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Choosing a Linux distro/environment

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I plan on installing Linux soon but don't understand the key differences between distributions. For context, I am a programmer and would be spending a lot of time developing on whatever OS I choose to go with.

Is Ubuntu a good first Linux distro or would I be making a rookie mistake? What would be the benefits of going with Fedora, Linux Mint, or GNU/Linux, for example, instead?

Coming from a Mac environment (yes, yes), would Unity be a good choice or are there more preferable options for Apple-like (e.g. GNOME) or similarly comfy environments?

Help me out here /g/. I'm ready to ascend to a freer world of computing.
>>
GNOME isn't comfy it's ugly. Just get elementary OS.

Also the only difference between linux distributions is what you type in the terminal after "sudo" when installing packages. Ignore all posts stating otherwise.
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>>62422671
>I am a programmer and would be spending a lot of time developing on whatever OS I choose to go with.
fedora is very popular amongst developers. ubuntu is good, nothing wrong with using it, but fedora aims more to the poweruser while ubuntu focused on mainstream users.
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>>62422671
Ubuntu and Mint are both good first time distros. As far as desktop environments go, I would look for XFCE or Mate. They're both quite lightweight while still aesthetically pleasing (advance warning, xfce's default theme is ugly as shit but that's something you can fix in 2 minutes). Gnome feels weird and KDE is quite buggy..
>>
and yeah, hands off gnome. it's retarded at this point and i'm not even memeing. XFCE is a safe bet, but you are welcome to experiment with different DE/WM until you find the one that suits your needs the most.
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You don't want Unity, it's slow and buggy.

Xubuntu or Mint are the best starter distros, look into one of those.
>>
Try Manjaro xfce. Very lightweight.
Learn something about installing arch, gentoo and void. Then switch to gentoo or void, after using manjaro for a week because of systemd.
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>>62422671
Ubuntu is fine

Both ubuntu and mint will work on pretty much anything right out of the box.

KDE can be installed on whatever you pick and it is probably the easiest/simplest/fastest way to get something that looks exactly like mac, buttons on the left corner and everything.

For programming, I'm a total noob who has no clue what he's doing, and I found codeblocks worked great (for C++ so far). Every other IDE required too much fucking around to set up or actually use.
>>
>>62422671
You'll need to look for a distro without NSA/systemd to protect your intellectual property. Of course the government won't use the backdoors to steal info but all the others with access to the same mechanisms (foreign identities) might.

Devuan is pretty good to name one.
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>>62422671
Well. The mayor diffrences is between distro is
1. Package manager (Dabian has APT, Arch has Pacman) and distros based on other distros usually use same package manager what uses their "father" (Mint is based of debian/ubuntu so it also uses apt).
2. Way of system installation (Mint has installer inside live CD, debian has just installer or in arch/gentoo you use command line).
3. Way of installing softtware, for example gentoo downloads source code and then compiles it.
4. Design (how it looks)
5. Target (Debian is server distro, mint is desktop distro, arch is universal etc.)
6. Preinstalled software/tools/de (For example mint comes up with 1 of 4 desktopts, driver manager, and bunch of apps like gimp, livre office, video player, audio player etc while arch linux has nothing preinstalled)
7. Policy about propertiary software ( some distros hate them, some distros accepts them)
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>>62422915
>Debian is server distro

Errr... there is no such thing as a server distro.
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>>62422986
So why most linux servers runs mostly on debian?
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>>62423018
Because Debian is a stable platform with a huge user base and a metric fuckton of packages ready to install.
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>>62423018
for it's stability.
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>>62422671
>don't understand the key differences between distributions.
Distros are different kernel versions + a set of software. Arch, Debian, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu all are separate distros

>Desktop environment
Basically different window managers and file browsers.

MacOS has a really polished desktop environment. GNOME or Elementary comes close to it. Or Cinnamon.
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>>62422671
> Ubuntu
Yes, that's fine.
> Fedora
Cutting edge RPM-based distro. Beta for Red Hat.
> Linux Mint
Made by amateurs, fine for normies but I suggest something else.
> or GNU/Linux, for example
IS THAT AN ELABORATE BAIT, MOTHERFUCKER?
>>
>>62423043
>> or GNU/Linux, for example
>IS THAT AN ELABORATE BAIT, MOTHERFUCKER?

