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I am a long time Fedora user (since Fedora 6). Previously I have used Gentoo (for 2 years) and Slackware (for 5 years).

The thing I liked about Fedora is frequency of package updates + great community. But lately I have noticed that Fedora is becoming too cutting-edge, nay, bleeding-edge. They changed the DNS client to be strict, without any warning, which broke some of their own packages for two Fedora releases. More critically, their LVM modules are not compatible across Fedora 12, 13, 14 (sometimes).

Ubuntu is nicely polished but seems too stable for my liking. Some of the user-space applications are two major version numbers behind (even in testing or unstable or whatever they call it).

Is there any Linux distro that has the stability of Ubuntu in kernel space and the bleeding edge in applications (especially harmless applications like, say, Stellarium)?

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I used to use ArchLinux exclusively until about a year back. They have a rolling release (no Ubuntu like dist-upgrade , ever) and now a separate 'LTS' kernel package (kernel26-lts). They also have a fairly fresh 2.32 GNOME desktop.

Most of the stuff tends to be as close to 'vanilla' as possible (which means they spend less time tweaking it). When I'd installed long long back, it didn't even have any ArchLinux branding to go with the gnome-desktop package.

BTW: Currently I use Ubuntu's 10.04 LTS release. I needed my new laptop up-and-running in a hurry when I installed it, and haven't had the free time to sit down and configure Arch since then.

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ArchLinux sounds good. A friend rec it too. Now downloading. –  HRJ Jan 11 '11 at 4:06
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I've always found Fedora to be very stable on the low level side of thing, but used little of it, since I absolutely hate Yum. That said, I find that using the ubuntu alphas works pretty well for that... Well, they mostly don't work, but you get the latest and greatest...

Gentoo was pretty good on that, and I really like it, but it just takes so much time and effort to get a system running that I invariably go back to ubuntu...

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