[SciPy-user] Suggested Linux Distribution?

Jordan Mantha mantha at chem.unr.edu
Mon Jan 16 12:41:33 CST 2006

Darren Dale wrote:
> On Monday 16 January 2006 09:56, Ryan Krauss wrote:
>>I have been really happy with Ubuntu, but this is one of those loaded
>>questions among Linux users.  Installing all the prerequisites for
>>SciPy was fairly straight forward (I think almost all of them are in
>>the package system).
> For what its worth:
> I am a longtime gentoo user. I was recently considering switching to ubuntu, 
> mainly because when I tell everyone how great Linux is, I can't recommend 
> gentoo due to how difficult it is to install. Last week I tried installing 
> kubuntu, and had a hard time understanding the package manager, how to 
> upgrade to the most recent kernel, how do I find the full lapack installation 
> required to build scipy, etc. Compared to gentoo, the package system seemed a 
> bit messy (universe, multiverse, etc) and not as current.

I was a Gentoo user for ~ 3 years before I switched over to Ubuntu. I
was sort of tired of the compiling and tweaking and Ubuntu seemed to
offer a lot of packages (since it comes from Debian) but more geared
towards desktop use. The universe, multiverse, etc. repository thing
does take a bit of getting used to. Certainly, if you want to optimize
your distro to the maximum Gentoo is a great choice. If you want an easy
desktop for general work in the sciences, I think Ubuntu is a great
choice. One nice thing about Ubuntu in the context of this list is that
it is quite python-centric so python packages tend to get worked on more
than other distros.

As far as how current Ubuntu is it really depends on where in the
6-month release cycle you are and what release your using. Having come
from Gentoo I was not used to "releases" but if you install Ubuntu 6.04
(to be released April) when it is first released you will have quite
current software. You can also run the development release if your brave
(I have since it started) and then you have the same (if not newer)
versions as Debian unstable.

So I think Ubuntu is a great choice for desktop scientific use, although
I'm a bit partial since I work on the Universe science maintainer team.

> I guess I am sticking with gentoo and hoping for the gentoo installer project 
> to mature, so I dont have to waste two days setting up my next computer.

Is Vidalinux (or I guess it's VLOS) around still? I thought it had some
potential for getting people up and running with Gentoo.

-Jordan Mantha

> Darren
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