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Author Topic: Expanding horizons with a 10 distro test  (Read 1163 times)

Offline info4all

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Expanding horizons with a 10 distro test
« on: July 14, 2012, 10:20:42 AM »
Since this group is all about different distros and such I thought this may be a good place to post what I am about to do.


  I have been running Linux now for many years but I am an amateur compared to many gurus. There is a big difference in using an OS and really knowing the OS. I started off with Debian for about 6 months, Gentoo for a couple of years, and Ubuntu for about three years. I have dabbled with FreeBSD, Fedora, Mint and some other OS's that people told me to checkout but for no more than a week if that. 
   The end of last year I got my Linux+ certificate (which now also gets you LPIC1 and Novell CLA certifications) and have been looking for a Linux Admin position but most job postings are for CentOS or Redhat which I have book experience with but not much hands on experience. 
   In order to expand my horizons I plan on installing and running 10 different distros (listed below) on my laptop and grade them on criteria which I will list below as well. I am writing here so that others may provide there insight, thoughts, and feedback about this experiment before I get started. This is also a way for me to commit myself to completing this experiment ;-) I have not worked extensively with a lot of these distros and I am not 100% sure what to expect.
   My goals in this experiment are to learn more about each distro to the point where I would feel comfortable managing it, figure out which OS is currently my favorite, and perhaps be able to provide feedback to others that plan to use Linux for the first time or that may feel ready to try out another distro. 

Distros: all distros will be the AMD64 of the latest version as of today 7-13-12
Mint13-cinnamon 
Ubuntu 12.04-desktop
FreeBSD-8.3
CentOS-6.3
Debian-6.0.5
Arch Linux-2011.08.19 (rolling distro)
Fedora-17
Gentoo-20120621 (rolling distro)
Mageia 2
OpenSuse-12.1

Criteria:
Ease of installation
- I already have 2 OS's (1 windows 1 nix) installed so it must recognize them and modify the boot loader to allow for an option at boot
- How much does the user need to know about the system (I will take off points for each technical question)
- expect all the OSs to use some of the same partitions such as /tmp, swap, and /home.

How long does it take for the Distro to install
- I am going to use net installs whenever possible in order to get the latest and greatest so I may end up needing to do 2 installs of some distros to compare results
- there may be a sub category for getting the distro configured for look and feel. I may attempt to change the same things on each distro and measure the number of step it takes to make the change.  

Bloatware
- I don't have a good easy way to measure this yet so if anyone has any ideas let me know.
User friendly
- will be looking at the different ways to keep the distro up to date, how easy it is to run programs, how easy it is to install programs, how easy it is to run the program you just installed.

Speed
- I could use some advice here on benchmarks to use.  

Hardware recognition
- this won't be an extensive list it will just be whatever I have on my computer and what I plug into the USB

Bleeding edge
- What program version is supported in the distro (this will undoubtedly involve selecting a handful of applications and in some cases downloading or installing to make a comparison)

Applications I plan to test in each environment:
- firefox (including streaming video and playing games)
- kismet
- virtualbox with 3 virtual machines (XP SP3, Win7, Backtrack 5 R2,  I would like to test out that dual boot/virtual box that was covered in the meeting a few months ago if anyone has notes on that. Alas Wednesday meeting tend not to agree with my schedule)
- wine (along with a windows game from the platinum list not yet determined)
- Audacity
If you have some applications you would like me to include let me know. As I install an application in one distro I plan to do the same thing in all distros. This will help me come up with a list of what I am using, what version each distro has, and which distro has that app by default.

   I plan on running in each of these environments an equal amount of time over a few months but if there is a distro I am having issues with or a learning curve problem, I will spend more time with that distro in order to level the playing field. I will be keeping each version up to date and making notes along the way as to what breaks, what is difficult, and what works well. Once I feel comfortable in each environment I plan to compile all my notes and write something up. I'm not really sure what I will do with the final project but maybe somebody will find it interesting.

