There are many distributions, so many it's impossible to know them all, let alone test them. Anyway, here you'll find no tests. These pages are only my feelings about them.

Debian GNU/Linux

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Debian's first stable release was made in 1996, and as now (2020) we are at version 10. Debian's name indicates the system might be powered by another kernel than Linux - However, "HURD" was alpha back in 2009 and... still is!

There are three versions of Debian at any time: Unstable which is a developpement version, Testing wich is the future stable, and Stable.

While not really reserved to geeks, Debian does not try to be "beginner friendly", nor is it cutting edge (at least stable). It takes some time to really understand and know it, but the result is well worth the effort. It uses apt-get to install packages and supports most Desktop Environments - including Trinity Desktop :)
It's very difficult to change once you've learned to love it.

It's a very solid distribution that gets the work done. The next version is always ready "when it's ready", so it's no distribution for lovers of the latest and greatest.

One of my two favourite distributions and the base of many derivatives. Try it!

Note: since "Jessie" Debian uses systemd. As a result, there was a fork to maintain a Debian without systemd: Devuan. At the date of this writing Devuan ascii is Debian 9 without systemd.


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SuSE is the most important Linux distribution for me. Historically, SuSE teached me Linux. Back in 1998, they sold their distribution with one of the best manuals I've ever seen (You can read or download it's successor here). I learned by reading and doing, and after a few month I dropped OS/2 for Linux. It's 25 years ago and I've never looked back.

SuSE started using KDE at version 0.4. It's an RPM based distribution but has little to do with Red Hat - it seems the origins were rather Slackware.

The oldest CD's I own are from SuSE 6.2, although I started with 5.2. After version 10 I was not always satisfied with openSUSE but still regularely used it, as it was one of the best distributions on laptops (at least on Thinkpads which are my favourites). Currently openSUSE is at Leap 15.5

Compared to Debian, openSUSE is more "up to date" as far as hardware support goes. I like YAST as a global administration tool, and although I would still prefer apt-get, SUSE offers yum and zypper that are very efficient when you know how to use them.

If you are serious about learning and mastering Linux, I'd suggest you try openSuSE!


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Gentoo... That's another story. Anything but a beginner's distribution, any Linux enthousiast should give it a try.

Most distributions install everything: Gnome and KDE, every module (= driver)...
The result is that it will run on any  hardware, but it is BIG.

Gentoo let's you install only what YOU want. It does it by building the complete distribution from scratch. You'll compile almost every part of the software, with total control on the flags: with KDE but without Gnome, or the opposite. With Alsa but without Mono. And do on. And you get rolling updates so you should never have to install again.

Gentoo is loved by those who want to compile a system for special tasks, special computers with limited power. But it's also a great way to understand how a distribution works. By following the guide, you'll discover bootstraps, understand when to load what, what chrooting means...

Gentoo uses a very special packaging system, ebuilds, that are installed with emerge.

You should give it a look. If Gentoo is too much for you, try Sabayon: a rolling distribution compiled from Gentoo and all set up for multimedia.

MX Linux

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MX Linux is the result of AntiX and Mepis communities working together. I used Mepis for a while as it had a usable KDE 4 implementation, then Warren Woodford gave up and I turned to Debian. Now MX Linux has developped to a very stable distribution. It is based on Debian (bookworm for MX 23), but also incoporates "non free" software and drivers that Debian does not have out of the box.
It is the only distribution I know where the Gnome Wireless Desktop works.

MX Linux uses xfce (there are KDE and flubox editions - I did not try) that has some nice features, but I use it with Trinity Desktop.

The MX-Tools are MX-Linux specific applications that make you life easier and will please those who don't like using the command line.

MX Linux also has MX Snapshot, that let's you create an installable ISO from your running system. So I created my "own" MX with TDE, You can download the ISO here, as well as the md5 file and a readme about the installation.

Trinity Desktop

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Trinity Desktop is a fork of KDE 3. I cannot thank enough Timothy Pearson and his team for their work, so often despised by others on the forums.

When KDE 4 came out (not even to mention the disaster of it's beginning), those that wanted to keep KDE 3's sleek and efficient working were quickly considered dinosaurs that did not want to move to a more modern Desktop Environment.

Actually, we don't need wobbly windows and semi-transparent apps, we don't want notifications popping up. KDE 4 developpers did listen to some users complains and, with a lot of work, and by stopping half of what they worked to add, you can live with KDE 4/5.

But Trinity Desktop is fast, simple, it just works. And it retains Konqueror as a file browser (the simple fact that KDE 4 killed it in favour of Dolphin because basic users found it too complicated explains my dislike of KDE 4. Any time one makes tool more simple instead of educating the users, one takes the wrong approach).
Trinity is available for Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat and derivatives, openSUSE, and some others.

A small team has taken over the job of maintaining and developping (modestly) Trinity, currently at version 14.

Q4OS uses Trinity as default desktop and you can install it on MX Linux as I did.
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