When it comes to Linux, the best attraction is “choice”. While developers are presenting a multitude of choices, it is our turn to pick the right Linux distribution. But picking one that is perfect for you can be easy as long as you are willing to do some research and know your requirements clearly. As we all know, anyone can come up with a Linux distro. But it survives only if it is different enough or else it soon disappears without leaving a trace.
Choosing a Linux distribution may be a time consuming task when you have insufficient idea about the various versions. You may need to test several such versions before you download and install one. Keep in mind that the desired distro for someone else may not be the perfect one for your system. When you are planning to migrate from one OS to another, make sure that the new version successfully meets all your needs. There are some primary questions to consider when making this decision. Here are some helpful steps to making a conclusion.
Choose The Right Linux Distro
What is the purpose of a distribution?
The intended purpose can be categorized into three:
- For desktop use
- Desktop and server
- For server use
If you are looking for a desktop distribution of Linux, consider the ease of network options, adjustment settings, the range of GUI applications as well as the age of the software. But for a server distribution, software life, the API stability and security are the major factors to be considered.
How to Choose a Linux Distro?
- Clearly outline your requirements. Decide about whether you are searching for a fast distro, easy-to-use version, community or paid support or pre-installed codes.
- You may consider using a selection tool to help you decide or else try to get LiveCDs and check it yourselves. It is better to download and use a LiveDistro to check several factors including hardware compatibility and network performance.
- Looking for a Linux distribution with active forums would help you get community support. The most popular versions are Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Mandriva and OpenSUSE.
- Try partitioning your harddisk if you are planning to try a different distro.
- Keep an eye on the release cycle. Some of the Linux distributions are updated often with frequent releases whereas some are often stable.
- Determine the type of package manager you prefer. The applications are managed differently by each distro. For an easy application manager, Ubuntu would be your first preference. Packagekit is the best one for Fedora and Synaptic for Debian distros.
The Linux Community – It is the perfect place to get the right answer for all your Linux-related queries. If you know what you are searching for, seek advice from Linux veterans. The major advantage is that you get answers of different dimensions from both experienced and new users.
- Ubuntu is now perhaps the most popular Linux distribution. It is easy-to-use, well designed and offers supreme hardware support compared to other distributions.
- Download Ubuntu latest version 11.10
- Used As: Server as well as Desktop
Debian comes from the GNU Project and is known for its amazing line of options. Many popular Linux distributions are based on Debian including Ubuntu, Damn Small Linux, Knoppix etc.
- Home Page: Debian
- Debian is created By: Ian Murdock
- Latest Version: Debian 6.0
- Read more about Debian at Wikipedia
Fedora comes with a short release cycle and hence suitable for changing technologies. It also includes software packages for latest line of technology and is sponsored by Red Hat.
- Home Page: Fedora
- Sponsored by Red Hat and Created by: Fedora Project
- Latest Version: Fedora 16
Fedora is perfect for those companies that runs critical applications and if ready to spend money for red-hat support, it would be the best choice.
For a complete list of Linux distributions, check out the Wikipedia page.