Intro

Following on from the issues I was having after 6 months of using OpenSuse Tumbleweed I needed to find a stable daily driver distro who has lead to a month of distro hopping. That distro hopping has lead to some interesting discoveries when actually using and running some of these distros.

Remember before you blow a gasket because I have an opinion which isn't yours, take a breath and a step back. This is my journey not yours. Experiances will be different.

Linux Mint

Main Page - Linux Mint
Linux Mint is an elegant, easy to use, up to date and comfortable GNU/Linux desktop distribution.

My first jump was to Linux Mint, its the well written about distro pitched as the Windows replacement and had recently had an update.

Running Cinnamon as the desktop the positives for this distro are that its quick, it looks slick, some of the value add applications that come with Mint are well thought out especially the System update app which every linux distro should have.

The problem i had over time was stability and annoying glitches. Things like firefox crashing, screen tear, the removal of snap while reversable was exceedingly annoying and while it looks polished it after a week of usage didn't feel polished, it felt like it had a 1000 paper cuts which individually were nothing, together just ended up being annoying.

Also comeing from KDE, Cinnamon felt hugely restrictive and basic, which I guess is the point.

OpenSUSE Leap 15.2

The makers’ choice for sysadmins, developers and desktop users.
Discover Tumbleweed and get the newest Linux packages with our rolling release. Fast! Integrated! Stabilized! Tested!. Discover Leap and get the most complete Linux distribution with openSUSE’s latest regular-release version!

So while I was using Mint, Opensuse released 15.2, having commited at the start of the year to OpenSUSE and really wanting to run with it I installed the latest release of LEap rather than Tumbleweed.

Now i'm not sure if its because of the Dell XPS 13 I run, of the 42" 1080p external monitor I'm using post install this release of KDE Leap 15.2 was a headach inducing awful font experience. I found this strange as I tested the version of Tumbleweed and that has far better looking fonts out of the box and I'd expect the two systems to be the same.

Like Mint, and I'm guessing this is because of tight release schedules these distros put themselves under, there were just a few too many glitches. One of the most annoying was the screen driver just kept on glitching the screen. Again I went back to 15.1 leap and tumbleweed and BOTH worked fine for the few days i ran them. Back to 15.2 and the screen glitched at least once every 30 minutes.

I did eventually manage with a lot of work to get the fonts to work, however after a week everything felt so so so slow I just had to give up on it.

Sabayon Linux

Sabayon Linux

Sabayon has been my distro hopping goto Distro for years, the tinkerer in me loves it, its based on Gentoo but with Equo as a package installer so no "compiling" packages. Its Linux but not a simple distro.

HAving headed over to the Download page, I'm not sure if the distro is dead, or what however the last release was March 2019.

I gave it a go, it installed, KDE acome up, I started the updates and... it broke. Loads of missing stuff.

I can see from the forums that there has been an issue with the repo hosting and via Reddit I've found i'm not the only one with a problem. I didn't get a reply from the great guy who maintained the distro on what the future was..

So bye bye bye.

KDE Neon

KDE neon

Next on the list was KDE Neon, i'm a huge fan of KDE, it's Ubuntu based so a good solid foundation with the bleeding edge KDE Plasma on it..

Unfortunatly this distro was a no from the start, the ISO is built in such a way that some UEFI laptops just cannot boot the distro from a USB stick (Read More). After many many hours I did manage to rebuild the ISO image to get it to work..

Whats interesting with this is every other distro on the planet manages to have the right files to boot from a USB stick, and I'm not sure why Neon doesn't

Kubuntu 20.04

Homepage

So I've ended up with Kubuntu 20.04 and will commit to running this for the remainder of the year.

Based on the LTS release and the Dell XPS13 i bought came with Ubuntu. The good package support, good support forums and because there have been some patches since release I've had none of the issues with Kubuntu 20.04

So this is where the journey of 2020 continues..

Conclusion

I do get the feeling you need to realistically wait about a month after a distro update is released on most OS's to get the bugs and papercuts fixed and a better experience. This isn't a recent thing, its pretty common.

All of the above distros have been great and will carry on to fix patch and resolve these issues. Also I'm accutely aware that hardware setup and the number of USB devices I have hanging off this laptop are all reasons why distros might have issues.