Maybe he was hinting on assembling a distro himself?
>>
I develop for Android, Node.js, Python and for web.

I use a riced Manjaro XFCE. Does the job quite well with a few configurations here and there.

Try KDE Plasma 5, Gnome, Mate and XFCE. All of these are pretty good imo, but xfce is the lightest on RAM and battery.

Unity is shit and deprecated. Stay away.
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>>62422671
The one and only thing that matters in the choice of a distro is how they distribute software.
This means how often they update, which software they update etc.

Ubuntu is a good distro if you are a programmer.
Ideally, you want to run the same thing as your coworkers so you don't have to deal with irrelevant stuff.
You might end up compiling your own software anyway, but it is so much easier when everyone you work with uses the same thing.
GNU/Linux is not a distro, it is the OS the distro is shipping.

If you have no experience at all, don't go unity, it is being removed in favor of gnome.
I haven't used apple that much, but I think kde is closer to what apple does, but I might be wrong.

As a programmer, I prefer kde and wouldn't use the gnome desktop.
One important reason is application names.
Applications are usually launched from a .desktop file which is located in /usr/share/applications.
These files are a basic way to describe what the application is called, what the icon is, a small description etc.
These files are really cool because they allow you to easily search for applications and you can automatically add stuff to your menus and launchers.
In gnome however, they also use this tool to rename applications.
So the application might be called "documents" or "files" or "terminal" and all the user will ever know is these names.
The real application is called something else like "evince", "nautilus" or "gnome-terminal".
I think this is really bad will cause new users to spend way too much time learning the system.
KDE has some retarded names for their applications, but at least they stand by those decisions and display it to the users.
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>>62422671
Go mint. Its packed with more preinstalled software and has better driver management than ubuntu.
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>>62423145
>has better driver management

Wut? You mean it has non-free drivers included by default?
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>>62423187
The reason is driver manager. It detects your hardware, then you choose proper hardware and it does all job for you.
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>>62423253
That's what the linux kernel does but okay I guess.
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>>62423187
I'm not sure they're included with the download or if it downloads them after you select, but this is how it looks.

It makes it really easy to choose what proprietary driver you use
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OP whatever you end up trying, if you're not happy with the battery life you should then try switching the DE for something lighter like XFCE or even i3wm.
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>>62423339
>Recommended
>Open source

>The open source one is not the recommended.

Yeah, what distro is this? Because in to the trash it goes.
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>>62422915
>Debian is server distro, mint is desktop distro, arch is universal etc.

what did he mean by this?
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>>62423482
> Not liking driver what will be most likely to work because its not opensource

Driver manager recommmends driver what should work best for your hardware. It doesent care it is Opensource or not.
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>>62423589
> stable, breaks and I use it
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>>62423594
Yes, and that's why that distro should be flung into the trash.
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> Mint users will defend this
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>>62423611
>Non open source programe so evil hurr durrr.
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>>62423636
Running mint and will to fix shit is a weird sounding combination. As soon as you find yourself considering options three you should really just hop to another distro. Ideally one without NSA/systemd.
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>>62423656
Yes? What's your point?
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>>62423636
> Mint users will defend informed choice
And?
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>>62423636
What's your point? A nice message with detailed info isn't 31337 enough for you, you fukken gatekeeper?
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>>62422671
Use Ubuntu like any sane human being.
It has the most community support and the most readily available packages to download in case something isn't in the default repositories.
Pick an Ubuntu flavor with the desktop environment you like (Unity is sadly being phased out starting with 17.10).
I'd recommend getting KDE (Kubuntu) as it's faster than GNOME (also faster than most other DEs, but relatively RAM hungry), configurable and doesn't look too shit now that they updated their default theme.
If you don't like KDE, there is nothing too wrong with GNOME once you tweak it to your liking. Just keep in mind that the performance is shit and the default look and configuration is trash.
You should also take a look at other DEs such as Mate, Cinnamon or Budgie. All of them can be easily installed from Ubuntu.

Fedora is unstable trash with shit default repositories. You have to rely on 3rd party repos for even the most basic packages.

