Most computer users are familiar with Windows or macOS operating systems (OS). However, Linux, a group of open-source Unix-like OS, is giving those two a run for their money.
Linux runs on millions of web servers and desktops around the world. It has a seemingly endless number of distributions, often referred to as distros, for users. Anyone looking to increase the personalization of their applications should consider using Linux distros.
Continue reading to find out more about Linux distros and five of the best distros to consider in 2022.
An Overview of Linux Distros
Linux distros do the hard work for you — they compile code from open-source projects so you can install a single OS. Distros also make certain choices for you, such as choosing the default browser, software and desktop environment. Many Linux distros will also have their own themes or custom software.
Whenever a user wants to download new software or update software to the latest version, the Linux distro comes pre-compiled and packaged. Users benefit from these packages because they’re fast and easy to install. Linux distros use various package managers, software and configuration utilities.
There is an extensive list of Linux distros available for users. It can be challenging to determine the best Linux distros and which ones are worth using. The answer may vary, depending on if you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced user.
Below are five of the best Linux distros in 2022 to consider trying out.
An increasingly popular Linux distro is Ubuntu, which is open-source and based on Debian, which is referred to as the “universal OS.” This distro was originally intended to be used on PCs, but it now comes in three editions: Desktop, Server and Core for IoT.
Many agree that the Ubuntu distro is a good choice for beginners and it’s known to be more secure than Windows. The primary version of Ubuntu uses GNOME (GNU Network Model Object Model Environment), a set of desktop apps for Linux and a graphical user interface (GUI).
2. Linux Mint
One of the main benefits of Linux Mint, the Ubuntu-based OS, is that it provides full, out-of-the-box multimedia support and works with the apps most people need. You can use Linux Mint for gaming, productivity, graphic design, streaming and more.
Linux Mint is easy to use, fast and very configurable. According to the Linux Mint website, most of its users come from a Windows OS, start using Linux Mint and never go back.
3. Zorin OS
Zorin OS is a popular Linux distro that has a similar user interface as Windows. If you’re familiar with Windows and want to make a switch, Zorin OS would be a great choice. It’s easy-to-use, has an intuitive interface and comes with cool features.
Some users will spend extra to purchase Zorin OS Pro, which costs $39 and comes with some nice features, including:
- An advanced video editor
- Audio workstation
- Photoshop-compatible image editor
- Illustration software
- Animation software
- 3D graphics and effects software
Many people think the Zorin OS distro is one of the most underrated distros out there.
New Linux users would benefit most from using the Elementary OS distro. According to its website, Elementary OS promotes itself by saying it’s a “thoughtful, capable and ethical” replacement for macOS and Windows. Elementary, Inc. develops and maintains the OS, desktop environment (also known as Pantheon) and associated applications.
Elementary OS is a good distro if you’re migrating over from an Apple ecosystem. It’s one of the most visually appealing Linux distros and offers a rich user experience (UX).
System76, a computer manufacturer, maintains an Ubuntu-based Linux distro called Pop!_OS. This distro is designed for creative professionals and users involved in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
It’s a secure, open-source software that even has its own store for applications, called the Pop!_Shop, which is comparable to the Google Play Store or iOS App Store. Pop!_OS is often used by players in the gaming community because it does not require them to install graphics drivers.
There are plenty more Linux distros to choose from, especially if you need a distro for a specific purpose. Some other popular distros you may want to consider are:
- Fedora Silverblue
- MX Linux
Each distro comes with its benefits and drawbacks, and some users may prefer some distros over others. Distros vary in cost, quality, support and installation packages.
Using Distros in the Diverse, Open-Source Linux Community
No matter what project you’re working on or what tools you require, there’s certainly a Linux distro out there that will suit your needs. There are currently more than 300 active Linux distros, some of which contains thousands of software packages, apps and utilities. If you’re looking for the best Linux distros, consider looking into the five options listed above.
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