Need help choosing a distro

Joe Polgar

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This will be my first Linux distro. Well, almost first. I have been using Mint for several days.

I was very satisfied with Mint until I realized I can't have the latest Python versions as easily as in Windows. I learned things can go very wrong if I mess up the installation Mint comes with. Most say that I can install newer Python in a personal folder and "should" be okay. Some say that isn't foolproof either.

Is there an equally stable distro which wouldn't pose such dilemmas? Where I can install as many versions as I like, use them in a text editor (like Atom), without any hashbang stuff? I would appreciate suggestions. It doesn't have to be too user-friendly.
 


wizardfromoz

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G'day Joe and welcome to linux.org :)

I am not a Python user myself (yet) but I will ping a few of our people who use it and they may have recommendations.

@Tolkem
@dos2unix
@JasKinasis

That's done. Be patient as we are from different timezones globally and all volunteers with home lives and jobs.

Meantime, here are a couple of articles which may assist you to further understand Linux choices you have.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_distributions

The Wikipedia one outlines the "families" of Linux, of which there are basically "5 plus other"

I run 67 Linux from 4 of the Families on this Dell rig, so chances are whatever Linux you choose, I can have your back with installation or maintenance issues, other than on the Python.

Broadly speaking, there is also a choice in the Families between

rolling release and
point release

You are currently on a point release with Mint. This article explains a little

https://itsfoss.com/rolling-release/

Rolling release may have more up-to-date Python, I am not sure.

The majority of rolling releases are available under Arch and Arch-based distros such as Arch itself, Manjaro and so on.

But I will let our experts advise further.

Cheers and enjoy your Linux

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

f33dm3bits

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Try a rolling release distribution such as EndeavourOS, the other option would be to use python-virtualenvs but that won't suffice in all use cases.
 

Tolkem

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I realized I can't have the latest Python versions as easily as in Windows.
You can have it installed easier than in windows, since you don't have to download any installer, and as a matter of fact python is installed by default in any distro you choose.
There are a few options:
1. Use a virtual environment.
2. Use anaconda navigator
https://docs.anaconda.com/anaconda/install/linux/
3. Use a different distro, for instance openSUSE Tumbleweed https://get.opensuse.org/tumbleweed Fedora also delivers cutting edge https://getfedora.org/ and arch is another choice https://archlinux.org/
 

Joe Polgar

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Thanks, everybody. I have also seen that Arch has the newest version, but I didn't really want to start from the deep end :). I worry that I would mess up the installation or break my system later. I seriously considered Manjaro, but I've seen people recommending virtual environments in Manjaro, too: https://classicforum.manjaro.org/index.php?topic=13459.0


I have a decent computer, and I will get a big upgrade very soon, with pretty new components.

Mageia looks very interesting, but it doesn't seem to offer the newest Python release: https://madb.mageia.org/package/show/application/0/name/python3

EndeavourOS sticks with the Arch repository, which could mean it's as easy to get the latest Python release as in Arch.

Try a rolling release distribution such as EndeavourOS, the other option would be to use python-virtualenvs but that won't suffice in all use cases.
People have recommended that I use pyenv in Mint. I looked at it and I thought my problem is solved. Would you please tell me about the use cases when python-virtualenvs and pyenv would not suffice? Also, can you please tell me if using pyenv would affect the speed of execution in Python?
 

JasKinasis

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I have nothing further to add.
If you want to keep up with the latest version of Python - use a rolling distribution like Arch, or Fedora.

Personally, on Debian - I'm happy to stick with whatever Python versions are in the repos. Using the latest minor point-release of the python language doesn't really offer huge advantages over slightly older minor point-releases. The language doesn't generally change that much - at least, not on the surface. Under the hood there may be a few improvements here and there, but nothing huge, or that will be backwards incompatible. That only tends to happen when there are major releases. Like the differences between python2 and python3.
 
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