Linux is one of the most powerful operating systems in the world. Being completely user driven, this OS has seen lot of development over the years with top developers having voluntarily contributed to it. Many flavors of this OS have hit the market and they are popularly known as Linux distributions. They have come in all forms trying to address every conceivable need of the users. In this short piece of article, we shall take look at the most popular Linux distributions.
It is one of the most stable distributions of Linux that is used mainly for the server. In fact it is a mother OS and powers many other Linux distributions. It has more than 37500 packages and uses apt or aptitude to install and update software. It is quite a complex OS and is not meant for newbies and mostly used by System Administrators and advanced users.
A derivative of Debian, Ubuntu is the most popular free operating system in the world. It is targeted towards users who want to get a taste of Linux. The migration from Windows or any other OS is easy. Apart from this Ubuntu is also focused on server, cloud computing and even mobile devices. Like Debian it also uses apt package management, install and update.
It is quite similar to Debian and comes with a large number of packages. It is not the most user-friendly of Linux distributions but is known to be a good platform to learn and understand the working of Linux OS. You need to keep in mind that this OS doesn’t come with pre-compiled form and you shall have to compile it every time and on every new system.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux
This was the first Linux distribution that was targeted for the commercial market. It is compatible with many server versions also runs on different processor architecture such as x86 and x86_64. This OS trains and certifies system admins through courses RHCSA/RHCE. Although a bit bulky this distribution is known for its security features and serves even the stringent of business needs.
Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and is very popular with the first time users. It is user friendly, easy to install and offers full multimedia support. This version also comes with many software and applications like Java, web browser plugin, Adobe Flash which gives you a very Windows like feeling when you are using it.
Though many diehard fans of Linux call it half-baked and raise concerns about its stability, Fedora remains one of the most popular distributions of Linux. It is actually a testing platform of Red Hat and boasts of a large user bases. Numerous forums and quiet a lot of packages in its repository make it so popular. It comes with more than 30000 software packages.
Does the name sound like a joke? No it isn’t, and this OS is all about what an ideal OS should never be. It packs in faulty, ill-configured, outdated software packages that are vulnerable to attack and act as breeding ground malicious programs. This distribution has been purposely built to train you as a Linux Admin.
It is again an enterprise community operating system. CentOS has been rebuild using free sources available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. There is no much to distinguish between the two of them other than the logo and few changes in the binary package. It uses YUM for package management like RHEL and is a stable OS that has been adopted by small and large businesses alike.