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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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.

openSUSE user

Anonymous's picture

I started off using Kubuntu, but toward the end of 2008, the KDE implementation became too much of a pain for me and I switched. Never looked back.

Currently using exherbo

Anonymous's picture

Currently using exherbo Exherbo

which distro...

bootdoc's picture

I use Ubuntu Ultimate edition because it works!


Anonymous's picture

I have used many linux flavors in the past, sticking with different ones for months at a time, but the only version that has lasted over time for my home use is Gentoo.

I really like the ability for customization and how easy it is to get an updated package. If I want a new feature in an updated package or if it runs faster, I know I can just install that package. I don't have to wait for all the dependencies to come around in the next version of the distribution or whatever. With any distribution you have to do weekly updates anyway, but then every 6 months if you want to stay up-to-date you have to re-install basically the entire system... no thanks. I'll take the rolling releases.

A lot of people may complain about compile time, this kept me away in the past, but on a newer computer all it takes is an afternoon to get the whole system installed, so it's really not any longer than any other distribution. Personally, I do daily updates and they take just a second to run a command and finish in minutes, the whole system is usable while you install (many people do weekly updates or whatever).

At work we use a binary distribution, which is much easier for maintenance as we can just write one file or script and it's guaranteed to work properly across all the PCs, but for home use, only Arch or Gentoo or something else with a rolling release would suffice.

Debian FTW

Anonymous's picture

I use Debian on my desktop, server and laptop. Looked at Ubuntu, but I don't like it as much as Debian. I've looked at different distro's (Opensuse, Fedora and others), but they don't do it to me like Debian does. Reading the comments here, I will definitely give Arch a try. It's users seem very passionate for their distro.


Anonymous's picture

Like the opensuse the most. I see SUSE package management the more powerful than any other distribution solution. Any other high-level tool can match zypper. Based on best dependency solver available today (SAT solver), zypper is the fastest, most effective and capable tool any distribution. Another great thing on zypper is its useful syntax and output. Especially APT seem to be a true nightmare, when I compare it to zypper.
I also like Mandriva, Fedora and Debian. All of them have some advantages. But what i personally completely hate is Ubuntu. This shitty piece of Software is unbelievable collection of unstable packages, and it never worked for me flawlessly. Last time, they included unusable intel drivers. Recent Ubuntu version has alpha version of GRUB 1.97 and damage your MBR every time you try to install ubuntu with bootloader anywhere but MBR. Which i great. It damage even /boot of your primary OS. It is worse that Windows! Forbidding ctrl+alt+backspace for X restart is mindless misfeature. Bullet-proof-X is another great thing. If you have a problem with your display settings, this great Canonical invention completely locks your computer, so you can not repair it, even if you are experience user, because there is no way how to get to the console at all.

But it is not only the low-quality software, which I hate on ubuntu. I don't like it's development model based on parasitism, self-centric politics and lying marketing and community. Look at this famous keynote and see it for yourself.


Anonymous's picture

Fedora is more updated then ubuntu, and yet much more stable and comfortable.

Re: Fedora

Anonymous's picture

Yeah, I agree. It's pretty ironic that stability is one of the reasons why Ubuntu won't use up-to-date packages, yet that's the very reason it should. For instance, all the repos still have nearly an year old version of GParted which is known to have issues with resizing, amongst other things. I can't believe that they wont update it to the latest, stable version. I mean, it's not like it's a beta or a nightly, it's a stable dammit, it's been stable for more than a month now, update the darn repos already!

Similarly, another popular package, ntfs-3g isn't being updated. I think this one is one of the most important packages for Ubuntu, given that most of its users are coming from the Windows world. The new ntfs-3g features performance improvements, nifty feature improvements like compressed file support, symlinks, ACLs etc, and not to mention the usual bug-fixes.

I think its a crime that Ubuntu's keeping so many hapless newbies (which count for the majority of its userbase) in the dark.

Vector KDE Classic

Anonymous's picture

It's the best KDE I've found for this loverly little baby.
Panasonic CF-W5.

Ah, the choices...

Anonymous's picture

Running Ubuntu 9.10, Sabayon 5.1 and #! Crunchbang Linux on the laptop. Sabayon 5.0, Debian 5 and Arch 2009.08 on the desktop, with Gentoo on the way. All 64 bit. Why? Because I can!


Anonymous's picture

fedora was my first distro, tried pclos, puppy, opensuse and few more but I think UBUNTU is the easiest/best of them all. It basically just works for me without any config or tweaks. I have installed it on over 10 machines and I have yet to encounter any major issue. Will try Lubuntu when stable comes out in April for my 7 year old laptop.

