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Me personally, I used to have ubuntu before, then I switched to Elementary os(Ubuntu based) as my home os. I am pretty satisfied with it as for normal use on home pc. On my laptop I am using Kali os(Debian) mainly because I am doing Msc in Computer and Cyber security, and Kali comes with preinstalled tools, which is aimed at pentesters. I've heard that black arch linux is about the same but haven't tried it out yet.

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  • I started with slackware about 20 years ago, then Red Hat, then Mandriva, until it died, but today, my favorite distro is Kubuntu because it works flawlessly. Kubuntu 14.04 LTS is supported untill 2019, and I'm expecting 5 peaceful years as a linux user with KDE, no ads, no bugs, … Read More

  • > What programming language are you using @Mike? About 99% in C++. The rest is C (low-level) and Python (high-level). And of course, there are always times that call for some work in Matlab. Read More

  • I have nothing against ElementaryOS, but it is just that they made a number of conscious choices that favor a cleaner, purified interface that is tailored more towards the average "check emails and surf the web" type of user. By making those choices they sacrifice other things that make it … Read More

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ElementaryOS because it is nice looking and quick, it takes a bit of time to get all your apps working though.

I wanted to try arch as it isn't quite as hard core as gentoo but have never really gotten round to it.

I used to love trying out new flavours but the need to be productive outweighs all that now. I've stuck with elementary and haven't needed to do a reformat in months. I do have a virtualbox for windows as sometimes I need to test my web apps in internet explorer.

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Do you know if there is a work around for java(and not only) browser extension for chromium/chrome? Since last(or was when I had the problem) update I heard that google stopped support for those plugins(can't remember the name(NPAPI?)) and I had hard times trying to check my online banking, windows was needed ...

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Oh I don't use chromium, I use chrome, I would have thought you just installed the java web browser as per usual.

But I have java disabled in my web browser run as per usual, I stay away from java applets anyway they're a dead duck in my opion.

For regular java development, I just installed netbeans from the software centre and that's all there is to it.

Does your online banking require a java applet, if so that's worrying.

Edited by iamthwee

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I've been using Kubuntu for many years (the KDE spin of Ubuntu). I like it a lot because it's customizable to the teeth, is fast, has a pristine look, is natively in Qt (which is currently preferred by most applications), and is very well tailored for developers (I find it to be the ultimate "by developers, for developers" OS, without being just a developer's Linux that are often just OSes made for tweaking on Linux itself, like Arch or Gentoo). Some people find KDE to be too much like Windows, and by that, they refer to the start menu, the tray icons, and the harmonious look (Qt). The way I see it, these are some of the very few things that Windows did right (and trying to undo with Win8), and in any case, with the customizability of KDE, you can change or remove any of these things if you really want to (e.g., my own desktop has an overall look of a hybrid between Win7 and OSX).

I also use ElementaryOS on an auxiliary (older) laptop that I use only for light stuff when I'm too lazy to go from my living room couch to my office desk. I like ElementaryOS overall for that kind of stuff. I would definitely not recommend it for a work computer though, it's probably better for what people use Mac's for, i.e., looking cool as they check their emails or twitter feeds, nothing more.

I have used Ubuntu quite a bit, as it's the go-to distribution for most people. I never liked it too much, probably because GNOME is a hodgepodge clumky out-dated mess (javascripts... GTK+... come on.. you have to be kidding me!).

And let's face it, when you compare Linux distributions, what you are really comparing is the desktop environments, mainly KDE vs. GNOME vs. some of their derivatives like Cinnamon (Linux Mint).

Oh I don't use chromium, I use chrome

They are essentially the same thing. Chromium is technically the up-stream (less stable) version of Chrome. When google is happy with the stability of a particular version of Chromium, they pull it in as the next version of Chrome. So, it doesn't really matter which one you use, except that some versions of Linux (like Fedora) doesn't like Chrome because it's not open-source (even though it's identical to the open-source Chromium) making it easier to install Chromium from the main package repositories.

Does your online banking require a java applet, if so that's worrying.

Indeed, that would be very worrying! If your bank uses Java applets, you should not use their online banking system at all, especially not under Windows.

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I like Ubuntu and Red Hat. The reasons are simple: They're commercially supported and developed, have good free support and the community is big.

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I use Debian for embedded systems work (ARM chip sets), but Scientific Linux (an RHEL clone similar to CentOS) for both my laptop and workstation. SL has been exceptionally reliable and I only reboot when I have installed a new kernel. To get the laptop WiFi working properly, I had to go to wireless.kernel.org but they had all the appropriate links for the driver and firmware, and good installation instructions.

