10 Jun 2011

Why do I do Live system reviews?

I receive feedback to almost all my reviews. Thank you, my dear readers. It means I write something important for you.
Image by Sugree Phatanapherom
One of the topics which is always discussed in comments is my love to Live versions of Linux distributions. As you could notice, I rarely review installed versions.
Every time I write that something is wrong in Live version, I got advises from unhappy fans that I should try an installed version of OS for proper review.

There are some practical reasons for doing reviews of Live system. I mentioned them already, but let me repeat them here.
1) I am not always sure that installation will go correctly and other partitions remain untouched. Somebody posted such a bad experience in comments to my OpenSuSE 11.4 review. I had similar experience with attempt to install Pardus 2 Corporate. I don't want to risk my other systems again.
2) Comparing Live version allows to check hardware support Out Of The Box. If something is not supported, this can easily be checked in the Live version.
3) Every system will run smoothly after fine tuning in installed version. But how smooth is it in the "boxed" solution? How well did authors polish it to be easy-installable? Only Live version can answer this.
4) Running Live versions only, I give everyone the same conditions: nothing get fine-tuned unless I definitely want to do this myself (as I did with Linux Mint XFCE on my Compaq laptop). Also, there are different degrees of "fine-tuning". What suits one person, maybe unsuitable for another. Live version leaves everybody on the same page.
If you want to advice me to have a spare HDD for tests (or something else regarding additional hardware), then please be aware that I only have laptops. I use them for other purposes, not only for trying new distros. Swapping HDDs is definitely not the best option in this case, is it?

If you want to write your own review, feel free to do so, and I will happily publish it as a guest post, if you send it to me. Are you ready for this challenge?

Also to read: Linux on the test drive