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)
CentOS
2% (219 votes)
Debian
8% (922 votes)
Fedora
8% (879 votes)
Gentoo
4% (457 votes)
Mandriva
6% (626 votes)
MEPIS
2% (172 votes)
Novell/SuSE
12% (1323 votes)
PCLinuxOS
4% (491 votes)
Red Hat
1% (123 votes)
Slackware
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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Using RHEL in production?

Anonymous's picture

Using RHEL in production? Then try Fedora as your desktop. Skills learnt looking after a Fedora box are easily transfered to your production environment. Hence idle hackery translates into self-training.

Mandriva 2010

Anonymous's picture

I am somewhat new to Linux (though I experimented with Red Hat back in the 90s) and have tried many of the popular distributions (Ubuntu, Mint, openSUSE, Fedora, etc.). Though I like Ubuntu and Mint (despite wireless issues in the latest releases), I've come to use Mandriva 2010 as my main distribution. A little more configuration was required to get wireless working with a Broadcom chipset than, say, Mint 7, but wireless does works. I also find that the KDE experience is the best under Mandriva in terms of polish and performance. Compiz works great even on my old Gateway laptop. As a newbie, I also like that I can install Gnome, KDE, Xfce and LXDE out of the box, with the application menus being organized for each desktop. The Mandriva Control Center is also an excellent tool. With the Powerpack and Free editions, a ton of software can be installed out of the box.

That being said, I like many of the distributions I've looked at and wish all of them success. Lately, to gain better knowledge of the inner workings of Linux, I have been looking at Arch Linux and Linux from Scratch, but I will keep using Mandriva as my main distribution for the time being. Hopefully, 2010.1 will be as solid as 2010.0.

If you want to see a Distro done right, compile it yourself!

Anonymous's picture

It takes for me one year of trying out 30-40 different distributions, to discover the differences, the advantages and disadvantages, the graduation of control, and of course how the basic works, until i found out what you can do with linux, and what are my needs.
Then my search ends, and now i'm at home peacefully.

Here the reasons why i came to gentoo:
Performance and flexibility for optimization in any way:
In my opinion it gives me the best possibilities to control everything i wish, e.g regarding optimization for the specific arch it runs on.
The flexibility and the freedom for choosing which options the software should support and which not, combined with the most possible comfort to do this!
Different versions of the same packages or libraries could be installed at the same time, and it works!

Comfort, why comfort, would ask someone who doesn't know gentoo, as we who like it, do.

Cause if you want do it, cause you can do it, you do it as most comfortable as it is possible, with most of control - only with gentoo!

- e.g. resolving dependencies automatically, (not as in other source based distris), while choosing all i mentioned above.
- all settings and options stay as you declared it, also if you update the whole system (our world )
- no reason to reinstall, cause if you build your system by yourself, you know how to repair it from command line, or via chroot. And rolling releases of course.
Ok, the annoying compilie time! - But nothing comes from nothing, and good thing takes time! Considering of the advantages!!!

Not everybody needs all those things, and is not willing to spend time to get things run - that's why gentoo is not for everybody.

But if you expect the most from a distro, then you have to choose Gentoo!

I hope every gentoo lover confirms to me, an please excuse my bad english, i'm no native speaker.

Andy.

Interested in more arguments, look at this:
http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-816143-highlight-.html

openSUSE -- it just works

Anonymous's picture

I am hardware-centric, not software or OS-oriented. Computers to me are tools to do specific functions, whatever they are. However, I am also intrigued by a new mental challenge. At some point I grew tired of the limitations imposed by Windows and purchased a copy of then SuSE Linux 8.2.

At first I was bewildered by the amount of tweaking that this flavor of Linux required in order to have a half-way functioning machine. I was constantly irritated or outright stopped on my tracks by some confusing glitch whose solutions I had to patiently comb the internet for, since no amount of manual reading ever seemed to provide the right answer. It was frustrating. On several ocassions I was ready to ditch the entire Linux thing altogether as a half-baked idea.

But I persevered, went through 9.x and finally found the "grail" of a correctly functioning machine with plenty of good, useful applications when I reached versions 10.1-3. All running strictly KDE, as I quickly found Gnome rather limited in scope.

Today I have 11.1 in several desktop machines, and 11.2 in a laptop. I do 95% of my productive work within openSUSE and only start Windows (XP Pro, and/or Vista and 7 Ultimate) for several indispensable programs that cannot be ported into my Linux heaven.

