What is the best linux distro for me?

I am a web developer, but also i want to do some home stuff, like watching vids, editing vids, that stuff. I have a YouTube account, so that's why. Also a good photo editor should be available (or already included) for that distro.

I should also be able to SSH into my iTouch. (Now, you can tell me not to jailbreak, or you just answer my question) This is available in bash in OSX, but also in Linux bash?

Last but not least, i should have a lot of speed, and easy to use interface. I maybe want to code bash. (I know like all distros have terminal. (or not?)).

Thank you. I know there are actually a lot of Q's on this; but this is different, i guess.


Apart from Ubuntu, which is one of the obvious choices, I would suggest glancing at Xubuntu which is its small brother, or OpenSUSE as one of the alternatives. It also has a huge community behind it, matched only by Ubuntu's.

If you are a little more technicaly inclined, then however, I'd go with Arch - it is a nifty little distro, can be made into anything with a little work. Speedy too.

  • Thanks. I'll think about it. Arch wasn't in my list yet: are going to check it out. Dec 14 '09 at 17:30
  • and btw, why is no one saying Fedora is a good choice? Isn't it than? Dec 14 '09 at 17:31
  • Oh, I wouldn't go as far as to say it isn't a good choice. Just never used it, so it didn't cross my min when writing the answer.
    – Rook
    Dec 14 '09 at 17:46
  • min -> mind in previous comment
    – Rook
    Dec 14 '09 at 17:47
  • Opensuse has a good mix of everything. I think you'd like it.
    – alpha1
    Dec 14 '09 at 18:35

Ubuntu should be on your short list. It's one of the easiest Linux distros to set up and has a huge community behind it. A Gimp package is available for photo editing and comes with SSH and BASH as well (you'll find these on almost all modern Linux dists).

  • Feel free to call me elitist, but that huge Ubuntu community mainly consists of noobs that jumped off Windows, so their level of knowledge is questionable. Also editing images and editing videos is different, I don't see how GIMP can help editing videos.
    – geek
    Dec 14 '09 at 15:56
  • 3
    You're an elitist: remember we all were new once. Ubuntu has a lot of advanced users that don't have a lot of time (I'm one of them.)
    – Broam
    Dec 14 '09 at 16:01
  • 1
    He specifically asked for a Photo editor in his question. I don't do any video editing in Linux so I can't really comment on that. Part of the side effect of having an easy to use dist is that a large part of the user base is inexperienced. I know several expert Linux developers who use Ubuntu as their primary desktop OS and contribute to the Ubuntu community.
    – Russ
    Dec 14 '09 at 16:01
  • Ubuntu has an amazing community. I've had countless little things I've wanted to customize, and I have been amazed time and time again when I've found the exact answers already discussed on ubuntuforums. Dec 14 '09 at 20:14

Pretty much any Linux distribution you can think of can fulfill all of the software requirements you specify. It will just be a case of installing them via the package manager that comes with the distro.

  • Photo editors: look at GIMP, F-Spot
  • Video editors: try PiTiVi

If you're new to Linux, you'll probably want to go with one of the big four distros: Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, or Mandriva. Ubuntu is probably the most popular, or has the most hype at least.

As you're interested in media, you may also like to look at Linux Mint, which basically respins Ubuntu to make it work a bit nicer with multimedia out of the box.

You can do ssh and BASH scripting on any version of Linux. You'll be able to ssh into your iPod Touch with no problem.

When it comes to speed and ease of use, it's more important to decide upon your desktop environment than your distribution. The big two are Gnome and KDE. They're both very capable and featureful, but I personally find both of them too bloated. Xfce is a good compromise between speed and ease of use. There are faster environments out there, e.g. fluxbox, but you tend to compromise somewhat on ease of use for speed. enlightenment (e17) looks sweet and runs fast, but isn't always easy to set up from your package manager.

Overall I'd say give Linux Mint or Xubuntu a go. They're easy to use and to install new software, and you'll be able to easily install a different desktop environment from the Ubuntu repositories if you're not happy with the one that comes as stock.

  • Thank you for giving Linux Mint! I think ill go for that. Does it use all of the uBuntu functions of Ubuntu 9.10? Dec 14 '09 at 18:13
  • Linux Mint 8, aka Helena, is based on the Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) and its repositories. As far as I understand it you should be able to do anything Ubuntu can do, in Mint. With the possible exception of Ubuntu One (the cloud storage offered to Ubuntu users).
    – ngm
    Dec 14 '09 at 19:10
  • o that's ok. Thank you! I'm downloading Mint right now. Dec 15 '09 at 15:18

If you intent to use the system you want a modern, easy to use distro. The most prominent ones are Ubuntu (and its derivatives such as Mint), Fedora (using it myself both for work and home activities) and OpenSuse (never really tried this one). Ive tried also PCLinuxOS (based on mandriva) and it really is easy, but I fear you might have harder time finding packages for it. Arch is very nice but it does require some knowledge to set up. There is manual configuration, but it is well-documented, simplified and tend to 'just work'. Once you do it, it is very satisfying and low-maintenance. They have very active community, and you are expected to contribute more then in other distros (whining of the kind 'why wont you fix that package already' is often met with 'if its so important to you, contribute to the project by fixing it yourself' - unthinkable in Ubuntu).

Still, if you want least trouble I would recommend Ubuntu or Fedora.

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