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I need a slim, fast and very secure distribution. I need security for my work (encryption, anonymity, secure internet connection etc.). I love the Linux Mint design (Cinnamon) with the very nice green symbols.

I don't want to install a distribution with many pre-installed programs: I use LaTeX and don't need LibreOffice; I use VLC Media Player and don't need a second video player on my personal computer.

Sometimes I play some games like Dota 2. Not often, but sometimes. I should be able to play them on my PC too.

I would love to get the newest packages by dist-upgrade: since I am programming a lot, and using LaTeX very heavily.

Can you recommend a good distribution? While I have some understanding of programming, computer in general and Linux, I don't actually want to play too much to make everything work; even though it's nice to have the ability to do it.

Is the newest Linux Mint what I need? Is it secure? Which distribution would you recommend?

A list of my needs:

  • very high security; encryption etc.
  • Cinnamon Mint-Style
  • Very few preinstalled programs
  • Very new packages by dist-upgrade
  • Games should be playable on it
  • Good for programming and LaTeX
  • Secure for online banking
  • Ability to get help with the distribution online

PS! I need high security for my work; I handle sensitive data. Legal work to make it clear, if CIA or FBI should read StackExchange posts ;-)

closed as primarily opinion-based by Michael Homer, jasonwryan, larsks, Scott, slm Apr 2 '16 at 22:01

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Mint and secure don't belong in the same sentence... – jasonwryan Apr 2 '16 at 20:38
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    Debian stable is a pretty solid choice in general. You could do a basic install - it's pretty minimal. Most stuff you want can be configured with a little work. You'd really be better off asking about this in chat. There are usually a few people there that will respond to questions. – Faheem Mitha Apr 2 '16 at 21:18
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    Oh, and you can configure Debian to look pretty much as you like it, Cinnamon and all. Debian packages everything - it's the mother of all distributions. – Faheem Mitha Apr 2 '16 at 21:46
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If you handle sensitive data and need high security I would think that a distribution focused on that specific goal would be worth to look into. One of those distributions is Tails which is based on Debian Stable. However Tails is normally only used as a "live system" instead of installing it to hard disk.

What do you exactly want when you are asking for very new packages by dist-upgrade? If you want cutting-edge software, you are more likely to install software which is less secure because it hasn't been thoroughly used.

Maybe starting with a minimum Debian Stable image and building your own environment is a option? You can install your own desktop environment and only the tools you really need.

The possibility to program and write in LaTeX are easy to realize. Just install your preferred text editor (vim, texmaker, nano, ..), the needed texmaker packages, and the needed compiler(s).

Playing games depend on your hardware and the support for it. What hardware do you use?

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