I strongly recommend to choose an LTS distribution and if possible, use a dedicated hardware or virtual machine for LedgerSMB.
I have good experiences with the latest Linuxmint Xfce 17 LTS (technically it is an Ubuntu 14.04LTS).
- New packages, long term support
- LedgerSMB 1.3 and 1.4 are working fine
If one have a recent (strong) workstation/laptop, it is easy to install the recommended distribution and get ledgersmb working.