what is the best linux distro for a desktop and programming

hi im new to linux and was looking for adivice on wich distro to use

Though I’m not a programmer, from what I gather it doesn’t really matter which distro you choose … they all have the same languages/IDE’s/etc. … though there may be differences in the “version” of packages available through the package manager.

So if it’s going to come down to the best “desktop” distro … that’s very subjective, and you’ll get lots of different opinions :o

Are you new to Linux ?

What hardware are you planning on running Linux on ? … is the hardware old and limited ?

yes im new to linux

im running a running an asrock h55 motherboard 8GB ddr3 ram intel core i3 3.06 ghz

Well that’s going to happily run any distro you want … as you’re new to Linux, I’d suggest Ubuntu 12.04, or Linux Mint 13, for no other reason than you’ll find more tutorials, help, online resources available for Ubuntu based distros.
(or Peppermint 3 if you want speed at the slight expense of ease of setup … Peppermint is my current favorite)

All of those are based on Ubuntu … kinda obvious in the case of Ubuntu itself … so all have access to all the software in the Ubuntu software repositories :slight_smile:

But you can test drive Linux before installing, by creating a LiveCD or LiveUSB (stick) … these will give you a working desktop without making changes to your hard drive until you’re ready to install. That way you can test drive a few distros and find the one that suits you best.

If you need further info about LiveCD/LiveUSB’s or anything else … just ask :slight_smile:

As a software developer I prefer to use Peppermint 3, it has useful tools such as software manager that contain specialised software for developers which work out the box. I would personally stay away from linux distributions such as Mandriva and anything to do with RedHat.


This link contains a family tree of linux distos. Anything on the debian branch is very good for development. (Note Peppermint 3 comes under this branch).

Never the less, people will disagree with me and as Mark said it really is up to you :slight_smile:


Strange, I have used Mandriva for quite a while for development. Most of the development tool-sets I needed were pre installed. ???
On the other hand in all the distros I used since, the tools were just a few clicks in the package manager (apt-get install, or rpm -i, or pacman -S) anyway. :slight_smile: