List Of The Best Linux distros 2018: A Guide To Explain The Finest Choice
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List Of The Best Linux distros 2018: A Guide To Explain The Finest Choices For The Users

An extended offering for every Linux lover.

https://dk2dyle8k4h9a.cloudfront.net/List Of The Best Linux distros 2018: A Guide To Explain The Finest Choices For The Users

“All the best people in life seem to like LINUX”. This is what Steve Wozniak thinks about the open source software operating system. So, when an expert is saying something, we must listen to it. And, if the wise words are from someone like Steve Wozniak, it requires special attention.

All Right Folks, let me give you the basic introduction, we are here to talk about the best Linux distro or distribution, you know the best people seem to like it!! So, all those who have a liking for Linux even if they are the beginners or the veteran of the subject, I invite their attention to get a better understanding of this open source software programming system.    

As I am here to take beginners along, allow me some time to explain the basics of Linux. I promise it won’t take much time!!

So, the very basic concern comes as what is Linux distro?

Linux distribution shortened to Linux distro is an open source operating system just like any other OS let’s say Windows. The things with Linux are not similar as they are with the Windows. So, to operate Linux, you (the users) need to decide on the distro first. And, when it comes to choosing the distro, people seem to choose no other distro than Ubuntu. It has become a synonym for Linux. But, folks that is not all. The list of the best Linux distros is wider enough that you can probably think of. And, I am here to give you a preview of only the best OS available under the brand name Linux. That’s all for the beginners. Now, let’s move further!!

While having my research on the topic, one question constantly poked my mind. Maybe you are thinking the same, why would anyone choose Linux before Windows?

All Right allow me to propose a deal. Would you dare to turn a few chapters of the history to go back in time with me? Being a technology enthusiast just like you, I take it a YES from your side. So, it’s time to go back!! Let’s roll the time wheel backward. So, the technical world here is a bit different than what it seems today. It’s not like the one we reside into right now. Microsoft is currently running on MS-DOS and thus you can imagine the difference.

After two years, the first version of Windows is all set to come out as a complete rollout. And by 1995, the Windows rolled out into its complete operating system. With the use of a 16-bit DOS-based kernel and a 32-bit userspace in order to offer better user experience, Windows is all set to revolutionize the world. Worth notifying, it is on the basis of “Windows 1995” that we have Windows 10 right now.

A quick preview of Linux too. Linux arrived in the year 1991. Created by Finnish student Linus Torvalds with an aim to create a free operating system kernel thus developed an OS that anyone could use. Back then the operating system was basic and lacked the graphics interface like Windows.

Well, my research on the internet didn’t clear my concerns about finding the best between the two i.e. Windows and Linux. But, being a professional with a development background, I would like to offer Linux some extra marks than Windows with the reasons listed below:

  • From the coding point of view, Linux is much versatile. It supports the majority of programming languages including Python, C/C++, Java, Perl, Ruby, and more. A direct comparison makes Linux superior to use over Windows command line. Another exceptional advantage of using Linux OS.
  • Customization is another advantage associated with Linux. With this offering tweaking the system’s settings to get a new look becomes easier.
  • Linux comes with a variety of flavors (that I will explain later in the article). The operating system has a variety of plans and packages for the users including the packed feature at the different price, licensing terms of packages and more. With Windows, no such offering is available there for the users.
  • Linux comes at a stellar price of zero that means it costs nothing. And, the case is completely different if we talk about Windows. You do not need to pay 100-200 USD to get a genuine copy as it is available entirely free for the users.

The list of such differences is wider enough to cover a complete blog around the topic. But, I am not here to talk about the differences. Let’s resume what we left earlier - talking about the best Linux operating systems.

Let’s get started with the list

Ubuntu Mate

Linux is a secured platform and this security element gets even more robust with Ubuntu Mate. This is my very first choice not only because of the security but also owing to a number of reasons. This offering has got a place in the list of the best Ubuntu operating systems and the best offering from Ubuntu Mate as well. Ubuntu Mate has a plethora of features for the users and depending on the choice and the preference you can choose from tons of layout including Mutiny, Cupertino, Traditional, Netbook, Redmond, etc. Well, a hardware needs to be just 512 MB to let this best Linux distro run on the system. Not a big deal! And, an extra point to this Linux alternative to strike a fine balance between performance and footprint (space a hardware or software unit in any system occupies).   

Level Of Expertise Required Low
Desktop Environment MATE
Purpose General Desktop Operating System will work well on low powered computers
Download Link https://ubuntu-mate.org/vivid/
Based On Ubuntu

 openSUSE

I would like to recommend openSUSE one of the best alternatives for Ubuntu. And, again I am providing it more points owing to list of features it has for the users. Another exceptional news about openSUSE is that it is based on the Debian (Unix-like computer operating system composed entirely of free software). The level of support is decent that provides a stable environment for the home users. The only complexity with openSUSE can be the installation, which at times may seems difficult for inexperienced users or to those who are just beginning with Ubuntu. To help such users, there is a well-explained set of documentation for the users.

