Recommended release for Macbook Pro 8,1?

I’ve been meaning to blow away my Mavericks install of OSX on the Macbook for some time now, but have been delaying to see whether or not the next version of OSX was an improvement over the last. In my opinion it is not. QuickTime Player hasn’t worked with Perian for some time now and my preferred browser Pale Moon browser hasn’t had an updated release for OSX in several months and even that was a beta. There are other issues (random crashes of the operating system) and I actively despise the way the interface has been going the last several releases.

I’d much rather be running Ubunt-Mate, using VLC or Gnome-mplayer, using the latest version of PM4Linux and having a stable operating environment. About the only major thing I’ll miss is iTunes for my iPod Nano, but I imagine if need be I can load the version of OSX I have on SD card and manage the music and podcasts from there. And while I haven’t checked yet there might even be better iPod support since the last time I checked in.

The issue is we’re kind of in between releases here. The 15.10 version is about to drop and I’m not sure which version of the system will be best for my hardware. Recommendations?

I installed the 32 bit 15.04 on my Macbook Pro 6.2 (4 GB RAM). It needed a little effort to get the top row of the keyboard working - remember to look for and add additional drivers. If you have a non us-english keyboard that may be interesting too - but the built-in help (“is this letter present on your keyboard” etc.) did the trick.
You could use the 15.04 32 bit while you wait for 16.04 - but there would be a 3 month period without security etc. updates (non LTS releases are only supported for 9 months now).

Thanks for the reply.

I ended up waiting until the release of 15.10 and gave it a few tries. At first it really did not want to install, kept getting errors indicating that either the Macbook was overheating or that the disc was burned improperly. I did a burn of the image on a different machine and then things got better.

I managed to install but then encountered the horrid delay in booting until I blessed the partition and that cut down the delay from 30 seconds to only 5 seconds. Was happy to see the touchpad worked and I didn’t have to deal with an invisible mouse pointer. Had to enable the WiFi to get connectivity but once enabled it worked just fine. Would be nice if it was retained after boot though, once the install was complete. Strange that I would install with it and then have to hunt down an ethernet cord to use what I just installed with…

Then the trouble started. Upon a reboot I was shunted to the infram boot prompt due to errors. Attempted to use install disc to repair disk but even though all errors were fixed it still refused to boot. Spent another three or four hours trying to reinstall only to get no joy.

If not for the fact that OSX installed just fine and has been issue free I would suspect hard drive failure from the way things were screwing up. Not sure at this point if my troubles are hardware related or Apple related.