Which Linux distro are you using?

Hello guys. I would like to get some insight into this. I love Linux and I’ve only used a few so far. I would like to know which ones you like and which ones you don’t. Also, which ones you guys develop on and which ones you guys just use to mess around with.

So far, I’ve used Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, CentOS, Kali (Only back in my Ethical Hacking class). And currently messing around with CrunchBang or something like that. It’s part of Debian I guess.

The one I typically use for development is Ubuntu and CentOS. More so with Ubuntu as CentOS has very strict policies which are annoying to fix if I really wanted the full package. Since I am a PHP developer, some things are restricted on CentOS compared to on Ubuntu.

An example is an upload system.

For Ubuntu, you can freely upload to a folder that you have permissions on or a folder that has 0777. Typically, I like to set my development folder with this permission since I don’t want to keep on changing the file permissions on files when they get created on my development folder.

Any who, so back to the upload system. So in Ubuntu, the upload system works like a charm with 0777 set on the development folder including sub-folders and files. However, it’s a little different with CentOS. Even though a folder has 0777 set on it, CentOS has a weird policy which prevents you from uploading to that folder. This bothers me a lot so I tend to just develop on Ubuntu, but I will not ignore the fact that some live servers are also hosted on CentOS.

I am trying to widen my knowledge on more Linux distros, so which one is your favorite one(s)? And tell me why that is.


For me, it depends a lot on context. I’ve used most of the distributions already mentioned, including crunch.

For personal use for VPS, VM and vagrant boxes, I use Arch with ansible books for building a usable system (although that has become much easier recently such that the playbook is mostly a bunch of pacman commands…).

For desktop development, ubuntu or some derivative thereof is usually the best supported platform (I’m a heavy user of Jetbrain’s IDEs and tools), although last time I tried Debian with a gnome desktop works for that as well.

I’ve only used CentOS in corporate environments - not my favourite and it’s usually a nostalgia trip - the current CentOS is like using any other contemporary distro from 5+ years ago… (Fedora is the more popular option for personal use in the RedHat range of OSes). However, things don’t change in CentOS quickly by design. They are also more security hardened (or can be!) - as you note, apparmor and its big brother se-linux can have some unexpected (to you) side-effects, but this is a good thing if you learn how to work with it. It is an OS built for public facing servers - something that is a lot more risky with an OS without these features.

My favourite non-Linux distro is FreeBSD. :slight_smile: Unfortunately I’m not asked to play with it much these days, but it still has a strong use case where CentOS or RHEL would otherwise be used.


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Never needed an upload system like the one you describe. My needs were covered in WinNT-2k-XP until the beginning of developing anything not ment for my personal use only. Linux was not really interesting as a cli only system, I waited for a good light weight desktop envirement in a system that was reliable using virtual machins.

I’ve tried a few during the years, landed on Ubuntu when they got Gnome working but left when the Gnome team decided to abandon Gnome2 style. Tried Mint that coworked with Mate, the Gnome2 fork, and has since kept that as my main system.

Still mainly using Mint with Mate mostly because because I’m used to its configurable panels and it’s fairly light wheight and stays out of my way when I want and that Mint uses Synaptic and the Ubunto repos. For file handling the Caja is good enough, I’m used to conveniently open directories in the terminal from it (saves me from remember the full path).

Now that systemd is on the go to be integrated in nearly all linux dists I’m a little disoriented. If that didn’t matter to me I would be happy to go with Ubuntu Mate.

I like to vote with my feets but have yet to decide where to go, the options without systemd aren’t that many.
I wont derail this topic with this.


I’ve heard of FreeBSD, but never really tried it. I’ll most likely try it in the future when I have time. At the moment, I’m pretty much on my holidays now so I would like to spend some time with my family.

I remember using Fedora back in my Intro to Linux and Linux administrations. I think that was the first Linux distro that I tried. After that, it was Ubuntu and we used that in my Ethical Hacking class. I believe we used Ubuntu most of the time. The professor didn’t teach us how to setup our own Ubuntu. But in Intro to Linux, for our last project of the course, we were told to setup our own Linux VM. We could choose any Linux distro, but we had to also do research on it. I believe I only setup Ubuntu because at that time, I was only introduced to 2 Linux distros. Now I’m very used to installing any random Linux distro.