Don't use Linux Mint. It's just a more insecure Ubuntu (they don't push security updates immediately for some reason) with a different theme.

Also don't fall for the Arch/Manjaro meme. Arch is too time consuming for a beginner and Manjuice has the same problems as Mint.
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>>62423145
>>62423187
>>62423253
Ubuntu has the same thing you retards.
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>>62423709
Ubuntu is no option because of the NSA/systemd debacle. Devuan looks pretty comfy but their are many more.
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>>62423668
I think fear of non opensurce software is quite irrational in some cases.
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>>62423684
What the fuck is that, even? Those choices imply they exclude each other.
> don't break my computer even if my security is compromised, also run old software
> same, but allow me to see if security updates are available
> upgrade and probably break my system
There's no such choice in real distributions.
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>>62423746
Distrust is not fear, fa.m
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>>62422702
Don't forget release models! Some distros deploy updates in a rolling release model (e.g. Arch Linux) while others use a staged release model (e.g. Ubuntu). I personally prefer the former for personal use and the latter for production systems.
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>>62423775
Well its rational to distrust something for example suspicious program you found on deepweb.

But in other hand nvidia has no reason to make shitty drivers dangerous for your GPU or anything else.
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>>62423739
>NSA/systemd
Nice meme.
While systemd is also trash and Leonardo Pozzring is retarded, it doesn't seem like any kind of NSA inside job.
At this point it would be better to use Gentoo with OpenRC.
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>>62423871
They are dangerous for your freedom. Who cares about a crummy glabics carp.
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>>62423904
Anon, during the lack of evidence assumption that NSA is invloved is always safer than the oposite.
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>>62423904

Poettering isn't retarded. He's just an employee of a U.S. company working very close with the U.S. government. Poettering isn't even significant but RH may need a scape goat to boot when the shit hits the fan.
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>>62423709
>(they don't push security updates immediately for some reason)
The reason is... stability.
Mint team wants to keep mint stable and try to reduce "ruined because of update" situations to minimum. You have acces to newest updates in "Romero" repository where come here untested updates. After being tested by people who want to updates are moved from "romero" to normal repository.
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>>62423928
>>62423947
Obviously, but hasn't systemd been thoroughly audited just recently?

>>62423959
>ignoring security updates for the sake of "stability"
This is probably the most retarded statement I've heard in a long time. A secure system should always be the utmost priority. A minor breakage that can easily be fixed should never be more important than the possibility of any kind of information disclosure.
Hell, even Debian, the masters of >muh 5 year old packages because stability push security updates to Sid, Stable and Oldstable immediately.
I've also never ever heard that a single security update broke a system. Regular version upgrades sure, but definitely not security fixes.
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>>62424024
>Audited.
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>>62423920
Because nvidia wants to enslave me instad of selling me graphic cards they make...
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>>62424065
>systemd
>proprietary
>>
>start with Ubuntu
>jump around a hundred distros incl. hippy ones
>return to Ubuntu wise installing it with netinst
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>>62422915
>arch is universal
Have fun installing it on servers.
Well said on the rest though.
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>>62422671
If you are a serious dev, try oracle linux or redhat (both are free if you use them for non-commercial use). If you DO use linux for commercial use, stick to debian with KDE/XFCE/GNOME and you're set for life.
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>>62422702
>GNOME isn't comfy it's ugly. Just get elementary OS.

Gnome is ugly but recommending elementary is just horrible advice.

>so buggy, it makes KDE look rock solid
>devs are fags whoring for money when you want to download
>inconsistencies in design as soon as you install anything besides the stock "apps"
>Pantheon is a shitty overall, not very responsive, not very customisable, a dumbed down buggy piece of crap
>stale Mac OS clone/has no soul
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>>62422671
OpenSUSE.
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>>62422671
You can basically ignore the vast array of Linux distros. They're mostly shit or pointless.

If you're a beginner, then yes, start with Ubuntu. It has the most polished beginner experience.

When you learn more and want something better as a power user, switch to Arch Linux, and you'll be set for life.

