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A Trip Down Distro Memory Lane 238

M-Saunders writes "What did the Linux world look like back in 2000? TuxRadar has republished a distro roundup from Linux Format issue 1, May 2000. Many distros such as SUSE, Mandrake and Red Hat are still around in various incarnations, but a few such as Corel and Definite have fallen by the wayside."
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A Trip Down Distro Memory Lane

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  • SuSE Ruled... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @03:30PM (#26765963)
    ...until Novell bought them out. When it became apparent that Novell wasn't going to uphold the SuSE quality, I switched over to Ubuntu. Haven't looked back since.
  • Re:SuSE Ruled... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IANAAC ( 692242 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @03:43PM (#26766077)
    Except that Novell has done some good things too. Yast is still pretty amazing. Oh and Novell opened it up and set it free.

    It's OK to not like a company, but give them credit where they actually deserve it.

  • by Rhabarber ( 1020311 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @04:15PM (#26766331)
    You say it, in 2000 I set up a Gentoo system on one of those early Pentium III Notebooks. Yes, sure, it took me a couple of hours. But guess what, I still use it every day, exclusively. Just copied it from box to box over the years. So I'd say that time was quite a good investment ;)
  • Re:SuSE Ruled... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xoron101 ( 860506 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @04:17PM (#26766361)
    I've always thought that Debian was a great Distro. Stable, lots of packages that can be installed, and lots of resources on the web.

    Ubuntu (based on Debian) ties it all together with a nice, easy to use installer and GUI. Great choice for desktops, but I'd stick to Debian for servers.
  • by Compholio ( 770966 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @04:18PM (#26766369)

    I'm primarily a Mac user, but I do a lot of stuff on my Ubuntu install as well, I am just shocked at how far Linux has come and quite interested in what is to come.

    Really? One of the huge original selling points for me was that Linux made (nearly) all the drivers open source and distributed as part of the kernel. This idea is really important because it means that once a driver for something is made it sticks around forever (sans growing pains every once in a while). Personally, I think this issue is why Linux will win in the long run and why Windows Vista was such a huge catastrophe - Linux will always update drivers for even the most obscure hardware where MS has to convince external entities to do the updates. Since these entities are not always amenable to this plan, and sometimes no-longer exist, the "Linux plan" has huge long-term advantages.

  • by ultrabot ( 200914 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @04:35PM (#26766521)

    ... how much gnome sucked (was it ver 1.4?) and kde ruled. KDE was under an evil license back then, though.

    Gnome was about to "take over the world" with their ingenious CORBA based "Bonobo", which is still around (though very little noise is made of it these days, c.f. Mono).

    Now that I look at these pics in retrospect, I can recall the huge UI discrepancy Linux had with windows. Windows these days does not look much better than back in 2000, but boy, has Linux caught up.

  • by Peter Simpson ( 112887 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @05:02PM (#26766707)

    I built a Slackware system and had it dual-booting on my 486-33 at my new job. I was using it (with X11 and Motif) as an Xterminal off our UNIX system to do schematic capture, after I got fed up with Win3.1 and QEMM (which was what I was supposed to be using).

    That the same hardware could perform so much better running Linux (versus Win3.1) was a real eye-opener .

    Have not thought a Microsoft OS was worth paying for since.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 07, 2009 @05:07PM (#26766731)

    The biggest difference from Linux of 2000 and Linux of 2009, is that you didn't have go buy a new video card just to run the latest desktop.

  • by Compholio ( 770966 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @05:12PM (#26766783)

    But that's rather full of exceptions. *IF* the full driver made it to the kernel, and stays in the sources, sure

    In my mind this scenario is not full of exceptions, these exceptions exist on a local time scale. I see it is a matter of "when" rather than "if" - eventually a fully functional driver will get included, and when that day comes it will work forever thereafter (it is very incredibly rare for drivers to be removed).

  • Re:SuSE Ruled... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Daimanta ( 1140543 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @05:33PM (#26766885) Journal

    One shortcoming: YaST.

    It's dogslow and doesn't have the easy of aptitude.

    I was trying to install some pieces of software a couple of years ago on SUSE(which was my first *ux distro) and I was going down the lane of installing tens of packagedepencies for one piece of software. Eventually a friend convinced me to use Ubuntu. I was sold the minute I understood the apt-get command.

    Even if Ubuntu had it own shortcomings(still a lot of textfile configuration editing) it still worked decently. And with the leaps Ubuntu is making in the usability field, I can probably stay with it for a very long time.