I am no mind reader but I expect that someone is going to want the specs on the laptop I am using. It's an ASUS G73 with i72630QM (2.0Ghz), 8GB ram, 750 GB HDD, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M.  For those that like more detail here is the lshw from my current distro:

link
    description: Notebook
    product: G73Sw ()
    vendor: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
    version: 1.0
    serial: B5N0AS129706186
    width: 64 bits
    capabilities: smbios-2.6 dmi-2.6 vsyscall32
    configuration: boot=normal chassis=notebook uuid=8002972D-F379-E081-3353-F46D043FD541
  *-core
       description: Motherboard
       product: G73Sw
       vendor: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
       physical id: 0
       version: 1.0
       serial: BSN12345678901234567
       slot: MIDDLE
     *-firmware
          description: BIOS
          vendor: American Megatrends Inc.
          physical id: 0
          version: G73Sw.205
          date: 02/10/2011
          size: 64KiB
          capacity: 2496KiB
          capabilities: pci upgrade shadowing cdboot bootselect edd int13floppy1200 int13floppy720 int13floppy2880 int5printscreen int9keyboard int14serial int17printer acpi usb smartbattery biosbootspecification
     *-cpu
          description: CPU
          product: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2630QM CPU @ 2.00GHz
          vendor: Intel Corp.
          physical id: 4
          bus info: cpu@0
          version: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2630QM CPU @ 2.00GHz
          serial: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
          slot: CPU 1
          size: 800MHz
          capacity: 4GHz
          width: 64 bits
          clock: 100MHz
          capabilities: x86-64 fpu fpu_exception wp vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx rdtscp constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic popcnt tsc_deadline_timer xsave avx lahf_lm ida arat epb xsaveopt pln pts tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid cpufreq
          configuration: cores=4 enabledcores=1 threads=2
     *-memory
          description: System Memory
          physical id: 40
          slot: System board or motherboard
          size: 8GiB
        *-bank:0
             description: SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous 1333 MHz (0.8 ns)
             product: M471B5773CHS-CH9
             vendor: Samsung
             physical id: 0
             serial: 9600A9AF
             slot: DIMM0
             size: 2GiB
             width: 64 bits
             clock: 1333MHz (0.8ns)
        *-bank:1
             description: SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous 1333 MHz (0.8 ns)
             product: M471B5773CHS-CH9
             vendor: Samsung
             physical id: 1
             serial: 752BA76F
             slot: DIMM1
             size: 2GiB
             width: 64 bits
             clock: 1333MHz (0.8ns)
        *-bank:2
             description: SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous 1333 MHz (0.8 ns)
             product: M471B5773CHS-CH9
             vendor: Samsung
             physical id: 2
             serial: 96024137
             slot: DIMM2
             size: 2GiB
             width: 64 bits
             clock: 1333MHz (0.8ns)
        *-bank:3
             description: SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous 1333 MHz (0.8 ns)
             product: M471B5773CHS-CH9
             vendor: Samsung
             physical id: 3
             serial: 9600AA08
             slot: DIMM3
             size: 2GiB
             width: 64 bits
             clock: 1333MHz (0.8ns)
     *-pci
          description: Host bridge
          product: 2nd Generation Core Processor Family DRAM Controller
          vendor: Intel Corporation
          physical id: 100
          bus info: pci@0000:00:00.0
          version: 09
          width: 32 bits
          clock: 33MHz
        *-pci:0
             description: PCI bridge
             product: Xeon E3-1200/2nd Generation Core Processor Family PCI Express Root Port
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1
             bus info: pci@0000:00:01.0
             version: 09
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pci pm msi pciexpress normal_decode bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=pcieport
             resources: irq:40 ioport:d000(size=4096) memory:f2000000-f40fffff ioport:e0000000(size=201326592)
           *-display
                description: VGA compatible controller
                product: GF106 [GeForce GTX 460M]
                vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
                version: a1
                width: 64 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
                configuration: driver=nouveau latency=0
                resources: irq:16 memory:f2000000-f2ffffff memory:e0000000-e7ffffff memory:e8000000-e9ffffff ioport:d000(size=128) memory:f4000000-f407ffff
           *-multimedia
                description: Audio device
                product: GF106 High Definition Audio Controller
                vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
                physical id: 0.1
                bus info: pci@0000:01:00.1
                version: a1
                width: 32 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list
                configuration: driver=snd_hda_intel latency=0
                resources: irq:17 memory:f4080000-f4083fff
        *-communication
             description: Communication controller