I installed dosbox to run 15 year old dos databse program at my work, virtualbox, songbird, etc. without any major command line interaction. I would say it is as easy if not easier than Windows.

Arch/CentOS/Crux and few other *NIXen

Anonymous's picture

I voted for Arch, because I happen to use it everyday on all of my workstation machines and laptops. However all my production servers are on CentOS (I've been using redhat since v. 4.2). All my dev servers are running Crux thought, of which Arch is a derivative btw. I have few other *NIXen machines that I use frequently. My mail servers are predominantly running NetBSD and I have an AIX server that I use quite frequently.


Anonymous's picture

because it just works.

Every system I've thrown it at (17 and counting) has had little or no problem with one of the PCLOS flavours.


Anonymous's picture

I tried Fedora when I first switched to Linux, however I have been using Ubuntu for the last 5 years.

Fedora, Gnome, and Enlightenment

dales's picture

I've been a Red Hat type since the days of RedHat 5.2. I've tried Mandrake (before it became Mandriva) and SuSE, but I keep coming back to Fedora. For some reason, I've never tried any of the Debian-based distros. Maybe one of these days I'll set up a virtual machine and give Ubuntu a try.

As for desktops, I prefer running E16 Enlightenment with Gnome along side. I've never much cared for KDE, though that's certainly just personal preference. At one place where I used to work, KDE was the desktop of choice, and folks liked it a lot.

Ubuntu and Mint

Anonymous's picture

I prefer Ubuntu and the reasons are huge. For example, i like the idea to have a single Linux distro that integrates all free software lovers and work all together to have a great OS. Second, Ubuntu cares to much about their users, and this distro is the first one to be a human Linux distro, and it combines strong stability and a beauty desktop interface. Every where I see in the web I find something about Ubuntu, people that develop specially for Ubuntu, people that make how-to's specially for Ubuntu. And when you look at IRC #ubuntu channel you can find a long list of people connected to the support channel, the answers come very fast!
About Mint. I am trying Mint since a couple of weeks ago. It is Ubuntu with a few changes in user interface and administration tools. So it is pretty much the same thing.
I always try to test another Linux distros but, I always find problems in them even from the installation process. So I just keep in Ubuntu.
I am a sound and visual art lover and Ubuntu, I would say it, is the best distro in visual art, It is always shinning, and every new release It shines a little more.
About KDE4, i prefer Gnome because i really do not like the way sound is handled in the new KDE4. And the new Amarok is not that good as its predecessor.

Zenwalk Linux

Anonymous's picture

Fast. I love it

Arch Linux 4 Me

Anonymous's picture

I've distro hopped for a few years, Ubuntu > Debian > FreeBSD etc... But have settled with Arch Linux for the desktop. Just like the way Arch has BSD ways of doing things without the hassle of configuring FreeBSD for things such as Flashplayer etc...

Combined with Openbox, Arch is speedy, stable and lots of fun :)

OpenSuse & PCLinuxOS

Anonymous's picture

Happy PCLinuxOS user but this years vote goes to OpenSuse. Main reason is because the old pclinuxos iso's refuse to update on this box but PCLinuxOS 2010 with kde 4.4 is on its way!

Moblin on AAO

Anonymous's picture

My vote goes to Moblin on my AAO. It has NEVER failed to connect to a wireless connection when traveling. It has enough applications to serve my needs, ant it is well supported.

Split between PCLinuxOs and Mandriva

Anonymous's picture

PCLOS for web browsing, Mandriva with LXDE for gaming (Urban Terror).


Anonymous's picture

It's unfortunate that Ubuntu has such a lopsided mind share. Not that it isn't a good distro, it's one of the better ones. But it is not the distro everyone thinks it is. It's definitely not for beginners and does require a ton of knowledge and expertise to get working relatively trouble free. In fact, it takes just as much work as it does to get Fedora, Novell/SuSE, Mandriva or most of the others on this list. Ubuntu has the marketing, though. Just like Microsoft[1], people use it because they don't know how to do anything else.

[1] For the record, I am not comparing Canonical to Microsoft nor Ubuntu to Windows. Just the perception that each has as being the "one and only."

I don't think that anyone

Anonymous's picture

I don't think that anyone upholds Ubuntu as the one true way; such thinking is somewhat antithetical to the decentralized model of Linux. What Ubuntu and many of its derivatives do well is making things work without a lot of fiddling.

