If you have read our previous blog on “Linux Operating System” then you would know that Linux is a UNIX-based “Linux kernel”. It is an open-source software that is freely available for commercial as well as for non-commercial purposes. As it is available for commercial purposes that means any programmer/coder can do some changes in the Linux kernel by doing some code and finally make it as the new distros/distribution.
On the Internet, there are more than 600 Linux distros available. But, Within 600 distros maximum are not that much useful but there is some distro which is actually the powerful and useful distros. So, In our today’s blog, I will tell you the most used Linux distros which are used by millions of people. Before telling that, let see what is Linux distribution/distro.
Table of Contents
What is Linux Distribution
A Linux distribution or a distro is a collection of software that is based upon the Linux kernel. It includes GNU tools, kernel, software modules, X-server, shell utilities, an installer, and it often as a package management system.
It is an Open-source project where all the coders and programmers are combined together and make some changes in the Linux kernel by compiling the codes and make it as a new Distros.
How many types of Linux Distributions
As I mentioned that there are 600+ distributions are available on the internet for free but today I am going to tell you the most used Linux distribution. So, let’s see…
Top Most used linux distributions
- Linux Mint
- Cent OS
- Manjaro OS
- Elementory OS
- Zorin OS
- Open Suse
- Arch Linux
- Kali Linux
- Parrot OS
Ubuntu is one of the most popular distros in the Linux industry. It is a Debian-based Linux distribution That comes up with a GNOME desktop that looks clean, has a minimal interface, provides a smoother and super fast lag-free experience.
It is a lightweight Linux distribution that can be used in any low-end computer/laptop. In a low-end system, it works very smoothly and fast.
It is released by Canonical Ltd (It is a UK-based computer software company founded by South African entrepreneur “Mark Shuttleworth“) on 20 October 2004, the first release of Ubuntu was (ubuntu 4.10).
Ubuntu is specially designed for beginners who want to explore the world of Linux from start. So if you are a beginner in the Linux industry then I highly recommended you to use this distro.
To use this Linux distribution you just need to download an ISO file from the official site of Ubuntu and make a bootable Pendrive and boot it in your system.
Debian is also a popular Linux distribution that is based on a Linux kernel. It is a volunteer project that is maintained and developed by a community-supported “Debian Project”. A Debian project was established by an American software engineer “Ian Murdock” on 16 August 1993.
Debian Comes up with over 59,000 packages that have pre-compiled software, a package manager, and other utilities.
Ubuntu is built from Debian, both are very similar in the core, however, there are a lot of differences even with the changes made in Debian to build ubuntu, some of them are subtle.
As for the beginners, Debian may be harder as compared to Ubuntu, this is because Ubuntu comes with pre-installed utilities which helps us to easily configure our system. Example: If we want to install any applications in our system it is easier to do that with the help of a graphical application which is built-in Ubuntu but on the other hand In Debian, it has to be done manually by finding out the packages which are required and installing them with the package manager.
Overall it is a good Linux distro that is used by millions of users and it is an ideal choice for desktop as well as for servers
To use this Linux distribution you just need to download an ISO file from the official site of Debian and make a bootable Pendrive and boot it in your system.
Fedora is a popular Linux distribution which is developed by the developers of “Fedora Project” that is sponsored by the RedHat Incorporation (It is an American IBM subsidiary software company that provides us an open-source software). The first release of Fedora is Fedora Core 1 on November 3, 2003.
This distro is lightweight and user-friendly that provides us a better user experience. By default, fedora comes up with the GNOME desktop environment that looks very clean and has a minimal interface. The interface of fedora was very similar to the Windows desktop interface.
It is a powerful Linux distribution for the desktop computer and as well as for managing the servers. This is a very good Linux distro for beginners.
To use this Linux distribution you just need to download an ISO file from the official site of Fedora and make a bootable Pendrive and boot it in your system.
4. Linux Mint
Linux Mint has gained a huge popularity after Ubuntu this is because it is based on Ubuntu which means it uses some software repositories and packages of ubuntu. And, This distro is the fourth most popular Linux distribution in the Linux industry.
