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Linux distro you are using for development?

sadarshannaiynar profile image Adarsh Updated on ・1 min read

Hi all I just wanted to know the different linux distros you are using for development and why you chose that.

Discussion (121)

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sudiukil profile image
Quentin Sonrel

You forgot:

  • Broken packages every week
  • Malwares in community repos

I've been using Arch Linux for a while but I ended up switching for something more "stable", rolling release is awesome but it can break to easy, I don't want that on a machine I use to code.

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eLabFTW

Broken packages is extremely rare.

The malware stuff was removed under an hour. Shit happens, what's important is how they deal with it. Also if you don't read the install files of an AUR package you're gonna have a bad time!

And no, arch doesn't break. I've used it for 10 years now and it broke less than Ubuntu that I was using before (why do you think I switched :p)

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sudiukil profile image
Quentin Sonrel • Edited

Well I did use Arch for years and while it's true that I doesn't break THAT often, it still can happen (and it happened to me a few times). I'm not saying it's a bad distro, it's awesome, but if you want guaranteed stability (without taking time to double check things when you update), rolling release (on Arch or otherwise) is not the best idea.

Also, don't take my first post too seriously, it was a bit satirical :)

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mattmattv profile image
Matthieu Vion

If you find Arch too much "cutting edge", maybe you could give Manjaro a try ! You get Arch benefits but packages updates are much more tested, so less risks(:

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C. R. Oldham

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned antergos.com. Arch-based, installer is very nice, can support live CD mode.

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Gabriel Chamon Araujo

RIP antergos =,(

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Luka Dornhecker

I’ve been using arch for about six years and I can only remember one broken package which was fixed in a couple of hours. In the meantime I had simply downgraded that package.

Arch has been very stable for me. I have a ~5 year old notebook still running its first arch installation. And it has seen many different desktop environments and a lot of AUR packages.

For me arch is the perfect dev distro.

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Thorsten Hirsch

Depends on the technology stack.

  • EAI stack (MQ/IIB/ITX/Fuse/Perl/Java/C) - RedHat or CentOS (in a VM), because that's the runtime when it gets deployed and for this stack it's important that the dev platform resembles the prod platform, also some of the software is available in RPM only
  • Ruby-on-Rails stack - ArchLinux, that's my desktop OS, because I want a rolling release cycle... and my Ruby-on-Rails stack has always been directly on my desktop
  • everything Docker - Ubuntu (in a VM), because I was afraid to "taint" my desktop OS with docker, that just didn't feel right
  • Web development (React/Typescript for the most of it) - no preference, it seems to work well on all systems... well, at least on all Unix/Linux systems
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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

This is a good set up. You have clear separation of concerns when it comes to the kind of development you are doing. But curious though why Ubuntu for docker you could've gone with a much lighter alternative.

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Thorsten Hirsch

Right. Well, in general I prefer DEB over RPM, which leaves me with Ubuntu and Debian as officially supported docker (host) distributions. I guess the most important factor that made me decide in favour of Ubuntu is that my 1st docker project included 3rd party docker images based on Ubuntu (Ubuntu being the container OS). My backup plan was: with Ubuntu inside the container AND outside the container no matter how bad a problem with docker might get, I could always escape dockerization.

Later of course I used smaller distributions in the containers. But I'm still pretty happy with Ubuntu being the docker host system, so I've never switched.

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Darkø Tasevski • Edited

Manjaro Deepin:

  • Based on Manjaro which is based on Archlinux
  • It has beautiful UI
  • It has a great community
  • Fast, and relatively stable
  • Rolling release kernel updates
  • Have access to ArchLinux package repository as well as Manjaro's

forum.manjaro.org/t/manjaro-deepin...

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Manuel Torrez

Manjaro Deepin is beautiful but I use KDE because of my computer

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Konstantinos Zagoris

Linux Mint, the ubuntu we deserve

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

Has a slick look. Is it maintained by Manjaro Team or another team?

