Thursday, February 15, 2007

Guide to Choosing a (Linux) Distribution

The ever increasing number of Linux distributions can be confusing for those of you who are new to Linux. This is why this page was created. It lists 10 distributions (plus an honourable mention of FreeBSD, by far the most popular of all of the BSDs), which are generally considered as most widely used by Linux users around the world. There are no figures to back it up and there are many other distributions that might suit your particular purpose better, but as a general rule, all of these are popular and have very active forums or mailing lists where you can ask questions if you get stuck. MEPIS and Xandros are considered the best for new Linux users who want to get productive in Linux as soon as possible without having to master all its complexities. On the other end of the spectrum, Gentoo, Debian, Slackware and FreeBSD are more advanced distributions that require plenty of learning before they can be used effectively. Mandriva, Fedora, Ubuntu and SUSE can be classified as good "middle-road" distributions. Knoppix is a so-called live CD - it is great for trying out Linux without getting your hands dirty as it runs directly from a CD, no installation required. These distributions are loosely listed in order of popularity on DistroWatch, which is NOT an indication of their market share or quality. As always, comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Source: DistroWatch