Which Linux distribution do you use most frequently?

We're collecting this data to run in an upcoming issue of Linux Journal. We encourage you to leave comments here letting us know why you use the Linux distribution you do. Let your voice be heard! Heads up: we may print your comment in the magazine (if you don't want your comment printed, please let us know that within the comment itself).
Arch Linux
7% (758 votes)
2% (219 votes)
8% (922 votes)
8% (879 votes)
4% (457 votes)
6% (626 votes)
2% (172 votes)
12% (1323 votes)
4% (491 votes)
Red Hat
1% (123 votes)
4% (432 votes)
Ubuntu (any flavor, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, etc.)
29% (3220 votes)
Yellow Dog Linux
0% (10 votes)
Puppy Linux
2% (184 votes)
Linux Mint
9% (950 votes)
Other (let us know with a comment)
2% (245 votes)
Total votes: 11011


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PCLinuxOS 2010

Anonymous's picture

I installed PCLinuxOS on my Desktop at Sep 2007 and it's run without any errors.
Since this time a member of the PCLinuxOS-Forum, once the friendly and helpful community, what i found.
The new Beta-Iso is fantastic and runs for a beta perfect...

You could make an argument

Anonymous's picture

You could make an argument that Linux Mint is a flavor of Ubuntu. Running openSuSE 11.2 myself.

Why would you want to do that?

Anonymous's picture

You could extend that argument, that all Linux, BSD, and Apple is a flavor of Unix; and Linux also of GNU (and that Ubuntu came from Debian) --and you'd still be technically correct but decidedly pseudo-intellectual.

Indeed, even the people who say Ubuntu is a 'flavor' of Debian admit that the nomenclature does not fit. You could also argue that all the flavors of Ubuntu have some form of the quirky name in their title: KUbuntu, XUbuntu, EDUbuntu, etc. and Linux Mint would have to be excluded; thats because in the world of evolution there are few common 'flavors' between the Homo Sapiens and the Neanderthals.

The common 'flavor' between those two OS is that they're both desktop Linux OS. Linux Mint isn't just 'Ubuntu done right' or even Linux done right. Linux Mint is the desktop OS done right. period.


Anonymous's picture

Ubuntu takes packages and structure from Debian directly.
Ubuntu is a fork of the Debian codebase and Ubuntu packages are based on packages from Debian's unstable branch.
This is something entirely different from the Linux kernel and the
UNIX heritage shared by all.

I was wrong

Anonymous's picture

I never said the OP was wrong or denied who was a "flavor" of whom. In fact, I confirmed their premise and farther extrapolated an extension of their pseudo-intellectual logic. I was more of the oversimplified, Sesame Street "one of these things does not belong with the others" ilk.

I'm not convinced you read/ understood/ can comprehend my reply. Those of us father down the chain of evolution STILL laugh at the Great Apes, whether we are a "flavor" of them or not.

I give you accolades for pointing out my folly and for addressing the whole LINUX MINT > Ubuntu > Debian debacle. Luck be on you.

SuSE since 8.0

Anonymous's picture

Have used SuSE since 8.0. As I upgrade only after every 3 or 4 releases (usually after EOL date) and in the middle of the release cycle I have not encourtered any major problems.

Church IT committee report

Anonymous's picture

Even though you ask only about Linux distros, here are the results of the research from the IT committee at our church (using a 10-point system and trials). Results for desktop OS candidates:

1 - PCLinuxOS
2 - Linux Mint
3 - Mac OS-X (score for software; hardware was cost-prohibitive)
4 - Windows XP (Windows 7 was not out yet)
5 - Puppy Linux (for legacy hardware)

Interestingly enough, we've found (like a lot of your comments here) that the #1 and #2 are 'donationware' Linux OS, that not only had the significantly highest scores, but that people were willing to PAY FOR. Thank you.

gentoo and portage all the way!

Anonymous's picture

Gentoo for its extremely useful control over the system. Love the flexibility. And it appeals to the tweaker in me! All my systems including laptops run gentoo! That's 5 systems in total!

Have tried other distros but nothing comes close to Gentoo.

