View Full Version : best linux distribution

04-23-2007, 03:23 AM
I´m a mac user and I know a bit about ubuntu, suse, caixa magica and etc...
at work with a pc we use those very expensive software's, you know...
today I just bought a used lap-top pc just for cad/cam/cnc apps...
but I´m not interested at all in running windows, I want linux,
what would be the best linux distribution for cad/cam/cnc apps?

04-23-2007, 08:24 AM
I can't say I have tried many Distro's, but I have just installed Ubuntu on my machine controller, and liked it so much I converted a laptop that was running slow with XP, sped it up greatly. It is a bit of a learning curve, but worth the effort in my opinion.

I haven't setup EMC yet, I don't have the time at the moment, I will once things settle down for me, but reading the manual it seems quite a capable program.

I have installed QCAD, and it seems OK as well, again haven't had much time to "play", but it saves as DXF format (among others).

Not too sure about the CAM side of things, I use DeskCNC and like it for importing DXF's and creating toolpaths, but will look at something to run in Linux, or port Desk somehow.


04-25-2007, 04:16 AM
Well i run Suse... my other linux fundie friends say that suse is best...

it think it has a nice look and feel and there are some wicked add ons included..

you should also install that open source CAD app that is available on the net (cant really remember the name)

anyway, enjoy..

04-25-2007, 10:32 AM
Any of the major linux distributions will do what you need. My preference is using something debian based because of the amount of software that is packaged in a convenient (.deb) form. Debian based includes Mepis (my favorite) and ubuntu and all the ubuntu derivatives such as Kubuntu. There is also Debian itself of course.

If you are interested in Enhanced Machine Controller --EMC-- downloading ubuntu directly from linuxcnc.org is the way to go. Getting this to work on another distribution is non-trivial. This disk can run in live/ram mode so nothing risked in giving it a try.

For cad/cam linux is not great. Here's a bit of what is available;

Qcad is easy and inexpensive, there is a free version available . The camexpert plug-in is deadly accurate for center-of-tool work in my experience. It is 2d only for cam and doesn't have many features. If using this be prepared to do much of your own code for cutter compensation etc. $40 for the plug-in.

Synergy is complex and powerful. $250 for 2 1/2 D (no simultaneous 3 axis movement) ~$1750 for full blown 3D. The cad portion is free.

Good luck with this. Linux is great but cad/cam is a weak point.

05-13-2007, 08:37 PM
Too late to edit so new post.

Cam Expert $140 not $40

Synergy 3D $1250 not $1750

If anyone has seen my brain please return it. It's wearing a collar with name tag.

Sorry for any confusion.

05-29-2007, 07:31 AM
Just installed Ubuntu 7.04 on a low spec laptop, very sweet, picked up the internal wireless card that XP didn't, lol. Its not for EMC, just general use, very impressed. Still had to disable IPv6 in Mozilla but updates worked fine, install was seamless and painless.


10-09-2008, 05:28 AM
I use CentOS on my computers ( except from the laptop that is ,i still got vista ) i also got a computer running Ubuntu/windows 2000 for software testing . both CentOS and Ubuntu have a live cd .. og ahead and downlad em and try em out :)

10-09-2008, 11:07 PM
So I guess I will just chime in here ;-) I use gentoo but it is probably more difficult than most - the whole distribution recompiles from source and is thus can be optimized for you machine. If you use gentoo be prepared to learn a lot! At my work place we use a variety of distros - Fedora is common as a desktop os, if we ship computers as part of our product it will have Centos on it.