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The dark side of distrohopping

July 15, 2011
By

I’ve been a distrohopper for as long as I can remember. What is a distrohopper you might be wondering? Well it’s a guy or gal who loves using different desktop distros and who frequently hops from one to another. I wrote a column about the Psychology of a Distrohopper a while back that explores what exactly goes on in the minds of distrohoppers.

Here’s a brief excerpt from that column that helps define what distrohoppers are interested in:

Distrohoppers have a compelling need to monitor the progress of desktop Linux by installing the latest and greatest distro. What’s changed? What new features are available? What about the theme? The icons? Distrohoppers are innately curious and have an insatiable need to keep up with the development of desktop Linux.

Distrohoppers are not content to simply read a review, they want hands on experience with a new version of a distro and that’s what makes sites like Distrowatch so popular. Every time there’s a new release of a worthwhile distro, you can bet that distrohoppers will swarm the site looking for info and download links.

As fun as distrohopping is, it’s not all wine and roses. There’s a dark side to never being able to stay with one distro and that’s what I’ll talk about in this column.

A Never Ending Flow of Distros
If you’ve ever spent any time on DistroWatch then you know that distros are constantly being updated. There’s a constant flow of new and interesting distros, and also updates to existing distros. Distrohoppers can find themselves constantly downloading stuff every time DistroWatch has an update or new distro posted.

DistroWatch

DistroWatch: Valhalla or Niflheim for distrohoppers?

If you’re one of the unfortunate people stuck with a download cap (such as Comcast’s 250 GB limit), you can burn through a lot of your allotted bandwidth by downloading some larger distros. Distros can vary widely in download size. Some are very modest, even tiny in terms of size. But others can bloat up to four or five gigabytes or more.

Which Distro to Use?
The never-ending flow of distros can also be perplexing in another way, which ones should you try? All of them? Just a few? This question is particularly hard for newbie distrohoppers that are just getting into Linux. Many of them are coming from Windows and the freedom that Linux offers can be…well…quite intoxicating.

Some people are overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices and simply don’t know where to start. This is quite understandable, given the enormous range of choices available to Linux users. There really is a distro for everybody out there and it can be confusing to newcomers who are simply used to Windows or even Mac OS X.

Other newbies leap right in and don’t look back. These folks can easily morph into compulsive distrohoppers. One download can quickly turn into an addiction as they begin experimenting with various flavors of Linux, always searching for that elusive “perfect distro.” These folks often don’t stay with any distro since they are so jazzed up by using Linux that they careen from one distro to other with reckless abandon.

If you’re a newbie distrohopper, I recommend that you concentrate on getting used to some of the more widely known distros such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, PCLinuxOS, and MEPIS before trying some of the lesser known variants. This will at least let you get your feet on the ground and give you a foundation of experience through which to view other distros.

Where Did I Leave That File?
Sometimes distrohoppers hop around so much that they leave important files or folders in one distro and then realize they can’t find the file while using another distro. This can be especially bad if you use VirtualBox and have a ton of distros installed. This has happened to me more than once and it’s a pain in the ass if you’ve created a document and then lost track of which distro you created it in.

Of course the easiest thing to do is to adopt a “Main Distro” and leave your important data there. Or better yet you can also use cloud-storage services to keep your data somewhere where it’s always accessible no matter what distro you are running. Google Docs is great for documents, but there are other cloud services that can also be a big help in accessing important data rather than leaving it lost in a haze of distros.

Distro Deficit Disorder?
Attention deficit disorder is defined as the following:

A syndrome, usually diagnosed in childhood, characterized by a persistent pattern of impulsiveness, a short attention span, and often hyperactivity, and interfering especially with academic, occupational, and social performance.

I’ve often wondered if some of us distrohoppers have our own form of this called Distro Deficit Disorder or something like that.

Is part of our distrohopping because we simply can’t focus on any one distro for any length of time? Perhaps our version of attention deficit disorder should be added as a sub-disorder? Maybe the pharmaceutical companies could come up with a pill for us that might help us tone down our distrohopping.

A Reviewer Whines
Obviously I look at a lot of different distros as a reviewer for Desktop Linux Reviews and for the quick looks I write here on EOL. One of the problems with reviewing so many distros is that sometimes things begin to blur in my mind. I start trying to remember what I saw in one distro to compare it to another distro but then I become confused as I can’t remember which version of the previous distro I’m thinking of…was it the latest version or a previous one?

