10 Linux Distros You Should Know About

It appears simple to create Linux distributions lately. Take your favourite distro, change the desktop surroundings, add a set of apps you discover important, possibly slap on some customized wallpapers, and name the ultimate product your personal Linux distribution. Many will argue that derivatives like these are usually not “actual” Linux distributions. You’ll discover discussions on this challenge everywhere in the Web, the place knowledgeable and not-so-expert customers wrestle to determine what makes a “actual” Linux distro.

From time to time, a brand new distribution will come out and nearly all of customers will agree it deserves reward. Lots of these distros begin out small, maintained by a single developer with an progressive imaginative and prescient. Sadly, they don’t all the time get consideration from the tech press. That’s why we determined to current ten Linux distributions you need to find out about – whether or not it’s due to their unique contribution to the FLOSS neighborhood, or just because they appear and work nice.


You may need heard of Linux From Scratch (LFS). It’s a do-it-yourself strategy to constructing a Linux system from a set of automated scripts. Nevertheless, it’s not precisely a bit of cake. That is the place AryaLinux steps in.

Earlier than you begin questioning: no, the identify will not be impressed by Sport of Thrones; it’s a nod to the Indian civilization. AryaLinux is designed that will help you construct a working Linux set up from scratch. It is available in two flavors, XFCE and MATE, and acts as another distribution in Dwell mode. The set up takes place within the terminal, and the AryaLinux Builder device prompts you to enter data at varied phases of the method.


The default set of construct scripts will solely set up a base Linux system. To put in functions and a desktop surroundings, you’ll want to make use of ALPS (Arya Linux Packaging System). This can be a easy package deal supervisor that may set up functions and resolve dependencies. The functions it may set up are outlined in construct scripts. ALPS can’t uninstall or improve them but, although this would possibly change as AryaLinux continues to develop.


What’s particular about this Linux distribution?

  • AryaLinux simplifies the LFS strategy that will help you construct your personal distro.
  • Has its personal, albeit minimal, package deal supervisor referred to as ALPS.
  • Makes use of Fusilli Window Supervisor as a Compiz various.


Compartmentalization and app isolation are two phrases that got here into highlight not too long ago, popularized by initiatives like Docker and carried out on a sure degree in Ubuntu’s snap packages. The primary concept is to separate working apps and providers from the OS core for elevated safety. Qubes OS builds on that – with a twist.

Technically talking, it could be extra right to name Qubes OS a Xen distribution than a Linux one. Xen is a hypervisor – a expertise implementation that controls digital machines. Not like VirtualBox and VMWare which run inside an current OS, Xen has the power to run straight on {hardware}. Qubes OS takes benefit of this. It has a default, system-level digital machine referred to as dom0, which runs on startup and controls the GUI. It doesn’t have community entry and also you’re not presupposed to run any apps in it. That’s what AppVMs are for.


AppVMs are referred to as qubes, and they’re primarily based on TemplateVMs. Each TemplateVM accommodates software program that qubes can entry and use, however they’ll’t modify the TemplateVM filesystem. The default TemplateVM comes with Fedora.

The most recent model of Qubes OS replaces KDE with XFCE because the default surroundings. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to set up different distributions, and even Microsoft Home windows, in extra TemplateVMs. This implies you should use a number of Linux distributions on one Qubes OS system.


Qubes OS assigns completely different safety domains to qubes. They’re represented in the primary Begin menu and you’ll distinguish between qubes by identify (work, private, looking…), or colour. The latter distinction is supported by the window supervisor. Each app you open could have a in a different way coloured border, relying on which qube it belongs to. You may handle all of your qubes within the Qubes VM Supervisor device – add, take away, and rename them, in addition to see which of them are lively, and on which TemplateVMs they’re primarily based. Naturally, you’ll be able to seamlessly transfer information and replica/paste data between qubes.

What’s particular about this Linux distribution?

  • Qubes OS achieves safety by isolating apps from one another.
  • Apps are positioned into a number of context-based digital machines.
  • VMs will be primarily based on completely different Linux distributions.


