What is your favorite Linux distribution for use on the desktop?

36% (5114 votes)
11% (1617 votes)
9% (1247 votes)
10% (1440 votes)
1% (88 votes)
2% (263 votes)
12% (1753 votes)
8% (1089 votes)
4% (508 votes)
other (please tell us which one in the comments below)
8% (1095 votes)
Total votes: 14214


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Gentoo Use of Portage 2.2

No Telling's picture


Use of Portage 2.2 allows me to stay up-to-date with all my packages with the best dependency integration possible. i.e. I don't need to worry about having wrong version dependencies for the packages I use.

I also like being able to install the latest versions of the packages I use pretty much as soon at they are available. This allows me to run on a quicker update cycle than sticking with a binary based package.

Sabayon : Always works right

Syd's picture

Sabayon : Always works right out of the box and with the mix of Gentoo Portage, I can build all of the apps that I like to use.

Best desktop = Mandriva!

Patrick Rea's picture

Once they hit 2009, it blew the others out
Of the water with ease of configuration and


Chuck U. Farley's picture

Vector linux surprised the hell out of me by booting up very smoothly, putting all things in the right places, asking me to do some minor configuration of my WPA2 WLAN connection and then . . . (gasp) it just worked! That, by itself, is a miracle in these days.

How/why do so many companies get the "just-make-sure-it-works" thing SO wrong? Do they really have such an inflated sense of self-worth to think they're worth all that effin' around?

Simply Mepis.....

Anonymous's picture

Simply Mepis and Pardus Corporate Two are my favorites. Both Very well thought out.

Currently using Fedora

Ard Righ's picture

I used Gentoo on my desktop machines for quite some time, but switched over to Fedora, and haven't looked back.

Fedora might have it's quirks at times, and the big move to GNOME Shell and systemd has certainly been a learning experience, but I find you don't get much value if you're not prepared to try something new.

I might look at throwing something like Gentoo onto my desktop the next time I reinstall it.


gustavoc's picture


Other Choice

V. T. Eric Layton's picture

Slackware for me, thanks. :)


Anonymous's picture

Another Ubuntu, but I really didn't want Unity on my desktop.

Simply Mepis

Angel Candelaria's picture

I agree with Stijn - Simply Mepis is a great distro - I feel it is underestimated.

+1 for #!

Anonymous's picture

crunchbang has been running great on my netbook; they are a great match.

Gentoo for me. Sure, it takes

Anonymous's picture

Gentoo for me.

Sure, it takes a little longer to get going but once you've done it a few times it's pretty straight forward.

I like Gentoo because I am in control of what gets on to the hard disk and I choose when and what to upgrade.

I recently ditched Ubuntu on my netbook (any guesses why?) for Gentoo and the difference in performance is night and day.

I love Ubuntu, Mint, OpenSuse

0cool's picture

I love Ubuntu, Mint, OpenSuse and Debian and I Don't want to decide which one I love the most

Simply Mepis

hermie's picture

I have used Simply Mepis for 7 years on my production machines. This distro is solid, stable, reliable and a joy to use. Mepis forum consists of linux veterans that give solid, to the point, prompt and very helpful advise that seldom fails to solve individual problems as they arise. This is a gem of a distro that needs wider exposure and use. I have tried others, but few compare with Mepis.

My favorite desktop distro

Rammy's picture

Lubuntu, based on Ubuntu 11.04; this LXDE version aims to earn official endorsement from Canonical.

My favorite desktop distro

Rammy's picture

Lubuntu -> yes it is an Ubuntu derivative, however it is not yet in the official ports tree.


Manazas's picture

I'm a "SuSEr" one year ago. Previously, I tried Ubuntu, Mandriva and Fedora. I like Fedora very much, but I met openSuSE.

I am very satisfied and I think that this is my distribution.

openSuSE too...but getting more curious about Fedora

MizK's picture

So...I'd be curious to know why you didn't stick with Fedora. But, I have been a SuSE-arian for about 10 yrs now! If it ain't (too) broke, and you know it, why fix it! :)


Manazas's picture

Maybe 'cause I tried Fedora with GNOME. I like KDE more than GNOME. It is not better but different, but I like it more.

In any case, I use Fedora in my laptop and I'm satisfied too. This is a poll and you must choice: My favourite is openSuSE. Why not?


Anonymous's picture

I've been using it since 2003, and it has served me well. Compilation is a non-issue, as a properly configured system can compile without any impact on desktop responsiveness. The only time I've ever noticed a slow down whilst compiling was when I started playing a video game, having completely forgotten my system was engaged in an update, and was seeing obnoxiously low frame rates.

For someone like me, with multiple Gentoo hosts and distcc, a laptop can be setup as a Gentoo Binary Distribution.


business loans's picture

I received my first loans when I was very young and that aided me a lot. Nevertheless, I require the auto loan again.

