It's good to learn how to use a terminal to compile stuff rather than an IDE. I always advise people to at least learn their way around a linux file system, as scripting (bash,perl,python,etc..) is excellently paired with the linux environment.
Are you asking which version of linux? I'd imagine any stable release will be fine. If you're unsure, just get whatever's the most popular at the moment (usually something like Ubuntu).
Linux is a programmer's dreamhome, most distros come with at least a basic tool-set to start coding immediately after installation. Of course not all languages are covered out-of-the-box, but in the gnu toolset alone (shipped with 99% of distributions) you get yourself a C and C++ compiler, bash, which also interprets bourne shell, tcsh, and zsh. Most also come with python and ruby out of the box, albeit right now as both languages are at a transition point you may need to manually grab the correct version. Personally I use Slackware for all of my computing needs, but any distro will do. Most also ship with either vim or emacs, some with both. It doesn't matter which you use, but these are the best two code editors known to man and each of them are ridiculously more productive to use than the other editors available (notepad++, sublime-text (without the vim plugin, that's cheating :P) gedit, visual studio's code editor, etc.)
-SNES- Hasta Pasta! Sieh nur wie ich laufen kann... Mich fängst du nicht, ich bin der Lebkuchenmann!