Say good-bye to Ubuntu. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, just that it had so many packages installed by default and it was easy to get lost looking for a particular app. I had been using the 12.04 LTS 64bit version (code-name Precise Pangolin) and really, that is about the only complaint I had. Don’t get me wrong, Mark Shuttleworth, and Canonical, have done a great job creating an OS that “anyone” could install, and run with ease.
In the ease of use category, in my opinion it far outdoes Windows or the Mac. In the end, I just wanted more control over the OS and what went into it. After talking at length with a few Linux guru’s over at the #!CrunchBang Linux site, I decided to make the leap to “Sid”! More on that later…
Debian VSIDO, allows you to start off with just a minimal Linux install based on Debian. From there, the sky’s the limit! You can pick and choose the packages that you want installed. Nothing is forced on you. This version is what is considered a “rolling development version” that will forever be viable! Seriously! It is based on the latest “testing” version code-named wheezy after the Toy Story character, the rubber toy penguin with a red bow tie. Some of you may be wondering, Toy Story? Huh? Debian releases are always named after a Toy Story character. Sid is, you guessed it, the little brat that lives next door and likes to destroy his toys. (whereas Ubuntu’s naming scheme comes from hardly heard of animals from around the globe with a different adjective preceding the name! As in Precise Pangolin above)
I’ve actually been enjoying the computer again for the first time in at least 8 years. This is definitely not the “hand holding” version of Linux! You can really get into the shell and get your fingers raw from typing in the terminal. It’s wonderful!
That said, VSIDO is most likely not for you if your new to Linux. As a matter-of-fact, I’d say it definitely is not. Debian does have versions for the new user, just as most of the current Linux distro’s out there do. Sid on the other hand, is considered the “unstable” version of their latest testing distro. Since getting it up and running, I’ve had absolutely no problems you would expect of something with ‘unstable’ in the name! I will be candid here and give credit where it is due and tell you that I have had unprecedented support from some of the guys on the #!CrunchBang Linux site, namely VastOne, the creator of the VSIDO distro. For me, this is the biggest draw to using Linux in whatever distro you would choose to use. The support! It’s free! That’s right, I said free. A simple heart-felt thank-you will suffice!
Depending on the distro you go with if you decide Linux is for you, most if not all of them have some sort of on-line community called Forums, where if your polite, you can get an answer to any question you ask. Sometimes you’ll get several different answers that will all work. That is the beauty of Linux. To achieve this in Windows you’d pay out the kazoo! Same with the Mac as far as I know. I’ve spent 2 days with the same guy helping me troubleshoot a problem, (again thanks to VastOne) and all he wanted at the end of it was a thank-you! One of those days was a Sunday! Like I said, unbelievable. Not only that, but their happy to help. I remember in my computer career how taciturn and rude some of the tech-support folks could be. They just didn’t want to be bothered. Not so with Linux.
Functionality is a key component when installing any Operating System. With Linux, you have the choice of literally thousands upon thousands of applications. Anything ranging from your typical Office Suites for typing documents, using spreadsheets, or even high-end Cad and engineering software. I wont tell you that their all ‘free’, because I have found a couple that you had to buy. However, for the most part, you can have a fully functioning system at no cost to you other than your expenditure on the hardware and your time. Which brings us to another point in favor of Linux. That old 10 or 15 year old computer you were thinking of using as an anchor; well, there is a Linux version out there for that machine that will give it several more years of productive life. On the other hand, if your one of those people that have to have the latest and greatest hardware, that’ll work too.
The thing about using Linux, is that with today’s distro’s, you can be up and running in no time and being productive an hour later! Try to get Windows installed, then your required software, then run the updates etc. and no way your going to match that. With Linux another worry you wont have is viruses, or malware, or spyware, or browser hijackers or the myriad problems that plague the MS OS. I could go on and on in this vein! The pros far out-way the cons! The learning curve with today’s distros is quite small. In comparison to Windows or Mac I’d say it is quite a bit less. Especially with some of the newer Linux distro’s that have come out in the past year. They just work! Can you say VSIDO!!!