10 Best Linux Distros for Beginners in 2022

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Best Linux Distro

Being a robust operating system, Linux stands out from its peers in a lot of ways. From offering impeccable customization options to providing maximum flexibility, Linux has always been a game-changer, especially for developers.

If you are acquainted with Linux, you must be aware of how it operates and the role that Linux distributions a.k.a. Linux distros play. The next section is all about the latter part.

What are Linux Distros and Why Do We Need Them?

The way Linux operates is different from that of macOS and Microsoft Windows. Unlike these, Linux isn’t produced by a single organization. Instead, different organizations and people work on its different aspects.

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The one who developed the core of Linux is different from the one who built the terminal interface and the one responsible for developing the commands that can be used with it.

System services, graphical programs, terminal commands, and other aspects of Linux are developed independently from another. They’re all open-source software distributed in the form of source code.

The intent of Linux distros is to take all these codes and open-source projects, and compile them into a single operating system – a Linux distribution – that you can boot up and install to serve some specific purpose(s).

This makes it convenient for you to get the complete package without wasting time on compiling and adjusting them to work together manually. This also liberates users to get maximum control over customization and making choices of the Linux distros as per their needs. Next, we are going to discuss the 10 best Linux distros to use in 2022.

10 Best Linux Distros of 2022

      • Ubuntu
      • Linux Mint
      • Fedora
      • Pop!_OS
      • Manjaro
      • Debian
      • Arch Linux
      • CentOS
      • Gentoo
      • Kali Linux

1. Ubuntu

Ubuntu

Developed by Canonical more than a decade ago, Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distro in existence enjoyed by users of all skill levels, may it be beginners, intermediate users, or professionals, from all around the globe. It even comes pre-installed on some laptops and desktops by big brands like HP and Dell. It is meant as an alternative for Windows.

Ubuntu comes with a user-friendly and elegant user interface, which makes it ideal for desktop users, especially newcomers, who are trying to wrap their heads around Linux. They can start quickly with default apps and work their way towards building a better understanding of the Linux operating system.

  • Supports all the major software on Windows such as Firefox, Chrome, VLC, etc.
  • Compatible with an office suite called LibreOffice.
  • You can manage videos and share videos with the help of apps
  • Comes with an inbuilt software called Thunderbird through which you can get access to email such as Gmail, Hotmail, etc.
  • Provides ease in finding content smart searching facilities.
  • It is a free operating system and is backed by a huge open-source community.

Amazingly, Ubuntu forms the basis of several other popular Linux distributions as well, such as Lubuntu 20.04 LTS, Kubuntu 20.04, and Linux Mint 20.04 LTS (Ulyana).

You can check out this Linux distro here.

2. Linux Mint

Linux Mint is another hugely popular Linux distro based on Ubuntu and therefore, it has almost all the applications available for Ubuntu. The straightforward and easy-to-use UI is one of the important reasons for it to become a prominent choice for new Linux users. It is available in 3 desktop environments:

  • Cinnamon
  • XFCE
  • MATE

Available only in 64-bit, it resides on Linux kernel 5.4 with new enhancements, such as improved support for AMD Navi 12, Intel Tiger Lake CPU, and NVIDIA GPU. Therefore, if you want a fast and stable Linux desktop to perform day-to-day tasks, like listening to music, watching videos, and enjoying gaming then Linux Mint can be the go-to option.

  • Provides full multimedia support and comes with an easy-to-use UI.
  • It is completely free to use and open source.
  • Since it is driven by a community, users can send feedback to the project and share ideas to improve Linux Mint.
  • Based on Debian and Ubuntu, it provides about 30,000 packages and one of the best software managers.
  • It is extremely safe and reliable and requires very little maintenance because of a conservative approach to software updates

Linux Mint is a free and open-source Linux distro that installs quickly and easily from a USB or DVD and offers full multimedia support out-of-the-box.

You can check out this Linux distro here.

3. Fedora

getfedora

Fedora is an open-source Linux distribution that supports a user-friendly interface. It has a straightforward installation process and comes with preset apps that are more than enough to get started. The Linux distro comes in 3 editions:

  • Workstation: This version is suitable for both desktops and laptops. Ideal for novice users and developers.
  • Atomic Host: It is the go-to choice for using the LDK (Linux-Docker-Kubernetes) application stack.
  • Server: This version focuses on modern data center technologies allowing users to take control of all services and infrastructure.