Linux Mint comes up with 3 different types of desktop editions named are Cinnamon, MATE, XFCE which provide us a clean and beautiful desktop environment. It is also a lightweight and user-friendly distribution.
This distro was created and released by “Clément Lefèbvre” in France in 2006. And, the first version of this distro was released on 22 august with the name of Linux Mint 1.0 (codename-ADA).
To use this Linux distribution you just need to download an ISO file from the official site of Linux-Mint and make a bootable Pendrive and boot it in your system.
5. Cent OS
CentOS is a community enterprise operating system that is based on an open-source code of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). It is the most popular Linux distribution for web servers and is also designed for network administrators, system administrators, and for managers. This distro is a stable and reliable platform for long-term support.
The CentOS is developed by the community-driven “CentOS project” which is established by “Greg Kurtzer” in 2002. And, the first release of this distro in May 2004 numbered as CentOS version 2
To use this Linux distribution you just need to download an ISO file from the official site of CentOS make a bootable Pendrive and boot it in your system.
6. Manjaro OS
Manjaro OS is an open-source and user-friendly distribution that is based on an “Arch Linux”. It is mainly focused on its user-friendly, accessibility and it’s for beginners. Manjaro OS is a very fast and secure distribution that is suitable for everyone from beginners to professionals.
Manjaro OS is developed by “Manjaro GmbH & Co. KG” and the first release of this distro was on 10 July 2011 with the name of Manjaro 0.1.
Manjaro OS comes up with the three desktop editions named are XFCE, KDE Plasma, and GNOME. These three desktops provide a very clean and smooth experience for users.
Overall it is a good Linux distro that is a suitable replacement for Windows or macOS
To use this Linux distribution you just need to download an ISO file from the official site of Manjaro and make a bootable Pendrive and boot it in your system.
7. Elementory OS
Elementary OS is a popular Linux distribution based on a Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support). It is the most beautiful and user-friendly distribution. This distro exactly looks like a macOS which provides us a clean full experience just like macOS. It is best for the replacement of Windows and macOS.
Elementary OS comes up with a Pantheon desktop environment which is built with GNOME software that looks elegant and pretty clean desktop environment. This is the best Linux distro for taking a macOS experience and also best for beginners.
It is developed by elementary, Inc (It is a US-based Company) which is founded by “Cassidy James“. The first release of this distro was on 31 March 2011 with the codename of Jupiter 0.1
To use this Linux distribution you just need to download an ISO file from the official site of Elementary and make a bootable Pendrive and boot it in your system.
8. Zorin OS
Zorin OS is a popular Linux distro based on Ubuntu. It is the best alternative for replacing windows or macOS from the computer system. This distro is designed to make your system secure, faster, and powerful. This is an ideal choice for newbies who just enter in a Linux world.
This distro comes up with the by default GNOME desktop environment that looks minimal, clean, and elegant in looks.
Zorin OS is created by Zorin OS company which is based on dublin and it is started by the Russian co-founders Artyom and Kyrill Zorin in 2009. And, the initial release of this distro was in 1 july 2009 with the name od ZorinOS 1.0.
To use this Linux distribution you just need to download an ISO file from the official site of Zorin and make a bootable Pendrive and boot it in your system.
9. Open suse
Open SUSE is a community-based Linux distribution that is driven by the German-based multinational open-source software company “SUSE”(Software und System Entwicklung) Which is founded by Novell in 2003. The first release of this distro was openSUSE 10.1 on 6 October 2005.
OpenSUSE comes up with a different desktop environment named are GNOME, Cinnamon, KDE Plasma, MATE, IceWM, Enlightenment, XFCE, LXDE, and LXQt. It is also a good distro for beginners, It provides us a complete desktop with a good-looking interface which looks minimal and also suitable for students, homes, offices and also for businesses.
To use this Linux distribution you just need to download an ISO file from the official site of OpenSUSE and make a bootable Pendrive and boot it in your system.
Gentoo is a Popular Linux distribution built with the package management system that is known as “portage”. It uses a free BSD as the main kernel and provides us with a secure, faster, reliable, powerful, and highly customizable distro. The goal of a Gentoo Linux distribution is to create a distro with the pre-compiled distribution.
