Since I have been quite dissapointed with the recent releases of fedora for desktop use I’ve decided to try something other than redhat. I’ve tried on a couple occasions to use FreeBSD on my desktop because I absolutely LOVE the ports system. Unfortunatly most of my time was spent configuring and tweaking instead of working, which is what a good desktop OS should be all about, getting things done with minimal fuss. Also, I love freebsd but it’s definatly behind linux when it comes to hardware support.
I tried gentoo for a couple days but I also found it too demanding. I spent 2 days compiling and configuring to get a desktop that redhat could have given me in 30 minutes through HTTP install! I know that gentoo is faster (with prelinked binaries) and more 1337 but I’m too old and cranky to care. Gentoo does make a great server though, their portage system is a great clone of the FreeBSD ports system, which makes remote upgrades a snap.
I’ve breifly tried some others but always found something that I didn’t really like. Finally I installed suse 9.1 (after downloading and trying the suse 9.1 live CD) and so far so good. YaST is a great program, it’s nice to have a centralized configuration tool, and one that works in both console and X. I’ve tried suse before on a friends machine some years ago and wasn’t really impressed. I guess times have changed, the latest version is quite nice. I worked with KDE for a few days to give it a fair tryout but had to switch to Gnome 2.4.
I had to do a little tweaking to get the dual head working with my nVidia FX5600 Ultra but that’s expected, just adding the usual Twinview options to my /etc/X11/XF86config and it came alive. (if you want my XF86config post below and I’ll put it up here)
Anyway, aside from an annoying font issue in FireFox (I think it’s a firefox issue, not a suse issue) all has gone well. We’ll see what I think after a couple weeks.