Two Linux experts choose the best desktop distributions

Also in today's open source roundup: KaOS developers release an updated ISO image, and Mozilla's fast new browser Servo will be available for testing in June

Two Linux experts choose the best distributions

One of the best things about Linux is the range of choices available when it comes to desktop distributions. But that same level of choice can also be a bit confusing to newcomers to Linux. It can be hard for them to sift through all of the different distributions to find the one that might work best for them.

Not to worry though if you're a newbie, Datamation has a helpful article that features two Linux experts who share their picks for best Linux distributions.

Matt Hartley lists his picks for Datamation:

It's been said that the single biggest challenge Linux presents to the newcomer isn't the new operating system, rather it's the flood of random choices to be made. There's desktop environments, the distro base, package management, you get the general idea.

This article will serve as a guide for those looking to come to their own conclusion, by trying some of my best Linux distro recommendations. Keep in mind, the best Linux distro for one person might not be a match for you. So keep an open mind as we go through each option below.

  1. Ubuntu

  2. Linux Mint

  3. PCLinuxOS

  4. elementaryOS

  5. Puppy Linux

  6. SolydXK

  7. openSUSE

  8. Fedora

  9. Arch

  10. Debian

More at Datamation

Datamation's other Linux expert Bruce Byfield has a slightly different take on the best distributions:

To be honest, I follow Linux desktops more closely than Linux distributions. To me, desktop environments are where the innovation occurs. In fact, I would argue that when a distribution calls attention to itself, something is probably wrong.

All the same, I have my favorite Linux distros. They are not necessarily the most popular – that would be bland – but they are distributions that, one way or the other, are influential or fill a niche extremely well.

  1. Debian

  2. Linux Mint

  3. Knoppix

  4. Qubes OS

  5. Tails

  6. Mageia

  7. Bodhi Linux

  8. Fedora Project

  9. Trisquel GNU/Linux

  10. KDE Neon

More at Datamation

KaOS developers release an updated ISO image

KaOS is a rolling Linux distribution that features the KDE desktop. The KaOS developers recently released an updated ISO image, and a writer at ZDNet has a first look at KaOS. If you're a fan of KDE, KaOS might be a good choice for you.

JA Watson reports for ZDNet:

KaOS Linux is an unusual case in the world of Linux distributions. First, because it is not derived from any other distribution; second, because it is so tightly focused on the KDE desktop; and third, because it is a rolling distribution. When you put those three things together, it makes it interesting enough for me to keep KaOS Linux loaded on one or two of my laptops.

The KDE-centric nature of the distribution includes not only the desktop, but all of the utilities, applications and packages included in the distribution. It uses the QupZilla browser, not Firefox or Chrome (although it also include Konqueror); Calligra for office applications rather than LibreOffice or OpenOffice, and much more.

Those who want to add their favorite non-KDE applications can usually do so directly from the KaOS repositories. I just checked and found firefox, google-chrome, libreoffice and vlc all available for installation in the octopi software manager.

In summary I would say that if KDE Plasma 5 is your cup of tea, then KaOS could be worth your careful consideration. I have found it to be clean, simple and solid (despite the minor annoyance of the missing efibootmgr). Furthermore, if you are happy with only the KDE applications and utilities, it is ready to go out of the box, but if you want you can add some of the more popular general-use applications such as Firefox, LibreOffice, VLC and such, they are available in the KaOS Add/Remove Software utility.

More at ZDNet

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