Best Linux Distro: Linux Distributions For Everyone
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How many times have you heard of Linux? While this operating system is considered suitable for those more familiar with PCs and knowledge of programming languages, it is often considered valid even for beginners who want to try something alternative. From the very beginning, in fact, this operating system has improved significantly, resulting in many Linux distributions suitable for any purpose.
One of the most positive notes is that you no longer need to be a programmer to get the most out of this feature rich resource. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the best Linux distributions, explaining in detail how they are made and what their main purpose is. Ready to start? Let’s continue then.
Best Linux Distro
The world of Linux is truly fascinating, especially if you are new to it. Unfortunately, however, this is a very large and confusing universe that can strain your patience.
Therefore, it is not always easy to choose the best Linux distribution, if not after careful research. The first thing to clarify is what the term “distribution” means . You should be aware that Linux is only the foundation of an operating system that provides a kernel and a graphical interface (or several). You can recognize it by the icon depicting Tux, the official kernel mascot.
Linux distributions , on the other hand, are customizations that offer different tools and applications depending on the use they are made for. Something like the Android distraction I told you about.
It is for this reason that downloading a random version of Linux is never the best way to explore the world. However, if you want, I can help you with this.
Another very important difference when it comes to Linux architecture is the basis on which the operating system is developed.
Debian and Arch are actually very different from each other, while they offer some similar features. And we need to do a deeper study of this detail:
- Debian : Released in 1993, this distribution is based on the Linux kernel. With it, you can access a large number of application packages called repositories, as well as download both free and paid software. Debian can be installed on any type of hardware, both x86, MIPS and ARM. It is the best Linux environment for beginners as it provides complete packages for all needs;
- Arch : Although this architecture is based on Linux, it is recommended for those with more advanced computer knowledge. Compatible only with x86 and x64 systems, Arch allows you to set up a minimal tool base, which you then need to customize to your liking. However, remember that in this case, using the shell (or command line, whatever you say) is very important, otherwise you will not be able to follow many steps.
Optimized Linux distro
The first step into the Linux world is to enter the dynamic of thought that is commonly used to implement distributions.
In the following paragraphs, I will introduce Linux distributions optimized for a specific use . Therefore, it would be easier to use them if they matched the parameters you selected.
Did you know that Linux is often used in computer schools to teach students? In fact, it is a simple and effective method to get in touch with the world of programming for the first time.
As the name suggests, Edubuntu is a Linux distribution designed specifically for educational purposes, educational or not.
In addition to the basics of the operating system, it includes a number of tools, among which the most important are:
- Office software package;
- Navigation tools;
- Applications for education.
Thanks to this distribution, anyone who is a teacher can use it to have all the basic teaching tools at any time.
Security is also one of the fundamental themes of this version of Linux: thanks to the structure of Edubuntu, in fact, each student will have personal space to use the core operating system components without compromise anyway. Yes, you read that right, there is a sandbox in which you can conduct tests and experiments in complete serenity.
To download the Edubuntu ISO and more information, connect to this URL .
I’m sure a few friends told you that Linux-based operating systems are not suitable for gaming . I guarantee you that, until recently, this was the absolute truth. No, not for components used on board computers. Yes, because no Linux distribution has been designed so that users can fully enjoy their favorite games.
Do you know Par ? It is a gaming platform that allows you to download and play a variety of games right on your PC. The owner company, the same company that made Half Life, decided to create their own Linux distribution and name it SteamOS .
Thus, SteamOS is based on the gamer-focused Steam platform. While not specific to Windows yet, it allows you to run your favorite games with maximum freedom.
This Linux distribution supports a wide variety of gaming hardware such as video cards, joypads and controllers. Also, if drivers for your devices are not available by default, you can always install them manually. To download this operating system, please login here .
PROGRAMMING / DEVELOPMENT
As I said at the beginning of this article, Linux is known for being especially suitable for people who are involved in programming and software development . Then you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that among the many Linux distributions available, several have been created for this very purpose.
You’ve probably heard of Ubuntu because it is the easiest Linux distribution to use, even for those with no previous experience with the operating system. However, in addition to its simplicity, Ubuntu also offers many tools that make it ideal for programmers and developers.
Thanks to the formatted packages
.deb, in fact, Ubuntu development is really a piece of the pie.
Moreover, the return to the Gnome desktop (a well-known and valued user interface) has made this Linux distribution much more attractive to professional programmers who have “scrapped” it for the Unity environment in the past.
Remember that if you decide to use the LTS version of Ubuntu, you will be dealing with an operating system that has continuous support for 5 years. To learn more, read the Ubuntu Installation Guide. Alternatively, go straight to download its ISO, which you can find on this page .
ETHICAL PENETRATION TESTING / HACKING
Going into the more specific areas of use of Linux distributions, there are several versions that can be used for penetration testing or ethical hacking .
These are two practices for thoroughly testing network or software vulnerabilities so that you can then learn a remediation strategy.
Kali Linux is arguably the most comprehensive set of tools for both hobbyists and IT security professionals. Inside, in fact, you will find over 600 tools almost entirely dedicated to network penetration testing.
Born in 2013, Kali Linux is definitely not a one-size-fits-all distribution. My advice is to only install and use it if it suits your interests. Otherwise, you would have installed a very powerful tool just to browse and go to Facebook, and honestly, that would be a waste of time.
If you are interested in this Linux distribution, I recommend that you read my Kali Linux installation guide carefully. Instead, if you don’t want to wait, go straight to downloading its ISO by connecting to that other address.
