Linux Distrohoppers Last Stop

Distro-hopping can be fun and enriching at the same time, however, there comes a time when a Linux distrohopper feels like settling down, on which distro will he/she most likely be doing that?

Updated Mar 25, 2015Editorials
Linux Distrohoppers

Disclaimer: this article is meant to serve as a guiding, general rule of thumb, just like with most every other rule in the world there’s also exceptions and deviations. Please consider this while you’re reading.

Distro-Hopping Meaning?

Linux distro-hopping is a known phenomenon amongst Linux users, it’s basically depicting a situation where a user would jump from one Linux distribution to another just as a grasshopper jumps from one leaf to the next leaf, hence the term – Linux distrohoppers.

Facing an overwhelming large number of distributions to choose from – it’s not easy to find the ultimate distro for you.

Bugs & Exploration

Many of us Linux users are from time to time feeling the strong urge to leave our currently used distro behind and install another one instead.

Whether its a bug, a quirk or something similar that’s been pushing us to seek for bug-free alternative, or sometimes, simply, a sense of exploration is the main drive.

Whatever the reason may be, we are often faced with the question: ‘what distro should I install next?’. Until one day we decide it’s time to choose one which we consider as our ultimate best distro.

I’ve tried: Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Open Suse, Sabayon, Cinnarch (Antergos), Elementary OS, Chakra, Xubuntu, PC-BSD, etc… the list is long.

Now, this might come as a shock to some of you: after trying all those different kind of distros there’s one thing I can tell you for sure –

There’s not even one single Linux distro that is completely bug-less / quirks-free — NONE!

There’s not even one single Linux distro that is completely  bug-less / quirks-free — NONE!

I’m saying this not in order to make you feel bad about Linux (not at all), but to share my knowledge so you could earn from and develop upon it.

So with that said, what should be Linux distrohoppers ultimate final destination then?

Linux Distrohoppers Final Distro

Most distrohoppers finds that upon learning the nuts and bolts of Linux and how it works, all distros are actually not too different from one another.

The things that does differ are mainly the tools and philosophy that each carry, so for instance if every distro can include KDE environment in it and let you use systemd as the main init system and so on…

The conclusion is all you have left is to choose is the distro which makes it most easier out of the box on you to install these components, right?

And that’s exactly where distros such as Arch or Gentoo for example are shinning the most, distros with the DIY (Do It Yourself) principle are mostly tending to be Linux distrohoppers last stop.

The logic behind that is that since you built your own system, if something goes wrong with it then you understand which part went wrong and perhaps even why it did.

But most importantly you understand that the distro is not to blame behind what’s went wrong because a DIY distro doesn’t usually interferes with upstream packages except patching their bugs for the most part.

Thus you eliminate the need to jump to another distro because of some bug or a quirk.

But what about exploration reasons?

Well, those reasons are being covered too by DIY distros, since they mostly necessitates their users to learn about the system (and its parts) in order to install them in the first place.

Hence the users ends up knowing most everything they wanted to explore, by the time they finish installing the distro – So that part is getting covered too by DIY distros as well.

Of course, as said above – every rule has exceptions and not everybody would end up with Gentoo, Arch or a similar distro.

However, if your main motives for jumping distros are mentioned above, most chances that you will.

COMMENTS (beta 4)

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Tom A Jul '14
Thanks so much for the article! A great explanation on the cycle of distro-hopping and how to alleviate the pitfalls along the way IF one is willing to get their hands dirty! It's easy to complain when things don't work but are we willing to take the time to know why?
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kamrat Jul '14
I can't find any DE I like at all, gnome and kde felt very heavy and alternatives too light and windows 95ish. eOS is what's come closest for me but won't install it again until freya is released . Until then my laptop is turned off .
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kamrat Jul '14 kamrat
My point was I have distrohopp a lot, once I felt gnome was good enough for me and went on a adventure for best gnome distro. And I did like that for every de until I got tired of everyone. Strangely I liked Arch and Ubuntu best . I kind of began liking unity .
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Liron Jul '14 kamrat
When you use a DIY (Do It Yourself) distro such as Arch or Gentoo, you can have any desktop environment you like including: Unity on Arch - https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/unity and Pantheon on Gentoo - http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Pantheon P.S. about other DEs looks "windows 95ish" I concur, but with a little customization they can also look a lot better, for instance: http://www.iwillfolo.com/2014/07/3-tweaks-to-increase-xfces-performance-visual-appeal/
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kamrat Jul '14 Liron
Im a "default" kind of guy. Pantheon and unity have their issues on arch and doesn't feel complete. About theming , yeah I a Agree you can smack a theme on , but I'm a "default" kind of guy and smacking themes and compositors at something isn't my thing. Default gnome on Arch (since gnome actually is updated on arch ) was probably my favorite .

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