Why Does The Wizard Use So Many Distros?

wizardfromoz

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A number of answers spring to mind -

1. By using so many, when Members ask for an opinion on a Distro, chances are I am running it, and can weigh in.

2. By using different Distros from different Families (Debian, Arch, Redhat, Gentoo), I can acquire the knowledge of those commands which are unique to those Families, as opposed to the commands which are shared across the board, and so help more people here.

3. I could put a number of Distros onto Virtual Machines, but I believe you get the best idea of performance from conducting a full install.

4. I have Terabytes of space available, and

5. I am obsessive. :)

Maybe equal weight can be placed on each of the above.

When you are keen to help people, as so many of us here are, it can be easy to say "This works in Linux Mint, it should work in Ubuntu" (or vice versa).

That is not only not the case sometimes, it is quite often NOT the case.

Why? Because different developers put a different "stamp" sometimes on even basic commands. An example that springs to mind is

sudo

If you want to list the partitions that are on your rig, you can use the command

Code:
blkid

In Mint, you can just type in

blkid

and enter.

In Ubuntu you must use

Code:
sudo blkid

Rebooting/shutting down

In Ubuntu and Linux Mint, you can use

Code:
init 6

// or

init 0

to reboot or shutdown (these refer to runlevels that have been around since Unix days).

In Debian, you must preface that with sudo or it will not work.

In Arch-based distros you can usually count on being able to reboot by typing in and entering

Code:
reboot

That applies in every Arch-based distro I have (14), with one exception -

Artix

where you must preface it with sudo.

By experiencing all these Distros, I can give Members accurate information, and for me, this is particularly important, living in Australia, as they may not see me for another 12 hours or more.

SYSTEM RECOVERY

Many people here will know that my favourite tool for system recovery is Timeshift.

One of the benefits of running so many distros is that I can tell people how to install Timeshift on them. I have yet to find a distro that cannot be made safer with Timeshift being installed, and if it is not immediately apparent, I can tell people how to do it.

So that's it in a nutshell. Fire away if you have any questions.

I downloaded the Beta version of Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 5 codenamed 'Elsie' yesterday, so now I have to decide whether to install it or wait until later in the month for the final release. I'll take a look and see.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Wizard
 
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Mike13Foxtrot

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I just updated a Minty Laptop then checked the Timeshift Schedule setup. I then deleted all the old ones. It too about 1 hour to deleted through Timeshift.

The total for 6 different saves over the years was about 15 gigs of space. The laptop is dedicated to signing on to the bank, paying bills then signing off, so 500gb of storage and 15 gigs is not a concern. It was just curious as to how much space is consumed when you do Timeshift on a regular basis over the years.

I did a new complete one on the Laptop I just dualed MX 19 and 21. 19 before I Gparted, (I have 3 VM's set up, Win10, Win7, and Raspi. And 21 once I got it installed.

Now I have 2 Peppermint laptops and 1 dual Win / Mint "not really gaming rig I swear" Tower to do this week.

I am not obsessive about computers in any way. I don't have a 9 inch tall 24 inch wide shadow box with CPU's or a wooden artist model hand holding a CPU on a desk....or 3 brand new Motherboards still in the boxes I bought when the Dot coms crashed. (never got around to building them out). It is just a mirage that a Pi 3 with a USB 1080p webcam has Virtualhere server running and can control it on my desk, and it records the front door/porch. And a Pi Zero with a cam on my drive.

No, no obsession here.

hand.jpg
 

rado84

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I have terabytes too, though probably not as many as you do. Mine are just 5.4 TB (they were 6.1 TB but that 500GB HDD somehow caused the boot process to become slower, so I removed it, for the time being) and I'm using them to store TV shows (and a few games) because the price of BD-R disks went sky high a few months ago and the type of flash drives that I like to use for that has become hard to find lately. Unfortunately there isn't a fast and cheap flash drive that can store 600 GB, so everything I like is stored on the hard drives. But no matter, the important thing is that I got to store the most important TV show on the first flash drive (Supergirl), everything else can wait. :D
 

diggy33

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I follow your formula somewhat, but instead of running multiple partitions, I just swap out drives in two laptops. I have quite a few 256 and 512GB NVME drives, and swapping them out on a Lenovo T490s or Lenovo X1 Yoga Gen 5 takes just a couple of minutes. I'm typing this reply on my Yoga, running Linux Mint, but will be preparing another drive to run Garuda Linux on this rig to test it out. My primary Linux machine is a Lenovo P52 running Fedora 35.
 

Brickwizard

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I am similar to @diggy33, I have an old lappy in daily use as well as a desktop, and a stack of old hard drives I can connect up using usb2/3 to SATA cables for testing distros.it saves swapping out drives
 

Mike13Foxtrot

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It would be nice on Laptops if there was a slide in/out "drawer" to plug in drives. An old HP I had you could swap floppy and CD. It had a 486 so yeah goes back. Instead of prying off the bottom of most.

I have an old HP slimline "tower" inside this 200 dollar pc was actually a laptop board. It is in an electronics project case. The hard drive is easy to switch out. I need to set that up. Currently has MX on it.
 

Brickwizard

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I have an old HP slimline "tower" inside this 200 dollar pc was actually a laptop board
my desktop is an HP prodesk small form factor, I call it a laptop in a box as the main components [incl ram] are all laptop parts
 

TheProf

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I dont think I've seen anyone multi-boot that many distros, but I guess it makes sense if you're doing testing and learning :)

I try to do the same, but for Linux distros, I usually just run QEMU/KVM and install a bunch of VMs that run various different distros. I find the performance to be pretty good with Linux VMs.

