Linux recommendations!

Today I'm hoping to switch out my laptop currently for a more decent spec one but thought I would ask and see what you recommend!

I've been a Linux Mint user now for just under the last year and I'm thinking, why not have the opportunity today to increase my skills and push the boundaries for linux ;)

Is there any specific edition of Linux is good for programming and bash? Have you tried running Linux on Windows VM ware? Or old school way I remember doing it Split installations? Windows + Linux Versions on same drive to pick which one to boot?

I know I shouldn't say Windows.. despite the post I wrote but there is a tiny bit of me missing a game which can't be run on linux..Sucks..

I've heard Debian is at the top but its alot more advanced and something i'm interested in expanding my skill set in, but Fedora is ranked second I think.

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13 answers

I'd just pick the most popular one, which is likely to have the most software, drivers, polish, online answers... So, Ubuntu. (Well, after Android, technically, but that's not really applicable).

I had dual boot for a while, but I just ended up using only one of them. I think that's a common problem with dual boots. (O.t.o.h., if you use Windows for games and Linux for coding, you can keep work and spare time separated).

Totally agreed with you. It is really hard to find a solution if we come up with an error in OS that rarely used by others. Better to stick with OS used by majority unless you are Linux pro or willing to be pro.

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I think, with Linux Distros, it's not about some list, but about you! Do you like Mint? Why do you want to change away? What are you looking for in a Distro? If you can answer this question, it is way easier to find another Disto to test.

I've heard Debian is at the top but its alot more advanced

Not really... Mint is based on Ubuntu and Ubuntu is based on Debian, so you already have a flavor of a flavor of Debian 😂 However, if you do like the apt package manager, you might go for Ubuntu or Debian to see the differences.

Keep in mind, though, that a distribution mainly consists of the very low-level stuff. You should change the distro if you don't like the package manager or how the base-system is managed or if you don't like a Distro's politics.

If it's just a part of the software on top, you can stick to your current Distro and change parts and pieces to see if you can get a better fit. For example, if you don't like how your Desktop behaves, why not change out the DE? Use KDE, give Gnome a try, have you heard of Cinnamon? Many people use MATE... etc.

However, if you want a wildly different flavor of Linux, I recommend going for a non-Debian based Distro. For example, give Arch Linux a spin, you will learn a lot in the process! Since you want to be productive, try Clear Linux. They say it has the best performance of all binary distributions. Or, if you really want to dive into what Linux really is, you can go for Gentoo, Slack or even LFS - they are hardcore, but you will know how to turn every knob of your system in order to customize it your way.

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I'm not a gamer. I've used a bunch of versions of different distros of Linux (been fiddlin' with Linux since 1995) and every desktop version of Windows except 3.0, ME, Vista, and 8. I currently use Mint 17.3 for my dev box(es). If I want Windows, I run 7 in a VirtualBox VM on my Mint box or swipe my sweetie's Win10 box. I haven't tried Win10 in a VM - don't have a license. The box running Win7 on Mint has an Intel i5-3210M (2 cores, 4 threads, 2.5-3.1GHz) and 8GB of RAM...by no means a monster. I give half the physical resources to the Win7 VM when running it, and it feels fine.

I'll never again run Windoze for my desktop. I'll never waste money, buying a new box, when a few years later I can get the same hardware for a fraction of the price. I paid about a seventh of the original price for my fully tricked out Dell Latitude E6430 - USED, about six years old. I don't need bleeding edge performance, since I don't code major systems in compiled languages, play video intensive games (or anything with performance-killing DRM), or mine bitcoin. I'm sure I could double the specs of my current dev-box for half-again to twice the price on EBay, but I simply don't need that much box...you might, if you choose to game on Win10 in a VM.

tl;dr: Stick with Mint. Run Windoze in a VM or keep multiple boxes (I currently have eight).

P.S. Since you're using Mint, you're already using Debian. The Mint team stacks a bunch of non-FOSS on top of Ubuntu after the Ubuntu team stacks stuff on top of Debian. Migrating from Mint to pure Debian simply loses you a whole lot of software and configuration options.

Thanks for that, thats interesting about the Mint and Debian, I had a hunch about it but I gave Ubuntu a quick go last night on VMplayer and it lagged so much! I've heard Ubuntu's a lot more heavier for hardware/graphics excelleration but I'm starting to miss my Mint so much haha :D

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I think I'll write a short article about this, it was so hard choosing but in the end I went for Linux Mint (Tessla MATE edition) due to it being so lightweight.

So now I have dual boot with Windows :) I think Virtual ware and machines are okay if you are sand-boxing a small system or small development but if you're looking to run Visual Studio inside.. It's a no go at least for my machine.

but thank you all for the recommendations! linux.png

Awesome! Looking forward to your blog post. :)

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I sense a lot of wisdom in this thread.

Now, if I was to go back to Linux (switched to Mac after years of Linuxing) AND I had the urge to play games which can be run only on Windows, I'd (personally) do the following:

  • Dual boot Windows and Ubuntu
  • Ensure that Linux installation is encrypted
  • Install Dash to Panel extension
  • Make setup as similar as possible
  • Boot Windows only for gaming
  • Get me some piña coladas :)
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This is what my setup looks like Bridget Sarah :)

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