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Arch or Debian, which would be better for programming?

bnainar profile image Mohamed Nainar ・1 min read

I mainly do web development and python. Which would be better for my scenario?

Discussion (10)

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Heiker • Edited

Those two have completely different philosophy when it comes to handling the software in your system.

With Arch you get newer packages (All. The. Time), this is a double edge sword. You get the new features, new fixes, and you also get the newest bugs.

With Debian (the stable branch), you get what you get. Major version updates are very rare, I mean updates with breaking changes. You get basically patches and security updates. If you have "library" at version 0.27 chances are it's going to stay that way until the next version of Debian.

Your choice.


Personally, I have been using Debian (version 10, codename Buster) for about 7 months now. For web development, mainly PHP and Nodejs with a side of docker. It's been pretty great and boring (in a good way). The only thing out of the ordinary that I do is download my "non-essential" CLI tools using homebrew for linux. fzf, ripgrep, tmux... stuff like that, all of it I let homebrew handle that.

If you are considering going this route I would suggest taking a look at the available packages homebrew has for linux: check them out in here.

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Risee Kumar Thakur

Debian is considered to be more stable distro and more you encounter the package you looking for wasn't in there repository. I've used Debian for couple of years but I tend to like rolling release distros but the issue is sometimes they break. Again that's my opinion I used arch but not more than a month.

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Brian Masinick

I say that a really good developer who can research and modify their system can make anything work.

You can choose to frequently update most systems, including Debian, which has {Stable, Testing, Unstable, and Experimental} software repositories. Stability is a measure of overall infrastructure rather than 'works' or 'breaks'. I've used Debian Sid for many years at a time with few issues. It can be broken by careless updates. So can Arch.

Don't be afraid to try either one but learn to understand what is being charged and don't just change for the sake of change; make changes for security and the features that you need to do your job.

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Jon Kun • Edited

It all boils down to whether or not the tools you are using are not available on any, which is mostly not the case.

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Martin Jablečník

Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Manjaro or Fedora are great for this scenario.
Debian is more for servers
And Arch linux is for experienced users so it is good only if you are some experienced Linux user..

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brandon_wallace • Edited

Debian is a great desktop operating system and it is great for servers as well. Debian has a very flexible installer. You can even create a router using Debian. I know because I have set up Debian on the desktops, laptops, servers, and as a router.

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Martin Jablečník • Edited

With Ubuntu you can make same things as with Debian. And I also tried Debian as Desktop OS but now I prefere Linux Mint or Ubuntu for desktop because Ubuntu have mostly newer versions of packages in repositories then Debian due to stability.
So I am using Debian only for servers right now..

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Pavel Gurkov

Debian tends to be very conservative regarding new software, as it's meant to be uber stable. I wouldn't use it for day-to-day development. Out of these to, definitely Arch, although any distribution that gets new packages relatively fast would do.

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brandon_wallace

I have used Linux for a long time. Either operating system would be an excellent choice for development. The thing to check for is if the tools you need for development is available in the OS you select. If you have two computers or two hard drives in one computer install both Debian and Arch Linux.

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Otu Michael

I have used neither.. but I have heard good news about them.. what's your interest? I use ubuntu.. it's okay for what I do daily..