So flame me

Anonymous's picture

Flame me if you want, but I use Mint with the Macbuntu theme installed. I used a hackintosh for years as my primary desktop until it became unstable and unupdatable. I liked the stability of Ubuntu and I'm very accustomed to the OS/X interface. Macbuntu works great for me. Best of both worlds.

No flaming required. I think

ShaineT's picture

No flaming required. I think that sounds great & shows how much choice there is in Linux :-)

PCLinuxOs, because it works!

Tony Martin's picture

Have tried so many distros, puppy, lighthouse puppy, ubuntu, mint, arch, tinycore etc. PCLinuxOs is the one for me that regularly works with more hardware and more reliably than any other. For older machines Puppy is perfect and Mint can be very good if PCLinuxOs cannot handle some aspect of your machine or setup.
PCLinuxOs was the OS that got me away from Windows 5 years ago and it is the one I always seem to come back to whjen I want things to just work.

I use Kubuntu and I prefer it

bulldog98's picture

I use Kubuntu and I prefer it over any other KDE Distro (I tried OpenSuse, Chakra and Arch).


Alex Stone's picture

I'm not a coder, just a user, but Gentoo is my daily workplace, having tried the rest. For efficient and maximum use of computer resource, Gentoo has proved to be the best option, and the walk-through install documentation makes it easy, even for a user like me, to get a system set up well, and without pain. Add to that the slotting framework, easy and detailed install with portage (i get to see what it has as options BEFORE i hit enter), and highly configurable environment to suit a specific intent. With the overlay system, there's options for everyone, from scientific apps to audio/midi/video creation.

Gentoo might take a little longer to set up, and in what is a modern 5-minute mentality, that might seem like ages but isn't, but the end result is a really efficient system, tailored to a particular need, like no other distro i've tried.

I'm doing my work in a single computer, lovingly tweaked to it's maximum Gentoo efficiency and performance. As a reformed window and mac user, it would have taken (and did) 5 plus 1 boxes to achieve close to the same result.

Kudos to the teams of people building other linux distros, but most of all to the team at Gentoo, as this distro has more than scratched my particular itch, and has enabled me to work all day every day without problems, or limitations based on inefficient use of my current hardware.


Arch Arch Arch

ninez's picture

I use ArchLinux. provides everything i like, and then some.

1.rolling release (no need to re-install, just roll with the punches).
2.it's both a binary and source-based distro (depending on what you want. you can simply install binaries, or build them, with simple commands, nor more difficult the 'apt-get' or 'yum')
3.AUR (Arch User Repository) - for all the extras, build apps from source (the AUR is great. if you need some software and it's good, chances are it's in there.)
4.ABS (Arch build System) much like Portage in Gentoo ( you can even recompile the whole system, if you have pacbuilder installed)
5.Bleeding Edge - the newest of the new in software
6.Upstream/Vanilla as possible (no downstream patching, keeps the disto clean)
7.ArchWiki - one of the best gnu/Linux wikis - right up there with Gentoo or BSD's documentation. i was using this wiki for months before switching over...
8.Great Community / forum - got a problem, there is always someone to help, and it's usually very fast. there are many guru's in the community
9.Great distro to learn the 'in's and out's of Gnu/Linux - a little more hands on then some distro's, but in the long run, it really pays off.
10. system rollbacks - for those who want to play it safe :)

I used to 'distro hop', but after using ArchLinux - I have no interest in using any other linux distribution at all, and i've used many of them over the years...


Rick's picture

There's a few of us on this poll, but I hope more of you will give it a try. It's simple, minimalist, has a great community!

Agree - Crunchbang

Anonymous's picture

Crunchbang (OpenBox) - Otherwise, An OpenBox one with LXDE!

I agree, I've recently

rm9402's picture

I agree, I've recently started using #! with Openbox on my netbook and love it!


Anonymous's picture

... or Debian, both with an XFCE desktop

Re: PCLinuxOS

dar's picture

I see a lot of people recommend PCLinuxOS, but the one reason I haven't bothered even trying it, is the lack of a 64 bit edition. Does anyone know when their may be a 64 bit version?

Re: PCLinuxOS

KZimm's picture

Tex has been working on a 64-bit version for a few months. I expect to see it sometime this year.

"It'll be ready when it's ready."

pclinuxos 64bit

s.milojkovic's picture

There is no point yet in 64bit os, 'cause there are just a few apps that uses 64bit architecture. So it's almost the same.
You'll feel no difference when using 32bit os

64 ftw

nord's picture

In my opinion there in no reason to use 32 bit if hardware supports 64..

I have run 64 bit for several years, and can clearly(!) feel the difference on same HW, even with only 4G ram.
And I find PAE to be even slower than 32 too.. (but sure PAE has its uses..)

We live in 2011 FGS!