One of the best open supply initiatives are these that may change individuals’s lives for the higher. Countless OS is a distribution with nice potential for simply that. It’s made for inexperienced persons and inexperienced customers, and aimed significantly at these with out dependable web entry. That’s why Countless OS strives to be further user-friendly, and comes filled with an entire bunch of apps, academic movies, a large assortment of books, and even articles from Wikipedia. All this content material is made obtainable offline, utterly for free.

Give it some thought: we take quite a bit without any consideration as a result of we are able to all the time “simply Google it”, however the sources supplied by Countless OS are invaluable to individuals in growing international locations. Countless OS can also be an excellent distro for all schoolchildren. You may even use it as a transportable information repository if you happen to plan to spend a while off the grid.


Countless OS doesn’t have a “conventional” package deal administration system. Amongst different issues, this implies you’re restricted to software program obtainable within the Countless App Heart. Below the floor, Countless OS is a closely modified Ubuntu construct mixed with attention-grabbing initiatives like OSTree, which makes it attainable to make use of a number of bootable filesystems with completely different variations of apps on one system. The desktop is predicated on Gnome Shell, moreover simplified to resemble a mixture of Microsoft’s Trendy UI tiles and your common smartphone residence display screen.


What’s particular about this Linux distribution?

  • Countless OS is for individuals with no quick access to the Web, so it has an enormous quantity of offline content material.
  • The basis filesystem is read-only, and the distro makes use of OSTree to carry out software program updates.
  • The corporate that develops it sells reasonably priced computer systems with Countless OS preinstalled.


Ubuntu could be probably the most remixed Linux distribution ever and whereas some remixes are implausible, others are principally pointless. However do you know there are remixes of openSUSE? Due to a service referred to as SUSE Studio, anybody can modify and redistribute openSUSE. Though openSUSE is a superb distro, it’s extra usually really useful for enterprise use-cases than as an on a regular basis desktop OS. GeckoLinux needs to vary that, and it’s already on the precise path.

One of many important the explanation why GeckoLinux was created is as a result of there have been no Dwell set up media for openSUSE Leap. With GeckoLinux, you’ll be able to check out a number of completely different variations and flavors of openSUSE. First, there are two important variations: Static (primarily based on openSUSE Leap, which is a secure department) and Rolling (primarily based on openSUSE Tumbleweed, a rolling-release department). The second half is the place GeckoLinux goes above and past openSUSE, and allows you to select one in every of seven desktop environments (Cinnamon, Xfce, Gnome, Plasma 5, MATE, Budgie, LXQt), plus a bare-bones model with Openbox and only some important apps.


When you’re large on analogies, you would say that GeckoLinux is to openSUSE what Linux Mint is (or was) to Ubuntu. It goals to make the unique distribution extra user-friendly by offering proprietary codecs out-of-the-box and making it simpler to put in third-party apps, carry out system administration duties, and handle package deal dependencies. What is really thrilling about GeckoLinux, is the power to strive it out straight in your browser.


What’s particular about this Linux distribution?

  • GeckoLinux makes openSUSE Leap simpler to check out, set up, and use.
  • It is available in seven completely different flavors, together with Budgie and LXQt.
  • There’s an internet model that you could test-drive within the browser.


Void Linux prides itself in being an unbiased Linux distribution, not derived from another mission. It’s a really light-weight distribution that boots surprisingly quick even on dated {hardware}, and has its personal package deal administration system referred to as XBPS. Superior customers who like all of the management, however not one of the problem will respect Void Linux probably the most.


One of many issues they may discover instantly is that Void Linux doesn’t use systemd. As a substitute, it depends on runit to oversee system providers and runlevels. On the subject of safety, Void Linux makes use of the LibreSSL safety protocol, a safer fork of OpenSSL. These two options set Void Linux aside from nearly all of Linux distributions. Extra cool choices are supplied by XBPS. It will possibly construct packages from supply with the assistance of set up scripts (templates), use a number of repositories and sub-repositories, resume unfinished updates and installations, and test for errors in packages themselves.