In all honesty though, I think CentOS for me personally was the most hardest and annoying distro to configure. Upon installation, you don’t get to try it out like you would with Ubuntu or any Debian distros. It basically forces you to install it. This part only happened for me, but I’m not sure if anyone ran into this. When you setup your admin account and you create a new user group under that admin using the same admin name, it gives you this error complaining about something. Then, it basically screws up your installation. So I always only create the admin without the new user group.

So that and the file permission part I would say is the most annoying part. Well, not just that. If you wanted to install PHP 7 on CentOS, you had to have the most recent Epel release and you also had to do way more work than if you were to install PHP 7 on Ubuntu. I also forgot to mention that most repos on Ubuntu aren’t supported on CentOS. An example can be Kazam Recorder. This is basically a screen recorder for Linux, but CentOS doesn’t support it. I honestly don’t know why.

Feel free to derail this topic. We are still talking about Linux so it won’t matter to me if you go off about something that is Linux related. I would gladly like to hear it too. Gives me something to look up and research.

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Previously I tried numerous flavours and resorted back to Windows 7.

Well over a year ago I tried Linux Mint and was impressed especially since I buying a 128 GB SSD! I soon became hooked :slight_smile:

Being a Linux novice I struggled with installing software and a search nearly always put Ubuntu at the top of the list.

I tried Ubuntu 14.0? whatever and was impressed. Now using Ubuntu 16.10 and delighted with the speed even though struggling with a slow internet connection.

i think all operating systems are just a glorified menu system which Ubuntu manages quite well. The only Windows application I miss is PhotoShop. I spent many hours learning PhotoSHop and it is OH so different from Gimp :frowning:

The transition from PHP 5.? to PHP 7 was not smooth and caused numerous problems :frowning:

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For that matter, you can actually install something called wine which will only open certain .exe files. I’ve tried using wine on Fireworks CS3 and then Fireworks CS6 and they both work.

On Windows it was easy to upgrade from PHP 5.? to PHP 7. You only needed to download the binaries for PHP 7 and then change php5 to php7 in your Apache config file. Well, in the beginning of PHP 7 it wasn’t since some files were missing. And for win32, you had to do a little more work.

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Wine is a bit of a slippery slope for the newcomer to Linux, especially since the usual use case is to play windows games on Linux. :slight_smile: Most modern games track the current generation of technologies with graphics in particular… so generally older games have better trodden paths to get working in an emulator than recent ones. It is an order of magnitude more difficult to get wine + windows apps up and running than it is installing a more or less standard app on *nix though. But it is a good learning experience regardless if you enjoy such opportunities.

Re: php, I used to have a large code base and application originally using php 4 and had no problem upgrading over time though to 5.2, but could never be upgraded to 5.3 because of certain misfeatures of that release. Quite unexpected given it wasn’t a major version number change, but there you go.

I never got around to upgrading to anything later - ran out of patience and converted the app to RoR and never looked back (took about 18 months but well worth it in the end).

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I’ve had a dedicated Ubuntu server running for years, currently it has the 14.04 LTS on it, though it’s perhaps about due an update/rebuild. I just use it as a straight web server for when I need to process a response at the back-end. To make life easier for myself, I have the KDE desktop sitting on it, and just drop into the CLI when I absolutely have to. I also have a VM running on my Win10 laptop with another instance of 14.04 LTS on it, but no KDE this time.

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I am quite busy at the moment and look forward to trying Wine and PhotoShop. First I need tp “clear my bench” :slight_smile:

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I know that we are going a little off-topic here, but how easy would you say for one to convert from PHP to RoR if one knows the basics of OOP? I actually want to widen my knowledge of different languages, that’s why I tried to use Python, but that wasn’t so good for me as I am too used to PHP where I would just abandon a language if the style of the language wasn’t something I’m familiar with. I did the same with C# which I was learning in school. But trying to understand a new language is a bit difficult when I just keep referring back to PHP on certain occasions.

