For those who are masters in the field of Computer Technology the terms ‘Linux’, ‘Unix’, ‘Ubuntu’ and Linux Kernel would have become a part of their everyday conversation. But for those who are yet to decipher Linux, the task of choosing the best Linux Distribution for their specific needs will be daunting.
What is Linux? Linux, an operating system is neither a program nor a set of programs. It is an interface which works between your computer’s hardware and its programs. And Linux is open source software, meaning the basic source code of Linux can be changed, modified to suit your needs. It can be distributed by anyone in a format called as Linux Distribution.
Linux Distribution manages a group of systems and application software that is available for downloading and installing through a remote network. Since the core code of Linux is free to be distributed and used, many organizations and individuals have made specific versions of Linux that is tailored to meet certain needs. When these changed versions are made public they are known as Linux Distributions.
- How do you select the right Linux Distribution?
- Stability of the base code.
- Does the base code change frequently
- Ability to update software programs
- Ease of upgrading from one version to the other
Keep these points in mind would help you select the right Linux Distribution. The Top Linux Distributions:
It is a distribution that has its base in Ubuntu. It is designed in a way that makes it easy for experts and newcomers to use Mint. It has enough provisions in it to provide users with multimedia codecs, browser plug-ins and has a flexible approach towards custom desktop.
The most famous distribution that brought Linux into the mainstream light. It shot to the limelight with its extremely sensitive bug reporting mechanism, advanced documentation and support. It sticks to a 6 month update schedule with each new version keeping in pace with technological changes.
Red Hat Linux introduced Fedora. It has very creative security features and a wide range of desktop options. It also has a strict 6 month release date.
Being one of the most stable Linux versions, Debian has outstanding quality control and has more than 20,000 software packages. The release date could be anywhere between 1 and 3 years.
It has a very large software package repository, a wealth of documentation and outstanding stability and flexibility.
With its rolling release mechanism that keeps itself updated thanks to its package manager, Arch Linux boasts of a highly advanced documentation system. Along with its customization options its software management is also very famous.
PCLinuxOS offers support for those migrating from Windows to Linux. It also has excellent desktop packages. Equipped with a rolling release mechanism it is maintained properly.
It works where stability and support are given more importance than latest updates. Since it is run by volunteers, it has evolved into an alternative to the more costly products available on the market.
Mageia is the new addition to the Linux Distribution list. It is user friendly supporting beginners and experts alike. It offers very good central configuration service and it supports many languages.
It is considered to be very stable and essentially bug-free. Slackware Linux appeals mostly to the more advanced technical administrators because of its complex upgrade mechanism.
With the ever expanding number of Linux Distributions, it can be mildly confusing to choose one that suits your needs. But after understanding your requirements carefully, choosing the right Linux Distribution wouldn’t be very difficult.
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