As for desktop environments, KDE Plasma is objectively the best in terms of the combination of features, efficiency, and collaboration with the community. Gnome is a simple alternative, but it's simple in terms of features and looks, and actually has worse efficiency and zero collaboration.
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>>62422671
If you want something Mac-like... Honestly, most desktop environments at this point can achieve that look anyway. Unity is probably most Mac-like out of the box, but you can customise other ones with a bit of time anyway. With Gnome you'd need various third-party extensions written by pajeets, with Mate it has a few options out of the box, with Plasma it has everything you'll ever need out of the box, etc. You just have to rearrange it a bit. Don't let yourself be put off with how things look out of the box - especially with Plasma, which is insanely customisable (and all through a GUI too!).

A word of warning though: KDE Plasma works best with rolling release distros, like Arch. For whatever reason, it's often packaged really badly on distros like Ubuntu, which could give you a bad experience and put you off Plasma. Keep that in mind.
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>>62424068
Not enslave you, but likely utilize you without your explicit knowledge. For example, they may collect information about what you do on your computer and use it to improve their drivers. They might also sell that data to other companies who will most likely just use it for marketing. It's cool if you don't care, but some people do. Some people are in countries where that information can be used against them. They're in places where governments or even terrorists have the power to compel these companies, be they Nvidia or the companies who bought their information, to hand everything over or risk certain destruction. Oh, and hackers are most certainly a thing. I'm sure I don't have to explain why you wouldn't want information about your personal life in the hands of criminals.

Have you read Nvidia's privacy policy? Most people haven't. It's not very "free." And even if it were, it only applies in certain jurisdictions. They can do whatever they want outside the US, Europe, and a few other places without any repercussions.

Open source is important. It protects users from both evil and incompetence. Whether Nvidia has unethical business practices is up to you, but regardless, your information might be out there. And there might be nothing you can do about it. If you're somewhere safe, haven't made any enemies, haven't done anything someone might want to hurt you for, good for you. Not everyone has that luxury.
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if i wasn't using Fedora, i'd pick Ubuntu. Fedora was easy enough to set up as a noob, and i haven't installed Ubuntu in years but i can imagine it's just as easy. it's really a question of whether you want to go for Ubuntu/Debian or the Red Hat (Fedora/CentOS) family. there's not really a wrong answer.

the DE question only you can answer. i, for one, am happy with GNOME and its Tweak Tool. i've used macOS a couple of times and GNOME seems to have been influenced by it, such as the top left corner mouse gesture.
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>>62428575
is this a microsoft shill trying to convince normies to stay away from linux by being as autistic as possible?
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>>62428847
He's right though.
Can you go be annoying elsewhere, perhaps on /b/?
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>>62423043
>> or GNU/Linux, for example
>IS THAT AN ELABORATE BAIT, MOTHERFUCKER?
lmao
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>>62428880
I think you mean "I'm right though", microsoft shill

Normal people aren't this autistic about what drivers they use on their computer. In a lot of cases the open-source drivers just plain don't work at all. People use what works; they don't have the time nor inclination for vacuous platitudes.

There is no need to act so childish when someone tells people to use what works instead of what's free, unless you're going out of your way to try and give linux and linux users a bad name.
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>>62429121
No, he's right. No one except you is giving Linux a 'bad name' for acting like such a paranoid schizo.
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>>62422671
>would Unity be a good choice
No, the interface is a joke. It's a mess that's infuriating to use. Even tapping the alt key is enough to bring up it's retarded search bars, and non-trivial things like remapping keys require using things like gnome-tweak-tool, which is bloat considering that setxkbmap exists.

When it comes to DEs, I liked LXDE, because it wasn't getting in my way.

When it comes to distros, take a look at their package managers, as that's the biggest thing that makes them different.
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>>62429155
I think both have their points. Proprietary may fail from time to time and you got no way out, while open source is in constant development.
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>>62426350
Seconded for the cute lizard
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>>62423709
I'd recommend KDE Neon instead of Kubuntu. It's also based on Ubuntu
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>>62422671
LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) with Cinnamon. Look no further m8. It's simple and friendly, but not for complete n00bz. Perfect for developers.
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>>62422671
GNOME is the comfiest around but has ugly icons by default. Even comfier that macOS imo

KDE is good looking by default but much more similar to windows.

Unity is going to be discontinued in the next ubuntu. Its fairly comfy, but has the best fonts and polish around.

