Dear hivemind with strong feelings about open source software,

Which Linux Distro would I choose for work (software dev) nowadays?

- stable, not too heavy on maintenance
- fairly recent software
- I know arch and debian-like systems

Β· Web Β· 15 Β· 2 Β· 0

For my university stuff, I use Ubuntu. It is stable and just works. Maybe to old software for you πŸ€”

@Nervengift Not a Dev, me, but I'd say Debian for Work and one of the Ubuntu flavours for home?

@Nervengift Err, you said stable, so I consider Debian stable and recent. Am I mistaken?

@Cedara stable versions of debian are fine for servers but the included software versions are often a bit old for a development environment

@Nervengift Manjaro Linux is basically an Arch with graphical installer and repo mirrors that holdback package updates that produced problems in the traditional Arch repos to get a bit more stability.

@dirk yea, only thing that keeps me from trying fedora is that I'd have to learn rpm-based systems

@Nervengift @dirk Switching from deb to rpm is fairly easy, imo. dnf feels very similar to apt, at least for your average daily use.

@Nervengift @dirk
apt install foo -> dnf install foo
apt remove foo -> dnf remove foo
apt update && apt upgrade -> dnf update

I'll second fedora. Found the switch, some years ago, pretty easy after only using Ubuntu and Debian before.
@Nervengift @dirk

@Nervengift @fnord @sandzwerg More recent packages, stable release model and version upgrades.

Do you really need selling points? Just try it and use the one that fits best.

@dirk @fnord @sandzwerg sadly I currently don't have that much free time for trying out stuff. That's why I have to filter the available options by asking around…

@Nervengift @fnord @sandzwerg In this case: Continue to use what you used before.

@Nervengift @sandzwerg @dirk Ubuntu had a phase where they tried to do their own thing and be different than everyone else - which is not bad per se, but did annoy me at the time. (i.e. upstart instead of systemd, mir instead of wayland, unity instead of gnome/kde) I'm not sure, but I think all of those examples are not true anymore, though.

@Nervengift @sandzwerg @dirk
For me, the most important point for Fedora is: It is easy to set up and then gets out of your way. (This may of course be true for Ubuntu or Mint as well.)

I loved Gentoo back in the day, but It did require quite a bit of attention. This can be fun, but sadly it takes too much of my time away from all the other things I want to do. I guess Arch would be similar in that regard.

Dito. I also really disliked that they had to do everything different just for the sake of being different not for any technical reasons. As for fedora I like that it's always really up to date, also regarding the kernel. It also stopped me from using a lot of Ubuntu repos that would give me a recent version of this or that application in a more current version - 1/2

@dirk @Nervengift @fnord And despite it being a distro that is targeted for experienced users I had less tiddling to do than in my Ubuntu days
@Nervengift @fnord - 2/2

@Nervengift Hmpf, it is not that complicated:

apt update && apt upgrade = dnf update
apt search = dnf search
apt install = dnf install

@jr my fear would be that random software version updates will break my dev environment. With non-rolling-release distros I can calculate the risk of upgrading better

Manjaro is quite good at keeping itself stable. I consider it as a good comprise between archs recent software and having a stable system.

@The_Observer6955 @Nervengift yeah I don't have the time to maintain an arch but as you said the manjaro keeps itself really stable

You're probably best of with a Ubuntu LTS as base system. Most dev software will run there and the additional server services you can easily provide with virtual machines atop (using e.g. KVM). Wish you all the best! :-)

I'm running debian testing since last cccamp and I'm quite satisfied with it... the major issues I had where normally related to myself(fucked up config). "Stable enough" and recent enough imho.

@Nervengift i'm very happy with Ubuntu (LTS, in my case, but you might want to use non-LTS releases as well if you need that). I've been using Ubuntu Mate for everything it runs on for the past year now and didn't really miss anything so far.

@Nervengift (I should clarify that I use LTS for my work computers only. My private ones are on 18.10 and 19.04 and will soon both be on 19.04 :D)

@Nervengift I use debian testing at work and it is faily low maintenance with my environment (boring stuff like xfce. not doing software development but system administration, fiddling with docker, config mangement stuff etc)
I think ubuntu would work pretty similar for this usecase.

@Nervengift i use ubuntu-LTS.
Software gets a bit outdated, but i don't care, as long as it is stable.

Things with which i develop always get the most recent stuff via ppa.
Most things (libraries, dependencies, ...) offer either a ppa or a build for ubuntu-lts.

imo thats the best of both worlds. A stable system, butt 1-2 bleeding-edge-packages i really use in development.

and every 2 years i have to put a day aside to upgrade to latest lts ;) But that is predictable and plannable.

Debian stable on servers then testing as a base system for dev, making music, and everything else works for me, but it's also just what I know.

@Nervengift Ubuntu. Thats the nearest you get to 'it simply runs'

For development I'm currently using either Debian Stretch or Manjaro, at home Archlinux.

Manjaro is nearly bleeding-edge and easier to setup than Archlinux (which is the reason I use it at work and Archlinux at home), Debian Stretch for everything in production.

Sign in to participate in the conversation - because anarchy is much more fun with friends. is a small Mastodon instance for and by the Chaos community surrounding the Chaos Computer Club. We provide a small community space - Be excellent to each other, and have a look at what that means around here.
Follow @ordnung for low-traffic instance-related updates.
The primary instance languages are German and English.