Open Source

How to find the right Linux distribution for you

Choosing the right Linux distribution can be a challenge. Jack Wallen offers a bit of advice to help make this decision a bit easier.

Which Linux distribution is right for you? It's a question anyone in IT knows might come across their desk at some point. I'm going to make the answering of this question a bit easier. To reach a conclusion, you have to first ask yourself if you need commercial technical support. If the answer is "yes," then you turn to Red Hat, SUSE, or Ubuntu. Know this: For Ubuntu, support is an add on cost, whereas both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Enterprise Linux, include a certain level of support when you purchase their enterprise products.

SEE: Linux distribution comparison chart (Tech Pro Research)

If commercial support isn't of concern to you, your options are wide open. That also means the choice becomes a bit more challenging. Let's make it a bit easier. Are you looking for a server platform with a user-friendly package manager? If so, look to Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora, or openSUSE — any distribution that works with a either apt, dnf, or zypper. If you're looking for a server distribution that offers next to no learning curve, you can pretty much narrow that down to Ubuntu. What about the desktop? That's where the choice gets really challenging. The best way to choose is to find one that works with apt and then select the desktop that most appeals to you. If you want modern, look to any distro with GNOME or take a look at Elementary OS. If a more standard interface is up your alley, look no further than Linux Mint or Kubuntu.

This hardly scratches the surface, but illustrates how you can make choosing the right Linux for you a bit easier.

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Image: Jack Wallen

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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