Re: Favorite flavor of Linux? (for python or anything else)

Discussion in 'Python' started by Christoph Haas, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. On Sunday 04 December 2005 15:01, Ivan Shevanski wrote:
    > Looking to replace my older flavor of linux with something new. . .What
    > are some of your favorites for python programming and anything else?


    The operating system/distribution is not connected to the application
    (Python). It will probably run everywhere. But we recently had this topic
    and a majority seemed to vote for Ubuntu. I personally prefer Debian.

    Christoph
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    Christoph Haas, Dec 4, 2005
    #1
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  2. Christoph Haas

    malv Guest

    I have been around quite a bit.
    The best are Gentoo and Debian.
    However, Python being very much an essential component of your distro,
    not having Python2.4 as standard kind of eliminates Debian. Running two
    versions in parallel is not the way to go.

    Gentoo requires quite a bit of work though. As I have to support
    several architectures, I looked around at Novell Suse and Ubuntu.
    Especially if you want flawless notebooks on linux, these two seemed
    best to me. I kind of discarded Ububtu because of the incompatibility
    between the compiler coming with the latest version and the kernel. You
    discover this quickly when trying to compile some kernel modules.
    Ubuntu is quite nice if your technical demands don't require much. If
    you're in python, you may one day run into some problem with addons.
    So Suse is what I use right now. Besides their YAST they now feature
    Synaptic. Overall, as nice as Ubuntu, somewhat easier with linux system
    work.
    I often wonder though whether I should not go back to Gentoo after all.
    More work, but you never seem to run into problems like with Suse or
    Ubuntu. Gentoo also has a very nice community always willing to help.
    Documentation is also very nice at Gentoo. Novell is kind of a mess.

    FWIW, that's my honest opinion.
    malv
     
    malv, Dec 4, 2005
    #2
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  3. Christoph Haas

    Aahz Guest

    In article <>,
    Christoph Haas <> wrote:
    >
    >The operating system/distribution is not connected to the application
    >(Python). It will probably run everywhere. But we recently had this
    >topic and a majority seemed to vote for Ubuntu. I personally prefer
    >Debian.


    Ubuntu *is* Debian, just repackaged. I used to prefer Debian until
    stable wouldn't work with my newest machine because it was two years out
    of date (this was *not* a machine with bleeding-edge components). Of
    course, one can use Debian-testing, but that isn't packaged, and I want
    a packaged OS.
    --
    Aahz () <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

    "Don't listen to schmucks on USENET when making legal decisions. Hire
    yourself a competent schmuck." --USENET schmuck (aka Robert Kern)
     
    Aahz, Dec 4, 2005
    #3
  4. > Looking to replace my older flavor of linux with something new. . .What
    > are some of your favorites for python programming and anything else?


    Ubuntu is developed by Canonical, a company owned by Mark Shuttleworth.
    This guy is a fan of both linux and python, so if you want a linux
    distro that gets along well with python, I guess Ubuntu is the best
    choice.

    If you read his website http://www.markshuttleworth.com/, you'll see
    that this guy encourages development of software in Python, and he even
    gransts money for developers.
     
    Luis M. Gonzalez, Dec 4, 2005
    #4
  5. Christoph Haas

    Paul Boddie Guest

    Aahz wrote:
    > Ubuntu *is* Debian, just repackaged.


    I think "is almost" would be more accurate than just "*is*", speaking
    as a Kubuntu user with a passing familiarity of the current state of
    Debian and Ubuntu package maintenance.

    > I used to prefer Debian until stable wouldn't work with my newest machine because
    > it was two years out of date (this was *not* a machine with bleeding-edge
    > components). Of course, one can use Debian-testing, but that isn't packaged, and
    > I want a packaged OS.


    So, Ubuntu would fit the bill, then? It's a packaged OS (where I assume
    that "packaged" is meant to describe the production of a
    quality-assured, tested and signed-off release) which uses more modern
    components than those typically found in Debian stable. Moreover, the
    Ubuntu people do seem interested in having a good range of Python
    packages ready to install using the package management system.

    Paul
     
    Paul Boddie, Dec 4, 2005
    #5
  6. Christoph Haas

    malv Guest

    Being a fan of linux and python and granting money doesn't make your OS
    better or worse.
    I believe that shipping a linux with a compiler DIFFERENT from the one
    that was used to build the kernel is not very bright. It may never
    bother some users, but few software developpers will like this idea.
    malv
     
    malv, Dec 4, 2005
    #6
  7. On Sunday 04 December 2005 19:56, Aahz wrote:
    > Christoph Haas <> wrote:
    > >The operating system/distribution is not connected to the application
    > >(Python). It will probably run everywhere. But we recently had this
    > >topic and a majority seemed to vote for Ubuntu. I personally prefer
    > >Debian.

    >
    > Ubuntu *is* Debian, just repackaged.


