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 Post subject: Best Linux Distro
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:57 pm 
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So I know i'm about to start a war on here but i'm going to ask anyway. Iv used Ubuntu and a little bit of fedora and was wondering what others I should check out and what is the best for OS development.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Linux Distro
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:42 pm 
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I'd expect most dev tools available on top distros. And they're console-based mostly as well. So, for development I'd expect there to be little difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Linux Distro
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:07 am 
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A Linux From Scratch system tailored to your exact needs is probably the "best", but most difficult to set up, Linux system for OS development. Failing that, Gentoo or Arch.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Linux Distro
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:30 am 
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Gentoo, but only if you have a quad-core i7.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Linux Distro
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:48 am 
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Iansjack provided the most accurate answer so far.

In addition, gentoo's high-end "requirements" are mostly baseless propaganda. I can demonstrate a (dual socket) pentium 2 being sufficient for gentoo. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Best Linux Distro
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:14 am 
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Roman wrote:
Gentoo, but only if you have a quad-core i7.

That's absolutely untrue. I have run it on everything from a Raspberry Pi to an i7, including various single-, dual-, and quad-core Intels, single- and dual-core Athlons, and a G4 PPC. In every case it runs faster than most anything else. Which is fairly obvious as each installation is optimized for the particular processor it is running on. Sure, the compilation can take a while, but you just leave it to do its thing.

How many systems have you actually installed Gentoo on?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Linux Distro
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:33 pm 
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iansjack wrote:
Roman wrote:
Gentoo, but only if you have a quad-core i7.

That's absolutely untrue. I have run it on everything from a Raspberry Pi to an i7, including various single-, dual-, and quad-core Intels, single- and dual-core Athlons, and a G4 PPC. In every case it runs faster than most anything else. Which is fairly obvious as each installation is optimized for the particular processor it is running on. Sure, the compilation can take a while, but you just leave it to do its thing.

How many systems have you actually installed Gentoo on?

I was talking about compilation. I can't even imagine, how many hours it will take to build something like KDE on a Pentium.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Linux Distro
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 3:12 pm 
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I would say it was better to spend hours installing a system that is going to run more efficiently for years than save a few minutes to install a slower system. Just my preference - I spend more days using my computer than installing the operating system. It's the same philosophy that leads people to compile a custom Linux kernel rather than just accepting the default provided with their system.

Of course, I do have the advantage that I prefer a lean and mean desktop manager to a bloated monster like KDE - especially on low-powered machines.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Linux Distro
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 3:30 pm 
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I agree with lansjack.
There is not really a distro that's suitable for everyone, it depends on what you want to do. The best distro is the distro that has everything you need and nothing more. So that means the best thing you can probably do is to build your own, but that's going to take a while and you can ask yourself if it's worth the effort.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Linux Distro
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:22 pm 
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iansjack wrote:
I would say it was better to spend hours installing a system that is going to run more efficiently for years than save a few minutes to install a slower system.
Depends on how much time is saved by that efficiency. You'd have to run your Gentoo install optimized for your particular machine far longer than the useful lifetime of that hardware for it to catch up to the time you spend compiling everything every time it updates.

On the other hand, Arch has the same simplicity but with all the compiling done once for everyone (and optimized for x86_64 which is a pretty good baseline already anyway)- imagine how much collective time that saves over Gentoo. ;)

Of course then you have the distros with automatic installers that may or may not save any time overall because you spend more time fixing things later on after a quicker install.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Linux Distro
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:04 am 
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Quote:
You'd have to run your Gentoo install optimized for your particular machine far longer than the useful lifetime of that hardware for it to catch up to the time you spend compiling everything every time it updates.
it takes me almost no time to install, or update, Gentoo on any computer no matter how lacking it is. It may take the computer a lot of time, but not me.

On the other hand, when using the computer I do generally have to wait for it when it is slow.

I can tell that you have never actually tried Gentoo as you talk about "compiling everything every time it updates".


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 Post subject: Re: Best Linux Distro
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:51 am 
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Of course I don't mean compiling everything on the machine every time it updates, just compiling the things you're updating.

It's true you don't have to sit there and stare at the machine while it compiles, but there are always costs to managing longer-running processes. I think we can all agree an ideal (generally impossible) system would never make the user wait for anything. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Best Linux Distro
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:00 am 
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iansjack wrote:
I spend more days using my computer than installing the operating system. It's the same philosophy that leads people to compile a custom Linux kernel rather than just accepting the default provided with their system.

I used to do that, but nowadays I'm too lazy to do that. What I get as a default works good enough, and the time I would spend for building a new kernel would hardly be worth it. Even the great speedups that some claim for Gentoo don't matter much to me - almost always the machine is waiting for me, not the other way round. That's probably also the reason why I never felt that I should replace this machine, even though it's older than five years by now and certainly not the most powerful one you could get today.

Of course, that's just me. You may have different requirements. It's just another example that there isn't a single right answer for everyone.

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