Everything You Need to Know About Linux Distros and Their Functionalities

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If you are searching for the best Linux distro then you are at the right place to get all the required information about the functionalities of the most famous distros available in the market. This article would provide a detailed inside of the distros, with the functionality and usability. Here, you can get an ultimate guide for the selection of the best Linux server distro to fulfill your needs. The specifications and functionality of all distros are quite different from each other and there is not one Linux distro that you named the best. How well distro will work for you is totally depends on your business needs, and to deal with each distribution, you should have a specific level of experience.

There are hundreds of distros available in the market that are offering different functionalities and features to their clients. I know that browsing through the many distros options is very headache tasks, but now you should not worry because in this article you will get to know about all the dominant distros the features.

Elementary OS

The Elementary OS Linux distro is based Ubuntu and it is more famous for its unparalleled performance. You can get a lightweight Linux distro experience with ElementaryOS and you can ship it without ant ubuntu applications. the elementary OS has a slick interface and its appearance is very much like macOS. Elementary OS is one of the best-looking distros in the world. It also borrows some of the design from macOS that makes it the best replacement for Windows and macOS. The elementary OS is also integrating into other apps such as Scratch, Epiphany, and Plank. So, elementary OS is a good option for both beginners and experienced individuals.

MX Linux

 It is a mid-weight distro that is famous for its simplicity and easy to use. It is well suited with the lower end PCs because it required minimal setup. Of course, the designs and styles of this distro are very simple as compared with the other Distros intuitive designs, but it still got all the important stuff that you required for a better desktop experience. For installing the MX Linux on your desktop, you need some packages such as VLC, Firefox, GIMP and LibreOffice. Many of the developers prefer to use it because it offers all that you need with simplicity.

Arch Linux

Arch Linux is one of the leading distros available in the market since 2002. Initially, this distro comes up with very basic features but it offers many customization options to the customers, especially the one with more experience.  In this distro, you have to customize your desktop environment depending on your preferences, an x64 CPU and 512MB RAM are the minimum requirements of Arch. The learning curve of Arch Linux is very high because it not has everything preinstalled. Here, you have to make the configurations yourself.

Linux Mint

 It is one of the well-known Linux distributions that is best for beginners. This distribution is very much similar to the Windows XP, it is the first choice of Windows XP immigrants. It is an Ubuntu-based Linux Distro and here you can find all the applications available on Ubuntu. You can get good media support with Linux Mint. The usability and simplicity are one of the most dominant features of the Linux Mint.  It is an up to date and comfortable distribution. It provides the user with the sophisticated and modern environment of the desktop.  

Blackarch

TheBlackArch provides a vast range of security tools to the users and it is said to be an Arch Linux based penetration testing distribution. It is an open-source distro that is majorly used by the penetration testers and security researchers. The repository of this distribution has more than 2000 tools that are individually installed in the groups.  It is very similar to the Parrot OS and Kali Linux, the only difference is that BlackArch does not provide a desktop environment, but it does offer some Window Managers preconfigured. It runs as a live system and like Parrot and Kali, it can burn to an ISO image.

Kali Linux

This Linux distro is primarily used for ethical hacking and it offers many tools to the users for wireless attacks, vulnerability analyses, exploitation tools, web applications, forensic tools, stress testing, etc. you don’t need a full-featured desktop for installing the Kali Linux, but you can also install it on Ordroid, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Chromebook, etc.  this distro is more likely to focus on the security objects. Other distros that can be used for the ethical hacking are Parrot OS, BackBox and BlackArch Linux.

Manjaro

As we all know that the Linux platform has not been an ideal place for game lovers because here, they are not very many games available in it. but things have changed now from the past few years when in 2018 Steam OS distro is released for the gaming and now the Manjaro platform is the best option for gaming available. If you also have preinstalled Steam on your desktop then it is very good to improve your gaming experience. To make high-quality visuals and clear graphics, Manjaro used the hardware detection tool. The Pop!_OS, Steam OS and Solus are also major Linux gaming distro available in the market.

Ubuntu

This distro has been a super hit since it is realized in 2004. Canonical Inc manages the Distro. It is based on Debian distros architecture. It is an application rich Distro that is very intuitive and simple to use. It is an open-source distribution and it is also stable and at the same time keeps adding new features. Ubuntu is the most famous and easy to use distros. So, it can be said that Ubuntu is still one of the most popular Linux distros in the market.  There are many flavors of Ubuntu available in the market such as Lubuntu Xubuntu and Ubuntu MATE. You can also customize your Ubuntu distros anytime you want, based on your needs.

