Rolling vs Stable


Dec 18, 2021
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In recent years I wanted more access to the latest versions of applications, and access to the latest versions of development tools. This dictated switching to a rolling release. I'm not interested in large amounts of systems administration, I've had enough of that. I have a pile of notes I follow, and I'm not keen to change them. I was using OpenSUSE Leap, it was easiest to jump to OpenSUSE Tumbleweed.

Tumbleweed is updated frequently. During any month, multi GB updates can be quite common. I'm sitting here in kernel 6.1, MGLRU is enabled, the desktop is KDE Plasma 5.26, and I've been using digikam 7.9.

Tumbleweed has been stable. SUSE have an automated QA/testing rig, I think that helps keep Tumbleweed on the rails. I do keep two or three kernel versions (OpenSUSE supports multiversion kernel booting). That's mainly because I prefer Nvidia's drivers (for gaming/CUDA). The driver and kernel can fall out of step for a week or so, so it pays to have a way to step back.

I've never needed the complex btrfs/snapshot rollback stuff. I prefer plain old ext4 for root. In case I need to step back, or compare changes, I have a time-delayed copy of the OS partition. My automated backup scripts turn off backups for two days after kernel updates - just in case.

Tumbleweed has been standard enough that, if there isn't a package available, I can compile and build most of the things I'm interested in.

I've kicked the tires on Manjaro, it seems nice enough. If OpenSUSE ever lose the plot, I would likely jump in that direction. Arch seems like a bit too much effort, but I like their documentation. I played with gentoo in the past, at that point it seemed like way too much effort.

I've alway used home built desktops, my rolling release experience has been quite smooth sailing. I'm not sure that's as true for laptops (or a least not really new ones).


Well-Known Member
Mar 5, 2022
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For 'cutting edge' software, Debian Sid is the way to go.

If one has not experienced it, please do not make assumptions simply due to the connotation of the word "Unstable," assuming one has to reinstall every two weeks. Granted, a reinstall of the OS may be necessary once in a while due to software bugs, but life on the edge has its costs.

My progress in Linux went from Jaunty Jackalope to the antiX 'Luddite' to aptosid, which became silduction.
AntiX, being a true Debian distro, uses whichever Debian repository the user desires, including Sid. So, the choice has always been there.

From there, I went to Salix, which I had been watching since its development. Salix devs came up with slapt-get, which operates like APT, the Debian package manager. Which, coupled with a long-held desire to learn Slackware, is most likely the reason I gravitated to it. And, once set up, it just works! I am glad to see it and Slackware back on the shelf for Linux users after a lengthy hiatus.

I tried Nitrux without success, as well. I will continue to explore new distros but feel more than enough distros exist that are based on Shuttleworth's baby.

As to devs not answering valid questions regarding their distro, LMDE devs blew off one of my questions regarding a version based on Testing several years ago. This was even though I posted the question in the Mint Forum itself.

Use what works for you, personally. But if cutting edge software is desired, use the Debian Unstable repos, IMO.
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