Over the last few days I’ve installed a smorgasboard of *nix distros, trying to find one that will work with my hardware. I was looking for a recent distribution with a decent desktop, either KDE or Gnome. You’d think that this kind of generic iron wouldn’t be a problem to find an OS for.
The lineup consisted of Fedora, Ubunto, openSUSE, Mandriva, CentOS, and the non-Linux FreeBSD.
This is a no suspense post, so I’ll just say that the winner was Mandriva. Everything about it worked perfectly with my system. It recognized and configured my hardware, had up to date versions of the software I need (PHP, Ruby, Python, Rails, etc). It had one flaw: I didn’t like the way it looked. You have to understand that I’m a sensitive artistic type and I found the color schemes garish and over done.
So, I installed Fedora. All went about as well as Mandriva with the installation, but when I came to compiling Ruby 1.9, I started getting missing dependency errors by the dozens. Being a man of action, I bailed on Fedora.