Originally Posted by chang_zhou
Could anyone recommend the Linux that includes software packages, such as the latest gcc (>= 4.3) and other related packages, for a software developer?
I don't think there is much difference between Linux distributions in your requirements.
I think you are better off selecting a beginner friendly distribution such as Mepis, so you can focus on software development sooner, rather than side track into a lot of Linux setup and maintenance details.
Any Debian based distribution (including Mepis) has access to almost all software packages, almost certainly including any packages for software development you might want. But even a distribution with access to a far smaller repository than Debian probably includes everything you want.
GCC >= 4.3 probably isn't hard to find in a current distribution. Latest GCC might be much harder to find and unwise.
Through many recent rev's GCC has been getting increasingly intolerant of common incorrect code. Such incorrect code is only gradually disappearing from all the open source that depends on GCC. So if a distribution's GCC version is too up to date, lots of other included software will be bleeding edge (you get to be first to discover bugs others haven't seen yet).
GCC is great at allowing and managing multiple versions on one system (much better than almost any other open source package). So pick a distribution with a moderately up to date GCC and leave that GCC as the system default (in case you need to build any package from source to add to your tool set). But then install a second newer version (bleeding edge or almost) of GCC and make that your user default, so you find out immediately if any of your coding style violates any of the obscure rules of the language that are only enforced by newest GCC.