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Linuxhelp _ General Discussion _ Picking a distro

Posted by: kdawg527 May 29 2009, 03:15 PM

I'm sure this forum gets inundated with help me choose a distro posts all the time, so I'll hope you're patient enough with a newb to answer.

I'll provide as much information as I can, in order to fish for intelligent/tailored responses.

1) Surf the net(prefer firefox browser)
2) Check email(prefer thunderbird client)
3) Burn video files(avi, wmv, matroska/mkv) to dvd that will play in standard players
4) Office productivity(ex. open office)
5) Gaming(ex. World of Warcraft)
6) Eye Candy(Yeah, it's just eye candy, but dang it, I want it!)
7) C++ development
8) .NET development(is this even possible on linux?)

On those last two points, if anyone can provide a recomendation on a development environment that would be great too
I've tried eclipse and didn't care for it.
I've used vim and gcc/g++ and think it's a start but I'd really like a GUI environment
I'm very comfortable with M$ Visual Studio, intellisense, code context coloring/indenting, easy text selection/copy/paste with shift and directional arrows, easy GUI design, etc. I like these features

It's a laptop machine, so replacing components is out of the question.
Processor = MOBILE INTEL® PENTIUM® 4 CPU 2.80GHz
Video card = ATI MOBILITY RADEON 7000 IGP(I know ATI and Linux don't mix well, should I give up?)

Technical Experience:
On a windows machine I am quite savvy. I've grown up with computers from a 486 running Windows 3.1 when I was 10 years old, to my current Windows 7 RC2 box. I can usually accomplish
anything I set my mind too without too much trouble. I've written code in QBasic, C++, VB, and C#, and a little Java. I'm comfortable with a command line, though prefer GUI's when they're

On a linux box I'm limited in my capabilities. I've done some work via telnet in a bash shell writing c++ code in VIM(thank goodness the vim.rc was already set up for me though, I'd have been
lost otherwise) and building via makefiles using g++ compiler/linker. I'm comfortable with the basic command line, piping, redirecting, etc. I've done some shell scripting and I've used valgrind to
help look for memory leaks. I've used up all my linux/related buzzwords now, hopefully it'll give you a picture of my level of experience(quite low).

Extra Notes:
I really want something that just works out of the box. I don't want to spend days configuring the OS/Desktop Environment just so I can use the machine(Please don't recommend gentoo). I
don't want to have to do a magic dance every time I want to install a new piece of software, I just want to download the install package, double click it, answer some questions, and maybe
reboot. If the Desktop Environment is similar to Windows so the learning curve is low, that'd be great.

Sorry if that was long winded, or if the post is all too familiar sounding, I really would appreciate any suggestions though. Help me become better acquainted with Linux!

Posted by: michaelk May 29 2009, 05:47 PM

Go to and check out the list. Try them out using a live CD and then pick your favorite.
Ubuntu is good for beginners and is at the top of the list. It has a good online repository so installing software is very easy.

For .net checkout mono
Adjunta or Kdevelop are other IDEs that might work for you.
Do not do gaming but WOW is compatible.

Posted by: Riley103 Apr 19 2012, 10:25 PM

Thank you so much for the post.

Posted by: nishop Jun 6 2012, 05:03 AM

I use Ubuntu and it does have KDE applications available.

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