I’m going to assume that quite a few members of Pixls community use a linux operating system. I’ve been using Ubuntu for just a few weeks so I’m interested to see what others here use especially a linux distro best suited (if there is such a thing) towards using GIMP, Rawtherapee, Darktable etc.
I’ve been using Debian Stable for years as a workstation. The packages are a bit old, but having AppImages helps. It has been working well for me. I’m considerating transitioning to NixOS because I’m tired of configuring machines.
Fedora works fine.
I’ve tried different Distros, mostly based on Debian/Ubuntu. But over a year ago I installed Manjaro, based on Arch, and I have to say that I’m really pleased I did. I a rolling distro, but is very stable, you can find different flavours with different desktop environment (I’m using the XFCE version).
I gets updates frequently, so you have very recent (yet tested) versions of programs and libraries.
Another thing which I like, is the AUR repository. On AUR, you can find very recent Rawtherapee, Gimp and Darktable versions. In fact from AUR you download a script which downloads the sources from the git repos of the programs, and it does the downloading, configuring, installing dependencies, compilation and installation on the fly for you (you just have to answer yes or no to a few questions).
Manjaro is worth checking IMO.
I just use Ubuntu.
i use Mint GNU/Linux
I’m on Ubuntu (still on 14.04)(actually the Kubuntu variant), because it runs on about anything (and can really use all the peripherals).
As a rule, Ubuntu doesn’t update the software in the distro’s repos beyond fixing security bugs, but there are “PPA’s’” for popular software from which you can install/update bleeding edge versions.
You want something which is the ideal compromise between stable enough and being able to run recent software without causing a dependency avalanche. This means to be prepared to upgrade every two-three years (but that’s IMHO also a good pace to replace the hard disk/SSD…) or have a distro which is a “rolling release” (but are there any?).
There are plenty of rolling release distros. I’m currently testing Solus MATE, but there is also SuSe Tumbleweed, Arch/Antergos/Manjaro, NixOS/Guix, Debian Sid/Testing, Fedora Rawhide.
Latest Ubuntu (16.10).
Works just fine with RT, DT, The Gimp &c, using
xfce as leightweight desktop environment.
I use manjaro.
I was an avid Arch user, but manjaro is the right balance between stability and new version of software.
And AUR is something wonderful
I’m on Debian Testing. It’s a rolling release with hiccups whenever there is a freeze (next one starting in February and lasting presumably half a year). I know there are sexier distros, but I like the idea that it’s one of the first, still rocking, and the base for many others. And, well, noone liked my SuSE at work, so I had to convert.
Ubuntu 16.10 with Gnome desctop.
IMHO, the Fedora Design Suite is the best Linux distro for photography: https://labs.fedoraproject.org/en/design-suite/
It is one of the few distributions that includes a bunch of photography apps installed by default. GIMP includes a bunch of plugins by default. darktable is installed by default and is kept up to date. Many useful ICC color profiles are included.
I made a whole video about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEYiafBl01s
Ubuntu is old. Fedora is cutting edge, but stable.
@sguyader, @Dario_M, Manjaro sounds good with the AUR facility. Do you think this would be ok for someone like me, that is, who knows a very little bit about Ubuntu and has never seen Arch? For example there’s been the discussions about compiler flags like -O3 yesterday. Do you have to know what the various flags are and tell AUR which you want including? But I like the sound of answering a few yes/no’s and getting a build out of it!
When using Arch and arch based distros, you need to read the distros news and pay attention when upgrading your system. Don’t update unless you have time to fix something. See the latest infinality/fontconfig stuff which caused gnome shell to crash.
With Debian Stable, I blind update all the time and don’t have issues.
With Manjaro I blind update and have never had any issue either (it’s updated from “stable” repo too).
I used Mint Debian a few years ago, which was rolling from the Debian stable, and I remember that things broke quite frequently.
I had no experience Arch before Manjaro. And I don’t really feel like an Arch user, I’m not a hardcore Linux user. I use Manjaro as my main computer at work because I was fed up by how Windows gets sluggish and slow after awhile. Just to say that it’s stable enough as a desktop machine in a work environment (and I’m not working in IT).
To use AUR you generally don’t need to set any compilation flag, it’s taken care by the person who makes the package on AUR. You need to know that AUR is not foolproof, sometimes compilation fails. But currently for example my GIMP installation is from AUR, it’s 2.9 Dev.
Thanks to all these useful responses! I’ve changed my Ubuntu 16.10 desktop from Unity to XFCE - wow what a difference, much better, especially the file manager.
ubuntuStudio - excellent distribution for photographers, using XfCE desktop
Sabayon using Xfce