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Best Linux distro and desktop for PsychoPy


Dear all,

I am setting up a linux box (recent intel cpu+graphics) dedicated exclusively to PsychoPy and would like to know if any of you had any experience with different distributions and desktops. I know of Neurodebian, but if it is the best choice, which distro and desktop in deb-land should I use it with for:

  • out of the box compatibility
  • sound and video driver compatibility
  • compatibility with the distro’s version of python
  • compatibility with a specific desktop and its default settings (for example: slowdowns under wayland, vsync re/setting and variable refresh rates, framedrop, etc)
  • if you recommend pip installing, do you recommend to do it in userspace, or as root? if root, why?

I should add that I normally use Fedora (KDE and Gnome), which is probably among the not so good choices for PsychoPy, judging from my past experience.

Thanks in advance,


I use virtual environments (virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper), which allow for project-based separation of python packages. Within a virtual environment, it is straightforward to install most packages via pip.

Regarding the distribution, I have been a happy Arch linux user for many years. It takes a bit more work to install and set up (the first few times), but I’ve found it to be great for creating minimal and fast systems for running experiments.