Well that was fun while it lasted, but:
Yesterday Seamonkey updated twice (using Salix’s Gslapt manager). The first time, no problem except that certain extensions were incompatible with the new version, and none were upgradable. Not a showstopper though, it happens all the time.
Second update restored some extension functionality, but completely removed all my bookmarks, cookies, passwords, history, and saved preferences. And none of them could be input again! Seamonkey would not let me bookmark pages, store passwords, manage folders, cookies, search engines, nothing. Seamonkey was my last resort after Midori, Firefox, and Opera had all buggy prior to installing Seamonkey. Now even trusty old Seamonkey refused me and mocked me at every turn.
I thought about installing yet another browser this morning after a good night’s sleep. No dice. Not even possible. SalixOS refused to boot. Even doing all the tricks to get it going failed. I was beginning to think my computer was broken!
If my version of Salix was available as a LiveCD, I might have used it to at least see if my hard drive had crashed, recover what I could if possible to a USB stick, maybe check my e-mail. But SalixOS 14.0 is only available via an installation disk. But I still had my old Xubuntu 12.04 LiveCD handy, so I used it to see if my hard drive had died or something. It booted up effortlessly as always and guess what? Nothing wrong with the hard drive. SalixOS just simply up and quit on me, just like several applications had been doing since I installed Salix two months ago.
So I grabbed another cup of coffee and thought about it for a spell. Salix had been a little faster than Xubu, but not by enough to matter, especially now that it had come to a screeching halt. Most casual users probably wouldn’t even notice any difference in speed between them (except that Xubu boots a lot faster – Grub beats Lilo). In over two years on Xubuntu I never experienced so many failures of multiple applications as I did in two months using SalixOS. Also, as I thought some more about what to do next, I recalled all the times I wished for a particular software package that:
- Either wasn’t in the SalixOS repositories or
- did not appear in available Slackbuilds or refused to install from Slackbuilds.
The old saying is true: Choose a distro, and you’re choosing it’s repositories. There are a gazillion applications in the Ubuntu respositories (although it’s odd that you have to add PPAs to get the Seamonkey Internet suite or the Faenza icon set – both of which are in the Salix respositories). By comparison though, I could list every bit of software in the Salix repositories on about two ordinary printed pages. Others can be compiled from Slackbuilds using Sourcery, but there are all kinds of dependency issues. Enough to have it fail to install what I wanted at least 50% of the time.
So after careful, thoughtful, thorough consideration of my situation, I decided, “Screw this. I’ll just install Xubu replacing Salix while I’ve got the darned CD in there anyway.” I had thought to dual boot, but that idea lasted about 3 minutes before I dismissed it, considering all the ups and downs of the last 2 months using SalixOS. I had ventured away from Xubu because I’m scared of updates breaking things. I’ve read a lot of horror stories about that – but it occurs to me that I’ve never actually experienced any such horrific, disastrous, cataclysmic breakages in Xubuntu for as long as I’ve used. Just minor ones, like sound not working or having to reinstall some peripheral stuff. So y’know what?
It’s back to Xubuntu, no more to roam, until and unless Xubuntu fails me as badly as SalixOS did. Oh well, no one said Linux was boring I guess. But in my opinion, it should be. At least on my desktop!