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superman3275

Installing Linux Right Now, And I Have Some Questions.

8 posts in this topic

Hello all! It's been a while since I started a topic, however I have an important one. Right now, I'm installing Mint Linux, and I thought it might be smart to ask some of the experienced programmers on here some questions (If you don't mind my non-smart brain :))

1) What is the best Linux IDE (In Your Opinion)

2) What are the Linux 101 programs I need to get right-away?

3) Is using the shell good for programming

Also, I'm getting Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon (Sorry, I just love good GUI's :))

Please help me understand the strange world of linux, cheers :)!
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1. Currently using Kate right now, it's a test editor with a lot of features.

2. You need to get g++ or clang, by default mint doesn't come with a c++ compiler.

3. shell is useful in unix-like OS's. The main reason I am using Kate editor is because it has an integrated terminal emulator, so I can edit code on one half of the screen, and compile with makefile and test the program on the other half of the screen without needing to switch windows.

I am using linux mint 13 now ;o
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[quote name='superman3275' timestamp='1353561281' post='5003122']
1) What is the best Linux IDE (In Your Opinion)
[/quote]
The one you are most productive with (ranging from terminal text editor + compiler to full-blown MSVC inside wine, though the latter might be kind of self-defeating). Personally I use C::B for my C/C++ projects mainly because it just flows more naturally for me than text editor -> makefile, though this might change in the future. YMMV.


[quote name='superman3275' timestamp='1353561281' post='5003122']
2) What are the Linux 101 programs I need to get right-away?
[/quote]
Most of the baseline stuff is normally prepackaged in the distribution, and any extras you need are highly subjective. For instance I always grab Skype and Code::Blocks when I install a new distribution, among others. What do you need? Mint has a software manager GUI which you can use to quickly get any big applications you need (like IDE's, etc...) without needing to look up their exact names through apt-get. I'm not sure if g++ is shipped with Mint, I recall not having to install it but then it might've come along with C::B...

[quote name='superman3275' timestamp='1353561281' post='5003122']
3) Is using the shell good for programming
[/quote]
Takes a while to get used to it, it's useful to automate, do various tasks, schedule stuff, generally perform maintenance, etc... it's not at all like Windows and the shell is actually useful in Linux (yes, yes, it can come in handy in Windows too but not at all at the same level). I'd say definitely learn it (but don't waste all your time on it either - shell is not everything, contrary to what some linux gurus would have you believe, there is just some stuff that is simply better served by graphical interfaces - but it is important)
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1) I have mostly used Code::Blocks and Emacs. C::B is easier, especially if you have used other IDEs before.

2) I always install mc (file manager for terminal). Most useful things come preinstalled, but you have to manually add development packages - starting from C++ and SVN and ending with development versions of basic libraries.

3) It is very useful, especially if you want to peek "under the hood" of working Linux system. Once you feel comfortable with it, it is usually much faster to do simple file operations in shell than using mouse.
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1) I also use and love Code::Blocks. Although I personally don't like it, you might want to give eclipse a try.

2) Linux has so many usefull tools, I guess I should split them up into categories. So these are the tools I use the most for programming related tasks, which doesn't mean you need to get them "right away". But they might prove useful.
FILES:
- SVN or GIT (version control)
- Meld (nice tool for merging files, probably not the best but I like it)
ART:
- Blender (3D Modeling tool)
- Gimp (painting tool)
- Inkscape (drawing tool, also good for editing PDFs)
- mogrify (commandline tool for batch processing of images, for example resizing)
NETWORK:
- Firefox + Google (obviously ^^)
- ssh (ssh client to log into a remote machine)
- netcat nc (usefull tool to send/recieve TCP or UDP messages for debugging purposes)
- Wireshark (very powerful network sniffer)
- Filezilla (nice ftp client)
MATH:
- octave (Matlab clone, a lot slower but usually sufficient)
- wxMaxima (nice tool for solving equations, computing integrals, etc.)
PROGRAMMING:
- Code::Blocks + gcc [+Cuda]
- Valgrind (bunch of tools for profiling and memory leak detection)
- oprof (profiler which uses the CPU's hardware counters)
- kcachegrind (my favorite tool to display profiling information, not sure if it is the best)
- perf top (builds on top of oprof and gives you an overview, which functions in your entire system use the most CPU time right now)
- iotop (tells you, which processes are using your HDD right now)

3) As was states above, the shell in linux is in general more useful then in windows and you should use it. However for programming I recommend an IDE like Code::Blocks or Eclipse.
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QtCreator is pretty good and works very well even for non Qt based projects. I use cmake and qt creator handles cmake projects pretty well (with a caveat that can easily be worked around).

It is good because it's fast, with a minimalistic yet useful user interface entirely based on spliting the window into non-overlapping areas, and using drop down lists instead of tabs (which makes it much less messy to juggle between lots of files than in say, visual studio). I used to use kdevelop 4 (which also have a strong support for cmake projects) but it was a bit slow and unstable (I pretty much always had to disable the indexer).

As for other software, if you're doing C/C++ development I can't recommend cmake enough.

You can easily automatize finding out where third party libraries that you need are installed and automatically setup the necessary include and linking paths, you can easily setup unit tests and execute them automatically, you can easily do non trivial build stuff like compiling a custom code generation tool and then run it before compiling its output all with the right dependency order, and last but not least it's cross platform so if some day you want to make a windows version of your project you can still use cmake to do it.
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What language are you developing in as that would influence IDE choice?

For all intents and purposes treat mint as ubuntu with a far far friendlier selection of default software. Chances are the vast majority of software you will ever need is just a quick "sudo apt-get install" away. Failing that if a website offers binaries for linux look for ubuntu binaries first (mint is built on ubuntu), these will come in a .deb package most likely. If the website does not make a mention of an ubuntu binary see if it has a debian binary (also .deb confusingly) which should work but sometimes doesn't.
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I don't use an IDE. Instead, I use the vim text editor, along with a few popular plugins, on Arch Linux. I rarely write code that needs to be explicitly compiled, but when I do, I usually use CMake as my build system.

A programming project is simply a collection of files, in what is usually a well-defined directory structure. There is no need to complicate matters by introducing some bulky piece of software of to hide that fact. However, that's just my opinion, and you should use whatever suits you best.

Definitely learn to love the shell -> On Linux systems, that's a crucial interface, and that's where a lot of "linux power" comes from.
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I do the same as Goran. I use gvim and cmake when working in Linux. I have some custom bash aliases setup for making greps easier, but other than that I use a linux console the vast majority of the time. I use ddd or kgdb for debugging. Valgrind (as was mentioned) is great for leak detection.

If I were going to use an IDE though in Linux I would probably use QtCreator or Code::Blocks.

I like Mecurial for source control. Wireshark is an excellent program for debugging network related stuff, but tcpdump can be useful also.

Just don't underestimate the power of a console... the ability to define aliases can be very powerful. Especially when you learn redirection operators. I also write tons of bash scripts to automate things. Edited by shadowisadog
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