Linux is one of the most popular operating systems, with around 3-3.5 billion users worldwide. Thanks to its extensibility and nature as an open-source, it has led to the creation of many Linux-based distributions that have strong features. In this guide, discover the 10 best Linux distros you can add to your tech stack.
Packagecloud is a cloud-based solution that lets you distribute software packages in a reliable, unified, and scalable way, even if you don't own any physical infrastructure. By keeping packages in one repository, regardless of OS or programming language, you can distribute these packages to devices securely. That means you can set up and update machines faster and save money on servers and hosting packages for each OS.
Sign up for a Packagecloud 14-day trial now.
10 Most Popular Linux Distributions
Since Packagecloud handles management, you can now choose a Linux distribution without worrying about the complicated stuff. Here are 10 of the most popular Linux distributions right now.
Ubuntu is an open-source Linux distro that has three editions: Desktop, Server, and Core for IoT. Ubuntu provides a user-friendly user interface and comes with free software such as LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Transmission, and games like Sudoku and chess. In addition to the user-friendliness, the operating system is known to be more secure than Windows. It is not immune to viruses but it has a significantly lower level of exposure risk. Plus, it is highly customizable, so you can change your Ubuntu environment to suit your needs.
CentOS runs faster than other Linux distributions thanks to its lightweight and reliable software. The operating system has a longer upgrade cycle of about five years. (Other distributions tend to have a shorter cycle.) This means those other distros can sometimes be less reliable due to more frequent updates. Because of this, people consider CentOS as a stable operating system.
Recommended reading: What is CentOS, and Where Did CentOS Come From?
Fedora is also regarded as a stable and reliable operating system. Fedora offers many graphical tools and useful software for your office work, virus protection, system management, media play, education, and more. Thanks to its popularity, it is supported by a large community, which is an important factor when you choose open-source software.
Debian is a stable Linux distro, but at the same time, it allows users to experiment with unstable versions of packages for early adopters. Debianoffers the widest range of packages compared to the alternatives. Debian's upgrade cycle is also long, which means that you can use the same version for a long time. This prevents you from installing upgrade software and rebooting your server to apply the changes frequently. Thanks to stable software and the longer release cycle, it’s perceived as a great distribution for running servers.
Sign up for a 14 day trial today and discover how Packagecloud can help manage your Linux distributions.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), which describes itself as the “world’s leading enterprise Linux platform,” is used for diverse purposes for the development and operation of software and hardware. RHEL is known for its stability and fast speed. It has good compatibility with third-party software and has a fast security patch cycle. Since Red Hat, a multinational software company, manages this distro, you get good support.
Since its first beta release in 2006, Linux Mint has become one of the most popular Linux distributions, And you will be familiar with its user interface if you use Windows. There can be a learning curve when you switch to a new Linux distribution, but Mint can minimize that thanks to simple UI and ease of use. Plus, it comes with many useful apps by default such as Firefox, LibreOffice, and more. It has a strong app management tool. Like the App Store, you can use an internal software manager for visually searching software and installing what you need.
OpenSUSE offers a stable environment for its users and works well with almost all of the best Linux desktop apps. The distribution has an easy way to manage software. You can go to software.opensuse.org and search tools you want and install them directly from there. Thanks to its many benefits, OpenSUSE is a good fit for home and office settings. When you finish setup, the distro does not require you to continually upgrade your OS again and again if you do not want to; you can install it and just keep using it.
Recommended reading: What is SUSE, and How Does It Compare to CentOS?
Linux Distros: Manjaro
Manjaro, released in 2011, has grown to one of the most popular Linux distributions. Manjaro has unique strengths compared to other distros. Particularly, Manjaro is great at hardware support. With some Linux distros, you have to take extra steps to make your hardware work like installing drivers and packages manually, which can be a big pain. Manjaro, however, makes this process much easier. It scans your hardware and automatically installs the necessary drivers and packages. Unlike other distros, you don't have to deal with a Personal Package Archive (PPA) that's broken when you want to install software not supported by a distro's repository.
Elementary OS, released in 2011, differentiates itself from other distros with its own desktop environment called Pantheon. It also has its own user interface and own apps. Elementary OS has a minimalist design and focuses on simplicity, which makes it easy to learn. This minimalist design allows users to focus on what really matters and boosts their productivity.
Zorin OS can be a good start for those who want to experience Linux distros. Its UI looks very similar to Windows, and in Zorin's premium editions in OS 9, you can also change the UI into what looks like Apple's Mac OS. Speed is one of Zorin's strengths, and its OS supports more than 55 languages.
Recommended reading: 5 Best Linux Package Managers
The 10 Linux distros above offer a wide range of features to their users. When choosing between these distributions, consider speed, ease-of-use, design, and whether a distro will meet the needs of your business.
How Packagecloud Can Help With Linux Distros
Open-source Linux distros do not always provide the managed customer support you need. That’s where Packagecloud comes in. This hosted package repository service helps you manage package distributions in the cloud with high-availability support that simplifies large-scale deployments. Check out Packagecloud’s 14-day trial and package your machines without any additional hardware.
Packagecloud also runs thousands of tests in packaging system environments and provides high-availability support for Linux distros that makes it easy to scale deployments across your organization. You can upload any supported package type via a consistent API without breaking a sweat.
Packagecloud's cloud-based service for distributing software packages improves productivity in your organization. You can store packages in a single rep, regardless of OS or programming language, and distribute them to machines and environments seamlessly and securely without owning any infrastructure.
Sign up for a Packagecloud 14-day trial now and never worry about the scaling, security, or consistency of packages again.