Tag Archives: favorites

The Slacker’s Fav Linux List

Here’s what I like. They’re all good. However, like anyone, I have my personal favorites. Here goes…

My Top Five GNU/Linux Operating Systems and Why

  1. Slackware Linux – To me, Slackware just fits. Folks have heard me say for years now that Slackware is the only Linux operating system that comes pre-packaged with ATTITUDE. It’s a biker’s Linux. It’s not all-inclusive. It’s not warm and fuzzy. It’s not even user friendly, at times. When you kick that baby over, though, it RUNS… and it runs hard and long. Slackware is the oldest surviving still maintained Linux. Its age grants it bragging rights. It is a survivor.
  2. Debian – Debian is old; not as old as Slack, but close. It’s also “old school”, kinda’ like me. It’s there when you need it. It’s nothing fancy, really. It’s the Sears Craftsman of Linux operating systems; dependable, steady, and ROCK-FRIGGIN’ SOLID. I use Debian on my desktop machine as a secondary operating system. It’s fully operable and synch’d with my Slackware primary OS. No better fall back can be had.
  3. Arch Linux – While I’m not nearly as experienced with Arch as I am with Slack and Deb, I still have had some experience with it. I’m MOST impressed with Arch’s Support Community. I capitalize those words because in Arch’s case, they deserve to be capitalized. Most GNU/Linux operating systems out there have extensive and informative support apparati; Arch’s is superior. Their wiki is the best I’ve ever run across.
  4. Zenwalk – Zen’s parent is Slackware. Because of this, Zen has all the stability and reliability of its parent with a more mellow attitude. It’s a bit lighter than Slackware; as if Slack were anywhere near being called “bloated”. I ran Zen many times on my systems. I don’t currently have it installed because Zen doesn’t yet have an x86_64 architecture. I’m patiently waiting, though.
  5. CentOS – I installed Cent because I had already run Fedora Core and was looking to get as close to RedHat as possible without having to spend money to do so. CentOS is the answer. It’s as close as you’ll get to RedHat without the monetary outlay. It’s sharp, clean, stable, and very usable as a primary operating system. For you RPM fans, this might be a good choice.

Those are my five most loved GNU/Linux operating systems. However, I really love them all (with a couple exceptions that we won’t go into here); and with that in mind, here’s an honorable mention list (in no particular order):

  • Ubuntu – Why? Because this is the one that got it all started for me. I had an old stack of Mandrake floppies that someone had given me years ago, but I had never installed them on anything. Ubuntu was the first Linux I ever installed. It took away my Linux virginity and stole me from MS Windows all in one shot.
  • Ark Linux – Ark is a main line (not a branch) Linux operating system. It’s been around for quite some time. While development is sometimes a bit slow in coming, Ark is still alive and well, as I was recently updated by one of their beta-testers, the Borg_Queen. Ark is a good, solid Linux.
  • Vector – An impressive Slack baby. Stable and very usable. Needs an x86_64 version, though
  • OpenSuSE – Always impressive.
  • Fedora Core – Great community. Strong and secure operating system.
  • Foresight – Another one with a great support community.
  • Mepis – A great Debian offspring.
  • Mint – The Rock & Roll loaded Linux, based on Ubuntu.
  • Mandriva – A solid and well supported Linux.
  • Aptosid – A bleeding edge Linux based on Debian’s “Sid” branch; still very stable and usable. Great support community.
  • PCLinuxOS – A friendly and very usable Linux.

My Favorite Pocket Linux

  • SLAX – the Slackware-based pocket rocket. Load this baby from a thumb drive and run in pure RAM mode… the FASTEST operating system you’ve ever seen. Handy for fixing your friends’ toasted MS Windows systems, too.

My Favorite Desktop Environment/Windows Manager

  • Xfce – the little mouse that roared. I run Gnome here and KDE there, but Xfce is my absolute favorite of them all. It’s not near as polished (read as bloated) as KDE nor as user-friendly as Gnome, but it works. And for me, it works well. I love that little mouse.

Next week, 10 things I love about MS Windows. HA! Just kidding. Had you going there for a bit, though.



Image credits: Xfce logo © Olivier Fourdan

Make Your Own Custom Home Pages

What do you use for a home page on your browser? iGoogle? Yahoo? MSN? C’mon… have some imagination, folks!

With a wee bit of creativity and a little bit of your valuable time, you can make yourself some really cool custom home pages. Load ’em up with the stuff YOU want, not that carp that those other sites put on theirs. I’ve been making and using custom home pages for years on my own systems. I just got tired of those usual home page sites not providing the content that was really important to me.

Now, before we get into this any deeper, let me assure you that I’m no super artist or whiz kid HTML coder. The extent of my artistic skills fall squarely into the stickman category (see Fig. 1). You don’t need to be an artist or a coder to do this stuff. There are apps like The GIMP (graphics application) and KompoZer or Sea Monkey (WYSIWYG editors) that you can use to make beautiful and practical home pages in just a jiff!

Figure 1 – Stickman

Let your imagination run away. I tend to make my home pages in a practical format. They’re just pretty pages with links to my most visited sites. I still have my browser’s bookmarks to go to if necessary, but a goodly portion of my daily surfing can be done using my home page as a launch pad. I have two different home pages that I’ve created buttons for on my browser (Firefox). One is my general home page (Fig 2 thumbnail) and the other is a Linux specific home page (Fig 3 thumbnail).

Figure 2 – General Home Page

Figure 3 – Linux Home Page

You can do this, folks. It’s easy-peasy. Just find (or make yourself) a nice background image for your home page, then start adding the content that you want on it. Play around with your WYSIWYG editor of choice. Both KompoZer and Sea Monkey are pretty intuitive and easy to use. Once you have your home page created you’ll need to “serve” it on your own system. This is not as complicated as it sounds.

All “serving” means, is providing a place to access something whenever you need to access it. In the case of your custom home page, you’re just going to save it like any other file… right there on your hard drive somewhere. The next thing you need to do is point your browser to it and load it. Once your browser loads up your custom home page, just do whatever you need to do to set it as the home page in that particular browser. You can also create custom buttons on the tool bar, if you know how to do that.

Play around, make some boo-boos, have some FUN with it.

Until next time…