They are bringing a lot of that stuff into custom ubuntu gnome extensions, so if you wait for 17.10 to come out in october, you will get ubuntu GNOME with all the benefits of unity.

In the mean time use gnome
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>>62430117
I just want to clarify, I was talking about DEs, not distros. Install ubuntu for the distro. I suggest 17.04 gnome edition just to try it out. All the improvements will be in the next version so you can see what vanilla gnome is like before ubuntu tries to fix it.
>>
>>62430117
Currently on Ubuntu 16.04. Is it worth upgrading to 17.04?
>>
stay on mac bro
as a linux user, there's no reason to leave mac unless you have AGGRESSIVE autism
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>>62430269
B-But I installed Linux and now im comfy with sucking Stallmans dick
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>>62429211
I think this troll might have a point, but I'm definitely not a Microsoft shill. I use Arch Linux. ;)

Everything I said applies even moreso to Windows and other Microsoft applications. They don't even try to hide that they're spying on you. And proprietary drivers on proprietary platforms are just as risky as proprietary drivers on open source platforms.
>>
>>62422671
>>62422671
Ubuntu and the majority of its variants are all good distros to start on with a large community.

Solus with the Budgie DE, also seems like a very comfy distro. Budgie looks great out the box and is pretty lightweight.

I started with Manjaro Xfce edition which was very beginner friendly and worked out the box with all my hardware so it didnt require too much fucking around, but it still required a little bit of fucking around in the terminal which taught me a little about linux. The community is also very helpful.
Also if your wanting to deep dive into the freer world of computing, it is fun customizing your desktop and Xfce is very modular and allows you to adjust alot of things.

It would be worth just having a look through some screenshots of all the different DE and see which one you like best.
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>>62422671
Ubuntu or Mint are both great distros for beginners and experts.

>>62422730
>You don't want Unity, it's slow and buggy.
Don't listen to this fucking nazi. Unity is fine.

>>62424285
it's not fun installing arch on anything. People do it so they can brag about it.
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>>62423253
is this the new cool meme or what, ive read this bullshit before. ubuntu has the same "driver manager"
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>>62431599
>Ubuntu and the majority of its variants are all good distros to start on with a large community
>with a large community

THIS

Lots of problems already documented and workarounds and solutions everywhere. Use Ubuntu. Start with a barebones "server" installation and install desktop manager by hand if you feel fancy and don't need crap like office.
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>>62422671

Go with Ubuntu.

I tried out Fedora, and while it is great, I hate GNOME ( though GNOME will come to Ubuntu as well soon), and there are more normie apps and chat clients that I can run on Ubuntu such as Wire, Skype, Chromium( and with it google keep, calendar etc) as well as Wine, firefox etc.

Fedora is for cutting edge, and while you won't go wrong with it, Ubuntu will make it a lot smoother for you, especially since you're coming from Mac.
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>>62431757
> unity is fine
> anything harder than a few clicks is not fun and brag material.

Brainlet
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>>62422730

> Unity
> slow and buggy

Retard detected. I've ran Ubuntu with GNOME on my laptop with celeron cpu and 4gigs of RAM.

It would take 5mins to load Winblows 10 on this laptop with 5400rpm HDD, and on Ubuntu it loads in less than a minute.

With GNOME the whole damn thing lags and chops like mad. RAM usage is insane.
Tried Fedora and same shit happened. GNOME is literal cancer. Unity is GOAT.
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>>62422717
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>>62432385
quoted wrong person. oh no!
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>>62422702
This simply isn't true, distributions make changes to the kernel and userspace that aren't present in other distributions, for example Debian and Fedora use completely different kernels and userspace, mainly because Fedora keeps with upstream and doesn't make modifications to software whilst Debian feels the need to make changes to everything from upstream, because they know better.
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>>62427757
You can also use a window manager, they use up way less system resources then a desktop enviorment and once you go through the process of configuring them they're a blast to use.
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>>62422671
Honestly would I miss out on the benefits of Arch (constant updates) if I used Manjaro? I just don't want my PC to feel sluggish after 6 months of not refreshing Windows 10

Because otherwise I'm considering Antergos. Also what do you guys think of Deepin and community builds overall? I'm using pic related aspect ratio btw
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>>62423018
They don't. Debian is rarely used for servers, CentOS/RHEL or FreeBSD are what you'll find on a server.

