MillWe have already been several months of this new year 2017, and it is time to make an analysis of the GNU / Linux distributions that we can find. And although the subject always arouses some interest, it is also true that usually brings criticism and anger of some fans. And it is that there are many and very good distributions, as many as tastes or even sometimes more, but we can not include them all in the list. Take a break and enjoy the Diwali with Diwali Wishes 2017 Messages on this festival day.
So, no offence to distribute communities that are not present in our Top 17 for this 2017, I repeat, the best distribution is the one with which you are most comfortable, and we are fully aware that large projects are left off the list. That’s why I encourage you if you use another distro that we have not listed and you like more than these, leave us a comment with the distro you use and why.
we have analysed some of the most important distributions and we have left with this selection of 17 of them. For the analysis, we have avoided distributions of specific uses or designed only for certain niches, such as light distributions, distributions for artists, for gamers, for SBCs and IoT, etc., leaving only those of more generic use that is the We are interested in the largest percentage of users. The rest will have time to create new, more specific articles
Well, without further delay we start with our Top 17 of the most recommended distros for this year, to which we have put a “label” to identify the users to which they are intended:
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Arch Linux: for advanced users
Arch Linux is a fantastic Linux distribution that you will surely know. For the newbies, say that it is not suitable for you, as you need great technical skills, patience, nerves of steel and a good time reading your Wiki. Of course, the official web Wiki is so good, that you will practically find everything you need there.
Arch Linux comes “bare” to say it somehow if you want other extras like a desktop environment and other programs, you must install them on your own. That is why it is a bit complex for those who do not have so much knowledge, but in return, you have a very powerful operating system to work with, flexibility to adapt to what you need.
It is based on the Pacman package manager, which along with its AUR and ABS system may remind you of other BSD-like operating systems in a certain way (ports), just like Gentoo and its package management, as we shall see later. Arch’s developer community follows the KISS Principle, which dominates elegance, simplicity (do not confuse it with ease of use), and minimalism to create a perfect environment. The upgrade method is Rolling Release
ElementaryOS: for design lovers
There are many other distros that we could have gotten into the design field, but as I say not all of them enter this post if we do not want to lengthen it too much. We could talk about PearOS (which also follows a design similar to Apple’s MacOS), or the fantastic Zorin OS (in this case with a Windows-style design for users coming from the Microsoft system), but it has been elementary OS.
The system elementary OS is a distro based on Ubuntu in which the graphic design of its interface has been emphasised. The rest of the characteristics are similar to those that we can find in an Ubuntu system derived from the many that exist. However, the development team has created this desktop environment called Pantheon Desktop, which in turn is based on GNOME with its own shell named Pantheon and named after it.
The design of the environment looks a lot like what you might find on a Mac OS X or MacOS as they now call it from the apple company. With a dock called Plank, and an own window manager called Gala (based on Mutter). It looks like the truth is that it is fantastic and it falls in love when you see it, and even more with the App Store that they have developed now (called AppCenter) that we have already talked about in LxA other times …
Gentoo: to experience
Gentoo is another one of the old ones, and now that I say that, it also comes to mind Slackware. They are similar in certain aspects, but finally, we have opted for the first one for our Top17. It is not easy to use, as with Arch and Slackware, so the newbies should stay away from this type of distros. However, they will delight the most advanced as they have incredible potential.
One of its attractions is based on the source packages it uses, with its Portage package manager. If you remember in the section of Arch, I said that Gentoo could also have similarities with certain BSD operating systems like FreeBSD, etc., due to the similar packages to the ports that we see in these systems. So, if you come from a BSD environment, perhaps Gentoo along with Arch are the most suitable distros for you.
If you take a walk through the network, you will see that it is an off-road distribution, as it can be adapted to a large number of devices. We have seen this distro installed in a game console, as in a Tesla car, etc. That’s why I’ve put it as a distro for those who like to research and experiment.
Ubuntu: for every one
Again we enter another marshy terrain because we talk about Ubuntu with Unity Shell and there are many flavours (Kubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu GNOME, …) of this Canonical distro, equally good and simple to use for those who arrive. The good thing about Canonical’s successful distro is that it has reached everyone, is used by both novice and advanced users and is being considered for numerous SETI, NASA, etc. projects. Therefore, it is a distribution for everything and for everyone.
A few years ago they introduced it as Linux for humans, as it is based on Debian and had managed to make this monstrous project something more usable for the newbies. An operating system that in some ways also reminds us of Apple and that everything has been designed to make life easier while you’re using it, with a large community behind, many tutorials and help pages on the net, and most importantly, a lot Of software packages for her.
