Overview of the ten major Linux distributions

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 2, 2006
Updated • May 4, 2013

Maybe you are like me, wondering why there are so many Linux distributions out there and what the differences between them are. It's hard to make a selection: there are hundreds of distributions out there and all seem to serve a purpose. This could have been the intention of the guys who wrote the overview of the ten major Linux distributions.

Lets see, we have short reviews of Debian, Slackware, Fedora, Mandravia, Suse, Ubuntu, Knoppix, Gentoo, Mepis and Xandros. Every distribution is summarized with cons and pros about the particular distribution and every review of course features a link to the distribution's homepage. This is of course an opinion based review and at least some users will probably dislike what is being said about one or several of the distributions mentioned in the top list. Just look at the comments and the remarks of the users and you know what I mean.

The distribution overview has been published in 2006, which means it is outdated in many regards. We suggest the following alternatives to stay in the loop when it comes to Linux distributions.

The 2012 Top 7 Best Linux Distributions for You was published on Linux.com in 2012. It is one of the recent top lists to get an overview of what is hot in the Linux world. Instead of listing seven desktop distributions, it looks at different categories, and lists only one in each category. The categories are:

  • Best Desktop Distribution
  • Best Laptop Distribution
  • Best Enterprise Desktop
  • Best Enterprise Server
  • Best LiveCD
  • Best Security-Enhanced Distribution
  • Best Multimedia Distribution

You can alternatively take a look at the ten best Linux distros of 2011 over at Tech Radar which offers a short description of each Linux distribution covered, plus a nice screenshot for the important first impression. The top 3 distributions are Linux Mint, followed by Ubuntu and Fedora.


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