Linux Downloads: Top Linux Distributions
We sometimes talk about Linux as if it were a single operating system, but of course, it really comes in hundreds of different flavors. In fact, one of the strengths of open source software is that developers can (and do) customize the code to meet a variety of unique needs. This Datamation article provides details and Linux downloads for 50 of the most well-known distributions of the Linux OS. We discuss 10 below.
Major Linux Distribution Downloads
Canonical's Ubuntu is probably the most popular Linux distribution in the world for desktop computers. Recently released version 11.04 offers a new Unity interface. It's available in desktop, server and cloud editions, as well as in several variations that are included lower on this list.
This community-owned project provides the code base for a lot of other Linux distros, including Ubuntu, DSL, MEPIS and many others. It can be used for desktops or servers and all versions are completely free.
Novell's version of Linux for enterprises is available only with a paid subscription (although you can download the very similar openSUSE for free). It claims to be "the most interoperable platform for mission-critical computing–across physical, virtual and cloud environments."
First released in 2002, Gentoo boasts "extreme configurability, performance and a top-notch user and developer community." It uses the Portage package management system, which currently includes more than 10,000 different applications.
Fedora is the free, community version of RedHat's popular Linux distribution, and it's been called "the best place to track what's on the leading edge of Linux and open source software." In addition to the standard desktop download, it's available in a number of specialized versions, which it calls "spins."
Linux Distribution Downloads Based on Slackware
Originally based on Slackware and called "Minislack," ZenWalk has evolved to become a modern, fast, lightweight distribution that's easy to use. It's available in five versions: standard, core, live, Gnome and Openbox.
7. Vector Linux
VectorLinux's credo is "keep it simple, keep it small and let the end user decide what their operating system is going to be." In addition to the free download, it's also available in a supported "deluxe" edition.
Linux Distribution Downloads Based on Ubuntu
As the name suggests, Kubuntu is a Ubuntu fork that uses the KDE desktop instead of the Unity desktop. It's an excellent choice for new Linux users.
Lubuntu is lighter, faster, and uses less energy than its namesake, making it a good choice for mobile devices, including netbooks. It uses the LXDE desktop instead of the Unity desktop.
And this is the version of Ubuntu that uses the Xfce desktop environment. It's available in both desktop and server versions.
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