I loved portage so much at some point of time that I ported it to Solaris. Now, with prefix support, anybody can use portage on Solaris, BSD or Mac OS.

The gentoo community is exemplary!

Puppy Linux definitely

Anonymous's picture

Also using puppy linux (dpup) which is main OS on both my desktop and laptop PCs my specs. Puppy community is great, those people are most creative and most friendly I've ever met on the net and even though I'm always @ forum and have been following some development threads and testing I'm still amazed how they manage to cut down fat and keep puppy iso small but still more functional and friendly that many other "big" linux distros.
We are puppy. Resistance is futile.
Woof, Woof!

Cheers, Dejan ;)

Linux mint, just for the

Anonymous's picture

Linux mint, just for the controlpanel thingy.

Puppy Linux

Anonymous's picture

I recently dumped Windows completely on my Toshiba A25-S207 laptop, now running dpup on an ext4 volume. It is binary-compatible with debian. It's a work in progress but so far it's the best one for my hardware and does everything I want it to do. Speed and stability!

Pardus Linux

Anonymous's picture

My choice is Pardus

Link: http://distrowatch.com/pardus

Cheers! :-)


Anonymous's picture

I use Mandriva for several things:

- All the code written by Mandriva/mandrake is under GPL, since always.
- I install the system and then just use it. Almost nothing to tweak.
- The Control center is really a must have and for advanced needs there are the drakwizards.
- The control center does not use its own config files for samba, apache, X.org, ...etc. A power user can use the control center and after that edit the config files by hand.
- There is a quite wide range of software available in the official repos.(there are more than 30,000 rpms, Sophie says. )
- A power user has the choice with mandriva : using the CLI or GUI tools. Sometimes using GUI tools is faster than CLI.
- KDE & GNOME are equally treated. In fact, the mandriva team worked to make apps from both environments to behave the same in both environments. There are also things done in LXDE & XFCE in that way.
- Mandriva contribute upstream despite the small size of the company (eg: main K3B dev, many patches, etc...)

I think that Mandriva should have much more success with those qualities. I do not understand why it doesn't. It Maybe because Mandriva is less known than other distros.

which linux distro

Anonymous's picture

ubuntu lots of advice on the net

Puppy Linux

Anonymous's picture

There's no question in my mind. For a home computer, Puppy Linux is the best, assuming you don't need something pointless and shiny whirling about on the screen to stare at and to eat away at hardware resources- although with some work Puppy can do that pretty well, too.

In my experience, it has been incredibly friendly to Linux novices, and even overall computer novices.

Puppy rules!

Anonymous's picture

Yes, it is amazing - and reliable, too - at least in our experience. But we find that it can be harder to find a .PUP or .PET that has some of the more unusual and interesting stuff in (eg) the Debian or Ubuntu repositories - so I must have a go with Woof! Soon! BenM

Good point about

Anonymous's picture

Good point about novice-friendly. Also the forum is a top reason why I ended up with Puppy. I've learned more about Linux using Puppy than any other distro.

PCLinuxOS on all machines

Anonymous's picture

I noticed that you just said "distro" and not "desktop distro". PCLOS is the desktop of my choice for laptops [home] and towers [work]. We don't hate Windows; we fix Windows boxes for a living. We don't use Windows products for that same reason. PCLOS allows us to get our work done, actually run a business, and enjoy recreation; not have to worry about down-time, configuration hassles, or downloading codecs.

When it comes to PCLinuxOS, we put our money where our mouth is and help support this wonderful distro.

Oh Yes!

Anonymous's picture

...used to love MS products for the profitable work and steady employment their inadequacy generated for us - before I retired. Now I cannot be *rsed to use MS -just too much trouble, so have gradually converted all the rellies to Linux and then started on our friends.

WinXP is a rarely-used app that runs inside a KVM window on Xubuntu. Without all the necessary after-market condom-ware to protect XP from the dreaded Internet, it runs a tad faster inside Linux than on bare metal, in the few Win apps we still use. Power to the Penguin! BenM


Anonymous's picture

About ten yrs ago, I first tried Linux with Mandrake, but had no idea about anything. About a year ago I decided to give Linux another shot and tried Debian (Lenny). The box on which this is written runs Mint 8 (Helena). I'm in the beginninf stages of teaching myself how to use the networking aspects of Linux and have decided on Debian for that. I started out on a DOS machine, but haven't used a command line interface in a looong time, but I'm looking forward to getting into the nuts and bolts of computer usage again. Mint runs quite well, it doesn;t seem to need a lot of "nerdiness" to use - very user friendly for the general end-user.