  • Re:SuSE Ruled... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sortius_nod ( 1080919 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @06:15PM (#26767173) Homepage

    I use SuSE for my home server too, I see no issues with it... I've used many different distros (RH, Mandrake/Mandriva, Slacks, Ubuntu, Debian, the list goes on), but SuSE seems to do what it's meant to without a lot of headache - true, configuring from conf files can be a pain if you're not used to where it puts some.

    Either way, run what you feel comfortable with until it shits on you... I know there's a lot of anti-Novell sentiment here on slashdot, but it's like hating a red-headed child - you may not like them, but they are still part of the family.

  • by eldepeche ( 854916 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @06:15PM (#26767177)
    I dare you to run a KDE desktop without installing any Qt libraries.
  • check its pulse (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @06:35PM (#26767329) Homepage Journal

    ...I cannot figure out exactly what pulse audio is really for, but I "fixed" my fedora 10 system sounds by totally removing PA, going to sound prefs and checking alsa everything, rebooting, going to terminal and doing alsaunmute. Bam, all my sound works fine now. And I fixed my vid by downloading system-config-display and using that. Why they don't include that in the default install like they used to I do not know.

    I wish there was something along the lines of a more stable RH/RPM desktop system between bleeding edge and always something broken fedora and expensive "enterprise" redhat.* I'd actually pay RH for a consumer desktop system that would do all media and etc even if it was only 99% "pure if they made one with long term support, just not what they are asking for some business model server hybrid "workstation" system. They used to charge 60 bucks, then dumped that for free broken or expensive mostly not broken, I want a sweet spot in the middle there someplace. Twice a year fedora releases is too much, by the time you have everything all tweaked and running smooth, its back to broken stuff, and on dialup, forget it, about impossible to stay updated. I understand and that's fine for devs and tinkerers, but not for just a user who isn't a dev (that would be me and I bet a few million other people).

    *The CentOS guys are adamant they are enterprise/server and don't care too much for the desktop, I've checked them out and don't like that attitude on their forums too much, and I don't run servers anyway, just want a bit more of a better and longer running desktop. I think the market is there especially if they (they being redhat) did an apple and sold hardware with it preinstalled so everything "just worked", a desktop system, a lappie, and a netbook.. And not the Dell example either, they play act at support for ubuntu (top of Dell's linux pages they recommend vista-that's play acting at support IMO)

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @06:44PM (#26767387) Homepage Journal

    Many of us did, back before they were evil. It was way ahead of the others at the time.

    For collection sake, i kept my copy of both workstation and server. About the same time i bought a license for Staroffice.

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @07:30PM (#26767731)

    I am shocked on how little it has moved sense then. The only thing is better hardware detection... But that was because hardware manufacutres got REALLY REALLY STUPID and focuses stricly on Windows Only hardware. They made a D2A and a A2D converter and hooked it up to a telephone socket and Called it a Win Modem. The took out the Logic board in a printer and called it a Win Printer. There was a slew of really bad hardware that was all driver driven making it hard for Linux to do anything. They have seem to gotten a little better from then. But still Compared to Windows or Mac it is second par in Hardware detection. But at least you have more options. But besided hardware detection and installing little has changed from my Slackware Distribution in 1994.

  • by JK_the_Slacker ( 1175625 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @08:33PM (#26768079) Homepage

    I beg your pardon. You're referring to dependency management. Slackware has had "real" package management for YEARS.

    For real people... stop the FUD!

  • Re:SuSE Ruled... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ogdenk ( 712300 ) on Saturday February 07, 2009 @11:23PM (#26768973)

    Like Ubuntu has never had a problematic release... please. I've seen at least one piss poor release from every distro.

    I finally got sick of all of the inconsistencies present between all of the Linux distros and switched to FreeBSD and NetBSD (on non-x86 hardware) back in 1997. Though I had run NetBSD/mac68k on a IIci since about 1995. I also knew BSD well from my experience on a VAX and SunOS 4 boxes.

    A couple of my machines run OSX as well these days because A.) I like the interface. B.) I like to run a few commercial apps. C.) Running them in WINE doesn't count.

    Much happier now. The only things I have running Linux are a Linksys WRT54G, a Linksys NSLU2 and an iPaq 3850. Those would run NetBSD as well if there were solid drivers for everything and someone ported OPIE to NetBSD.

  • by Jamie's Nightmare ( 1410247 ) on Sunday February 08, 2009 @12:16AM (#26769409)

    You should not have been modded troll, but a zealot must have stung you. I would agree with how you feel about the fonts, but more so that Linux works and looks like something you'd grab from the software bin at the Salvation Army or Goodwill Store.

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's