During the last week, I’ve installed several operating systems in Virtualbox or VMware in an attempt to discover the one that manages to balance between innovation and usability. What is funny is that there is one desktop environment I want to use, GNOME, but I cannot decide on the backend, aka the operating system! Of all the above operating systems, OpenSolaris was a surprisingly positive experience. While it uses the latest GNOME release, it wisely does not include other immature pieces of software like pulseaudio. Generally, it seems like an operating system aiming at office desktops. This is good enough and I will definitely install it on a physical partition to check it out extensively in the near future.
As for the others, FreeBSD was exactly as I expected it to be. A system aiming at stability and backwards compatibility, but I am not sure if it would be the right choice for the everyday desktop computer. Like it happens with OpenSolaris, the user needs to do some extensive reading before this OS can reveal its full potential.
CentOS and Debian are two widely used linux distributions. Well, I had never really used Debian before (constantly stuck with RedHat Linux, Mandrake and CentOS), so some reading is also required for this OS too (not as much though as in FreeBSD/OpenSolaris).
What is the conclusion of all those test installations? In terms of easy-migration from Fedora to my new desktop OS, CentOS is probably the #1 candidate to take Fedora‘s place. But, I think I will delay the migration a bit longer in order to have time to check OpenSolaris more thoroughly.
The CentOS, Debian, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris by George Notaras, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.