You are correct that there are things that still need to be done to get it usable--like the last 3 versions of it still trigger a system beep in searches and on shutdown (maybe they are leaving it in intentionally to as a debugging exercise for noobs)! Then there is the 6-month release cadence, which is becoming a string of snapshots instead of practical OS's, where one of 3 is a winner (Jaunty for me). What do you do if the LTS sucks or doesn't work on your hardware? Then there is the Pulse Audio beta that it has incorporated, which is useless to most users and hampers others who work with audio apps. Why does getting an up-to-date version of a stable app like Firefox take hacking?!

But there is an argument for finding support readily without having to wade through too many forums. And the ability to find a binary package for your distro is good support. It is somewhat simpleton, it gets most jobs done, and it gets more attention from software makers than most distros. There are some pros and cons, it is one approach, but certainly not a hegemonic one.

Arch Linux

Anonymous's picture

Lightweight and Rolling Release Distro.

Ubuntu Got Me Hooked

Anonymous's picture

I've used professionally CPM, MS-DOS, PC-DOS, Apple II, OS9 and OSX, and Windows 3.1, NT, 95, 98, 2000, XP, and occasionally on someone else's machine, Vista. A couple of years ago, I began reading about Ubuntu, and tried it on a cheap machine I picked up on Craigslist. Today, I have run Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Vector Linux, Mandriva, Elive, PC-BSD, Open Suse, Fedora, and Puppy, all but one with good success. I seemed to have a personality conflict of some sort with SUSE; it always crashed, hung, or got munged up in one way or another. I have one XP desktop for my teaching job; I need it for certain software packages that only run on Windows. I'm not happy about that, but haven't taken the time to test them on Wine.

Right now, my laptops and daily machine are running Ubuntu, primarily as the Linux path of least resistance. They do what I want to do. I've continued to recycle older machines. I like PC-BSD a lot for its security, and the new Mandriva 10 is really luscious. It's stable, pretty, fast, and seems to run Gnome better. But it doesn't have my morning comic reader Buoh. Elive is getting there; it's pretty, Debian-based, and really fast. Puppy is great on my $10 Pentium II. Vector is also really fast, but I've had trouble getting Avahi to run. But I'm learning a lot, and have every intention of continuing this journey.


Anonymous's picture


1) Lightweight default installation
2) Good for learning how GNU/Linux works
3) Updated
4) Reasonably stable
(some times you need to downgrade a package due to upstream bugs/features)

1) pro Nº 4 can be annoying some times


Anonymous's picture

It's not that I need it for what I do, but I'm fascinated with how much control I have over the system. While compilation takes a while at times, but it's worth it for getting the exact system that I want.


Anonymous's picture

Long-time KDE user; as Kubuntu kept getting worse I searched for a reasonable KDE4 distro. Some people liked Sidux, I tried it & never looked back. It's amazing how it stays current yet stable and how well it works on my ThinkPad. Sometimes I think one of the lead developers has to have a very similar machine to mine :-)


Anonymous's picture

Because it suits me, the Control Center is very handy, but a bit restrictive sometimes, but I find that webmin is then good for more finegrain configuration (not that I have to recur to it often).
And there are repositories enough to find whatever rpm I did need up to now.
In the ten years I'm using Linux now, I have installed Suse twice, but each time I've returned to Mandriva after a few weeks, mainly because I found Suse harder to configure.

Xubuntu strangely underrated

Anonymous's picture

Having problems with a crashed XP on my laptop, I decided to give Linux a try. I choose Ubuntu because it seemed very newby-friendly (it is).
Gnome works fine but its graphical interface is horrendous. The large icons make it look like a kid's toy. This is configurable, but most applications do not apply the user settings.
I switched to Kubuntu (all cluttered up) and then settled on the Xfce interface. Xubuntu is great as an interface: neat, tidy and fast. My suggestion: install Gnome to get the right system apps, then add Xfce for a superior interface.

I take Ubuntu

Anonymous's picture

Ubuntu works well, as some other Distros too. Years ago i used Suse. But as Ubuntu arrived the scene, i liked the Ideas behind Ubuntu. And as Ubuntu grows adult i changed to Ubuntu and i still like it.


Anonymous's picture

Trisquel (http://trisquel.info), one of the fsf approved distros, with are 100% free as in freedom.


Anonymous's picture

Just to screw the pooch, I run Fedora12 at work and on my netbook, Ubuntu9.10 on my wife's laptop and Kubuntu 9.10 (AMD64) on my daughter's desktop/ graphics station. I have a file server that I use at home and that currently runs ubuntu but i am planning on moving it to Debian before April cause I don't really like the looks of Lucid Lynx. Oh, and I run Knoppix on an 8 GB flashdrive that i use when i have to use a computer somewhere else in the world.

