Best Linux distribution for java

I’ve been using Gentoo on my laptop for a while, and while I find the features of Gentoo to be very powerful (compile from source to target your specific machine, central source repository, repository synchronization, etc), the fact that updating any major application takes a couple of days has really hit me. I’ve been looking for a distribution that is more end-user friendly, but that also supports all of my hardware (or most of it). Also, since my main focus is java development, I want a distribution that has good support for java, including support for the latest Eclipse release, 3.1.
My current candidates at the moment are:

  • Sun Java Desktop System 3. But it’s Solaris, not Linux, and I’m not sure I want to move to Solaris at this point in time. Plus, it’s mostly GNOME, while I prefer KDE.
  • Fedora Core 4. It looks to be the best choice, as many companies that provide Linux drivers (open or closed source) are at least doing it for Fedora. Plus, It seems to support most of my laptop’s hardware.
  • Kubuntu 5.04. Debian with an attitude. But I haven’t seen too much support for java from Ubuntu.
  • Mandriva 10.1. I used to run Mandrake a while ago, but I haven’t checked Mandriva. But, it seems that they carry KDE 3.2, while the others are already carrying 3.4 and 3.5 is even in beta now.

Are you using a linux distribution that you think is better than the ones mentioned aboce? why? Are you using one of the distributions mentioned above? what are your experiences?

11 thoughts on “Best Linux distribution for java

  1. Debian is great – you can compile all your packages if you want, but have the default ability to install the binaries with apt-get which is quite easy. And when you say Java support – besides installing the JVM, what kind of support are you hoping for?

  2. But isn’t SuSE the only linux distribution that isn’t free? Novell’s site only mention a trial version, and the full version is $100.

    About Java support, well, I was hoping for java packages for the distribution. I know that FC4, for example, includes a lot of java packages on the installation cd. It even includes Eclipse 3.1. For Gentoo, there are a lot of java packages, but they’ve been doing some weird stuff lately, like requiring eclipse packages to install tomcat.

  3. Since java provides binaries I dont believe its restricted to any linux distro . It runs very smoothly on any linux now a days….

    Ooops its been 3 years (one light year in linux terms) . Things have changed  a lot…. Linux is so much scalable….

  4. i dunno. i’m having terrible trouble getting eclipse, zend studio, and the java plugin for firefox to work on ubuntu. this stuff used to work fine a few versions ago. i don’t get it…

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