However, I cannot say that I am entirely enthused with KDE 4. When I first installed 4.1 I was so sick of the "plasmoidization" and the useless eye candy and gratuitous complexity that I reloaded 3.5 again. I just installed KDE 4.4 beta on one of my machines, but have ended up configuring it as close to a 3.5 experience as possible. Why? Because openSUSE is not even including 3.5 anymore starting in version 11.2 and I want to be ready for the future, as I am sticking with both openSUSE and KDE.

Why openSUSE?

* Yast2.
* Sax2.
* Plenty of repositories, even if you want to experiment with the beta stuff.
* Plenty of unexplored areas like servers, virtualization, programming, etc. for when I am ready.
* The closest thing to commercial-strength quality.
* And as with all Linux distros, the price is right.

What's not to like? openSUSE -- it just works.

Gentoo

Anonymous's picture

All my desktops/laptops run Gentoo since 2004 - this is also the year when my last Windows died of BSOD.

Gentoo

Anonymous's picture

I like to configure an O/S to my needs so it is tailored to get the most from the machine which is running on.

I also use another favor of Gentoo : Funtoo.

Linux distro I prefer.

Anonymous's picture

I am using Gentoo exclusively since december 2003.
Compared to most other distro's it takes a lot of work but in the end you have a system completely tailored to what you want.No software you never use.
Upgrading is gradual since it's a "rolling" distro.
The package manager is excellent the tools are very good.
gerard82

Chakra

Anonymous's picture

I'm in the process of switching from kubuntu to chakra

Like others, I use more than

Anonymous's picture

Like others, I use more than just one distro on a day-to-day basis, so cannot vote without unfairly skewing your results :-(

Linux Mint

Anonymous's picture

I use Mint because of complete "out of the box" full features for codecs, programs ecc. The desktop theme is also one nof the best I saw in linux distros.

I actually use two distros

Anonymous's picture

My main PC runs Mandriva 2010.0, which I installed only 3 weeks ago. I have used Mandriva releases for about 5 years, but have held off upgrading to a KDE 4 based release until now! AND I have become used to the different way KDE 4.3 works as compared to KDE 3.5 and largely find it mostly as easy to work with as the old versions were. In some ways (e.g. folder view) KDE 4 is even better.

I also have a netbook (ASUS 701) It has been upgraded to 1GB memory and runs Easy Peasy 1.1 which is based on Ubuntu Netbook Remix (8.04 IIRC). I may install UNR 9.10 fairly soon. I have test run it on my netbook and it runs very well - I just have to get the backup of any user data right before I take that step and also ensure that a couple of usage bugs I found ahve been addressed. OTOH, I may simply upgrade to Easy Peasy 1.6 when that disto when it comes out of beta testing phase...

Rob.

FEDORA!

Anonymous's picture

But hey I have been using computers since I was 7yrs - 1977. The Fedora Community has been excellent with speedy upgrades and like most other distros you can find the codec already published for your favorite stuff. Yum is great and selinux hardens just about any machine to 60-80%. Like most distros, you have all the control you need thru BASH. Gnome is great for everyday use and KDE is great when I want to hack - install both! I really celebrate Linux as a whole, but use fedora all the time.

Syonic

BTW

Anonymous's picture

been a fedora user since 2004 - haven't looked back.

I use OpenSuse 11.2 with KDE

Anonymous's picture

I use OpenSuse 11.2 with KDE and Mint with Gnome. I use OpenSuse on my high-end pc and laptop because it was the first distro I tried and I had no problems with it. (luckily the plain vanilla Openoffice.org version is easy to install next to the go-oo version on OpenSuse).

I use Mint on my older PC which I use only as a music box, because it just works and because Banshee (default on OpenSuse Gnome) is very unstable and KDE feels uncomfortable on older hardware.

openSuSE

Anonymous's picture

Hi,

only using openSuSe here - not because others are bad, but simply because in the last 10 years or so, (open)SuSE never gave me a reason for trying anything else.

OpenSUSE

Anonymous's picture

Only OpenSUSE.

polling fraud

Anonymous's picture

Dear editor, your polling station doesn't work properly.
I have cast 3 votes for the same distro within 15 minutes.
If I can do it, anyone can do it, as I am just " Dick from around the corner " and I assure you, not a hacker.

Anyway, I will stop now and you can have your fun.
I am awaiting your article to see why you needed " votes without a value "

Dick from around the corner

openSUSE

Anonymous's picture

Gets the job done on both server and desktop. Ease of management compared to some other distros makes more sense in business situations.

Fedora used most frequently

Anonymous's picture

Try lots and keep returning to Fedora for every day use. Red Hat and Fedora philosophy and spirit appeal to my way of life. I keep building new computers with new hardware and Fedora tends to keep up. My learning path is directed to support the Fedora and Red Hat community and in so doing our future world.

