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    11 Best Linux Distros For 2021: How To Choose Your Windows Alternative / FossBytes · Tuesday, 9 March - 06:45 · 9 minutes

best linux distros guides

Last year, Linux grew at a tremendous rate due to a ton of factors. While the world of Linux does offer tons of choices, it might get overwhelming at first. That’s why we’ve prepared this Linux distribution list to help you select the best Linux distro to suit your needs. Some distros perform better at one kind of task, and some are all-rounders, and so on. So, let’s get started with the best Linux Distro List for 2021

11 Best Linux Distros For 2021

1. Best Distro For Windows Users And Beginners: Linux Mint

The popularity of open-source software and Linux is rising with each passing year, and more people are learning Linux. For those users, selecting a Linux distro with a smooth learning curve is of primary importance. This ease-of-usage is the most worthy point kept in mind while recommending a Linux distro for beginners. You can read my complete list of recommended Linux distros for beginners .

linux mint - best linux distros for 2021

Linux Mint is one of the fastest-growing Linux distros around and is a lot better for beginners than Ubuntu. If you want to know more about Linux Mint Vs Ubuntu differences, do make sure to check out our Linux Mint vs. Ubuntu article .

Added to that, Linux Mint has established itself as a perfect replacement for the Windows operating system with its nearly-perfect desktop experience. Another reason why it’s the best distro is; you don’t need to spend a lot of time installing the distro and packages before you can get some real work done. It doesn’t have a heavier footprint, which makes it great for old PCs as well .

Why is Mint best for beginners?

  • Easy-to-use Cinnamon desktop
  • Large, supportive community
  • Easier to run on Old hardware

Visit the Linux Mint website to download the official ISO.

Best alternatives to Linux Mint:

  • Ubuntu
  • Zorin OS
  • Linux Lite
  • Pop!_OS

2. Best Linux Distro In 2021 For Beginners And Experienced Users: Ubuntu

A Linux article cannot be called a Linux article unless there’s Ubuntu mentioned in it. For a lot of beginners and experienced users, Ubuntu and GNOME is a match made in heaven. The more recent OS versions have added a mammoth list of new features and improvements that, after glancing, even a typical Windows user would want to switch.

Ubuntu - best linux distro 2021

Not to mention the community at large will always be there to help you if you get stuck. That said, no matter what you intend to do, you can do it easily on Ubuntu.

Why choose Ubuntu?

  • Active user community
  • Highly stable
  • Easy to use. Suited for beginners and intermediate users.

To get its ISO images, visit the official Ubuntu Website .

3. Best Linux Distro In 2021 For Ethical Hacking: Kali Linux

When it comes explicitly to the best Linux distros for ethical hacking purposes, there’s absolutely no match for Kali Linux . It comes with hundreds of useful tools that belong to different categories like vulnerability analyses, wireless attacks, web applications, exploitation tools, stress testing, forensic tools, etc. Based on the Debian Testing branch, most of the distro packages are imported from Debian repos.

Kali Linux - best linux distro 2021

Apart from full-featured desktops, Kali can also be installed on Raspberry Pi, Chromebook, BeagleBone, etc. It’s also available for Android smartphones with the arrival of Kali NetHunter.

Why install Kali for ethical hacking?

  • A Regular rolling release model
  • Tons of tried and tested ethical hacking tools
  • Solid Debian base
  • Vast learning resource

Visit the Kali Linux website for downloads.

What else to try for ethical hacking?

  • Parrot OS
  • BlackArch Linux
  • BackBox

4. Linux Distro In 2021 For Gaming: Pop!_OS

The gaming scene on Linux has significantly improved over the past few years, and it’ll only get better in the coming years. Thanks to the Proton compatibility layer, more than 50% of the top 10 games and more than 73% of the top hundred games are already playable on Linux.

Pop!_OS - best linux distro 2021

While there are many “gaming-specific” distros enough to overwhelm you, Pop!_OS  is a distro that many people in the Linux community, including me, prefer. That’s mainly due to two different images users can download – one for AMD/Intel GPU and the other that comes with Nvidia drivers. It is also the best Linux Distro for laptops.