Is Distrohopping Evil?

The true face of distrohopping addicts?

I call this Distro Amnesia and I suffer from it frequently. Sometimes I can’t even remember my own name after messing around with distro after distro.

Sometimes people will ask me about this feature or that feature in a particular distro and I will sometimes draw a complete blank. My mind then tries to filter my thoughts backwards through various distro releases until I can locate the feature, bug or other issue that the person is asking me about. It takes a while sometimes as I try to work my way through so many different releases.

Final Thoughts
Distrohopping can be fun, there’s no doubt about it. There are always some cool, new features to play with in an updated or new distro. But that doesn’t mean that you have to always be on the move. You can opt to slow down a little bit once in a while.

Rather than careen from one distro to another like a pinball, it might be a good idea to savor each distro a little bit before moving on. Try to limit your distrohopping to no more than three to five different distros per day or less. That way you can enjoy each distro without moving on too soon or making yourself suffer from Distro Amnesia or the Distrohopper’s Lost File Syndrome I mentioned earlier.

Moderation in all things is a good idea, even for us distrohoppers.

What’s your take on the dark side of distrohopping? Tell me in the comments below. For full distro reviews visit Desktop Linux Reviews.

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46 Responses to The dark side of distrohopping

  1. Do distrohoppers have too many choices? on March 28, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    […] that distrohopping can be a bit of a waste of time if you take it too far. I wrote about the Dark Side of Distrohopping a while back, and I know the downsides to it. But there are ways to minimize taking distrohopping […]

  2. Wayne Twine on January 9, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    Hi – for those of you who would like to hop a little more try out our distro which is NOT listed at Distrowatch but we have more than 15000 users, we are on the waiting list at distrowatch.com but frankly I dont care. I have my doubts as to the accuracy of their statistics myself.

    Anyway – RhinoLINUX is the name of our distro, it is Ubuntu-based and we currently are about to release version 7.0 – we started in late 2010.

    RhinoLINUX comes in 3 released edition, MAIN EDITION with a MATE desktop environment, LITE Edition with an XFCe GUI, and of course a KDE Edition, all these are available at SourceForge.net and the links and more info are on our site at
    http://www.rhinolinux.com

    Version 7.0 will be released in about 2 weeks, and we will be adding a Cinnamon, Gnome-SHell and Debian-based Editions to our stable. In the meantime you can try out our version 6.0 releases if you cant wait!

  3. Distrohopping On Reddit | Eye On Linux on September 25, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    […] column was showing in the top articles list. Doh! But here’s a link to the thread and to the original article here on EOL (The Dark Side of […]

  4. ScionicSpectre on April 15, 2013 at 4:47 AM

    See, I thought I might have a problem since I do this between Arch, elementary, and Ubuntu every few months- then you said ‘three to five a day or less’. I think that makes me sane- right?

  5. GuiMaster on March 23, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Great to see articles like this, because this is actually a problem for some people. Too much choice can actually be a problem for some, believe it or not!

    Back in the day I used Windows 98. It was the only OS I had access to. Distro hopping wasn’t an option. With Windows, distro / release hopping isn’t an option because once you spend the kind of money Microsoft charges, you are happy to stay put. In fact, I really wish I could be using Microsoft as my main OS today. Unfortunately Microsoft is evil – in many ways – and so I feel like I can’t use it as my main OS.

    So in 2008 I downloaded Ubuntu to replace Windows 98. I’ve since purchased XP and Vista as secondary OS’s. I got 7 on a Netbook that I bought. I was very happy with Ubuntu as my primary OS until 11.04 was released. When I realized that Unity was the future of Ubuntu, my distro-hopping nightmare began!

    And what a nightmare it has been! I’ve installed and partially configured almost every release of Linux Mint and Ubuntu. That’s KDE, XFCE, LXDE, Unity, Cinnamon, Mate, you name it. I’d have tried Elementary Luna by now if it would ever get out of Beta. I also tried Mint Debian and OpenSuse

    Finally I reached a point last year where I felt sure that I am done my distro hopping ways, after settling on Kubuntu 12.04 LTS. But now the urge is coming back! I’ve spent hours configuring this OS and suddenly I have a desire to go back to Unity, even though I hated Unity!

    Argh!!!

