10 Linux Distros You Need To Know - InformationWeek

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10 Linux Distros You Need To Know

Wondering which Linux distribution is right for your organization? Check out our quick guide to find the distro with the features and capabilities you need.
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(Image: Tux via Pixabay)
(Image: Tux via Pixabay)

Linux, originally developed as a free-to-use operating system, is growing more powerful, capable, and user-friendly by day. Currently there are a large number of Linux versions, called distributions or "distros" for short, available in the market, each followed by a large group of users and developers who are working to further enhance the product. To identify the best fit for your organization, it's important to know the capabilities and limitations of these distros.

The Linux operating system is basically a kernel or a wrapper over the physical hardware that enables applications to interact with the underlying processing machinery. Since it is open source, organizations are free to use its core elements to build and release their own distros. A large number of organizations have already developed several flavors of Linux distros targeting different audiences and adding flexibility and choices based on their requirements.

There are now hundreds of distros, with different capabilities and functionalities, available on the market. Some of them provide a superior graphical user interface (GUI), while others are known for faster performance. Only a few are known for their commercial support, and even fewer are preferred for their simplified or faster deployment mechanisms. To develop or expand a Linux environment, one option is to develop a distro from scratch, potentially matching all of your requirements but also requiring huge amounts of time and effort. Alternatively, many Linux distros are available for commercial use.

Identifying the Linux distro that can serve all of an organization's needs can be a tricky task. Here are some of the most commonly used Linux distros, with a high-level analysis of their strengths and weaknesses to help organizations determine which will best meet their requirements.

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Vishal0soni
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Vishal0soni,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/14/2015 | 7:48:56 AM
Re: Stability of Arch Linux
I guess its because Arch Linux is very agressive with its rolling release distribution. The new updates are instantly released to public, which might often break any stable running system. Agree with you on the strong documentation part. 
regagain
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regagain,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/10/2015 | 5:47:44 PM
Stability of Arch Linux
Arch Linux is very stable (much more than, for example, Ubuntu, at least from my experience), provided you know what you are doing and configure your system in a correct and responsible manner (see the Arch Way).

Of course, this will seem daunting to most people, but luckily the documentation is amazing and the community very reactive, so don't be scared. It's embarrassing that the article fails to mention it, so I will say it one more time: have a look at their wiki, it is a-ma-zing and will be useful even if you don't use Arch.

Arch is the perfect distribution if you want to (amongst other things):

* have complete control on your system.

* improve your knowledge and understanding of Linux.
Vishal0soni
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Vishal0soni,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/9/2015 | 2:20:08 AM
Re: CentOS was once an independent version
"It looks like Ubuntu, doesn't it? But it is CentOS. Probably it's just an Ubuntu theme. If you look at the pic (terminal), you see that it does say centos."

 

Nice catch. :) It really is CentOS only. 
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
4/8/2015 | 1:13:01 AM
Re: CentOS was once an independent version
@anon2395205815

So, why does the blurb on CentOS have an Ubuntu screenshot?

It looks like Ubuntu, doesn't it? But it is CentOS. Probably it's just an Ubuntu theme. If you look at the pic (terminal), you see that it does say centos.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
4/7/2015 | 8:04:03 PM
Also, Linux as container host
There's another new form of Linux now available: the small footprint form for running Linux containers, including Docker. That would be CoreOS from CoreOS and Atomic Host from Red Hat. The container host needs a Linux kernel and a few supporting libraries and utilities. 
GonzoG1964
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GonzoG1964,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/7/2015 | 3:56:17 PM
Scientific Linux
I've had quite good luck with Scientific Linux up through 6.  7 is out and I've been working with it.  It appears to be a major change, so as of right now, I'm mostly spending time getting used to it. 

I'll reserve judgement on 7 until I get around the learning curve, but 6 was wonderful. 
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
4/7/2015 | 1:04:33 PM
Re: Linux distros
I like the bleeding edge too, but not on a machine that other people have to rely on and not even on a machine I have to rely on, unless I have a backup for when I don't have time to address breakages.  I ran Gentoo for a while and would love to do so again, but things are going to have to slow down a bit before I try again.

 
anon2395205815
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anon2395205815,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/7/2015 | 11:15:33 AM
Re: CentOS was once an independent version
So, why does the blurb on CentOS have an Ubuntu screenshot?

 

And NO distribution with a modern Linux kernel will boot on a CPU that doesn't have PAE (which lets anything much before the Intel core series.)

 
sonicmetalman
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sonicmetalman,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/7/2015 | 10:15:43 AM
Linux distros
I have a fondness for Debian Sid releases and the bleeding-edge distros based on it, such as Siduction. I've never been afraid to take a walk on the wild side where Sid is concerned, my experiences have typically been good despite the "unstable" label. I keep a test machine running 24/7 with Sid rolling releases and I can't remember the last time I toasted it with an "unruly" update.

I've never been much of a Red Hat/RPM fan though that is just a personal preference. 
gregzeng
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gregzeng,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/7/2015 | 1:48:20 AM
the order that you present these brand-name
"Arch Linux is a simple, flexible, and lightweight Linux distro which is easy to configure to requirements."

No.7 Seems to be the best, reading your comments on all distros.  No negatives, except unstable after the "easy" installation.  Why is Debian the No.1?

Mint is my preference personally, but like Ubuntu, you seem to imply that there is one & only one available type; no servers, no development, no community versions, etc. Now I am wondering if the generally market users are in the order that you present these brand-names.
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