Top 5 best Linux distributions

In a recent competition that took place some time ago, we received many responses from readers choosing their favorite Linux distros. Based on this data, the first place in the list of the best Linux distribution goes …Ubuntu
My personal favorites were Ubuntu Desktop (# 1 on this list) and Red Hat for Servers (# 5 on this list).

If you are new to any of the distributions listed in the top 5, read the rest of the article to understand a little more about these distributions and find out if your favorite distribution is in the top 5.

Picture : Linux favorites during voting

1. Ubuntu

Ubuntu 8.04 LTS for Desktop

Like most of you, Ubuntu is my # 1 choice for desktop Linux. I use it both at home and at work. Ubuntu is # 1 in the Linux desktop market and some use Ubuntu for servers as well. Ubuntu offers the following three editions.

  • Ubuntu Desktop Edition
  • Ubuntu Server Edition
  • Ubuntu Notebook Remix

Additional details:

Please refer to the Ubuntu series. Tips and tricks.

2. Debian

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Debian is also called Debian GNU / Linux because most of the core OS tools come from the GNU Project. Many other notable distributions are based on Debian, which includes our # 1 Ubuntu distribution and many others like Knoppix, Linspire, Damn Small Linux, etc.

Additional details:

Find out more about Debian distribution at wikipedia.

3. Fedora

Fedora 10 Server Edition

Fedora is sponsored by Red Hat. If you are interested in experimenting with leading technologies, you should use Fedora, as the release cycle is very short and Fedora usually includes the latest software / package technologies in the distribution.

Additional details:

More about Fedora distribution on wikipedia.

4. CentOS

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If your organization does not want to spend money buying Red Hat support but still wants all the benefits of a Red Hat distribution, this is obviously the best choice since it is based entirely on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
As you can imagine the Nort American Enterprise Linux vendor mentioned in the quote below is Red Hat.

From the CentOS website: CentOS 2, 3, and 4 are built from open source public domain SRPMS provided by prominent vendor Nort American Enterprise Linux. CentOS is for people who need an enterprise class OS without the cost or support of the renowned Nort American Enterprise Linux vendor.

Additional details:

More about CentOS distribution in wikipedia

5. Red Hat

Linux Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 for Server

This is my favorite server distro. If an organization doesn’t mind spending money on purchasing Red Hat support, this is always my # 1 recommendation for any organization that runs mission-critical applications.
One of the reasons I like Red Hat Linux for mission-critical applications is that Red Hat is committed to adopting some of the new features from Fedora that are well tested by the community.

Additional details:

More about the Red Hat distribution at wikipedia.

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