All distros are theoretically worthless, it's the desktop that matters

I don’t see the point of reccomending distros, I only reccomend desktops.


  • Dictate the user interface
  • Dictate the user experience and opinion on Linux


  • Dictate init systems and package managers(which literally feels only different when installing apps and how they do it such as sudo apt install ubuntu or sudo pacman arch -yy)

But for beginners, do they care about init systems and package managers?

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You definitely have a point there. To beginners it definitely makes little to no difference, what underlying distribution runs the meat part of the system: the desktop environment.

While I mostly agree, I could not say that the underlying distribution is entirely irrelevant. Some distributions have better compatibility with certain desktop environments, for example. Like, if your distribution expects a specific desktop environment, instead of trying to be open to all, then I would expect advanced optimisation and stability on a system that focuses on a single desktop environment.

There are also less technical and more practical reasons. For example, I would expect Ubuntu to be much more user friendly, in case issues arrive. If you run some exotic distribution, good luck in finding help for your specific distribution. However, if you have an issue on Ubuntu, there are a million tutorials out there for solving so many issues.

So, even the meat part is most important to a beginner user, a beginner user also has to solve issues. Very frequently so. Therefore, using an easy distribution, like Ubuntu, makes life easier in total.

The desktop environment is the most visible meat part of the system for a beginner, but the underlying distribution becomes more and more important over time, the more you use the system and the more you take advantage of the vast quantity of features it has available.

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No but beginners care about

  • ease of install
  • stability
  • helpful user community
    and they are all distro issues, more than dte issues.

There is a lot of sameness about dte’s. All linux window systems function prerty much the same way. If you can use one dte you can use any of them. I went looking for something radically different in Lumina but even there you do the same things in the same way.


Well, they need to have a good documentation/community(either one). Like Archtoo(Arch and Gentoo are known as the hardest distros; they’re like Rust and Haskell) is beginner friendly if you read the documentation.

Only elementary OS has a distro-specific desktop. So Kubuntu and KDE distros shouldn’t exist because KDE Neon exists? :laughing:

The only things that matter in distros for me is package managers, init systems, customization, and bleeding edge. Though all distros offer customizability up to some extent(except package managers, init systems(unless ur a Gentoo/Void kid!), updating).

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Actually Devuan has some rather clever design that allows swapping between init systems.
And Only Fedora afaik offers multiple DTE’s
You can customize kernels, but it is a pain

And I agree, package management is the heart of a distro.,

Now that I think about it, all init systems do is just execute the first processes on a linux computer. Package managers? They’re like programming languages in a sense, although they all use the same bash shell(which can be configurable for any system, even the proprietary-as-hell MacOS terminal). For example, the reason why Gentoo is considered “difficult” is because it has the most bizarre yet most efficient package manager, Portage, which does it a different way than your family member apt/dnf/pacman. Though @Akito is right; Some distros are made for specific desktops, but Cinnamon-Linux Mint being considered “easier” than Cinnamon-Debian can be a bit… cringe to say the least.

They do a little more… they manage starting and stopping all daemons, not just initd… unless you are systemd with a manage everything megalomania.

yes, I always use systemd. From Zorin to Debian to Arch to Kubuntu.

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When I had Rolling Rhino installed, I also installed Gnome, XFCE, KDE, and Budgie from the Ubuntu repositories. They all worked, Neville. But Budgie was no better when laid over another–it’s still a kludge.

It did not work ,for me. Xfce and KDE clashed in Debian. Some packages, eg Xfburn, did not work.
Did the display manager offer you a choice of dte ehen you booted?

Default setting DTE for Fedora is Gnome isn’t it? If I go and download Fedora 36 DVD ISO, it will be gnome… Just like Ubuntu… I downloaded Fedora 35 some few months ago, and it installed Gnome 41 on Wayland, by default.

What does offer multiple DTE’s, at least browsing mirror repos, is Debian, multiple desktops, mutliple CPU architectures - I was just looking at it the other day, looking for a netinstall ISO, and was swamped/overloaded with choices for Debian, and wasn’t sure which one to download, couldn’t find netinstall ISO at (my “goto” ever since 1995 when I found Slackware 3 on there) - had to go to Debian’s worldwide page…

I too am accustomed to systemd, others may rail against it, accuse it of bloat, overkill less KISS more unUNIX complexity - and when it goes awfully wrong, can be a bugger to find where it’s failing - but - THERE’S no point fighting it, it’s futile, it’s here, it’s been here a decade, non-systemd distros and alternate init systems are fringe and will NEVER be mainstream - I am pretty confident stating that… All the Linux systems I manage for customers, nearly all of which are RPM (REL or OEL) distros are ALL using systemd.

Can’t remember what distro it was, but I recently tried configuring a service to start as a user - I LOVE this feature of systemd “systemctl --user status resiliosync.service” - on a non-systemd system (~18 months ago?) and gave up…

So easy on Ubuntu :

sudo loginctl enable-linger $USER
systemctl --user enable resiliosync
systemctl --user start resiliosync

Slightly trickier on Fedora and Red Hat.

And 'cause my user’s a lingerer (some might say malingerer :smiley: ) that systemd unit will run once Linux has booted to multi-user mode - whether I login to it, or not…

Solaris went sort of the “systemd” way, moved away from SystemV init nearly 20 years ago with “SMF” - I f–king hated it at first… But got use to it…

Up till around ~5 years ago, I was still doing init things, on systemd systems, e.g. creating daemon startup / stop scripts in /etc/init.d/ then symlinking to them from /etc/rc{3,5}.d/ … But stopped that, about 5 years ago…

You one thing I really REALLY hate on some RPM based distros? THE BAZILLION ways / places to run cronjobs! Not in /var/spool/cron/crontabs ??? What about /etc/cron.d ? Not there either? /etc/cron.daily? weekly? Monthly? FFS! JUST PLONK THEM IN /var/spool/cron/crontabs For F’s SAKE!

Yes Debian offers all that, but you can only install one dte at a time…
well not quite, you can install two or more, but they will clash in some cases.

The splash screen has a graphic symbol somewhere on it if multiple de’s are available. Click it, and select your de. The choice is persistent until changed.

No, I can’t claim to have tested the idea rigorously, but I haven’t noticed any clashes (haven’t use Xfburn since optical drives died). I wasn’t using Debian but a respin of Ubuntu–might make a difference.

Maybe a related issue–MXLinux works wonderfully, but it refuses to run Boxes by saying the BIOS doesn’t allow virtual operations. Fixed the BIOS to permit virtual operations months ago. Can an OS masquerade as BIOS?

That is strange. I assume you had Gnome in MX?
No its not hiding the BIOS. My guess is Boxes or MX not reading the bios settings properly. Thats serious.
Have a search for MX bugs involving VM or BIOS. Or search Boxes bugs.