Fedora is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and is popularly used by students and developers in the learning phase. For package management, Fedora uses the DNF package manager, which now comes as the default option. Also, you can install the GNOME software manager if you want to make it more graphical and avail a few additional perks.

  • It is also called bleeding edge because they frequently roll out with the latest software, driver updates, and Linux features.
  • Backed by one of the biggest communities in the world, you will always be helped regarding any issue.
  • Unlike most of the distros, Fedora uses RPM package manager with a DNF front-end which is typically easier to build. Also, RPM comes with extra features such as confirmation of installed packages, history and rollback, etc.
  • Fedora is backed by the Red Hat community, which is by far the world’s leading provider of open source enterprise software.
  • Fedora is among the easiest Linux distributions to use.

You can check out this Linux distro here.

4. Pop!_OS

pop-system76

Developed and maintained by System76, Pop!_OS is a Linux distro that comes with a galore of interesting features, which make it an interesting option, especially for gamers.

Pop!_OS stands out among the various gaming-oriented Linux distributions because it offers all the necessary plumbing for gamers. For example, it is developed considering the hybrid graphics work flawlessly on the platform.

  • Because it is supported by the deb822 repository format, it comes with a system sources list that is more compact and easier to understand.
  • Pop!_OS is embedded with an automatic window tiling feature without needing you to set it up.
  • Comes with a stacking feature through which you can stack up windows on one screen.
  • Pop!_OS comes with some unique GNOME extensions. And you don’t need GNOME Tweaks to manage the extensions.
  • With Pop!_OS, you will be liberated with an application switcher and launcher which you can activate using Super key + /

Although based on Ubuntu, its UI is more interactive, fast, and smooth, and it offers great software packages via the Pop!_Shop. Moreover, it liberates users to save battery while gaming by allowing users to easily toggle between battery-saving and high-powered graphics mode.

You can check out this Linux distro here.

5. Manjaro

Manjaro is based on the Arch Linux distro. While Arch Linux is developed considering advanced users and tech-savvy developers, Manjaro is tailored for beginners and those who are in the learning phase without stripping off the features that make Arch Linux great.

  • Manjaro comes with good speed, power, and efficiency along with a user-friendly installation process.
  • A ‘rolling release’ development model that provides the most up-to-date system possible without the need to install new versions.
  • You will get access to the Arch User Repository (AUR).
  • It automatically detects your computer’s hardware e.g. graphics cards.
  • It installs all the necessary software for your system automatically
  • Has dedicated software repositories to ensure delivery of fully tested and stable software packages.

In essence, Manjaro offers all the goodness of Arch Linux, like the ease of installation and usable straight out-of-the-box. It comes with an interactive user interface and offers a bunch of useful built-in GUI (Graphical User Interface) applications. Moreover, it can automatically detect your system’s hardware and install the appropriate software.

You can check out this Linux distro here.

6. Debian

Debian

First released in 1996, Debian is one of the oldest and most powerful Linux distros which provides more than 59,000 software packages. It comes with many integrated desktop environments.

  • It is a 100% free and open-source software and will always be 100% free that can be used, modified, and distributed easily.
  • Debian is well-known for its smooth upgrades within a release cycle but also for the next major release.
  • Debian is a base for many other distros like Ubuntu, Knoppix, PureOS, SteamOS, or Tails.
  • It is extremely secure and reliable for its stable releases. A lot of security researchers rely on Debian’s security tracker.
  • Supports a variety of devices like Raspberry Pi, variants of QNAP, mobile devices, home routers, and a lot of Single Board Computers (SBC) as well.

Debian is ideal for both workstations and server systems. The workstation version is embedded with pre-installed programs, like the Photoshop alternative, GIMP, Iceweasel internet browser, LibreOffice word processor, and VLC media player.

The popular Linux distribution comes in the following 3 versions. Users can choose one depending on how much maintenance and testing they wish to put into the OS:

  1. The Stable version – Comes with full security and reliability and is ideal for production servers. However, it does not ship with the latest software applications.
  2. The Testing version – Provides the latest software versions that are yet to be accepted into the stable release. Therefore, you can enjoy the latest versions before the release.
  3. The unstable version – Ideal for developers who are continuously making contributions to the code until their software has passed the testing stage.

You can check out this Linux distro here.

7. Arch Linux

Arch Linux

Arch Linux is a flexible and geeky Linux distro that is developed for advanced users and Linux experts who want to build their custom installations. They frequently share new releases and constantly update to the latest version that making it even more robust with each release.