Anonymous's picture

I have used Ubuntu almost exclusively for several years. Currently I run the LTS Version 8.04 on a production machine and the latest release on a development machine. This gives me the best of both (Ubuntu) worlds!

I love them all

Anonymous's picture

I've used all fifteen distros listed at one time or other and love them all.
Yes they all have their own quirks but we in the Linux community are so lucky that we have a choice. Keep your Windows or Macs I tell my kids, look what Linux can offer!
(For what it's worth I'm running Debian Etch and Puppy Linux at the moment, this is being typed on Puppy 4.3 but whatever distro you're running, it's the best!)


Anonymous's picture

My favorite Distro is Salix - salixos.org , it is Slackware and very good :)

Which Linux distribution do you use most frequently?

Anonymous's picture

I use Ubuntu(currently using 8.4-codename Hardy. I like flexibility with which Ubuntu functions

PCLOS installs on nearly

Anonymous's picture

PCLOS installs on nearly everything without problems, and the interface is very user-friendly. Also, the forum is the best I have found.



Anonymous's picture

Ubuntu to the bone.

The Ubuntu community is awesome and incomparable!

openSUSE for KDE Desktops and Debian for Servers

Anonymous's picture

I'm Linux User #8 according to counter.li.org, have an LPI 2 cert and I tried Slackware, Debian, Mandrake, RedHat, Gentoo, Knoppix and more.
But I keep coming back to SUSE. Why? Because KDE is best supported in SUSE. My wife can find her way around in SUSE and does not miss Windows at all. And administration via YAST is just comfortable. openSUSE is installed on 2 Desktops and 2 Notebooks. My server runs an Debian Lenny on the other hand.


Anonymous's picture

Our first dedicated Linux box had SuSE 10 on it - still works a treat, but YAST is an enigma to us. Counter-intuitive (for us) - so I guess it is user-dependant. Am willing to be convinced if I can find someone who likes/understands YAST. ymmv

Mint it is - for now...

Anonymous's picture

Having tried various iterations of the distros listed above over a period of three years I have, for now, settled on Mint 8. It seems to offer the best balance of usability/performance on ordinary hardware and a tight, user- friendly experience. Remember - after awhile distros begin to blur together for the average noob, and we seem to settle on one that just "feels" right.


Anonymous's picture

Am I smoking crack, or did I just read a bazillion comments, and not see one Knoppix? Does Knoppix count as a Distro? Am I missing something?

I have been a Solaris/AIX/Tru64/RedHat SysAdmin in a previous life, and today, I administer TSM on AIX for a living. I don't have a lot of time, and don't want to have to tweak my PC continuously in order to make it work. I want to just boot and do whatever I have to do when I am at home.

I hate it when I find a new piece of software that does something I like, try to install it, have the package manager tell me that it requires two other packages be upgraded, which each require five other packages be upgraded, ad nausium, until I am doing a full-blown upgrade of my OS. With the LiveCD-based distros (of which Knoppix was a pioneer) an upgrade is: "Pop in the latest DVD."

Oh, wait, there's an app that I need, that is not on the latest DVD. I would need to downgrade. Okay, pop in the old DVD, and away I go.

The latest Knoppix actually has the ability to "install" to a USB thumb-drive, freeing up the CD/DVD drive on my laptop. I run a Gazelle laptop from System 76, where I blew up the hard drive (note I blew it up, not System 76, their hardware is good). I have run several USB thumb-drive OSes on this machine, and I am happy with Knoppix.

Someone else listed 3 things (CLI,GUI,compiler) that a distro should have. With Knoppix, it has the 3 things I prefer:

  • Command Line Interface (CLI)
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Perl

About the only other thing I can ask for is Kornshell. I use it a lot at work, so am comfortable with it. It is, however, one package load away if I ever need it (and yes, I have loaded it in the past).

