jueves, 1 de julio de 2010
Should I get a Rolling Distro?
I've noticed that most Linux distro releases often have a 6-month cycle. That means that normally, a Linux user would have to burn a new release and reinstall it every six months (the new Mepis release will be out at the end of this year, apparently.)
For some, carrying out the downloading-burning-reinstalling process every six months becomes (too) tiresome. I haven't reached that stage yet...although I must confess that it resembles a lot my Windows XPrience.
Is there an alternative?
Yes! In the world of Linux there are always alternatives! That's what fuels freedom.
Beside the 6-month release model, other distros work on a rolling release base. Rolling release distros, or rolling distros, are Linux distributions that, instead of releasing significant changes periodically, prefer frequent changes and updates. That way, users don't have to reinstall their system every 6 months.
If you are thinking Windows is a rolling release because of its updates and service packs, you are a bit off the mark. Windows, MacOS X and most Linux distros are not rolling releases. For Windows to be a rolling release, you'd be able to "upgrade" from ME to 7 without a clean install. See the difference? You aren't even able to go from XP to Vista without a clean installation! Also, Windows has a release cycle of 3-5 years (Windows 8 is "scheduled" for 2012 or so.)
Back to rolling distros...which ones follow this model? As far as I've investigated, these distros are rolling releases:
PCLinuxOS is considered by some a rolling distro, but since it also has releases with significant changes, others consider it a hybrid.
Rolling distro advocates say that apart of saving time and hassle (and also piling of CDs, probably), their model is more convenient and more suitable to migrate from Windows. However, I found a very interesting article by a Mandriva user that challenges that position.
Personally, I prefer to keep my CDs piling up as a tangible monument of my advancement into the amazing world of Tux.