    • Anderson Felippe on December 1, 2013 at 1:43 AM

      I totally get you, bro. Since I decided to move to Linux definitively and wipe Windows out of my life, I’ve been a distrohopper. At the beginning it was much fun and I learned a lot, but now it’s become an issue. My laptop is my workstation and every time I do a clean install, I have to spend 2 hours or more to get it settled and ready to be used, installing tons of packages, tweaking, etc. So far, Ubuntu and Mint have met all my expectations, but I don’t know why I often get excited to try a new distro, such as Fedora, OpenSUSE, Luna, Pear OS, etc…
      I wish they had a pill for that :P

      Great articles about us, poor tormented distrohoppers, you have here, Jim!

  6. Richman on March 18, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    Four to five distros per day? are you insane man. I thought I was ditro crazy downloading maybe 50-60 in the past 2 years. I havn’t even reviewed them all. I maybe used 25-30. I have probably not messed around with more than 10-12 in a month. What I do is read the reviews and get a sense or general consensus on which ones are popular, cool, stable, appreciated, less buggy and then stick to the better ones that have the highest ratings because I don’t have time for them all.

  7. [...] column was showing in the top articles list. Doh! But here’s a link to the thread and to the original article here on EOL (The Dark Side of [...]

  8. sasha on October 23, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    I’m doing some hopping these days, but I plan to settle on one distro and continue working. :whistle:
     
    I was a happy Arch user, but a few months ago I changed computers and Arch started to break and that gave a new life to an old habit.

  9. white lotus on October 2, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    if in your dreams so keep seeying different GUIs and different names of disrtos flying and you cannot control it, it is time to take a breack. Do not touch PC for few days or just do what is necessary and shut down PC till you can sleep peacefully and wake up fresh.

  10. white lotus on October 2, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    distro hopping is addictive, no doubt.
    it depends upon your approach.

    Is computer a toy to play or tool to get your job done.

    A little research is needed for a newbie like me. After that settle down.

    I downloaded some ubuntu derivatives adn PClinuxOS. I have 6 GB monthly limit and I will not increase it.

    I prefer to have a triple boot, XP, mint and may be bodhi. One complete distro and other for simple task like surfing and checking emails.

    I was about to getting obsessed to try new ISOs, but I have to take an appointment with my mind and sort out this issue.

  11. D-Hopper on September 28, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    So in retrospect to this, The only “Dark Side” to Distrohopping, is by NOT Distrohopping, ’cause how else will you know which one you like the best, for YOU !.

    Summarily, there’s no darkside to distrohopping.

  12. D-Hopper on September 28, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    If it’s all FREE, and you have time to experiment, you’ll try EVERTHING eventually.
    There is NO psychology there, except maybe boredon, OR, u’re one of those reviewers’ “biased” towards the “advertiser” that pay$$$ the most.

    Oh, and herein’ lies the proof: “Distrowatch” is advertiser-based therefore we’ll never get the “real” picture honestly, on which distro is the actually “most-used” worldwide.

    To do that, you’d have to have a script to send daily/weekly/monthy of what distro everyone is using, to a “TRUSTWORTHY database -and unfortunately, that alone is a joke today – lmao.
    And, becuase 80% of most firewalls(corporate,…) and users prevent that, then we will never really know.
    I’d say definitely thet Ubuntu is one of the top used ‘fer sure, but hey, I don’t use Ubuntu anymore, I use Arch, and that most-definitely does NOT mean it’s the best for your wants amd/or needs.

    Cheers.

  13. George on August 17, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    I think I have Distro Deficit Disorder xD One day its Ubuntu, on the other is Mint, on the other is Mint Debian, on the other is openSUSE and etc etc etc…

  14. Zorklat on August 9, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    I’m not so much of a distrohopper. For the two years I was playing WoW in Linux, I probably tried a dozen distros, tops (if you count each release of Ubuntu and Mint as a separate distro), always looking for a way to eke out one or two more frames per second from my rather elderly and behind-the-curve desktop system. I’m now off of the reinstall treadmill, using PCLOS for 95% of my desktop computing, and win7 and Lubuntu Natty (preferring Lubuntu) on my laptop (which I don’t use all that much). But because of an issue mentioned in this week’s DistroWatch, I’m now curious about XFCE 4.8, and looking around for a distro for that.

    I’ll probably just add xfce to my kde PCLOS system, and maybe run it with openbox instead of xfwm.