Level Of Expertise Required Low / Medium
Desktop Environment GNOME, KDE (+ others)
Purpose General desktop operating system
Download Link https://software.opensuse.org/distributions/testing?locale=en
Based On N/A

Linux Mint

The good news is Linux Mint is easy to install, offers all the application the users would require with it, in addition to providing the best computing experience to the masses. Mint’s desktop environment owing to the basics it has reminiscent of older Windows versions like Windows 7 and Windows XP. Unlike other Ubuntu-based operating systems, Linux Mint is operated and maintained by a community that includes partner companies, corporate sponsors, and individual volunteers. As the official support is missing with Linux Mint, the distro seems less reliable if compared to the list of the best Linux distro listed here in this article.

Level Of Expertise Required Low
Desktop Environment Cinnamon, MATE, XFCE, KDE
Purpose General Desktop Operating System
Download Link https://www.linuxmint.com/download.php
Based On Ubuntu, Debian

Zorin OS

The developers behind Zorin OS must have designed it with a vision in mind. Vision to develop Zorin OS to feel and look like Windows 7 and OSX. The users have the option to choose such a theme that it may resemble like the OS listed here. The complete set of desktop apps including the office suite, graphics application, audio player, video player etc. adds more to the features of this distro. There are a number of visual distros that compliment the overall configuration. The Ubuntu-based operating system has been developed completely for Windows refugees to give the taste of the same. At first, the desktop may look alien, but folks you need to win over that learning curve that comes with every Ubuntu-based operating system.

Level Of Expertise Required Low
Desktop Environment GNOME, LXDE
Purpose General Purpose Desktop Operating system designed to make users of other operating systems feel at home. Includes a lite version for older hardware
Download Link https://zorinos.com/download/
Based On Ubuntu

Fedora

With Fedora, you can experience an absolute bleeding edge of Linux. That’s true because users can integrate all the latest technologies with this operating system and that’s the advantage of choosing the distro. The downside of choosing Fedora as your Linux based distro is that support cycles are shorted and thus you would get a maximum of one month support after the launch of a new version. That means you will get the support on your older OS just for one month after a new version gets circulated in the market. The upgrade procedure is painless and that is another reason to add this operating system in this list here.

Level Of Expertise Required Low / Medium
Desktop Environment GNOME, KDE (+ others)
Purpose General desktop operating system, experiments with new concepts
Download Link https://getfedora.org/en/workstation/download/
Based On Red Hat

Elementary OS

Elementary OS, unlike other distros that I have mentioned here, tasted the success quickly. And, the Ubuntu-based operating system has an obvious reason that helped it rose to the fame. And, one of the contributory elements is its aesthetic essence. The distro is inspired by MacOS and for the same reason, the looks are quite similar. The Ubuntu-based operating system is stable, features the Pantheon desktop environment, and is customizable enough for any user to use. While review the distro experience-wise, it feels quite an impressive offering.

Level Of Expertise Required Low
Desktop Environment Pantheon
Purpose Lightweight yet elegant desktop operating system
Download Link https://elementary.io/
Based On Ubuntu

CentOS

It is a Red Hat community-based distribution system for the users. A comparison with Fedora would give it more marks for being straight forward. There is a decent set of applications that come with the distro. And, I would give the distro some additional marks for being stable and robust at the same time. The enterprise-class environment that comes up with this distro is secured and delivers great user-experience. The availability of this distro free of cost makes it much more desirable for everyone.   

Level Of Expertise Required Low / Medium
Desktop Environment GNOME, KDE (+ others)
Purpose General desktop operating system
Download Link https://www.centos.org/download/
Based On Red Hat

Arch

It is a distribution system best for intermediate and expert Linux users. A complexity associated with this system is it needs more maintenance as compared to other distros on the list. This may see a downside for a number of users. Arch is considered a Linux system for the experts only owing to its complex installation procedure. The fact that it requires a deep technical know-how to operate the system makes it a choice for the Linux veterans.

Level Of Expertise Required Medium-High
Desktop Environment Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE (+ others)
Purpose Multipurpose desktop operating system
Download Link https://www.archlinux.org/download/
Based On N/A

Editor’s Note

To install any of the Linux-based systems listed above, the users require creating a bootable USB stick. Windows users can use this guide. And, in case you are running Mac OS currently, here is your guide.

What’s Your Choice For The Best Linux distro?

It’s true that Linux comes with a learning curve but that is something no one has ever regretted. If you are new to Linux have an in-depth read of this article. And, if you are among the few who are already using Linux, do let us know the same by sharing the article. Let your love for Linux reach to us and let others fall in Love with it.

Happy Linuxing!!

Neha Baluni
Written By
Neha Baluni

Being a Senior Technical Writer at MobileAppDaily, Neha Baluni loves jotting down her piece of opinion for the advancing technology in mobile app world. Having a journalism background, she is a writer by day and a reader by night. Her passion for writing covers different categories of technical and non-technical genre. In addition to writing, Neha loves traveling a lot.

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