Recommended Linux Distro

I have been running Bricscad for Linux on Mint 18 and wonder what would be the preferred distro...perhaps the one that the Bricscad developers use?


  • I would also like to know.
    Or at least which desktop system is preferred or not recommended.

    So far I preferred KDE over Gnome
    (But am not sure because it is more about the desktop theme and some
    more control. While I don't like certain features like hidden scroll bars or
    favorite icons disappearing when an App is open or the whole transparency
    and animation features)

    Nevertheless I tried on a Parallels VM (which you should not do),
    both, Ubuntu and Kubuntu with latest Bricscad Linux.
    BC runs (slow but fine) on Kubuntu KDE while BC crashes on Ubuntu Gnome.
    Not representive because VM, but I think there are differences though.

  • @Risto Saarikko, if I am to translate "perhaps the one that the Bricscad developers use?", I would say: you don't want trouble caused by Linux distro x, so tell me what you use and test with. I am curious about the answer too.

  • Ubuntu and/or Mint :-)
    if possible, do not use the latest Ubuntu/Mint version - they too often change dependencies in a backward-incompatible way ...

    Personally, I use Mint 17 with Gnome ... runs rather nice, even inside a VM :smile:
    many greetings !

  • ^ Thanks Torsten.

    And the Desktop choice does matter ?

  • Okay, so we have Mint, Ubuntu and... Debian is mentioned from time to time. Trying not to create more questions, is it recommended to to run v18 at the current date on the following platforms?

    • Mint 17
    • [X|K]Ubuntu 17.10
    • Debian 9

    As far as VM's are concerned, for testing I use VirtualBox on Xubuntu 16.04 with Win7 as a guest. Flawless and fast, except for hardware rendering, modelling is no problem as long as I stick to wireframes.

  • @Michael Mayer said:
    And the Desktop choice does matter ?

    Likely not that important ... though we have reports about some strange visual glitches, with some desktop window managers ...
    so GNOME seems to be at least a somewhat more compatible + consistent environment, over several K/X/Ubuntu versions, from our experience.

    @Wiebe van der Worp said:

    • Debian 9

    should be fine as well :smile:
    many greetings !

  • Michael Mayer
    edited September 2018

    @Torsten Moses said:
    Ubuntu and/or Mint :-)
    if possible, do not use the latest Ubuntu/Mint version - they too often change dependencies in a backward-incompatible way ...

    Personally, I use Mint 17 with Gnome ... runs rather nice, even inside a VM :smile:
    many greetings !

    meanwhile a got a bit more used to Linux.

    So the official recommendation is Ubuntu based with Gnome,
    because it's most widely used.

    I am fine with my Kubuntu (KDE), Ubuntu (Gnome) and Mint,
    currently with Cinnamon.
    I could beautify a Gnome with a nicer Theme.
    Looks like I don't need shiny features of KDE which I mostly deactivated.
    Now I'm asking myself if I should go with an even lower Desktop
    like Mate or XFCE.

    But I want always the newest and shiniest Software.
    So I need
    a) a Rolling Release and
    b) Arch based Linux.

    I think I will try Manjaro but am not sure about the Desktop choice
    I would like to try XFCE.
    Or should I go with less risky Gnome in any case ?

    For the newest and shiniest Software with Arch,
    (Blender, Gimp, Office, ....)
    I could workaround by
    a) adding external custom repositories
    b) switching to external snaps/flatpack installation
    (maybe risky)

    Any opinions ?

  • OK, I could live with Ubuntu/Gnome,
    but am not really happy. Maybe Mint.

    At least I got warned from every side to not use any Rolling Release for production.

    I checked Bricsys new Help Center.
    And there I found the first official recommendations for Linux,
    which is nice :

    BricsCAD can be installed on :

    Microsoft Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista on both 32 and 64 bits.
    Linux: Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE - 32bit, 64bit - gnome, kde
    Ubuntu 9.04 or later, Fedora 11 or later, OpenSUSE 11.0 or later
    Mac OSX 10.8 or higher.

  • At our office we are using Debian Stable. We changed to Debian from Ubuntu in order to get a more well tested operating system with long time supported releases. The stable version of Debian is ...."stable" and things are not upgraded before it has been tested.

