Open Source

My distro can beat up your distro

Starting from the premise that all Linux distros are equally bad -- as well as all operating systems of any kind -- one geek argues for common sense and a little civility.

I just had to read a blog titled, "All Linux Distros Suck." The author, Anonymous Geek, is actually a Linux user, but his/her post is really a refutation of the popular tactic of talking smack about people who are using any other Linux distro than the one you're currently using. And of course, the broader message is that all OSs suck across the board — so get over your proselytizing ways when someone comes to you with a simple question or problem.

The reality is that all Linux distributions suck. No matter which distro you choose, if you use it for enough different tasks, you're *going* to tickle some bug in some library, or some quirk in some tool, or some idiosyncrasy, or missing package, or weird config syntax, or oddball package management… stuff.

How often, when conversing with other Linux users, do you get, "You're still using that!"? This, delivered in a tone that implies you are only one evolutionary step from opposable thumbs. Having read through a fair number of technical forums, I definitely understand where this guy is coming from, but Superior Technical Attitude is by no means the sole domain of the open source community. There are many IT folks who sneer at the pathetic choices made by other techs — why, on this very TechRepublic site, I've seen members use rather impolite terms to describe contributors, commenters, editors even.

Perhaps it's because I'm such a curmudgeon, but I always appreciate those who will call a spade a spade. Again, from our Anonymous Geek:

Once you realize that it isn't just a single distro, and not just a single operating system, and not just a variant or version or whatever, but that *everything* basically sucks, you might become disillusioned, or even depressed. Don't be. It's the golden age. It's like the world before cars, and everyone is waiting for someone to invent a car.

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Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

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