re: Is Ubuntu Or Fedora A Better Distro For Programmers? VIEW POST


Long time Debian stable user here, I am a big fan of the rule of least surprise :)

I switched to Ubuntu on personal systems for a couple of years, until Debian 9 reached stable. The switch away was driven by a need for Gnome 3/GTK-3 for personal app development. The switch back was driven by stability issues and weird behaviour with multiple users / session switching on shared machines at home.

At work, we are issued with centrally managed Win10 systems, that I generally nuke and put Debian stable on, re-installing the corporate managed Win10 in a VM (mostly so I can change my AD password but otherwise escape the daily pain inflicted on my colleagues by the array of invasive management apps, network filters, terrible patching experiences...). My most recent work machine is very new, requiring a testing kernel, even then Debian has been fantastically reliable for me.

My preferred way of working is to not corrupt my reliable base OS, instead I use either local VMs or cloud instances to provide a development environment that matches the target system - I then have the ability to test all our deployment tooling as well as the application code, and when something goes awry with say package management, I can tear it down and start again. I've been enjoying this experience when it comes to Windows apps developed with Visual Studio - 5mins to create a fresh VS2015/17/19 machine in Azure compared to 4-5 hours applying local installs and praying it doesn't break my whole machine is great!

That said I do have make, gcc/gdb, OpenJDK, VSCode and dotnet SDK packages on my base OS, these are useful for playing with ideas quickly when there is no target to worry about, and being proper .deb packages I can manage them safely.

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