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As a developer, which version of Ubuntu should I opt for because I am confused between the LTS and the standard version. Do they differ a long way? Also Is Ubuntu the best Linux O.S out there in terms of Android Development? Thanks.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Tog, mpy, tapped-out, Simon Sheehan, Marcks Thomas Oct 21 '13 at 13:49

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Cant answer the bit about "Best for Android Development", but LTS tends to lag behind standard version, but is supported longer. If it does what you need, its a better option then LTS, but if the tools are developing rapidly you should look at the standard version - but be prepared to rebuild your dev environment sooner. –  davidgo Oct 18 '13 at 7:50

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We use the term "package" for software, because there are packagers/people who create a file with a file extension such as ".deb" for Linux Mint, Ubuntu and Debian, ".rpm" for SuSE, RedHat, Fedora, Mageia etc.

There are two trends in the GNU/Linux distribution system.

  1. Standard releases: Released every once and a while, i.e. Ubuntu creates and releases a new version every 6 months. You need to reinstall or update the packages from an older version to the newer. There are long term support versions (Ubuntu LTS), giving 7 years of support (mostly security updates, no new features). The longer the term, the less newer versions/features you get in a program. If the new version has a lot of features, it is considered untested and then only security patches are hand-picked ("cherry-picked") and included in the program package.

    But you are still safe and have constant security updates. They also have end-of-life -- the security updates support ends on a specific date, pre-calculated, usually 1-2 years.

    Example: Ubuntu Linux, Debian GNU/Linux stable

  2. Rolling releases: Updates are "rolling in" constantly, you install the operating system once and install updates as soon as the new version of each program is processed and "packaged". You use software versions called "bleeding edge" -- don't mind the term, it's usually safe to use, but you do have bugs you need to fix (all new features need testing and bug-fixing). Example: Arch Linux, Debian testing, Debian unstable

You don't have only Ubuntu linux distributions. There are parent distributions, like:

  • Debian: Debian has both stable and "rolling-release" flavours.

    • Debian stable version is mostly for servers, giving rock-solid heavily-tested stability with security updates.
    • Debian testing version has somewhat tested versions, but filled with new program versions and features, so consider it semi-rolling. They regenerate cd images (.iso) weekly, but you don't install from a cd every week; your system is being updated constantly during the week.
    • Debian unstable is bleeding-edge, mostly untested software, but updates come in as soon as they are detected and packaged.

    Debian-based are Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based is Linux Mint -- Linux Mint also has a version based on Debian testing (LMDE).

  • Slackware
  • RPM-based (SuSE/OpenSUSE, RedHat/Fedora, Mandriva or Mageia) although the have a similar way of packaging (.rpm packages), they don't always share the same features.
  • Gentoo
  • Pacman-based, like Arch Linux: Simplicity at its best. It's principle is K.I.S.S.. You'll get your hands dirty when setting up your operating system, a lot of configuring comes along. People, who love to explore their operating system and want to make it work for them, choose this linux distro. You will learn the linux file system and a lot of linux commands along the way.

See a list at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_distributions - Wikipedia articles are up-to-date about each Linux distribution. You'll also find plenty of documentation for each of them.

Finally, a recommendation. If you're new to the Linux world, try Linux Mint or Ubuntu. If you want to get new version as they come, you can try a semi-rolling release like LMDE or directly use Debian testing: http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/weekly-builds/

When it comes to desktop managers, you have Cinnamon desktop (Linux Mint download) and MATE desktop. You also have Gnome shell and Ubuntu Unity. I'd suggest cinnamon because it combines most new features from other desktop managers but keeps the desktop old-style (like Windows-XP, but with more features, like snapping windows to edges of the monitor).

Try them all, find one that suits your needs. You can burn them on a CD/DVD-RW or use a USB for testing and boot using the "live usb" or "live cd" (live = without installing the release).

For android-only development, you get virtual machines to do your testing. So all of these distributions are OK but I wouldn't recommend Ubuntu LTS or Debian stable for a software programmer (unless they're more happy with a stable desktop and solid security updates that is kept that way for a long time).

What makes you happy is what you will choose. And the choice is all yours. :)

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Thank you for replying.I am gonna start with Debian and eventually try out all of them! –  Abhishek Oct 18 '13 at 9:39

As for "best for android": What you will be needing first are a Virtualbox install of Android, and the classic tools for code production. All major distros satisfy these two requirements.

Then you will need Android SDK, Eclipse IDE, Java, JDK, Netbeans IDE. I know thru direct experience all of this exists on Ubuntu. This makes it likely (but not completely certain) that the same packages exist for all Debian-related distros like Debian itself, Linux Mint (for the Ubuntu-based version this is a certainty), and so on.

I am not sure about other major distros; to a neophyte, I would not recommend some of them (Arch and Slackware) because they are suited to more experienced users, nor would I recommend Fedora, which is based on systemd, which to a neophyte may create some extra difficulties for no visible advantage. The advantage of sticking to major distros is that they have large communities, reachable thru the usual forums, ready to lend a hand should need arise.

For this reason I think Ubuntu (and possibly Debian, if you can check that all afore-mentioned packages are available) is possibly your best choice.

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Thanks for your inputs.! –  Abhishek Oct 18 '13 at 9:39

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