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I just got new laptop at work. What would you recommend as a linux distribution for it?

All other developers are working under windows, and use windows tools. I'm currently using ArchLinux, but want to change it.

I don't want to waste time configuring wireless, windows network shares, network pritners, projector, etc ... I want this stuff to just work, while still having sane and stable development evironment and tools.

Is Ubuntu a good choice for this? I use gentoo at home, but don't think it is a good match for work environmet.

EDIT: Note that we are working on cross platform apps, and deployment platform is almost always linux. There are very few windows apps that I have to use (like MS Project). It is just that everything else is windows centric.

I use linux because I feel more productive with it, even if I have to dual boot to edit MS Project files.

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migrated from serverfault.com Jul 27 '09 at 21:39

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5 Answers

Ubuntu is good, combine it with likewise open if you want to integrate the authentication into the windows environment. Then just use VMWare Server or Virtual Box and run a Windows VM for the Windows only tools. Nautilus, the built in file manager, will make it easy to access the Windows shares.

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I think Ubuntu is a very good choice. That's what I have for all my PCs. I hate spending time on things that I shouldn't be spending time on. Installing software is one of these things !

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Yes, Ubuntu is a good match for you. I have the same feeling that I shouldn't have to spend hours tinkering with my operating system just to get it working, and I use it at work and on my laptop. It works pretty well out of the box - especially on my EeePC - but I did have to tinker a bit to get it to recognize my Nvidia video card on my desktop at work. That's the only real trouble I've had, and it's barely more work than the Nvidia driver for Windows.

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If everyone else is working with Windows and using Windows tools then I would very strongly advise you to also work with Windows and use Windows tools. Sorry, I know it doesn't answer your question, but a standardised environment across all developers will save a mountain of potential trouble in the longer term.

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In general, you are right, but see the edit :) –  Marko Jul 27 '09 at 15:21
    
If everyone else is working with Windows and using Windows tools then I would very strong advise you to make them to switch to Linux. :-) –  Kyle Brandt Jul 27 '09 at 18:42
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I like Ubuntu. Others praise OpenSuSE. Both are well supported which is important on a work machine.

You should strongly consider trying out a couple of live CD's to see what you like and dislike. For instance, I dislike the KDE desktop but get along with Gnome (hence Ubuntu and not Kubuntu for me). If it annoys you from the beginning it will continue to do so.

One of the things that you may consider if you are a programmer, is to use OpenSOlaris instead (where Virtualbox runs well for your Windows instance) which provide dtrace which is very helpful in analysing running programs.

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