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10 Top Widely Used Linux Distributions of 2012

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Linux is one of the powerful and standard operating system which at present is growing faster and faster in computer operating system planet. It offers excellent performance and speed. Linux is very stable and reliable in terms of usage. It also provides several administrative tools and utilities that help you to manage your system effectively.

Going back to 90’s Mandrake Linux was the only one in the list of distribution but today the number is growing countless. There are now 100’s of flavors of operating system (OS). This is one of the benefits of open source software. There are lots of Linux distributions out of which we have select top distributions for you considering the major factor such as online support, easy installation, User Friendly;. On the bases of our online research we have compiled a list of ten most top Linux distribution of 2012 for you that help make your choice bit easier.

Read Also : 10 Linux Distributions and Their Targeted Users

1. Linux Mint

Linux Mint is a computer operating system which is based on Ubuntu. It was launched in 2006 by Clement Lefebvre. Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux distributions. The reason behind its popularity is, its user friendly, easy to install, full multimedia support, reliable and safe. It also comes with lots of software’s and applications like Java, web browser plugin adobe flash and many more which by default are not installed by other Linux distributors. It gives you a feeling as you are using Microsoft Windows. Based on Ubuntu and Debian it provided more then 30000 software packages.

Linux Mint

Linux Mint

Official Website : http://www.linuxmint.com/

2. Ubuntu

Ubuntu is also a computer operating system based on Debian distribution. It is distributed as free and open source software. Ubuntu is an African word which means “Humanity to others“. In other word it also means ‘I am what I am because of who we all are‘. It was established as an enterprise server platform in 2004. The first release of Ubuntu was based on GNOME Desktop. Later on added a KDE edition, Kubuntu, and a server edition. Ubuntu is secure; you can surf safely with it. All your files and data will stay protected and kept confidential. It has inbuilt firewall and virus protection to avoid spam and any kind of malware attack. It works excellent with wide range of devices. Simply plugin your camera, printers or any kind of MP3 player. It’s compatible with windows too, you can share, edit files without any hazel. It works very fast on your computer and if your machine is new it’s super-fast. It’s not like other operating system that leaves you staring at the screen and waiting to get started.



Official Website : http://www.ubuntu.com/

3. Mageia

Mageia is a GNU/Linux based computer operating system and is free software for everyone. It’s a distribution brought by the team of employees of France Company that produced Mandriva Linux. The first version was released in September 2010. Second version took flight in the month of May 2012. Mageia comes in GNOME 3.4, KDE4 SC 4.8.2LXDE, XFCE 4.9, Razor-Qt and E17. It’s very stable and reliable and requires with very low powered hardware. It does not have any issue on Intel, AMD or VIA processors. As far as memory is concern it needs minimum 512MB of RAM. A full setup takes 6GB storage; ideally it needs only 1GB of storage space. It is a community project and a non profitable organization whose aim is to build great tools for people. In simple words Mageia is a user-friendly, stable and very capable for newbie’s.

Mageia Linux

Mageia Linux

Official Website : http://www.mageia.org/

4. Fedora

Fedora is an operating system and open source software. You can use Fedora as an addition to or can be used instead of Microsoft Windows or Mac OS. Fedora is brought to you by Red Hat, world’s trusted open source technology. Red Hat contribute in Fedora to stimulate collaboration and create new software technologies. All engineers as well as product team members are responsible for Red Hat enterprise Linux use Fedora as an open research. It allows them to experiment new technologies instantly.

Mageia Linux

Fedora Linux

Official Website : http://fedoraproject.org/

5. OpenSuse

OpenSuse is based on GNU/Linux. It is free and open source operating system. It as an alternative to Microsoft Windows with good advantages. It is developed by a community working together with Suse and a number of other companies. OpenSuse is suitable for all kind of devices like laptops, desktop, net books, servers, multimedia PC at home as well as small offices. It is one of the leading distributions among GNU/Linux and also an oldest existing ones. OpenSuse releases its new version every 8 months. Each release provides with security updates for the period of 18 months. In addition it gives you stability and good performance including better scalability of virtual memory management and separation of terminal users’ tasks. OpenSuse is featured with GNOME 3.6, Xfce 4.10 and LXDE 1.1 along with latest KDE Plasma Desktop 4.10 as an alternatives. It also includes GNOME Shell that will be part of the forthcoming GNOME 3. All these software’s are integrated for consistence functionality even in a very light weight systems such as Xfce and LXDE. OpenSuse introduces new tumbleweed rolling release repository as an option to keep you updated continuously. This Tumbleweed contains latest version of software’s like Firefox, Thunderbird which makes you easier to stay updated.