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Darkø Tasevski

I think that it has some support from Manjaro team, but as this is community edition most of the support comes from the team that assembled it.

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Trevor Giddings

"Pop!_os"

I purchased a laptop from a company which also happens to be the makers of Pop!_os. Their laptops come with your choice of either Ubuntu or Pop!_os installed. I'd already tried Ubuntu before and Pop!_os is a derivative of Ubuntu, so I took it as an opportunity to try something new. I ended up really liking it. It's very straightforward to use, my existing knowledge transfers well, and almost all of the screen real-estate is used for programs.

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

This is an OS I have not heard of. It seems interesting but with all those animations doesn't it become resource hungry?

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Trevor Giddings

I don't know of any major animation involved with Pop!_os. Just bare-basic animations to prevent transitions from being jarring -- the same kinds I see on my Android phone. I've never noticed major resource use by this laptop unless I'm doing something strange like running multiple web servers, though it is a beefy laptop to begin with. On a normal day, the only processes which consume a meaningful amount of resources are Tracker and Firefox.

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

It's good then. I am gonna give this a try. :)

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Tony Robalik

I'm also a System 76 user, although I haven't tried out Pop. Other than just hating the name, my Ubuntu setup "just works", and I'd rather spend my time working than experimenting with OS flavors.

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Trevor Giddings

I do agree that it's a weird name. The main reason that I tried it was that I was expecting to need to install a new OS on it anyway and may as well try a new one before doing that.

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Abhinav Kumar

I'm using KDE neon.

  • I need the latest Plasma.
  • I don't want to manage my machine.
  • Official PPAs and .deb/.snap packages are readily available.
  • I want something based on Ubuntu as it's what used in production at work.
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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

Try CentOS in production trust me you will feel a difference in things and save you loads as it takes less resources to get the job done and also does it more efficiently than Ubuntu.

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Carlos A. Escobar

I'm using KDE Neon for the same motives, it is just ubuntu with the last kde plasma.

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Ben Sinclair

I'm currently using Manjaro with i3 as a development machine at home because everything except the browser is done in a terminal emulator anyway. I have Debian on my personal servers and CentOS at work. I don't much like CentOS as a user system but it's ok on a server.

I run Debian and CentOS locally for Vagrant and Docker respectively.

That out the way, the reason I like Manjaro? I wanted to try Arch and have been happy enough with it not to want to hop distros. I used to use Debian unstable, and that worked for years without a hitch, but this is more up-to-the-minute and the AUR is really very good for finding anything I want.

Really, unless you're using something specific to that distro like a custom DE or want to run something non-free where the providers thing that the only distro in existence is Ubuntu, then there's not much difference. Stuff usually works and it's rarely more than a quick search away to find a solution to most problems.

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

Manjaro I heard is quite unstable and the team's support is often slow and sometimes the issues go overlooked is it true?

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

I've been using it a few months and not seen any problems so far, but I don't really do anything that exciting with it, so...

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

Will give this a try this is also topping the distrowatch's list nowadays.

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Curtis Maloney

Debian.

Stable for most servers, testing for my workstation.

I know a lot of people seem to like Ubuntu, but they still have yet to convince me they can really think like a server distro [whereas I've friends who've been bitten by how they don't]

Am planning to delve into Devuan now that they've had a couple of releases...

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

I have used Debian and CentOS for servers. Some how I feel CentOS is better than Debian when it comes to servers. CentOS tries to emulate some of RedHat capabilities too. You can give it a try and you are right about Ubuntu definitely not a choice for running in servers so much bloatware.

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Curtis Maloney

For enterprisey stuff, I might consider RHEL or SLES, but I find generally they ship versions if things too out of date for my needs.

CentOS doesn't merely emulate RHEL, it is RHEL. Basically, they rebuild the packages, with all the branding changed, and the restricted features taken out. Even before they were taken over by RedHat. Check Section 9 of the CentOS 7 release notes: wiki.centos.org/Manuals/ReleaseNot...

