e-book My Selection of Linux Utilities for a Feature Packed Linux Distribution

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Whether your team uses Python, Ruby, Node. Everything your developers need is just a snap or an apt away. Want to get your app published for Ubuntu? Snapcraft can help you reach all users of current Ubuntu versions and other popular distributions. We want to be able to deliver the same high-quality experience on Linux as we do on other platforms. Snaps allow us to do just that, by giving us the ability to push the latest features straight to our users, no matter what device or distribution they happen to use.

Snaps are applications packaged with all their dependencies to run on all popular Linux distributions from a single build. They update automatically and roll back gracefully.


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With 20 minutes you can have your first app built and released in the Snap Store. The easiest way to build and publish a snap is with snapcraft, which supports building from source and from existing packages. Ubuntu is the result of contributions by thousands of developers, motivated by the desire to create their own perfect developer environment.

Why Linux? Why Debian?

This versatility makes it the ideal choice for companies with a diverse hardware infrastructure. See all Ubuntu certified PCs. Ubuntu has been the perfect OS given its popularity with developers and its cloud capabilities.

What Is a Linux Distro, Anyway?

Taking a service developed on the desktop and running it on a server or in the cloud just works. Ubuntu also has developed Juju, a service orchestration tool, that simplifies the often-cumbersome handover between development and ops teams — and it speeds the process up dramatically. With Ubuntu Advantage and Landscape, you can standardise your developer workstations.

It helps you manage updates, security patches, and reporting, while minimising downtime. Give your developers the freedom they want while retaining the control you need. Download Ubuntu desktop and replace your current operating system. If you always have to have the latest version of Firefox or any other app, something like Debian probably isn't right for you—you'd want to choose something like Fedora which will be a bit quicker to get those updates out to you. Different distros package different drivers in their installers, which means that, depending on which distro you use, you'll find that different pieces of hardware may or may not work out of the box.

While you can often get other drivers installed with a bit of extra work, it sure isn't fun. As you're looking through distros, check their hardware compatibility pages or test them out with their Live CDs to see whether things like your Wi-Fi card, video card, and sound are all compatible out of the box.

If not, just know that you'll have to do a bit more work to get everything up and running when you first install. Photo by Garrette.


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A big part of Linux is the community surrounding it, whether for troubleshooting, app support, or even good documentation. The larger the community surrounding a distro, the more likely you are to be able to get help, find documentation on a specific problem or piece of hardware, and otherwise get information. This is what makes Ubuntu such a great beginner distro. Poke around the forums of your chosen distros, and see which ones fit you well. Is the community helpful?

Are there a large number of useful forum threads or documentation pages like ones dealing with specific laptops? The better support you can get from the community, the easier your transition to that distro is going to be. Now that you know what makes a Linux distribution, you may be wondering where to start looking. DistroWatch is an incredible resource for those looking to branch out, but again, there are hundreds of distros out there, and it can be pretty overwhelming.

What is Linux?

While we highly recommend exploring beyond our paltry list below, here are a few distributions that are incredibly popular, and are great starting points for any search. Note that most distributions have variations that use different desktop environments, but we'll focus on the default environments for each here. If you've tried Linux before—and again, if you're reading this, you probably have—there's a good chance you've tried Ubuntu. The original aim of Ubuntu was to make Linux easier for the average user, and it did a pretty good job—it's a great beginner's distribution.

It's fairly simple to use, updates every six months, and now contains its own Unity interface , which is specific to Ubuntu, featuring things like a dock instead of a taskbar, an App Store-like interface for its package manager, a dashboard for easy searching of the OS, and more. Some people like it, lots of people hate it, but you can always bring back the classic GNOME interface , if you so choose.

Pinguy OS 11.04 Review - Linux Distro Reviews

Ubuntu comes with a pretty standard set of apps, including Firefox, Thunderbird, Empathy for instant messaging, Transmission for downloading torrents, and more. It also has an incredibly large and helpful community, as well as great hardware support, so if you're looking for something as hassle-free as possible, Ubuntu isn't a bad place to start. Its popularity also means that it has a ton of programs available in the repositories, or online as packaged DEB files for one-click installations. Rarely will you have to build a program from source. Linux Mint is actually based off Ubuntu, but we thought to include it here because it's become even more popular with Ubuntu's shift toward the unpopular Unity interface.

Try something different from the world of Linux

Mint aims to be as easy as possible for users unfamiliar with Linux: the installation is pain-free, the menus are familiar and easy to use, and unlike other distros, it doesn't commit itself to providing only free and open source software—that is, it comes with things like Adobe Flash, MP3 support, and some proprietary hardware drivers preinstalled. In other distros, you usually have to download these separately. Its set of preinstalled apps is very similar to Ubuntu's with a notable exception; Mint preinstalls Pidgin for instant messaging instead of Empathy—a choice we agree with , and because it uses the same package management system as Ubuntu, you have a very wide range of programs available in the repositories or as DEB files.

It is also completely community-driven, which means you have a pretty good source of support when you need help. If you've never used Linux before, we highly recommend Mint as your first distro. Fedora aims to be a bit more on the cutting edge of all its software. Updates come out every six months, just like Ubuntu and Mint, but they aren't supported for very long. It's expected that users update regularly and as soon as possible. Programs like Firefox will be updated as soon as Mozilla releases an update, unlike Ubuntu, which will usually wait to make Ubuntu-specific changes to the code and release things later on.

This can result in a bit more instability, but is great for those that always want the latest and greatest software on their system. Fedora uses the somewhat slower but easier to use Yum package manager, instead of Ubuntu and Mint's APT, and while it doesn't have quite the software availability that the others do, you can still find most of what you need in the repositories or online in a single-click installer. Fedora also has great security and enterprise features, if you're looking to use Linux in a more professional environment. Fedora is definitely better for serious Linux users rather than tinkerers and hobbyists.

Debian , in many ways, is the opposite of Fedora.

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Its goal is to be as stable and bug-free as possible, which it does very well—but it means that your system is rarely up-to-date with the latest versions of software. New releases come out every 1 to 3 years, and the development community can be a bit harsh for those uninitiated. However, if you're looking for something as stable as a rock, and don't care about always having the latest version of a piece of software, Debian is for you.

Debian also uses the same package management structure as Ubutnu and Mint, so it has more programs available than you can shake a stick at—both in the repositories and online as DEB files. It also supports many processor architectures, which is great if you have a particularly old or offbeat build.

List of Linux distributions - Wikipedia

OpenSUSE is a general-purpose Linux distribution that, while it has a bit of drama behind it concerning its parent company, has a very helpful community. Its main draw over other distributions is its level of configuration. It also has a very nicely done system administration utility and package manager, known as YaST, as well as great documentation and as previously stated a good community behind it.

Its worth noting, however, that KDE and OpenSUSE can be a bit more resource-heavy than other distros, so you'll want to make sure you have resources to spare before choosing it. This is not an ideal distribution for your netbook. If you're one of those people that likes having things just so , OpenSUSE is a good distro to try, since it gives you a lot of configuration options without the need to delve into the command line.