OpenSuse Linux

OpenSuse Linux

Official Website : http://en.opensuse.org/

6. Debian

Debian is one of the oldest and most widely used computer operating system worldwide. It is developed by programmers-volunteers from across the entire world on an open development basis which makes constant experiments and addition for new functions and features. The development of Debian is supported by donations through SPI – a non profit organization for open source projects. It is popular due to the fact that Debian is an open source and free under GNU license. However there are many other key facts that have made Debian OS top choice of millions of users across the world. It is Unix based so it can be used as desktop or server operating system that makes a multipurpose solution for your machine no matter whether you are a server administrator or a normal user. It is very easy to install on computer or server. It comes with more than 26000 packages in a user friendly format for user convenience. Debian comes with own APT package management system which gives a easy automated installation and removal of packages.

Debian Linux

Debian Linux

Official Website : http://www.debian.org/

7. Arch

Arch is a recent addition to Linux fold. It was first launched in 2002 and was designed as “Rolling Release” that means once you install Arch operating software using built-in package management, you will always have current version installed on its own at any point of time, you don’t need to reload OS to get latest version. Rolling Release also has some more exciting implications as well. It takes months or year to incorporate new technologies. The Arch Linux installation include latest Kernel where as other distributions only include after their next release. The repository package is operated by a community. There is also an official repository which ensures the integrity of a single community repository and crucial infrastructure.

Arch Linux

Arch Linux

Official Website : https://www.archlinux.org/

8. CentOS

CentOS, is a enterprise community operating system based on Linux framework. It was established in 2004 and is one of the largest and popular amongst Linux. It is developed for free and is not for beginners, However it intended for server use by good knowledgeable, experienced Linux experts and users who are capable of coding programs and applications which runs on the system. Its not only the operating system; there are various difference which make CentOS unique from other distributions. Other than this is being popular because of its basis in Red Hat Linux architecture, Its very stable, history of updates and long support schedules. Linux CentOS is a free alternative to anyone who wants Red Hat stability and support.



Official Website : http://www.centos.org/

9. PCLinuxOS

PCLinux is a free and user friendly Linux based computer operating system. This distribution as a LiveCD edition that allows anyone to try PCLinuxOS without installing it on your systems. You can also install it on your Hard drive if you wish to. It has a APT package management system for easy installation of software. It has more than 12000 RPM software’s package available from software repository. This operating system has a script called “mylivecd“. This script allows users to take snapshot of their current hard drive installation like all settings, applications, and documents etc. It also allows you to compress it into an ISO CD/DVD image. With the help of this you can take back up of the user data and also make your own LiveCD/DVD.

PC Linux OS

PC Linux OS

Official Website : http://www.pclinuxos.com/

10. Puppy

According to distro tracking website “DistrowatchPuppy Linux is one of the twenty most popular Linux distribution worldwide. It includes all applications needed for daily use. Easy to use no matter you are new to Linux or any windows user. It works fast and performs excellent or a limited Hard ware. Puppy operating system also gives you good experience on an old machine, thin client and disk-less workstations. You can install and boot from any bootable device like USB Memory, Hard disk, CD’s or DVD’s, rewritable CD’s and DVD’s and network interface. Puppy is not based on any other distribution like others does.

Puppy Linux

Puppy Linux

Official Website : http://www.puppylinux.org/

Anusha Saive

Asst Manager (IT)

Your name can also be listed here. Work as a Paid freelancer/writer at TecMint.
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23 Responses

  1. Tony says:

    Mandrake was NOT the only Linux distribution during the 1990s: to say it was is very insulting to Slackware, Debian, Redhat and others which existed before Mandrake. It was arguably the most user friendly distribution of the time, but not the only distribution.