Mandriva Linux

It is a distro by Mandriva and it releases its desktop updates every 12 months and bases updates made every18 months. All of the server products in this distribution are updated every 5 years. You can get a better integration of applications in this distro. In Mandriva Control Centre, All the tools for graphical configuration are central. The Mandriva also has some unique tools for configuration, for example, msec that allows you to modify advanced settings for security from the graphical user interface.

Gentoo

The people mostly not take the Gentoo seriously and for many individuals, it is a weird choice. I think the Gentoo is one of the most flexible Linux distros that would allow you to do the stable configurations. It is a source-based distribution and here you can compile all installed packages from source code while installation. It can be a bit time consuming but at the end of the day, the Gentoo is what you want it to be.

Debian

The Debian Linux distro has a constant growth by its slow and steady schedule of releases. It focusses on the stable and bug-free software distributions to avoid all possible problems in the future. It is a good option for the people, who wants a stable desktop software, which doesn’t need rebooting or patching more often. You can also say that Debian is the most popular distribution available in the world. You can get the free drivers and software with Debian and it is also very easy to install. You can also use the Debian distro for multi-purposes.

Tails

Many individuals use the Tails distros for improving their anonymity and privacy. This distribution will make your communications and internet browsing more secured and private. So, it can be said that for secure web browsing, the Tails is the best option available in the market. You can use the DVD or USB to boot the Tails OS on any computer. Tails are the best distro for privacy-conscious users. The Tails Distros also uses the cryptographic tools for the encryption of files, instant messaging and emails. If you are concern with the privacy of your data action internet, you can use this distribution. Some of the other options that you can choose for better privacy are Alpine, Whonix and Qubes OS.

Alpine Linux

The Alpine Linux is a distro and it focuses on resource efficiency, security, and simplicity. It is said to be a non-commercial, independent, overall purpose distro made for the users who appreciate more usability, safety, and efficiency of resources. Just like Debian, the Alpine Linux can be classified as OS tools. This distribution is based on musl and BusyBox and it uses a hard-bitten kernel and accumulates user-space binaries as independent executables with stack-smashing defence.

openSUSE

This is the most usable distro in the world and its platform is suitable for both experienced and beginners. the reason why these distros are very popular is it’s easy to use for the users with all level of experience, it is an open-source collaboration and the usability of openSUSE is also very high, simplify the packaging and development processes that make it the first preference for the software vendors and developers.

Parrot Security

This Linux distribution is based on Debian that majorly focuses on the security of the computers. It is made for vulnerability assessment, mitigation, and penetration testing, computer anonymous and forensics web browsing. It also includes a complete transferrable laboratory for digital forensics experts and security. Parrot is built on Debian’s testing branch and it follows a systematic development model release. The scheme is qualified to run on devices that have at least 256MB RAM, and it is also appropriate for 32-bit and 64-bit computer designs. Parrot Home is the basic Parrot edition and these distros are much steady Parrot environment and comprise basic programs for everyday Tasks.  The Parrot Home comprises programs to privately chat on the internet, encode documents with maximum standards of cryptography or surf on the net in a totally secure and anonymous way.

CentOS

When this distro was first releases in 2005, it got the average rank of 11.2 that out it out of the top 10 positions. The major reason for the CentOS inefficiency was its changing environment and lack of stability. The CentOS has optimized distros are both servers and desktop environment. CentOS is feature-rich, robust, and stable. CentOS is a very reliable distro that offers high stability. It is not the best performer on the market, but it seals a vital position in the world of software development. It inclines to provide an expectable application base layer; it is very useful for server testing and package development.

Slackware

It is an advanced Linux OS, made with the identical goals of stability and ease of use as highest priorities. With the modern general software while retaining a traditional sense, offering ease of use and simplicity together with power and flexibility. The Slackware Linux provides experienced and new users identical with a fully-featured system prepared to serve in any size from workstation of the desktop to machine-room server. Web, email and FTP servers are also prepared to get out of the box, general desktop environments are an inclusive selection for this distribution.

Elementary

 For starters, an elementary is one of the finest Linux based distros among all. Its core purpose is to be advanced, quick and amazingly beautiful without even sacrificing flexibility and simplicity. Elementary mainly uses Ubuntu as its core. If you already have used the elementary distro, then it is quite possible that the interface might appear the same. However, the elementary OS utilizes its individual Pantheon desktop environment. Elementary comes along a very classic dock and transparent top panel.

Ubuntu Studio

 It is said to be a Linux based operating system that is developed as an open, free and a really powerful platform for artists helping them in art creation. Moreover, it is an open and free source software, which eventually means it is free for downloading and using. Ubuntu studio provides support for audio and video production. You can avail of the source code easily and examine/modify it according to your requirements.  The best part here is that you can also redistribute both Ubuntu Studio along with your version.