If that does not seem like much, it is a fairly stable and robust system, with all the goodness of Linux and a certain dressing of simplicity and innovation. And the latter quality is very present, as Canonical is making great efforts to distinguish it from the rest and have launched large projects that go hand in hand (although some extend beyond the borders of Ubuntu). I speak for example of the convergence they promised, the Mir graphical server to replace old wand big X, or other revolutions like Snap packages.
CentOS: for server-addicts
It is one of the distros of “fashion” if you can say so. He is quite young, but lately, he is giving much to speak and for good. This is a fork of the RHEL distro of Red Hat. But the community behind it has wanted to open it up a bit more and make it 100% free. It has nothing or little to envy your older sister for business, however, CentOS is free and can be an interesting alternative to use both your home computer and your servers.
Its name comes from the Community ENTerprise Operating System, and as its name implies, has been designed for businesses, and totally free to have removed the parts referring to Red Hat brands and logos and other packages. But it is made from the RHEL code and is also very robust, stable, secure, and simple to install and use. Of course, it is based on RPM packages.
Its importance has permeated many companies and users who have adopted it as its head distro, and also in important scientific communities. It is the case of CERN, the cathedral of science have removed their Scientific Linux (based on RHEL) to give way to their new system based on CentOS for use in its scientific facilities and you can also download from the CERN website …
Linux Mint: for governments
If you want simplicity, minimalism, and ease of use without giving up a good distro, Linux Mint is what you are looking for. Since it appeared it has captivated many, and not for less. The development community that has and after it has been responsible for taking Ubuntu / Debian, on which it is based, and giving it a total facelift to transform it into its final product.
A stable system, always updated to the latest, usable, easy to install and oriented to the average user. It also includes many pre-installed software packages, so you will not have to worry about the software in most cases. Likewise, the community also emphasises the integration of free packages. And from it started the Cinnamon project, which in principle was going to be the desktop environment for Mint and then has become widespread.
It highlights the integration of some extra tools that have developed especially for her, such as MintSoftware, a Mint tools that will help you to many of the daily tasks and based on a graphical interface. This is the case of mint update, Mintinstal, MinMenu, Mintupload, MinBackup, MintNanny, etc. And all this, with light and complete desktop environments such as MATE and Cinnamon to choose …
Debian: for seasoned veterans
Again we can remember other distros, like MX Linux that we talked about, but we will focus on Debian. This is one of the gigantic free software projects I know. An immense community of developers with a series of own thoughts and philosophies that are worth reviewing in the Debian Manifesto.
The project was one of the first in Linux distros, emerging in the 90’s thanks to the late Ian Murdock. The German was in charge of creating all this macro project that later has been going through other hands since the leaders have been renewed. And although we are only interested in Debian GNU / Linux, it must be said that the project goes further and there are also other cores that give life to Debian like GNU / Hurd, NetBSD, kFreeBSD, of which we have already spoken enough in LxA.
Well, Debian is a good choice for your desktop, and of course, it is if you want to mount a server. It is based on DEB packages as their derivatives, and package management through APT. Its development is slow, it takes months and months of intense work until a new version of the distro appears, but the result is a reliable, robust and stable system, polished to the last detail. Among the desktop environments available, you can choose from many, so you can use the flavour you prefer without problems …
Debian + PIXEL: for modern without ties
There are many light distros, and in LxA we have already made comparisons of these, and we will continue to do them. We dudábamos between LXLE and PIXEL for this category and finally has reigned PIXEL for its youth and for being the novelty at the moment. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done a great job for its RaspbianOS distro that installs on the famous SBC boards, but its project for a new desktop environment that resulted in PIXEL has transcended beyond and is also available to install on PCs with Base.
PIXEL comes from Pi Improved Xwindows Environment Lightweight, and its name leaves little to the imagination since it is a light desktop environment, based on the graphic server X and specially designed for the Pi plate. Great changes have been made to the interface to be minimal, simple, light and functional. And that shows in the aspect of the desktop, the icons, windows, fonts and menus, which denote a great aesthetic work.
If you add to this environment all the above with Debian, then we have this Debian + PIXEL so that our PCs become a rather flashy operating system, replacing LXDE, and in which some new applications have been integrated.
RHEL: for companies 1
Red Hat Enterprise Linux or RHEL as it is known, is an operating system that comes from the enormous work of the Red Hat company, yes, the one that has amassed millions of dollars selling … something free and open source? When that type of business seemed impossible. Red Hat is a giant, but there was a time when it started out as a small but pioneering company. Its objective was to create an open source operating system designed for companies, and therefore they strive to integrate a large number of packages, technologies and make alliances to have a project to the last.
RHEL is one of the best options if you have a company because you have a stable operating system, robust, secure and if you want, with a good technical support for your servers, mainframes and supercomputers. Targeted targets have lately focused on cloud and virtualization, upstream technologies and high demand in the enterprise.
