An overlook of the top Linux distributions at the moment, according to Distrowatch.com.
There is no Linux distribution to overwhelm all others, because the fact of the matter is each distribution tends to certain needs a user may have, and each distribution is often oriented towards covering particular uses an operating system and the software added may offer; so we can say there is a Linux distribution for everyone: beginners, experts, desktop users, laptop users, etc.
1. Linux Mint 13
The Linux distribution based on the Ubuntu 12.04 distro; it keeps all the things that made Ubuntu so popular while dealing away with things that over encumbered the system.
Mint avoided the Gnome 3 and the controversial Unity interface, offering two of the best desktops available: Cinnamon and Mint, both offering Linux users the functionality of Gnome 3 and 2, with added speed and comfort.
2. Ubuntu 12.04
One of the most popular and widely recognized Linux distributions, Ubuntu strides to offer free, fully customized software. The word “ubuntu” comes from ancient Africa and it means “humanity to others”.
With the 11.04 release, developers introduced Unity, a full screen desktop interface that allows for effortless changes between applications, and you can now find files faster than ever. However, the 11.04 release suffered from some stability issues, and the interface itself is very hardware demanding, and the downgrade to an older interface is confusing.
Popular French Linux distribution, derived from the commercial Madriva Linux distro, it is a comunity project with the goal of creating a free Linux-based operating system in mind.
Developed much in the lines of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, Fedora aims to work together with the Linux community to bring the user free general purpose software, providing the best user experience possible. It is developed by the Red Hat engineering team, but development is made in a public forum.
Fedora uses the latest Gnome interface, Gnome Shell, which like Ubuntu’s Unity, tries to redefine the concept of what a desktop environment should look and feel like.
The Debian GNU/Linux operating system is considered the grandfather of the newer Linux distributions.
It is the system after which the Ubuntu distribution (and thus other derived systems) is modeled, having obtained many of its’ strengths like number of packages available and their format.
Another shinning aspect of this distribution is the fact that new releases tend to be far apart, meaning software and applications are tested to their limits, providing for great stability.
The openSUSE project represents the effort of a global community to promote a free Linux system, with every member participating in development, testing, translation, artistic composition or promoting, in a friendly and transparent environment.
The acronym SUSE stands for “Software- und System-Entwicklung” in German, meaning “Development of software and sistems”.
The early success of Suse got the attention of the Novell company, which in 2003 bought the firm SuSE Gmbh, which led to it becoming a competitor for companies like RedHat.
7. Arch Linux
The lightweight solution for a Linux based system, allowing users to configure everything from graphical interface to software they will likely use. This requires some work from the user’s part, but the result is a fast, highly customizable Linux installation with just the bare necessities. The Arch Wiki also provides a lot of information to point a beginner in the right direction.
CentO is a free, enterprise-class, Linux operating system distribution, derived from the Red Hat Enterprise distribution of Linux. This means it is a very fast and very sturdy operating system, providing for an extremely reliable and stable operating enviroment.This high reliability helped CentOS become the most popular Linux distribution used by web servers in 2010, but by January 2012, Debian retook the lead once again. At one time, 30% of al Linux based web servers were using CentOS.
9. Puppy Linux
With the ability to boot from an usb flash or a live cd, Puppy Linux is a great, fast booting operating system, highly compatible with older hardware. It loads into the computer RAM memory, making every application stat lightning fast, without the need to extract further resources from the cd. It is even able to solve malware problems for Windows operating systems, being able to recover systems which suffered from a virus attack, with the help of a built in antivirus.
Despite it being a cd-size Linux distribution, it has a large variety of tools, which really means everything you can do on any other OS, you cand do on PCLinuxOS. Another particularly nice aspect to this distribution is its’ monthly magazine, a very well written 48 pages pdf file, available for download from the PCLinuxOS website.