  15. Blu Knight on July 19, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    What you write may be true but you forget at least one category of distrohoppers: the never really satisfied by any distro. They go distro after distro with the hope to find the *good*, the best, distro, the less bad… They seek perpetually as never something is enough good, and often with good reasons…

  16. Athenroy on July 19, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    I was like you, Jcam, I met a girl, than another and another and another! I hate women! I went to distro hopping instead! You will too, eventually! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! :sad:

  17. jcam on July 19, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Jim Lynch, i was almost like you (not that obsessed), than after nearly two weeks i met a girl, and another, and another…

    i love women, so do not have time for these modern diseases.

    good luck

  18. Brendan on July 19, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    You can cut down the overwhelming choices by only selecting the ones which are truly free!: http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html . Now you’re down from ~900 to 9. :)

    Also, you should be careful when recommending Google Docs as it should not be used for any private documents.
    See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/who-does-that-server-really-serve.html

    Disclaimer: I don’t have a beard.

  19. John on July 18, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    I was a distro hopper for some years. But now I am settled with Ubuntu 11.04 and Pardus 2011.1 in two computers.
    And I will continue with them to. If you have tryed several distributions you notice that not so big differences. It’s basicly Gnome or KDE who are the two big ones.
    I keep Ubuntu and Pardus because of the infrastructure around them itself, help from forums. Possible to write professional bug reports/request and so on..

    But thats my personal preferences. Other maybe would do it different.

  20. GreyGeek on July 18, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    If you are “overwhelmed” by choices than you shouldn’t be distro hopping. If you are “overwhelmed” by choices you shouldn’t be customizing any distro you’ve settled on. In fact, if choice “overwhelms” you then you should use an OS that doesn’t offer many choices, and charges heavily for those they do offer. After a few grand have chosen to flee your wallet perhaps you’ll understand the beauty of choice.

  21. RenegadeChipshop on July 18, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    I got sucked into the world of Linux by attempting to help my brother repair the damage caused to his Vista-powered laptop by a virus (remember those?). I downloaded a Ubuntu Maverick .iso and put it on a USB stick and was sufficiently impressed to add it as a dual-boot option to my netbook. It wasn’t long before I found I’d all but ceased to use Win7 and Ubuntu had crept onto my other computers. Next thing I know, I’ve changed to Mint to “see what it’s like” followed by the Debian-based favour for the same reasons. It crept up on me in a stealthy manner, but now I find myself with a drawer inexorably filling with USBs in the elusive search for “the one”. Anyway, must go now, I NEED to check Distrowatch to see what piques my interest today. Damn you Linux, and all your tempting varieties.

    • Wayne Twine on February 18, 2014 at 1:52 AM

      Try RhinoLINUX out. Its based on Ubuntu/LinuxMint so it is compatible with lots of software. What makes it better? Well…everytime I used to try a new distro out I used to always find myself adding essential Linux command-iine tools such as TestDisk,Midnight Commander,partimage etc. as well as essential preferred browsers,mail clients, web server tools and capability, additional Office type apps such as PDF printer,a decent Backup tool,antivirus etc. The list went on and on.Need I even mention the plugins/driver/codecss hunting ?
      Also I am a big fan and daily user of emulated or virtual PCs and all the tools that one gets to manage these. And last but not least I like to have customization and personalization options….I decided I wanted to try build a “custom Linux Mint install ISO image” to start with in 2010, and later that year I started building v1.0 of RhinoLINUX…
      I believe any fan of Ubuntu and Linux Mint will appreciate the value of what we have done.
      Version 7 about to be released, you can get the latest release from http://www.rhinolinux.com/ or order live media via osdisc.com

  22. Desidia on July 18, 2011 at 7:07 AM

    Next steps of the madness are:

    - build youy own distro from scratch. However, that may be a form of crative process.
    - to become a «systemhopper»: give a try to more obscure OS: BSDs (minor and curable form of the madness), Hurd (Ouch!), Minix, Plan9 (hopeless), Oberon…

  23. gouchout on July 17, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    I used to have a bit of a hopping habit, but I tailed off on to Debian Testing, which I find to be a nice balance between safety & excitement. My hopping was due to me not discovering apt (this was in the RedHat 6 to 8 era). Once I did, I couldn’t leave. Good old Debian…

  24. The Dark Side of Distrohopping | bryan.hohs.us on July 17, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    [...] are interested in:Distrohoppers have a compelling need to monitor the progress of desktop Linux by installing the latest and greatest distro. What’s changed? What new features are available? [...]

