There are a lot of Linux versions. DistroWatch.com, is a website that tracks distributions and has had over 700 different variations over the lifespan of Linux. With so much choice, it may be tough to choose which distribution to use.
The two main criteria to which you should pay attention:
The popularity of the distribution. The more popular your distribution, the easier it will be to find manuals on it on the Web. A large community means that you can easily get help on the forums devoted to the distribution, if you have difficulties with its development. Finally, the more common the distribution, the more applications and packages are ported for it. It’s better to choose popular solutions with a ready-made package database than to suffer from an assembly from the sources in some exotic distribution.
The development team that deals with it. Naturally, it’s better to pay attention to distributions supported by large companies like Canonical Ltd., Red Hat or SUSE, or on distributions with large communities.
For those who have never used Linux, Linux Mint
New users migrating from Windows will find comfort in Mint. To date, this is one of the most popular Linux distributions. This is a very stable and easy-to-use system based on Ubuntu.
Linux Mint is equipped with an easy and intuitive interface (Cinnamon shell for modern computers and MATE for old machines) and a convenient application manager, so you will not have problems with finding and installing programs.
Pros: simplicity, concern for ordinary users. You do not need any specific knowledge to install and use Mint.
Cons: a large number of preinstalled software, which may never come in handy.
For those who want to have the latest software, – Manjaro
This is a popular Linux distribution based on Arch. Arch is an incredibly powerful and functional distro, but its KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) philosophy, in contrast to the title, makes it too complicated for beginners. Arch is installed only through the command line.
Manjaro, unlike Arch, has a simple graphical installer and at the same time combines powerful Arch capabilities, such as AUR (Arch User Repository) and sliding release. AUR is the richest source of Linux packages. If any application is on Linux, it probably already exists in the AUR. So in Manjaro you will always use the freshest packages.
Manjaro comes with a variety of desktop shells to choose from: functional KDE, GNOME for flatbeds, Xfce, LXDE and others. By installing Manjaro, you can be sure that the first to get the latest updates.
Pros: AUR, thanks to which you can install any application without unnecessary movements. Always fresh software.
Cons: a peculiar design of the shells of the desktop. However, nothing prevents you from replacing it.
HOME SERVER- DEBIAN
A home server can be useful for many purposes. For example, to store data and backups, upload torrents or arrange your own dimensionless cloud storage.
Debian will work well on your home server. This is a stable and conservative distribution, which has become the basis for Ubuntu and many other Linux systems. Debian uses only the most tested packages, which makes it a good choice for the server.
Pros: stability and a large set of applications.
Cons: the need to manually configure the distribution after installation.
For a Media Center – Kodi
If you want to set up your media server, choose Kodi. Strictly speaking, Kodi is not a distribution, but a full-featured player for the media center. You can install it on any Linux, but it’s best to choose the Ubuntu + Kodi bundle.
Kodi supports all types of video and audio files. It can play movies, music, organize your photos. Kodi will turn any connected TV into a universal entertainment device.
Thanks to the extensions, Kodi can download media files via torrents, track the appearance of new seasons of your favorite TV shows, show videos from YouTube and other streaming services. In short, Kodi can do everything functionally.
In addition, Kodi is very beautiful and optimized for control from a remote console or device on Android. You can easily customize the Kodi interface with many visual shells.
Pros: a huge number of functions and convenient management.
Cons: the standard interface may not be everyone’s liking, but it’s easy to replace.
For the desktop – Kubuntu
The KDE graphical environment is ideal for desktop use, and Kubuntu is the most popular KDE distribution. Like many other distributions, it is based on Ubuntu, which means that you will not have compatibility problems with applications.
Kubuntu is beautiful, functional and easy to configure. Even novice users can easily cope with it. It is a stable and polished system that provides all the necessary functions for a home desktop PC.
Pros: a large selection of packages, a wonderful set of KDE applications and a huge number of interface settings.
Cons: Kubuntu uses a stable version of KDE, which means that the newest chips of this shell come here with a delay. If you want to try out the freshest KDE, KDE Neon is at your service .
For an old computer or netbook – Lubuntu
This version of Ubuntu is based on the LXDE shell, light and modest in the consumption of resources. It is oriented to old or low-power machines. If you do not have a very new computer or a netbook that does not cope with Windows, you can breathe life into it by installing Lubuntu.
This Linux distribution consumes little system resources and can run on almost any configuration.
Pros: very fast and easy system. Nevertheless, it supports the same packages and applications as its older sister Ubuntu.
Cons: the appearance of LXDE not everyone will liking, but this is a small payment for performance.
For tablet or transformer – Ubuntu
Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions on the desktop. Since version 17.10, Ubuntu has finished supporting the Unity shell and migrated to GNOME. And GNOME looks pretty good on devices with touch screens. If you have a tablet with Windows 10 and you want to try installing Linux on it, try Ubuntu with GNOME.
Large elements of the GNOME interface, customizable gestures and extensions will make Ubuntu an excellent system for touchscreens.
Pros: Ubuntu is a common distribution, which means you can easily find all the necessary software. In addition, most sites about Linux are dedicated to Ubuntu.
Cons: The GNOME shell is convenient, but at first it seems unusual.
For OSX lovers, elementary OS
As the name implies, this version of Linux is very simple. You will not have problems with its development. It easily runs on laptops and consumes battery power slowly.
The interface of the elementary OS reminds us macOS, Animations, window design – everything here is buttery smooth. Behind the beautiful shell of the elementary OS is a full-fledged Linux, supporting all the applications necessary for work.
Pros: beautiful interface, own shop of indie applications.
Cons: graphic shell Pantheon looks stylish, but not very functional.