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01-A.9: Distro List

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    Linux Distributions

    Currently there are over 600 distros, but only about 500 of them are currently active. Here are just a few distros and their positive points

    Linux distribution Description
    Mint An Ubuntu distro with a new set of applications and an updated desktop theme. Since its beginnings, there have been a variety of graphical tools for enhanced usability.
    Ubuntu One of the most popular distros, it is based on Debian. Has both a desktop distro and a server distro.
    Slackware The oldest distro. Considered highly stable, clean and largely bug-free, with a strong adherence to UNIX principles.
    Arch Linux Excellent software management infrastructure. Unparalleled customization and tweaking options. Superb on-line documentation.
    CentOS Extremely well-tested, stable and reliable. Free to download and use. Comes with 7+ years of free security updates.
    Kali Linux A collection of security and forensics tools. It features timely security updates, support for the ARM architecture, a choice of four popular desktop environments, and seamless upgrades to newer versions.
    Fedora Highly innovative, with outstanding security features, a large number of supported packages, and strict adherence to the free software philosophy. Availability of live spins featuring many popular desktop environments.
    Debian Very stable, and remarkable quality control. Includes over 30,000 software packages and supports more processor architectures than any other Linux distribution.
    openSUSE Comprehensive and intuitive configuration tool, large repository of software packages, excellent web site infrastructure and printed documentation, Btrfs with boot environments by default.
    Gentoo Highly flexible and endlessly customizable. Able to use a range of compile-time configurations, init systems, and run on many architectures.

    On the DistroWatch web site they track the distros who get the most hits - interesting collection of data here.

    MX Linux is the most popular distro
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): This shows a portion of DistroWatch's home page listing showing the top 275 most popular Linux distros over the last 12 months, the last 6 months, over the last 3 months and over the last 1 month. (Copyright (C) 2001 - 2020 Atea Ataroa Limited. All rights reserved)

    This table shows a great deal of information, which is constantly changing. Up to date information can be found at the above referenced DistroWatch web site. It is interesting to notice that MX Linux is the most popular across all four of the time frames, followed by Manjaro distribution. The DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics are a light-hearted way of measuring the popularity of Linux distributions and other free operating systems among the visitors of this website. They correlate neither to usage nor to quality and should not be used to measure the market share of distributions. They simply show the number of times a distribution page on DistroWatch was accessed each day, nothing more.

    This page titled 01-A.9: Distro List is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Patrick McClanahan.

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