When I was building SANs, I used SLES, but mostly because of SuSE Studio.

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

I am yet to try Arch Linux. I have been a hearing a lot of buzz about how cool it is. But for me as developer more than tools stability matters and I was introduced to Arch when it was unstable like broken releases bugs arising frequently. But since a lot of you are saying it's quite stable I am going to give it a try. :)

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Gabriel Chamon Araujo

If you are still interested, seeing that I am almost one year too late, try ArcoLinux. It has 3 "flavors" so to speak. The base is plug and play and have fun, just like antergos. The second is bare bones, almost like Vanilla Arch with some facilitated installation. The third is "build yourself". You define what you want in your OS and build the ISO.

It is a hands-on learning distro that also provides a functional lightweight environment with a good tutorial for working with each flavor

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sieunhando

Try to use Manjaro bro. It's very awesome.

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

That's also in my list since many people here are saying it's cool.

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Aswath KNM

Lubuntu

The UI might not look great. But one of the advantages compared to other debian based distros is it doesn't take much space or resources.

I'm using 17.10 but it still uses 250MB RAM and 2% processes after starting up

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

Wow that's nice 250MB RAM gives a lot more memory for programs. This definitely wronged my notion that Ubuntu is slower compared to other distros.

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Aswath KNM

Many won't like it because of the UI, it may look like windows 95. But it gets the job done

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

At the end of the day looks doesn't matter as long as it can get the work done in a faster and better way.

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Sergey Kislyakov 🇷🇺 🇺🇸

elementary OS 5.0 Juno (currently in beta).

I love the design and it's stable enough for me.

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Ghost • Edited

Running 04.01 on my dev workstation with three monitors, but running the Juno beta on my laptop. Love the clean simple interface. Elementary OS has never failed me. It's super stable!

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

But what about the package support for Elementary OS. I heard it isn't that great.

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CodeBrotha

I think you heard wrong.

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

The OS seems lightweight gonna give it a try and see how it fares for my personal project needs.

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CodeBrotha

It's very lightweight with rock solid stability. I thoroughly enjoyed doing dev work on elementaryOS Loki. I had to move to a MacBook Pro for work, so I don't use it as much any more, but I would go back to it in a heartbeat.

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Matt Harris

Elementary is based off Ubuntu, so it supports all the same PPA's and .debs that ubuntu can use

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Bryan Baldwin

Gentoo

Software slotting makes it easy to handle multiple dev deps in parallel.

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michaeltd

Came for this...

Also, awesome build environment out of the box, so you can "git clone" to your heart's desire!

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author • Edited

Never tried Gentoo. Can you tell some more about the software slotting?

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

Thanks for this. :)

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Adrian B.G.

What: Me for many years, and all my dev friends that uses Linux for web development are using Ubuntu.

Why: Is the most popular/"friendly", has builtin packages for all the tools we need, I never had to compile something and I have only a few extra repositories added. Being popular I can find tutorials How to install for everything I need and what command lines I should type.

Context: I'm no fanboy, if I could afford I would have a Mac, so I'm always looking for the easiest/shortest/simplest way to do my job, OS is just a tool, a firewall between me and my finished projects.

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

I agree with the statement "OS is just a tool". I feel macOS is kind of overrated for development. Any day I would rather use some other linux variant than macOS.

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Adrian B.G.

I don't think it's overrated, it simply provides the best UX and developer tools. Windows and Linux only provides one of them. Overpriced yes.

You can actually quantify the value it adds, I will give you just a few examples.

In linux I have to spend many hours learning how to do simple UX stuff like tweaking my scroll speed, and I don't even have the courage to install the 3D drivers anymore because in 60% of cases in the last 7years I had to reinstall the system or spend a few days on fixing it.

People that say Linux is easy they already have years of experience and/or they are comfortable with using the CLI to do simple tasks like editing configs, compile stuff, which most of the people are not.