1646233670303.png
 

Mike13Foxtrot

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my desktop is an HP prodesk small form factor, I call it a laptop in a box as the main components [incl ram] are all laptop parts
Same with my "project" So when (if) you replace it just, like mine used a laptop "brick" PS so all you need is like a cigar box. Had one big enough but I also has a 9 in sq by 5.5 in tall project box, alum top plate 3 X 6 inches that can be removed. I mounted the SSD so it is easy to swap and added a power and reset switch just used a momentary with a PI set of connecting wires, that way I can take off the whole top and just unplug the wires at the joint than pulling them from the board.

Set it up with MX for now, still cheaper from Staples, they seem to be the big seller of HP Lap-towers for around 200 bucks.
 

Vrai

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3. I could put a number of Distros onto Virtual Machines, but I believe you get the best idea of performance from conducting a full install.
I agree. That's been my experience also. A VM is good for a quick spin around but to get the full effect I like to install on 'bare metal'. That's where having a spare box or two just for playing around and experimenting comes in handy.
 

KGIII

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I've got scads of RAM and plenty of CPU threads, so a VM is best *for me*. I also don't reboot often and tend to have a bunch of applications open - applications with which I am working. So, rebooting involves some effort to get things back to where they were.

As such, again for my needs, a VM is the way to go. It also happens that I do near-daily testing. One of those tests is virtualized and the other is on bare metal - but the bare metal laptop was purchased (and is used) exclusively in its testing role. It was like $700 for a *really* speedy testing laptop and it's some of the best money I've spent 'cause testing on it doesn't require a ton of time.

Other than that, I use VMs, from QEMU to VirtualBox, from VMware to Boxes, it's what I prefer. I also find 'em easy to use, which helps.
 
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wizardfromoz

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G'day Mate, hope the seas are treating you well. :)
 

OroWwith2Os

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I have the storage to boot tons of distros alongside each other, and probably the technical knowledge to as well, but it's not really something I've done, since I've had issues galore with GRUB on Windows and Linux, and still do even when I haven't booted Windows in months.
I have about 4-5TB easily available on the gaming PC, 4 1TB drives and a 500 gig SSD with two external HDDs. I'm planning to stockpile ISOs on a Ventoy drive and then install all of them onto one of the 1TB drives, switching between all of them (with a shared home folder, so all the data is easily accessed across all) and seeing the best ones for performance, usability, and stability.
I might have to contact you sometime Wiz, when I get around to installing the distros. When the time comes, I'll send you a PM or similar, and maybe we can switch to some other platform that you use (such as Matrix, or Discord) so that it's (maybe) easier for both of us to communicate. Looking forward to the future!


I might also just use them in a VM and pass through my old Radeon or NVIDIA card, so that I don't have to worry about GRUB and whatnot.
 
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wizardfromoz

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G'day Oro, and welcome to linux.org :)

Ventoy is well liked by a number of our Members.

(with a shared home folder, so all the data is easily accessed across all)

Do you mean home folder or home partition?

I don't do that (sharing). I have a home folder on each distro which houses my settings; it's never bigger than about 2 GiB and I include it in my Timeshift screenshots.

For shared data (docs, vids, pictures and so on) I have a separate partition on a separate drive, currently about 10 GiB in use (but I don't game). If I wish, that can be mounted at startup with an entry in /etc/fstab - Gnome Disks can do that for you, too.

My Downloads are usually distro .isos and I keep them in a partition on a separate drive, and labelled FutureLinux (about 320 GiB with 27 GiB remaining). Miscellaneous downloads (apps and so on) just go to the Downloads folder in the individual distros, unless they are going to be used for a number of distros, in which case they go to FutureLinux.

Back with more after I pick up my wife from hospital.

Cheers

Wizard
 
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wizardfromoz

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I might have to contact you sometime Wiz, when I get around to installing the distros. When the time comes, I'll send you a PM or similar, and maybe we can switch to some other platform that you use (such as Matrix, or Discord) so that it's (maybe) easier for both of us to communicate.

No just start a Thread in an appropriate subforum here, ping me (mention @wizardfromoz ) and I'll swing by when I can. I haven't the time to work 1 on 1 with people, with my other commitments, and by putting in a support question, many may benefit (and help) rather than just the one.

It's very Kirk and Spock :) - The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.

On my Profile, you asked

what's your favorite Linux distro so far, or if there's no single one, what are your favorites, and if you feel like it, why do you like those/that Linux distro(s)?

I'm very partial to Linux Mint, the MX series, Manjaro Xfce. My go to Distro for speed is Gecko Linux Tumbleweed (I have both Cinnamon and Xfce).

The reasons may take me a little longer to define.

Cheers

Wizard
 

OroWwith2Os

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G'day Oro, and welcome to linux.org :)

Ventoy is well liked by a number of our Members.



Do you mean home folder or home partition?

I don't do that (sharing). I have a home folder on each distro which houses my settings; it's never bigger than about 2 GiB and I include it in my Timeshift screenshots.
Home folder, actually! I plan on using a sylink to my home folder from my Arch install on each distro, instead of a home partition. My PC only has one SSD in it, and I tend to leave it alone when I can, I would rather just mount the drive to each distro and then symlink to it. It would be easiest for me, but I DO plan on wiping Windows and possibly reinstalling it to be more efficient on storage, then reinstalling Arch and making a home partition that I can mount on each distro. Considering I plan on gaming and looking for what gets the best performance out of my system, along with general dev work, the shared home folder (or home partition, later on) would be best in my case.


my system isn't the most efficiently set up, if you haven't noticed lol
 
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