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 16
             bus info: pci@0000:00:16.0
             version: 04
             width: 64 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pm msi bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=mei latency=0
             resources: irq:47 memory:f6a0b000-f6a0b00f
        *-usb:0
             description: USB controller
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1a
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1a.0
             version: 05
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pm debug ehci bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=ehci_hcd latency=0
             resources: irq:16 memory:f6a08000-f6a083ff
        *-multimedia
             description: Audio device
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1b
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1b.0
             version: 05
             width: 64 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=snd_hda_intel latency=0
             resources: irq:49 memory:f6a00000-f6a03fff
        *-pci:1
             description: PCI bridge
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1c
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1c.0
             version: b5
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pci pciexpress msi pm normal_decode bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=pcieport
             resources: irq:41 ioport:c000(size=4096) memory:f6000000-f69fffff ioport:ee200000(size=10485760)
        *-pci:2
             description: PCI bridge
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 2
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1c.1
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1c.1
             version: b5
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pci pciexpress msi pm normal_decode bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=pcieport
             resources: irq:42 ioport:b000(size=4096) memory:f5600000-f5ffffff ioport:ed700000(size=10485760)
           *-network
                description: Wireless interface
                product: Centrino Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250
                vendor: Intel Corporation
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:03:00.0
                logical name: wlan0
                version: 5f
                serial: 00:23:15:93:93:c0
                width: 64 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
                configuration: broadcast=yes driver=iwlwifi driverversion=3.2.0-23-generic firmware=41.28.5.1 build 33926 ip=192.168.1.7 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11abgn
                resources: irq:48 memory:f5600000-f5601fff
        *-pci:3
             description: PCI bridge
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 4
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1c.3
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1c.3
             version: b5
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pci pciexpress msi pm normal_decode bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=pcieport
             resources: irq:43 ioport:a000(size=4096) memory:f4c00000-f55fffff ioport:ecc00000(size=10485760)
           *-usb
                description: USB controller
                product: FL1000G USB 3.0 Host Controller
                vendor: Fresco Logic
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:04:00.0
                version: 04
                width: 32 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pm msi pciexpress xhci bus_master cap_list
                configuration: driver=xhci_hcd latency=0
                resources: irq:19 memory:f4c00000-f4c0ffff
        *-pci:4
             description: PCI bridge
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 6
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1c.5
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1c.5
             version: b5
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pci pciexpress msi pm normal_decode bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=pcieport
             resources: irq:44 ioport:9000(size=4096) memory:f4200000-f4bfffff ioport:ec100000(size=10485760)
           *-network
                description: Ethernet interface
                product: RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller
                vendor: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd.
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:05:00.0
                logical name: eth0
                version: 06
                serial: f4:6d:04:3f:d5:41
                size: 10Mbit/s
                capacity: 1Gbit/s
                width: 64 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pm msi pciexpress msix vpd bus_master cap_list ethernet physical tp mii 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
                configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=r8169 driverversion=2.3LK-NAPI duplex=half firmware=rtl_nic/rtl8168e-2.fw latency=0 link=no multicast=yes port=MII speed=10Mbit/s
                resources: irq:46 ioport:9000(size=256) memory:ec104000-ec104fff memory:ec100000-ec103fff
        *-usb:1
             description: USB controller
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1d
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1d.0
             version: 05
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pm debug ehci bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=ehci_hcd latency=0
             resources: irq:23 memory:f6a07000-f6a073ff
        *-isa
             description: ISA bridge
