[CentOS] CentOS as a desktop was Re: Slightly OT

Donald Buchan malak at pobox.com
Thu Aug 7 17:06:08 UTC 2008


> OK ... this is silly
>
> CentOS is an Enterprise distro and works great as a workstation.  In
> fact, it is just as good as Ubuntu for a desktop.  I would argue that a
> stable, supported for several year desktop is much better than a distro
> that upgrades every 6 months.

I have found just that.

I was introduced to linux a couple of years ago by way of FC5 (known about
it for years, always wanted to migrate, dabbled in RH6 about 8 years ago
and dropped it).  I was supposed to get CentOS 4.4 but got FC5, allegedly
-devel.  Big mistake, I had it removed and CentOS 4.4 installed after a
couple of months.  The stability, the lower number of updates, reduced to
effective nil dependency hell (provided that I stuck with the repo stuff,
and even then many outside stuff) and long-term support was what attracted
me.  The 6 month treadmill was one of several issues I had; why spend 6
months installing and fighting with a system, only to have to go through
the trouble of reinstalling after 6 months and starting again?

However getting my "new" printer (about one year on the market and had it
since December 2007) to work on my desktop under 5.2 as well as getting,
then keeping keeping wireless on my laptop using a 4 year old PCMCIA card
were deal breakers.

I currently run 3 computers at home, one on the same box that got the 4.4
a couple of years ago and now upgraded to 4.6.  The other two ... I had
4.4 on one and the other is a new acquisition, and installed 5.2 on both,
and within a month I had to move to Ubuntu (aaaarrrrgghhhh-lee.  I will be
moving to F9 soon if things work out, Ubuntu is a strange breed that
works, with a consumer experience virtually identical to what I had under
CentOS with the exception of stuff that works with no trouble and a few
nuances, but ... something rubs me the wrong way.  Things like the Ubuntu
customizations to the Gnome menus and the fact that the default user is
defacto root while root is relegated to uselessness (including not being
able to log into its own desktop to take advantage of the gui admin
tools!)

Long and the short of it, I would rather keep up with CentOS, made a rash
decision to use Ubuntu 8.06 since it works and has the saving grace of
being LTS, and will look into Fedora 9 since I'd rather be running a(n
albeit small) Red Hat farm instead of a mostly Ubuntu/Debian farm.

I still agree that CentOS is a robust and highly appropriate desktop. 
Just getting it to do basic things like wireless and printing (forget
easily, just at all) need MAJOR work from upstream.  Oh well, I don't pay
site licences and CentOS strives for 100% binary compatibility ....




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