About the only complaint I have (and this may be with KDE, not Knoppix) is: They have added these "features" to the GUI, so that if you are just trackpadding your mouse across the screen to select something, the screen will "flip out" on you. It is reading certain cursor moves/drags as special commands to change desktops, or display all windows for selection, or some other crazy thing. For me, this is an annoyance. For newbies, it is utter confusion, and drives them away from Knoppix/Linux. Too bad, I used to recommend Knoppix to non-Linux users. It allowed them to get their feet wet without having to take the plunge.

You're right!

Anonymous's picture

Yes - Knoppix is a major tool, but Klaus discourages HDD installations so I never thought of it in quite the same category as (say) Puppy. He has worked miracles with hardware recognition, and most recently with the Adriane desktop for the blind. Remarkable man. I would cheerfully hack it onto a hard drive if it did not fly in the face of its intended purpose.
Thumb drives and SD cards are huge fun - started with the SLAX installation and now have them for Puppy flavours as well as Knoppix. BenM


Anonymous's picture

The reason I use fedora is beause when I had a job we used redhat. So to keep me comfortable with configuration files I choose fedoa. When I get a new job hopefully I will not need to change because I like fedora/redhat. I have been using them for years.

I use 2 most.

Anonymous's picture

Mint 7 and 8 .. on noobies pc's, the girlfriends pc, and my sons desktop,and an old PIV laptop of mine, simply for its ease of use for people with no CLI experience. I find it terrifically stable and loaded with features. Excellent for dual boot for people who "must have windows". LOL.. a month later they are asking how to remove windows and just run Mint ....I love it.

Secondly, I personally use Bactrack 4. I use it a lot, enough so when I hop on my windows rig I get irritated.

Also a fan of Suse, Debian and Slackware.

I've noticed the same thing

Anonymous's picture

Older men: Ubuntu
Geeky Type CLI men: Debian, Gentoo
Whatevers FREE OS people: Ubuntu

Younger men and women, most teenagers, the Hip/Cool Gadget crowd, and people burned out on code-tweaking seem to LOVE Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS.
They also either don't want Windows, or decide to take the dual-boot off and stick with Linux.


Anonymous's picture

Voted Slack, but I also use Puppy

I run Ubuntu on my wife's

Anonymous's picture

I run Ubuntu on my wife's notebook, OpenBSD for the home desk and Solaris at work

Puppy Linux

Anonymous's picture

I use Puppy Linux because it is light and it has everything I need. Very easy to use. My ten years old HP OmniBook got new life when I installed Puppy to it. To be exact, I am using Quirky Linux, which is Barry's new Puppy variant under development. It is even lighter with amazing multimedia features. Eagerly waiting its final release.

linux flavour

Anonymous's picture

A Cock Sucking Linux Install

Gentoo because it makes me feel at home

Anonymous's picture

I tried installing Linux from a handful of floppies back in 1996 (IIRC), when comfiguring your own kernel was the only way of supporting YOUR hardware. There was no "make xconfig" or even "make menuconfig", so it was a matter of answering "yes" or "no" to every single kernel option - one error and I had to start all over - because I was a total n00b and didn't know anything about the little file called ".config". Anyways, after a few misadventures (PEBKACs all of them) with Red Hat, I ended up with Mandrake for a few years. I never felt completely comfortable with Mandrake, so when I heard about Gentoo, I gave it a go. That was all the way back in 2004 and I've stayed with it ever since.

Gentoo suits my needs perfectly and I know my way around it. I run a stable file and web server, that also acts as a MythTV box, a stable desktop and a bleeding edge laptop. I have few to no problems with the stable setups and only a few manageable hickups with the bleeding edge one.

All that said, I've setup Kubuntu on my old laptop for the wife, since that enables her to handle updates herself.