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

Thanks for this perspective :)

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Untung So Andryanto

I'm using Solus OS, it serve me right as web developer. everything works out of the box for my machine (Thinkpad E450). And most importantly it rolling release and stable enough at least for me.

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author • Edited

But isn't it kind of designed for home and general computing for the everyday user.

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Untung So Andryanto

yes, but it has the package needed for web development, and if you can't find it, it still linux on its core, you can always compile from source 🤣

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

As long as package support is there and compiling from source doesn't lead to system crashing it's fine ;)

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Marcelo Andrade R.

Fedora with i3, most of the time I just need 2 windows: browser and terminal with tmux. I like the stability without having to be a power user on linux, I was thinking in a change to arch but tried it on a vm without luck, I think I'm getting older and just need that stuff works, I don't have the time or patience to deal with too technical things.

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

Haha I can understand. But with Fedora's bleeding edge features and lack of package support for new versions when it comes out how do you manage?

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rsclarke

I have to agree with @marceloandrade , Fedora just works out of the box and has been my distribution of choice for years now. Younger me would distro-hop quite regularly, play with themes, window managers and configs. Now I'd rather focus on Getting Things Done than spend a good portion of my time setting up my environment. Perhaps Fedora just offers that environment I was searching for, though I still do install the odd extension to improve UX.

As for packages, perhaps this is personal choice just like the distribution. A 6 month cycle with fixes in between makes for a stable platform but also being new enough.

Typically I find myself not requiring the bleeding edge release, and given the popularity of per language package managers for development, well, you're not depending on the distribution.

Alternatively you could install from rawhide if you really need to, contact the maintainer to update if it fits within the update policy, or, repackage for the latest version using COPR yourself.

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Marcelo Andrade R.

I just need a few packages from Fedora, rest of my dev environments are dockerized so no issues.

After reading some of the answers I checked manjaro/i3 and looks really nice.

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Sean Killeen

Thanks, I really appreciate it!

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Trev

Honestly any stable, maintained distro will do. I have Arch on my laptop, Mint on my desktop. Both are pretty easy to install any package on, both do Vim and task runners like a champ :D

I hear Fedora is great too, just haven't gotten around to it.

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

Give Arch and Manjaro a try. I installed Arch in my laptop after the sheer number of people suggesting it and it's great so far. Next I am gonna try Manjaro. ;)

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Trev

There's also Antergos if you want to bootstrap an Arch install. I believe Antergos updates at the speed of Arch whereas Manjaro has its own repositories. At least, it did when I tried it a couple years back. Maybe not the case now?

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author • Edited

I did some research on Manjaro turns out they have an amazing community support and also the package support is provided by AUR so it's a green. Having said that the team although they resolve the issues they are quite slow in doing so but breaking builds and issues are address quickly.

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José Jorge • Edited

I've been using Arch Linux (with Openbox) in my main work PC for a bit more than two years, it has "broken" about three times and with my latest MOBO change some stuff have not been working fine (some systemd services). Before that I was using Windows with Arch as a Virtual Box guest, and it also broke a couple of times there (both times VBox related issues). Anyway, I like Arch because of being able to get the latest versions of stuff faster, and the Arch Linux Wiki is just awesome!

That being said, for most of my other machines I use Ubuntu or its "flavors" (Xubuntu in my laptop, Ubuntu Server for remote testing and production machines). Why Ubunutu? Almost every vendor offer Ubuntu packages and/or instructions, you get a stable system out of the box and if you really want it, you can easily find a way to update almost any package to a more recent version. Ubuntu has never broken for me, but as I can read from other comments, everybody can have a different experience.

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

It's true everyone has different experience when it comes to OS. For me Ubuntu has broken about three times and Ubuntu servers have some outdated packages. Certain packages have very tedious process when it comes to updating to the latest packages so I had to leave Ubuntu. But I still love the simplicity of the OS for a common user who has everything he needs in his finger tips but as a developer I didn't feel so comfortable with Ubuntu.

