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Old 03-30-2008, 11:17 AM   #1
Registered: Mar 2008
Distribution: ArchLinux 64 bit (with Openbox and fbpanel)
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Which Distro Should I Use?

I am a web developer, mostly PHP (with MySQL,JS,CSS,HTML and a bit of XML here and there). I am a Windows user but I know a good bit of Linux/Unix and I am comfortable with the command line. I have a nice new PC and I want to make a Linux workstation for development. I was advised to try Ubuntu but also advised to use version 8. I tried the beta version and while mysql/php/apache setup was VERY easy, samba crashes when I try to transfer a lot of files from my Win 2K machine and something else crashes if I try to make a file share on the Ubuntu machine.

What I want out of a workstation is:

FAST interface (I am real 'power user')
Easy install/configure

Those are the main issues--I use the machine ONLY for development, so no games, no videos etc. I am a bit of a minimalist and I use 2 monitors so I can switch QUICKLY between apps.

My question is, what should I be using? Seems that Ubuntu 8 beta is not quite ready. Should I use Ubuntu 7 or perhaps a different distro?

While I know how to use a command line, I like GUIs very much. Installing software on Ubuntu was quite easy, both from the add/remove tool and from the command line for those items not available in the GUI. Anyhow, I certainly consider myself a real newbie to Linux. Any thoughts are appreciated.

Old 03-30-2008, 11:36 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Distribution: Gentoo, RHEL, Fedora, Centos
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ubuntu will do you fine i'm sure, just like dozens of others, just try one. when 8.04 is out you can upgrade to it without problems from 7.10 so you wouldn't be losing out at all.
Old 03-30-2008, 11:46 AM   #3
Registered: Mar 2008
Distribution: Gentoo, CentOS, Fedora, Arch
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You could give Fedora a try too. Clean and professional.

Then again, they're all pretty much the same stuff.. If you want _real_ speed you could go for Gentoo. But that one requires quite a bit of time to set up properly (it's not hard, just tedious).
Old 03-30-2008, 12:03 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2007
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Distribution: Xubuntu
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Since you've had mostly a reasonably good experience with Ubuntu 8.04beta, I suggest you go with Ubuntu 7.10 as a stable release. I haven't had any Samba related problems copying files from a Windows XP server (so hopefully, that isn't too different from your W2K server). If the overall interface/desktop experience is a bit sluggish, I highly recommend Xubuntu 7.10, which is what I use. It's not the world's absolute fastest or most light weight environment there is, but it's significantly faster than Ubuntu's default which is GNOME and still has a user-friendly GUI interface.

There's always other window managers and tweaks to make the interface experience faster, but after trying a couple (Fluxbox and Openbox), I like the XFCE environment to have the best (for me) trade-off between performance and ease of use/configuration (e.g., I don't want to edit a config file to change the look of my interface).
Old 03-31-2008, 07:01 AM   #5
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Location: Middx UK
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Seems to me that Slackware would be very suited to your needs. It is fast and not difficult to install/ maintain as long as you do not have a phobia about the command line


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