The global operating-system market is majorly settled on three platforms that include: Windows, Apple macOS, and Linux distributions. With Linux, the underlying essence might be the same, software solutions around it can be combined in different ways by vendors known as distributions. This post speaks about some of the top Linux distributions of all time that beginners may find ideal.
According to W3Techs, Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions on web servers. It has a market share of 32.1%. If you are looking to start your Linux journey, Ubuntu can be an ideal path.
Ubuntu is considered Linux for human beings. The reason is, the platform has put in a lot of efforts to make it more user-friendly. It does not require you to be technically sound to use it.
The installation procedure is also very easy as you get instructions in plain English language (You may choose other languages as well). Moreover, you are allowed to try out Ubuntu before you go through the installation procedure.
With Ubuntu, you get options to:
- Install Ubuntu deleting the older operating system.
- Install Ubuntu alongside the existing operating system. You get this choice at every startup to choose the operating system to boot.
- Configure partitions for users.
Since Ubuntu by default comes with Bash in its command line, it can be a good choice for people learning programming or web coding. With Ubuntu, it is easier to work on servers, local files, and development environments.
Moreover, with this operating system (OS), you hardly get issues with drivers download and installations. Usually, installation comes with basic software solutions such as music player, video player and an office suite.
Speaking of customer support, it is not as devoted as you get with the Windows operating system. However, it has comprehensive documentation and community support. Users may raise their queries in forums and Ask Ubuntu.
2. Linux Mint
Linux Mint is an another community-driven Linux distribution which is considered both easy to use and powerful. It does not disappoint the newbies who are in the phase of habituating themselves with Linux software packages. Not only its software easy to use but also grouped under the categories.
Linux Mint offers multimedia support without any need to install any software. The project Linux Mint was formed by Clement Lefebvre and developed by the Linux Mint Team and Community.
Its latest version Linux Mint 19.1 “Tessa” was released on 19th December 2018. You can expect many new features in this version. It has numerous updated software solutions and brings refinements, which makes desktop experience more comfortable than before. In addition to this, in comparison to previous versions, it consumes almost half of the memory. Its software manager is lightweight and quick too.
Linux Mint is also earning praise for its performance. It runs fine on older computers as well. It is built upon the robust Ubuntu base and uses the same software solutions as Ubuntu. If you had been a Windows 7 lovers earlier, the good news is that Linux Mint desktop is quite similar to Windows 7. You will find similar toolbar, menus and tray icons.
In Linux distributions market, Debian has been a consistent climber. It is counted among one of the earliest operating systems. However, relatively, it has fewer numbers of hits.
Moreover, it seems they commit to a slow-and-steady release. Their latest version 9.7 Stretch was launched on January 23, 2019, and currently, that is available in 75 languages.
Debian makes it easy to install new applications and configure the old ones. Being an administrator, you won’t need to be worried about library problems, overwriting previous versions of configuration files, etc. as these things are handled by the package system itself.
The OS comes with a large number of software programs (almost 51000). Even if you have proprietary software which runs under GNU/Linux, you can still use Debian.
Currently, the O.S. is supporting a large number of kernels and architectures such as alpha, armel, hppa, i386, mipsel, sparc, etc.
In comparison to other Linux distributors, Debian is quite fast and easy on memory. Speaking of security, Debian is utterly responsive. It ensures the quick fixes of security problems. The good thing is that the fixed packages are uploaded within a few days.
4. Zorin OS
Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that was initially released in the year 2009. The installation of the operating system is straightforward. You just need to use a bootable USB maker like Etcher and Rufus.
As Zorin OS is built based on Ubuntu, therefore, the installation will be pretty much the same. Just follow the installer instruction to set it up. Moreover, as per your wish, you can install Zorin OS on the entire hard disk or multi-boot with an operating system.
One of the key features of Zorin O.S. is its theme engine known as “Zorin look changer”. This theme engine offers heavy customization options and allows you to change your desktop according to the environment you are familiar with, whether it is Windows, MacOS, or Ubuntu Unity.
With Zorin, you get some amazing applications that improve the user experience to a large extent. These applications include Maps, Weather, Photo and videos. These applications further support other applications. For instance, photos application supports Google Photos whereas video application works with popular video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. The latest version of Zorin was released on 13th August 2018 that supports various advanced features.