  25. Joe on July 17, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    For many people, the sole reason for distrohopping is the attempt to find a distro that supports all of ones hardware out of the box and includes his favorite programs and plugins. Thorough and well written reviews posted soon after availability of new versions helps.

  26. elf150hz on July 17, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    Well I am guilty of doing that to but tried all the ones suggested from Ubuntu to Slackware. Then it was the interface, Gnome, KDE, ect. All people are looking for is something that is simple to operate. Thanks to Windoze it made alot of people stupid and was fixing computers alot. I setteled on Ultimate Edition 2.9. It has alot of the stuff I want and this will sound weird but the Google Apps (prisim). Now I did install Open Suse medical on a few doctors networks and trained them but have had no issues and to my surprise they have not reset the system once ( with Windows 7 they were resetting the system 4 times a week ). Yes there are games I have from along time ago that will not work but I am so happy to be away from Windows. I am glad that there are alot of variations but jumping around can get messy and waist alot of time. In Mexico they use more ubuntu based systems ( installed some myself ). Remember it’s a change from Windows. So anything that can make a person open up to opensource and away from M$ is a good day.

  27. MacLone on July 17, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Well..hmmm… i’m a distrohopper since 99 and actually i do it
    for learning and yes, because i love to try new stuff. Why?
    because i would like to see linux be a serious desktop just as
    Mac and windows are. Over the years i have realized that it
    will never happen, not without commercial grade software and
    because you will never get anything right just by copying code
    and bugs from others to start your own proyects. This is a
    good example… say i want a good music player/list handler…
    Banshee, Amarok, Exaile, Guayadeque, clementine, Rhythmbox
    etc. (i have tested all) and everyone of them with mayor show
    stopper bugs because there is almost no innovation, just
    sharing faulty code. I can mix all of them and they don’t get
    even close to Winamp or MusicBee. With this kind of
    thinking… “i do it for free so that’s what you get” , linux
    will never be a seriuos desktop…. so i do it just for fun. :tongue:

    • Athenroy on July 17, 2011 at 6:15 PM

      Not to mention that most small developers start with an unstable branch to begin with. I tried one the other day, the first Alpha wasn’t to bad. Within a couple of days the developer had the second Alpha ready. Turns out it was worse than the first! Wasn’t even getting any sound while watching flash movies with the included FF 5.0! And it still had install problems, but that is the way people learn! I haven’t tried a Live CD in two days now! :biggrin:

  28. Moose on July 17, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    I just save everything to an eight gigabyte usb drive, which removes the worry about losing my files. Still, I can’t even count how many Distros I’ve tried. All I can say is that if it is a desktop distribution, then I give you a 90% chance that I have used it.

  29. marvinudy on July 17, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    Jim,

    I’m a long time obsessed, blatant distro hopper with no regrets. Every new distro brings excitement and joy to my heart most of the time.

    A dedicated ‘home’ directory and multiple, spacious drives ease the pain of remembering what is where as long as you keep a chart of what distro is where. Every new install reinforces discipline or the pain of a fool’s suffering.

    Over the years, I’ve arrived at a few distros that have semi permanent residence on my system and span the spectrum across ‘basic’ to ‘kitchen sink’ variety.

    Partitioning methods, file system selection, partition size, partition schemes, boot managers, window managers, desktop managers and basic command line grasp become intimately familiar by simple repetition.

    My favorite gui based distro is Mint. ArchBang is my core ‘basic’ favorite. Ultimate Edition is my winner in the ‘kitchen sink’ category. Gentoo represents my ongoing abject failure. Available gui forks of Gentoo don’t seem to hold my interest for long.

    Developing a habit of immediately placing critical files on a backup drive prevents future headaches.

    Distro hopping is in a way a type of learning one experience at a time.

  30. david on July 17, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Distro dating is for people who don’t use computers for any kind of real work. It’s a lot of trouble to swap distro’s after you’ve got one fully configured and with additional apps installed. Distro’s are constantly changing. If you’re patient, then whatever distro you’re using will eventually include the features found on the others, especially if those features a worthwhile.

