Linux. It has long been known understood that this little gem of an operating system is one that only so called ’geeks’ love. We’d hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that is no longer true.
If you understand anything about non-essential command lines when you know that Linux has the amount of distributions that are not only popular but are an extensively graphical interface. This interface is referred to as a desktop environment, abbreviated to DE.
This article will give an inside look at some of 2016’s Best Linux Distribution.
What Is a Linux Distribution?
For anyone that is looking to use Linux on their computers, you will find yourself: asking what the heck is a Linux Distribution?
Linux Distribution or a ‘distro’ as it has been abbreviated to, is a set of packages that make up the operating system as a whole.
For Advanced Users
So, you have been using Linux for some time now and can be seen an advanced user. There are a number of distributions for Linux that are available for advanced users.
Regarded to as one of the most popular distributions within the world of Linux, openSUSE is renowned by users that work with the distribution either commercially or privately.
openSUSE was inspired by the RPM package management system. It also has KDE acting as the desktop environment. The distro allows GNOME, LXDE, Mate and XFCE that assist with installation.
With the more stable release, openSUSE uses Tumbleweed, which is the latest release of the distribution. Having this is a recommendation for any user who that wishes to use the latest software version.
Lastly, openSUSE has a complete system solution known as YaST and it is accompanied by pre-installed application to help you begin using the application.
The app is fantastic for users who want their Linux experience to have great support on a system that is stable and reliable.
As the second point in our article, we thought we would say the Debian is the oldest Linux distribution available and is considered to be the grandfather of all the Linux distributions that are mentioned in this article.
Debian is well known to focus on the applications stability as there are very few newer versions created. When new versions are released they are named after characters from the animated film Toy Story and are tested thoroughly to ensure the app’s stability.
The distro has a staggering amount of amazing packages (over 37,000 to be exact) and to top it off, every piece of software that has been created to operate on the Linux operating system, has Debian packaging.
Why not try Debian in Live mode? Using Live mode before installing will enable the user to between installation options: minimal or full installation.
There is also a graphical installer that will assist in the installation process. Because of this, it is possible to install whatever DE that you want as they are all supported by Debian.
Debian is suitable for Linux users who want stability but can’t be bothered to update their apps everything there is an update.
Want a Linux distribution that is powerful? Look no further than Manjaro Linux. It also has the power of Arch Linux is user-friendly which is great when it comes to installing the distribution of your system as well as maintaining it.
There is a default on the Manjaro distribution that makes it lightweight. It is dependable on XFCE. KDE, GNOME and Cinnamon are also available.
Manjaro has automatic hardware detection on offer as well as support for drivers and kernel use. If you are unsure, we just want to reassure you that there the software is tested to assure that there are no glitches.
Since the rolling release, the system on your computer will be up to date.
Manjaro is a great option when it comes to the up to date software. It is best for the average user who does not feel inclined to use Arch Linux.
As it was pointed out, Arch Linux has just as much power to that of Manjaro Linux.
Arch allows for the user to have complete control over their system. However, advanced knowledge is required of the distribution in order to use it successfully. It is recommended that tutorials be undertaken if you are thinking about using Arch. You can also read the official guides that are available.
There are a number of apps available in the app store which is called the Arch User Repository (AUR).
When now comes to updating the distribution, it is cautioned upon that updates can break the system.
As it has been stated already, Arch Linux allows for the user to have control over the operation of their system. This will allow the user to tweak every detail.
Arch has its own forum and wiki where users can go if they ever need assistance with problems.
Arch Linux is best used by advanced Linux users. Average users can also use Arch if they are willing to learn about Linux and how it runs. Arch is also great for users who insist on using a minimalist setup for Linux.
Bleeding edge. That is what the distribution is often referred to as being. This means that the distribution focuses on the latest technology even if it means that the program’s stability is jeopardized.
Fedora has three editions:
There are also different versions of Fedora available which are known as Spins. These Spins allow for separate software collections and desktop environments with the default being GNOME.
An important feature that Fedora has included is known as SE or, Security-Enhanced Linux which makes Fedora safe through the kernel. This allows the distribution’s user to control all the different security options that are available.
Fedora is best used by advanced users who want to try the latest software on the market for Linux while ensuring the system’s security.
KaOS is the baby of this list of distributions. The previous stable version of the distro was released in February 2015 which brought about the newest features of KDE as well as a complete change to Plasma 5 which assists in a friendly, as well as a familiar desktop environment.
Other than the KDE apps, KaOS has its very own software that takes on the name Octopi as well as the lightweight known as QupZilla which is the web browser by default. There is a downside. KaOS will only work on a system that runs 64-bit. It is not the ideal for the user but if you want to muck around whatever KDE apps are available, be sure to give it a whirl.
KaOS is best used by users who wish to use Plasma 5 and for those users who are either advanced or average in how they use the distribution.
Are You New to Linux?
Are you new to using Linux? Do not forget to check out these distributions.
Ubuntu is user-friendly and is Debian based. It is immensely popular with Linux users and is highly accepted among the Linux user community which occurred a few years back.
There are a lot of things that can be achieved with Ubuntu. If you have your heart set on a certain DE when you can use it with a little help from a desktop shell known as Unity. Ubuntu is expected to release two releases sometime in 2015 which include the highly controversial Mir display server which is said to be replacing the X Window System which is now outdated.
There is good news! Ubuntu is going to be bringing out its first smartphone device. The device will be run by Ubuntu Touch.