Want to learn more about the state of gaming on Linux? Read our Here’s how to choose a Linux Distro for Gaming article. Also, if you’re searching for more gaming distros, our 13 Best Linux Gaming Distros article might help you choose the right one.

Why choose Pop!_OS?

  • Pre-installed graphics drivers for Nvidia and AMD
  • Excellent community support
  • User friendly

Download Pop!_OS

Other distros for gaming:

  • GamerOS
  • Manjaro Linux
  • Ubuntu

5. The Most Popular Linux Distro: MX Linux

MX Linux - best linux distro 2021 While there isn’t any concrete method to measure Linux distros’ growth, Distrowatch does a pretty good job of keeping track of visits to a particular distribution listing. As per their data, MX Linux has generated lots of interest among the users over the past 12 months, and it’s currently ranked #1. MX Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution that uses the lightweight Xfce Linux desktop environment. You can give it a try if you’re looking for a fully-fledged operating system for everyday work.

Why choose MX Linux?

  • Clean and simple user interface
  • Portable installation option
  • Unique “midweight” category of Linux distros

Visit the MX Linux website for download.

6. Best Linux Distro In 2021 For Programming: Solus

After booting into Solus’s Budgie Desktop, the first thing you’ll notice is how striking it looks and feels. While Solus is not specifically targeted at developers, it comes with many development tools pre-installed that make it one of the best distro for developers.


I’ve also mentioned it in my Top 4 Beginner-Friendly Distros That Are Not Ubuntu-Based article. The only hurdle between you and learning how to use Solus is the eopkg package manager, which shouldn’t be hard to learn.

Why choose Solus for programming or daily use?

  • Support for a wide variety of version control systems
  • Striking looks
  • Beginner-friendly

Visit the official Solus website for ISO download and more information.

Some more choices for developers:

  • Pop!_OS
  • Ubuntu
  • Manjaro Linux

7. Most Beautiful Linux Distro: elementary OS

Most beautiful Linux distro isn’t a criterion that can judge an operating system’s capabilities in the true sense, but it plays a major role in choosing a new distro. Thanks to the flexibility offered by the Linux ecosystem, developers can create new and appealing distros . Ubuntu-based elementary OS is the most beautiful Linux distro in my opinion and experience, known for its unparalleled performance.

elementary os

This fast and open source replacement for Windows and macOS borrows some design elements from macOS. Shipping without many defaults Ubuntu applications, elementary OS delivers a lightweight experience as well. With its Pantheon desktop environment built using Vala, GTK+, and Granite libraries, elementary OS is deeply integrated with its applications like Plank, Epiphany, and Scratch. Overall, it can be used by experienced and beginners alike to carry out daily computing tasks.

Why choose looks of the elementary OS?

  • Lightweight desktop
  • macOS-like appearance
  • Lesser applications, slick interface

Visit the elementary OS website for download.

Honorable mentions:

  • Solus
  • Pop!_OS
  • Zorin OS

8. Best Linux distro In 2021 For Privacy And Anonymity: Tails

If I tell you that Edward Snowden uses Tails Linux distro for carrying out his communications and browsing the web, some of you might wonder what’s the reason behind this choice. Some of you would be having a rough idea. As its name–The Amnesic Incognito Live System–suggests, Tails is a popular choice for secure web browsing.

tails os

Tails live operating system can be booted on almost any computer using a DVD or USB image. This Debian-based secure distro makes sure that all internet connections are forced to go through the Tor network. With this, you end up leaving no trace on the computer. It also comes with many cryptographic tools that help you encrypt your emails, files, and instant messaging. There are other options as well for privacy-focused minds.

Why choose Tails for anonymity?

  • Forces every connection via Tor network
  • Stores everything in RAM for no trace.
  • Also suitable for general use.
  • Built-in encryption suite

Visit the Tails website for download.

