Ok guys so I recently bought a new pc, well second hand new to me.
It's running a amd apu A10 6800k 12gb of ram (8gb & 4gb chips not so sure about that lol.)pretty basic, going to upgrade the psu and get a r9 380 in the future.
But I've gone off track. I wanted to see what distro of Linux you'll recommend. I'm a noob at Linux, was running Ubuntu on a laptop about 8 years ago and found the experience very enjoyable but ended up switching to xp as I was having trouble with getting some games to work.
This computer will be used initially as a media pc and light gaming (want to see how the apu fares.) and then will be gaming heavily once I had the gpu.
So what would you recommend and why. Also feel free to mention any other programs that are useful.
If you're going to do that I would suggest Debian or Mint. I'm my opinion they're best suited and are not weighted by heavy GUI. Also those distro are really well supported by the community and you'll find a almost everything in their repository. If you also need to get some work done Fedora is, in my opinion, the best distro you can go for.
First off: scrap that 380 and put RX 480 on your list.
Then install Ubuntu Mate or Xubuntu (<- I like that one) 16.04.
When you get your card, the new AMDGPU-PRO driver might be out of beta. And then ... happy gaming! :D
Meh there will be no best distro for everyone, try out a few and see which you like the most. I'll list a few things:
== Distros ==
Ubuntu - Based on Debian, owned by a big company, works well if you don't want to mess with stuff.
Mint - Seems good for the average consumer, probably more intresting than Ubuntu.
Fedora - Owned by a big company, bit nerdier than Ubuntu.
Arch - If you have a thick skin, like tinkering and want to be forced to learn Linux this is for you. Rolling Release.
== Desktop Enviroments ==
Unity (Ubuntu standard DE) - Simple, it works, you can change some things, but I'm not a fan.
Gnome - Intuitive, works well right away, easy to make it look nice and easy to add functionallity.
KDE/Plasma - It grows on you, can look very nice and be very useful. But it will take a while to get used to. (I'm using it more and more)
LXQT - Light weight, more intresting than LXDE, but it needs more time to mature (IMHO).
XFCE - It's yours, you can do whatever you want, you might need to invest a lot of time in it though.
Cinnamon/MATE - I'll mention them but I have to oppinion on them.
== Software ==
Blender - Great 3D modeling software, think it can even work as a video editor.
Krita - One of the nicer looking Photoshop replacments.
Vim - A fun and good terminal based text editor.
Git - THE version control software.
From what I've found so far the performance increase doesn't seem to be worth the extra $100 nzd.
Uhm, the RX 480 offers more fps/dollar than anything else as far as I know. But hey, you are paying so...
Price performance yes, but still a greater price. Could end up getting it if I make enough money. But would rather spend the money on a ssd.
Scrap the 380 anyway. There are still two more Polaris cards coming out. The 460 won't even need a PCIe power plug. You might even keep your old PSU.
Well, it's actually a question if you want the bleeding-edge or stable kernels...and the env you want.
asking which version of linux to use is like asking which type of sandwich to eat, except you never see a flame war over whether rye or granary is best.
your pc specs should allow you to run any version no problem
I usually suggest Ubuntu Mate because it has some very nice features to explain and help Linux newcomers get going. only downside is Ubuntu versions have recently updated and AMD GPUs have been problematic
Trying a new discovery out at the moment - MX-15 - based on Debian but with some nice customisation
Mint is a good starting point too
There are lot of factors to consider when choosing, and very likely you may need to try a few versions to get what works best for you, your hardware and your workflow
I like Ubuntu-Mate, I have been running it for a couple of years now. Ubuntu-Mate gives you the Ubuntu bases with all of the advantages that gives plus a very active community and very approachable devs.
Others to look at , Manjaro has a nice community behind it, very configurable. You have access to the bleeding edge software of the Arch users repos. It's an easier way to get some of the Arch goodness with some of the risk removed.
If you want stability SolydXK (the X variant given your hardware) might be a good choice. SolydXK is Debian stable based. The software will be older but rock solid, dependable stability. The best way to think of SolydXK is imagine a Debian expert configured a system for you. All of the hard work has been done leaving you with a 24/7 stable PC with all of the kinks ironed out.
My 2 cents.
If you want a windows replacement and you want to use Linux like windows, consider using Mint.
If you'd like to break away from Windows and embrace Linux, but want an easy to use and little to maintain, I'd consider Ubuntu.
If you're the type of person who likes to skip step one, and want go straight to power user consider Fedora. Be advised, it runs lastest release software, things sometimes break and finding the answer may not be well documented - that comes with the territory.
However, don't be put off by that. Plus (oh man this could start a flame war) IMHO it's a very "pure"" Linux (for nerds out there think how the apache directory structures are created on RHEL linuxes.)
Just my 2 cents.
I think that Ubuntu or Mint would be a very good place to start.
In terms of DE´s that is something very personal of course.
Both Ubuntu and Mint have diffrent flavours of DE´s they come with.
I see some people recommending Arch.
But if you are interested in Arch, but you are not familier with Linux or with Arch in general.
Then i could highly recommend Manjaro.
Manjaro in my opinnion is one of the best arch based distro´s out there.
Its very user friendly from the get go, and there is a great community behind it.
Fedora is also definitely a good choice.
However i personaly find Fedora a bit less user friendly from the get go.
Since Fedora doesnt offer officialy support for third party non free repo´s that are not in their repositories.
Korora is a nice spinnoff on Fedora that i personaly found a bit more user friendly from the get go.
Because Rye bread is the best. No one will argue with that.
I started with Debian. I love Debian with KDE. You will struggle at first. You will learn the terminal. I have used Ubuntu and it's almost as simple as windows. You learn the basics right away. I just don't like the look. If you do debian apt-get is your friend =)
that's going to be true regardless of what Linux distro you pick. i'm not sure if you think that's going to be fixed by now, because it isn't. you'll still have issues getting games to run unless you already know your intended games work on Linux.
You forgot Debian! It's #2 on http://distrowatch.com/
== Distros ==
Debian - Stable, secure, more configurable than ubuntu. Can still use the same packages as ubuntu (.deb).
== Desktops (+window managers) ==
I3 - Tiling with tree based structure. (splitting windows into smaller windows etc)
Awesome - Tiling with form/layout approach. It's easier to pickup and more user friendly imho.
Agree - been on Manjaro XFCE over 2 years now and is excellent. I didn't mention it in my previous post here as I am trying not to appear too fanboy
(but it is awesome!)
A good wiki and forum is another important thing to consider when choosing distributions.
If you have a friend with good Linux experience is worth considering what distro they would recommend and help you out with. but not always - my Wendell equivalent thinks gui apps are for wimps and only ever suggests slackware
Yup, apt-get install aptitude and after that install all the things.
@eidolonFIRE Totally agree. If the AMDGPU-PRO driver were available for debian I would kill my Xubuntu in a heartbeat.
I second the call on ubuntu mate 16.04. I put it on my old laptop(7 year old gateway) and I'm loving the experience so far.