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Best Linux distro ?


Dear Fortraneers,

I would like to switch from MSWindows to Linux.  I would like to set up
a machine for my own use, nothing special, to develop and run with
gfortran or g95, and/or some other free-for-personal-use compiler, if
any.  I would like to hear from you if there is a sort of "best"
distribution, at least among the most known here in Italy (fedora/red
hat, suse, debian, ubuntu, mandrivia - just in the order they came to mind).

Many thanks in advance.

Gigi Piacentini

> I would like to hear from you if there is a sort of "best"
> distribution, at least among the most known here in Italy (fedora/red
> hat, suse, debian, ubuntu, mandrivia - just in the order they came to
> mind).

Nothing definite, but on the basis that you want gfortran, I'd advise you
to use Fedora: they follow new GCC releases quite rapidly, have
responsive support on that topic (AFAICT). Moreover, they regularly
backport "new features", i.e. features in a not-yet-released development
version, into their compilers (like, they had OpenMP support in their 4.1
compiler).

--
FX

GianLuigi Piacentini wrote:
> I would like to switch from MSWindows to Linux.  I would like to set up
> a machine for my own use, nothing special, to develop and run with
> gfortran or g95, and/or some other free-for-personal-use compiler, if
> any.  I would like to hear from you if there is a sort of "best"
> distribution, at least among the most known here in Italy (fedora/red
> hat, suse, debian, ubuntu, mandrivia - just in the order they came to
> mind).

I recently put Scientific Linux on one machine and run g95 on it.

https://www.scientificlinux.org/

It seems to be Enterprise Linux compiled from source, and so avoids
any restrictions on redistribution of Enterprise Linux.

The FAQ at https://www.scientificlinux.org/documentation/faq/legal
explains it pretty well.

-- glen

GianLuigi Piacentini <ggpi@tin.it> writes:
> I would like to switch from MSWindows to Linux.  I would like to set
> up a machine for my own use, nothing special, to develop and run with
> gfortran or g95, and/or some other free-for-personal-use compiler, if
> any.  I would like to hear from you if there is a sort of "best"
> distribution, at least among the most known here in Italy (fedora/red
> hat, suse, debian, ubuntu, mandrivia - just in the order they came to
> mind).

I like Fedora. It is often binary compatible with Redhats enterprise
distros (a + if you should need to run commercial sw), and it is easy
to get hold of precompiled packages. I also like it because I sort of
"know" the Redhat way of doing things. Redhat is behind Fedora, has
been around since the early days of Linux, and shows a profit, which
in the long term means something also in the free software
world. Fedora is reasonably stable but still provides a very recent
linux software stack.

Helge

On Jun 5, 11:51 am, GianLuigi Piacentini <ggpi@tin.it> wrote:

> Dear Fortraneers,

> I would like to switch from MSWindows to Linux.  I would like to set up
> a machine for my own use, nothing special, to develop and run with
> gfortran or g95, and/or some other free-for-personal-use compiler, if
> any.  I would like to hear from you if there is a sort of "best"
> distribution, at least among the most known here in Italy (fedora/red
> hat, suse, debian, ubuntu, mandrivia - just in the order they came to mind).

> Many thanks in advance.

> Gigi Piacentini

I have no problem using g95 and gfortran on OpenSUSE 10.2.
gcc-4.1 (with gfortran) is the system compiler, RPMs for
gfortran 4.2 and 4.3 can be installed from factory repo easily
via YaST. My colleague runs the EkoPath compiler on the same OS
(but with x86_64).

Like they say every time this question is asked: There is not "best"
version, it all depends on what you like.  For as long as they are all
free, you can try them all...o.k., may not all, but maybe a handfull.
A quick way to test distros is via their Live CDs.

As far as software goes, if all you care is fortran
programming...heck, that can be done from the command line! And could
be said you don't need much.

But if your linux box will also be used for e-mail, or multimedia
stuff, then...

