A Linux distro (short for distribution) is a version of the Linux operating system that includes the Linux kernel (the core of the operating system) and various software packages, utilities, and applications. There are many different Linux distributions available, each with its own philosophy and goals. Some of the most popular Linux distributions include Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, Arch Linux, and openSUSE. Each of these distributions has its own unique set of features, tools, and packages, and is maintained and updated by a community of developers and users.
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Top 10 Linux distros
Whether you’re looking for a Linux distro for programming, gaming, or just day-to-day use, here are some options you should check out:
In addition to being lightweight, Arch is one of the most stable distros available today and is specifically designed for systems featuring x86-64 processors. And because of its simple user interface, it’s a good option for users new to Linux. It’s also very popular since it’s optimized for speed, always works with the latest versions, and has a customizable build.
Alpine is another distro designed for security and simplicity. It’s also small and provides quick boot-up times, which is why it’s commonly used for containers, virtual machines, and embedded devices like NAS, servers, and routers.
Ubuntu LTS with GNOME
Ubuntu is based on Debian and is one of the best options for those new to Linux. It comes with a user-friendly GNOME desktop environment, which features a sleek UI and smooth animations. Plus, the desktop version supports common Windows programs like VLC, Google Chrome, and Firefox. It also has free applications for other tasks, like LibreOffice (office suite), Thunderbird (mail), and games like Sudoku. Overall, it’s great for everyday use.
Linux Lite is based on Ubuntu LTS and is a suitable option for those looking to switch to a Linux-based OS since it tries to make the transition as smooth as possible. It comes with a Windows-like environment and provides support for commonly used applications like Firefox, Skype, and Spotify. It’s also pretty lightweight, making it ideal for older laptops or computers with minimal hardware.
What’s great about Fedora KDE is that it uses the KDE Plasma desktop as its user interface, which is not only fast but also great for all kinds of users. The distro comes with a plethora of pre-selected applications that you might need, including apps for instant messaging, browsing, and entertainment as well as a productivity suite for work. It’s also very stable and doesn’t require any modifications after installation.
This distro is well-known for its clean and modern user interface (powered by Pantheon) that pretty much resembles the macOS interface. In addition, it provides some exciting features. For instance, the multitasking view shows all the open workspaces and windows, so you can switch between them and the ‘do not disturb’ option disables all notifications to help you focus. The latest edition (6.1) also comes with improved pre-installed apps. The only problem is that Elementary OS provides limited flexibility, so you can’t really customize it.
Manufactured by System76, Pop!_OS is based on Ubuntu and is one of the best options for gaming since it comes with all the necessary tools. Plus, it works great with hybrid graphics cards so that you can have an enjoyable gaming experience. Other unique features include a well-designed desktop (COSMIC), optimized power controls, and a software store (Pop Shop) where you can find and install apps.
Zorin OS features the Avant Window Navigator and GNOME 3 as the default desktop environment and comes with ready-made themes. It’s best for those just moving to Windows, especially because of the PlayOnLinux and Wine applications that let you run different Windows programs. The interface is also very familiar, so there’s no learning curve involved. Zorin is available in four editions—Zorin Core (free version with standard layouts, LibreOffice suite, and Zorin Connect), Zorin Education (for self-paced learning), Zorin Lite (ideal for low-end and older machines), and Zorin Pro (paid version with advanced features).
MX Linux is a user-friendly and reliable distro based on Debian and is known for its stability. It comes with three desktop environments to choose from: Fluxbox, KDE, and Xfce. Plus, it comes with numerous applications pre-installed, like a media player, an internet browser, and an email client.
openSUSE is another distro geared towards professionals, especially developers, and is based on the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. It’s also one of the most secure options (with frequent password entry) and is designed to provide users with a secure, trustworthy, and robust distro.
More notable distros
In addition to the ten distros above, here are three Linux distros worth taking a look at.
Solus is a beautiful distro that can even run on old laptops and computers. Just like MX Linux, you can choose from different desktop environments, including GNOME, KDE Plasma, and MATE. Plus, it comes pre-installed with numerous development tools, making it a good option for programmers and developers. However, its eopkg package manager has a bit of a learning curve.
RHEL or Red Hat Enterprise Linux is also a secure and stable distro that’s considered one of the best options available today because of its stability and speed. It’s based on Fedora and is available on IoT and cloud platforms. It can easily manage data containers and visualization and is shipped with built-in Red Hat software tools.
Linux Mint Cinnamon
Another good option for new Linux users is Linux Mint Cinnamon. It’s based on Ubuntu and comes with many beginner-friendly features, including custom desktop options and an easy-to-use interface that’s pretty much similar to Windows. It also comes ready out of the box and includes nearly every driver and utility you’d ever need, including Bluetooth, webcam, and printer. Plus, unlike other distros, many people find Cinnamon’s desktop environment beautiful.
To sum up..
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