I think it's time for a new OS on the "Distro Tester"

Currently running vanilla Arch on the old machine. Installed it because I had a need to better understand how Arch worked. Getting bored with it now, time to tinker with something else. There are a couple options…

  1. Recently realized that, while I have installed vanilla Debian to ARM, I’ve never done so on x86. Maybe Debian Testing?
  2. My very first Linux distro was Redhat back in the 90’s. Haven’t installed it since (Although I did run SuSE for a while and really liked it). Maybe it’s time to give Fedora a shot (with Gnome desktop because I’ve not used that in a while either)?
    What to do…

I think Fedora is good once you get used to it. I use it pretty regularly. dnf has many features I wish pacman had.

That being said, if you feel like exploring on your test machine, why not try something totally different.

  • Fedora Silverblue/Kinoite(ostree-based)
  • Nixos - Declarative and radically different
  • Void - systemd-free with interesting package management tools
  • Gentoo - Everything built from source
  • GhostBSD - It isn’t Linux, but it is still worth trying

I would like to try Alpine Linux some time soon:

Alpine Linux is an independent, non-commercial, general purpose Linux distribution designed for power users who appreciate security, simplicity and resource efficiency.


For power users…ehhh… :thinking:


It is tough on a desktop because it is built with musl. You will be limited in what software you can run.

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I have considered Gentoo…that one’s been around for a long time. Actually, I think we have a winner here, Gentoo it is :slight_smile:


Yes, you are right. But just thought as a fun experiment. Perhaps eventually a headless setup on a Raspberry Pi. I’ll just have a look at it in a VM first.

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I’ve always thought pacman could have a little more functionality, but never quite knew specifically how. What have you considered from dnf that pacman doesn’t have, but wish it did exactly?

@JKMooney If you’re curious to try the Debian Testing branch, you should try SparkyLinux.


There are lots of things but a few that I often wish for are:

  • The ability to search only package names(It can be done with grep)
  • Support for wildcards
  • Built-in history tracking with limited rollback ability(Probably a bit tricky on a rolling release)
  • Transactions

That being said, dnf is missing things too. They are just different things.


Thanks for answering with a few options! Without letting this go to far off the topic, I will just say that having a built-in tracking history with rollback capabilities would be very impressive and convenient to say the least.

Lol if you really wanna power user distro you could be a chad LFS user lol. Seriously though, Alpine is a good distro, and even with Endeavor I do keep it on a bootable usb with persistence. You do you based on you though.

Right, LFS. Just need to build up some power of usage before :sweat_smile:. In a couple of years time perhaps.

Also give artix openrc a try before switching :+1:

Fair enough. It certainly isn’t for everyone. Good luck if you ever do work with it though

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I’m perfectly happy with Arch/EOS, I don’t need at this moment anything else.

That said, I do plan on trying Gentoo on real hardware, eventually. Also, I’m curious about Void Linux. First, however, I might give Artix a try, just to get some experience with running a systemdless distro.


Me as well. EOS has earned it’s place on the machine I depend on. I just happen to have an old PC that I like to “tinker” with. It allows me to try a disto on bare metal as opposed to a virtual machine.


First run though the documentation. Looks pretty well laid out. Guess I’ll have to go with OpenRC to get the full “Gentoo” experience. :wink:

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Had a “plumbing emergency” this weekend so, plans got a bit derailed. However, I have confirmed the minimal iso will work with my old Netgear USB WiFi (otherwise, I’d have had to relocate the old computer to where I have an ethernet cable). Although, upon going into the documentation in more detail this morning, it looks like all I really need from that iso is the parted utility unless I wanted to do a complete disk wipe. While that was the original plan, I’m kind of intrigued by the idea that I can use any boot iso or an existing Linux install to install Gentoo. I’ve got plenty of disk space so, I think I’ll use the existing Arch install to install Gentoo and update Grub accordingly.

Very Interesting!!! I had not heard of NixOS, just took a look & am downloading the iso to give it a testdrive. Played with Gentoo many years ago, liked it–may try it again.

if you want to have a fun adventure get an encrypted gentoo install going

mmmm…just looked at NixOS. I think that I’ll clear a spare drive & install it…looks interesting