So I recently started using Linux on one of my laptops which caused me to do a fairly broad review of Linux Distros. I figured I’d take a second to talk about what I learned.
So before going further, I have to give a disclaimer that I decided to use Ubuntu for Desktop. Ubuntu has a huge community and a lot of documentation, further it just works. Its compatible with just about everything. The community part also made me feel good because its part of the open source software movement. With a lot of community support, also provides a lot of good documentation. All of this made it super easy to setup. Ubuntu includes Debian and comes preloaded with Firefox as well as a bunch of other popular applications that you use on any platform. I highly recommend it. For more info, check out https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop
Another distro that I looked at closely was Debian. Debian is fairly old and very robust. The idea being that you can have pre-set access to everything you could want in a distro. I think the site said something about it having access to 30,000 repositories of applications. Debian is also built into Ubuntu as well as several distros for this exact reason. At home I use Raspbian Linux which is a child of Debian and is also equally awesome (https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/ ). Check out Debian here: https://www.debian.org/
Elementary OS was a very polished UI and setup that markets itself as being a nice replacement of Mac OSX. As a regular macbook user, I was impressed with what it looked like out of the box. However, the Elementary OS team creates a multitude of apps to replace firefox, libreoffice, etc. that are usually installed with Linux. Those apps are common across platforms, so if I was going to use Elementary OS I’d have to spend a fair amount of time installing those in lieu of what came with the distro. Also this is one of the Linux distros which basically encourages you to donate and pay for the install. Since Linux was built with open source in mind, I kind of feel like trying to monetize the distro is not a good idea. That being said, I also know we all have bills to pay. Overall, it was very easy to install and has its own following which was cool. Check out Elementary OS here: https://elementary.io/
Linux mint was also equally cool. Looking at the website it really feels like a research project. There are regular updates, and the team that works on it posts regularly. It has a nice UI that sits on top Ubuntu and Debian. Since Ubuntu includes Debian (and I like the Ubuntu UI), I still went for that one. The ease of installation and the wealth of documentation made this still a distro worth checking out. Learn more about Linux mint here: https://linuxmint.com/
So with Linux distros I’ve typically see one of two flavors: (1) Ubuntu and (2) Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Usually you see RHEL in corporate environments and there are paid versions etc. There are less updates and releases so its more stable and conducive to a corporate environment where you don’t want to have to regularly patch systems. All of the distros I’m listing above have some relation to Ubuntu. I saw Cent OS and this is one I’m including since it is connected to RHEL. I’ve heard Cent OS referenced with A Cloud Guru Training setups and Amazon’s cloud infrastructure as well. Cent OS seemed to have a fairly well documented website, and my assumption would be that if you wanted to go the RHEL route this would be good for you. As I mentioned above I went for Ubuntu because I liked the UI and the Debian support etc. I also had previously used it when in college, and it just works well. I also don’t mind the frequent updates because it is supported by a strong community which makes it easy to find help if you have problems. Not to knock the potential awesomeness that could be Cent OS. Many articles I read seemed to indicate Cent OS was awesome in its own right. Check it out here: https://www.centos.org/