Alright, back on topic. Wine is a very nice tool when you want to bring your Windows experience to Linux. The only problem I find with wine is that not every Windows application works on it. The game I play can’t be played on Linux and that’s kind of a bummer for me. I’m not entirely sure why, but wine failed to install that game so I would often switch from OS to OS because of that reason. That’s why I run multi-boot on my HDs.


I honestly wish hosting providers would allow 16.04 as an option because there are a large amount of features that 16.04 has that 14.04 doesn’t. As I mentioned in this post. I use multi-booting so I can just change between OS. I have my disagreements on using VMs. But I am not entitled to tell anyone that using VMs are wrong. I just would rather use multi-boot. I mean yes, VMs are nice to use, but for me personally, I dislike the lag. When I use multi-boot, if I lag, that’s because the partition is given so little physical space to work with. That or my computer I am working with is crap.

But I remember my first time using KDE, I wasn’t too fond of it. I like Gnome more because that’s the one I’ve been using since the start of introducing me to Linux.


Just remember that not all Windows program can be used on wine.

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My current Linux Distro for desktop is Linux Mint, 17.3 I believe. For my standalone Linux Server I’m running CentOS.
I was introduced to Linux in the late 1990’s where we worked with Unix mostly HP’s and IBM’s. I started with RPM based Linux through the years but now I’m more likely to use a Debian based distro like Mint.

I run a variety of vagrant boxes most Ubuntu based; easily to setup and keep updated. I’m always sure to keep a CentOS server around for final testing as most customers webhost use this distro.

To recap: Linux Mint on a desktop, Ubuntu for virtual machines (via vagrant) and CentOS for the dedicated local servers as most clients hosting providers have this OS installed. I do run Ubuntu 14 on my Digital Ocean account but this is not used for other client development work.


Can Ubuntu be dual (or even triple) booted with Win 7 or Win 8?

Boy, I cannot speak to current OS’s since I no longer dual/triple boot.
I’ve had multiple OS’s that I could select where I had Windows XP as the Windows OS.

I dual booted Win7 and Suse Linux but I’ve not tried dual/triple booting OS’s since upgrading my Windows OS past W7 (never used W8). Now I run W10 on my main Windows machine with virtual machines running most Linux OS’s and I have another desktop for Linux Mint.

Be interesting to see who has successfully created a dual boot under W10 but I’m no longer dual booting.

Note: If you will be experimenting with dual boot using a windows OS, ensure that you have that OS installed first prior to installing any Linux OS’s. I started out using multiple disk drives, one for each OS strictly because my drives were not big enough for multiple OS’s. Later I utilized one really big drive for two OS’s under W7.


I have the boot loader set to Windows. The reason why I do that is because when one of the boot loaders from the other break, it’s going to be annoying to fix. So what you want is to have Windows boot loader set to default while you can list everything after that. What I like to do is use EasyBCD. It allows me to change the menu list orders and add onto it.

I’m not home right now, but this is just my laptop HD. On my desktop HD, I have Ubuntu 16.04, Windows10, and Windows 7 running multi-boot on it. I believe you could possibly get another OS in, but I’m not entirely sure because it would probably most likely use swap partitions and it’ll have to require more partitions. Max partitions one can have on an HD is 6. So just imagine every time you install a new OS, there’s always that swap partition or recovery partition that gets split from the installation. This will make the max list even more smaller since those partitions are needed for the swap or recovery. But with Linux, you can choose to have a swap partition or not during the installation when you choose custom installation.

For Windows I’ll be moving the PC concerned over to Windows 8, it runs Windows 7 atm but I beleieve that MS will soon (if they’ve not yet done so) end absolutly all support for win 7.

How much hard drive space should be allowed for for ubuntu?

Depends on what you are doing with it. If you are planning on using Linux more as opposed to Windows, I’d say give half of the space to your Linux partition. If you are doing anything that uses heavy resources, then yeah, you should give half of the current main space to it.

I usually put 50GB on each partition since I am not really doing anything on it besides development so I wouldn’t want to waste so much space on it. Other than that, really depends on what you are using it for and is it heavy on resource usage.

Also, I am pretty sure Miscrosoft ended full support on Windows 7. I remember my Windows 7 lag really heavily on the last support patch.

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