Crunchbang

 In simpler words, the Crunchbang is particularly a Debian-based distribution offering GTK+ applications along with a very light-weight Openbox window manager. This distribution is developed from slight features of the Debian system and is customized to provide a good proportion of functionality and speed. Well, CrunchBang Linux is now available as the live CD; although, it can be said that the best performance is attained by installing CrunchBang to any hard disk.

Antergos

 Again, it an elegant, efficient, and modern Linux based operating system. It includes every specification a user can crave for in the relevant field. As its default configuration particularly facilitates you with an easy and ready-made system that you can use right away. There are no additional steps and procedures to follow for installing it. You can easily search the web, watch videos, listen to music or can do anything you want to do. Simply reboot your device and enjoy it. Your whole system, right from the core OS elements to applications that you tend to install, will now receive the updates because they are being released upstream with minimal or no delay to make sure high-level stability.

Red Hat Linux

 It is stated to be the world’s most famous Linux-based distribution platform. Just like Ubuntu, it is also an open-source operating system. It is the base that enables you to modernize existing applications and roll out the evolving technologies across virtual, bare-metal, container, and all other kinds of cloud environments. The administrators are able to fix an algorithm criterion by utilizing security procedures and policies so the applications tend to use the most appropriate cybersecurity package.

Zorin OS

 It is stated to be an alternative to the macOS and Windows devised to make your machine work faster, secure, and at last but not the least very much privacy respecting. Zorin OS is an ubuntu-based distro made for windows migrants. Zorin Appearance app enables you to transform your desktop to any environment that you are familiar with no matter it is Linux, Windows, or macOS. It is developed on an Ubuntu base, Zorin OS operates at the same Open Source system that functions the NASA, U.S. Department of Defense, and more.

Ubuntu MATT

Ubuntu used GNOME 2 desktop, before converting to the Unity desktop. It is a popular distro that is lightweight and customizable. To work with this distro, you need a very little experience and it goes very well with the low power computers. The Ubuntu MATE is a derived form of Ubuntu, a kind of “child Operating System” based on Ubuntu, but with some of the modifications to the default design and software, most remarkably the MATE DE use in its place of Ubuntu DE, Unity.

ArchBang

It is a simple and lightweight distro that is released on Arch operating system. ArchBang is particularly appropriate for high performance on low-end or old hardware with restricted capitals. The major aim of the ArchBang is to offer an out-of-bound Arch distro with a preconfigured Openbox set, following the principles of Arch.

Antix Linux

This distro is directly made on Debian and it is a lightweight distro that goes very well with the old computers.  It is also offering many applications and cutting-edge kernel to the users. Here, you can also perform updates through the Debian-compatible repositories and apt-get package system. The antiX is an easy-to-install CD distribution, fast, and lightweight that would definitely optimize the desktop environment of the user.

Fedora

Fedora is a Linux distro established by a community-supported Fedora Project. A source of the marketable for Red Hat Enterprise distros. It comprises open-source and free certificate software packages and wanted to be a leading technology while working with groups. Fedora Project allocates custom differences of Fedora so-called Fedora ‘spins’, for security, gaming, robotics, scientific computing, design, etc. it is also said to be the short life cycle of 13 months and its bleeding edge means that the package is frequently updated there. The major purpose of BackBox is providing a substitute, well-performing, and highly customizable system. The BackBox also uses light window manager Xfce. It comprises the most used analysis and security tools, targeting for an extensive goal, from analysis of web application to analysis of the network.

Puppy Linux

The Puppy distro is very lightweight that will run completely in RAM of the machine. This is extremely valuable if you need to do your tasks quickly. Puppy Linux is a beginner-friendly and smallest distro. The complete system can be operating from RAM with up-to-date versions usually accept about 210 MB, permitting boot medium to be detached after the OS has started.

Backbox Linux

BackBox is a security assessment and penetration test-oriented distro built on Ubuntu, it also offers an informatics and network systems examination toolkit to the users. It contains a broad set of tools compulsory for security testing and ethical hacking.

Bodhi Linux

The Bodhi Linux is a lightweight distro build on Ubuntu and it uses Moksha window manager. The idea for the delivery is to offer a minimal base scheme so that users can settle it with the software that they need. Bodhi provides a wide range of ISO files, and it can be installed on legacy and Chromebooks devices.

Conclusion

In this article, all of the major distros functionalities and features are discussed.  It is not the end, there are many more distros available in the market. The information shared in this article would help you to choose the best Linux desktop distro to fulfil your needs. If you find the information in this article useful, do share it in your circle.

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Oleg Kaluger

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Comments

One Comment on “Everything You Need to Know About Linux Distros and Their Functionalities”

  1. One of the most confusing for the newcomer to Linux is how many distributions or of the operating system there is. Ubuntu is the one most people have heard of but there are hundreds of others as well, each offering some variant on the basic Linux theme.

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