The concept of “distribution” came into our lives relatively recently, about the time of the growing popularity of free operating systems of the Linux family. In this article, we will not just focus on examples of Linux distributions, but rather those that are best suited for developers and programmers.
What is distribution?
With the development of the Internet, ISO images have become known as distributions. They can be downloaded from the official website and written to disk or USB drive. You can use this bootable media to install the operating system on any computer.
The basis of the distribution is the Linux core, new versions of which appear quite often, but the basis remains common to all distributions. Above the kernel are other layers, which depend on the appearance of your desktop.
In general, the choice of a particular distribution depends on what we need: a graphical interface similar to Windows or macOS? Better security? Or something else?
Different Linux distributions are designed for specific types of users. For example, Ubuntu is easy to use because it is designed for beginners. On the other hand, Arch Linux is designed for advanced users who like to type commands into the console. Let’s go through the different categories.
The best Linux distributions for developers
All Linux distros have the full set of necessary drivers and applications. And you do not need to pay for any of them. Their two main distinguishing features are versatility and low entry threshold. The most popular platforms are:
In many ratings, Ubuntu is in first place for the home desktop. Undoubtedly, this is the best Linux distro. The system is easy to use and has a comfortable GUI. The appearance of the elements is easily customizable, themes are supported, although this is now no surprise.
- Arch Linux
Arch Linux provides a lot of customization options during installation. This allows you to download and install the packages you want. This distribution is not for beginners. You can install a minimal set of programs on a machine using the Arch Build System and the Arch User Repository. This reduces the risk of some applications interfering with your code.
- Linux Mint
For several years, it led the Distrowatch counter, now falling to third place behind MX Linux and Manjaro. The Linux Mint project aims to provide the user with “a modern, elegant and user-friendly operating system that is both powerful and easy to use.” The distribution provides full support for multimedia formats, includes some proprietary programs, and comes bundled with an extensive set of open source applications.
- Alpine Linux
It is an independent, small, fast Linux distribution. Used in Docker containers. OpenRC is used as an init system. OpenRC features a modular structure, dependency-based loading, resource constraint support, parallel service loading, and more. Alpine Linux uses the BusyBox set of UNIX utilities. It is an implementation of classic UNIX utilities in one small executable file.
- GParted Live
It is a distribution kit for live partitioning. The distribution kit also includes a set of additional programs and utilities for working with disks.
The distribution is based on Arch Linux. While it is based on a system that is geared towards experienced professionals, Manjaro itself is actually well suited for beginners. Simple and user-friendly interface, many GUI applications included. You can install Xfce, KDE, or GNOME as your desktop environment.
It is an independent Linux distribution, founded by SUSE Linux in collaboration with other companies, and is designed to greatly simplify the software development and packaging process for developers and vendors.