    I know. :) (Would be bad if I wouldn't.)

    > I used to prefer Debian until stable wouldn't work with my newest
    > machine because it was two years out of date (this was *not* a
    > machine with bleeding-edge components).


    The delay until Sarge was very long. But the release schedule has been
    tightened. Etch will be released next year. So if you prefer having a
    stable environment and can live with a (at max) two year old distribution
    then it should be okay. (Besides: the hardware support is done by the
    Linux kernel - not the GNU distribution. So that's likely not Debian's
    fault.)

    > Of course, one can use Debian-testing, but that isn't packaged, and
    > I want a packaged OS.


    You probably mean that Testing (the upcoming "Etch" stable release) is not
    yet available as a "stable" release. But actually that doesn't make much
    difference. From my personal experience most of the time 'testing' is
    hardly less stable than any Ubuntu stable release. Ubuntu is just easier
    to install and maintain because it has less bells and whistles and
    provides a ready environment without needing much knowledge.

    However the same packages that are currently in 'testing' will be 'stable'
    later. You are just dealing with brand-new packages that may be buggier.
    And you don't get reliable security support yet.

    (I even run 'unstable' on my desktop. Not just because I need it for
    development but also because it's mostly stable enough to work with.
    I wouldn't run critical public services on it though. Python development
    has never been a problem here.)

    Regards
    Christoph
    --
    ~
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    Christoph Haas, Dec 4, 2005
    #7
  8. I have to add another vote for Gentoo. I agree that you just "have
    less problems" on Gentoo. Updates are from source, but you don't have
    to update mid-day while working on a project... if you really want the
    new version of KDE (etc) then start an update and go to sleep, not a
    big deal. Portage (package management) is amazing, also... for both
    new and advanced users.

    Also, I don't use it for the CFLAGS, etc. If Gentoo were the same
    speed, or even mildly slower than Ubuntu, I would still use it. The
    general speed boost is just a bonus. I use very simple (-O2 -pipe)
    CFLAGS, by the way, but -march-pentium-m on my laptop makes a big
    difference over -mcpu-i386 distros.
     
    Brett Hoerner, Dec 5, 2005
    #8
  9. malv wrote:
    > Being a fan of linux and python and granting money doesn't make your OS
    > better or worse.
    > I believe that shipping a linux with a compiler DIFFERENT from the one
    > that was used to build the kernel is not very bright. It may never
    > bother some users, but few software developpers will like this idea.
    > malv


    Hmmm... I'm not an expert in this subject but isn't Ubuntu based on
    Debian?
     
    Luis M. Gonzalez, Dec 5, 2005
    #9
  10. Christoph Haas

    Mike Meyer Guest

    "Brett Hoerner" <> writes:
    > I have to add another vote for Gentoo. I agree that you just "have
    > less problems" on Gentoo. Updates are from source,


    Gentoo is one of my favorite Linux distributions - because it's the
    the most like a BSD distribution, except not as mature. A lot of the
    rough edges of Gentoo have been dealt with in FreeBSD. For instance,
    you can update from source, but you can also get binary updates. jOn
    the other hand, Gentoo uses technology that was designed after the BSD
    systems, so has the potential to be better. But if you like Gentoo,
    you might want to take a look at one fo the BSDs.

    On the other hand, if you want a complete desktop system, Ubuntu has a
    lot to offer.

    <mike
    --
    Mike Meyer <> http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
    Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.
     
    Mike Meyer, Dec 5, 2005
    #10
  11. Christoph Haas

    darren kirby Guest

    quoth the Mike Meyer:
    > A lot of the
    > rough edges of Gentoo have been dealt with in FreeBSD. For instance,
    > you can update from source, but you can also get binary updates.


    You can sort of do this with Gentoo. Check out the "--usepkg", "--getbinpkg"
    and "--buildpkg" emerge options. The only problem is that I don't think there
    are many (any?) official repositories of binary packages, and if there are,
    they don't have the full array of all packages available from portage. I
    haven't checked in a while though, so this may be different now.

    In any event, it is an excellant timesaver if you have a network of similar
    systems. emerge from source on your staging server, build a bin package, and
    push it to the rest of the systems.

    -d
    --
    darren kirby :: Part of the problem since 1976 :: http://badcomputer.org/
    "...the number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected..."
    - Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson, June 1972

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    darren kirby, Dec 5, 2005
    #11
  12. >>Hmmm... I'm not an expert in this subject but isn't Ubuntu based on
    Debian? <<

    I'm no expert either. I've played with Ubuntu and Debian, and Debian
    seemed infinitely more stable, and also, for me, Debian installed more
    easily.

