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I need recommendation for distribution of Linux which will fulfill few things:

  • is good to develop in different technologies (Java/Erlang/C/etc.) including frameworks,
  • is good in installing&updating packages/software (error free) and keeping them clean,
  • is good for intermediate Linux user (I am neither advanced nor Linux geek user, I am programmer, need system for this purpose only)
  • is pretty light, fast & stable,
  • is capable of running with laptop&additional monitor screens -> some nice graphical interface
  • is capable of sharing some memory with Windows system and work in general as 2nd system next to Windows
  • I won't have to set it up after 6 months,

In summary, I am using office laptop (4gb RAM, i5, integrated graphic card) and I need stable&fast linux distribution mostly for programming in Eclipse etc., I won't play games there, maybe watch some movies, nothing more.

Was thinking about Ubuntu, lots of ppl recommend it but I heard also it can be problematic during packages&software updates.

  • 3
    What is I won't have to set it up after 6 months? – Jan Doggen Aug 24 '16 at 9:18
  • Take a look at arch linux if you want to get latest bugs/patches/updates asap. For me, I wanted a system with latest compiler, IDE's and get them installed without any headache of building from source or manual update of binaries. Arch was good for this. However if you want to replicate your server/workspace environment, which are probably using ubuntu, you should stick with ubuntu and it's old major fixed apps. If you're looking for an ubuntu with beautiful interface, go for elementary os. If you've a good spec machine, means more than 4 gb ram, good cpu, leave everything and go for KDE. – Abhinav Gauniyal Sep 17 '16 at 16:23
  • @doggen, I think he means that, after six months have passed, he won't still be tweaking and fiddling with configurations and dependency hell in order to have his system working as intended. – flith Oct 24 '16 at 19:33
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I'd go with Ubuntu, in fact at home I use it as the development partition on my laptop. I've not had any issues with updates for a long time with Ubuntu, and the problems you have heard about are likely from an older version which has put people off.

Ubuntu itself isn't particularly light, but it does come with the option for adding different lightweight desktops. It also means you can pick the desktop derivative you prefer, be it KDE, Gnome, or something else.

Your multiple screen request is something Ubuntu caters for. I've used it with 1 and 2 external monitors, as well as my laptop screen, depending on what I'm needing at the time, and never had an issue.

For a general workstation I've found Ubuntu easier to set up, manage and use than it's up-stream distro, Debian (though I use Debian for servers) and installation of packages easier than CentOS (based on RedHat) and Fedora.

The advantage of Ubuntu is it's easy to install with 3rd party plugins for the likes of media playing, so watching movies is straight forward. I've streamed movies to my Ubuntu machine from my home media server with no issues previously.

Ultimately, Linux distros tend to be a personal choice and if you've got the time, install a few on virtual machines and play around a little to find what suits you best. I'm quite firmly in the Debian/Ubuntu camp, others will be more RedHat/CentOS camp, and others still will use other distributions; with Mint being the most popular one at the moment.

  • Just to add, some stuff is unfortunately only supported on Ubuntu and not supported on other distros. This is not to say it's impossible to use it on those, just a bit more difficult. If what you want is fuss-free installation, I would generally recommend Ubuntu. – Pabru Apr 12 '17 at 14:17

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