Distro Fever X: The Final Frontier?

For a couple of years now I’ve been mostly happy using Kubuntu.

However the most recent release of Ubuntu Studio does interest me.

Colour Management tools installed by default, along with graphic design and photo editing software. , and it uses KDE Plasma for the desktop environment (No, I do not enjoy using Gnome!)

However it does install an awful amount of soft synths / virtual drum machines / guitar tuner applications. While I would use the occasional audio production software, perhaps a Ubuntu based distro which was tailored for photo / graphic production would be ideal.

So do I try Ubuntu Studio and put up with the somewhat bloat of audio production software?

Or do I stick with good old Kubuntu which I’ll probably stick with the LTS release.

You want openSUSE Tumbleweed of course.

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If it has to be an Ubuntu-based distribution, then maybe try Tuxedo OS. In my opinion it is a much better system than Kubuntu.

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Let me introduce you to my friend, NixOS.

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In a few days, you will have received a hundred different recommendations. :smiley:

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I would not necessarily choose a distro because it comes “ready-loaded” with applications you want to use — because it’s easy enough to install them.

I go for the desktop that works the way I want and looks the way that I want, and the familiarity with how the distro works and admin commands I’m familiar with.

(For me, that means Linux Mint MATE, with Compiz Window Manager and Emerald themes.)

When audio was more important to me, I was using KXStudio: realtime kernels and stuff. Audio-specialist distros might have more tweaking than is necessary for graphics. (???)

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Nowadays with pipewire it’s surprising how well everything works when it comes to audio, even rt kernel is not needed. Pipewire does a surprising job of serving as a bridge for all the apps that use jack and latency is also under control and easy to configure the buffer size and sample rate :slight_smile: I do agree that it might need more work/tweaking than graphics.

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Did you see this Ubuntu Studio feature? It looks like it allows you to tailor your installed applications: Ubuntu Studio Installer – Ubuntu Studio

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I have had a look at that, but it still brings in a lot of (unnecessary to me) software.

So the search for a new distro continues as I’m increasingly dissatisfied with the snapification of Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distros.

You can always uninstall anything you don’t want, if that is important.

Snaps, Flatpak, DEB, RPM, and more, so many choices are available. Technically speaking, they are all fine. They seek to solve certain problems. By and large they have succeeded. Someone could write a social psychology or even religious studies PhD dissertation on how users and developers come to love and hate these technologies. Ultimately these technologies are just mundane technical solutions, but they arouse a lot of strong emotions.

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Well, when Ubuntu replaced Firefox deb with snap, and all my bookmarks and settings were gone, and saving a file saved it God knows where instead of my previously configured download directory, I did have some strong emotions, yes.

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Did you restore them by logging into Firefox sync?

The bookmarks, yes. But that’s not the point: they switched to a new format and broke apps. I got rid of snap completely, and reinstalled the deb package.

We could say I snapped, and, as a result, un/desnapped my system. :smiley:

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Can’t you just install the packages you want in any kind of Debian derivative, including Ubuntu, Mint, etc, or actually any generic Linux distro?

I fail to understand why people repackage plain vanilla Ubuntu for the sake of 10-20 specific packages. They could just contribute to these as is, making sure they always work fine, or make a PPA, or whatever.

Same here. I had been a happy Ubuntu user for decades, but the constant breakages from snaps made me switch back to Debian/testing. While I understand the use case for snap etc, its proliferation in Ubuntu makes no sense to me.

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Defaults are king.

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One of the key players in Ubuntu Studio does a huge amount of work behind the scenes on Ubuntu itself to ensure that the kinds of packages people are interested in in this forum work well in Ubuntu. This work is invisible to most people, but absolutely vital to keep everything afloat. He is not a Canonical employee. He does this during his own time.

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This is great but I fail to see how it addresses my question. IMO making these packages work well in Ubuntu would be sufficient. The proliferation of Ubuntu (and other) derivatives for every purpose under the sun just makes it confusing for inexperienced users and difficult for third-party app packaging (hence, of course, Snap and friends). I read a lot of reviews where people compare distros which are essentially the same thing, just containing package versions ±3 months apart, and slightly different defaults.

Ubuntu Studio is a project run by experts in their fields. They know more about their area of expertise than anybody else in the Ubuntu community. Their distro remix allows them curate collections of packages that meet the needs of their target users. That’s why people find value in it. Sure their users could try to figure out what’s new and what works on their own, and just run vanilla Ubuntu. But sometimes it’s nice when others help.

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I’m with Tamas, though. Everything you’ve described could be accomplished (maybe better) with a deb repository instead of a whole new OS.

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This precise concern has already been addressed, as it says on the Ubuntu studio website:

Ubuntu Studio Installer can add Ubuntu Studio’s benefits to any installation of Ubuntu or its official flavors so that you can use whatever desktop environment you prefer and gives you a curated selection of packages to fit your workflow, whether you’re a graphics artist, audio engineer, musician, publisher, photographer, or video producer.

Ubuntu Studio is not the example of a needless distro fragmentation that folks here seemingly imagine it to be. Not at all. I get it that most of the hard, grinding work they do is invisible to most users and perhaps even many developers. But really guys, come on, Ubuntu Studio folks are not the folks to blame for fragmentation. I have two requests to everybody reading this:

  1. Turn your misplaced angst away from Ubuntu Studio and focus it on actual fragmenting forces that eat away at Linux’s potential for creatives
  2. Realize that the kinds of work Ubuntu Studio does is real work, taking a serious amount of time and skill, and if they don’t do it, nobody else well, meaning we all suffer. Their public facing offerings are flexible and convenient; their behind-the-scenes work is truly vital.
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