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What's your poison?
Ubuntu 41%  41%  [ 15 ]
Debian 16%  16%  [ 6 ]
Fedora 8%  8%  [ 3 ]
OpenSUSE 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
Slackware 5%  5%  [ 2 ]
Other (please post and tell us more) 27%  27%  [ 10 ]
Total votes : 37

lxuser
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26 Dec 2011, 9:32 pm

Orwell wrote:
lxuser wrote:
HalibutSandwich wrote:
Ok so sort of back on topic - what's a nice lean, clean and stable distro to use as a dev environment base? Aren't there some built just for this purpose? I may be getting an Arduino this week and haven't the time to get my LFS system done for it.
I recommend Arch Linux or if you are game enough maybe Gentoo.

Seriously, just install Debian. It's simple, easy, stable, and it works. Arch/Gentoo/Slackware are Linux for masochists. (Note Halibut asked for something stable- Arch and Gentoo are rolling releases and hence significantly less stable than Debian)

If you want to run Linux because it's better than Windows for what you do, then Debian is the most straightforward way of doing it. If you only want geek cred, then you can run Gentoo.
That is not true, believe me I am very picky when it comes to the general quality of a distro and I have had less problems with Arch and Gentoo. Debian is too outdated, their patches that make the software apparently more stable have led to vulnerabilities in the past. Orwell, have you ever used Arch or Gentoo before? And please explain to me why Arch/Gentoo/Slackware are for masochists, it less of a pain then Ubuntu or Debian.



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26 Dec 2011, 9:43 pm

The only problem is I'll probably need a multilib setup (which I know bugger all about ATM) and the instructions in the Arch wiki are a little complicated at first glance. Though someone has written a script to make it fairly painless. I think with Ubuntu they have the 32 bit libs packaged for easy install. I'll have to look more into that part of it.


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lxuser
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26 Dec 2011, 9:57 pm

HalibutSandwich wrote:
The only problem is I'll probably need a multilib setup (which I know bugger all about ATM) and the instructions in the Arch wiki are a little complicated at first glance. Though someone has written a script to make it fairly painless. I think with Ubuntu they have the 32 bit libs packaged for easy install. I'll have to look more into that part of it.
Well Arch has a forum full of friendly people willing to help and it maybe worthwhile to search the forum first maybe its been covered already. I just assumed that you would of had some prior knowledge since you were building a LFS system. I never like running 64bit but times have changed since I last ran 64bit Linux I just use 32bit system with a kernel that has PAE enabled to use the full amount of RAM on my system. Also if its stability and cleanliness you are after I would stay clear of Ubuntu.



Orwell
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26 Dec 2011, 10:45 pm

lxuser wrote:
That is not true, believe me I am very picky when it comes to the general quality of a distro and I have had less problems with Arch and Gentoo. Debian is too outdated, their patches that make the software apparently more stable have led to vulnerabilities in the past. Orwell, have you ever used Arch or Gentoo before? And please explain to me why Arch/Gentoo/Slackware are for masochists, it less of a pain then Ubuntu or Debian.

I have not bothered with Gentoo (my cousin wasted a week or so on it though). I've messed with Slackware and Arch a little bit, but it's too much hassle. I should not have to have another computer with a browser open to the distro's documentation just to get through the installer. A system where you have to manually compile and install every damn package is too much hassle. Are you really customizing the compile flags on KDE when you install it on Gentoo? Is it actually a common use case that people want a system without X or a non-root user? If it's something that everyone is going to have to set up anyways, a good distro will either set reasonable defaults or ask what you want during installation. Debian's approach is reasonable: they have you set up a regular user during installation, and you choose which basic sets of packages you want. If you choose a graphical environment, they give you sensible defaults for what you need for a functional system without all the extra frills of something like Ubuntu.

Outdated? Debian Stable is a rock, so yes there is a trade-off that you won't always have the latest beta release of Firefox (though they are uploaded to a separate repo if you want them). If you run the Testing branch you get a somewhat conservative rolling branch that stays mostly up to date but is still very stable.


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lxuser
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27 Dec 2011, 12:15 am

Orwell wrote:
lxuser wrote:
That is not true, believe me I am very picky when it comes to the general quality of a distro and I have had less problems with Arch and Gentoo. Debian is too outdated, their patches that make the software apparently more stable have led to vulnerabilities in the past. Orwell, have you ever used Arch or Gentoo before? And please explain to me why Arch/Gentoo/Slackware are for masochists, it less of a pain then Ubuntu or Debian.

