Since Linus Torvalds developed the Linux kernel and released its first version 0.01 in 1991, there have been many excellent distributions in the community. To date, there are over 200 active distributions.
If you are someone new to Linux is picking a Linux distribution to get started.
Or maybe you’re tired of the distribution you’re using and want to pick another version to try. With so many distros, which one should you choose?
The following are the distributions I have used or are using. I will introduce them in combination with official documents and experience, and hope to help you!
Note that some of the reasons listed here may be subjective and depend entirely on what you want, and the desktop experience you expect.
PS: names not listed in order
This is a release I’m using, in rolling release mode. From installation to administration, Arch Linux puts users in control, giving them all the control they need.
Arch Linux does not provide GUI installation packages by default. Compared with other Linux distributions, users need to use the command line more to achieve related operations.
Arch Linux is a critically acclaimed distribution for those who don’t mind Arch being a “tough bone”. Those who own an old PC or just want to keep their operating system from expanding their device will benefit from a terminal that allows users to download and install customized builds and packages. On the other hand, this freedom means that users will have to download any software and decide all customizations themselves.
Arch Linux provides documentation in the form of a community wiki known as the Arch Wiki. This wiki is often compiled with up-to-date information on specific topics, is widely recognized by the Linux community, and has content outside of Arch Linux.
On the other hand, AUR is provided by community users with packaging scripts. You can freely choose software that does not exist in the official software source of Arch Linux, and build your own software package.
This is the system I use for my home gateway, which runs a Fedora server version, where I set up the local DNS service and the Jellyfin media center.
Fedora is known for frequent version updates, sometimes weeks or months apart, integrating the latest programs and features available for Linux systems. Such rapid update schedules make releases less reliable for those testing new products, due to the short cycle between releases and an increased risk of unstable builds. However, it’s great for those who want to be at the forefront of linux development.
Fedora includes Fedora Workstation and Fedora Server are the two major versions, as well as Silverblue and CoreOS. Fedora for Workstation features the latest Gnome desktop environment, providing an out-of-the-box experience.
Manjaro is an Arch-based Linux distribution. The purpose of both is to provide the latest software without affecting your PC, but Manjaro is more beginner-friendly. Arch is great for tech-savvy power users. Instead, Manjaro software focuses on providing ease of use and friendliness for both novice and advanced users, without taking away the advantages that make Arch great.
Manjaro officially provides support for the Gnome, Kde Plasma and Xfce desktop environments, while the community provides numerous desktop environments including Mate, and even a window manager-based version.
Pop!_OS is a popular recommendation for Linux beginners and gamers.
Pop is an Ubuntu LTS-based distribution provided by System76, which provides out-of-the-box installation, and has developed its own driver management center, allowing users to install the system with proprietary drivers more conveniently.
Pop!_OS provides a window tile manager by default, which makes it easy to automatically organize the active windows of the applications you launch.
Of course, the experience of using the tile manager will vary depending on your screen size, but even if you have a modest 27-inch display, it should provide a noticeable improvement.
Deepin is a Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution from China with one of the most beautiful desktops -> DDE (Deepin Desktop Environment).
It provides a better wine environment so that you can run software that doesn’t support Linux more easily, and it also provides an Android environment to run your favorite Android apps.
I was impressed with its desktop, very modern and beautiful.
Only, its beauty comes from the sacrifice of performance, if your PC hardware performance is high enough or you can live with the sacrifice of performance for the sake of beauty, then I recommend you to try it.
If you ask elsewhere “Which distribution should I use to get started with Linux?”
I think most people will answer Ubuntu, Ubuntu provides an out-of-the-box experience, and thanks to the variety of DEB-based distributions, you can find a lot of workarounds for Ubuntu problems online, which is good for you Learning about Linux.
Ubuntu uses the customized Gnome desktop environment, and there are many derivatives based on other desktop environments: Kubuntu, Lubuntu…
Linux Mint is built on the latest LTS version of Ubuntu by default, and by default uses the Cinnamon desktop environment developed by the Linux Mint team, which is a Gnome3 branch that provides the Gnome2 experience, and it also provides official support for the Mate and Xfce desktop environments.
Mint is also known as the best Linux distribution for beginners, another reason why it is called the best Linux distribution for beginners is the out-of-the-box experience it offers users. This means that you can get some real work done without spending a lot of time installing distros and packages.
In addition, Mint also provides a Debian-based distribution LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition).
Another distro known for its good looks, built on Ubuntu LTS to provide an out-of-the-box experience.
It is called “the most beautiful Linux”. It started out as a beautification theme project for Ubuntu, and then became so popular that it evolved into a standalone distribution.
Elementary OS is developed by designers and is similar in style to macOS. It draws on the menu design of ChromeOS. The core of the system is still Ubuntu and “fully compatible with all Ubuntu packages”. elementary OS is beautiful from interface appearance to system design, if you want to experience Linux+ beautiful interface, you should definitely try it.
openSUSE Leap is one of the major GNU/Linux distributions, and one of the oldest. openSUSE Leap uses a kernel system derived from SUSE Linux Enterprise, but with the latest hardware support, desktop environment and graphics programs.
For experienced and adventurous GNU/Linux users who want to take a little risk on their operating system and experience the art of cutting edge, there is a rolling release of openSUSE called openSUSE Tumbleweed.
openSUSE uses the KDE Plasma desktop environment by default.
Just to be clear, I don’t have much experience with Debian on the desktop, I mostly deploy Debian on servers (jingutech.net runs on Debian 11)
The Debian installer lets you decide what desktop environment and software you need to install, and currently it officially supports the installation and use of the following desktop environments: GNOME, KDE Plamsa, XFCE, Cinnamon, MATE, LXDE , LXQT.
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