EDITING AND STREAMING VIDEO
FEDORA DESIGN SUITES
If you are a designer or just love to deal with the world of graphics and video editing, you probably know how expensive programs for Windows and MacOS are. Luckily for you, Linux offers some very good alternatives that contain “tons” of open source software.
Fedora Design Suite is the best solution in this area if you are looking for a Linux distribution that is easy to use, but contains everything you need for your purposes. Already preinstalled, in fact, you’ll find programs that I’m sure you’ll really like, such as GIMP, Inkscape, Darktable, and Krita.
Best Debian Based Linux Distribution
After checking out some of the best Linux versions currently being downloaded, it’s time to show you what I think is the best Debian distribution available . As such, it is very easy to use and perfect even if you have no previous experience in the field.
MX Linux is a little-known distribution, but it is quickly gaining popularity among users who frequent this world. Its main feature, in addition to the Debian architecture, is that it makes the most of both old and new versions of Linux. In fact, it is a particularly light distribution of light, but from the moment it was first installed, it leaves nothing to chance.
Inside, in fact, there are already browsers, the LibreOffice package and graphic tools of various types. These details, together with the Xfce graphics engine, allow MX Linux to compete against much more popular distributions. Finally, even if the design is not the most modern, everything is thought out to the smallest detail, starting from the taskbar.
For more information and ISO download of this Linux distribution click here .
OTHER DEBIAN BASED LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS
Alternatively, if you are not satisfied with MX Linux, I suggest you take a look at these other Debian based distributions as well:
Best Arch-based Linux Distro
Determining which of the Arch-based Linux distributions is not so easy, also because there are so many of them on the market right now. But if you’re looking for advanced features combined with a nice and simplistic design, I have the perfect solution for you.
Manjaro Linux might surprise you. At the beginning of this tutorial, in fact, I explained that Arch Linux distributions are usually for advanced users, with special and near-professional capabilities. This version, in fact, manages to combine the best of both worlds, offering a really good graphical user interface (UI) and perfect for those who come from Windows.
The main features of Manjaro are definitely stability, speed and versatility. And although the repositories in it are configured, they are constantly updated and, moreover, leave a free choice to each type of user. The same is true for the core components of the operating system: I assure you that if you are using Manjaro Linux, you will never have a problem getting new updates.
I apologize? Convinced yourself to install Manjaro, but don’t know where you can download it for free? It couldn’t be easier, just go to his website .
OTHER ARCH-BASED LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS
However, since Manjaro Linux may not be the most suitable solution for all types of users, I still want to suggest Arch-based alternatives that I think are more than relevant:
Best Linux Server Distro
When it comes to professionals and IT, Linux is often the best choice for those looking for a stable, functional, and even cost effective server operating system. Of course, this is a small circle of users (maybe only nerds and geeks can come up with such software for home use), but knowing this side of Linux can only be useful.
When it comes to server-side Linux distributions, there is one particularly valuable distribution that has been appreciated around the world for years. Slackware is actually a version of Linux that manages to keep things simple and stable even in the most demanding use cases.
One of its biggest strengths is by far its weight, which is really minimal in terms of resources used. Plus, it is a fully customizable distribution and is ideal for professionals. However, if you are planning to build a server with even more outdated components, do not delay, because Slackware is the right solution for you. You can find it at this web address .
OTHER LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS FOR SERVERS AND WORKSTATIONS
In case you have doubts about Slackware, obviously legitimate, I want to mention other equally valid server Linux distributions :
- Mageia – website
- Oracle Linux – website
- Fedora – website
- CentOS – website
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux – website
Best Linux Distro for Old PC
Another advantage of Linux distributions is that they can bring even the most outdated PCs to life , especially when paired with SSDs. This is due to a particularly lightweight operating system that allows you to perform the same operations as Windows using much less hardware resources.
Have you ever thought that your old PC, which has been on the shelf for a long time, can resume browsing with the desired Linux distribution? SparkyLinux is actually one of the best examples of an extremely lightweight operating system, suitable even for older PCs. Based on Debian, it is currently split into two versions: Full version and Basic version . The first is dedicated to the most modern PCs. On the other hand, the basic version manages to run smoothly with minimal technical specifications.
For example, the RAM required to install this base operating system is 256 MB. A quantity that has not been seen for a long time. If you want maximum lightness, now you know which Linux distribution to use. To download it, go to this web address .
OTHER LINUX DISTROS FOR OLDER PCS
In addition, there are other lightweight Linux distributions that promise high performance even on PCs that “have a few pains”:
Best Linux Distro
Yes, I know what you are thinking. How can I recommend best Linux distro if each is geared towards a different audience? In this case, however, I will take the use of a regular PC as a reference, i.e. uses associated with the most common activities such as work, school and play.
Undoubtedly Ubuntu is the most versatile version of Linux, suitable for both advanced users and those who have never turned on a PC in their life.
The graphical interface, especially attractive and intuitive, should not mislead you. There are a variety of tools under the “skin” of ubuntu that are suitable for any use. What’s more, thanks to the countless repositories that you can find inside it, you can download any software effortlessly.
Building your own Linux distribution
None of the alternatives that I have offered you so far have touched you to the end? Then you should know that you can create your own Linux distribution from scratch by adding all the components you think you need. Of course, this requires a minimum of computer skills, but you know perfectly well that with the world of the Internet, it has become much easier to acquire these skills.
Before taking the first step, I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the site. Linux From Scratch which will give you all the instructions to get to the bottom of your goal. But don’t let this scare you, because it’s okay that at first glance this task seems very difficult. In fact, this is a much easier path than you think.