To Roll or not to Roll | DLN Xtend 69

On this episode of DLN Xtend we discuss, whether or not rolling is the way to go for Linux distributions.

Welcome to episode 69 of DLN Xtend. DLN Xtend is a community powered podcast. We take conversations from the DLN Community from places like the DLN Discourse Forums, Telegram group, Discord server and more. We also take topics from other shows around the network to give our takes.

00:00 Introductions
11:05 Topic- To Roll or not to Roll
26:31 Host Related Interest
36:55 Wrap Up
38:13 Extras

Main Topic Link



  • Looking at audio hardware for my new studio.

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This was a great episode! I’m excited to see what happens with Pop OS, whether they actually do implement rolling or not. I believe it would be great if they added a rolling option along with the default being based on the stable Ubuntu bases.

Just thought I’d add my feedback and thoughts on how I roll (pun intended I guess?). On laptop machines, I like to go with Fedora Workstation for its predictability while still being close enough to having the latest software available. Where rolling makes sense to me is on desktop machines, especially custom builds and for me the best rolling distro to install is Arch, mostly because it’s what I’m comfortable with. That’s just what makes sense to me on my machines.

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So your laptop must be a work machine? How many machines do you have running Arch?

I don’t roll for the critical stuff, like Host OS for my VMs and not for the VMs I use daily for banking or communication (email, torrents, Skype, WhatsApp etc). I also have VMs with rolling releases like Manjaro; Garuda and Fedora.

A rolling release does not always give you the most up-to-date software. Yesterday my Ubuntu VMs 18.04 and 20.04 updated Firefox to release 91, while Fedora 34 updated the Firefox release this morning to 90.0.2. I have a few times per year problems with the updates of rolling releases and I never have problems with Ubuntu or one of the distros based on Ubuntu like Pop!_OS or Linux Mint.

Rolling releases are faster with kernel upgrades, most rolling releases are on 5.13 now. And Ubuntu LTS is on 5.11. Ubuntu’s development edition for 21.10 is currently on 5.13 too. If you don’t have the absolute latest hardware or need the latest OpenZFS, those latest kernels have no advantage.

I prefer the Ubuntu release scheme, normally I stay on LTS releases, occasionally for the Host I have used intermediate releases in 2019 for my Ryzen CPU and in 2021 to be able to use OpenZFS 2.0.

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Kind of. It’s a personal machine that I also use for work since I work remotely. I just like keeping things simple on laptops.

None for now. I used to have it on my old desktop but it’s a shared machine now so not any more. I’m planning on building a new pc soon and I’m planning on installing Arch on it since I’ll be free to tinker on it.

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That is true that rolling doesn’t always have the newest. Fedora is rolling but not rolling. They do add lots of updates, including kernel, but have major releases. The updates in these don’t necessarily trickle down to the previous release.

I understand needed to keep a shared machine easy for the other person to use. What parts do you hope to put in the new build?

Budget may be tight so I guess it’ll be a machine I’ll build over time. I’m not a huge gamer so I’ll start with an AMD APU, hopefully from the 5000 series but I don’t mind resorting to something from the 3000 series if it comes down to it. I’ll also start with 16gb RAM and probably upgrade it to 32gb. For storage, I’ll go straight for a 1tb m.2 (haven’t decided on which brand yet). For the GPU, I’ll wait until prices go back to normal. I’m hoping to get a Radeon card eventually. I’m also not a fan of rainbow vomit. A boring-looking workstation is what I prefer. The only thing I can think of that needs light is the keyboard and, fortunately, I was able to avoid rgb. I recently ordered a Keychron K4 96% with white led and brown keys discounted.

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That sounds like a great machine. The 3000 series is rock solid. I have a Ryzen 9 3900X, which is just a nice CPU. Plus holding out for GPU prices to come down only makes sense.

I’m jealous of the brown switches! While I do love the blues, However, it would be nice to have the tactile feel but quiet. They had my keyboard (Cooler Master MK750) with brown switched when I bought it. I’ve since looked for a full keyboard (same model) with browns and can’t seem to find one.

That’s nice to hear. I might just get a 3000 series APU considering they’re much cheaper than the 5000s.

Yup. The absurd prices really don’t justify buying them for me, especially when I don’t heavily use graphics. It ain’t worth it.

It’s nice to hear positive feedback on brown switches since it’ll be my first time with them. I’m currently using a blue on the shared computer. I really like blue switches and its clicky sounds but it gets awkward when I’m in a call, I’ll start typing and the person/people I’m in a call with hears me typing. I’m excited to try out the browns I’m getting.

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Ya, I have the same issues with the blue switches on my main system. But it is more like nights when I’m up late getting work done and the rest of the house is asleep. Makes every key stroke seem like an explosion!

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Just a quick update.

I now understand why people love brown switches when they do. My new browns just arrived and I now think these browns that I got are way better than, at least, the blues that I had.


Never had a keyboard with custom switches but I did order a tester for different types and browns felt the best.


I love my blues, but browns have the best of both tactile feel and silence. Glad you are enjoying them @leftybournes

@Ulfnic before I have to feel the switches before I can buy a keyboard. I went into the local store many times to touch keyboards before I purchased this one, a couple of years ago.