More options for privacy-conscious Linux users:

  • Whonix
  • Qubes OS
  • Alpine Linux

9. Best Linux Distro In 2021 For Servers: CentOS Stream

Can you imagine setting up a server on a Linux distro that’s known for its instability or frequent crashes in the middle of something? The answer to this question is pretty obvious. Other factors that matter are hardware support, security, power efficiency, and optimized performance. There are many free and paid options for such scenarios, and CentOS Stream is my recommendation in this category.

centos 8

Last year, RHEL-owned CentOS came to an unexpected halt and is now independent and called CentOS Stream. Due to this, the latest release, CentOS 8’s support window, was reduced to up to 2021 from 2029. However, older versions like CentOS 7 will be supported until 2024.

Why choose CentOS Stream for servers?

  • Popular RPM and Yum Package Management
  • Widespread support across the tech industry

Visit the CentOS website for download.

Other Linux distros for servers:

  • RHEL
  • Debian
  • Ubuntu LTS

10. Best Arch-based Linux Distro: Manjaro Linux

Manjaro Linux is my favorite Arch-based distro. It’s easy to install, looks great, and strikes a perfect balance between cutting-edge software and stability. It is also perfect for people who want to get away with the hard installation process of stock Arch.

manjaro linux

Much like Pop!_OS, Manjaro Linux is also an all-rounder. Be it gaming, development, or daily usage, Manjaro nails it in every aspect.

Why choose Manjaro?

  • Extensive Arch Linux documentation
  • Vast community and supportive forums
  • User-friendly Arch Distro

Visit the Manjaro website for download.

Manjaro alternatives:

  • Fedora
  • openSUSE

11. Best Distro In 2021 For Raspberry Pi: Raspberry Pi OS

When it comes to making computing accessible to more people, Raspberry Pi has played a pivotal role in this decade. By spending as low as $10, you can get a single board computer for web browsing, learning programming, etc.

raspberry pi

There are many Linux operating systems that you can install on this little machine, but there’s no match to the in-house Raspberry Pi OS. It’s the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s official operating system that’s perfect for beginners and experienced users. You can install it by writing it directly to the SD card or use Foundation’s own NOOBS installer. Based on Debian GNU/Linux operating system, Raspberry Pi OS comes with many useful preinstalled applications that ensure that you can get started right away.

Why choose Raspberry Pi OS for Raspberry Pi?

  • Officially supported OS for R-Pi.
  • Lightweight Pixel desktop environment
  • Availability of a lite version as well

Visit the Raspberry Pi OS website for download.

Other Linux distros for Raspberry Pi:

  • Ubuntu
  • Arch Linux ARM

Want something else? Linux Always Leaves You With More Options

The distros on this list are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Have you come across any distro that deserves to be on this list? Let us know in the comments section.

The post 11 Best Linux Distros For 2021: How To Choose Your Windows Alternative appeared first on Fossbytes .

Happy Free Software Day!


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    3 Like

    littleme , Arne , tallship


  • 14 February DebXWoody

    Es sind einfach zu viele,...

  • 24 April tallship

    And..... A very merry unbirthday to you!!

    I've got a similar take...

    #gnu - A collection of UNIX-like tools (Gnu's Not UNIX)
    #Linux - a UNIX like multi-user, multi-processing kernel
    #Debian GNU/Linux - a Linux distribution (2nd oldest)
    #mutt - MUA
    #Gajim - a Jabber client
    #Movim - I'm still trying to figure this out... Gimme a little time man! :)
    #profanity - something I use to offend the sensibility of others for my own amusement :P
    #gpg - fricken' rocks! Umm... oh yeah, FOSS implementation of OpenPGP
    #tmux - Orange is the new.... no, wait! tmux is the new screen! Byobu is the pretender, and merely a skin for tmux
    #ejabberd - a spade's a spade, it's a **Jabber** server :P
    #jitsi - Secure, FOSS based video conferencing
    #Nextcloud Talk - Secure, FOSS based video conferencing
    #Big_Blue_Button - Secure, FOSS based video conferencing
    #SchildeChat - nicely skinned Matrix client, chat/voice/video communications
    #i3wm - aside from Twin, second best WM next to ALT+F2|F3|F4....
    #notmuch - really? I'mma have to give that a go looksee. thanks for that!
    #FSF - um.... I love RMS the cult of personality, the icon, but the dude himself, I just no longer abides. He's really gotta give up the reigns and become the elder statesman. Serio bro.