  31. grumpyoldman on July 17, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    I’ve been playing around since RH 5.0 & have never lost the fun side of “hopping”.
    So much stuff to see, or, to not see!
    Mandriva? ok :blush:
    PClinuxOS Can’t get the bloody thing to play boot boogie but I like the look of it. :angry:
    Sabayon -Gentoo too much trouble with entropy. :ninja:
    Ubuntu – Boring but solid enough. Color scheme? yuk! & Unity? Don’t ask! :sleeping:
    Fedora – Like but forum questions a disaster area for newbies. :devil:
    Mepis – 0/10 :sleeping:
    And so on but! at last!!!
    Mint Linux – A bloody revelation. What a beauty. :wub: :wub: :wub:
    At last a distro I can call my own & leave the world of ms for ever.
    Gnome becomes a butterfly instead of a moth. :wub:
    Everything just works, even my tv card.
    No need to ever go back to paying for a bloated os & no more blue screens. Love it. :wub:
    Yeah Mint!!! :wub: :wub: :wub:

  32. Mark Dalby :: Security :: The Dark Side of Distrohopping on July 17, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    [...] Tags:  Linux Source:  Eye on Linux [...]

  33. hendour on July 17, 2011 at 7:32 AM

    i settled with debian as server and fedora as desktop.

    i am happy now.

  34. salparadise on July 17, 2011 at 5:54 AM

    I was a distrohopper.
    It comes and goes still, after nigh on 10 years.

    Mostly now I’m settled on slackware.

  35. Brian Masinick on July 17, 2011 at 3:23 AM

    Jim, you do know that you can download a whopping 60 distros that are each a whopping 4 GB each and you will still have burned through only 240 of the 250 GB allotted on a system with restrictions similar to Comcast. That still leaves you with 10 GB worth of updates and other stuff. I never get close to 60 distros per month, nor do I frequently download 4 GB sized distros. That argument is rather weak. If you have a 5 or 10 GB monthly limit, I’d be more concerned, but that is still plenty to do quite a lot. Few distros worth using are over 2.5 GB, though there are a few monsters in the 4 GB range. If I had download capacity to worry about I would ignore them as wasteful, but as it is, this is rarely a problem, at least for me.

    I think a more serious issue, whether as a distro hopper, a social networking junkie, or anything else, where obsession with the activity leads to an unhealthy balance of activity, is something much more important to raise concern.

    Experimenting and trying out different systems, either to learn, hunt for the best option, or look at changes and trends in technology are some valid reasons for distro hopping. Using it as a social escape because you don’t have other social outlets, getting obsessed with it, (or anything else for that matter) are reasons for alarm and concern.

    I find a few people “over the edge”, but it’s not something I see often. A few of us probably get slightly out of balance from time to time, but then we find other activities and interests and get back on the right track.

    Distro hopping can be educational, it can help locate features in systems, comparing them to learn about how one works versus another, it can provide some socialization, discussing it with others, and in moderation, these things are all worthwhile. It’s when we climb over edge that I’d raise the questions. If you do burn through 250 GB a month downloading distros, movies, or other miscellaneous material, why? What areas in life are lacking? That seems like way too much. What technology consumes such a data hungry number?

    I use the computer many hours a day, both for business and for pleasure, and I doubt that I’ve ever crossed 100 GB a month, and probably 20 GB a month isn’t often exceeded. Sometimes I AM on the computer too much, and when I am – I find other outlets, as I did for most of the day today.

    The warnings and concerns would apply to those who can’t get through a day without downloading ten distros and ten movies. To such people, there are beaches, walking trails, parks, friends, family, and much more. Life does not begin and end with button pushing devices. We are not slaves to them – or at least we don’t NEED to be. That’s a choice, and unless those buttons serve a useful function, perhaps a nice day in the sun would be a better option – it was for me today.

