Want is the best OS for cuda development, I say this because i like linux better than windows but the amount of compatibilty issue with linux etc with drivers and this that and the other when most of the time windows is easier to install things as everything is complied. I am not a expert on linux so i have to learn as i go and im getting into c++. I wanted to build a mini supercomputer using clusters when someone else said about cuda using gpu processor cores to boost the performance of the cpu on a single desktop machine which sounded good. BUt i just wondered what OS would be better.
If you are already familiar with Linux, go with that. You will avoid pretty much all of the compatibility issues posted in the forums if you:
Use one of the Linux distributions listed. In the case of RHEL 4/5, there should be no problem using a free RHEL clone, like Centos or Scientific Linux. Just be sure to match up the version numbers exactly. People get into all kinds of trouble trying to shoehorn the CUDA toolkit into newer distribution versions, only to discover gcc incompatibilities.
Use the NVIDIA drivers posted on the CUDA website. Do not use the NVIDIA drivers packaged with the Linux distribution, as these are guaranteed to be 6 to 8 months out of date.
That’s it, really. I’ve been using CUDA for years now on a variety of 64-bit Linux systems with no problems by following those two rules.
I have used CUDA on linux only so i cant talk about how easy/difficult it is to set it up on Windows. It is not difficult at all. See, the thing with linux is that you may have to go through more number of steps to install stuff but in essence you do not need to actually know what the command exactly does. You can always learn about the commands/procedure at a later stage. If you just follow the instructions it becomes fairly trivial. Here is what I did to install CUDA on Fedora 8
Get the latest driver and install it.
Get the tool kit and run it from a root terminal
update the PATH and LD_LIBRARY_PATH variables. after you run the tool kit at the end it tells you how you can do this.
Install the SDK ( optional but recommended)
From the discussions on the board it does not seem that there is a big difference (there is some ) between the performances on Windows and Linux machines (Linux is apparently better but I am not too sure). Most people use a particular OS because of their personal preference and not because of some performance advantage or anything. So if you are comfortable with using Linux then I say stick with it. Remember the best OS is always the one you are comfortable with.