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Hey, I'm very new to Linux. So far I have a dual boot Ubuntu running under a Windows Vista Home Premium host, and have a Fedora Core 10 pen drive, wich I use on my laptop. So far, they both seem to balance out in terms of what's available and what isn't. Still, I have a 298 GB external drive, which I want format and use for another version of Linux. I'm wondering if there is one specifically suited for the needs of a prorammer, in that it supports more or better IDEs. I mostly use C++, C#, C# w/ ASP.NET, Python, and some various scripting languages. Any suggestions on what distro would be the best....an what IDE(s) are recomended for developing under these languages?
My personal opinion is a distro that "Just Works (TM)" so that you don't have to care and tinker with the distro. That's why I use Ubuntu, it is stable enough to just work for me but still uses fairly new and updated software.
Torvalds shares this view and he uses Fedora which I find a little bit too unstable and too cutting edge to work for me.
If you like to use IDEs give Eclispe a try.
In the end it doesn't really matter what you go with. All distros support most of the languages and Linux is in heart a developers OS (I find it much easier to work on than Windows).
If you want to use C# and other .NET technologies take a look at the Mono project. A lot of applications on Ubuntu are develop with Mono and uses GTK#.
For programming it is rather irrelevant which distribution you use, because core development tools are not distribution-specific.
Most often you will need the GCC toolkit with your choice of programming languages (C/C++, Fortran, Ada, etc). For web scripting you will need a running web server on the development PC with your favorite script loaded as a modul (Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, etc). You can also install stand-alone tools/compilers (LCC for C/C++, for example).
The choice of editors and IDE's is a matter of taste and requirements. Anjuta, Kate, Eclipse, KDevelop, QT tools etc provide different approaches. Google for these names and topics and decide what suits you most.
Wrox Publishing has very good books on Linux Programming, their site even has sample code available for downloading. Have a look.
Most likely Slackware or Gentoo, but it won't be easy.
Why use a distro that won't be easy? It seems to me that all you want as a developer is a distro that doesn't get in your way. And that's exactly what Slackware does, Gentoo is a bit more user friendly with its portage but it still needs a lot of attention to setup.
I choose a Debian based distribution because apt is easy and it works very well. And would I ever need to compile anything by hand I can just use apt to get the source and I will get all debian-specific patches.
I see no reason to use a distro that needs a lot of maintenance and effort.
Originally Posted by ErV
The list of IDE(s) is available on wikipedia. However, I recommend to avoid IDEs and pick nice text editor instead (kedit, jedit, gedit, vim, emacs, kate, etc.)
Here I totally agree. I have tried some IDEs and my favorite was Eclipse, but that was mostly not because it's the best but because it was the least worse. A file manager and a good text editor with syntax highlightning, tabs and block folding is just good enough.
But I have never met a Windows developer that doesn't use Visual Studio. So most developers "on that side" seems to expect IDEs (or they call it 'cool' to use text editor and command line, but they don't use it themselves, secretly going back to VS).
I don't do much (enough?) programming, but I like Ephracis' answer; use one that is easy (unless by programming, you mean Linux system programming, and then there is more of a case for getting down and dirty with your distro).
I would say that all distros (with a few exceptions for very small and very specialist distros) are good for programming; just some will be more effort than others. Spending time building packages yourself just seems like a distraction from what you want to do, so repositories with extensive selections of packages seem like a good thing.