Have you been jumping on and off from one distro to another from all the Linux distributions? There is a term for it, distro-hopping. Many Linux users, especially if you are new to Linux world, will find themselves distro hopping for months even years. It’s very reasonable if you consider the vast number of distros and their variants in the Linux world.
Choosing the Best from all Linux Distributions for Desktop Use
Nevermind, whether you are being a distro hopper lately or want to know which Linux distributions are better in which use case, this article will help you to make your selection. We hope so.
It is the family tree of Linux distros. We will discuss the members of each family!
Linux Desktop Distributions
Well, hundreds of Linux distributions are there waiting to be your primary desktop OS. Which one should you use? Here are our top 3 picks.
Sounds flat, huh? I know I can use Ubuntu, any other suggestions, please? Well, Ubuntu is there and not going anywhere anytime soon. It has been the most popular and arguably the most successful Linux distribution ever.
Arrgh. I know that, but why do I need to stick to the most popular one? Windows is more popular anyway. The more popular a distribution, the more support it has got! Whenever you’re troubleshooting something, the community is there to help you.
Software vendors will include official support for the most popular distributions only. You will find well-tested software, themes, documentation, and so on. So if you are not very advanced in Linux, you may want to stick to a more widespread distribution like Ubuntu!
Ubuntu is based on Debian. There are many other Ubuntu-based distributions where you will enjoy almost all the benefits of Ubuntu. Linux Mint, Elementary, Zorin. Dozens of them. The main difference will be some Desktop environment and UI polishing. But deep inside, they are all Ubuntu/Debian!
Ubuntu has official support for many Desktop environments. These are like Gnome, KDE, XFCE, Budgie, and many more which are known as Ubuntu Gnome, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, and Ubuntu Budgie. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
- Community and Canonical Support
- More support from the software vendors
- Less effort to set things up
- Stable release
- package management is poor
- Takes more hardware resources
- Customization is not as easy as many other
Manjaro is gaining popularity rapidly, and there are reasons for it. It is technically more sound, thanks to the underlying core of the Arch Linux. Manjaro inherits the Arch User Repository (AUR) which gives it access to the most extensive software repository in Linux world.
If you want to upgrade the system, that’s a one-click job, and a background process will take care of it when you can continue using the system and keep your data. So, no, re-installation! It does not take as much hardware resources as Ubuntu. Lightweight, accurate, flexible, and brilliant!
If you are not doing mission-critical jobs with your PC (for example, development), Manjaro can easily be your primary OS. The one reason I would stay away from Manjaro (If I ever will) will sometimes be it takes time to troubleshoot and set things up. That case is rare, and will eventually become rarer as Manjaro is gaining popularity. Which means, more support, more forum help and so on!
Manjaro is in the Arch family. Arch itself is tough to configure and run for everyday use. However, Manjaro has eliminated almost all the complexity to provide you a rock solid but pure to use OS out of the box.
Manjaro also supports many Desktop environments like Ubuntu.
- Rolling but a solid release
- Less resource hungry
- Excellent package management
- Top documentation from ArchWiki & ManjaroWiki
- A vast collection of software (and drivers).
- The Arch power in customization
- Troubleshooting is more troublesome
- Fewer tutorials online
- Compiling AUR packages take time.
This one is the most popular one from the SUSE family, and got one of the cutest logos in the Linux universe. The green chameleon looks great, huh ??
The most significant feature of OpenSUSE is their YaST configuration tool. It is the best and probably the only ‘true’ unified configuration & setup tool available. You can control all configuration and setup settings from this incredible tool. The software update, networking, hardware, security, virtualization. What not!
The package management is also excellent. These have ‘open build service’ which allows the package manager to offer packages from the same source for Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, and other distributions. You can access their software portal through a browser, search, and click install and that’s it! Things can rarely be any more relaxed than this.
Now in Ubuntu, you have seen official releases from Ubuntu, Rolling releases from Manjaro. What if someone offers you both? OpenSuse does! You can choose from their standard release distro Opensuse leap or the rolling release distro Opensuse Tumbleweed.
- Beginner friendly
- Very stable standard and rolling release
- Easy system snapshotting
- Build system provides a lot of software
- Comparatively small user-base, less support from vendors.
- External software is not always stable
- Troublesome codec installation
I hope the article will help you to find your desired distro and stop the distro-hopping if you are suffering from it. There are other distros as well, if you think there are better ideas, please share with us and let us know. Thank you for taking the time.