SUSE: for business 2
Little is said of SUSE Linux Enterprise seen what has already been said in the previous section of the American company. In this case, SUSE is a German company whose objective is the same, to create the best operating system for companies that exists. So the distro is a good choice for servers, supercomputers, and mainframes. Like Red Hat, they have focused heavily on refining and improving technologies that are business-centric, such as cloud and virtualization.
They have also created great alliances with third parties to offer many other interesting services, such as the well-known alliance with SAP, among others. Like RHEL, SUSE is also based on RPM packages, but there are some important differences. For example, RHEL uses SELinux as an extension for security, while SUSE has developed AppArmor or the tools we find in Red Hat against what is arguably one of the most complete, powerful and simple tools for system administration such as YaST from SUSE.
OpenSUSE: I want to have a million friends
OpenSUSE is to SUSE what CentOS or Fedora is to RHEL. The developer community has created this SUSE derivative for home users, a very complete, powerful, robust and stable distro based on RPM packages and backed by companies such as SUSE and AMD itself. It may be one of the largest development communities and users, so you will not miss “friends” to help you if you have problems.
It comes with various desktop environments to choose from and is one of my favourites. It has the package manager Zypper and also the great and powerful tool YaST2 that will solve almost everything. Also, like other distros, it has AppArmor for security, and has the integration of large projects like Xen for virtualization, etc., sharing many features with SUSE Linux Enterprise.
Antergos: I am advanced, but not for so much
Perhaps some of you who are reading this will also have come to mind Manjaro. In this case, the chosen one was the Galician Antergos. Its name comes from the Galician word “ancestors” and shows the link with the past that has this distro. And speaking of Galician projects, surely you have also remembered another fantastic distro, Trisquel … Returning to the subject, the project was previously known as Cinnarch, since it is based on Arch Linux (and now you will understand the title tag).
KDE Neon: for non-solution plasmoids
For those who love the great KDE project and the Plasma environment, you might like KDE Neon. It is a distro in which they wanted to highlight the benefits of KDE Plasma. It’s a fairly young project, and to sum it up in a nutshell, it’s a stable, rock-solid layout that has resulted from the hard work of the KDE developer community.
It is based on Ubuntu LTS and takes from it all the goodness of the Canonical distro to which the Plasma desktop environment has been added. It may remind you a bit of Kubuntu, but in this case, I think it has some advantages, especially as regards its updates, which seem quite fluid, a re-foundation of Kubuntu under other acronyms that promises …
Solus: lovers of minimalism
Solus is a young project that has appeared relatively recently and has given a lot to talk about innovation regarding its desktop environment. It appeared as SolusOS and now SolusProject, intended to revolutionise the desks we had seen to date, bringing a touch of freshness and something new with interesting innovations.
Key Doherty and Justin Krehel thought they could do something from scratch using the Linux From Scratch project, using EO pkg as a package manager, and most importantly, their Budgie Desktop desktop environment based on GNOME 3 and reminiscent of GNOME 2 for the nostalgic. It is light and with a very modern look, so you will surely like it.
Fedora: I like things to work out!
Little is said of Fedora, it is already an old acquaintance that arose from Red Hat. It’s stable, it works, what more do you want? Behind her is a good development community and users, supported also by the Red Hat promotion, and based on RPM and the package manager RPM Package Manager. It also includes the DNF update system, and it usually fits in well with hardware support.
It is one of the most popular distros according to DistroWatch and shares with RHEL some of its features, as does CentOS. One of them refers to the security aspect, including SELinux. Thanks to its popularity it has given rise to many other distros based on it …
Liri: for revolutionaries
If you’ve missed projects like Hawaii and Papyros, do not worry, LiriOS comes to unify both. The project is very new, based on Arch Linux, so the foundation is impeccable, and agglutinating the efforts of other development communities such as Hawaii (pioneers in Wayland, libraries FLuid, or QML / Qt5 in its day) , The applications of Liri and the distro Papyros (or Quartz OS as it was known in the beginning).
If you put all that together and put it in a shaker, the result is Lirios. A distro that will not only attract you technically but also visually. And that’s because they have broken everything seen so far and created from scratch, and have used Google’s Design Material (the same as that used by the giant Android interface) to create a minimalist, innovative, lightweight desktop environment. simple. All seasoned with animations and own programs that you will like.
Deepin: For those looking for something different
We end up with another one that has been recruiting large numbers of users in recent years. In this case, comes from China, and have done a good job in many ways, although there are some details to polish and not happen in Debian, the distro on which it is based. I ‘m talking about Deepin (formerly known as Hiweed Linux).
What its developers most appreciate is to create a stable, secure, elegant and user-friendly environment. That’s why much of the work has been geared towards creating a new desktop environment called DDE (Deepin Desktop). It is based on Qt5 and includes an app store and own apps that you will not find on other systems.