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Debian stable is what I went with
I've done a couple of installs now and have enjoyed using Debian 12 'Bookworm' so far. Stable is not the newest deb collection but I run the latest versions of Gimp and Firefox as AppImages so I don't care Smile

What I found? Debian puts-up a little ring fence to scare-off newbies but once past that you have the freest, most versatile system imaginable.

To get a lean and mean system decide what window manager you want first. I came from Xubuntu so I'm used to XFCE. I installed Gnome first and it looks like a mobile phone so 2nd install was just XFCE4.

Early on you see this: 'user is not in the sudoers file'
The solution is this:
#su -
#adduser user sudo                                                                 note. 'su -" is an actual command Smile

I came across an easy way to update. Add this to a .bashrc

alias update='sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt dist-upgrade && sudo apt autoremove --purge'

Then just open a term and type 'update'.

Thoughts on Ubuntu.
I came to understand Ubuntu and it's spin-offs better by reading Mark Shuttleworth's bio.
I think Shuttleworth has a few things in common with Elon Musk, but Shuttleworth actually lived on the International Space Station for some time. He probably started Ubuntu to make Debian more accessible to the masses and he succeeded. I read Ubuntu was started by people cherry-picked from the Debian mailing lists. That could be an issue. As I wrote here the M1cros0ft partnership makes no sense to me. How many MS products are open source? Hardly any. Windows 3.1 is not even open source and you wouldn't use it as a lawn sprinkler controller Smile
su preceded sudo and in some circles sudo is considered not very secure. AFAIK PClinuxOS is still old-style.

You have your user account which you log onto with your user password
and to make any changes to the system files use su with a separate admin password.

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