Best Linux distro for game development?

In today's open source roundup: Which Linux distro should a game developer use? Plus: A review of the LG G4 Android phone. And Samsung delays launch of the Gear A round smartwatch


Best Linux distro for game development?

One of the strengths of Linux is that there really is a distribution for everybody. But which distro would work best for a game developer? One redditor asked that question and got some interesting answers.

AJSAMartin asked about Linux distros and game development:

I've never used a Linux distro before, but I see people saying to switch to Linux or dual boot it with Windows every time someone mentions it.

I have a question, what would be a best distro for someone who does 3D modeling/gaming and overall games development?

Also, if I want to dual boot it, do I have to install the Linux distro on the separate hard-drive or can I install it on my SSD along with the Windows?

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His fellow redditors responded:

Barbariandude: "For a first time Linux user, I would recommend one of the 50 Ubuntu variants, will work out of the box and adding extra repositories is really easy.

Only real differentiator is what desktop environment you like the look and feel of. I'll list a few of the most popular ones linked to the Ubuntu variant it appears in. Google the name of the desktop environment for a few screenshots, maybe a review or two.

High resource use, lots of shiny effects

Unity Canonical does lots of UI focus groups, and this is the result. Lacking in customizability.

KDE The king of customizability, behaves the most like Windows out of all of these.

GNOME The most unique. I'll leave it at that.

Enlightenment Great mix of shiny stuff and performance, close second to KDE in customizability, close third to XFCE in terms of performance.

Cinnamon Shinier more modern version of MATE.

Low resource use, less shiny effects

XFCE Very stable and consistent DE. I'll be very impressed if you manage to find a single bug.

LXDE The king of speed, you won't find a more high performance DE, though not very visually appealing to most.

MATE Never used it, but I hear second hand it's pretty good. Couldn't tell you what's unique about it though."

Innitgrand: "Don't get a live Cd, get a live USB. Also try virtual box for a quick peek. Don't expect performance in the virtual box case: it'll suck. It can give you a good idea of how it looks and feels. Other than that, I would advise a debian based or Ubuntu based (Ubuntu is based on debian) distro simply for the fact that there are a lot of easy packages out there and a lot of support."

Ewzimm: "Since you are doing games development, you should use 15.04. 14.04.2 is the Long Term Support version released every 2 years, meaning it is the most stable but keeps the desktop apps mostly up to date. 15.04 is the most recent 6-month release, meaning it has the latest development resources. Generally, LTS is best for desktop and server use and the 6-month releases are best for development."

CuckyAsInCookie: "To anyone beginner, I recommend Linux Mint (I'm using the XFCE 17.1 version). You don't even need to install any codec or such, it comes with GIMP, VLC and Firefox pre-installed and it's really customizable. It's Ubuntu-based so, installing apps it's the same and many of the situations/problems you may encounter are solvable the same way. There's also this awesome guide[1] to help you optimize it. I've installed Krita and Blender without any trouble and both run smoothly, even in my old PC with Intel Atom 2@1,66 Ghz and 1Gb RAM. I hope I was helpful.

jakai2: "Do you develop games or is it something you are learning/want to learn?

There's CRUX, Arch, Slackware, Gentoo, and Debian. What else would you use the software for and how comfortable are you setting everything up yourself?"

Doom_Oo7: "With Arch you'll have rough edges (you can use Antergos for installing) but you'll have the latest up-to-date drivers only a few days after they're out. Also the wiki is nice (but applies to a lot of linux distros, especially since systemd)."

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