|If you had to pick one UNIX-like OS, what would it be?|
my Brain s Melting...nooooooo!
Which operating system has the best deal and quality?
If we are talking *nix os's only then I will tell you for my work station I have switched to Linux Mint 6 Felicia, using Gnome.
I seriously love it. Looks and acts like Window 7. The KDE one is even prettier but I found it less stable then Gnome.
Seriously try it out, you can boot and run it off a CD to try it out without having to install. You don't get all the animations features that way but you can try it out.
For a work station I will never go back to Windows, I have only used my Windows box for testing IE7 and running my CS3.
[edited by: Demaestro at 3:03 pm (utc) on Mar. 19, 2009]
Depends on your goals, expertise, what you plan to do with it?
I favor Red Hat because that is what I know. I recommend sticking with a enterprise class distribution that has a wide-range of support options if this is to be deployed for business use.
CentOS is a free alternative to Red Hat. Many of our clients use it. I do not recommend Fedora for anything beyond the desktop. The lifecycle is too short for production use. Fedora focuses on feature development while Red Hat Enterprise Linux aims at stability and continuity.
Of course there is Debian, FeeBSD, Solaris, and SUSE. Given the Sun/IBM talks, I am not too sure I would be looking at Solaris or AIX until that is sorted. If those companies merge, I suspect one of those products to get the ax.
Windows 95, by far. Just kidding. :)
It's all preference, really, in the Linux world between distributions. Some like KDE, some like Gnome, some like rc.d, some don't, some like nothing but source. Ubuntu and it's cousins seem to be quite popular for first time Linux users these days. I started on Slackware many years ago. RedHat is known for its commercial support.
In BSD land, there is:
FreeBSD - all around, stable OS. Support for most popular hardware platforms. This is my current preference, and I run it on pretty much everything I own, from servers to laptops.
OpenBSD - regarded as the most secure, regularly audited code.
NetBSD - Runs on everything from the newest bleeding edge not yet released hardware to your microwave oven (literally).
There's also several others (DragonflyBSD is a fork, DesktopBSD is freebsd with a nice installer), but those are the three big ones.
Between BSD and Linux, Linux tends to have better support for newer (read: consumer grade) hardware. That said, if you stick to the HCL of all of the various operating systems, you won't have an issue.
There really are so many options.
I love Red Hat and CentOS for servers but not my workstation so much. I like to have a GUI that makes my terminal look pretty, with some cool multi-desktop effects, along with other window effects.
It really does depend what you are doing with it.
I made the switch from windows XP to Ubuntu Intrepid 5 months ago, and have hated myself for being on windows for as long as I was. It's much easier to develop sites through a terminal rather than a text editor.
I have noticed a lot of "dislike" with Ubuntu among the linux community, and I don't quite understand why. It's a great OS as far as I can tell, and really made the switch over a breeze.
I like Linux Mint (ubuntu with extras) for a desktop, but Mandriva has better KDE (I am currently using XFCE, I used to use KDE).
For a server, Red Hat if you want the support (and are willing to pay the fees), CentOS or Debian otherwise are the obvious choices.
If it was possible to pick a "best choice" the other distros and OSes would not exist. I am sure there are good reasons why so many hosting companies use FreeBSD. I know OpenBSD is very secure, as are certain Linux distros. Then there are all the really niche things, like distros for old hardware, live CDs and USB drives, etc.
If I HAD to pick one all round best for everything it would be Linux Mint XFCE. It has all the Ubuntu/Debian server stuff if you want it, and a very flexible and easy to use desktop. Trimming it down to a server install might be tedious.
For desktop I'm almost exclusively Mac OS X now (which is BSD style Unix with a nice GUI) and for servers I tend to try and stick with Debian.
As jeffatrackaid states, the choice is more about what you need to do rather than which is the "better" OS. They all have their pro's and cons.
I do think there's value in sticking with one though - you get to know it inside out. That's the only reason I stick with Debian for servers - it's what I started on and got used to. It wasn't a strategic choice, but now I'd find it hard to switch.
ubuntu is great for learning about linux at home - very user-friendly and just works. (i use freebsd for our website server though).
Mac OSX for desktop
CentOS for servers (don't see the point of Red Hat)
Luckily for you craig, other people can see the point of Red Hat, so money keeps going into developing it - and therefore Centos and the Linux Kernel etc.
We have been very pleased with CentOS 5. We were running FreeBSD for years. Always had issues with hanging processes. Since we migrated to CentOS, our server has managed to keep itself fairly clean and running smooth for a few months now with no reboots.
For a deskop OS X (or if that is cheating ubuntu)
For a server gentoo - because yes I like pain.