Ubuntu is great for beginners and for anyone that is looking to switch from Windows or OS X.
Want a spin off to Ubuntu? Look no further than Linux Mint.
Originally, Linux Mint was released as another version of Ubuntu with codecs for multimedia that is offered out-of-the-box.
As of now, Linux Mint has a desktop environment known as Cinnamon which comes with an Update Manager, Mint menu as well as a Software Manager and comes in three different ‘flavors’ KDE, XFCE and Mate. The stable version as of currently is 17.1 (Rebecca) which will be supported until the year 2019.
Linux Mint also has a semi rolling release that is simulated by Debian and is available in Cinnamon and Mate.
What is great about Linux Mint is that it comes with default programs that include the likes of LibreOffice, Firefox, GIMP and Pidgin. Mint is customizable and works well on older computers.
Linux Mint is perfect for Linux first timers and anyone wants an operating system that comes straight from the box, so to speak.
Established by Mandriva Linux in 2010, Mageia uses RPM as its package management system and has many desktop environments such as KDE, GNOME, LXDE, XFCE, Mate, Cinnamon as well as RazorQt that can be installed via the Mageia DVD or the repositories.
As of currently, the stable version is Mageia 4 which was released sometime last year. There is another update on its way that will bring a lot of improvements with it including the default Btfrs file system.
Mageia is fantastic for trying the Linux distribution and for users that are concerned about the user friendliness.
PC Linux OS
PCLOS which is PC Linux OS abbreviated, has a bit of a reputation for being simple. It supports hardware that is out-of-the-box which means old devices as well.
LXDE and Mate as well as KDE serve as the desk environments and brings in a new edition called FullMonty that is KDE but is customized which assists with the pre-installation of applications and desktops that allow for diverse activities to be undertaken.
What is great about PCLOS is that it has its very own repository that has a load of apps that will make a lot of users very happy. It also uses a RPM packaging system. We also have to tell you that these updates are always rolling out.
PC Linux OS is perfect for beginners who want to try new software and do not want to spend time setting their system up.
Created in 2010, Netrunner comes in two separate editions. Standard (likeUbuntu does) and Rolling (which was inspired by Manjaro Linux).
Netrunner has the best experience when it comes to the KDE experience and has a lot of apps that are already installed like Firefox, Skype, Steam and GIMP as well as the file manager known as Dolphin, the office suite Calligra and the text editor called Kate.
As an added bonus, Netrunner has incredibly beautiful themes for the desktop, desktop effects for low end machines and a simplified system settings dialog. The current Long Term Support release is 14.1 and there are two more updates coming in the form of 15 and 16.
Netrunner is great for users who want to use KDE distributions only.
Inspired by Fedora, Korea provides codecs for multimedia and third party repositories that assist in the setup process for new users.
GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon, Mate and XFCE are all editions with eye catching icons and a basic desktop setup.
The whole idea for the creation of Korea was to make Fedora more attractive to the Linux wider audience and comes with some well-known applications like VLC, Firefox, Google Chrome and Dropbox which are a part of the system via default.
There is a new stable update coming in 2015.
Here is a fun fact about Korea. Korora is Maori for ‘little penguin’.
Korora is best used by new users and for users that want the user-friendly version of Fedora and the added bonus of the multimedia support.
Have an Old Computer? No Problem
Can’t afford a new computer to run Linux on? Not a worry! You can use your old computer to run these distributions.
A new distribution that is already knee deep in praise, LXLE is lightweight and has only one desktop environment that is Ubuntu based.
The main adjective of LXLE is to assist users who are moving from OSX or Windows and onto a Linux-run system. The idea of LXLE was to copy or mimic other operating systems in appearance. Through this method, it makes the switch for users more comfortable.
LXLE comes stocked with applications that you will use like text editors, email apps and Instant Messaging clients as well as multimedia tools. File viewers and system utilities are also part of the package. The great thing is, with all these tools, LXLE does not end up being slow. It can be customized for older computers and run both 32-bit and 64-bit.
LXLE is a game changer for Mac and PC users who wish to resurrect their older PCs.
Known for its anti-bloat and minimalism, Bodhi Linux is only very basic and has simple apps that come by default. This allows the user what the apps to install on their systems through AppCenter.
Lightweight, Bodhi’s desktop environment is not seen in most distribution which is called Enlightenment. It is quick and can be customized. As of February 17, the version of Bodhi will be 3.0 and will be released. It will be supported until 2019 as the Bodhi distribution is based upon the Ubuntu LTS.
Bodhi is best run on old computers and is best used by users who want basic apps if Linux is new to them.
Yet another Ubuntu based distribution, there is something magnificent about the design of the program.
The design can be characterized as harmonious which a good way to describe this app.
Basic applications can be assisted in working with important tasks like music, email as well as text editing. There are other apps that can be installed from the app store.
ElementaryOS has been its very own file manager and desktop environment. This is called Pantheon which has most of the core components. These components include; application launcher known as Slingshot, the dock which takes the work Plank as its name and the panel which goes by Wingpanel.
Once everything is up and running, will work. It is also incredibly light when it comes to system resources.
When it comes to the distribution of the application, it will work on old computers and allows the user to have the appearance of a Macintosh that is running OS X.
Without a doubt, we are really liking this list of Linux distributions. We are really happy that you have taken the time to read our suggestions. Perhaps there are distributions that our readers use or have used in the past. We would really like to hear what you have to say on the subject.