I’ve been a Kubuntu user for years now, prior to that, I used SUSE, played around with Fedora, and actually started my open source OS adventure on FreeBSD.
FreeBSD was pretty limiting by itself, there just wasn’t much out there for it. There were compatibility packages you could install that would allow you to run RPMs, but after a while I wondered why I was bothering, and switched over to actual Linux. I played with Arch and Fedora, and this was seventeen or eighteen years ago, which meant that installing Linux could be a trial. I found both of these to be ridiculously complicated. SUSE was fantastic in comparison. I want to say it was version 6.something-or-other. I can’t remember for sure.
I stuck with SUSE up to 9.something, not long after Novell bought them. I didn’t like where things were going then, but I had fallen in love with the Kde desktop. So instead of going with standard Ubuntu, which was defaulting to Gnome at the time, I dove into Kubuntu, and I’ve been using that ever since.
I’ve had no major complaints about Kubuntu. It’s been great. My whole family uses it and has had no issues, other than my youngest complaining about one or two Steam games that are not Linux compatible.
I won’t go into detail about why I’m wanting to move away from Ubuntu all together, because I could probably go on for pages on the subject. For the last few years, Canonical has been moving Ubuntu in some directions that I’m not so sure I agree with. I love the convenience that Ubuntu offers, but I’ve become so comfortable with Linux over the years that that convenience is more a matter of time saving than technical difficulty. Let’s just sum it up and say that my reasons are mostly philosophical.
I’ve been occasionally exploring other options for a little over a year. Gnewsense looked attractive until I ran the LiveCD. It’s years behind, even with the latest release. Also, it’s releases come agonizingly slow. So that was a turn off for me right away.
I’ve had dealings with CentOS at my previous job, and I’ll just say “hell no”.
I looked at Arch and one of it’s derivatives, Antergos, about six months ago, and the install was still overly complicated and I ran into problems getting either of them to install on four year old hardware. If the install is tough, I’m not even going to bother.
After a few IRC conversations, and reading over various forums, I’m going to give straight up Debian a shot. I’ve been running the LiveCD at work and it’s similar enough to Kubuntu that I want to check it out a little more in depth. So I’m currently backing up my laptop, and when that’s finished, I’ll install Debian and see what I think after a few weeks.
I realize that Debian’s packages are not as current as it’s Ubuntu relatives, but I’m not too worried about that. I’m not afraid of compiling things from source if I have to, but the little research I’ve done has turned up plenty of ways to get Debian reasonably up to date.
On a semi related note, I’ve been wanting to get Laure in front of the camera for a Linux wallpaper shoot, but as busy as things have been, that’s been backburnered with a whole bunch of other things I am putting off until I finish the teardrop.