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View Poll Results: Which distro is ideal for a generic development workstation?
Slackware 14 35.00%
Fedora 3 7.50%
Ubuntu 3 7.50%
Debian 11 27.50%
CentOS 1 2.50%
LFS 0 0%
Gentoo 7 17.50%
OpenSuse 1 2.50%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-29-2008, 05:30 PM   #1
moonshinerat
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Linux distributions - Best choice for a generic, fast, development environment


So then, the grand old question of all time. Which distro is best?

I have scoured the forums from top to bottom, over 400 posts in three days, looking at what people have been recommending for different uses of Linux. The uses have ranged from gaming systems, servers, family desktops etc and most come to rely on "whatever you feel comfortable with but try these first....".

This machine will be used for development and general use. I've seen lots of others looking for a basic, generic Linux distro and it's increasingly difficult to get direct recommendations.

The machine has basic specifications and no specialised hardware: Intel Core2Duo, 2Gb Ram, 250Gb HD, Intel integrated 945GN motherboard

Specific requirements:
  • base install option - or easy to remove ready installed packages
  • fairly standard directory structure - for more generic testing purposes
  • stable Xorg functionality - a widescreen monitor is being used with Intel 945 graphics (many problems with Fed9 & Hardy I'm afraid)
  • generic configuration files - eg. Debian seems to have some system configurations in unusual files... or maybe it's other distros and Debian is the norm.
  • good community support - active forums, online docs...
  • relatively fast and uncluttered - I don't need wireless services and bluetooth stuff starting all over the place
  • and most importantly, typically Linuxy and Unixy. PClinuxOS may actually be the best option but it's geared more towards the install-and-play exwindows crowd. If it is PClinuxOS then please vote it in.

I will be arranging the poll results (if I can get it to work) on another web page later on to help other developers look at the recommendations made so please make sure you vote or leave an opinion on this thread.

There you have my general requirements. It may be like searching for the Holy Grail but this will help lots of us so please leave your votes and opinions. I'm sorry if you don't see your favourite distro here but if you feel like it should have been then leave it in the thread for us to read.

Which is the most ideal distro for a generic development environment:?
 
Old 04-29-2008, 05:35 PM   #2
Pikidalto
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It's meant as an easy-to-use desktop distro that is both newbie-friendly and powerful enough for long time pros and and power users, but it has a development suite addon CD that you can use to help you develop software. Check out Ark Linux, and it's addon CDs at http://arklinux.oregonstate.edu/dockyard/iso/. It's official web site is at http://www.arklinux.org/. We're preparing to make a new release within the next couple weeks that should have everything you need-except an active forum, but we do have an IRC channel that is fairly active during the day EST, and for a forum you can always use LinuxQuestions or contribute to our official forums, which is becoming more and more active by the year.

Last edited by Pikidalto; 04-29-2008 at 05:38 PM.
 
Old 05-01-2008, 05:42 PM   #3
Bruce Hill
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Quote:
Specific requirements:

* base install option - or easy to remove ready installed packages
* fairly standard directory structure - for more generic testing purposes
* stable Xorg functionality - a widescreen monitor is being used with Intel 945 graphics (many problems with Fed9 & Hardy I'm afraid)
* generic configuration files - eg. Debian seems to have some system configurations in unusual files... or maybe it's other distros and Debian is the norm.
* good community support - active forums, online docs...
* relatively fast and uncluttered - I don't need wireless services and bluetooth stuff starting all over the place
* and most importantly, typically Linuxy and Unixy. PClinuxOS may actually be the best option but it's geared more towards the install-and-play exwindows crowd. If it is PClinuxOS then please vote it in.
Good description of Slackware attributes.

All software for development is included in the default install.

Wait for 12.1, soon to be released.
 
Old 05-02-2008, 04:52 AM   #4
me-macias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshinerat View Post
Which is the most ideal distro for a generic development environment:?
Funny, several days before I asked the same question on several forums :-) But I think you missing one important issue -- package support for older version of the system. It is no good when you have to update the whole system just to get newer version of GCC.