    • rcsteiner says:

      Mandrake started as Red Hat _ KDE because Red Hat wouldn’t include it. That’s why I switched to Mandrake … KDE 2.2 rocked compared to many of the other X11 desktops of the day.

      Fedora is also a Red Hat spinoff.

      • madpuppy says:

        And Red Hat is a spin off of slackware. in case nobody here knew that.

        Open source..you gotta’ love it.

        • JFM says:

          That is quite simply not true. I own a CD from the very first RedHat release (Halloween) aka RedHat 0.9, I also tried Slackware. RedHat already had its own packaging system RPP (RPM came later) while Slackware used tgzs. Sofware selection was different, installation system was different. Files were not at the same places. Kernel was different. I think but I cannot tell for sure RedHat aldready used the System V init system while Slackware still uses the BSD one. RedHat already had a for that time quite good X configurator while Slackware’s was a lot less sohisticated (read you had to read more about monitors than you wanted and to test differnet settings until one worked).

          Basically the only thing they had in common was they used the linux kernel and even this was built differnetly so you can’t even say they “lifted” it from Slackware.

          That is quire different from Mandrake who started as a RedHat + Kde sold by Gael Duval on CDs he himself burbned and later, after the Mandrake company was founded nad differences began to become more substantial still shared key components and used Redhat’s installer for at lest, two or three years.

    • Tormak says:

      Ah, yeah. Yggdrasil, SLS and TAMU were some of the very first Linux distributions… but RedHat, SuSe, Debian, Slackware all predate Mandrake which was just RedHat+KDE. You really need to correct that in the article.

  2. Friendly Guy says:

    The Debian-link is wrong.

  3. hadrons123 says:

    Puppy linux ?
    You must be joking!

    • Ravi Saive says:

      No, not at all. We have gathered and compiled the list based on online research.

    • Israel says:

      Puppy Linux is a stable for many people. It is one of the most user friendly distros to use for fixing someone’s windows computer. It is also very easy to dual boot (the whole os can fit in a small folder) I for one always keep a puppy around for fixing other people’s computers and JWM!!!

    • rcsteiner says:

      I use many distros, but Puppy lives on a lot of older hardware here as well as a lot of USB sticks, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

      Keep in mind that Slacko is based on Slackware packages and many of the newer Puppies use .deb packages and have access to the entire .deb universe. Software is no longer an issue. :-)

  4. Ishaan Gupta says:

    Cool list. Thanks.
    Maybe you can try and get top 50 as well for Personal and Business class use including top 10-20 starter linux based apps for personal-enterprise based used.

  5. thatguruguy says:

    “We have gathered and compiled the list based on online research.”

    It would be neat to state what exact methodology you followed in this “online research.” Particularly since it appears that your “online research” consisted solely of looking at Distrowatch.com.

  6. JasonLG says:

    Where should I start?… The Open Suse section is full of VERY outdated version info… Debian Linux is not Unix based… And the latest Arch installer comes with the 3.8.4 kernel.

    Where did you get your info, cashed Wikipedia pages?

  7. PuZZleDucK says:

    “It has inbuilt firewall and virus protection”… excuse me… what virus protection are you talking about?!?

    “you can share, edit files without any hazel”… that’s it, I’m out of here. Do you realize the entire article is riddled with simple spelling errors.

  8. w says:

    Which Version of openSUSE is with “GNOME 2.32, Xfce 4.8 and LXDE 0.5 along with latest KDE Plasma Desktop 4.6” 10.1? Certainly not 12.3!

  9. WretchedSoul says:

    That Debian Openbox setup looks sweet!! I Like the icons put into conky as well as the obmenu. How do you put icons in those two? G

    Great list. It is pretty standard from distrowatch but great for newbies just getting there toes wet testing things out.

  10. Rumaer says:

    Linux Mint – “It gives you a feeling as you are using Microsoft Windows.”

    Well, thanks for the warning..

  11. hostdog says:

    Although Mint gains momentum, this seems to be a pretty “mixed” list, for example I doubt the 6th position of Debian on desktop, and vice versa in the use of servers.

    My point is that distributions by definition come to cover different needs, and should be listed among other similar distributions

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