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@Rubber, does debian have advantage over other distros in connection with embedded systems? :o

@Mike, I actually changed the desktop environment to xfce of my Kali os as I didnt really like the default look. Also, elementary os has really seem to have grown quite a bit. Have you watch the statistics from Linux sucks 2014

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I originally tipped elementaryos as toppling some of the big named distros back a couple of months ago, I do really like the operating system and it is so much lighter than ubuntu which was one of my reasons for moving away from it.

It handles quite nicely on my ultrabook as well. Originally, I went the whole xfce route on my ultrabook but I found installing a few key packages on xfce just a bit too tedious and error prone.

In my opinion, I do think elementaryos can function as a work station but this largely depends on what work you do. Mike probably needs KDE if he is writing QT apps, I don't know what else he uses it for.

My main source of work is web dev, so I have mysql php and apache which handles fine in elementaryos once you have it all installed.

My only issue with elementaryos is that it doesn't come with the big named installs like openoffice etc so it isn't quite as user friendly as ubuntu. But installing stuff in any linux distro requires some technical knowledge anyway.

In regards to chromium being close to chrome, that may be true, but testing functionality on various web browsers, I need to have the chrome standard as I did notice a few quirks with chromium.

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Mike probably needs KDE if he is writing QT apps

Just a point on that: Qt doesn't rely on anything (it's more that KDE relies on Qt). It can even just use the video buffer directly (which makes it fantastically portable). But it's nice to use something more consistent (KDE/Qt) as opposed to everything that Gnome is. Also it means that they're might be more compatibility between applications. I would agree and wouldn't want to develop in GTK+/whatever else.

I would like to make a case for the gnome desktop though: I don't need to worry about what's underneath. It prodives a decent desktop, and lots of people use it and support it. From a user's prospective, it's pretty well hidden.

I've used the original ElementaryOS along with Luna. It's certianly came a long way. I especially like their organization, and the principles of their desktop. I would recommend it more if someone provided commercial support for the project.

In regards to chromium being close to chrome, that may be true, but testing functionality on various web browsers, I need to have the chrome standard as I did notice a few quirks with chromium.

I beleive there is also some things licenced only for Chrome, like the built-in flash and build-in PDF viewer.

Edited by Hiroshe

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Mike probably needs KDE if he is writing QT apps, I don't know what else he uses it for.

I don't need KDE for writing Qt apps.

For one, as Hiroshe said, KDE sits on top of Qt, not the other way around, and Qt is fully portable to pretty much anywhere you can think of (incl. mobile platforms). I would say that even in other flavours of Linux, most of the apps you see are in Qt as well, because it dominates the cross-platform GUI development landscape, across the board. It's just that with something like GNOME, you have GNOME sitting on top of GTK+, and then, if you make a Qt app, it either has to sit on top of GTK+ or it has to by-pass it (it probably by-passes it, but I'm not sure), but the point is, it doesn't blend as nicely (as in, it doesn't look as nice, and some integrated features or styles might not work across two GUI libraries).

Second, I don't really write that many Qt applications, because my work rarely goes up to as high-level as GUI programming. I mostly do algorithms, numerical analysis, dynamics simulation, robot control, and so on, where making a GUI is just a luxury or an afterthought. Most of my coding could be done on a bare platform that has almost nothing on it, and if fact, sometimes I do code on such platforms. So, when I say I like KDE for development, it is purely from a user's perspective, i.e., it is nice and smooth to use, productive and well-integrated, but I don't "need" it for any coding that I do, but I only know one thing, KDE makes my life as a developer easier all the time.

So, I said that I like KDE in part because it is natively in Qt. And that is really just coming from a user's perspective, not as a developer. Being natively done in Qt, and considering that most Linux applications are also in Qt, gives KDE a very nice and unified look and feel, and there are also a number of advantages to that in terms of feature cross-over between all the apps (e.g., drag-and-drops across apps, system-wide "preferences" settings, consistent styles, etc..). And on the same note, I really like the KDE platform applications, like Kate, KDevelop, Dolphin, Okular, Kile, Amarok, Kdenlive, and many more... and even though you can use them in other distros (even under Windows or Mac), I feel I get some benefits from running "natively" in KDE.

I'm sure that a person doing web development has an interaction with his computer that is much more visual and with multiple applications. I guess that an OS like ElementaryOS or Mac OSX is nice for that, but that is a world I am in no way familiar with. I deal with code, terminals, documentation, etc.. and I feel my needs are very well served by KDE and Kubuntu.

I beleive there is also some things licenced only for Chrome, like the built-in flash and build-in PDF viewer.