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Phil Ashby
  • Personal: Debian stable (everywhere), was Ubuntu until Debian 9.
  • Work: Mostly CentOS (because Rackspace run prod).

I find that Debian stable's occasional lack of up-to-date packages can frequently be sorted via the backports repository (I use this for Exim), which doesn't compromise on stability across the system, just the bits you need, and gives you a back out option :)

I moved away from Ubuntu as it focussed more on features and less on getting a job done reliably.

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Adarsh Author

Exactly Ubuntu used to be my number one choice until a few years ago. But currently all ubuntu releases are focussed on useless features and becoming more and more resource hungry. I won't mind if the feature has some use and speeds up my system or productivity.

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Avalander

KDE neon. It's based on Ubuntu, and I like Debian and it's derivates, and I like KDE's look and feel. Also, it came preinstalled in my current laptop.

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MangirishWagle

Oh, preinstalled. Seems that you are using KDE slimbook.

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Avalander

Yep, had it for a while now, still very happy with it :)

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Valentin Berlier • Edited

I've been using Manjaro for about a year. Worked pretty well until a few weeks ago, when I randomly updated the kernel lol. Now there are a few weird things happening now and then. Nothing is broken, just sometimes some apps freeze randomly. Kinda frustrating but I don't really have the time to investigate right now :/

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sadarshannaiynar profile image
Adarsh Author

As long as it's not broken it's good to go why don't you try downgrading the kernel again?

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Valentin Berlier

Yeah maybe, I'll try.

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Motlib

Used Kubuntu for a long time, but changed to Xubuntu, because of it's lower resource usage.

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Alex Lohr

I'm using Xubuntu, too. My PC is beefy enough to run anything; I just like the simplicity.

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Adarsh Author

Well you must try Lubuntu if resources is concerned and you don't want to switch out of Ubuntu

Lubuntu

The UI might not look great. But one of the advantages compared to other debian based distros is it doesn't take much space or resources.

I'm using 17.10 but it still uses 250MB RAM and 2% processes after starting up

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Jason C. McDonald • Edited

I often distro-hop about, but I like Debian. I'm presently on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS running GNOME 3.28.2, but I also love the MATE desktop environment.

I've often considered using one of the more popular non-Debian distros, but I don't have the spare time to mess around with finding the software I need. Between the main apt repositories, PPAs, .deb files, and (occasionally) building from source, I'm always able to install everything I need pretty quickly.

(Incidentally, I'm not a big fan of Snap for a few technical and pedantic reasons. Good idea, just not my cup of tea.)

All that said, I have a septenduple-boot system running the latest versions of most Linux distros. That's 10% for technical reasons, and 90% because I felt like it. Within that context, I do rather like Solus.

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John Alcher

Linux Mint for the longest time, but currently on Ubuntu 18.04 since I need stable emoji support and Linux Mint 19 is still quite buggy on my machine.

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Adarsh Author

Mint is like evergreen ground of Linux. It was, is and will be there always.

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John Alcher

Yup! It's the distro that just works. But sadly, LM19 is still unusable on one of my older machine. Can't even run vi without the terminal freezing :/ Hopefully the subsequent versions will work fine.

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Juan F Gonzalez

I'm using Linux Mint(now the latest one) mainly because that was the linux distro that I used in my software classes back at college.
I also wanted to branch out of that and explore other options and I ended up landing on Manjaro, the homescreen and order of stuff seem familiar and is quite clean and well performing distro so I enjoy it too.

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Leslie Satenstein

I use Fedora and SUSE Tumbleweed. With each, it's Gnome or KDE.
I write C code and shell scripts.

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Cristian Molina

Any Ubuntu derivative should do the job pretty well. For me, ElementaryOS is the nicest. Clean, non-intrusive. Get a better terminal like Tilix, put some nice programming languages with a nice version manager like asdf or any_env, a good editor like VisualStudioCode, some docker love and you're pretty much done.