It also comes with different types of Linux distribution names are GNOME, KDE Plasma, MATE, IceWM, Openbox, WMaker, Xfce, LXDE, Fluxbox, Enlightenment, Blackbox, Awesome and AfterStep. Which provides us with a great user experience.
(This image is taken from: https://distrowatch.com/)
It is created by the computer programmer “Daniel Robbins” on 26 July 2000. The initial release of this distro was in December 1999 with the name of (Enoch Linux) 0.75.
To use this Linux distribution you just need to download an ISO file from the official site of Gentoo and make a bootable Pendrive and boot it in your system.
11. Arch Linux
Arch Linux is one of the oldest distributions in the Linux industry that is based on the x86-64 architecture. This distro also uses a Package management system known as “PacMan”. It provides you the complete control over the system to do anything that you want, but in Debian-based Linux distributions there have some restrictions, but in Arch-Linux It is specially designed for advanced and professionals users who want to use it by taking full control over the system.
It is a lightweight and flexible Linux distribution that works on a adheres principle KISS “Keep it Safe, Stupid” and It provides us to fully customize our system
As, it is designed for the advanced user that means for beginners it may be difficult to use, Yes I know there is the latest version of Arch Linux is an ideal choice for beginners. But, according to me, this is not the best way to learn about the Linux industry If you really want to learn Linux from beginners to experts then you have to start with Debian-based Linux distribution which is best for beginners.
Arch Linux comes up with different types of desktop edition named are GNOME, Cinnamon, Enlightenment, KDE, MATE, Xfce, and LXDE. that provides the minimalistic desktop environment.
The Arch Linux was started by “Judd Vinet” in march 2002 and the first x86_64 installation ISO was released in April 2006.
To use this Linux distribution you just need to download an ISO file from the official site of Arch Linux and make a bootable Pendrive and boot it in your system.
12. Kali Linux
Kali Linux is known as “BackTrack Linux”. it is the most popular Linux distribution that is mostly used for Ethical Hacking, Penetration Testing, Security Research, etc, and for many other things.
It is a Debian-based Linux distribution that is maintained and funded by Offensive Security (It is an American international company who is mainly focused on security, penetration testing, and many others…). It is usually used by CyberExperts, security researchers, hackers, and by many others.
In Kali Linux, there are some attacks named are Password attack, Wireless attack, Client-Side Attacks, etc and having some tools named are: Nmap (Network Mapper), Metasploit Penetration Testing Software, Aircrack-ng, Burp suite tool, Cisco Global Exploiter, VulnHub, Wireshark, WPScan, etc and many others.
Kali Linux comes up with the different types of Desktop editions named are GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXDE, MATE, Xfce, and Enlightenment. Which provides a better interface for users.
It was developed by “Mati Aharoni” and “Devon Kearns” of Offensive Security in 2013 and the initial release of kali Linux on 13 March 2013 with the name of kali 1.0.0 “moto”.
This distro is not good for beginners. To use this Linux you should have to take a lot of knowledge on networks, penetrations, securities, and much more so It is mostly used by the highly skilled professionals
To use this Linux distribution you just need to download an ISO file from the official site of Kali-linux and make a bootable Pendrive and boot it in your system.
13. Parrot OS
Parrot OS is like a Kali Linux because it also focuses on security, privacy, developments, security research, penetration testing, etc., and many other things. It is also a Debian-based Linux distribution that is used by experts. It has some penetration and security-related tools named TOR (The Onion Routers), Ricochet, Nmap (Network Mapper), SQLMap, Metasploit Framework, Aircrack-ng, Netcat, etc., and much more.
It is a Lightweight distribution that comes with two different types of desktop edition named are: KDE Plasma and MATE which provides us with a better GUI user experience.
The Parrot OS was started in June 2013 by Lorenzo “Palinuro” Faletra, Parrot Dev Team, and the first release of this distribution was on 17 June 2013 with the name of Parrot 0.1.
To use this Linux distribution you just need to download an ISO file from the official site of ParrotOS and make a bootable Pendrive and boot it into your system.