If you’ve heard anything at all about Linux, you’ve probably heard of Linux distributions often shortened to “Linux distros”. When deciding to use Linux – on a desktop computer or server – you’ll first need to choose a distro.
A Linux distribution is an operating system made from a software collection that is based upon the Linux kernel and, often, a package management system. Linux users usually obtain their operating system by downloading one of the Linux distributions, which are available for a wide variety of systems ranging from embedded devices (for example, OpenWrt) and personal computers (for example, Linux Mint) to powerful supercomputers (for example, Rocks Cluster Distribution). Wikipedia
More about Linux Distros
Linux isn’t like Windows or Mac OS X. Microsoft combines all the bits of Windows internally to produce each new release of Windows and distributes it as a single package. If you want Windows, you’ll need to choose one of the versions Microsoft is offering. Linux works differently. The Linux operating system isn’t produced by a single organization. Different organizations and people work on different parts.
For many people, Ubuntu has become synonymous with Linux. But Ubuntu is one of many distros, and you have a lot of choice when it comes to Linux.
If you wanted to, you could grab the source code for the Linux kernel, GNU shell utilities, Xorg X server, and every other program on a Linux system, assembling it all yourself. However, compiling the software would take a lot of time – not to mention the work involved with making all the different programs work properly together.
Linux distributions do the hard work for you, taking all the code from the open-source projects and compiling it for you, combining it into a single operating system you can boot up and install. They also make choices for you, such as choosing the default desktop environment, browser, and other software. Most distributions add their own finishing touches, such as themes and custom software – the Unity desktop environment Ubuntu provides, for example.
itsfoss.com : What is a Linux distribution?
DistroWatch is a website which provides news, distribution pages hit rankings, new releases and other general information about various Linux distributions as well as other free software/open source Unix-like operating systems.
Learn more about distros popularity: DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking
What Distro Should You Choose?
Different Linux distributions are suited for different purposes. Which Linux distribution you should choose will depend on what you’re doing with it and your personal preferences. There’s no one right distribution for everyone, although everyone has a favorite. Linux distributions offer choice, which can be messy, but also very useful.
Most popular distributions for beginners
Below is a list of 15 popular distros and a brief description of each one for those switching from Windows or macOS. You may find your favorite “Flavor” of Linux in the below list:
(For direct download links refer to our Download page)
- Ubuntu (Most popular open source operating system in the world with strong community support. Ubuntu has other flavours as well like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu-Mate, Ubuntu-Budgie and more)
- Linux Mint (It’s known to provide one of the most polished and complete desktop experiences to a beginner)
- Manjaro (Based on Arch Linux and one of the best non-Ubuntu Linux distributions for new users)
- Zorin OS (Comes loaded with everything that one needs to complete daily tasks. With a Windows-like interface)
- elementary OS (A beautiful and fast open source replacement for Windows and macOS)
- MX Linux (Designed to combine elegant and efficient desktops with high stability and solid performance)
- KDE Neon (A stable desktop developed by KDE with cutting-edge features, all in a package which is easy to use)
- Pop!_OS (provides full out-of-the-box support for both AMD and Nvidia GPUs and regarded as an easy distribution to set-up for gaming)
- Linux Lite (A lightweight beginner-friendly Linux distribution based on Ubuntu’s long-term support (LTS))
- Peppermint (A Lubuntu-based Linux distribution that aims to be lightning fast and easy on system resources)
- Solus (An independently developed operating system based on the Linux kernel, designed for home computing)
- Feren OS (Based on Ubuntu, designed to be stable and more powerful with a new yet familiar user experience)
- PCLinuxOS (A user-friendly Linux distribution with out-of-the-box support for many popular graphics and sound cards, as well as other peripheral devices)
- Deepin (A Chinese Linux distribution based on Debian and uses the “Deepin Desktop” which is written in Qt)
- Fedora (A polished, easy to use operating system for laptop and desktop computers, with a complete set of tools for developers sponsored primarily by Red Hat)
So you’re switching to Linux?
Great!. Like other users and organizations who’ve taken the plunge, it’s likely you’re making the move to take advantage of Linux’s stability and reliance on open standards. Now all you have to do is prepare carefully for your move.
Refer to our Applications page to learn more about migrating to Linux and cross-platform applications.
Ready to move? please refer to our Download page to download your favorite distro and suggested applications.
Basic steps to move from Windows or MacOS to Linux
- Choose a Linux Distro.
- Try your distro from a “Live USB” first, assuming your computer will boot from USB; most will. You won’t need to install the distro for trying it this way.
- When you have chosen your favorite distro, install it on a virtual machine inside your Windows or MacOS environment.
- Use cross platform applications and try Linux applications to get familiar with the new environment.
- Get comfortable with Linux.
- When ready to migrate, Back up your important data before you do anything else.
- Install your Linux OS alongside your existing operating system and choose which operating system to boot into once the Linux installation has finished (dual boot system). Alternatively, move your existing OS into a virtual machine and install Linux OS (your favorite distribution) as the main operating system (recommended).
- Wipe your Windows partition (devote your entire hard disk to Linux) once you’re comfortable with Linux.
Refer to our Services page to learn more about migrating to Linux and our available services to help you out with the process.