    Debian stable is sometimes accused for having old versions of applications. From the perspective of a professional user this is false and a naive statement. Every time a new version of Debian is released it will be shipped with the most recent versions of software the community have had time to test. For example; When upgrading to a new release of Debian we have always received the expected upgrades to productive apps like scribus, gimp and inkscape.

    The fact that the Debian community does not just grab all the latest versions of software available at release date is the reason why Debian is very stable and the truth is that the time we use to trouble shoot hardware and software related issues have dramatically decreased since we started using Debian.

    A single person using a computer might have the time and enthusiasm to always 'try out' the newest versions of software (I have been there), but if your primary focus is to get things done, you generally want as little as possible to change after installing a computer and having verified that it works as expected. If you are a team working together this will be even more true; Bugs introduced by constant updates and the confusion caused by new versions of applications being pulled in regularly is just not worth it over time.

    Take Windows 10 for example: We have a few computers with this OS in order to run some specialized software (when demanded by a client and to give new employees access to software they are used to work with in some situations) and last week productive work was interrupted both by a forced upgrade from Windows update that failed to install (rendering the computer unusable) and by the latest version of adobe photoshop frequently crashing after being pulled in by the adobe updater.... In the meantime our Debian workstations just kept spinning.

    With the same logics; In order to get support for new hardware (for example when a new architect is employed and a new computer with recent hardware is purchased), it is much more effective from a productive point of view to upgrade the Linux kernel and stay on the same OS version, compared to upgrading the OS to a whole new version. Having team members working on different OS versions will double the time you have to spend on resolving issues.
    With Debian you solve this by adding Debian backports to the software repositories and installing a recent kernel that is officially backported (no hacks) from the testing branch of Debian. This way we can use Linux 4.18 (the most recent Linux kernel that exists today) on new workstations, even though Linux 4.9 is shipped with Debian 9.

    Once again, 'from a productive point of view' you want to install a long time supported version of your OS, introduce it to all team members at the same time in combination with education for new versions of software, then use it for a fixed number of years, before upgrading to a new major version and so on... and to be honest even if you are not a team; Finally accepting that OS version jumping has very little to do with getting access to new functionality will make you stop spending your time redoing configs for the same apps and release you of the burden to trouble shoot new hardware related issues. Instead you can spend your time being productive and learning new useful stuff ;)

    And a final thing that has made my user and admin experience much better; Don't buy hardware off the shelf. Buy hardware that is verified to work with Linux (supported by the kernel), for example from Hardware that just works without configuration, 3rd party drivers and headache is really a breeze :)

  • Thanks for your opinion Mikael.

    So, I managed to screw up my first SUSE Tumbleweed on Virtual Box.
    It should have a dynamic size partition starting from 8 TB.
    I had some Software installed and while latest testing and updating
    the disk ran out of "space".
    I rebooted, manually assigned more VM disk Space and uninstalled
    some Apps to get more free space as Tumbleweed does not see
    a larger disk now.
    But Yast or standard Software Update will still just crash.
    Not sure if this is a problem for experienced users,
    but for my possibilities this means the end of that VM.

    Something like this should not happen easily on a real installation
    on a machine's disk but if similar problems occur, that would
    exceed my pay grade.
    So from this perspective, using LTSs and just never touch it would
    be the wisest decision for a production workstation.
    But for now I play a bit more with exotic rolling releases while learning.

  • A single person using a computer might have the time and enthusiasm to always 'try out' the newest versions of software (I have been there),

    Works really well for me with a "rolling" Manjaro + KDE.
    Better than my Elementary OS with 18.4.
    For me it feels like everything new and updated may not be perfect but
    is just better than what it replaced.
    I am more afraid of the need to completely "upgrade" between LTS versions
    every few years.

    I see Manjaro or Tumbleweed as as current as possible like Arch - but tested.
    Things like semi-rolling MX Linux as current - but tested and stable only.

    Stability issues I only experienced by my own faults, like using another package
    manager and installing wrong software for other Distros or Desktops.
    Something I wasn't aware of until lately.
    Even there I hope for Linux updates that may repair the things I broke.
    I 100% trust Manjaro - when you restrict to update to stable kernels only.
    (I personally couldn't resist and went down from LTS over Recommended to
    installing the latest Kernels, like currently 5.0.x without noticing problems)

    But I have to agree,
    everyone with a few years of real Linux experience in production environments
    tells me to use only LTS Distributions.
    (And BTW, Red Had !? based Distros for best support in 3D industry)

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