Even Widows and Ubuntu are used more than Debian.
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>>62432591
Manjaro and Antergos are okay, but why not just use Arch?
>>
>>62432673
What benefit is there to installing Arch instead of Antergos? I thought Antergos was just a GUI installer for Arch and Manjaro was just a more customized user-friendly version of Arch
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>>62432701
That's true, but the thing is, Antergos also installs things you might not want, and you have no idea what its default configurations are. They're really not terrible, and it's up to you, but for me it's like this:

Arch:
>Install programs you want
>Configure them how you want
>Done

Antergos:
>Install
>Remove LightDM crap (it's a security risk)
>Install DM of choice (or lack of DM)
>Remove Antergos repository crap
>Remove GUI updater crap
>Remove Numix crap
>Remove Yaourt crap
>Remove any other crap you don't want (e.g. NetworkManager, whatever else it decides for you that you want)
>Go through all the configurations anyway, because you need to set it up how you want it, and you have no idea what things Antergos configured already or how it configured them
>Done
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>>62432756
Thanks senpai but I think I'm gonna go with a Deb-based install. I keep hearing about how pacman compiles at installation and it's a mess. Sorry for wasting your time typing that shit out but I'll pass it onto the next guy.
>>
right now I think solus is a good idea, its simple and "just works" perfect for begginers, most stuff like atom and chrome can be installed from the built in software center and just in genereal everything is nice and polished
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>>62422671
Anons, I was reading on [spoiler]reddit[/spoiler] that OpenSUSE would be great for stability and ease of use

If you go with GeckoLinux(openSUSE derivative) it'll give a much nicer experience

At that point one of the selling points is probably rolling release if you go with the Tumbleweed edition instead of Leap(stable with few updates, more like Ubuntu) which lets you access lots of software updates that take much longer before Ubuntu release would see them. Through OBS and openQA they've got some solid testing in place to make the rolling experience stable and reliable. They got Plasma 5.9 very quickly after release from what I heard, Kubuntu would have to wait for it's next release every 6 months(so until April?), you'd be a bit better off with Neon in that case. Rolling releases are great if you're doing modern development and need the latest packages.

Then you have the default filesystem layout, BTRFS which is finely tuned already for you with a nice setup for everything, and then /home is XFS. This also gets setup with Snapper to take snapshots before and after updates with the package manager so that if anything does go wrong and breaks your system(not uncommon when updating on Ubuntu releases I hear), you can roll back to how your system was prior and keep using it. The filesystem also supports other neat features like Copy on Write(CoW), compression and deduplication among others allowing you to extend your file system further. If you want to add new partitions you usually do it with subvolumes, they're more flexible and allow for easy online resize.

KDE is a first class citizen on openSUSE far as I understand so the support for it is likely to be top notch, Ubuntu doesn't care as much for it. You've also got YaST which provides both TUI and GUI apps to manage your system more extensively than what you'd be used to with other distros. Zypper is the pacakage manager CLI tool and is praised quite a bit.
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>>62433629
Forgot spoiler tags don't work. Is this dude right? Pretty sure their repo is great too.
>>
>>62433629
Not OP but I also need to choose a distro for new work laptop. Tired of Ubuntu and messing around with Arch. Both are broken too often. Arch was great for a few years but has been horrible for the last year, especially due to broken Xfce components.


Torn between openSuse tumbleweed and Debian unstable. OpenSuse looks great and they have OBS. Debian is always mentioned to 'just werk'.
>>
>>62433799
Honestly I was leaning towards OpenSUSE from the beginning between Debian but the more I read, the more I'm set on doing GeckoLinux leap with KDE Plasma

I don't think I can justify the time or effort it takes to micromanage all this other shit otherwise.
>>
>>62433215
Shoo shoo Kevin go to bed
>>
>>62433100
Pacman works great. It's the best package manager there is. Fast, simple, and easy to use.
>>
>>62422671
go with Arch. best choice for new linux users
>>
>>62433799
>2017
>not using KDE Plasma
topkek
>>
>>62431757
People use Arch because they don't want 2000 packages 5 days into using their system.
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