My Linux computer is a non-critical device. There’s nothing on it I really need. Maybe some day, but not now.
That has given me the luxury to change distributions (the individual flavors of Linux) in much the same way Cher changes costumes during a performance. I would guess, by now, I’ve loaded and reloaded a dozen Linux configurations.
Mostly, I’ve moved back and forth between different versions of Mandrake and Red Hat. Last night I tried “Whiteboxlinux,” which is really Red Hat’s latest Enterprise edition, liberated from any of Red Hat’s licensing. In the world of open source, this is fine and legal.
I am starting to develop an affinity for Mandrake. Their methods of configuration are much more thorough and easily used than anyone else’s I’ve tried. That’s a big deal.
Do I know who I will stick with? No. Do I worry I’ve downloaded so much data that Comcast will come to me and ask me to cool it? Yes.
The one insurmountable problem I still face is getting Linux to load a drive for my particular video configuration. My motherboard has an integrated Via Unichrome KM-400 setup, which is esoteric enough that ‘generic’ drivers go in. The correct drivers would speed my system greatly. If I only knew how?
The chip maker, Via, has a site with instructions. Following those took me perilously close to crashing the whole thing.