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Debashis Dip

I'm using linux mint in my laptop.

  • Light enough for my machine
  • Well supported.
  • More or less customizable to my needs.
  • Does not breaks.
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Evaldas

Ubuntu is not a company.

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Antero Karki

Using Ubuntu or any distro in that family, currently mint.

Use them because they generally require the least amount of configuration, most things work out of the box.

That gives me the best opportunity to build the stuff I want with tested tools

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kobayashi

1 year ago I was using ArchLinux, but after several failures about installing dependencies packages what i need I've given up. And now I'm using Ubuntu. But I do think about installing Arch again, but another distro based on it, and Openbox of course.

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Anton Linevych

I use Gentoo because:

  1. I can.
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Anton Linevych

Now if serious.

  1. You can choose any key component of your system, for example, Systemd or OpenRC.
  2. You can choose a version of the library or tool and all packages that depend on it will be built using this version.
  3. You can disable features that you are not using or enable necessary that not turned on by default. E.g dynamic-modules support in Emacs.
  4. If new version or the new tool is not available as official ebuild, you can relatively easily write your own. For example, in deb-based distros, it turns into a nightmare.
  5. You can have multiple versions of the same software at one time, thanks to slots.
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Gerard Ribugent Navarro

At the office I use kubuntu 18.04, it's a modern distro and fast to install and to mantain. On the other side, at home when I work remotely with my personal computer I use Gentoo Linux, highly customizable, no systemd and I'm in control.

On both cases, in case of doubt I have a docker image with same distro in production to test things.

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Evaldas • Edited

I totally understand that. But Ubuntu is a brand (a product rather). Canonical is the company. 😉

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Erhan Kılıç

Ubuntu 16.04.

Well 18.04 is crap. I don't like the gnome.
I'm using this because it's easy to use, I can setup my environment in one hour easily and my vps is ubuntu as well.

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Quentin Sonrel

I'm using Debian with i3.

I like the stability of it, it just works 😀

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eLabFTW • Edited
while True:
   print('Arch is the best!')
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Adarsh Author

Haha I see what you did there. ;)

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Andrew Bastin

elementary Loki...

Love the design... Fairly snappy and minimal..
Window Management is a bit poor, but hey, it works for me

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Valentin Baca

In decreasing order of "seriousness business" and increasing order of "personal projects", but keeping it all approximately within the same family:

Amazon Linux, Red Hat, CentOS, Fedora

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JSn1nj4‍‍👨‍💻 • Edited

Kubuntu. Just been in love with it for a while, even with its quirks.

Though I do mostly use it for fun. I don't use it at work; company is a standard Windows org with some Mac OS.

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Zvika Meiseles

A semi-updated gentoo

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VpzomTrrfrt

Currently I'm using Artix Linux. It's very similar to Arch, but doesn't use systemd.

On another machine I'm running Gentoo, but mostly as an experiment rather than actually believing it's better

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Shobji

Hi all I just wanted to know which Linux distro is good for brockchain

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Omar Lozada

Currently using elementary OS.

• I just liked the UI.

Been using it for 2 years.
Although thinking of switching to Manjaro.

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Adarsh Author

You can give it a try a lot of people here are using it and saying it's great.

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OmiD

i'm Debian user and i want to switch to arch base distro and i wanna use manjaro. do you suggest start with manjaro?

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tux0r

I use Windows because Linux is horrible to use.

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Chiesa

Debian.
Cause I started with Ubuntu few years ago and I tired of the new interface.

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Chris Quinn

I don't know if I could trust an OS who's homepage features a slider which the first 4 images have nothing to do with the OS.

imo.

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GM

I'm currently trying out Alpine Linux on this laptop. So far, I really like the package manager. It is very fast, and has had all the packages I have needed so far.

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OmiD

what do you think about manjaro?