Red Hat

martywjoyce's picture

We use RH at work and whilst it certainly doesn't have any 'cutting edge' apps or features (compared to Fedora) from our experience we have found it to be solid and extremely reliable.

Stopped my distro hopping

Anonymous's picture

Since it's the way I make it, I don't need to change distros anymore. Simply change whatever bothers me.
And it's really fast.

I chose Archlinux

Anonymous's picture

But it doesn't show it in the comment. weird decision.

Ubuntu or Kubuntu. They work

Anonymous's picture

Ubuntu or Kubuntu. They work the best on my laptop.


Anonymous's picture


Anonymous's picture

Tried a few Distro's before i found PCLos, been using it ever since .93, easy to use and install even for a technophobe like me,i'll be with it for a long time come.

I use more specifik!

Anonymous's picture

Hi all
Just a add up for my vote.

I use Fedora (latest) x86_64 for my work laptop, and home for my home server.
For my mail and web server I use CentOS (latest) x86_64 under KVM of my Fedora.

In my line of work we use Red Hat Enterprise Linux (latest) for all servers, do to the comfort of Red Hat's security net.

Best Regards
Dennis Appelon Nielsen

Which Distro do I use and depend on?

tallship's picture

Slackware. Since 1993 when I got tired of rolling my own or one of the other few that co-existed at that time, like Yggdrasil, which had some potential in those days.

When I 'discovered that some tie-dyed deadhead from Moorhead University was doing a better job at maintaining his own spin of SLS than I was..., well, I haven't looked back since.

I've used and sampled dozens of various distributions over the years, including my own, yet the one that will do whatever I want or need it to on a minute's notice is Slackware.

Bradley D. Thornton

Manager Network Services
NorthTech Computer
TEL: +1.760.666.2703 (US)
TEL: +44.702405.1909 (UK)

Registered Linux User #190795

I use SuSE (now OpenSuSE)

Anonymous's picture

I use SuSE (now OpenSuSE) since version 6.something. I've always been impressed by the power of the administration tools (YaST) and the overall integration of the distro.

Just a side remark: the poll lists 2 separate entries for RedHat / Fedora. By the same token, there should have been separate entries for the commercial offerings from Novell (SLES/SLED) and the community-supported distro (OpenSuSE).

Totally agree.

Anonymous's picture

Totally agree.

The taste of Mint

Anonymous's picture

After starting with Slackware back in the early 90s, switching to Caldera, followed by Mandrake, Mandriva, Kubuntu, Ubuntu, I've definitively chosen for Mint. It's very complete 'out of the box' end the Gnome version is modelled in such a way that M$ users can easily get used to it. I've got (K)Ubuntu installed on several other computers, but I spend most of my time at work where I installed Mint (in an M$ predominant environment ):


Why do I use Gentoo?

Anonymous's picture

1. it does what I want it to do and only that
2. great Community
3. it has lots of tools to make software install easy
4. follows Linux Standards
5. supports nearly all architectures
6. if you have to, it has per default all tools to build software yourself
7. the system is highly customizable (it's all about choice)
8. fast and reliable

Ubuntu is just right

Anonymous's picture

I've used a lot of flavors of Linux over the years. Ubuntu gives me the features I need in a Debian-based distro that just gets out of the way and lets me work. I'm tired of being on the bleeding edge, so I stick with the LTS releases.

Ubuntu suits me very well at this point in my life.


Anonymous's picture

Why I use fedora?
It is a solid distribution, which for tracks new development comfortably close to the edge. :) I get to play with the fun new toys, while still being able to get work done. Fedora works to push open formats forward. Packaging is usually very good. Upgrades have been improving steadily. And stuff gets submitted upstream.


Anonymous's picture

Starting with slackware in 1996 and I love the simplicity,
You know what and where things are done and how you can use it.

Linux Mint 7

Anonymous's picture

I've tried Ubuntu 9.10, Fedora 12, OpenSuSE and many other recent distributions but none of them play nicely with my "legacy" ATI graphics card and/or Broadcom 4312 wireless adapter. I think ATI made a big mistake in cutting support for their older chips because it has left many users of both Linux and Windows stranded without decent 3D drivers.

I'm sticking with my LM7 + Xorg 1.5.2 + last ATI proprietary drivers. I hope to be able to upgrade to a newer system but only when the open-source drivers are good enough.

I'll be making backup systems in case Ubuntu take their intrepid repos offline!!