-Frojon

Starting Linux with Ubuntu and Why I still Use it.

Anonymous's picture

I began with Ubuntu because it had several books for beginners written about it. I bought one of them back in 2007, as I was looking for an escape from Microsoft. So, I installed Ubuntu starting with 7.04 and there has been no looking back. I still use it and see no compelling reason to change to another distro, since it has met all my needs. The abundance of online how-to information, and the Ubuntu forms are also pluses.

Why PCLinuxOS rules...

Anonymous's picture

Why would you have to buy a book in order to operate your PC with a DESKTOP distro? It's your computer, why not just pay PCLOS for a distro that works so freaking well that you don't have to study it? How can you do your work if you can't operate your own PC?

why opensuse ?

Anonymous's picture

Yast
KDE4

I Like OpenSuSE best.

Anonymous's picture

My first computer was an S-100 bus C/PM system with the optional 4 K memory. A year later we got the Kansas city standard for interchanging programs on cassette tape instead of toggling them in one byte at a time.

I've used CP/M, DOS 2.1, 3.3, 4.1, 5.0, 6.0 and 6.2, Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, Me, and XP, OS/2 Warp 3.0 and Warp 4.0 as well as IBM's successor Ecomstation 1.0 and 2.0.

By 2005, it was obvious that IBM was abandoning its OS/2 users and Ecs just wasn't getting anywhere. More and more of my OS/2 friends were migrating to something called Linux.

I was attracted to Linux because of it's open-source philosophy, and my desire to never again be trapped by a callous developer like IBM who wasted the time and effort and monetary resources of users and developers alike.

I began by looking at as many different kinds of Linux as I could get my hands on, mostly from the European Linux magazines which offered CDs of various distros every month. At that time some of my friends told me about a Duncan BC LUG that was mostly using Ubuntu.

I tried all I could get my hands on. I quickly discovered I didn't care much for Gnome desktops, especially their mail client Evolution. Nor do I care much for the colour brown.

I tried Suse 9.2, and liked it so much, I sent away for Suse 9.3. I've used OpenSuSE KDE ever since. I still look at other distros from time to time. I looked at Mandriva last fall when I was disgusted with KDE4 in OpenSuSE 11.0, but soon found installing programs nowhere as easy as OpenSuSE - and even though I bought the version's commercial codecs still didn't have DVDs working.

At this point I use OpenSuSE 11.2 on almost all of my computers. I keep my main desktop with its 1.3 GB of files on OpenSuSE 11.0 KDE3 for the time being, but I'll move it after 11.3 stabilizes. I don't see anything in other distros I can't be without, although I'm glad they're there.

Bob Smits

I Like OpenSuSE best.

Anonymous's picture

My first computer was an S-100 bus C/PM system with the optional 4 K memory. A year later we got the Kansas city standard for interchanging programs on cassette tape instead of toggling them in one byte at a time.

I've used CP/M, DOS 2.1, 3.3, 4.1, 5.0, 6.0 and 6.2, Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, Me, and XP, OS/2 Warp 3.0 and Warp 4.0 as well as IBM's successor Ecomstation 1.0 and 2.0.

By 2005, it was obvious that IBM was abandoning its OS/2 users and Ecs just wasn't getting anywhere. More and more of my OS/2 friends were migrating to something called Linux.

I was attracted to Linux because of it's open-source philosophy, and my desire to never again be trapped by a callous developer like IBM who wasted the time and effort and monetary resources of users and developers alike.

I began by looking at as many different kinds of Linux as I could get my hands on, mostly from the European Linux magazines which offered CDs of various distros every month. At that time some of my friends told me about a Duncan BC LUG that was mostly using Ubuntu.

I tried all I could get my hands on. I quickly discovered I didn't care much for Gnome desktops, especially their mail client Evolution. Nor do I care much for the colour brown.

I tried Suse 9.2, and liked it so much, I sent away for Suse 9.3. I've used OpenSuSE KDE ever since. I still look at other distros from time to time. I looked at Mandriva last fall when I was disgusted with KDE4 in OpenSuSE 11.0, but soon found installing programs nowhere as easy as OpenSuSE - and even though I bought the version's commercial codecs still didn't have DVDs working.

At this point I use OpenSuSE 11.2 on almost all of my computers. I keep my main desktop with its 1.3 GB of files on OpenSuSE 11.0 KDE3 for the time being, but I'll move it after 11.3 stabilizes. I don't see anything in other distros I can't be without, although I'm glad they're there.