I have not bothered with Gentoo (my cousin wasted a week or so on it though). I've messed with Slackware and Arch a little bit, but it's too much hassle. I should not have to have another computer with a browser open to the distro's documentation just to get through the installer. A system where you have to manually compile and install every damn package is too much hassle. Are you really customizing the compile flags on KDE when you install it on Gentoo? Is it actually a common use case that people want a system without X or a non-root user? If it's something that everyone is going to have to set up anyways, a good distro will either set reasonable defaults or ask what you want during installation. Debian's approach is reasonable: they have you set up a regular user during installation, and you choose which basic sets of packages you want. If you choose a graphical environment, they give you sensible defaults for what you need for a functional system without all the extra frills of something like Ubuntu.

Outdated? Debian Stable is a rock, so yes there is a trade-off that you won't always have the latest beta release of Firefox (though they are uploaded to a separate repo if you want them). If you run the Testing branch you get a somewhat conservative rolling branch that stays mostly up to date but is still very stable.
Different distros have different philosophies and designs, the whole point of Arch, Slackware and Gentoo is that they are designed to be minimal and basic from default therefore its up to the user to install and configure additional packages, I like it that way and so do many others. It boils down to what you are used to and comfortable with. I think its rather hilarious and quite absurd when people make claims of rolling releases being unstable and buggy, I have never run into stability issues that people claim to inherently come with rolling releases. Also I don't feel that bleeding-edge software is beta as you claim, I never had things crash or functions play up. I have had that on Debian, you couldn't even use the default installed GUI network configuration tool to configure a static IP because it never saved the new settings. That's not very good for a newcomer, is it now? I like how Debian's patches create vulnerabilities in software too.



Orwell
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27 Dec 2011, 12:56 am

lxuser wrote:
Different distros have different philosophies and designs, the whole point of Arch, Slackware and Gentoo is that they are designed to be minimal and basic from default therefore its up to the user to install and configure additional packages, I like it that way and so do many others.

Debian also offers a minimalist setup to anyone who wants it (use the netinstall disk). They just don't make it so needlessly difficult as Slackware does. Debian allows you to do anything you want manually- but they also have tools to help you along with sane defaults so you don't have to waste time mucking about on every inconsequential detail.

Yeah, everyone has different wants out of a Linux system. You were responding to a poster who wanted to set up a dev environment on a "lean, clean, and stable distro." Debian fits the bill and is easy to set up. Arch/Gentoo/Slackware are for people who want to worry about every little detail of their system before they can actually get down to real work. And there's nothing wrong with that. I have a last-century desktop that I revived with a barebones Linux system (don't even have X installed) and it's fun to play around with it, see what I can accomplish building up from a small base. But for a production system that I want to do work on? Heck, I'll slap Ubuntu on it if that's the disk I have handy. The important thing in that case is just to get up and running with minimal hassle so you can actually use your computer.

Quote:
I have had that on Debian, you couldn't even use the default installed GUI network configuration tool to configure a static IP because it never saved the new settings.

I have not run into such issues; everything works out of the box. YMMV, I suppose.

Quote:
I like how Debian's patches create vulnerabilities in software too.

That's bound to happen on occasion since no dev team is perfect. Look at the massive amount of software they manage and package; of course there is a mistake every now and again. Still, the Debian security team is excellent and does a good job of managing any vulnerabilities that do crop up. If security is so important to you that Debian is unacceptable, then you should probably be running OpenBSD anyways. They do better on security than any Linux distro, or any other operating system for that matter.


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HalibutSandwich
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27 Dec 2011, 1:29 am

Orwell wrote:
That's bound to happen on occasion since no dev team is perfect.

I haven't actually been into linux much for several years and so I've got a lot to remember lol. But because of reasons like the above, I can tell you the most stable clean fun system I ever had was the one I built following the LFS, BLFS books. I knew every piece of software on it, absolutely zero bloat, and when something went wrong or I broke some dependencies I had no choice but to blame myself. Oh what fun :)


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Rob-N4RPS
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27 Dec 2011, 6:32 am

Hello, fellow Aspies!

I am using 64-bit Lubuntu 11.10 installed on a 16GB SD card stuck into a 64-bit (according to Ailurus) HP Windows 7 netbook with 2GB RAM, with the BIOS set to boot to GRUB on the SD card. I like being able to switch between the two just by ejecting the SD card with the power off. I DO use the HD on the netbook, but only to store big stuff like music and video.

The SD card is formatted ext2. Having learned that journaling filesystems are NOT a good idea on a netbook subject to unexpected power failures early in the game, I took a hint from Linus Torvalds on that one. I back everything using Redo Backup; all the other programs either wouldn't restore the backup

It DOES get sluggish when loading Web sites, but I like the software available for Linux that just isn't available for Windows. I'm also betting that there are a lot of programs installed that I'll never use.

Can anyone offer suggestions as to how to improve my current setup?

Have A Great Day!

Rob



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27 Dec 2011, 12:34 pm

Rob-N4RPS wrote:
Hello, fellow Aspies!

