Now that I have VMware Server installed on my Ubuntu machine, I can test numerous systems without having to “distro-hop.” I have set up a review machine, with 512MB RAM, and an 8GB hard drive.
My goal is to review a system once every week, which means I will have 1 week to test the system, review it, and see what it can do. Then, the process will start again with another system. I will also rate the systems that I test on several factors:
1. Ease of Use
Certain distributions are harder to use than others. This doesn’t mean, however, that the harder distribution is worse than the easier one. Often times, distributions are aimed at a particular user base. Perhaps this rating is better called “Level of Annoyance” or “Level of Quality.” I think I will split the Ease of Use into categories, but time will tell.
2. Graphical Appeal
Graphical Appeal is a rating of how a particular distributions look. Some look great, others REALLY need some work.
3. Application Availability
It has been said time and time again that applications make the system, and it is true. A system without applications is practically worthless. Guess why Microsoft Windows has done so well? They have thousands of applications available. Application availability in Linux is different depending on which distribution you are using. Typically, the larger software repositories have more application choice, yet sometimes the distributions with smaller repositories have a better selection of quality software.
4. Conclusion/Overall Rating
This rating will be one of my own opinion, as well as one based off the other factors. I will rate the system based on whether or not I believe the system is a quality distribution, and give examples to back up my opinion.
During the review process, I will take screenshots of the system while in use. Using a VMware image will make it easier to test systems on an even scale, as I will not be using different hardware for different systems.
I will begin testing today, and will have a review out the door by next week. I’ll give it a name, for the purpose of searching the reviews, but I will figure that out later.