Starting from Ubuntu and Linux Mint which are simple and suitable for new users, to openSUSE which is specifically for developers and system administrators, these Linux distros need to be known, tried, and learned.
Linux is an operating system (OS) that is open source and has been used by many users from various parts of the country. OS that can be downloaded and used for free is often an alternative to Windows and macOS, which are paid products. Here I have summarized some of the best Linux distributions that users can try; some are suitable for new users, and the rest are specific to more specific needs.
Keep in mind, Linux is an OS that was built based on Unix, and began to be famous in the late 1970s. Since then, this OS has been adopted by various software developers, which eventually formed a Linux distribution, or what we know as distributions. If explained, the distribution is a designation for the OS on a computer, including its application, which uses the Linux kernel.
The first best Linux distribution I want to discuss is Ubuntu. This distro is one of the most popular Linux distributions. Ubuntu is highly recommended for beginners who are new to Linux because this distribution offers a user-friendly UI and also has a large community, which can help make it easier for new users to use Ubuntu.
A new version of Ubuntu is released every six months. At the time of writing, Ubuntu has been released up to Ubuntu 19.04. Every year, Canonical, which is an Ubuntu developer, releases a version of Ubuntu LTS (long-term service). This version guarantees users five years of maintenance and security updates. Previously for the non-LTS version, the update was only given for one year from the date of release.
Ubuntu has many variations, with DE, Desktop Environment, which distinguishes it from one another. According to Wikipedia, DE “generally refers to the graphical style of the user interface that shows desktop figures on modern computer screens.” One variation of Ubuntu is Lubuntu, which uses DE based on LXDE. Another variant is Kubuntu, which uses KDE Plasma.
✅ Arch Linux
If the user wants to try a Linux distribution that is less user-friendly, Arch Linux is the right choice. Arch Linux allows users to customize their builds, where users can choose the software package that they want to download through the Terminal.
With this option, users can choose which packages to install and which not to save storage space. Therefore, this will be very useful for developers and those who use computers with low specifications.
However, over time, now there is also a version of Arch Linux, which is named Antergos with a more user-friendly appearance. Antergos comes with more drivers and pre-installed applications. Therefore, the purpose of building Antergos itself is to facilitate the operation of Arch Linux’s features, starting from the initial installation to using it for daily activities.
Deepin is a Linux distribution from China developed by Wuhan Deepin Technology Co., Ltd. This distribution is based on Debian and uses DDE, Deepin Desktop Environment. Almost the same as Elementary OS, the selling value of this Distro is its elegant appearance and very soothing eyes.
When this article was written, the latest version of this distribution is Deepin 15.11. Also, Deepin is equipped with AppStore, which provides a variety of applications that can be a support for the daily needs of users.
✅ Kali Linux
Kali Linux, which was formerly known as BackTrack, is a Linux distribution specifically designed for penetration testing and security auditing. Therefore, this distro is widely known by users as a distro that must be used by a “hacker.” Kali Linux is developed, funded, and managed by Offensive Security, a leading information security training company.
Based on Debian, Kali Linux has hundreds of pre-installed applications that are intended explicitly for security penetration needs. In addition, this distribution has also been used by many security workers, who are also specialists in the fields of penetration testing, forensics, reverse engineering, and vulnerability assessment. For variants, Kali Linux comes with various DE, namely Kali Linux KDE, Mate, LXDE and Enlightenment.
✅ Linux Mint
Besides Ubuntu, one of the best Linux distributions is Linux Mint. This distribution is also suitable for use by new Linux users. Linux Mint is equipped with a lot of software, such as LibreOffice, to meet the productivity needs of users when switching from Mac or Windows. Mint also has better support for proprietary media formats, which will make it easier for users to play videos, DVDs, and MP3 music files without having to bother installing codecs first.
Users can download four variants of Linux Mint 19.2, each of which uses a different DE. DE Cinnamon is currently the most popular, but users can also use the more basic DE MATE, or DE Xfce. Also, there is a KDE Linux Mint version that uses KDE Plasma. This latest version comes with Software Manager, which is equipped with superior applications such as Spotify, Skype, and WhatsApp.
All DE offered on Linux Mint has its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, users are advised to make choices according to their needs. Or, users can also try it one by one to determine which is the best.
✅ Elementary OS
Elementary OS offers a UI that is very elegant and pleasing to the eye. This distribution is a Linux distribution that has a display style similar to that of macOS. The UI elegance of Elementary OS is fully presented by the DE used, namely Pantheon, which was developed based on DE Gnome.
The latest version of Elementary OS is named Juno, which is slightly nicer and neater than its predecessor, Loki. Also, this distro has AppCenter, which can make it easy for users to install applications without having to use the Terminal. This AppCenter also becomes very useful for Elementary OS because this distro does not have many pre-installed apps in it.
The Amnesic Incognito Live System, or Tails, is a Linux distribution that is oriented towards user privacy. This distribution can help users hide their location and identity as much as possible, Edward Snowden, a former NSA (National Security Agency) worker, also used it.
This distribution can direct all user internet traffic through the anonymous Tor network and is designed to prevent user data from being accessed and analyzed. Tails are based on Debian Linux and use DE Gnome, so the interface is still clear and user-friendly.
Tails are also not intended for all users. However, this distribution will be beneficial for users who are worried and concerned about privacy security in surfing the internet world, which lately has become a necessity and is widely abused by many companies.
The last best Linux distribution in this article is openSUSE. Previously known as SUSE Linux and later SuSE Linux Professional, openSUSE is intended for developers and system administrators. Because of this goal, this distribution is equipped with a very strict security protocol.
OpenSUSE has two main distro variants, namely openSUSE Leap and openSUSE Tumbleweed. Leap development uses source code from SUSE Linux Enterprise, which makes it far more stable than Tumbleweed, and is more suitable for daily activities. The latest version of openSUSE Leap is released about once a year and is supported for three years.
In contrast to Leap, the development of Tumbleweed is based on Factory, which was developed based on the core of openSUSE itself. Tumbleweed uses the “rolling” launch model. In other words, the application package will be available for download after being tested first. Therefore, Tumbleweed is suitable for developers, openSUSE Contributors, and Linux / FOSS enthusiasts.
In addition to the two variants above, the SUSE Studio website also allows users to create their version of OpenSUSE, complete with software packages, desktop settings, and user-selectable systems.
✅ CentOS 7
CentOS 7 is a Linux distribution that is devoted to stable use and is a branch distribution of the Enterprise version of Red Hat Linux. Therefore, like Red Hat, security and maintenance updates for CentOS are supported for up to 10 years from when they were first released.
Because it is devoted to stable use, CentOS is specifically designed to be a super-reliable or reliable distribution. Therefore, this distribution is very suitable for server needs. This fact also makes CentOS rarely used for daily use on the user’s desktop or laptop.
The list above is a compilation of the best Linux distributions. Users are advised to choose one according to their needs.