Having said that and given that nobody has recommended Ubuntu, I
will.  I like Ubuntu for its friendliness and popularity. Popuplarity
has a funny way of committing the developers to keep up.

Ubuntu is nice and stable and counts with a rich repository of
software; even DELL has chosen Ubuntu as the linux distro offered in
its computers with factory-installed linux.

One last thing, if the machine that you are planning to install linux
is kind of old and not so powerfull, then there are distros out there
that would fit the bill, too. A couple of ultra-light distros are DSL
and Puppy; a couple of rather complete yet light distros are Zenwalk
and Vector, etc., etc.

gsal

If you are planning on Linux on an older machine check first that you
can satisfy the distribution's memory requirement and that the rest of
your hardware is compatible.  As someone said the easiest way to do
that, after reading the hardware requirements, is to try the "live CD".
  Try several each has advantages.

I am happy with Ubuntu for the limited work that I do.  It's an
environment rich with many of the features you would appreciate as a
desktop.  If in your "live CD" explorations you like the KDE manager
then Kbuntu is for you.  In the bad old days I ran Fedora 3 and 4 and
Mandrake.  I didn't like them one bit but that may well have changed.

On a limited machine I have used Xubuntu, a slimmed down Ubuntu, and
Puppy Linux, compiled from scratch as a distribution for limited
hardware.  Puppy will run from a 512MB USB pen drive although 2 GB would
be more useful.

David Rowell

On Jun 5, 5:51 am, GianLuigi Piacentini <ggpi@tin.it> wrote:

> Dear Fortraneers,

> I would like to switch from MSWindows to Linux.  I would like to set up
> a machine for my own use, nothing special, to develop and run with
> gfortran or g95, and/or some other free-for-personal-use compiler, if
> any.  I would like to hear from you if there is a sort of "best"
> distribution, at least among the most known here in Italy (fedora/red
> hat, suse, debian, ubuntu, mandrivia - just in the order they came to mind).

I use Windows but once installed g95 on Suse without any problems. I'd
guess that g95 and gfortran will work on any recent Linux
distribution, so maybe a more important question for a Fortranner
would be what Linux distributions are best supported by commercial
compilers -- one can look at vendor web sites for such information.
Even if you don't have plans to use commercial compilers now, it would
be a nuisance to have to install a new version of Linux in the future
just to use a desired compiler.

GianLuigi Piacentini wrote:
> I would like to switch from MSWindows to Linux.

Good decision!

> I would like to set up
> a machine for my own use, nothing special, to develop and run with
> gfortran or g95, and/or some other free-for-personal-use compiler, if
> any.

Pretty much any linux distribution will satisfy your requirements.

I started out with Redhat, then Fedora; tried Suse, Ubuntu for couple of
days. Now I settled onto Debian. I am pretty happy with my choice (using it
for the past 4 years or so). It has all the software that I need to write
Fortran programs and much more. The package management of Debian is next to
none and is completely maintained by volunteers (no 'company politics').

> I would like to hear from you if there is a sort of "best"
> distribution, at least among the most known here in Italy (fedora/red
> hat, suse, debian, ubuntu, mandrivia - just in the order they came to
> mind).

There is nothing like best. But the reason I like Debian is, it just does
not break! Administrating a Debian box is much much easier than a rpm based
distribution (Redhat, Fedora, Suse etc.,)

hth
raju

--
Kamaraju S Kusumanchi
http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/kk288/
http://malayamaarutham.blogspot.com/

They say the best linux distribution is the one your linux guru friend
uses.

Fly Away <victor.proso@gmail.com> wrote:
> They say the best linux distribution is the one your linux guru friend
> uses.

That's a truly excellent point. It probably outweighs most of the
others.

--
Richard Maine                    | Good judgement comes from experience;
email: last name at domain . net | experience comes from bad judgement.
domain: summertriangle           |  -- Mark Twain

Fly Away wrote:
> They say the best linux distribution is the one your linux guru friend
> uses.

I always tell grad students that the best distro is the one I don't use.

;)

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