Distro hopping

I have OCD. It isn’t too bad because it is things like checking the gas stove, car doors and front door is locked. I check it like 3-4 times a night before bed. Sometimes I go to the toilet at 2am and walk out to front garden to check my tyre pressure/tread depth or continuously checking my wallet that none of my bank cards are missing even though I checked an hour ago. Random things.

But at least it isn’t time consuming.

With Windows OS there are no derivatives. Just always choose Pro version for home use. Remove components from ISO prior to install and/or disable services from services.msc. Snapshot if ever want to start again. This is about as minimal as you can get with Windows OS. Only one way.

The problem is too many flavours and derivatives for Linux. The choice gives me enough anxiety to try them all.

I just love reinstalling distro hopping on separate drives to leave my production Windows drive alone. The numerous packages, choices makes me run through different permutations of combinations to be minimal. Then I repeat on another distro and repeat optimisation process or leaning down packages. Having a finished OS feels unsatisfactory, then I just get the urge to wipe or start on another cheap SSD lying around.

It is bad enough that I went over to my sister’s house and pressure to let me re-install her MacOS and she said no.

With my normal OCD household habits it is just minutes, but my computer habits it is consuming hours. I just can’t help myself.

Anyone else spend more time on distro hopping/configuring than actually using their OS?

I use VMs to avoid that. I do my testing and configuration in VMs. That does two things for me.

  • My machines, which I often need for other things(like work), aren’t left in a state a partial setup all the time.
  • I get to try all the different distros even faster because of the flexibility a VM offers.

Well, if you want, I will limit your choice. Use Linux Mint (with Cinnamon desktop). I forbid you to use anything else.

Feeling better now? If so, mark my post as the solution, you’re welcome. :frog:


Sadly, I can relate to @QAP’s situation and have done similar. In my case, though, I’m not sure if it is OCD, ADD, or some kind of rabid curiousity. That said, I do have certain machines that don’t get touched other than updates and actual use. Two things that help for me are:

  1. VMs. It’s nice to be able to spin up a quick install of whatever new hotness is making the rounds and then decide if it’s even worth my time.
  2. Scratch machines. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to inherit a few laptops with decent specs that would have been scrapped otherwise. These I have no qualms about wiping and reloading.

I also do a bit of distro-hopping but eos is my baby (I mean on my computer, not the distro). As @dalto I also use a lot of VM’s. I even use a Windows 10 VM as my C# dev bed.

I test a lot of distros out there and to see what they have to offer but I kind of have 2 main VM’s which never get replaced.

  1. My eos Awesome test VM where I’m trying to make an Awesome CD for eos (progress is slow).
  2. My Arco Linux VM, which is teaching me to play with Awesome.

I do it to too but my problem is so many desktops let alone the different distros of linux. So i got to try every desktop on every distro? No … i just stick to EOS! But i have to admit i do a lot of reinstalling. I’m guilty! :grimacing:

Edit: PLus i do a lot of vm installs too! Geez!! :crazy_face:


You’ve just summed up about how I go about my life with OCD.

It would be worse for me, if it weren’t for cognitive behavioral therapy and a daily dose of Effexor…


I would try having 2 computers. One on which you have your preferred stable OS (Linux/Mac/Windows whatever) and another which you can mess about with and install/reinstall whatever you want. I know VMs cover this but I prefer bare metal installs. Less RAM, less Sh**!. Just buy a second-hand machine on Ebay and mess around to your heart’s content. Maybe one day you might find the alternative is better than the stable one. I still have a Mac but Linux, specifically Arch/Endeavour took over some time ago. I could not be happier! :grin:


I’ve stuffed 5 cheap SSD internal drives inside desktop and 2 USB external drives. So each OS has its own drive and own EFI to play without needing to partition main drive. I use rEFInd as a gui bootloader to switch between.

Or as you suggested turn the whole thing into bare metal hypervisor and stick to using MacBook Pro and SSH in.

Just love trying out new distros even without the intention of using them in future.

That is not OCD, that is just indecision. I respect the fact that you have OCD but there is nothing wrong with distro-hopping. I’ve messed about with various Distros/DEs/Wms etc, and I will probably always will! At the moment I have: Desktops Endeavour/KDE (main); Arch/Cinnamon (experimental machine); Laptops Endeavour/XFCE and 2 Macs running outdated and un-updateable software. Too much hardware not enough sense I guess! Oh, and I almost forgot: an old Dell desktop running MX Linux/Debian stable without systemd.

However my daily driver is Endeavour/KDE.


Sometimes I distrohop on Sunday night on my workcomputer​:sweat_smile:

I am on Debian 11 plus plain arch on my other computer now, but inclined to hop back on EOS next time there is a new iso.

I feel like I am an addicted distrohopper, there is no way around it.

I don’t get the whole “new iso” thing when it is a rolling distro. Install it and roll with it. Unless you are a new user then why? Am I missing something here?

My situation is a bit different… I moved to a rural area with low speed internet. While I can download an iso at work, at home the online installer takes about 1-2 hours to install EOS if I am lucky and dont have the daily internet outage.

I know, probably a bad idea to using a rolling distro, but this is what I used before moving here, I was actually happy on manjaro. But I decided that I could update once a week when at work. Alternative is to use Debian with smaller updates but problem is my newer hardware doesnt always cope well.

Edits: and just saw that! Our next release will be out on Friday 27 August

I hope you test the new ISO as it is much better. It would be interesting to know if the changes make much difference for users like yourself with this type of Internet service. 1-2 hours to install? Wow! It takes me 3+ minutes complete!

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So why new iso? Does it matter? I usually update my main endeavour distro but sometimes go without months on the others. They still work. My original install was last year sometime. I have no problems. I understand that some folks like to test but for an average user who just likes things to work…well :man_shrugging:

It takes me 45-50 min to download a 2-3 Gb iso​:cry:

Am waiting on starlink since March…

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It won’t solve the problem of an ultra-low bandwidth connection.

Because I have several computers, installing eos via the April iso ensues in Gb updates per computer, no fun at all.

Okay but the install itself how long it takes from the time you press install. That’s what will be interesting as you know currently how long it takes so you definitely would notice if it’s better.

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I sympathize about your broadband connection. Mine is not great but… :scream:

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