Ubuntu experience - for developers and otherwise?

Hello all! If you read my posts from time-to-time you’ll know I’ve been on Debian Stable for close to ten years now, with no intention of changing that for personal use.

At the moment though I’m seriously looking at getting into development professionally and am concluding that Ubuntu’s probably a better choice for work, just due to better out-of-the-box support and industry collaborations that might make it more likely that standard tools that I won’t use personally (like Zoom) but are used in industry frequently will work straight-off allowing me to focus on coding rather than configuring.

Users of Ubuntu, especially developers, how do you find your experience with tools like Zoom, Slack etc. and (a tool I’d especially never use for personal work) Visual Studio Code?

(The kind of issues I’ve had with Debian so far is Zoom needing more up-to-date mesa drivers than Debian Stable uses. Also when I use something like VSCode or Android Studio in flatpak format it’s fairly bloated and at times I think the builds are unofficial, so just been reflecting on that a little too. Maybe there are more official Snaps for developer tools?)

Snaps work on Debian too don’t they?

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Yes but apparently they’re only fully functional on Ubuntu.

At my workplace, our Linux users are split between Fedora and Ubuntu.

Generally, people increasingly prefer Fedora because a lot of the foundational tooling that people want to use for development (such as Podman and Buildah) are actively maintained and updated in Fedora. Most industry tools are either somewhat or fully supported on Fedora these days.

Outside of that, both are pretty good options. Generally, if you want to use snaps, Ubuntu provides the highest quality experience. Outside of that, you can use snaps on Fedora too, just without the same level of integration. Flatpak integration on Ubuntu is on par with Fedora, but it isn’t enabled by default like it is on Fedora. Fedora tends to have much better hardware enablement and graphics drivers because it ships the latest kernel and mesa stack.

At our workplace, we mostly avoid both Flatpak and Snap, so we’re using RPM or DEB depending on the platform.

In the early days, Canonical did a lot of outreach to build snaps for them and would hand over the process to the developers so they’d update it. I don’t think they do this anymore, but it certainly had an impact.


Thanks - lots of useful detail in here. I think when I have time I’ll probably give each a trial run for a few weeks before deciding if one or the other suits me better :slight_smile: