What is your favorite Linux distribution?

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How to upgrade your Fedora Linux system with DNF

Opensource.com

Of all the many questions you might ask an open source enthusiast, none may evoke quite the passionate response as asking which distribution they prefer.

People choose a distribution for many reasons, from look and feel to stability, from speed to how it runs on older machines, from the pace of updates to simply which offers the packages they need. Whatever the reason, with so many distributions available, asking which one you use can be seen as a proxy for asking how you choose to interact with your computer.

And even if you've been a die-hard fan of a particular distribution, it doesn't mean your preferences can't change over time. Trying out new distros can bring new perspectives and experiences, and makes it easier for you to make informed recommendations as you help friends, family, and colleagues make the switch to Linux.

So as we do every year, we'd like to take this opportunity to ask you what your favorite Linux distribution is, and why? In order to keep it to a manageable number of choices in our poll, we've limited it to the top ten distributions according to DistroWatch over the past 12 months. The list is far from scientific—it biases towards users of desktop distributions sitting behind unique IP addresses who take the time to visit and be counted—but it's a starting point.

If your favorite distribution isn't on this list, let us know what it is in the comments. And regardless of what distribution you've chosen as your favorite, the important thing is to let us know why you love it. So head on down to the comments and sing the praises of your favorite distros, and remember, keep it civil.

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8940 votes tallied
Arch
12% (1050 votes)
CentOS
4% (387 votes)
Debian
11% (997 votes)
elementary OS
3% (257 votes)
Fedora
11% (961 votes)
Manjaro
7% (586 votes)
Mint
16% (1408 votes)
openSUSE
4% (354 votes)
Ubuntu
22% (1960 votes)
Zorin
1% (73 votes)
Other (let us know in the comments)
10% (907 votes)

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224 Comments

Mageia

Antergos!

Manjaro run so smooth

I had my laptop not able to boot after failed Solus setup.Wonder wtf

Ubuntu on my main machine, Ubuntu Mate on my laptops

Gentoo

After hearing, "Linux better, faster, cheaper" in a 1998 CIS-101 class I did some research , ordered Red Hat 6 and built a system to run it, When Red Hat stopped supporting regular users I did some more research and upgraded to Slackware 9.0. Currently running Slackware 14.2. , Slackware has a simple elegance I appreciate. Have not tried any other distribution.

After hearing, "Linux better, faster, cheaper" in a 1998 CIS-101 class I did some research , ordered Red Hat 6 and built a system to run it, When Red Hat stopped supporting regular users I did some more research and upgraded to Slackware 9.0. Currently running Slackware 14.2. , Slackware has a simple elegance I appreciate. Have not tried any other distribution.

Though I have tried various desktop environments, I have always come back to Debian based distros with KDE. I have settled on Linux Mint(KDE), though I will look at a live CD/DVD of other distros that might look interesting. In Linux Mint(KDE) I find that everything just works without a lot of hastle...something that I like. Your mileage of course may vary.

Voted for Ubuntu. Ubuntu Unity is available on every PC in the house except Chromebox. However, my most-used distro has varied. For now, Mint MATE is most used. In recent years, it has temporarily been Ubuntu MATE, MX, PCLOS, LXLE and others. But over the years, it’s been Ubuntu, and if there was only one distro, even though it isn’t my current most-used, it would be Ubuntu.

The Unity desktop has been somewhat of a pain and usually I have created multiple choice buttons for the Unity panel and/or used ClassicMenu Indicator.

Chromium

Bunsenlabs (debian + openbox) on a 13 year old laptop (2gb ram) with SSD instead of HD. You cannot believe how responsive and speedy this old thing is.

My favorite distro?... any distro that doesn't include Red Hat's systemd!

good old slackware.

I am enthusiastic about SolydX. It is a small distro but extremely well done. XFCE desktop and based on Debian. They also have a KDE spin for those who like that.
They boast what can be hard to find, a friendly and helpful community.

MX linux works so well I don't use any of the others.

Slackware

Gentoo for servers and desktops, Mint or some Debian spin for laptops.

PCLinuxOS FTW! Rolling, STABLE, not bleeding edge but it always works. Great community too. It's been my favorite for 10 years now.

Ubuntu is mine...it's simple and just works. I first tried Zorin on my desktop when originally leaving WinXP, since I read it was easiest distro for WinXP users to switch to. Then tried Mint. While on Mint, I read about dual booting my Chromebook, and used Xubuntu. Kept reading about the various distros and tried Ubuntu, and liked it. Have used it for 3 years now...easy updates, everything works, and I can just get stuff done.

Antergos

I love Debian and I use it on my servers as well as my PC and laptop.
Its greaaaaaat ;)

Ubuntu MATE

Solus.

Slitaz

Small is beautiful.

Fedora. I use it every day in the work I do for Opensource.com!

My favourite distro is the independent rolling release KaOS, despite/especially due to the strict focus on 64 bit kde + Qt. I love the commitment these guys show and they are always there with the answers to any questions.

Slackware and that is one of the oldest distros and wasn't even on the list?? Shame on you!

PCLinuxOS = rolling release, easy to use and very stable. What else do we need!!??

Kubuntu - KDE's work feels right for my workflow.

Ubuntu MATE

PinguyOS and ApricityOS are the ones now for the desktop.
Devuan is also a good option in the future.
RancherOS/Debian for servers.

Ubuntu here!!!

PCLinuxOS

Manjaro, easily.

PCLinuxOS - when it works why would I need or want to try anything else.

PCLinuxOS!

I've used many distros during the past 19 years, but PCLinuxOS exclusively for the past 10. I went from simply being a user to being an administrator on the PCLinuxOS forum, and a member of the development team, because it supplies everything I need in an OS and I want to help keep it that way.

PCLinuxOS

PCLinuxOS from the start. Never let me down, yet.

I M QUITE NEW WITH LINUX.FREEDOM AND OPEN ACCESS ARE TO BE AND STAY.THEN IT SEEMS A WAY TO GET BACK TO LIFE OLD COMPUTERS.

Gentoo

Mageia

Slackware

Hi I prefered distro FEDORA to desktops, and CentOs to servers, or Debian.

I've tried all the listed distros but keep coming back to Mint. Its ease of installation and customization are second to none, for me. I'd use Clonezilla to backup my current version of Mint and tried all the rest with having to come back to "Sarah". I feel more comfortable with the Debian packages as well. Ubuntu Mate came in second.

Pardus Linux

Mageia

Kubuntu, ever since Ubuntu got saddled with Unity

Gentoo for me. I prefer a distro that compiles the way I want it and not what someone else thinks I should have

I recommended Clear OS what is an specialized distro to use as a gateway what losts of people doesn't know about. It uses web as gui like an ordinary router and it has a marketplace with alot of free and commersial modules to expand the gateways functionallity. My other favorites are Mint as desktop it reminds my of Mandrake/mandriva then it was at it's best. I liked Redhat as desktop before but the desktop version of Redhat, Fedora 14 was to heavy for desktop but perfect for my server. It may have changed. I'm also fond about Debian as an desktop and i'm suprised about how easy it is to install nowadays.