Yeah, I remember hearing something about that. But as far as the flash and PDF viewer go, I have Chromium and have both of these running just fine, and installed out-of-the-box, and google-docs also works fine. To be honest, I have not noticed any difference between Chrome and Chromium, they even have the same version number as of now (down to the build number).

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What programming language are you using @Mike? I've had some experience with robots, the so called line followers, which was pretty basic project to do but for that I was using C, just wondering what is used in dynamics simulations and robot control

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I started with slackware about 20 years ago, then Red Hat, then Mandriva, until it died, but today, my favorite distro is Kubuntu because it works flawlessly. Kubuntu 14.04 LTS is supported untill 2019, and I'm expecting 5 peaceful years as a linux user with KDE, no ads, no bugs, no trouble :)

Edited by Gribouillis

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What programming language are you using @Mike?

About 99% in C++. The rest is C (low-level) and Python (high-level). And of course, there are always times that call for some work in Matlab.

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Hi Mike,

I always thought you need KDE to do Qt, but I never really explored writing GUI apps apart from dotnet and java, it was just my misinterpretation.

I would definitely not recommend it for a work computer though, it's probably better for what people use Mac's for, i.e., looking cool as they check their emails or twitter feeds, nothing more.

I'm just wondering then, why as a workstation you would definitely not use elementary and instead opt for a KDE distro, especially if you're not particularly using any specific tools for GUI design just low level stuff?

That slightly confused me.

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I'm just wondering then, why as a workstation you would definitely not use elementary and instead opt for a KDE distro, especially if you're not particularly using any specific tools for GUI design just low level stuff?

I think it depends on the work you're doing. I wouldn't want to use it as a companies "default" workstation though, just because it wont have the same commercial support and IT might not have as much experience with it (I've had some may get scared off by distro's their not familiar with).

For example, if there was a critical bug in some commercially supported distro (like *ubuntu), you would expect that the vendor (like canonical) would be on top of the problem (or if you paid for their support, at least held liable).

I always thought you need KDE to do Qt, but I never really explored writing GUI apps apart from dotnet and java, it was just my misinterpretation.

Well to be fair at one point Qt borrowed code from KDE for the multimedia framework if I'm not mistaken (perhaps called "phonon"). I beleive they changed that in the update from 4.8 to 5.0.

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Well to be fair at one point Qt borrowed code from KDE for the multimedia framework if I'm not mistaken (perhaps called "phonon").

Yes. Phonon is KDE's sound manager and, more broadly, it's multimedia streaming layer... i.e., it's the middleware between the sound / graphics drivers and the programs that play sounds or videos (e.g., Amarok for playing music). Applications don't have to use it, of course, but the "native KDE" applications usually do. When it became mature (which it wasn't when I was first using KDE, like 5 years ago), Qt developers decided to incorporate it into Qt, which did not have a good facility for multimedia streaming into Qt applications yet. But even though phonon was created by the people doing KDE and created it for KDE, it is not linked or tied directly to KDE and can be used anywhere else, and therefore, using Qt and Phonon does not require KDE.

why as a workstation you would definitely not use elementary and instead opt for a KDE distro, especially if you're not particularly using any specific tools for GUI design just low level stuff?

Well, for one, out of the box, that distro does not have any decent apps for any kind of work, and has a reduced set of apps available in their repositories (not to mention severely lagging in time compared to the more upstream distros). The default terminal application on ElementaryOS sucks really bad, so, that has to go and be replaced by something decent. So, at this point, you can start installing a whole suite of applications that you will need, half of which you'll have to find PPA's or something to get them, including even the basic stuff like an office suite. And after all that, you will have a OSX-style desktop with no task bar clearly listing the opened applications, with no "start menu" (at least, not one meant to be used), with no minimize buttons, with no HUD / KRunner quicklaunch gizmo, and you're still stuck with the clumsily integrated GNOME under all of it. That's why I wouldn't recommend it. You can probably fix all of this and turn ElementaryOS into a decent workhorse OS, but at this point, you're basically creating a new distro, from a poor choice for a starting point. At least, that's my opinion.

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It is a shame that their software centre is lagging and this is my biggest gripe, don't know what you mean my terminal window sucks, but then I don't use it much except moving around directories and the occasional c++ code compile and execute - clearly you must use it as an integral part of your work.

No task manager yes - you have to install one, if you install elementary tweaks you can get a search bar similar to macosx in the top right hand corner, and you can also enable minimise options. There was a big debate on why elementary decided to remove that feature... I initially got round it using 'hot corners' to minimise the the current window then cycle through with ALT+ TAB.

