Since my previous post, I’ve used:
- MEPIS 8; KDE 3, based on Debian 5;
- Ubuntu 9.04; GNOME 2, based on Debian 5;
- Linux Mint 7: GNOME 2, based on Ubuntu 9.04;
- Kubuntu 8.04; KDE 3, based on on Ubuntu 8.04.
I’ve compared MEPIS 8 and Ubuntu 9.04, in what was called an unfair comparison by some. I think some of the commenters even indicated that Ubuntu 9.04 would’ve come up tops, but I begged (and still do) to differ.
Since then, I’ve used Mint 7 and Kubuntu 8.04, which one may realize are using GNOME 2 and KDE 3 as well. So I guess a more appropriate comparison would’ve been:
- MEPIS 8 versus Kubuntu 8.04;
- Ubuntu 9.04 versus Linux Mint 7.
All of packages I use (e.g. php-pear, imagemagick, mysql-server) have the same names across the four distributions (but that’s probably due to Debian).
All four distributions work fine w/ Oracle Express Edition, which is a great way to try out Oracle database if you don’t happen to work for a large corporation that uses its (probably too-)expensive licenses.
I must say that it wasn’t so much the particular distribution, source distribution or version number that affected the speed of the interface, but rather, the window manager.
GNOME 2 just seems… slow. KDE 3 is well… snappy.
To me, there is no discernable difference between MEPIS and Kubuntu — both use KDE 3, except perhaps Kubuntu uses Adept whilst MEPIS sticks to good old Synaptic. Both are great applications nonetheless.
I’ll gripe about the loss of Dropbox, which is available both Ubuntu and Mint due to GNOME. Apparently there is command-line instructions available. But I digress.
On the upside, I can’t seem to (easily) setup a network printer in either MEPIS or Kubuntu. I followed the instructions on the Ubuntu website, and voila, I could print. Likewise for Mint, which is basically Ubuntu nicely themed. Or maybe I’m just scratching the surface.
Kdesvn and Meld are almost interchangeable, unless you want to view svn logs of course (use the former).
So there you have it. If you’ve got a high-performance, dual- (or quad-) core laptop, Ubuntu or Mint will do fine. But if you’ve got a 2- to 3- year old laptop, consider Kubuntu 8.04 or MEPIS 8. Unfortunately, I can’t access mepis.org anymore — the site is down, why? — and Canonical maintains fast servers, so I’ll be using Kubuntu for the forseeable future.