Void Linux is a rolling launch distribution that goals to supply the newest software program, however hold the bottom system as secure as attainable. When you don’t really feel like establishing a desktop surroundings from scratch, you’ll be able to obtain Dwell photos with Xfce, MATE, LXDE, Enlightenment, or Cinnamon.

What’s particular about this Linux distribution?

  • Void Linux is written from scratch and has its personal package deal administration system.
  • It makes use of runit as a substitute of systemd, LibreSSL as a substitute of OpenSSL, and the default shell is Sprint.
  • No proprietary software program is put in by default.


Possibly you’ve by no means skilled it your self, however you’ve absolutely heard or examine somebody who was a sufferer of a malicious assault on the Web. Malware will not be the one menace to fret about – there’s additionally authorities surveillance, and we’re all topic to monitoring from advertisers and our beloved social networks. It’s getting more and more tough to guard oneself on-line.

Subgraph OS is constructed on the presumption that your pc will, sooner or later, turn out to be a goal, and it’s subsequently hardened to withstand breaches and stop harm. You may consider Subgraph OS as a really safe cake, with layers upon layers of safety and enhancements.


With Subgraph OS, disk encryption is compulsory – you’ll be able to’t set up it on an unencrypted filesystem. The kernel is fortified with Grsecurity patches. Purposes that require community entry (akin to browsers, messengers, and e mail shoppers) run in their very own containers (sandboxes), and their connections are routed by Tor. Due to Metaproxy, each software makes use of its personal Tor circuit, and there’s additionally a firewall simply in case. Most of those precautions are configured mechanically, and the distribution seems to be and feels acquainted because it’s primarily based on Debian and makes use of Gnome 3.

What’s particular about this Linux distribution?

  • Subgraph OS goals to be an adversary-resistant distribution designed to maximise customers’ safety.
  • Purposes run in sandboxes and connect with the community through Tor.
  • The kernel is hardened with Grsecurity, and filesystem encryption is a should.


Nix OS is a showcase for the Nix package deal supervisor, a intelligent and thrilling mission which may attraction to individuals who get pleasure from practical programming. Nix builds all the things from declarative configuration information, and the ideas of the package deal supervisor are utilized in observe all through Nix OS.

This implies you’ll be able to configure all the system in a easy file and rebuild it on one other pc. Whenever you make modifications to your current configuration, packages affected by the change will probably be rebuilt mechanically – no must replace them one after the other. Nix OS helps system rollbacks by design, since each new configuration is saved and remoted from earlier ones. If one thing goes incorrect, otherwise you’re not proud of the brand new setup, simply boot into the previous one.


One other attention-grabbing function of Nix OS is that root entry will not be required to put in functions. Each person has their very own profile, and packages they set up are saved there. It’s additionally attainable to set up a number of variations of the identical software with out them overlapping. The draw back of Nix OS could be that you just’ll need to get acquainted with its construct language as a way to keep the system. The set up is considerably advanced, however well-explained within the documentation. Nix OS provides Dwell set up media with KDE, however you’ll be able to set up different environments as effectively.

What’s particular about this Linux distribution?

  • Nix OS helps you to create a transportable system the place all the configuration is described in a single file.
  • Apps are remoted from one another and you’ll have a number of variations of the identical software program run concurrently.
  • You may simply revert the system to its earlier state by loading an older configuration.


An individual would possibly suppose there is no such thing as a distinction between Ubuntu and Linux Mint – and they might be incorrect. The identical is true for Nix OS and Guix SD. Though they’re related on each degree, variations exist, they usually’re primarily a matter of software program freedom. Guix SD is a type of uncommon Linux distributions (or relatively, GNU/Linux distributions) that adjust to the GNU Free System Distribution Tips, and which might be thought of 100% Free by the Free Software program Basis.