You say it has a clumsy gnome design, yet others have praised elementary for it's cleaner user interface and consistent theming, I for one, think it is an advantage although if you're used to kde type apps I can see the disconnect, I don't use any KDE apps as far as I know.

Apps I use is sublime for all my web dev, it's perfect, sublime plus terminal for any c++, netbeans for java, blender for 3D stuff, VLC player or elementary's movie player and libre office for word stuff/spreadsheets.

I guess elementary could ship these features out of the box but then the iso would be much larger and heavier. I don't know, if that's a pro or a con.

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I have nothing against ElementaryOS, but it is just that they made a number of conscious choices that favor a cleaner, purified interface that is tailored more towards the average "check emails and surf the web" type of user. By making those choices they sacrifice other things that make it less of a practical working environment. So, it's not that it's bad, it's just that it is consciously aimed at mass-market users, the same kind of crowd that Apple aims to please. Just like I like KDE for work, I would certainly not say that it is exciting to use or that people looking for a OSX-style experience would like it, different strokes for different folks.

I guess elementary could ship these features out of the box but then the iso would be much larger and heavier.

Exactly. Providing more "work" apps would be a change of aim that would result in a significantly larger OS, which defeats the point of it. It's just like a construction worker needs a pick-up truck to carry all his tools and construction materials as well as getting around a construction site. But a pick-up truck is not appropriate for most urban people who will prefer a smaller economic car that is easy to park in parallel and gets them from A to B. But my point is, it's silly to take a small compact car and try to turn it into a pick-up truck or try to use it as such. ElementaryOS is not a pick-up truck, it's not meant for heavy labor (unless tweaked significantly), that's all I'm saying.

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Nobody has yet invented the "facade" linux OS which would lazily install apps the first time they are opened. Note that kubuntu is close to this when one invokes a missing command in a terminal, for example (sorry for the french):

04:17 482432] appl
La commande « appl » est introuvable, vouliez-vous dire :
 La commande « acpl » du paquet « scotch » (universe)
 La commande « ippl » du paquet « ippl » (universe)
 La commande « mppl » du paquet « makepp » (universe)
 La commande « apol » du paquet « setools-gui » (universe)
appl : commande introuvable

So if I could say for example makepp.mppl and see kubuntu install the package and invoke the command, it would be very close to what I mean. A similar mechanism could exist for graphical command pickers.

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Nobody has yet invented the "facade" linux OS which would lazily install apps the first time they are opened.

I beleive Ubuntu's Unity is making step's towards this, though I do think that Users should be given a way to distinguish between installed programs non-installed programs (as well as a way to quickly compair uninstalled programs to make an informed choice). This only really works when you're dealing with some efficient way of launching/finding programs such as a fuzzy seach.

Note that kubuntu is close to this when one invokes a missing command in a terminal

If you wanted one to work in a Terminal, I don't think it would be too hard (using trap 'error_handler' ERR). Though I would probably ask the user before going sudo and installing.

Edited by Hiroshe

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Mike I totally understand.

One of by biggest issues with linux is no support for adobe.

At the moment I get around it by having an xp virtual machine with a virtual shared folder, but it is such a disjointed workflow.

I used to use the gimp but photoshop hands down beats it, same with illustrator compared to inkscape. If adobe provided the same tools for linux I'd be much happier or if there was some paid alternative that almost matches the same power as photoshop or illustrator.

For the mac there are a few other paid options for photoshop and illustrator- still the creative cloud license is a total rip off.

With games as well, now being available for linux - steam, I becoming less and less likely to open up a windows os. Except for my windows 3.1, which I love using.

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I have tried a few distros on my old formerly Windows Vista HP laptop. I've stuck with that because being a Windows user, it was easy to get used to.

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Hello,

If your into pentesting have you tried backtrack?

I used a bootable USB with backtrack on it.

I usually end up defaulting to ubuntu on a home PC.

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For me it has to be Crunchbang or Arch.

That said, I'm currently using Kubuntu 14.04 on my main laptop. But I rarely log into a KDE/Plasma desktop session anymore. I spend most of my time using a dwm session instead! (dynamic window manager - a simple tiling window manager)

I love dwm and install it alongside whatever Desktop/wm is installed by default on all of my machines. I even run it on my Windows PC at work (via Cygwin/X).

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the first one would be kali linux because it has some tools that i would love to use the but i prefer ubuntu because it does not require long process to install it

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Thank God we have a huge variety of Linux distributions and each one covers specific requirements of each user.
I started using SUSE and then migrated to Ubuntu, the fundamental reason is that the Ubuntu community is bigger in my country

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