Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fedora for now

Emacs "support" in various distros

How a GNU/Linux distribution handles Emacs is the most important criterion, from my perspective.  This has not always been the case, because ALL GNU/Linux distributions have historically handled Emacs ok.  Some distros stand out, each for its own reasons.  Often I have complied from scratch, especially for Ubuntu, when that was an important distro for me; I liked the "snapshots".  Gentoo worked well, though I cannot remember what I particularly liked about they way it handled Emacs; it did have multiple versions.  Arch Linux has the most up-to-date version all the time.

For a number of months, I have experienced odd crashes in Emacs, and I cannot say why.  In the end, I switched distros.  Sometimes, switching Desktops seemed to make a difference.  The issue was random crashes, with no easily discernable (by me) cause (like a particular keystroke, or mouse gesture.)

In the past year, I have installed Debian, several Ubuntus and Mints, Manjaro, Mageia, Bodhi, Slackware, Korora, Elive...

In the past month I have installed several distros, and tried them in earnest, including  two distros I have not used before, at least much: Fedora (which I had installed and been put off by); and openSUSE (toward which I nurtured a great aversion, as SUSE seemed soft on Micro$oft.)   I have been using ArchLinux for pretty much everything, except a few flirtations with other distros; I've been pretty happy with it.

Many of these excursions have focused on trying to find the best Emacs distro, and more and more, of late, this has been driven by a certain seeming incompatibility with the GUI.  Emacs would crash, as described above.  I needed to find a distro that supported Emacs absolutely well.

Who knows, maybe there is something wrong with my HP g6 Pavilion laptop?  But I have persisted in jumping from distro to distro, looking for the best platform.  I posted on an Emacs mailing list, and got a range of answers.  I have never gotten even close to an understanding of what the problem has been, perhaps because I am not much good at troubleshooting at that level.

Google Earth Compatibility issues on GNU/Linux

Recently, I had been contemplating a move to South Dakota.  I needed to do research.  Google Earth is the authoritative such software, and I've been having problems with Googlearth on most all distros I have tried.  I installed Korora, because it comes with GoogleEarth bundles in the install image.  But something about Korara didn't set right with me, I"m uncertain what.

The bottom line here: I recently posted how much I like Sabayon, because it was the first distro (outside of Korora) that has run GoogleEarth almost flawlessly; yet I am now using Fedora, because of an issue with Emacs. Since I am able to run GoogleEarth, after following instructions to edit the RPM somehow, and Emacs is running well, I am staying with Fedora for now.

I am certain I will not be running Fedora in a year, but this might not be the case.  It seems pretty solid.  I am learning to administer the system ok (yum and rpm).

Why?  While Fedora is far from perfect, it gives me longlasting peace with both GE and Emacs.   (if you consider a few days "long lasting"...so far, so good)


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