This may sound a little weird (and it did come to me under the influence of a sleeping pill), but hear me out.
Debian reminds me of my dog, Gurps (yes, I know I’m a nerd with a problem, but it really fits him). I understand Gurps’s behavior (for the most part). He’s loyal, predictable (even if his behavior is frustrating at times!), and I can more or less make him do what I want, when I want.
Apt/apt-get (and to an extent eopkg in Solus) makes sense to me. If I want to upgrade my system, it’s sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade (after waiting for the OS to finish checking things on it’s own). In Solus, it’s sudo eopkg upgrade. The commands make sense, I know what I’m typing and why I’m typing it into the terminal (some of the few terminal commands I know and use regularly).
Now, as I mentioned above, Ubuntu distributions have some weirdness about them where they run background commands where I have to wait several minutes after boot-up before I can make the terminal do it’s thing. It’s like when Gurps sees another dog outside. I know I can get him under control (eventually), but I’ll have to wait it out. It’s annoying, but it’s a foible I can live with.
By the by, if anyone knows how to bypass or fix this, I’m, like, 95% ears. The remaining 5% is for typing in the command(s).
Pacman, on the other hand, is more like my cat, Nickel. in the abstract, I know why it does what it does, even if I don’t understand it at the time. Overall it’s slick, smooth, but I don’t really understand why sudo pacman -Syu (or -Syyu) makes all that much sense. I know why it does what it does, but I’m not quite sure why or how it got there. My cat will, from time to time, lose his little kitty mind, tear around the house, then stop and act like normal. I know it’s going to happen, but I have to read more into it.
With me so far?
The dog will do something I understand, in a way I understand, but it can take some time to get him under control. The cat will do something that makes little sense, but will do it quickly then go back to behavior I understand.
With Linux, I’ve been trying to expose myself to different distributions, different ways of thinking, different ways of doing things. Debian is loyal, stable, and what you see is what you get. Arch is more exotic (to me!), unpredictable, but worth it in the long run (even if Nickel prefers my wife’s lap to mine, little traitor…).
Also, like cats and dogs, the Debian-based Mint and Ubuntu families have shorter set lifespans than Arch-based distros. Debian-based have LTS (that’s long term support for those trying to learn along with me) that are typically supported for 3-5 years, depending on the distribution. Some last longer. Arch can last you much longer (in the natural scheme of things), assuming no one does something foolish, like screw up an install or run into traffic.
Fedora is, I don’t know… a parakeet? Don’t dive too deep into this, I haven’t yet.
All of this comes back to that hard drive I have coming in the mail. Do I want a cat, or a dog on my new drive? Do I want to have to invest in a new dog in a few years, or do I want to see how long I can keep the cat alive? Do I want stability or try something with a little edge to it?
My gut says go safe. My heart says go sleek. Manjaro has a great community willing to help, but so does Ubuntu MATE and Linux Mint. I’ve got a few days to think on it.