    Since it's a python board I'm most interested in the python
    implications. I thought you could use, say, a stable Debian
    distribution, and still download the newest version of Python to run on
    it. Is that not so?

    bs
     
    BartlebyScrivener, Dec 5, 2005
    #12
  13. Christoph Haas

    Aahz Guest

    In article <>,
    Christoph Haas <> wrote:
    >On Sunday 04 December 2005 19:56, Aahz wrote:
    >>
    >> Of course, one can use Debian-testing, but that isn't packaged, and
    >> I want a packaged OS.

    >
    >You probably mean that Testing (the upcoming "Etch" stable release) is not
    >yet available as a "stable" release. But actually that doesn't make much
    >difference. From my personal experience most of the time 'testing' is
    >hardly less stable than any Ubuntu stable release. Ubuntu is just easier
    >to install and maintain because it has less bells and whistles and
    >provides a ready environment without needing much knowledge.


    What I mean is that there's no stable ISO for Debian-testing, such that
    there is a CD available that means something. With Ubuntu, there is a
    named release with ISO and it's stable.
    --
    Aahz () <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

    "Don't listen to schmucks on USENET when making legal decisions. Hire
    yourself a competent schmuck." --USENET schmuck (aka Robert Kern)
     
    Aahz, Dec 5, 2005
    #13
  14. Brett Hoerner wrote:

    >I have to add another vote for Gentoo.
    >

    And another here. Portage (the Python-coded package-management system)
    does a very good job. I tend to use fairly conservative settings as
    well, Gentoo's just nice and stable as a general rule, I don't care
    about ultimate speed or tweaking the code much, I just find that
    building everything from source (but without the headaches) tends to
    make things work together well.

    As far as Python support goes, Gentoo tends to work very well for Python
    packages, Pygame and wxPython on AMD64, for instance, install flawlessly
    out of the box (where others seem to have problems)... in fact most of
    the major packages install reliably. There's a key note that you might
    miss regarding the Python updating process, namely that you have to run
    python-updater to rebuild all of your packages for the new Python
    version, but once you know that, Pythonicity in Gentoo is pretty
    straightforward.

    Anyway, just a vote that's trying very hard to keep on-topic for the
    python list,
    Mike

    --
    ________________________________________________
    Mike C. Fletcher
    Designer, VR Plumber, Coder
    http://www.vrplumber.com
    http://blog.vrplumber.com
     
    Mike C. Fletcher, Dec 5, 2005
    #14
  15. Christoph Haas

    malv Guest

    In theory, this would do. I have tried this several times in the past
    and found it very impractical to have to live with two Python versions
    on the same system, given that Python, like also Perl, is used by so
    many components. I may have done many things wrong but experience
    taught me to better simplify things and live with one python version
    only. It mainly depends on the (huge amount of) time you can afford to
    straighten out avoidable problems.

    I must say that since python 2.3 and 2.4 I never tried dual setups
    anymore. Indeed, Debian would be my preferred distro if it weren't for
    python 2.3.
    malv
     
    malv, Dec 5, 2005
    #15
  16. "BartlebyScrivener" wrote:

    > Since it's a python board I'm most interested in the python
    > implications. I thought you could use, say, a stable Debian
    > distribution, and still download the newest version of Python
    > to run on it.


    works fine.

    however, since applications shipped with the OS may depend on
    the python version shipped with the OS, it's usually a good idea
    to install newer releases with:

    $ make altinstall

    instead of the usual "make install".

    (altinstall does a standard install, but doesn't replace the "python"
    command, so you have to use e.g "python2.4" to start the new inter-
    preter. code using just "python" will still run the standard version).

    if you want to mix and match on a finer level, it's probably best to
    do only local installs, and tweak the path as necessary.

    </F>
     
    Fredrik Lundh, Dec 5, 2005
    #16
  17. Thank you, malv & Frederik, for the warnings. I am learning Python on
    windows with the hope of moving to Linux. I would have just assumed the
    new Python would be backward compatible and didn't realize how
    dependent the os was on the old version.. At least now I am aware of
    the issues.

    bs
     
    BartlebyScrivener, Dec 5, 2005
    #17
  18. It's not only about having python installed. It's also about the tools
    that come with the distro.
    I've played with Ubuntu's live Cd a little bit, and I saw it comes with
    a lot of python related software, such as Boa Constructor, several
    ides, editors, etc...
    I ignore if other distros count with them as well..
    Luis
     
    Luis M. Gonzalez, Dec 5, 2005
    #18
  19. Christoph Haas

    malv Guest

    Any popular distro would. No one is really superior from this angle.
    You will always find that you will from time to time have to download
    software and/or versions that didn't come with your distro. This is
    mostly no problem, especially not with python related software.
     
    malv, Dec 5, 2005
    #19
  20. I tried Kubuntu and Debian (in the trivial to install version known as
    Knoppix/Kanotix)
    and I like Debian more, but this is just me.

    Michele Simionato
     
    Michele Simionato, Dec 5, 2005
    #20
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