    You forgot sum....

    #bitwarden_rs - rust and MariaDB based alternative to .kdbx with all the mACR0sf0t shit ripped out of it.
    #mcabber (this one's just for you) - a CLI Jabber client (WTF is Loudmouth?) - (but alas, no OMEMO yet

  • 24 April tallship

    Got it :) I'll respond from tallship@Pleroma.Cloud but in a nutshell, I'm still trying to get on board with the modern impplementations of Jabber. I appreciate the invite to, and I'll certainly recommend it to others, but for my longstanding, existing account for about twenty years with, how do I fit in?

    Thanks, and kindest regards,

    - tallship


  • De chevron_right

    Updated Debian 10: 10.8 released / debian_news · Saturday, 6 February - 00:00

The Debian project is pleased to announce the eighth update of its stable distribution Debian 10 (codename buster ). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available.

Značky: #Debian

  • Ar chevron_right

    Ubuntu Core 20 adds secure boot with hardware-backed encryption / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 2 February - 22:26

You might draw a fairly similar schematic diagram to give someone a simplified idea of how a traditional Linux distribution is put together—but it wouldn

Enlarge / You might draw a fairly similar schematic diagram to give someone a simplified idea of how a traditional Linux distribution is put together—but it wouldn't be as close to literal accuracy as this Ubuntu Core diagram is. (credit: Canonical )

Canonical released Ubuntu Core 20 today, which is now available for download. If you're already familiar with Ubuntu Core 20, the standout new feature is added device security with secure boot, full-disk encryption, and secure device recovery baked in. If you're not familiar with Ubuntu Core yet... read on!

The key difference between regular Ubuntu and Ubuntu Core is the underlying architecture of the system. Traditional Linux distributions rely mostly on traditional package systems— deb , in Ubuntu's case—while Ubuntu Core relies almost entirely on Canonical's relatively new snap package format.

Ubuntu Core also gets a full 10 years of support from Canonical, rather than the five years traditional Ubuntu LTS releases get. But it's a bit more difficult to get started with, since you need an Ubuntu SSO account to even log into a new Ubuntu Core installation in the first place.

Read 40 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • Pl chevron_right

    qemu-sbuild-utils merged into sbuild / planetdebian · Thursday, 28 January - 10:00

qemu-sbuild-utils have been merged into sbuild and are now shipped as package sbuild-qemu . The executables have been renamed from qemu-sbuild-* to sbuild-qemu-* , to be consisent with the other utilities provided by sbuild.

I may or may not have botched the transitional dummy package, but as the original package never migrated to testing (this was deliberate) and popcon was low, I'm confident that people will manage.

sbuild-qemu depends on the recently uploaded vdbm2 , which added support for arm64, armhf, and ppc64el images. This is really exciting, as this means that sbuild-qemu and autopkgtest will soon be able to build for and test on most of the officially supported architectures, all from one host machine. MRs to enable these new features in autopkgtest have already been filed by Ryutaro Matsumoto. Support for the armel architecture is being discussed; support for the MIPS architectures is a more complicated issue, as they don't use GRUB.

I'd like to thank Johannes Schauer for reaching out, initiating discussion, and collaborating on this merge!

Značky: #Debian

  • Pl chevron_right

    Compiling and installing the Gentoo Linux kernel on emerge without genkernel / planetdebian · Thursday, 28 January - 09:45 · 1 minute

Gentoo emerges of sys-kernel/gentoo-sources will nicely install the current kernel into /usr/src/linux-* but it will not compile them.

