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We’ll discuss the popularity of these prominent GNU/linux distributions, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Let me begin by telling you about how I got started with GNU/linux. I began using Linux in 2017, and like every beginners at the time, I was a complete novice. Every time I had a problem with my installation, it took me a day or sometimes several days to fix it. It never occurred to me that I would stop because of how difficult it is at first. I’m now running arch linux as my everyday driver. I enjoy how light it is, and there are no bloatwares during installation. My advice to newcomers and aspiring users is to read the documentation. Linux distributions are quite extensively documented. Google has everything you need, including fixes and solutions.

What is linux?

Linux is a KERNEL, not an operating system. A kernel is a program that manages hardware resources such as memory, CPU, and so on. The kernel is the most important component of an operating system, it is required for the system to function. Each operating system, such as Windows and MacOS, has its own kernel. The creator of linux is Linus Torvalds. Linus wrote the program during his younger years as a computer science student. All he wanted was to be able to use every functions of his new PC. As a result it became very popular among FOSS enthusiasts.


1. Fedora Linux

Red Hat developed Fedora Linux. For programmers, this is a popular option. Workstation, Server, IOT, CoreOs, and SilverBlue are some of the editions available. There are also Spins, which include a variety of different desktop environments. Visit fedora’s official website https://getfedora.org.

PROs:

  • Stable with Experimental Software
    • Although it lacks the stability of a distribution like Debian, it is stable enough to be used on a daily basis.
  • BTRFS As Defaut Filesystem
    • Its default file system format is BTRFS, which employs the zstd compression algorithm, that provides transparent compression.
  • User Friendly UI
    • Its default graphical user interface is Gnome Desktop. It has a very user-friendly interface.
  • Linus Torvalds Uses It
    • Fedora is the everyday driver for Linux’s founder. He dislikes dealing with complicated installations and upkeep.

CONs:

  • Bleeding Edge
    • Being a bleeding edge does not necessarily mean it is unusable, but it may introduce new bugs owing to insufficient testing.

2. Arch Linux

Arch Linux is a popular linux distribution among programmers and enthusiasts because it is relatively simple and lightweight. It has a very massive community driven repository called Arch User Repository (AUR) for any software packages and binaries, visit https://aur.archlinux.org.

PROs:

  • Very Lightweight

    • Only the software package you choose to install will be installed during the installation process. It is even possible to use without a graphical user interface, just like any other linux distro.
  • High Performance

    • It’s an extremely efficient distribution. Because there are fewer bloatwares and it is dependent on your preferred desktop environment.
  • Low Memory Usage

    • While idle, my arch installation only uses 700-800 MB. Memory usage is also influenced by the desktop environment that is selected.

CONs:

  • Not User-friendly

    • This distribution is intended for those interested in learning more about Linux. You must configure some things yourself, which is not very intuitive for beginners.
  • Not Stable

    • Every update has the possibility of introducing bugs into the system.
  • Rolling Edge

    • A rolling edge release cycle is used. Depending on the user’s level of knowledge and skills, this could be a PRO or a CON.

3. Ubuntu

Ubuntu is based on Debian and uses the APT package manager front-end. It has gained in popularity and is widely used in technology firms such as Boston Dynamics, Circleci, and Slack. The best distribution for beginners. To learn more visit https://ubuntu.com.

PROs:

  • Better Support

    • Ubuntu provides excellent enterprise software support.
  • User Friendly

    • Very simple to set up and maintain. To get started, you don’t need to be a linux expert.
  • High Compatibility

    • It is extremely compatible with new hardware.

CONs:

  • Not Very Stable (in my opinion)
    • In some Ubuntu updates, I personally encountered major bugs. One of the reasons I switched to another distribution.

4. Debian

Debian is the king of Linux distributions, being the most stable and one of the oldest. It will not include new versions of packages, making it extremely stable. Due to compatibility and driver issues, installing it on new hardware is a pain. The installation process may not be intuitive and very confusing for new users. Visit debian’s official website https://www.debian.org.

PROs:

  • Very Stable

    • Its releases do not contain newer versions of software packages.
  • Very Secured

    • It rolls out security patches to bugs and CVEs.

CONs:

  • Low Hardware Compatibility

    • New hardware is incompatible, and hardware configurations can be difficult to set up.
  • Fairly Old Packages

    • There will be no new packages; instead, the backport repository will be used to install it.

5. Linux mint

Linux Mint is another Ubuntu based distro. One of the most widely used linux distribution. The default desktop environment is cinnamon. Beginners and those who have come from windows will appreciate this option. Visit Linux Mint’s official website https://linuxmint.com/.

PROs:

  • Very Popular

    • Linux mint is a well known linux distribution.
  • Nice Looking GUI

    • Cinnamon, a beautiful desktop environment, comes pre-installed.

CONs:

  • Pre-installed Packages
    • This could be a PRO or a CON, but it is not an advantage in my opinion.

Conclusion

Each Linux distribution is distinct from the others, with its own package manager and other features. We should respect and stop hating on our fellow Linux users. A superior Linux distribution does not exist. Every Linux distribution is superior in its own right, but I’ve had bad luck with a few. Thank you for your time spent reading. In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be writing more content.


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