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Old November 3, 2011, 14:29   #1
EpicMan
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What flavor of Linux do you use and why

I am looking to run a Linux OS at home for programming / other projects. I use Solaris 8/9 and Red Hat (via SSH, command prompt only) but have no real experience with a non-Windows desktop. I know that there are different versions of Linux but not what they are and what the differences are.

What versions of Linux do you guys use, and why?
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Old November 3, 2011, 16:03   #2
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I use Debian because I like its social contract, its obsessive QA and its CLI-friendly approach.
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Old November 3, 2011, 16:46   #3
Mikko Lehtinen
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Debian (Stable) here too.

Once you get it to work it's a trusted system with no surprises.

Lots and lots of packages, so I can make the choice about what programs to use.

If you decide to try Debian Squeeze, I recommend starting with the Gnome desktop. It's the default, and gets the most attention from Debian folks, so bugs should be rare.

There are very good alternative window manager/desktop choices, but often they need lots of tweaking before they are usable for serious work. Of course many Linux people prefer tweaking to working.

The choice of Linux distribution is not as big a deal as some people make it. All distributions can do the same things.
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Old November 3, 2011, 16:56   #4
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I use Archlinux as my Distri...it is easy and really good to tweak But i also work with it - a lot.
The AUR gives you some nice stuff like git packages which will build the latest version. But there are also tons of precompiled packages (mix between Gentoo and maybe Debian).
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Old November 3, 2011, 17:28   #5
Mikko Lehtinen
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Here's a good guide to the major distros:
http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major

Many big names, like Ubuntu and Fedora, are undergoing massive changes right now. They change a lot between releases. You might get lucky and get a perfectly functional desktop -- or not.

I'd guess that Linux Mint is the most beginner friendly distro at the moment.
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Old November 3, 2011, 19:45   #6
Nick
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I currently use Ubuntu at home, and Fedora at work. They're both fine choices, although I am on an old Fedora (13) and Ubuntu does have the funky new Unity desktop which is still a bit immature.
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Old November 4, 2011, 08:51   #7
ViJay
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On 1 of my 4 comp's I use Ubuntu 11.10. Still need getting used to the Unity interface (2D coz it is an really old computer). Gnome was abanoned, which is a shame really especially if you are running it on a older comp.
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Old November 4, 2011, 10:08   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViJay View Post
On 1 of my 4 comp's I use Ubuntu 11.10. Still need getting used to the Unity interface (2D coz it is an really old computer). Gnome was abanoned, which is a shame really especially if you are running it on a older comp.
Wow. The things you learn from other people's throwaway lines ...

[/me goes off to learn about Wayland]
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Old November 4, 2011, 21:35   #9
artes
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Until now I've liked Ubuntu with the Gnome desktop. Now with Ubuntu 11 when they have changed it to the Unity desktop I don't like that very much because of some user interface annoyances. I'm thinking about changing to something else.
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Old November 4, 2011, 22:03   #10
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Currently I use Salix, which is basically Slackware for the terminally lazy - it has larger package repos, dependency resolution, and the option to install one of five different preconfigured desktops.

I like it because it includes header files with packages, instead of using those damnable -dev packages, thus making it easy to compile stuff. It also is easier to manage than pure Slack, less frequently broken than Arch or Frugalware, and tests my patience less than Gentoo. This makes it very close to the perfect desktop Linux distro IMO, and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who wants an easy-to-use desktop without annoying design flaws.

That said, if you want "stable" I highly recommend Debian Stable or Ubuntu LTS.
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