Which Linux distribution is right for you? There is no one right answer because it depends on your experience and specific needs. Listed below are the top seven Linux operating systems for 2011. Each program was ranked based on ease of installation, user-friendliness, and amount of support available.
Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions for desks. New versions are released about every six months. This program is easy to install and use. The support support comes from both technical professionals as well as end users. Ubuntu is a great program for beginners.
Mandriva originally appeared to be a restructured version of Red Hat Linux. The current software has added user-friendly features including better hardware detection and intuitive disk partitioning. Mandriva also utilizes a KDE desktop and has great support which makes it a good program for beginners.
PCLinuxOS is great for new Linux users due to its intuitive graphic installer. It provides users with current desktop software and fast boot times. This program received our lowest rating for support because it does not provide support in any language other than English. Additionally, the program is only available in a 32-bit version and new releases are not scheduled regularly.
Gentoo was designed for power users, allowing them to have ultimate customization capabilities. It also has exceptional security. One of its best features is the ability to keep the system current without re-installing the software. However, long compilation times and occasionally instability makes it less than a crowd pleaser than other available software.
OpenSUSE has an extensive and intuitive configuration tool. The program also includes user-friendly desktop environments (GNOME and KDE). The program gets high marks for help and support. However, its heavy use of resources for desktop setup and graphical utilities tend to slow the program down.
Debian GNU / Linux supports more infrastructures than any other Linux distribution program and contains more than 20,000 software packages. It has become the largest Linux distribution ever created and has inspired over 120 Debian-based distributions. The program has a reputation for stability and being the most bug-free Linux distribution system on the market. However, their intensity testing has led to lengthy intervals between releases, typically 1-3 years.
FreeBSD was introduced into the market in 1993. The program is not in the same league as the other programs listed. However, it is fast, stable and has over 15,000 software applications available. FreeBSD lacks a graphical installer and the convenient features of hardware detection and system configuration which must be performed manually by the user.
Ultimately, you must choose the program that is right for you. Ubuntu and PCLinusOS enable beginners to use Linux without requiring a steep learning curve to produce results. Gentoo and FreeBSD are definitely for more advanced users. Mandriva, Debian GNU / Linux, and openSUSE are the best programs if you are willing to trade some advanced features for stability and continuing support.