Thinking about trying a new Linux Distro

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Thinking about trying a new Linux Distro

Postby Scozzar on Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:01 pm

Hi all, I'm Scozzar and I am a freshman Computer Engineering major in college currently. I tell you that information because I am starting to do a lot of coding and even more in the coming months, mainly C and Java. I know Windows isn't the greatest choice when it comes to doing that, but I don't know why. The professors here highly recommend Mac OS X or Linux for the coding because it is "simply easier" to do. I haven't gotten to that point yet so I still think Windows is fine :P I have heard that having Linux though is much more convenient because then you can code from your laptop instead of the computer lab, which uses CentOS for the OS's there. I have always been grateful to those who put endless hours of their own time into making an OS for FREE. But here's the catch.


I had been a Ubuntu user for a while and had nothing but issues with it. I was using 12.04. I was dealing with constant glitches, constant errors that even some people at Ubuntu Forums couldn't understand why I was getting them! I am using a laptop with Optimus technology for the Nvidia card so I am quite familiar with the Bumblebee project, except that it never worked for me. I then read that Mint actually analyzes the update packages for bugs like Debian does before they are released, which is nice since there were times Ubuntu would update itself cause itself to glitch and get even worse. In the end, I wasn't at all happy with Ubuntu and will never go back to it. But I do need some sort of Linux on my laptop for the coming 4-5 years. Something that is stable and can preferably use Bumblebee in a way that will work. Stability stability stability is key here. I was fed up with Ubuntu always having random errors and really laborious workarounds.

I have seen Debian and Mint (which I know has some base from Debian), but I want to know if any of these (or some I'm missing) are any better than Mint or Debian. I like the Linux look, but Ubuntu...blah.

Thanks! :mrgreen:
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Re: Thinking about trying a new Linux Distro

Postby stratus_ss on Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:06 pm

First let me just give you an fyi,

Optimus is currently being worked into the NVIDIA drivers. This has just started in the last several weeks so it will have official support without Bumblebee or ironhide etc.

As for your stability issues, I have been using Mint since Mint 5, and really I haven't had any stability problems on my various laptops.

Having said that I seem to have exceptional luck compared to some. Is your laptop powerful enough to run a VM?

I think everyone should use linux, but I am realistic to know that either A) people don't want to move out of their confort zone (thus these people will always be unhappy) or B) Sometimes Windows suites certain people better.

For me I can't stand windows aside from my steam account. Its an irritating toy that I play with out of necessity but do as little as possible. For others, they have had problems with Linux.

I would say for stability I would stay away from the following:

Fedora
Ubuntu (any non-LTS, the LTS' are getting quasi service packs now so they should be quite stable)

The most stable I have ever seen/used has been CentOS by far. BUT, keep in mind this is a workstation/server OS so things like FLASH and dvd playback will require extra steps and the packages are a bit older.
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Re: Thinking about trying a new Linux Distro

Postby Scozzar on Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:10 pm

Thanks for the response.

stratus_ss wrote:Is your laptop powerful enough to run a VM?

I'm not exactly sure what a VM is my laptop is quite powerful.

Intel core i7 @2ghz
6gb DDR3
Nvidia Geforce 540m discrete GPU

It was able to run Ubuntu smoothly...when it worked XP
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Re: Thinking about trying a new Linux Distro

Postby stratus_ss on Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:54 pm

a vm is a virtual machine.

I might suggest exploring virtualbox. I can't explain it properly except to say that it allows you to run multiple OS' simultaneously. Check it out and see if it suites your needs
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Re: Thinking about trying a new Linux Distro

Postby Scozzar on Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:42 pm

Ohhhh yeah, Virtualbox, I have heard of that. It seems interesting. It's not gonna mess up my computer, will it?
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Re: Thinking about trying a new Linux Distro

Postby homerscousin on Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:08 pm

I don't know what your classes are like, but when I took a c, c++ class years ago we all used the same in class computers with the same MS OS and the same compilers. Kept things organized. I installed the same compiler on my home computer. I'd ask the profs what they recommend for a Linux OS and compiler to make sure it will be compatible with all classwork. I just think you should ask the profs first and then ask here any secondary questions. If they recommend it ask for details, thats what you pay them for.
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Re: Thinking about trying a new Linux Distro

Postby stratus_ss on Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:13 pm

Scozzar wrote:Ohhhh yeah, Virtualbox, I have heard of that. It seems interesting. It's not gonna mess up my computer, will it?


I have never seen Virtualbox mess up a computer, though as with any software I suppose it IS possible, though highly unlikely I think
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