Linux for work, suggest a distro (No Flame)

Okay so I purchased a x220 with the view to use it for work, as personally I find lumping a 15.6" laptop too much in long stints.
And of course I don't like Windows to much but I do need to rely on some basic Windows services and applications like Outlook and RDP.

So I am looking for an OS I can simply virtualize Windows 7 in, but have everything else in Linux, they will be linked via a shared folder also so I can pass files.

My requirements are as follows,
Has to have good support with the X220, so fan controllers, battery support and display port/VGA for 2nd monitor.
The software of course has to be stable though Arch Linux could be used still, but on work time I cannot afford the time messing about with the distro as much as I would love to.

I cant personally think of anything else at the moment.

What are your suggestions, please keep it clean I don't want a war, I would ideally like unbiased informative answers.


Honestly something like Debian or OpenSUSE are likely going to be your best bet if I had to take a guess.

Debian is pretty rock solid for stability, which is always nice for a work machine. The only problem with it is the older repos you end up with, the benefit of it is that the software comes through extremely well tested and typically ready for implementation.

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Manjaro is my personal favorite. it's Arch without the need to build everything.

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Bleeding edge for work machine can be a pretty hairy ride though.

it's not. it's rolling release. he's going to get stable updates unless he manually installs bleeding edge updates. like Kernel 4.4 or Gnome 3.19 for example.

The more often you update things in linux, the more chances you give the system to break other working parts. Better to be on a distro with a longer update cycle.

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then by all means if he wants utmost stability something like Debian will be nice. or ant LTS distro for that matter.

Well when it comes down to getting work done, downtime is wasted time, and wasted time is wasted money... Quick way to lose your shit at a job lmao.

I would ask the OP to check as well, but he needs to make sure his laptop doesn't have a Broadcom Wi-Fi card. that is the most broken piece of hardware that you can have for Linux. let him buy an Intel Wi-Fi card to save him massive headaches while distro hopping if he doesn't like what we recommend.

Thanks for the input, btw its an Intel centrino wifi, but it will be upgraded to 8620 when drivers arrive.
And yeah down time in front of customers looks like I can keep my own equipment ready so why should I be able to do theirs lol, so a super stable distro is required, Debian would be a good choice I suppose with easy kernel swapping, I could use testing and just pin important applications.
Another question is this also, I take security seriously in the work place so I want to harden the kernel as much as possible, also have security applications and encryption, I am unsure if Debian comes with encryption on the installer and how good it is also.
What would you suggest?




I've used Mint Cinnamon 17.3 and Xubuntu on a Lenovo L520, which has the same generation processor as the x220. If the x220 you have uses the iGPU in the processor, all I know is that i CANNOT recommend Mint Cinnamon, even though it's based in the LTS of Ubuntu. Videos played through both Youtube and VLC lagged quite a bit. I tried anything and could not get it fixed. The frustrating thing is that it could easily be fixed with another compositor, but the Cinnamon variant of Mint will not let you mess with the default compositor. To be clear, XFCE has the same problem of lagging (when I switched to Xubuntu), but the compositor is not locked down, so I changed it to Compton and now it runs like a dream.

Another problem for your use case is of course that Mint, and here it's any mint variant, will not make security updates to the kernel automatically. So, stay clear of Mint.

I would recommend giving Fedora a try. Its stable, up to date, has good support. It comes with easy options for encrypting the OS at install, defaults to SELinux enforcing. Support for Thinkpads tends to be pretty good in Fedora as its used a lot by Red Hat devs. (not that it isnt good on other distros).

Install tlp as well and your good to go.

Debian is also a good choice, but ive found a number of time it lacking to far behind packages that i needed.


Fedora was one of the choices, what is their updating like? I mean come distro upgrade time?
Also does it have Thinkfan and the other tweaks? I dont want my fan running at 100% all the time.

It includes thinkfan.

Updating is

(one time)

dnf install dnf-plugin-system-upgrade


dnf system-upgrade download --releasever=<ver>
dnf system-upgrade reboot

i agree Fedora 23+

I must say it's very stable and up to date with packages. There are some nuiances but once you get those out of the way you are good to go. You can use Gnome Boxes to run a distro or Virtualbox.

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It seems you can indeed install thinkfan in fedora link. Also, to appease your mind - Even without thinkfan or any fan tweaking tool, I have never had the fan go full throttle all the time on any laptop with any distro ever.

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May try it then, just worried about breakage on update although I expect it would be less risky than Ubuntu lol.
And Zumps, maybe Ubuntu specific then? it just seems to ram up often

Do boxes work with Windows? and do they have seamless mode (Main reason for either VMWare or VBox)

No seamless mode from what I know. It uses libvirt which supports a lot of hypervisors, kvm is the usual default, which supports windows.

If you want to use virtualbox its as easy as enabling the virtualbox repo from them directly (bottom of the page)

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