There are many linux distros on the market today. If you need to know more about these distributions, this post will provide some important information regarding the different distributions.
Even though there are many Linux distros, the ones that most home users use are based on 3 major ones which are considered the parents of most linux distros. The 3 parents are Debian, RedHat and Arch.
There is really more than 100 Linux distributions available to you. This can be confusing to a new user very puzzling for a new user trying to get into Linux.
Debian Linux distros
The first, Linux mint runs on what’s called a cinnamon desktop environment and it is Debian and Ubuntu based. When I say cinnamon or xfce or any of these desktop environments, that’s kind of like the look and feel in the menu system that is in the operating system and when I say Debian based, that means what package manager comes with it.
That means the package manager is going to be apt, and if you see any instructions online where it says sudo apt install and then the package or program you want, it means those instructions are meant for a Debian based system.
Most use Linux Distros
There are so many Linux distros out there. A good majority of them are children of Debian, but really the ones that most people recognize are Ubuntu, Linux Mint, pop os and there’s a whole bunch of different spins of all these things. Meaning, different versions of the same distribution with just a couple Things tweaked or changed, and really those are the ones to know about.
So everything comes from the granddaddy, the father Debian. Debian is where everything comes from. That is why many people love Debian. If everyone is making distributions on Debian, it must be a good parent.
Debian is made very well, you never have to worry about really bad updates or anything crazy happening. A lot of people are contributing to the Debian project and that’s pretty awesome.
The next one in the Debian based system that everyone knows is Ubuntu. Ubuntu is run by canonical and is pretty much the same as Debian. They just have some extra features such as the package management PPAs.
APT is a package manager and how it installs programs is from what’s called repositories and those repositories download your programs, but sometimes you needed a repository for a foreign program that is kind of hard in to add it directly through Debian. It can be a little cumbersome, however Ubuntu and the canonical team made something called ppas, where it makes it a little easier to add a repository and install more programs.
If you are running Debian, you can’t use PPAs because it will cause many issues. As far as pop OS or Linux mint, you can use both Debian based repositories and also the Ubuntu PPAs. You kind of get the best of both worlds. Moreover, Linux mint and pop OS out of the box, come with a lot more system options configured, so you don’t have to do as much configuration when installing a distribution.
All distributions have flaws. Debian based distros are no different in that regard. There is no distribution that has everything that one will need. You have to configure it to work the way you want.
User friendly Linus distros
That is why many Windows OS users quickly jumped back after they try one of the many linux distros. Unlike Microsft Windows OS, Whatever distribution you install to fit your needs, all the distribution is a starting place. To reiterate, Linux Mint runs by default, the cinnamon desktop environment. It has all the package managers of both Debian and then also the PPA from Ubuntu.
Out of all the Linux distros I have tried, Linux Mint is the one that looks more like Windows. That is why it is the distribution of choice for many MS users.
POP OS is a lot like Linux Mint because it uses the same package managers. On the other hand, by default it comes with gnome desktop. Many prefer Cinnamon over GNOME because it seems a bit odd as compared to Windows.
As compared to Linux Mint, POP OS comes loaded with some nice treats. There are more support for system settings like videos and sounds out of the box. If you have an NVidia proprietary card for example, POP OS has built in support for it unlike Linux Mint.
POP OS is more optimized for gaming’s because it has what’s called esync and then it also has some of the caching and things like that already optimized in the system setting, so you don’t have to touch them just out of the gate, they’re ready to go. They also include a lot of proprietary drivers that many other Linux distributions do not actually give you so watching movies for example.
If you are from Windows coming to Linux, Linux Mint and POP OS are definitely your choice. I always recommend these two distributions to new users so that they have a better understanding of Linux as a whole.
This is it for the Debian based distros.
Redhat Enterprise Linux (REL) distros
Next, we will be looking into the company Red Hat which makes the distro that is called Red Hat Enterprise Linux (REL). REL has a subscription-based model. It is mostly used by big enterprise. Home users do not usually install REL based system.
If you’re installing a server and want a stable system, you are an aspiring Linux administrator, CENTOS is your distro because it is completely free out-of-the-box and has everything that REL has and it just kind of Mirrors, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux branch.
The main difference between a REL and Centos, is the support. If you are in an organization, you do need REL over Centos because when it breaks, you can call and have support for it.
Like Debian, Red Hat basically has a desktop environment. It is called Fedora. It is a great OS because it is also based on that stability and reliability of Red Hat. This thing can run for years with no crashing at all.
Red Hat based distros are the most reliable and stable of all systems.The only beef that people have with Red Hat distros are the updates. They do not come as frequently as Debian distros. Fedora itself is pretty good with its packages.
As a desktop user, you get a lot of the up-to-date packages that you come to expect just like the Debian based systems, so there’s not too much different, but the package manager is drastically different by default.
Fedora comes with gnome like pop OS. Even though you can change that out to different desktop environments if gnome isn’t your thing and also the package manager is usually yum or DNF. When you see instructions online that say: sudo yum install or sudo DNF install to install certain packages. This is the package manager which uses the Red Hat branch.
The last Linux distro we will be talking a bit about is ARCH. Many people do not use arch because it is a little more difficult. It mainly uses all command line. Linux commands are difficult for new users.
ARCH uses the pacman package manager. The good thing about pacman is that it helps you to build packages very easy. Some distros of ARCH are Manjaro, and Acro Linux. Manjaro is what I would recommend to a new user if you want to get your feet wet on ARCH. I think that is all we need to say about ARCH.
Other known distros are solaris which is not based on any distribution. It is its own kernel build. Another one is clear Linux, which is based on Intel. Intel also didn’t base this on anything else. It has its own package manager.
Debian, Centos and Arch are the most widely used Linux distos.