             product: HM65 Express Chipset Family LPC Controller
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1f
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.0
             version: 05
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: isa bus_master cap_list
             configuration: latency=0
        *-storage
             description: SATA controller
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family 6 port SATA AHCI Controller
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1f.2
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.2
             logical name: scsi0
             logical name: scsi2
             version: 05
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 66MHz
             capabilities: storage msi pm ahci_1.0 bus_master cap_list emulated
             configuration: driver=ahci latency=0
             resources: irq:45 ioport:e070(size=8) ioport:e060(size=4) ioport:e050(size=8) ioport:e040(size=4) ioport:e020(size=32) memory:f6a06000-f6a067ff
           *-disk
                description: ATA Disk
                product: ST9750420AS
                vendor: Seagate
                physical id: 0
                bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0
                logical name: /dev/sda
                version: 0002
                serial: 5WS09PL5
                size: 698GiB (750GB)
                capabilities: partitioned partitioned:dos
                configuration: ansiversion=5 signature=f5aa6c0e
              *-volume:0
                   description: Windows FAT volume
                   vendor: MSDOS5.0
                   physical id: 1
                   bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0,1
                   logical name: /dev/sda1
                   version: FAT32
                   serial: 061b-2182
                   size: 16GiB
                   capacity: 16GiB
                   capabilities: primary hidden fat initialized
                   configuration: FATs=2 filesystem=fat
              *-volume:1
                   description: Windows NTFS volume
                   physical id: 2
                   bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0,2
                   logical name: /dev/sda2
                   version: 3.1
                   serial: e4c70375-0be7-d641-a8ba-f568d2c8d740
                   size: 93GiB
                   capacity: 93GiB
                   capabilities: primary bootable ntfs initialized
                   configuration: clustersize=4096 created=2012-03-29 14:17:34 filesystem=ntfs label=OS modified_by_chkdsk=true mounted_on_nt4=true resize_log_file=true state=dirty upgrade_on_mount=true
              *-volume:2
                   description: Extended partition
                   physical id: 3
                   bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0,3
                   logical name: /dev/sda3
                   size: 588GiB
                   capacity: 588GiB
                   capabilities: primary extended partitioned partitioned:extended
                 *-logicalvolume:0
                      description: Linux filesystem partition
                      physical id: 5
                      logical name: /dev/sda5
                      logical name: /
                      capacity: 580GiB
                      configuration: mount.fstype=ext4 mount.options=rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro,user_xattr,barrier=1,data=ordered state=mounted
                 *-logicalvolume:1
                      description: Linux swap / Solaris partition
                      physical id: 6
                      logical name: /dev/sda6
                      capacity: 8536MiB
                      capabilities: nofs
           *-cdrom
                description: DVD-RAM writer
                product: DVD A  DS8A5SH
                vendor: Slimtype
                physical id: 1
                bus info: scsi@2:0.0.0
                logical name: /dev/cdrom
                logical name: /dev/cdrw
                logical name: /dev/dvd
                logical name: /dev/dvdrw
                logical name: /dev/sr0
                version: XAA2
                capabilities: removable audio cd-r cd-rw dvd dvd-r dvd-ram
                configuration: ansiversion=5 status=nodisc
        *-serial UNCLAIMED
             description: SMBus
             product: 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1f.3
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.3
             version: 05
             width: 64 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             configuration: latency=0
             resources: memory:f6a05000-f6a050ff ioport:e000(size=32)
     *-scsi
          physical id: 1
          bus info: usb@1:1.4
          logical name: scsi6
          capabilities: emulated scsi-host
          configuration: driver=rts5139
        *-disk
             description: SCSI Disk
             product: xD/SD/M.S.
             vendor: Generic-
             physical id: 0.0.0
             bus info: scsi@6:0.0.0
             logical name: /dev/sdb
             version: 1.00
             serial: 3
             capabilities: removable
           *-medium
                physical id: 0
                logical name: /dev/sdb
  *-network
       description: Ethernet interface
       physical id: 1
       bus info: usb@1:1.1
       logical name: wmx0
       serial: 64:d4:da:19:15:33
       capabilities: ethernet physical
       configuration: driver=i2400m firmware=i6050-fw-usb-1.5.sbcf link=no

If you made it all the way to here. Thanks for reading!!

David