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"Do you know why using a virtual machine sucks? Because you will never know how stable a distro is or how compatible it is with standard hardware."
That is opening an already wide opened door, like writing "bicycles cannot go 200 miles per hour"…..
And before installing (or unetbooting) a linux distribution, I *always* qemulate it, just to know whether I shall feel easy with it and to be *almost* sure its disk portitioner is not buggy|missleading (ah, les femmes).
Do you know why using a virtual machine sucks? Because you will never know how stable a distro is or how compatible it is with standard hardware.
I have tried many different Linux distros, and besides having heard the old cliche that "Ubuntu is debian done right", which couldn't be more far from the truth, the issue i value most is stability.
You will NEVER know how stable a distro is by running it on a virtual machine, because you will never know if any issue that arises is the virtual machine's fault or the distro's fault.
So far, from all debian based distros i tried, two stand out for being rock solid: Mint and Parsix. On both cases, the developers did an outstanding job in making a very well integrated desktop distribution.
Besides, there is no advantage whatsoever in using a virtual machine: you can just use the space used by your virtual drives to make a partition for testing linux distributions. It will even be better for your harddrive.
And for god's sake, if a user doesn't know what a partition is, then he shouldn't be installing an OS. That is why so many people has issues with any linux distribution.
Defining on which partition to install is hardly a negative point. Parsix install is the most fast i have experienced and completely uncomplicated.
Thanks for the update on Parsix 3.0 Jim. I noticed that there was also a new release of julinux_0.1.4.7.iso, yet another offshoot based on Ubuntu, which claims to make it easy to play Windows based games and provide an easy to use desktop experience. I downloaded it but have not yet tried it out. I would be interested in your opinion of it and others as well.
Many good points. This virtualbox thing is tough, but I for one, appreciate the work that goes into a review. Your reviews follow a good outline and are very helpful. Thanks for this.
Parsix or Ubuntu?
I will take Parsix everytime.
I'm not sure what is confusing about the Parsix installer. I find it straight forward and simple. Ubuntu's installer I find confusing.
Parsix is pretty(I really loved the default green they had a couple releases ago). Ubuntu is butt ugly.
Good job Parsix!
"I’ve gotten a bit of flak from some folks for using virtual machines to do my Linux reviews
Well, there are two issues with virtual machines : they are complicated to manage, and, in the case of Virtual Box, there are too many versions, with different bugs (one cascades with the tested Os ones). The numero of VB seems missing (giving VBs setting is a good idea, giving its version would be an even better one…)
OTOH, one big advantage of virtualization is that one can tries settings one would not have dreamed of . As Parsix is an Iranian distro, is it difficult to switch from an US key,qp to a Farsi/Arabic/French keymap and back? (Scientific Linux gives you choice betw. different Western keymaps at the beginning; Wolvix beta 1 allows to switch from one Western keymap to another while one is working; I only could get a French keymap with Sabayon by specifying it at the boot -with unetbootin: normally, it seems a bit easier).
What about the menus? the help?
It would be perhaps more original than noticing aufs/unionfs are supported (hundreds of new distributions do it…)
Not a particularly constructive review I,ve used Parsix for 2 years and it performs better than any other Distro.
Testing in Vbox is like testing a Ferrari and fitting a Micra engine to do the test?. I use vbox a lot it is very limited on its results and should never be used to write a review. Parsix is best installed on a single partition as it is easier to restore and save your data. VlC works flawless on Parsix as it does on 90% of other distros just because it did not play in Vbox shows 1 of the many short comings of Vbox along with choppy mp4 playback from pen-drives, and no CD audio support.
Have you actually tried to remove any software as part of your test? Installing updates and adding software is not a problem with most Linux distributions. The problem arises when one tries to remove unwanted software that was loaded as part of the install. For example, when trying to remove Asian fonts from Ubuntu, Synaptic presents one with a list of dependencies that contains most of CUPS components and some of the base Ubuntu system files. If allowed to proceed, Synaptic would disable the just installed Ubuntu. In contrast, in Mepis all that Synaptic removes are the unwanted fonts.