Linux is no longer seen as a solution that is only suitable for users with advanced technical knowledge. Although it still relies on command-line, there are popular distributions that feature a fully functional graphical interface known as desktop environment, which offers the same experience as other operating systems. Linux offers many advantages in terms of security and with the best distros, you can enjoy a great experience with this open source platform. Here are the best Linux distributions available.
Debian enjoys great support and it is one of the oldest distributions available, in fact it is the base for many of the distros included in this list. Stability is the strongest point for Debian and while new versions are not often released, when they are, they are subject to strict tests to ensure consistent performance. Debian features over 30 thousand packages and practically any software available for Linux comes with a Debian package. It is possible to try Debian in Live Mode before installation and you have the option to select minimal or full installation. Debian allows you to install any desktop environment as it supports all of them.
This Debian-based distribution is very popular and with good reason. Ubuntu is known for being a user-friendly solution that has helped to make Linux more recognized in the mainstream. There are many Ubuntu versions available and you have the option to install the desktop environment that you prefer, although Ubuntu has its own desktop shell: Unity. Ubuntu is ideal for Windows and MacOS users who want to switch to Linux and for anyone who is just getting started with this operating system.
The popularity of Linux Mint has increased over the last few years and although it is based on Ubuntu, it offers its own advantages such as multimedia codecs available by default. Linux Mint has practical system utilities such as software manager, Mint menu and Update Manager, and it has its own desktop environment called Cinnamon. It is available in a variety of flavors including Mate and KDE. The current version 17.1 known as Rebecca, will be supported until 2019. Linux Mont includes convenient applications such as Firefox, Pidgin and GIMP by default. It is the best option for new Linux users who want a solution that is ready to go.
Based on RPM package management system, openSUSE is a Linux distribution suitable for personal and commercial use. Its main desktop environment is KDE, but it also supports XFCE, LXD, GNOME, Mate and more. It has a stable release, as well as a rooling release known as Tumbleweed, which is good for user who want the latest software. With openSUSE, you get the latest in system management (YaST) and can enjoy good pre-installed applications as you get started. If you are looking for a reliable and stable system with great support, openSUSE is the way to go.
Fedora is an innovative solution that gives you access to new technologies, although it is not as stable as other distros. There are three main editions available: Server, Cloud and Workstation. You can find a variety of Spins or Fedora versions that bring you multiple desktop environments and software collections. GNOME is the default desktop environment and Fedora has its one repositories. This RPG distribution offers practical features like Security-Enhanced Linux that is implemented in the kernel and that can make Fedora safer, while giving users control over multiple security policies. Fedora is a good choice for uses who want a secure solution that lets them test the latest software.
Created in 2010, Mageia is a Linux distribution that uses the RPM package management system and it comes with many desktop environments including GNOME, KDE, LXDE, Mate, Cinnamon, RazorQt and XFCE. Mageia comes with convenient tools that allow system setup and customization. In addition, it is a very good option for those who want to try a Linux distribution that is not based on Ubuntu. Mageia works better for those who want solution that is user-friendly and that offers something different.
There are two versions available of this Linux distro created in 2010, one is a Standard solution based on Ubuntu and the other one is the Rolling version based on Manjaro Linux. It focuses on offering the best KDE experience and it supports practical pre-installed features such as Steam, Skype, Firefox and GIMP. It also features native KDE apps including Calligra, which is an office suite, and Dolphin, a file manager. Netrunner also has stunning desktop themes and simplified System Settings dialog, along with desktop effects optimized for less powerful hardware equipment. It is ideal for those who want a simple and good looking distro focused on KDE.
Also known as PCLOS, this is a simple distribution that works with a wide variety of hardware, including old devices. There are two lightweight flavors available, Mate and LXDE, as well as KDE and an edition that stands out known as FullMonty. This is a customized edition of KDE that comes with many application and even separate desktops for a variety of activities. PC Linux OS uses the RPM packaging system and it comes with its own repository and enough applications to suit your needs. Since it is a rolling release, new updates and versions are released on a regular basis. If you want to test the latest software, PCLOS is a good choice.
This is a distribution based on Ubuntu that puts emphasis on beautiful, neat design and simplicity. It comes with basic solutions that will allow you to complete key tasks such as text editing, email and music. You can get additional options from the app store. Elementary OS comes with its own file manager and a unique desktop environment: Pantheon, with crucial elements like application launcher (or Slingshot), panel (Wingpanel) and dock (Plank). Elementary OS is lightweight and it offers seamless performance. It is a good option for old computers and it resembles macOS.