Anyway, I know which distro is not good for development: opensuse. Still looking for a good, solid replacement. My types are: Kubuntu, Debian, Fedora Core, but I don't have experience here and I am not sure how good updates are (of the packages).
 
Old 05-02-2008, 05:17 AM   #5
elliott678
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshinerat View Post
[*]stable Xorg functionality - a widescreen monitor is being used with Intel 945 graphics (many problems with Fed9 & Hardy
I'm surprised you had an issue, especially with a distro that new. I have 2 laptops with Intel chipsets, a 945 and a 965, both widescreen and both running Arch Linux. If it wasn't for input devices, I wouldn't need an xorg.conf at all, X runs fine on both without one, direct rendering and all.

My answer to your question would be Arch, but I am pretty biased, I think it is perfect for anything, except a user who doesn't want to learn Linux.
 
Old 05-02-2008, 03:22 PM   #6
moonshinerat
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More things to consider....

Thanks for your responses folks.

Strangely several other considerations have cropped up but only due to problems while trying to install some of my considered distros:

CentOS - has serious stability problems for me. A bare-bones install takes almost four minutes to boot. Also, my network card is not supported properly without having to install patches afterwards and recompile the driver every time the kernel gets updated. It's also the first time I've ever had Linux crash during use..... wow.

Slackware - doesn't support Gnome or Enlightenment out of the box. Gnome is almost impossible to install (seven hours for me) and XFCE crashes after about ten minutes.


Believe it or not I've actually gone with both Arch and Fedora 8. I've installed Arch as a stable desktop environment for producing graphics, html code etc and Fedora for databases and general coding. Seems to be a nice combination. I think Slackware 12.1 might be a good learning experience though so I'll be waiting for that one.

Thanks all for participating, I'll be posting some articles soon based on my own experiences.
 
Old 05-02-2008, 04:00 PM   #7
Cuetzpallin
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Dropline for Slakcware

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshinerat View Post

Slackware - doesn't support Gnome or Enlightenment out of the box. Gnome is almost impossible to install (seven hours for me) and XFCE crashes after about ten minutes.
Well, you can try dropline http://www.droplinegnome.net
and as you say, is very strange that XFCE crashed, usually its very stable.
 
Old 05-15-2008, 02:03 AM   #8
marcocriv
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Hi all,
this is my first post.

Just to say my opinion to best-distribution forum.

I'd like OpenSuse, is quite simple, very fast to install and almost complete of all SW packet. For my portable PC is simple the best.

I've tried also Ubuntu but with bad result. OpenSuse is better.

Marco

--------------------
Firmware vs Software
---------------------
 
Old 05-15-2008, 03:59 AM   #9
b0uncer
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Slackware.

Oops, it won already
 
Old 05-16-2008, 12:47 AM   #10
me-macias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcocriv View Post
I'd like OpenSuse, is quite simple, very fast to install and almost complete of all SW packet. For my portable PC is simple the best.
You noticed, that this is thread about distro for _developers_, right? Could you point out where there is the latest set of GCC? Boost?

You can't -- there is no new versions provided. Opensuse does not qualify as development distro.

have a nice day, bye
 
Old 05-16-2008, 01:51 AM   #11
marcocriv
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Hi me-macias,
may be a little mis-understanding on what I wrote.

I'm not interested in distro as well, but I need GCC to compile my projects and OpenSuse10.3 has got it (just after automatic installation). Ubuntu, otherwise, has not.

Bye
 
Old 05-17-2008, 01:09 AM   #12
me-macias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcocriv View Post
I need GCC to compile my projects and OpenSuse10.3 has got it
Me too. And I need the newest version. You've got... what 4.2? Because 4.3 is made as an extra package? How about Boost? Still "the good old" version?

I don't know Ubuntu, but I know that opensuse 10.3 is not distro focused on development.

Cheers,
 
  


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