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5 Best Linux Distros for Developers and Programmers

Whenever it comes to the developer and which OS they use to fulfill their task or make something new, the name Linux always comes to us. So why do developers often use various Linux Distros for programming? Because it fulfills their demand regarding stability, power, adaptability, and flexibility. There are numerous Linux distros, but few of them are widely used by programmers like Debian, CentOS (not actively maintained), Gentoo, Fedora, Debian, etc.

Best Linux Distros for Developers and Programmers

Here I will show you the top best 5 Linux Distros for developers to develop their powerful and astonishing programs.

1. Kali Linux


Kali Linux is one of the best and most versatile OSes for developers, especially for Ethical Hacking and Penetration testing. This OS is based on Debian and comes with 600+ pre-installed pen testing application tools. All these tools and software are regularly updated and well-documented. Offensive Security has developed Kali Linux as a rewrite of ‘BackTrack’.

Main Features

  • Offers a lot of pen testing tools for various platforms like ARM and VMware.
  • Kali Linux comes with a live boot capability.
  • Supports rolling release models.
  • Best OS for Hacking purposes.

Download Kali Linux

2. Gentoo Linux


If you have set your mind to use a very specific and personalized Linux distro based on your CPU architecture, then you must give it a try for Gentoo. Here, you have to make a whole new operating system from scratch and different sources. You are reminded to invest a lot of time and patience in getting a powerful, stable, flexible, and highly customizable system for your program and server development.

Main Features

  • It is highly Customizable and offers special compilation options.
  • Powerful, stable, and flexible.
  • The installation and setup process is very difficult but teaches a lot of manual control for the system.
  • You can make an entirely new system for a specific CPU Architecture.

Download Gentoo Linux

3. Fedora Workstation

Fedora Workstation

Fedora is a community-powered Linux OS backed by Red Hat Inc. and famous for providing cutting-edge features. The software repository is well-updated, and if you face any bug problems, a large number of community members will help you in the forum.

It comes with an open-source component, thus making the open-source lover happy. It comes from the Red Hat company, so you can run it without any issues when developing your applications and programs. Even Fedora is liked by the Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds.

Main Features

  • Installation and Setup are easy and painless.
  • Software sources and dependencies are always updated.
  • Supported by a well-known organization, Red Hat Inc.
  • Offers cutting-edge features.
  • Pretty stable and flexible.
  • Fedora comes with DevAssistant, which helps developers set up the development environment and publish code with simple commands.

Download Fedora Workstation

4. Arch Linux

Arch Linux

Arch Linux is not a typical OS like other distros. It comes with a Linux kernel and package manager, Pacman. It also lacks a graphical interface. Basically, Arch Linux comes with a bare-bone base where users can pick the required components and create a system without any bloated programs. That’s why it’s called a highly personalized Operating System.

Main Features

  • Install and setup process is difficult.
  • The official repository supports bleeding-edge and up-to-date software packages.
  • Well-documented and easily repairable for any bug fixes.
  • It needs zero maintenance and self-controlled software updates.
  • Pacman controls dependency issues and orphaned packages efficiently.

Download Arch Linux

5. CentOS (Discontinued)

CentOS is a rock-solid Linux distro based on Fedora and RHEL. It’s a community version of Redhat that does not have any price tag or official support but has long-term community support. As it’s compiled from RedHat sources, most of the software made for RHEL can be run on CentOS. This is a must-have OS for those who want to run the working workstation on a Desktop.

Main Features

  • The installation and setup process is as easy as Fedora.
  • Uses both Redhat and CentOS software repositories.
  • Highly stable for developing any programs.
  • Can develop applications using Xen Virtualization.
  • Use YUM for package management.

Download CentOS

Finally, Insights!

When it comes to a development environment, the system must be personalized, powerful, flexible, and run smoothly. Here are the top 5 best Linux distros for developers and programmers. So now it’s your turn to share with us which one you liked most and found interesting in the comment section.

Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan is a passionate enthusiast for technology. He admires all things tech and loves to help others understand the fundamentals of Linux, servers, networking, and computer security in an understandable way without overwhelming beginners. His articles are carefully crafted with this goal in mind - making complex topics more accessible.


  1. @ Ant*nio Trindade, pen-testing is a vital part of development which cannot be ignored by any responsible developer, so kali should be or can be in this list.
    @author of article, why is fedora workstation also part of honourable mention also and is also in the afore-stated list?


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