Okay Fediverse, what Linux distro should I hop to next?

Target is my should-be-mostly-functional laptop (Thinkpad T460). It currently has Linux Mint 18 (!) on it, and is due for a refresh. History: my older, okay-if-it's-a-little-broken laptop is currently running Arch, and was Slackware before that. Desktop is Xubuntu, in-home server is Fedora.

For this one, looking for something with reasonable package management and stability, vaguely on the less fiddly side but not totally opposed to fiddling. Otherwise, pretty open.

I've been hearing a lot these days. Is still cool? I don't know where it lies on the fiddly spectrum. Is a distro or a package manager?? Is functional yet? I haven't been keeping up that much on Linux distros lately and I don't know what the scene is, so stump for your faves 😄


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Oh, and if it's helpful context, I have a keyboard-driven workflow, so window managers are not a huge selling point cause I'll probably rip it out. All my computers that have window managers are running i3 with some xfce bits, I think.

I do appreciate having decent GUI apps for things, for instance the computer in question currently doesn't have any low-battery warnings or shutdown/sleep because I'm lazy, so if that comes free I wouldn't mind!

@cincodenada Create a bunch of bootable usb drives and try lots of distros!

@cincodenada nix is a package manager you can try on any distro, and then nixos is a full distro that you can configure using nix config files, kinda cool if you ask me, but a lot of investment as well

@cincodenada I like Alpine but there are some things about it you might not like. It uses musl so widevine doesn't work (the proprietary DRM blob needed for netflix.) Busybox doesn't support the GNUisms of GNU coreutils. But it's small and simple.
Wayland has been ready for some time, but desktop environments have been lagging behind. KDE on Wayland had lots of issues last time I tried it. Gnome is fine. XFCE doesn't support it at all AFAIK.

@cincodenada if you're still looking for something like Crunchbang, it's passed already. #BunsenLabs Linux seems to be its spiritual successor:

Also, could this be time to try some BSD instead? I recently tried FreeBSD coming from Linux and found it not very hard. It requires "some fiddling" (a little like Arch, perhaps), but it's really not too bad, especially if you use pkg

@cincodenada Crunchbang is, sadly, deceased. Bunsenlabs, Crunchbang++, Archbang, and a few others have sprung up in its place.

@cincodenada Idk about Alpine on a desktop, it's cool for lightweight containers, but to me the fact it's based around musl kills it for desktop usage.

@cincodenada Archs pacman is a reasonable package manager, and the overall closeness to upstream comes in handy sometimes. Also, you get what you install, and the AUR is easy to use for less common packages. I'd say it's worth a try, and if it's too much hassle to set up, #Manjaro might be an option.

@cincodenada I'd go with #slackware but you've been there already. #Devuan maybe? #Gentoo is probably not the best for a laptop. Have you considered a #BSD?

@cincodenada Nix and Guix are both package managers that also have distros built around them (NixOS and Guix System, respectively). You can install either (or both!) on top of any existing distro.
I'd recommend trying Guix. Some things might not work, but IMHO it's the most *interesting* distro. It's not just a preconfigured version of an existing distro. If you do run into something that doesn't work, please open a bug report. There is also the help mailing list for when you aren't quite sure if something is a bug.

@grainloom @cincodenada And the reason Guix is so interesting:
a) it has a nice community
b) it's super programmable!

@cwebber @cincodenada Hec ye, the community is especially great.
To expand on the programmability a bit: yes you can modify other distros too, but Guix gives you a proper module system and a way to create modified packages (or even entire systems that you can boot with QEMU or as containers) without destroying your running system.
I've done some Arch ISO customization before and Guix is just an order of magnitude easier to work with.

@cwebber @cincodenada Ok I'm gonna hush because I could gush about stuff like the --with-source transformer all day :blobmiou:

@cincodenada you could do Alpine. I run that on one of my computers and it runs very smoothly.

Keyboard driven? Try DWM or Sway.

@cincodenada Arch linux, try it, nice package manager + AUR repository that is just very useful

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