I am using 64-bit Lubuntu 11.10 installed on a 16GB SD card stuck into a 64-bit (according to Ailurus) HP Windows 7 netbook with 2GB RAM, with the BIOS set to boot to GRUB on the SD card. I like being able to switch between the two just by ejecting the SD card with the power off. I DO use the HD on the netbook, but only to store big stuff like music and video.

The SD card is formatted ext2. Having learned that journaling filesystems are NOT a good idea on a netbook subject to unexpected power failures early in the game, I took a hint from Linus Torvalds on that one. I back everything using Redo Backup; all the other programs either wouldn't restore the backup

It DOES get sluggish when loading Web sites, but I like the software available for Linux that just isn't available for Windows. I'm also betting that there are a lot of programs installed that I'll never use.

Can anyone offer suggestions as to how to improve my current setup?

Have A Great Day!

Rob


I don't know exactly what your setup is as far as Software is concered, but one thing that I would consider doing is moving to a lighter Desktop Environment than the default Unity/GNOME Shell environment for Current versions of Ubuntu.

If I were you, I would seriously consider trying LXDE, which uses the OpenBox WM for reduced memory usage. --You may also want to consider just using the OpenBox WM itself, which will be a login option when you install LXDE alongside GNOME.

Furthermore, If you feel up to it, you may also want to consider using the AMD64 version of Debian Squeeze. Although there are some differances from Ubuntu, it works much the same without alot of the useless s**t that Ubuntu adds, ( Hello, Mutter/CompizFusion, Unity Desktop, etc)

What you will have to do should you decide to install Debian is remove Gnash, activate the unofficial Multimedia Repositories and perhaps the Backports repository as well, install Flash, and if your system uses an Nvidia /ATI graphics chipset also install the proprietary graphics drivers and kernel modules.


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Last edited by Fogman on 27 Dec 2011, 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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27 Dec 2011, 12:37 pm

Unity is crap, use apt-get to install Gnome then select Gnome Classic at login. On a netbook you should get better performance from that too.



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27 Dec 2011, 4:13 pm

Asp-Z wrote:
Unity is crap, use apt-get to install Gnome then select Gnome Classic at login. On a netbook you should get better performance from that too.

MATE is pretty good too, but is still a work in progress. You have to add some repos to get all of the features, some of which are still experimental.



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27 Dec 2011, 10:45 pm

AstroGeek wrote:
Asp-Z wrote:
Unity is crap, use apt-get to install Gnome then select Gnome Classic at login. On a netbook you should get better performance from that too.

MATE is pretty good too, but is still a work in progress. You have to add some repos to get all of the features, some of which are still experimental.


I'm pretty fed up with both Unity and Gnome 3. Is MATE stable enough for general home use? Any difference running it in Mint vs. Arch?



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29 Dec 2011, 7:10 pm

scubasteve wrote:
AstroGeek wrote:
Asp-Z wrote:
Unity is crap, use apt-get to install Gnome then select Gnome Classic at login. On a netbook you should get better performance from that too.

MATE is pretty good too, but is still a work in progress. You have to add some repos to get all of the features, some of which are still experimental.


I'm pretty fed up with both Unity and Gnome 3. Is MATE stable enough for general home use? Any difference running it in Mint vs. Arch?

Mint has a tendency to "Mintify" any software that they get their hands on. In the case of GNOME 3 that's a good thing. In the case of MATE it means that not everything will be installed right away and there might be some features that you need to change slightly. I've never used Arch, so I can't comment on MATE there and the differences between them.

When I first used it there were some bugs and a few things that were missing. None were too bad though. I have since managed to update everything out of the MATE experimental repos and everything seems to be running quite stably now. Unfortunately, in the process of doing that, I at one point I accidentally uninstalled a good chunk of the software on my computer, including MATE's default file browser. So accidents can happen. But at this point I'm feeling good about it. I'd recommend giving it a try.



Last edited by AstroGeek on 30 Dec 2011, 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

whiteofmouth
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29 Dec 2011, 11:39 pm

arch for work
gentoo for everything else

dwm, urxvt



shibashaba
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30 Dec 2011, 1:59 am

I've been using Mandriva for about 10 years now. It was really popular back in the day, and did a lot of things no other distro even attempted. I remember reading in PC Mag or somewhere a list of things linux needed before it could be 'ready' for desktop use, and Mandriva already did all of them.

The company's had some issues, but for the most part I've always been happy. The past several years I've been able to do live installations through urpmi, which is great.

I've played with gentoo in the past, but got frustrated waiting for everything to compile. Not to mention that back in those days, compiling stuff with optimizations lead to slower code cause most computers(like mine) had too small a cache to handle the larger code. I think it took 2-3 days to finish compiling everything, this was on a Duron 686 :). It had some very nice artwork though, at least back then.

When I get a new computer I think I'm gonna go with ArchLinux. Very nice documentation, I've been relying on it for a long time now.


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