5. Elementary OS
Elementary OS is another popular operating system based on Ubuntu. It has been marketed as an operating system designed for users who are new to Linux-based computer systems.
Initially released in 2009, the O.S. lets users change the entire appearance of interface and make it look like Microsoft Windows or Mac operating system.
So, this is an advantage to Windows or MacOS users switching to Linux. Its menu is quite simple that you can customize according to your preference.
With Elementary OS, you will find a very small number of pre-installed software. If you are looking for more software, you can go through their AppCenter. This application center has all the important application under one roof.
Talking about its latest version, i.e., 5.0. It has not changed entirely, but you can see some changes in elementary’s applications. All the file applications now use different folders and file formats.
6. Gentoo Linux
Gentoo Linux is built using the portage package management system that was initially released on 26th July 2000. This Linux distribution is believed to be the hardest one to install. The amount of time it takes to be installed is the biggest hurdle. Still, it has a lot of benefits making it popular among web developers.
Its one biggest advantage is it comes with comprehensive documentation that tells you exactly what you need to know. You get to know which kernel modules you have to add. The documentation also provides a step-by-step guide to installation, update and troubleshooting for your desktop.
Their community is limited relatively, but you easily get the help you need. You will find a lot of volunteers that are ready to help you.
7. Manjaro Linux
Developed by Guillaume Benoit and Philip Muller, Manjaro Linux is one of the top Linux distributions. It was first released on July 10, 2011. The operating system is exceptionally beginner friendly. A lot of things are automated now like driver installation does not need manual installation. The O.S. automatically negates the hardware driver issues. Still, if you get one, you can go through their community support. The operating system has its own distinct software repository where you find the latest software.
The Manjaro Linux comes in Gnome, KDE, and XFCE. To install any of these operating systems, you need to create a bootable USB stick.
What makes this operating system distinct from other distributions is that it is not based on Ubuntu. Instead, it is built using Arch Linux. With some Linux OS, it can be daunting to get all your hardware working. Luckily, this is not the case with Manjaro. It is designed in the manner it automatically scans the systems and installs the required drivers.
Linux Adoption In Server Market
In the past few years, Linux has gradually taken over the web server market as well. You can easily find the hosting providers coming with an option to choose between Linux hosting and Windows hosting. According to W3Techs.com, Linux Server is being used by 37.0% of all the websites whose operating we know. Check out the percentages of websites using various Linux distributions below.
Reasons for Linux Popularity
1. Open Source Nature
As compared to other operating systems Linux is entirely open sourced. The plus point of Linux is that you can look at its source code which has allowed it to become quite popular.
With Linux being an open source, various distributions are accessible to the end-user. The few of the distributions that are available to the end-user are Mint, Debian, Ubuntu, and Fedora. You can download these distributions for free.
Linux is a lot more secure than the other operating systems. Its concept of repositories, the process of package management, and a few other features make it more secure.
With Linux, you don’t need to purchase or download antivirus programs to keep your desktop free from malware and hacks. But, there are a few software tools available to keep your computer away from threats.
Having a secure operating system by nature will not only make things easier for you but also help you to save money that you would have otherwise spent to purchase a premium antivirus software.
3. Software Updates
With the Linux operating system, you will observe more and regular updates to fix the issues you might be facing. Not only that you will also notice quick software updates. Whereas, the other operating systems force a software update only when a system gets a couple of issues together or if something big has to be fixed.
One of the biggest advantages of using a Linux operating system is that it comes with a large number of customization options. So, if you like adjusting or setting up the looks of your system, then Linux is the best choice for you.
With Linux in addition to installing themes, you get various other icon themes. Also, you can do a lot more with wallpapers in Linux.
Variety of Distributions
As you can read in this post as well, there are various Linux distributions available to cater to different needs. So according to your requirements, you can select to install any of the Linux distros available.
There are Linux distributions available for programmers, hackers, and even for extremely old computer systems.
Free to Use
Linux is available for free to the public which is not the case with other operating systems. You don’t have to pay a hefty amount to get a genuine copy of Linux distributions such as Fedora or Ubuntu.
So here are some of the well-known Linux distributions of 2019. Whether you are new to Linux or wondering which Linux distribution you should choose to start your journey, hopefully, this post will help you make an informed decision.