That windows and so much proprietary SW is stuck with 32 is lolable.
(If you dowload the office 2010 from MSs download site, they still recommended to use the 32 bits version ROFLOL)

Unless if one happens to have

markc's picture

Unless if one happens to have 8Gb or 16Gb+ of ram. I definitely find a 64bit version of Kubuntu faster than it's 32bit equiv on the same hardware.

Re: PCLinuxOS

dar's picture

I understand what you're saying. The last time I tried a 32bit version, I didn't notice any differences, but since I am currently using 64bit now, I just don't want to go back to 32bit. Besides I often test out beta and even alpha versions of software and submit bug reports, this way I know I am helping make 64bit software better.


Anonymous's picture



darkestkhan's picture

Of course that Debian - nothing beats stability, and for this one I can say that even Debian Sid/Experimental is more stable than most of "stable" from other distributions.


Anonymous's picture

Why not? Slackware is great!


Anonymous's picture

Until a few months ago it would have been Gentoo, but faced with getting a laptop up and running with a new disk, and not having the time to install Gentoo, I gave Sabayon a try. I'm happy enough with it to change my home computer to Sabayon after giving up on an upgrade to Ubuntu 11.04 when the power stuttered after two hours of downloading the upgrade file and it insisted on starting again from the beginning.


jc's picture

Gentoo user here ;)

Trisquel GNU/Linux because it

shackra's picture

Trisquel GNU/Linux because it give me the freedom what i´m searching...


Kobe1024's picture

Me too ;-)

Gentoo for desktops and

Anonymous's picture

Gentoo for desktops and fedora for netbooks.


Anonymous's picture

Gentoo does take some initial fiddling to get things working - I go around with a pre-built tree on my laptop that I can fly onto bare metal - but once it's done I don't ever have to mess with repositories, I've got fairly late-model packages and kernels available to me (the newness of which I can mix and match via Portage). I set up servers more often than desktops but I just did a new desktop and got sound, X, KDE 4.6.3, nspluginwrapper (so that I can use the 32-bit Flash plugin on a compiled 64-bit Firefox), vendor-supplied nVidia driver, and Java working without too much trouble. It did, however, take a fair amount of time but it's not as though I don't go home for the day or to lunch/bathroom/meetings so I'm not just sitting staring at the screen. I also could have chosen to have it take less time by using the binary packages for LibreOffice, Firefox, and Thunderbird.

On a Gentoo machine a full-featured and functional build system is implicit so if development is your thing, Gentoo especially likes you. If your work is such that you develop in C or C++ or routinely emerge packages or compile kernels a lot, hooks for ccache and distcc are easy to set up.

One thing that I keep noticing about how I work with Gentoo versus what other people go through with other distros is that if you find yourself dealing very intensely with a small number of packages (let's say it's CUPS, PostgreSQL, Apache) then in Gentoo the developer-user loop doesn't include the distribution very much. There will be a small identifiable group of people who manage a given package for Gentoo and for the most part, their interest is in delivering what comes from upstream without a whole lot of "ooh, let's make this package better the way!"

In a Gentoo instance, there is usually going to be one newest marked-stable version of any given package. You can deliberately lag back one or more versions or jump ahead to versions that aren't marked stable (many times, very very new versions work just fine - they just won't have been tested to the package maintainers' satisfaction yet - whereas some new versions are "hard masked" and are therefore expected to set your cat on fire if you try them). A variant on what I just described are packages that are "slotted," i.e., you can have more than one version available at a time. Kernel packages are like that.

Lastly, I often point out to people that Gentoo is versionless; there's no hunting for unswamped torrents in the middle of the night on version release day. There's no waiting for version X of package Y to appear once version Z of your distribution is released.

All in all, RedBuntuDoraDrivaCentSuSEHat are easier to install and get up and running especially on desktops/laptops than Gentoo, but the environment I wind up with is so clean and usable that I feel like it more than comes out in the wash.


kobzeci's picture

Easy to use, great special tools&managers, fast, stable and definitely the best KDE distro!

openSUSE since 2006

eugebiak1's picture

I have openSUSE since 2006. It's really stable and flexible. I have Puppy since 2008 - it's amusant. Now I try sabayon and it seems bo be good too. But SUSE is my first love!


deathromantik's picture

I use PCLinuxOS KDE
I have been using Linux since the Asus Eee Pc came out, was not happy with the Xandros fork that they had on it and distro hopped (SUSE, ubuntu, mint) until I got to PCLinux OS KDE 2009. It worked with my non standard screen size so did not have to play "catch that button/window/icon" like I did with other distros.
I tried all the betas of PCLOS KDE 2010, installed the final and now I look forward to the new version where it will be moving to a new package manger.

I also installed the Full Monty KDE version of PCLOS on my girlfriend's laptop and she loves it.

The Control Centre is great, there is no sudo abuse, themes are nice and with the nice forum I have found it a good platform for learning how to use linux.


Anonymous's picture

Nuff said