Consequently, Guix SD makes use of dmd (GNU Shepherd) as a substitute of systemd, and has the Linux-libre kernel, which isn’t polluted by proprietary code. As with Nix OS, Guix SD is configured through declarative information. Nevertheless, it doesn’t use the identical language to jot down these information – whereas Nix has its personal implementation, Guix makes use of GNU Guile to implement Scheme. Nevertheless, this doesn’t stop Guix SD from gaining access to Nix packages. If that is one thing you need, it’s attainable with the “import” choice within the Guix package deal supervisor.


The remainder is just about the identical: on Guix SD, you’ll be able to have a number of variations of the identical software with out interference. Package deal constructing is unbiased from the system, so it may’t trigger harm or make undesired modifications to your configuration. Guix SD provides Gnome, Xfce, and Enlightenment because the desktop selections, however a graphical installer will not be obtainable but.

What’s particular about this Linux distribution?

  • Guix SD has all of the performance of Nix OS, minus systemd and binary kernel blobs.
  • It makes use of the Scheme programming language to configure packages and the system.
  • Accredited by the Free Software program Basis as a very free distribution.


Think about the proper Linux distribution. It might take solely the greatest components from different distributions, and make all of them work collectively. Bedrock Linux is getting nearer to creating that dream a actuality.

It’s an experimental distro, so that you received’t be utilizing it as your default system simply but. Nevertheless, it’s price realizing about as a result of it could be onto one thing revolutionary. Bedrock Linux asks you to put in different Linux distributions, then “hijacks” or converts them into one system. Utilizing Bedrock Linux means utilizing a number of Linux distributions directly, however with out it being apparent. You may open three functions from three completely different distributions and use them on the identical desktop, on the similar time. Bedrock Linux additionally makes it attainable to get newer variations of software program from one other distro if it’s not obtainable in your most well-liked one.


The method of configuring Bedrock Linux is considerably tough, and it’s not attainable to make use of it in Dwell mode. Nonetheless, it’s an enchanting idea with bold plans for the longer term. We hope they’ll succeed.

What’s particular about this Linux distribution?

  • Bedrock Linux brings collectively a number of Linux distributions into one system.
  • It will possibly open apps from completely different distributions concurrently.
  • You may select which init system to make use of relying on the distributions you put in.


You would possibly take into account this “dishonest” as a result of Maru OS will not be a distribution you’ll be able to set up in your pc. It’s an OS to your Android smartphone, supposed to exchange the default system and introduce you to the notion of convergence.

Maru OS has two “modes”. The cell one is predicated on Android Lollipop, and it makes your cellphone work like another smartphone. The desktop mode (primarily based on Debian Jessie) is activated whenever you join your cellphone to a display screen through an HDMI cable. That’s when the magic occurs, and also you’re ready to make use of your cellphone as a full-fledged desktop OS.


The desktop is a slick Xfce setup, and also you’ll want Bluetooth peripherals (mouse and keyboard) to work together with it. Naturally, you’ll be able to transfer information between desktop and cell modes, and entry them whatever the lively mode. Maru OS achieves this by utilizing containers, the place Linux is put in as a visitor container “inside” Android. Maru OS supplies a 2-in-1 answer, and allows you to carry a desktop Linux system with you always. Canonical, eat your coronary heart out.

Maru OS nonetheless has some points. For now, it solely helps the Nexus 5, and Google Play will not be put in by default (although there are workarounds). Customers have additionally reported issues with show timeout whereas Maru OS is working in desktop mode, in addition to important battery drain. Nevertheless, we imagine Maru OS is price making an attempt; if nothing else, not less than for the novelty.

What’s particular about this Linux distribution?

  • Maru OS is a Linux distribution to your Android cellphone.
  • It makes your smartphone utterly context-aware, and allows you to use it as a desktop pc.
  • You may entry Android information on Linux and vice versa.

SEE ALSO: 10 Recent Messenger Apps for Linux

Some Linux Distros price trying out

These distributions show that the Linux neighborhood continues to be filled with creativity and good concepts, and ready for regardless of the future would possibly carry. There are various extra related initiatives price trying out, akin to Trenta OS and the Clear Linux Mission.

Have you learnt of another attention-grabbing Linux distros? Have you ever used any distributions from this checklist? Tell us within the feedback!