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Best Linux Distros

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On this page you will find the best 24 Linux distros for various purposes.

General Use

Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Lubuntu/etc

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One of the most popular general-use distributions with one of the largest selections of software.

Based on: Debian

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Fedora

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The most cutting-edge general-use distribution on a 6-month release cycle. It’s cutting edge in two ways: new versions of software, and it uses new software before other distributions use them.

Based on: Itself; Originated from: Red Hat

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openSUSE

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A stable, general-use distribution for everyone that excels in enterprise environments. openSUSE includes a few different defaults such as it’s package manager and the KDE desktop environment

Based on: Itself; Originated from: Slackware

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Debian

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One of the most stable distributions in existence, with a large selection of software. It is often used as the base of many other distributions.

Based on: Itself

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Linux Mint

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A highly-customized distribution that includes many features out-of-the-box that other distributions do not, including codecs. Linux Mint has such a large following that it’s starting to look toward going in its own direction.

Based on: Ubuntu, Debian

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Mandriva Linux

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Back in the day, one of the most popular distributions when it was known as “Mandrake Linux”. A great general-use distribution which uses custom themes and system tools.

Originated from: Red Hat

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PCLinuxOS

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Another general-use distribution that combines technologies from different distributions to present an overall great experience.

Originated from: Mandrake Linux

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Linpus Linux

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A general-use distribution that has specialized themes and apps for an easier overall user experience.

Originated from: Red Hat

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PinGuy OS

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A general-use distribution that comes with a number of customizations to make an easier out-of-the-box experience.

Based on: Ubuntu

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Slackware

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One of the oldest living distributions, Slackware allows plenty of configuration and is a great general-use distribution. It requires some knowledge of Linux and isn’t recommended for new users.

Based on: Itself; Originiated from: Itself

Download


Gentoo

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A general-purpose distribution that is centered around machine-specific optimization. Until recently, all software was compiled on the system rather than installing binaries. Not recommended for new users.

Based on: Itself

Download



Minimal

Arch Linux

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A minimal rolling-release general-use distribution where you install only what you want or need. It’s highly cutting-edge and there are no default installations. Most customizations are done manually in text files.

Based on: Itself; Originated from: Itself

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Puppy Linux

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A very small distribution that uses an extremely low amount of resources. Great for older systems or those that need every drop of power for their tasks.

Based on: Itself; Originated from: Itself; Compatible with: Slackware, Ubuntu, others with Woof tool

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Bodhi Linux

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A great lightweight alternative for systems that can’t run other desktop environments. Still very functional and relatively elegant.

Based on: Ubuntu

Download



Commercial

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

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A commercial solution from Red Hat for a great enterprise system, both desktop and server. Costs of the distribution come from support packages.

Based on: Fedora; Originated from: Itself

Download


SUSE Enterprise Linux

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One of two preferred enterprise systems for most Linux administrators. SUSE includes plenty of tools to make the admin’s job a lot easier.

Based on: openSUSE

Download



Enterprise

CentOS

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A great, free clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux for a pure, stable enterprise system.

Based on: Red Hat Enterprise Linux

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Specialized Purpose

Joli OS

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A distribution aimed for use on netbooks and working with different cloud services. Who needs ChromeOS?

Based on: Ubuntu

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ArtistX

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A specialized distribution that includes virtually every single multimedia application for Linux that you can think of. Great for work on images, sounds, and videos.

Based on: Ubuntu

Download


GParted

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A distribution made especially for partitioning hard drives. The distribution comes as a LiveCD only and contains only the GParted partitioning software and a console.

Based on: Debian

Download


Parted Magic

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A distribution aimed specifically at partitioning your hard drives, but includes plenty of other features that make it more of a rescue disc than a lone partitioning tool.

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Backtrack Linux

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A fantastic distribution that is specialized for network penetration testing and security auditing. It includes all kinds of software and needed patches to do the job.

Based on: Ubuntu; Originated from: Whoppix

Download



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