Bob Smits

mint is best for me

Anonymous's picture

if you aren't using mint you're trying too hard:)

which linux distro I use the most

Anonymous's picture

First of all I use Ubuntu 9.04 bescause it's stable and work with my usb wireless card, second I love Fedora from the Red Hat days starting with Red Hat 6. But since the time of Fedora Core-4, Fedora has gotten unstabe and I want to use it, but it just doesn't work for me. I'll keep on working with it.

Why Mandriva?

Anonymous's picture

When I bought a new computer several years ago, my son happened to have a Mandrake (as it then was) installation disk lying around.

I had been using Linux from Scratch, but Mandrake worked without any problems so I just stayed with it.

openSUSE

Anonymous's picture

Well, you separate Red Hat(Prof.Support) and Fedora(Community),
but cast Novell(SLES/SLED prof.Support) and openSUSE(Community) in one pot.
Not so good for a site like this, from Microsoft we could understand an error like this, but...

Why openSUSE?

  • There's a working community.
  • A good installer (is there a better? please tell!).
  • Extensive repositories abound.
  • An easy way to create your own packages (obs -- OpenBuildService),
    not only for the system one is running, but also for others
    (fedora/Red Hat/CentOs/SLES/SLED/Mandrivia/Debian/Ubuntu).

so: Yes it serves my need well.

openSUSE

Anonymous's picture

Yast!

Kubuntu

Anonymous's picture

Just cant beat KDE4.

Fedora

Anonymous's picture

The pioneer in introducing new technologies in Linux, a great distribution for developers, and lots of great people. This is the distribution that I really like to work with. BTW, the package managements sucks a little for people with no or slow internet connection.

openSUSE

Anonymous's picture

Easy enough if you have no experience and good if you want to tweak it to your liking.

openSUSe

Anonymous's picture

Just for the sake of a good KDE4 experience :)

Arch linux

Anonymous's picture

Why? because it suits me more than others. It's very customizable, and can be as advanced as you make it to be.
AUR is a big plus, as I tend to use programs not available in the normal repository.

A little warning though: If you don't like to tinker with your system, then I'd suggest using another distro. You will sooner or later be forced to fix some problem that occurs in your system. Be it a program update that breaks it or just yourself taking a wrong turn somewhere.

Sidux is the Linux Distro I use

Anonymous's picture

Just Voted, 64 bit Sidux full desktop on fast Computer.
I am from a Debian background.
Started to use Sidux about one year ago, I still also use Testing-Sid Debian.
I voted for Sidux to drive recognition of it some.
Its really good. KDE is back to excellence.
Less chaos with Sidux and it is a Debian based distro after all.

sidux is great sid

Anonymous's picture

I use sidux on my laptop where i don't care if it gets hosed. Testing/sid mix on my main machine with no problems and not having to reinstall every 6 months and still have newer software.
And of course Lenny/stable for my server.
Still getting used to KDE4

Fedora

hno's picture

Switched to RedHat Linux from Slackware some many years ago when I bought my second PC with CD-ROM reader an all, and many years later I followed the Fedora train when RedHat Linux morphed into Fedora.

Works well for my purposes. Very rarely have to look anywhere else for newer packages, and when I need to do so it's generally only because that package is still in early aplpha testing and not ready for general usage (according to it's own developers).

These days I am an active package contributor to Fedora, and

Have also tried many other distributions such as Debian, Ubuntu, RHEL, Mandriva, ArchLinux, Gentoo, SuSE and some more but keeps coming back to Fedora. Reasons usually a mix of package freshness and distribution policy & ethics.

openSUSE

Anonymous's picture

Why can't you give the correct openSUSE name, valid now for many years? that seems to me disrepectfull. There where never any "Novell" distribution!

Arch Linux

Anonymous's picture

I've been using both Arch and Gentoo for about 5 years now. Arch long surpassed Gentoo in usefuless and stability. Here are the differences that I think separate Gentoo and Arch.

Gentoo is a bit more flexible. One may install Gentoo on more architecures such as SPARC. Use flags also make things easier, -for example, its easier to install mplayer without x11 to use w/ framebuffer than it is in Arch linux. The documentation is better than Arch's documentation and is more portable, -for example, Gentoo's install guide teaches chroot and has more detailed info on creating users and configuring grub and fstab.

Arch is faster and more stable (Gentoo has many different portage overlays with a lowered quality and consistency. It eventually accumulates and forces breakage in the operating system functionality). Gentoo's community leaders have community problems and often solve them by locking threads and kicking users and in the Arch community that is not the case. Arch leaders maintain a very accessible and friendly presence in the community. Arch is a lot easier to use, -it has one configuration file and if one chooses not to use Arch's package management and configuration tools to get things done, that's OK. Installation and configuration that is done without those tools tends to work most of the time. The analogous Gentoo scenario will usually not succeed without a lot of troubleshooting (subjective, maybe, but that's my experience).

