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“The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open-source software collaboration. This means that the underlying source code may be used, modified and distributed—commercially or non-commercially—by anyone under the terms of its respective licenses, such as the GNU General Public License.
Typically, Linux is packaged in a form known as a Linux distribution (or distro for short) for both desktop / Laptop and server use. Some of the most popular and mainstream Linux distributions are Arch Linux, Debian, Fedora, Linux Mint and Ubuntu, together with commercial distributions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux . Distributions include the Linux kernel, supporting utilities and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project, and usually a large amount of application software to fulfil the distribution’s intended use.”
Choosing the rbest distribution–or “distro” for you will depend on several factors:
- Compatibility with your selected hardware
- Your personal experience using Linux
- Particular features that you need (Video editing / Writing Code / Specific applications)
- Long term application support vs sequential updates
- Cutting edge development vs stability
- Desktop interface
- Personal preference
The most popular distros used for Laptop installations include:
Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distro that was launched in 2006. The operating system adds to Ubuntu with its own, distinct desktop theme and a different set of applications. Mint enjoys a well-deserved reputation for ease of use, so it’s a good choice for newbies..
Ubuntu is one of the better known distros and has been the installation of choice for many of the manufacturers offering Linux pre-installed on their hardware.
Introduced by South African millionaire Mark Shuttleworth in 2004, Ubuntu is supported by Canonical. Ubuntu is itself based on Debian and has a predictable, six-month release schedule, with occasional Long Term Support (LTS) versions that are supported with security updates for three to five years.
Solus 3 ships with Budgie 10.4, their flagship desktop that has been developed with the needs of the home user in mind and the latest stable release of the Linux kernel. Solus 3 also supports Snaps, a universal software packaging system for Linux.
Dating back to 1993, Debian is currently known as one of the most well-tested and bug-free distros available today. Though it serves as the foundation for Ubuntu, most view Debian as a distro best-suited for those experienced with Linux.
Arch is another package aimed primarily at experienced users interested in tweaking and optimizing their systems.
Fedora is the free version of Red Hat, whose RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) has been a commercial product since 2003. Because of that close connection, Fedora is particularly strong on enterprise features, and it often offers them before RHEL does.