It prioritizes clean coding above everything else. While other Linux distros are embedded with pre-installed apps, Arch Linux enables users to assemble their operating system from scratch as per an individual’s requirement.

  • Provides tons of flexibility and customization and has an easy-to-use user interface.
  • Arch Linux has a vast user community that can help anybody interested in learning about Linux.
  • Unlike most of the distros, Arch Linux is built from scratch independent of any other Linux distribution. It is also open-source so that anyone can incorporate ideas.
  • Comes with a robust command-line tool and the default package installer Pacman. That is less wordy than the package managers of other distros

Its wide-ranging package repository, management tools, and new release models are the basic ingredients that have given rise to several widely-used Linux-based projects, like Manjaro.

You can check out this Linux distro here.

8. CentOS

Cent OS

First released in 2004, CentOS is a community-driven free Linux distro that comes with an easy-to-use interface and is perfect for beginners. It is based on RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and enables users to gain more stability and reliability along with frequent security and feature updates.

  • CentOS is a completely stable distribution that works without lagging.
  • Security and other updates are a breeze with YUM (Yellow dog Updater).
  • Backed by powerful community support and documentation for ease in onboarding and use.
  • Since it is derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution, most instructions for installing enterprise software on Red Hat also work on CentOS.
  • Since it is compatible with most RPMs, it gets easy to set up a machine for development with centOS.
  • It is one of the most secure and stable Linux distros which is straight out the box.

Along with a fast speed, CentOS does a reasonably good job when it comes to offering essential apps. However, you can take the help of RPM package managers, as this will empower you to do real magic when it comes to installing whatever comes to your mind.

You can check out this Linux distro here.

9. Gentoo

Gentoo

Developed for professionals and Linux experts, Gentoo is a Linux distribution whose installation process is way harder but provides a lot of learning experience. Its extreme performance and a top-notch user and developer community are what make using Gentoo a superb experience.

  • Gentoo runs really fast and comes with tons of customization options and flexibility.
  • In the long run, using Gentoo can boost your learning experience in the UNIX world. Gentoo allows and suggests customizations to make it better.
  • Cross-compilation made easy. It liberates individuals to build cross-compilers by themselves as easily as installing other packages.
  • All the dependencies will be automatically installed while building packages that are actually requested for installation.
  • Gentoo is a 100% free Linux/FreeBSD-based distribution that can be used by anyone.

It is recommended for those who want to have a deeper understanding of the ins and outs of the Linux operating system. Because of its near-unlimited compatibility with other programs, Gentoo Linux can be modified into a secure server, development workstation, professional desktop, gaming system, and whatever you need it to be.

Gentoo comes with a package management system called Portage, which is considered to be the heart of Gentoo as it performs many key functions. It is also a software distribution system that keeps the system up-to-date.

You can check out this Linux distro here.

10. Kali Linux

Kali Linux

Kali Linux is an open-source Linux distribution specially designed for network analysts, ethical hackers, and penetration testers. In simple words, it is best suited for users who come under the umbrella of cybersecurity. It comes with 600+ pre-installed penetration testing and network security tools.

  • Supports various hardware such as Raspberry Pi, Odroid, Beaglebone, and more.
  • Kali can be seamlessly installed and used over android devices easily. Except on Nexus and OnePlus phones.
  • You can automate and customize your Kali Linux installations over the network.
  • Kali comes with voice feedback and braille hardware support that makes it accessible for visually impaired or blind users.
  • Liberates you to create a live Kali USB bootable drive that supports encryption and multiple store profiles.
  • For ease in customization, Kali contains a bunch of meta-package collections that come with different toolsets.

This Linux distribution is often misunderstood as a tool for hacking and cracking social accounts and web servers. However, it is another Debian distribution with a bunch of robust networking and security tools. It is a weapon to train and defend yourself against hacking and related activities, not to attack anyone.

You can check out this Linux distro here.

Kali Linux runs smoothly on Android as well through Linux Deploy. If you’re up to any latest Android device, except Nexus or OnePlus, then you can try using the Android App “Linux Deploy” to get Kali seamlessly installed in a chroot environment.

Conclusion

Of course, there are tons of Linux distros available out there, but not all of them are efficient enough to get started with. We have mentioned the best 10 of them.

You can now choose one, or try many of them, from the list as per your needs.

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