Are you one of those setting

Anonymous's picture

Are you one of those setting ACCEPT_ARCH="~arch" in make.conf who should rather not and then trying to teach the developers how things are supposed to be?

"(Gentoo has many different portage overlays with a lowered quality and consistency. It eventually accumulates and forces breakage in the operating system functionality)"

This is not true, you configured your package manager(probably portage) to always use the most experimental ebuild and gave those in overlays priority.
Gentoo offers sane ways to do package management. It's up to the user to make use of them.

Gentoo developers are from my experience very helpful and generally friendly and open minded.

Gentoo is a distribution where it's simple to break things on purpose or misconception. -fomg-optimize and Gentoo myths
However if you opt for a stable system it's as stable as Debians famous ultra stable branch but a little less stale.

If one is only after a free desktop replacement there are better choices than Gentoo. Gentoos strength lies somewhere else and often becomes only apparent after many years of usage.

Fedora / CentOS / LinuxMint

Anonymous's picture

The servers at work are CentOS. We donate to the cause and the support is awesome. I use Fedora on my workstation, laptop and home PC. The machine my kids use is LinuxMint. I decided to do that because I didn't have to spend hours making it kid-usable (Multimedia yah yah yah). Been in RH mode since 4.2, back in the 90's. I've tried Ubuntu, it's cool, but the lack of Sysadmin-ability just leaves me wanting more control.

Ubuntu to Fedora to SUSE to Gentoo...

Anonymous's picture

I was handed an Ubuntu disc about 5 years ago and haven't looked back since. It pretty much worked out of the box and the forums did the rest. The I became obsessed with 'distros' and have downloaded and evaluated at least 50 since. For my work, I used Fedora for about a year, then SUSE too, but made the move to Gentoo for the learning experience and performance as it makes me think about the OS I'm using and how I'm using it. Next Stop: "Linux From Scratch".

Why I use Fedora ?

Anonymous's picture

1. I'm used to it
2. It's on the bleeding edge
3. I find the other distributions too polished(maybe it's a disease i have - i never like things the way they are) so
4. I want to tinker with things - screw around a bit -and usually trash my system - but in the end
5. I usually manage to get to where i wanna be
6. Fedora lets me do that because of point 1.

Fedora

Anonymous's picture

Since 1994 when I first branched out into Slackware from Solaris I've pretty much followed the developers choices in Linux. Slackware, was and is, brilliant. But I needed something that I could use commercially, for which there are only two options Suse and Redhat.

Suse was pretty attractive to start with but the depth of the Redhat support made the difference. So did the stability and reticence of Redhat to muddy either the commercial or the open-source waters. Redhat makes the biggest contributions to the kernel while producing an appealing distro that many have grown from; and that says a lot.

It isn't for everyone though. If what you want is a toy desktop then Ubuntu is it. I've put a lot of my friends on to it because it really is good for the end consumer. For me however Ubuntu's group think heritage does it a great disservice. I've found that I can do a lot more with a non-BSD kernel.

Fedora then is my choice because it suits my commercial and accademic needs and the clean stability of the platform.

Oops

Anonymous's picture

Correction that would be Debian not BSD.

Ubuntu -- but in Virtual Machine

Anonymous's picture

Ubuntu because it worked running inside a Virtual Machine. My workstation is a MacBook Pro with Mac OS 10.6. But, I run Sun's VirtualBox and use Win XP and Ubuntu for applications unable to run on the Mac.
Tried Fedora first, but could not get it to run any bigger than an 800x600 screen, even with VirtualBox running full screen (and that after futile command line tweaks.) Ubuntu set up was simple, can adjust screen size multiple ways, even full size on a 20"external monitor.

PClinuxos

Anonymous's picture

Tried others (as you do) but always have PCLos as the main distro.
As a cack-handed user i generally run into trouble when trying anything technical, the forum is a great source for answers though, and has been since the start.

J.

version

Anonymous's picture

gos os based on ubuntu

opensuse user since 7.1

Anonymous's picture

Use it for work and at home. Got 5 colleagues to switch from Windows to it. Best Linux distro!

openSuSE user

Anonymous's picture

I have been using it since the 6.4 version and presently It's 11.2. I never changed I use it for work and it is enough for my needs; Though I am a bit troubled getting to the new KDE4. I have always found helpful support from the[opensuse] mailing list and it is an added value to the software itself.

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