It is very possible that many of you have heard about GNU / Linux but you have not decided to try it because you do not know which distribution to choose. Even if you are already Linux users, even if you are not completely satisfied with it and you want to find some other alternative. Or who knows, after all, all you need is an operating system to revive that old computer that is accumulating dust in the storage room.
Whatever your case, today we want to help you by putting at your disposal a list of 31 Linux distributions in which we explain the strengths of each one so that you can choose the one that best suits you. It is a list that we want to keep alive, so we will be attentive to any suggestions you make to us.
For lovers of stability
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux : Commercial distribution of Linux developed by Red Hat. It offers state-of-the-art stability and flexibility, which makes it one of the most recommended for companies and servers.
- Debian : Very stable and 100% free, Debian stands out for its .deb parcel system and its APT package management. It is one of the most important distributions of GNU / Linux, since it is based on giants like Ubuntu.
- openSUSE : It is one of the most powerful alternatives against the family of distributions based on Debian. It is available with the KDE and Gnome desktop environments, and counts as one of its best weapons with the robust installation and configuration tool YaST and the SaX graphical configurator.
- Fedora : Free distribution created and maintained by the Red Hat company that uses the RPM package system (Red Hat Package Manager). It has three different versions for desktop, servers and systems in the cloud, and stands out for its security thanks to the SELinux system (“Security-Enhanced Linux”).
- CentOS : It was born as a free derivative of the commercial distribution Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) destined to the business use. Recently joined forces with Red Hat itself, and remains a safe bet for those seeking a high quality code.
- Arch Linux : A modular distribution where you start from scratch and you have to add the components you want. It is not very suitable for beginners, and uses pacman, its own package manager. It is a Rolling Release, which means that all its components are updated without the need to install new versions of the operating system.
- Manjaro : A promising distribution that promises to bring the full potential of Arch Linux to the least experienced user. For that, it offers an operating system already mounted and based on Arch, with a simple installer like the one we can find in other distributions such as Ubuntu. It has official versions with the XFCE and KDE desktop environments.
- Ubuntu : One of the most used distributions thanks to its great ease of use. Based on Debian, it is loved and hated in equal parts by its exclusive Unity desktop environment, with which it aims to become a versatile distribution that can be used both on computers and mobile phones and tablets.
- Linux Mint : Based on Ubuntu, it is one of the most recommended for all those who play Linux for the first time. Its desktop environment, Cinnamon, has many similarities with Windows, and is also one of the most customizable.
- Elementary OS : Of all distributions based on Ubuntu, this one of the most personality has thanks to its careful appearance, which mimics that of the OS X operating system of Apple. Incredibly fast and easy to use, it offers the user everything they need from the start, including a collection of proprietary applications designed to integrate seamlessly with their visual style.
- Zorin OS : Distribution also based on Ubuntu that was born with the intention of helping the user to make the leap to Linux by offering an interface as similar as possible to Windows. It has several versions, some free such as Core (basic version), Lite (for low-power PCs) and Educational (includes educational applications), and other payment methods very much in the style of Windows versions.
- Peppermint OS : Fast and light distribution based on Ubuntu with LXDE desktop environment. It uses Mozilla’s Prism technology to integrate with cloud-based applications, using webapps as if they were native. It is presented as an alternative to other cloud-based systems such as Chrome OS.
For jealous of your privacy
- Tails : Promoted by Edward Snowden himself and based on Debian, is a distribution ready to be executed from a USB or DVD. Tails connects to TOR as soon as the operating system starts, and all Internet connections are made through this network.
- Kali Linux : Debian-based distribution with an immense collection of tools to protect our equipment. It uses a custom kernel with security patches and has support for the ARM architecture.
- BlackArch Linux : A distribution oriented to computer security that was initially born as an expansion of Arch Linux, but has followed its own path. It gives us access to an impressive amount of hacking tools, among which is Sploitctl, a script that lets you install, update and search for sploits.
- Arch Assault : This is a new distribution, also based on Arch Linux and very similar to the previous one, also aimed at hackers and security lovers. Minimalist, with Openbox window manager accompanied by the Tint2 panel, despite being still green already offers support for ARM architectures.
For less powerful equipment
- Puppy Linux : A tiny distribution that can be carried on a USB or CD, but surprisingly fast to load entirely into the computer’s RAM. It loads in 30 or 40 seconds and occupies only 100 MB.
- Lubuntu : This is a much lighter and more affordable version of Ubuntu for less powerful teams when using the LXDE desktop system and the Openbox window manager. It also includes much lighter custom software, so it only asks us for 128MB of RAM and a Pentium II or Celeron of 1999 to work.
- Damn Small Linux : Distribution specially designed for the oldest equipment, such as the first generation Pentium or even the i486. As a graphical environment and window manager JWM proposes us, its iso occupies scarcely 50 MB and only asks us at least one Intel 486DX and 16 MB of RAM.
- SliTaz : Another featherweight, although with slightly more modern software than the previous one. It uses the Openbox environment and only needs a Pentium III with 256MB of RAM and 100 free MB in the hard disk to work.
- LXLE : Based on Lubuntu, this distribution promises to be even lighter thanks to better start processing and the LXDE desktop environment. It offers several profiles that will mold the distro to look like Windows XP, Vista, and 7 Starter / Basic.
- Bodhi Linux : Although its development is currently paralyzed after its creator left the ship, we can still use the latest versions of this distribution for our old equipment. It uses an Enlightenment desktop environment and only requires at least one computer with a 300 MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM and 2.5 GB of free hard disk space.
- Q4OS : And if the previous one was a project that was coming to an end, Q4OS is one that is starting. It is a distro based on Debian. Its desktop environment derives from a 3.x version of KDE called Trinity DE and mimics the appearance of Windows XP. It can be used on computers with 300MHz Pentium, 128MB RAM and 3GB hard drive.
For those who love their hobbies
- Distro Astro : This distribution is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and uses the MATE desktop environment, although the most important thing is its complete collection of applications aimed at lovers of astronomy.
- SteamOS : Even in beta, this is the distribution based on Debian developed by Valve, and that is more directed to be a kind of media center for video games integrating the big picture mode than a desktop system.
- ArtistX : Linux distribution focused on multimedia production. Based on Ubuntu, although designed to be used in LiveDVD and USB format, it can be installed on any computer. Use the KDE environment and offer a collection of open source programs for video editing and creation of 2D and 3D graphics.
- Ubuntu Studio : Based on Ubuntu and oriented to the professional multimedia edition of audio, video and graphics. It uses the Xfce desktop environment and does not have any kind of office software pre-installed, only the one designed for multimedia editing.
- Scientific Linux : This is a binary-level clone of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution, and is developed and maintained by the CERN and Fermilab physics laboratories with the aim of having a specific operating system for scientific computing.
- CEELD : Distro based on OpenSUSE that uses the KDE environment and is especially aimed at electronic engineers and students of this career, allowing them to design or simulate electronic circuits.
- Edubuntu : Another derivative of Ubuntu, but this time especially aimed at schools and teachers. It offers a large collection of software and educational tools, so it is also a good option to install on the computers of the youngest of the house.
- Openelec : Small Linux distribution created from scratch to convert a computer into a multimedia center based on Kodi, what was previously known as XBMC. It does what it promises and needs only 90-125 MB of internal storage. Apart from its official version, it has two other buids for Raspberry Pi and Apple TV.