What is the best distro for my business manager?

marbux marbux at gmail.com
Sat Nov 24 05:04:54 UTC 2012

On Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 7:42 PM, Kyle <kyle4jesus at gmail.com> wrote:
> Please don't try running Linux in a virtual machine under Windows, unless
> you are only using it for experimentation with different Linux distributions
> before making a final switch. It would be much better for productivity and
> stability to run an older version of windows, say xp, inside a virtual
> machine under Linux, for the rare occasions when you feel you need to use a
> Windows application.
> Rationale: Windows can easily become quite unstable, especially when
> installing new software or hardware, and if Windows crashes, your virtual
> machine will suffer an unclean shutdown and may not boot, in which case, you
> could mess up both your Windows installation and your Linux virtual machine.

I agree with your rationale, but for one fact: WinXP runs like cold
molasses in Virtual Box, even with 3 GB of fast RAM devoted
exclusively to it on a fast quad-core CPU. Linux on the other hand
runs very fast on VB even with limited RAM. I've sometimes wondered if
Microsoft added code to make it run slow on a virtual machine ("VM").
But in any event, as wrong-headed as it might seem to use the least
stable OS as the host, there's not a lot of choice here if you make
any substantial use of Windows.

(I'm stuck in that situation because I assist in development of a
cross-platform app that has virtually all of its development builds
compiled for Win32.)

But that isn't entirely bad news. VM's can be exported from VB which
makes it very easy to do a new Linux system backup after installing
any new software. And the exported VMs can be imported into VB and
several other VM programs. So the time to get back up running again
after reinstalling Windows and Virtual Box should be very short.

Windows is also much more stable if you don't use it as a playground
to experiment with lots of programs and do all of your web browsing
and downloading on the Linux side  Firewalling  MSIE from being used
as a web browser also helps a lot as does a good antivirus program.
But it can take many years of use to acquire the skills, knowledge,
and utilities to keep it stable. Of course, it's much easier to keep a
Linux system stable.

WinXP is easily the most stable Windows version I've used. I've been
frequently using a new machine that came in with Windows 7 during the
last 6 months or so. I'm not impressed. We're planning on switching
that machine to WinXP with a Linux Mint guest fairly soon. And we
won't be buying any machines that have the UEFI secure boot hardwired
to Win8 or 9.

On the other hand, I am thinking
> that an LTS (long-term support) Ubuntu release such as 12.04 is better for
> increased productivity that is guaranteed to be stable and supported for 5
> years, both commercially and by the community.

My experience with Ubuntu LTS releases was that support wasn't very
good for backporting packages. Fairly quickly, I was faced with the
choice of upgrading or missing out on bug fixes and updates in
packages I used. That situation may have changed though.

Best regards,


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