The Gentoo wiki kernel documentation has a script snippet to automate the kernel build with genkernel .

I do not like to use genkernel as it brings in lots of firmware files to build initrds that are not needed on virtual hardware. It also makes building the kernel slower.

So, the plain approach:

Make emerge sys-kernel/gentoo-sources symlink the latest kernel to /usr/src/linux so we can find it easily:

echo "sys-kernel/gentoo-sources symlink" >> / etc / portage / package.use / gentoo-sources

Create /etc/portage/env/sys-kernel/gentoo-sources with the following:

post_pkg_postinst ( ) {
CURRENT_KV =$ ( uname -r )
unset ARCH
if [ [ -f " ${EROOT:-/} usr/src/linux- ${CURRENT_KV} /.config" ] ] ; then
cp -n " ${EROOT:-/} usr/src/linux- ${CURRENT_KV} /.config" " ${EROOT:-/} usr/src/linux/.config"
cd " ${EROOT:-/} usr/src/linux/" && \
make olddefconfig && \
make -j5 && make modules_install && make install && \
grub-mkconfig -o / boot / grub / grub.cfg

This will compile the next kernel on the basis of the config of the currently running kernel, install the modules and the kernel bzImage and update grub so it knows about the new kernel for the next reboot.

If you forget to unset ARCH the Linux build system will complain like:

Makefile:583: arch/amd64/Makefile: No such file or directory
make: *** No rule to make target 'arch/amd64/Makefile'.  Stop.

You can test the new magic by re-emerging the latest kernel, e.g. currently emerge =sys-kernel/gentoo-sources-5.4.80-r1 :

Značky: #Debian

  • Pl chevron_right

    2020 in Fiction / planetdebian · Wednesday, 27 January - 16:24 · 2 minutes

Cover for Susanna Clarke
Cover for Emily St. John Mandel

I managed to read 31 "books" in 2020. I'm happy with that. I thought the Pandemic would prevent me reaching my goal (30), since I did most of my reading on the commute to the Newcastle office, pre-pandemic. Somehow I've managed to compensate.

I started setting a goal for books read per year in 2012 when I started to use goodreads . Doing so started to influence the type of reading I do (which is the reason I stopped my Interzone subscription in 2014, although I resumed it again sometime afterwards). Once I realised that I've been a bit more careful to ensure setting a goal was a worthwhile thing to do and not just another source of stress in my life.

Two books I read were published in 2020. The first was Robert Galbraith's (a.k.a. J K Rowling's) Troubled Blood , the fifth (and largest) in the series of crime novels featuring Cormoran Strike (and the equally important Robin Ellacott). Nowadays Rowling is a controversial figure, but I'm not writing about that today, or the book itself, in much detail: briefly, it exceeded expectations, and my wife and I really enjoyed it.

The other was Susanna Clarke's Piranesi : an utterly fantastic modern-fantasy story, quite short, completely different to her successful debut novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell . I really loved this book, partly because it appeals to my love of fantasy geography, but also because it is very well put together, with a strong sense of the value of people's lives.

A couple of the other books I read were quite Pandemic-appropriate. I tore through Josh Malerman's Bird Box , a fast-paced post-apocalyptic style horror/suspense story. The appeal was mostly in the construction and delivery: the story itself was strong enough to support the book at the length that it is, but I don't really feel it could have lasted much longer, and so I've no idea how the new sequel ( Malorie ) will work.

The other was Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This was a story about a group of travelling musicians in a post-apocalyptic (post-pandemic) North America. A cast of characters all revolve around their relationship (or six degrees of separation) to an actor who died just prior to the Pandemic. The world-building in this book was really strong, and I felt sufficiently invested in the characters that I would love to read more about them in another book. However, I think that (although I'm largely just guessing here), in common with Bird Box , the setting was there to support the novel and the ideas that the author wanted to get across, and so I (sadly) doubt she will return to it.

Finally I read a lot of short fiction. I'll write more about that in a separate blog post.

Značky: #Debian