Similar situation

Anonymous's picture

That's funny. I have Ubuntu installed on my daughter's computer for that same reason. Otherwise all of my computers are Gentoo. I was forced to start using it on my IBM ppc64 because it was the only distro I could find that would even boot on it. Once I got comfortable with it, I switched my Dell over. You just can't beat the flexibility. Not to mention performance on the Dell is better because all my apps are optimized.

openSUSE 11.2

Anonymous's picture

I tried a number of the Live distros recently including Mint, Mandriva, Ubuntu, and Debian and narrowed it down to two: openSUSE and Mandriva. I gave Mandriva a shot first, but was very unstable on my system. Wiped that, and installed openSUSE and so far (about a month) is very stable. Killed X a few times, but was no problem to recover. Still having trouble setting up printer and accessing files on networked XP box. The things I did like about Mandriva were that everything worked after the initial install, and it was very easy to set up. I think the Mandriva support network stinks. There appears to be a much better user support group with openSUSE.

Linux Mint

Anonymous's picture

Everything works... the hardware devices and buttons, the movies played, the application choices offered.
It looks good, and smart things are added to the basic Debian/Ubuntu base to make it stand out, like, its own software update/install, and have changed the Gnome top and bottom taskbar, into the familiar unified one on the bottom.


puppy linux is my choice

Anonymous's picture

i use puppy because it's small and fast. it lets me know eveverything what's going on from inside. a couple of minues to nstall and very easy to copy on any machine.
everything in just one file with frugal install. Puppy is very funny to use!!
magerlab from Russia

Edubuntu LTSP in the Classroom

Anonymous's picture

I use Edubuntu LTSP in my fifth grade classroom running fourteen P-III Compaq computers as thin clients. My lab runs great! It is lean and green using recycled technology. I was inspired two years ago at a CUE conference when I saw a thirty-two laptop LTSP lab running Fedora 8 at a cost of around $1000. Typically, when I attended this conference, I would leave depressed knowing that my school could not afford the technology that was presented as part of the sessions. Linux and Open Source has opened the door of technology to me and my students. Ubuntu is easy to use, a high quality product, and is virtually trouble free. Administration? What administration? My old lab practically runs itself, needing only the occasional update. I also use Ubuntu and Xubuntu at home. I am happy to support the Linux community attending conferences, purchasing literature from a variety of sources, and supporting those in need of help.

Other = nimblex

Anonymous's picture

Flexibility with a decent base unlike a certain other duct tape clone out there ;)


Anonymous's picture

I use Ubuntu because nothing else works well on my hardware. I didn't want to pay for Microsoft, so I bought a Dell machine that was described as being "for those who wish to work in a DOS environment". It came with no OS installed, and a copy of FreeDOS in the box. I have set aside several partitions on two drives to try out new flavours of Linux and the BSDs. Throughou all my experimenting, the only operating systems that work well are Ubuntu and its derivatives. Everything else finds a way to fail - some during the installation, some during the first attempted boot-up. A few others work okay for a while, then mysteriously crap out. But anything based on Ubuntu does just fine.

Mint is awesome

Anonymous's picture

I tried pretty much all major distros. Linux mint is where I stopped looking. Simply awesome. A little slower to boot compared to Ubuntu but it's much better in my opinion. Easy to use out of the box and with all the flash/mp3/ blah blah blah supports. It's a no-brainer, and it's the way it should be.

distro I use

Anonymous's picture

I consider myself a distro hopper and have tried many, many distributions. But, I keep coming back to Ubuntu. It resides on my working hard drive and a spare drive is where I try out others. My vote goes to Ubuntu.

I used to dual boot

Anonymous's picture

I decided to try Linux/Ubuntu about 4 1/2 years ago, I actually broke the install twice. The only reason I dual booted was because my wife had to have all the bells and whistles. Well the bells and whistles broke Windows and she had to use Ubuntu for about 3 days. We no longer dual boot.

Gentoo, but slowly getting tired.

Anonymous's picture

I've been using Gentoo since about three years on my desktop. It has served me well, and I don't think I've ever gone such a long period without reinstalling the OS before. But slowly I'm starting to get tired of resolving package-conflicts by hand and having to leave the machine on for the night just to update to the newest KDE point-release. ArchLinux is starting to look really attractive.
But for now my ATi X1900XT keeps me with Gentoo, because it's pretty much the only distribution that allows me to combine the ancient X-Server required by the last ATi driver-release that supports my card with an otherwise bleeding-edge system.

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