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Which Linux Distro to choose?

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The first thing you need to decide why you will use linux.

Before putting the system on the hard drive, you can try to run it in the emulator ( virtualboxqemu or any other) or write to the optical disk / USB flash drive and boot from cd / DVD-ROM / USB.

There are a lot of articles on the Internet, the authors of which praise various distributions and advise you to put only them. But do not rush. Try a few pieces and choose exactly what you like best.

If you are new to Linux and have never had anything to do, then it makes sense to install the distribution kit that your Linux user knows.

Now I will try to run through the most popular distributions and describe the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Time-tested old things


One of the most famous LiveCD distributions. Based on Debian. A bunch of hardware is supported. Like any other liveCD / liveUSB distribution, it can be suitable for familiarizing with Linux or for performing any tasks (for example, data recovery, recovery of the bootloader, access to the network) without installing the distribution on the hard disk and settings. You can read more on



Very good and convenient distribution. Suitable for both server and desktop. A huge development team, many packages are available. Debian has a very convenient APT package management system and is quite flexible in configuration. When accessing the Internet, it is possible to select one of five branches in the main directory tree – “oldstable” (previous stable), “stable” (stable), “testing” (tested), “unstable” (unstable, also known as “sid” ) and “experimental”, which is not a full-fledged branch – there are packages in it that require thorough testing or which will cause major changes in the distribution. 
Among the shortcomings, it can be noted that in the stable version there are not the newest versions of the programs (who would have thought?).
– official site.



Source-based distribution. The distribution has a convenient package management system and dependencies, which is not the case with binary distributions.

One of the drawbacks is the tedious process of compiling large packages and the non-zero probability of system failure after the next update with insufficient knowledge of this system. 
Another drawback is the need to connect to the Internet to download updates (I think these days can be neglected).

The advantages are a huge amount of documentation, fresh versions of software, good hardware support, and incredible customization flexibility.

I recommend this distribution as a home distribution, provided that your hardware is not very weak. Also used on servers or as a distribution for embedded systems (due to the configuration flexibility I mentioned above). In the case of low-power iron packages are compiled (cross-compiled) on the main system, and then simply installed on the target. – official site.



The oldest of the distributions that have survived to the present, the choice of Russian physicists ( meme and Lora ). Its main differences are the complete absence of all unnecessary decorations and graphics means of customization, a simple text installer. All settings are made through editing text configuration files. It is one of those distributions that has retained a strict adherence to UNIX principles. Try it if you are not afraid of the command line and prefer manual editing of configs to graphical utilities.

For a long time, it was available only for the x86 architecture, but now a version is also available for x86_64 – official site.

Arch Linux

Arch Linux
Arch Linux

Easy, simple and flexible distribution. Optimized for i686 and x64, using the most modern stable versions of packages. 
This is a binary distribution, but it is possible to build packages from sources.

It is very similar to Slackware, but it has a much more powerful package management system (Pacman) and is more liberal with new versions of packages.

Among the shortcomings: fewer packages than in Debian and Ghent, lack of such powerful configuration tools as, for example, YaST in Suse.

By pluses, you can add a more relaxed attitude to non-free (non-free) packages than, for example, in Debian.

This is a general purpose distribution. It is successfully used both on workstations and on servers. But, as with any other distribution, you need to get used to it.

Red-Hat / CentOS


Well-tested distribution, which is more suitable for the server, rather than for the desktop. 
CentOS differs from Red Hat only in its lack of support.

More popular

Ubuntu Linux


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Probably the most popular of the existing Linux distributions. Ubuntu is based on Debian Sid (unstable branch), but with more modern packages, including the latest version of GNOME.

One of the most interesting features is the fact that the “root” account is disabled by default; the first of the registered users after the installation gets the superuser rights through the command “sudo”. 
Pros: a large community of developers and users, a fixed release schedule and a support period, ‘user-friendliness’ to the user in the form of additional graphical settings, excellent work out of the box. 
Disadvantages: unstable software versions are often used in stable distributions. Also disliked by some experienced users because of their apparent focus on housewives.



Advantages: professional attention to detail, easy-to-use installation and adjustment system YAST. 
Disadvantages: as in other distributions developed in the USA, multimedia support out of the box is limited.



The distribution was formed as sponsored by Red Hat and community oriented. It includes the latest versions of the packages. And since in the depths of RedHat a significant part of the Linux technologies of the world is born, the first thing they do, of course, get to Fedor.

Pros for: extremely innovative, fresh software, good localization.

The case against unstable software versions entails a number of errors (redhat test site).

ALT Linux

This distribution is developed in Russia and traditionally considered to be oriented towards the excellent support of the Russian language. In addition, it is certified by FSTEC, if it is important to someone.

In the server versions of the distribution, great emphasis is placed on the security of network services. Arguments for: excellent support of the Russian language, good community support.

The case against: not always fresh software.



The distribution kit developed in the depths of the company sun microsystems , which gave the world such free products as MySQL, VirtualBox, Java. In 2010, Oracle bought Sun and “went its own way.”

For a desktop, OpenSolaris is better suited – an open version (the project was closed).

Of the benefits could be called zfs, dtrace, good hardware support, convenient service management (Solaris SMF) and volume management (Solaris Volume Manager)

Family * BSD – the most popular among the BSD family. – safety comes first. – will even run on a toaster.

FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD – systems for the amateur are more suitable for the server than for the desktop, although there are some attempts to adapt these systems to the desktop:


These operating systems are used mostly for training purposes or as a hobby.


The operating system developed by Bell Labs to overcome the fundamental flaws in UNIX design. All resources are presented as files and are available in a hierarchical file system.


Allows you to put your Linux distribution in steps from the beginning. After installing it, you can really say that you know how Linux works. 
Ingoda is simply useful to read the LFS assembly instructions for general development.


This is not a complete list of Linux distributions. A detailed description of each distribution can be found at or even on wikipedia.

But to choose a distribution kit nevertheless costs from personal preferences, and not proceeding from its rating on any site or popularity.


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