplay this will become more of a reality.

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Every distro is the same other then the overall colour and arrangements you can do the same stuff on arch as puppy as Ubuntu as mint it’s all the same just what packaging it came in and what they call it is different. Find what you like sitck with it, learn it like you’re feeling your genitals for what you like , does you wrong try another till you like what you feel

@oldgek Damn, the nano, vim, & emacs holy war is just as bad :rofl:


@AKRossIT For desktop use I always find myself torn between Debian and Ubuntu. For the server stuff, I really like using CentOS we use it at work and it works well for us.

When it comes to the desktop I find that I am moving more towards WM’s then DE’s, so I have been doing more minimal installs for stuff like i3 and BSPWM.

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Lack of maturity, limited experience with how things at the enterprise or cutting edge R&D are done, and a constant need to be heard or recognized as a subject matter expert.

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This topic really hit home for me. Because back when I STARTED my year Linux challenge I was looking for the best fit distro for me. So I went looking online, and boy did I hit this hard. I started several topics on other forums and I think even Reddit at one point asking what everyone they thought I should do. Wow, did I end up starting quite a few little flame wars.

It taught me a few things. Like how people really bash on Ubuntu. And how the Arch guys talked about how they loved their distro, yet flamed me for being a newbie and wanting to maybe try Arch! Like, how in the hell do you sing praises about your distro to someone, then flame them for wanting to try your distro because they’re not as tech savvy as you are?

It also taught me, that if I really wanted to get people’s reaction to what I should do, you should be specific with what you want to do. Tell them EVERYTHING you want to do. Cause that will narrow the choices down, and they will generally not steer you down the wrong path.

This forum in particular was crucial in influencing my final decision because I didn’t encounter any of that Linux fanboyism that turns toxic. I got honest responses, and their reasoning’s for it. And everyone ENCOURAGED ME. That was the big thing. People encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. And I did.

I was uncomfortable about Linux, because I was afraid of the CLI. I used command promt in windows yeah, and I grew up during the hight of DOS and early Windows. But the horror stories I heard about the Linux command line and the massive things you could do with it that could break your system had turned me away from Linux even back in the early days. Back when RedHat was being sold in BestBuy and being pre-installed on computers in BestBuy.

This community though, got me to be less scared, and more willing to try Linux. Especially @wendell’s videos on Linux and the power of it.


@Smerrills Reminds me of want @wendell said in part 2 of his Linux gaming series.

“There are other still more toxic elements of the Linux community that want to act as knowledge gatekeepers. Those guys act like installing Arch Linux is some great personal accomplishment, and I sort of see it like congratulations you got your operating systems merit badge.” --Wendell

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I’m just glad you made it past the flames. On top of that you’ve become exactly what the community needs. You saw the problems with the entry barrier made it past and can now be the encouragement and help for someone else. Always good to have someone else holding the door open, even better if they have snacks inside.

For the original question “Why?” - because people.

The very first distro i used was Knoppix. When i tried to switch to GNU/Linux as main, i tried Ubuntu 10.04. No issues with 10.10 either, but with 11.04 and 11.10 there were changes that made using it harder, not the promised “Out of the box linux distro” since i had to do more and more to get back the OOB functionaly of first two releases mentioned. When they switched to Unity and added fancy ads and tracking i knew its time to look for something else.

When i’m asked about the best GNU/Linux distro my answer is depends. Use case, user skillset, and so on.

linux distros are varied and often drastically different.
but to answer a question of what is best, Well that depends on what the user wants to do with it, what experience they have and their willingness to research properly.
pinguy os is an out of the box distro that works well but i have often found that repositories change rapidly and you could be left out on a limb when trying to update or install apps.
I currently have a collection of over 250 distros that have their pluses and minuses
I have heard a lot of people dissing linux saying its just as vulnerable as windows and to that i say this (IT depends on how you set it up and what partitioning scheme you chose.
Windows uses single large partition for everything with just one format NTFS and a second partition for recovery (again NTFS) and you have no choice when you set it up! (there is its primary vulnerability)
setting up linux during partitioning you have about 100 different formats to choose from but many people will opt for express or automatic default setup, and this makes it a bit vulnerable to attack
scripts can be written to penetrate format schemes if they remain defaults.
but to make one that could penetrate every format scheme linux uses would make it large enough for even the simplest anti-virus to catch.
as a forensic tech i can tell you unethical hackers depend on people being stupid about security.

Here’s a good phrase for everyone to learn:

I think it is apt description of most distro wars. Most distros are more alike than they are different (as are their users).