The comments on the single distro story got me thinking about what I want/need/use. I have been using Linux since before Bill Gates heard of it and my uses, needs and interests have changed over time.
Ten or more years ago I was in the "I need to get Linux to do X" mode. That included a web server, an office network and a bunch of desktops—some for geeks but also some for the rest of the office including the shipping clerk and the receptionist. The right answer varied but, in virtually every case, it was:
- Start with a stable distribution
- Customize it do work in each environment
While I am capable of patching the kernel if need be, I don't want to. Linux is a tool. The more systems I can set up with close to zero work, the more time I have left to do the geeky side of Linux where it is needed. The map of Linux systems in my life looks like this:
- My personal desktop that I also use for program development. It is running Kubuntu.
- An IBM laptop that I mostly use to "try things". It is running Kubuntu.
- An Asus laptop that is my "travel system". It is running Kubuntu.
- Two other desktops in my office. They are running Kubuntu.
- Desktop in the livingroom for "everyone". It is running Kubuntu and has an assortment of logins in English and Spanish.
- The future biofilter system for the Geek Ranch. It will probably be running Devil Linux.
- A remote controlled FM radio station system. I set it up a few years ago as a test and don't even remember what distribution I used. But, it will be running from flash memory and will use Devil or some other "mini-Linux".
- Two different shared Linux hosts where I have some web sites such as the one for the Geek Ranch. I actually don't know what they are running and am glad to say that I don't have to know.
Does this mean I have become a non-geek? No, not at all. But, I don't enjoy just setting up desktops. As I have proved here, a 10 year old with no computer experience, can quickly become a happy Kubuntu user. That means I have more time to work on strange projects such as embedded systems. Thus, Kubuntu is my "one standard". That doesn't mean I think Kubuntu is the one distribution that is right for everyone—it is just the "it works for desktops" choice for me.
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