  36. dragonmouth on July 16, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    HOGWASH!!!!
    “Distrohoppers have a compelling need to monitor the progress of desktop Linux by installing the latest and greatest distro.”
    Many do, but many are still looking that SPECIAL DISTRO that will become their one and only distro.
    “Distrohoppers are not content to simply read a review, they want hands on experience with a new version of a distro”
    Depends on whose doing the reviewing. Some reviewers have tunnel vision and only review distros for one or two features, disregarding other aspects.
    “If you’re one of the unfortunate people stuck with a download cap (such as Comcast’s 250 GB limit), you can burn through a lot of your allotted bandwidth by downloading some larger distros.”
    250gb means 60+ 4 gig distros which is 3-4 months worth on Distrowatch. Considering there is not that many 4 gig distros, one download for 6 months before reaching 250 GB limit.
    “There really is a distro for everybody out there”
    One just needs to find it and for that, a little distrohopping is needed.
    “Where Did I Leave That File?”
    A true distrohopper does not create any permanent files.
    “Is part of our distrohopping because we simply can’t focus on any one distro for any length of time?”
    Speak for yourself. If you have DDD don’t assume everybody else does to.
    “Sometimes people will ask me about this feature or that feature in a particular distro and I will sometimes draw a complete blank.”
    That because, outside of the few features you care about (Flash, Gwibber), you overlook all others.

  37. Athenroy on July 16, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Don’t get me wrong, I certainly favor one particular distro, and, lets face it, unless someone comes up with a new desktop environment or windows manager, they are all about the same. You know, though, there are a lot of people that put in a lor of time modifying a distro to make it their own, so to speak, and they probably will never get a full review from Distrowatch, so hey, if I can try it and maybe join their forums and offer a few suggestions. I might even do a small review on my blog to give them some mention. That might be enough to keep them active. You never know, they might come up with the next great distro! With me distro hopping is more a public service and at the same time a learning experience for me.

  38. hpb on July 16, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    For me distro hopping is nice and there is no harm in it; learning Linux and the different communities is a very nice way to spend some time.
    I think that chasing after the latest and greatest isn’t, simply because there is a chance that you overlook many of the nice things which are distro specific. Give yourself some time and don’t switch to another distro till you have examined all of it thoroughly.

    I would advise a diet of 4 distro’s a year, MAX! starting with the following recipe:

    Summer: Debian
    Autumn: Gentoo
    Winter: Slackware
    Spring: Archlinux

    After that you maybe can write a review of your distro-hopping-cool-down-experience.

    And don’t forget Ed LaBonte’s advice!

    Good luck.

  39. Kabamaru on July 16, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    LMFAO !! :lol: :lol: :lol:

    That “no more than three to five different distros per day” line almost made me spit my coffee on my laptop screen.

  40. Twrock on July 16, 2011 at 4:43 AM

    “Try to limit your distrohopping to no more than three to five different distros per _day_ or less.”

    :pouty: :happy: :biggrin: :lol: :w00t: :w00t: :w00t: :w00t: :w00t: :w00t: :w00t: :wink:
    That’s not ADD, that’s a “living in a crack house” kind of problem.

  41. Athenroy on July 16, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    My big mistake was buying a second internal HDD! It’s 1T! I think I have about 6 distros on it now including 2 e17 distros! I’m always looking for something new to try and I “haunt” the DistroWatch new submission list just to see what I find. I have one work horse at the moment Ultimate Edition 2.9 where I do about 95% of my Linux work. I probably wouldn’t even be doing this is it weren’t for the Gnome 3 thing!

    I used GPT partition table on the new drive so all my drives are primaries. I tried the separate home partition and it ended up with a home within a home file, to confusing! When I want tos save something, I have a NTFS “go between” partition to share with Win 7, I keep most of the important files on it. I also do a nightly Home back up. :cheerful:

  42. tshann on July 16, 2011 at 12:02 AM

    Ah,okay… you think several distro’s per day is MODERATE? Takes me a bit to grock that concept. For me, moderate would be a new distro every month or two. So multiple distro’s a day seems excessive to me. But then again, I’m not just playing with my distro, I count on it everyday for my business, education, and entertainment. My initial year or two when I was distrohopping was looking for a distro that was stable, nicely configurable, and light on resources. I ended up finding that in Crunchbang Linux. I got bored of it at one point, and tooled around. But eventually had to come back, as it’s simply the most stable and elegant lightweight distro I could find – so distrohopping was terminated.
    So it’s all relative. I’m sure that for some folks, several distro’s a day is like entertainment. But still, a bit hard to wrap my mind around that being moderate. To each his own.

    Peace

  43. Ed LaBonte on July 15, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    One way to prevent losing files is to always keep your /home directory in a separate partition and never format that partition when installing the new distro. The only time this won’t be possible is if you are experimenting with one of the bsd distros, or your /home partition is formatted in a file system that the new distro won’t support.



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