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Linux developer computer

Posted on 2014-10-26
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Last Modified: 2014-10-26
Hi there,

I am considering using Linux on a computer specifically for development work (PHP, C++, etc). What is the minimum computer hardware specifications I need to get?

Thanks
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Question by:userTester
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LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40405258
You need to look that up on the web site for the distribution that you want to install.  Typically, Linux does not require as powerful hardware as Windows does.   Of course, I just tried to look up system requirements on the Ubuntu site and all I see is essentially advertising.  Very modern of them.

As long as you're not getting a 'bottom of the line' computer, Ubuntu will probably run on any recent computer.  Note that Dell sells computers with Ubuntu (and maybe others) pre-installed.
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by:Experienced Member
ID: 40405276
The use you put the computer to may be more taxing than the Linux install.

I suggest any modern computer (I5 CPU or better, 500 GB 7200-rpm hard drive, 64-bit operating system and 8 Gb of memory) will do what you need.
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dbrunton earned 500 total points
ID: 40405282
Pretty much anything will work.

Here are the Ubuntu requirements https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SystemRequirements

You'll see that they go down as low as a 300 MHz or 700 MHz processor.  Ignore those requirements.

A good "rule of thumb" is that machines that could run XP, Vista, Windows 7 or x86 OS X will almost always be a lot faster with Ubuntu even if they are lower-spec than described below. Simply try Ubuntu CD as a LiveCD first to check the hardware works.

taken from the link above.  

Use that as a staring guideline.  Now you are going to be developing so make sure the processor is multi-core (quad is good), better than 2 GHz and up the memory (4 Gb is not enough) and get a bigger hard disk.
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by:rindi
ID: 40405342
Basically you can use a low-end, ten year old PC for that. It really depends on how many Windows you have open, or whether you also compile on the PC, and how large and complex those programs are that you are compiling. A newer higher powered PC will be much faster at that. If you work on dual displays you may also need a video card with 2 outputs that can drive the 2 displays at maximum resolution in extended mode.
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by:JohnnyCanuck
ID: 40405510
If you will be doing a lot of compliling from source then faster is better.  That said, even a modest computer will work well with Linux.  There are Linux versions that work with 386 processors, and don't forget, even the Raspberry Pi runs Linux and can do compiling (though slowly - roughly equivalent to a 700mhz PII).

The paradigm that faster is better still applies to Linux, so buy the fastest computer you can afford.
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Author Closing Comment

by:userTester
ID: 40405512
This answer was the most complete, but thanks to everyone.
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