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Which Linux Distro And Why?

Starting with basic Ubuntu and working his way through Fedora and Debian, space-saving Puppy Linux, powerful Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and more than a dozen others, our open source expert matches Linux distros to specific needs.
Final Thoughts

A common criticism -- and a justifiable one -- is that the staggering number of distributions out there hinders Linux adoption or makes choice difficult. Yes, in the sense that there is no one authoritative Linux distribution (although there are contenders for that particular throne), and this creates a fragmentation of effort amongst different parties.

But no, in the sense that advances made in one distribution are quickly adopted by others. That and the total number of distribution choices you need to make are usually no more than two or three, since most distributions are created to address a specific need to class of user. In the long run, Linux's pluralities may eventually yield to a much larger common base than just the kernel -- but for now, it's a world of plenty, and the choices are yours to make.