The Linux ecosystem consists of a large family of open source Operating Systems. The are called Linux Distributions. These are deployable for both desktop and server use. Every linux distributions contains the Linux Kernel at its core. The kernel was first published by Linus Torvalds. The distributions of linux uses the kernel at its core. But they come up with their own system. The desktop versions have the GUI, and so many tools and utilities comes wrapped in them. Also, the most popular distros have large repository of software, where we can pick what necessary. The repositories also provide updates, when the developers publishes new versions.
The major distribution types are: Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Arch and Gentoo.
Debian based Linux distribution
Debian is one of the oldest Linux distribution and it is a very popular. The most popular operating systems like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Ubuntu Mate, SteamOS uses Debian at its core.
Debian is a universal operating system. It supports almost all CPU architectures. Debian is old stable, tested, unstable and experimental. As you go from experimental to old stable. You find new and less stable software. For managing packages. Debian uses two package directors, suitable and efficient.
It started with the GNOME desktop, but a few years ago Ubuntu created Unity. It’s own desktop environment. The Ubuntu installation process is simple and popular for newcomers to Linux. Ubuntu has a large package repository. Additionally it has the Ubuntu Software Center, which is a GUI tool for managing softwares. Getting started to ubuntu is easiest among all distros. It has several documentation, and a bigger community to help.
Undoubtedly a popular distribution based on Ubuntu.
RPM Based Linux Distributions
RedHat originally created RPM package format for its distribution. The most popular RPM-based distributions include:
RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Fedora is developed by community-supported Fedora Project. And its sponsored by Red Hat with additional support from other companies. Fedora indeed an upstream source of the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution.
openSUSE is sponsored by SUSE Software Solutions Germany: GmbH (formerly SUSE Linux GmbH) and other companies. This distribution is closer to the commercial edition of SUSE Linux Enterprise. openSUSE is loved by system admins, because of the tools to control to the deepest. openSUSE offers YaST as a GUI for managing software. And rpm for low level package installations.
Mageia is another community driven open source linux-based operating systm. It is straight forward to put in and very smooth to use. Mageia utilizes urpmi and drakrpm for package management.
Other Linux distributions
Arch Linux :
Arch Linux follows five principles: simplicity, modernity, pragmatism, user centrality and versatility. The project aims to have minimal distribution-specific changes, minimal breakage with updates. The package manager for arch linux is the pacman. And it uses rollong release model, meaning there are no “major releases” of completely new versions of the system.
This Linux founded in 1992 by Patrick Volkerding. Slackware is the oldest Linux system distribution in use these days. The OS is very light weight, and have good performance on old hardwares.
The Gentoo focuses on automatic optimization and customization for any application. Gentoo can become an ideal secure server, development workstation, professional desktop, gaming system, embedded solution or something else!
Which One is Right for You and How to choose?
If you’re brand new to Linux, start with Ubuntu. Ubuntu has the highest community support. Then focus on the terminal. Gradually try other distros in VirualBox or VMWare. CentOS is also widely used. But mostly used for server. Ubuntu MATE is great for old laptops. And Linux Mint is another flavor of Ubuntu that you may want to try. Many developers uses Linux Mint, because of their DE. Finally, research a little bit, then try the distro.
Start your choose and enjoy your Linux Environment. Thank you.