13 Most Promising New Linux Distributions to Look Forward in 2019

If you visit Distrowatch regularly, you will notice that the popularity ranking barely changes from one year to another.

There are distributions that will always make it to the top ten, whereas others may be in the list today and not at the end of next year.

Another not so well-known feature of Distrowatch is a waiting list that consists of distributions:

  1. Not reviewed yet
  2. With missing or faulty components
  3. Without solid English documentation
  4. Projects that do not seem to be maintained anymore

Some of the distributions that have not been reviewed yet may be worthy of consideration due to their great potential. Keep in mind that they may never make it to the front page ranking due to lack of time or Distrowatch resources to review them.

For that reason, we will share a list of what we consider the 13 most promising new distros for 2019 and a brief review on each of them.

Since the Linux ecosystem is a live being, you can expect this article to be updated from time to time, or perhaps be radically different next year.

That said, let’s take a look!

1. Condres OS

Condres OS is a modern Arch-based high-performance Linux distribution aimed at today’s cloud computing enthusiasts. It was built to have a beautiful and intuitive UI which makes it easy to use and all of its functions to be easily accessible.

It is also security conscious as it ships with Suricata, a high-performance network IDS, IPS, and network security monitoring engine for intrusion detection.

Condres OS is available in many DE versions including Cinnamon, Gnome, KDE, Xfce, etc. and also available for both 32- and 64-bit architectures.

Condres OS

Condres OS

2. ZoonityOS

ZoonityOS brought to you by UXOS, is a Linux-based distribution focused on providing customers with a user-friendly environment for surfing the web, managing emails, watching videos, and listening to music as well as computing complex tasks, editing multimedia formats, etc.

It features a sleek UI straight out of the box with the typical set of preinstalled apps most Linux distributions ship with e.g. Libre Office Suite, Firefox, Transmission, etc. Its default DE is Xfce and although it started as side project all the way in 2008, UXOS was virtually restarted in 2018 as ZoonityOS Core, a free edition, and ZoonityOS Ultimate, the paid edition.

ZoonityOS

ZoonityOS

3. ArcoLinux

ArcoLinux (formerly called ArchMerge) is a full-featured Arch-based Linux distro that grants users the means to build custom distributions while also helping to improve several community editions which ship with their own desktops.

ArcoLinux has Xfce as its default DE and although it is minimalist in nature, it includes scripts via which power users can install any desktop and/or application they want.

ArcoLinux

ArcoLinux

4. SparkyLinux

If you enjoy working with fast, lightweight distros then this one will fill your eyes with sparks of light.

SparkyLinux is a blazing fast lightweight Debian-based distro designed for new computers but with old computers in mind. It features various customized LXDE and Enlightenment desktops which ship with a selection of applications for home users.

SparkyLinux

SparkyLinux

5. Flatcar Linux

Flatcar Linux is an immutable Linux distribution specifically built for containers. It is based on CoreOS’s container Linux but is built from source and thus, is independent of the CoreOS’s Container Linux project.

Flatcar Linux is designed to simplify management in large clusters which makes it ideal for running Kubernetes and it is currently funded and engineered by Kinvolk.

Flatcar Linux

Flatcar Linux

6. Norcux OS

Norcux OS is a lightweight community-driven and supported desktop Operating System developed to be easy to use while maintaining a modern look and offering users a feature-rich experience. It respects your privacy and does not collect any data whatsoever nor does it display advertisements.

Norcux OS is based on Debian Stable and is therefore a rolling release. Right out of the box, Norcux OS features a polished look and is constantly updated.

Norcux OS

Norcux OS

7. NuTyX

NuTyX is a Linux From Scratch documentation LFS and Behind Linux From Scratch documentation BLFS-inspired distro built for intermediate and advanced Linux users, and those interested in committing themselves to improving their Linux system skills.

It was developed to be highly flexible thanks to its custom package manager, cards, which enables users to compile source packages from ports, install individual binary packages, and also install groups of related binary packages like in the case of DEs like Xfce or KDE.

NuTyX Linux

NuTyX Linux

8. Robolinux

Robolinux is a distro built to provide users with a free secure Linux distribution that increases productivity and saves time.

It has a one-click Windows feature which allows you to run Windows apps somewhat natively (thanks to its VM feature). Robolinux is also keen on security and ensures that users who run Robolinux alone or together with Windows XP, 7, and 10 don’t ever have to worry about viruses, a learning curve, or performance issues.

Robolinux

Robolinux

9. Archman

Archman is an Arch-based Linux distro created in Turkey to be simple to use and customizable. It was also built the bring the awesomeness of Arch Linux to users who might be reluctant to try Arch Linux itself.

It uses the Clamares system installer and the Octopi package manager.

Archman GNU Linux

Archman GNU Linux

10. Void

Void is a multipurpose Operating System built from scratch based on the monolithic Linux kernel to house a hybrid binary/source package management system and a unique implementation of various processes.

This gives its users the ability to manage software as well as to build software directly from their source.vIt has support for Raspberry Pi single-board computers and being a rolling release, it is always up to date.

Void Linux

Void Linux

11. Drauger OS

Drauger OS is a beautiful, secure, performance-focused gaming desktop Operating System and it prides itself with being more secure than Windows. It aims to provide users with the best gaming platform possible while maintaining user preference.

Drauger OS uses a modified Xfce desktop which offers users an improved performance, easier access to functions, overall stability, and a smooth gaming experience

Drauger OS

Drauger OS

12. Modicia OS

Modicia OS is an Ubuntu LTS and Debian-based Linux OS developed by MODICIA Development Company for their public bodies and professional clients.

It boasts of 10% swappiness, program speed increase by 25%, and 20% RAM efficiency thanks to its active Turbo Boost processors. It also comes with Wine HQ pre-configured alongside the typically bundled apps, preinstalled dictionaries with multi-language support, etc.

Modicia OS is regularly updated and is available in 3 flavors, Desktop Ultimate, Light, and Didattico.

Modicia OS

Modicia OS

13. Bliss OS

Bliss is an open source Android-based Operating System that aims to be usable across various platforms. It has Bliss ROM for Android devices, Bliss OS for PCs, and ROM & OS Development for business and educational institutions.

Bliss OS is free and compatible with PCs, MacBooks, and Chromebooks with support for both BIOS/CSM and UEFI boot.

Bliss OS

Bliss OS

Summary

Most of these distros have been submitted for review on the waiting list and you can click the Recommend button next to the name of the distribution(s) that you like. That way, you will be contributing towards Distrowatch assigning a resource to review it.

NuTyX is on this list because of the major changes it got last year. SparkyLinux and RoboLinux distro too. They are older than 2 years but they also boast updates that make me consider them to be new. Think of them as the 3 bonus titles you should check out.

As always, feel free to let us know if you have any questions or suggestions about this article. Use the comment form below to drop us a note anytime. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Martins D. Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for Linux and the Open Source community. He works as a Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and programmer.

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67 Responses

  1. Drew says:

    ArcoLinux is my new favorite distribution. I’ve been using it since it was ArchMerge and as a teaching distribution, it’s awesome. I’ve learned so much about GNU/Linux configuration from it. Besides that, it comes with scripts that make it easy to set up whichever desktop environment you want. Despite having a small core team, updates seem to be relatively frequent. Give it a try.

  2. Bo says:

    I would like to have a small efficient distro with Wayland and Enlightenment. I am not integrated in X11 distros.

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