6 Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Linux Distro
Linux is a modern operating system that shares many similarities with Unix. Linux is fast, reliable and very stable. It is also easy to use and suitable for both home and professional use.
With hundreds of Linux distros available online, it’s not always easy to find the perfect distro that matches your requirements and needs. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a Linux distro for yourself.
One of the main reasons you have a PC is to use it for a specific set of tasks, whether it’s general personal or business use. Whether you’re an artist, software developer, or ethical hacker, Linux has you covered.
Here are some awesome Linux distros that are perfect for a specific set of tasks:
- Ubuntu: Widely used by software engineers and IT administrators. But is also great for people new to Linux. It is easy to use and comes with lots of software development tools.
- Pop_OS! : Yet another great looking and modern Linux distro. It is ideal for engineers and general users.
- ArchLinux: A distro that comes with the bare minimum. It is loved and widely used by geeks and people who like to tinker and have full control over their machines.
- Felt: Ideal for enterprises, small businesses, and system administrators who want a reliable operating system at no cost.
- Kali Linux: A very secure distro that includes lots of computer security and penetration testing tools. It is the ideal choice for ethical hackers and security professionals.
Linux is a preferred server operating system because it is lightweight, stable, and robust. Plus, it’s easy to configure and automate things in Linux. Overall, maintaining a Linux server costs less.
Linux servers power some of the most advanced supercomputers and enterprise servers. Some excellent distros for servers are RHEL, Ubuntu Server, Fedora, Debian, CentOS, Oracle Linux, etc.
2. Hardware Requirements
Linux is a very lightweight operating system kernel that works with minimal hardware resources. It is also supported on several hardware architectures, including the ARM-based processors found in Raspberry Pi as well as the Intel-based architecture. Even better, distros like Asahi Linux can run natively on new Apple Silicon ARM chips.
If you’re having performance issues due to minimal or limited hardware resources on your PC, Linux could be the lifesaver. You can easily bring your old PC back to life by installing a lightweight Linux distribution such as Tiny Core Linux, Xubuntu, Alpine Linux, etc.
Lubuntu, for example, is an excellent lightweight distro supported on both 32-bit and 64-bit PCs. It comes with apps that don’t consume a lot of resources and is fast and responsive even on older machines.
Most lightweight Linux distributions run efficiently on PCs with less than 1GB of RAM and require a minimum of 8GB of disk space. Linux Lite is another great option, and you don’t need an internet connection to set it up and install it.
3. Software Support
Let’s face it, even though Linux is stable and robust, you can still run into technical issues at some point. For businesses or individuals who use mission-critical systems, downtime translates into lost money and lost business.
You can pay for software or support service to get the much-needed support and help when your Linux system encounters technical difficulties. RHEL is widely used by businesses for this very reason. You get the same, if not better, kind of support as you would with Windows or macOS at a fraction of the cost.
Ubuntu is another distro that offers software support in exchange for a service fee. With the Ubuntu Advantage service, customers get 24/7 support, security, and extensive LTS support from Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu).
Other distributions such as Zorin OS also offer more advanced features, applications, and configurations for users or businesses who pay a fee for the Pro version of the operating system.
Linux is generally a very stable operating system, but some Linux distributions emphasize stability even more than others. Examples of these distributions are Debian, openSUSE, Linux Mint and RHEL.
Unlike other distributions which have specific release cycles, Debian only releases thoroughly tested and stable versions. This is in stark contrast to state-of-the-art distros such as Arch Linux, which constantly release new software updates throughout the year.
If you have mission-critical systems or projects on your PC and stability is a priority, it’s best to stay away from state-of-the-art distros like Arch Linux, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Debian sid, etc. latest features for testing purposes.
5. Documentation and community support
Before diving in and installing a distro, it is important to review the documentation provided on the distro’s official page. Some of the important things that should be documented are installation, configuration, and general tutorials on how best to use the operating system.
Besides documentation, you should also look to use a distro that has a large community on platforms such as Stack Overflow, where you can easily get help or answers from users who are using the same Linux distro as you. . In short, the bigger the community, the better. A large audience could be a good sign that the cast will have a long lifespan.
6. Previous experience with Linux
Contrary to what most people think, Linux isn’t just for technicians. It is relatively easy to use and to make it even better, there are some Linux distros for people who are moving from Windows or macOS.
Linux offers an advanced package management system, security, and a wide selection of free apps for everyday use and advanced tasks like video editing, image manipulation, word processing, and more.
Distributions such as Zorin OS, Linux Mint, and elementary operating systems are specially designed to ease the transition of users from macOS and Windows to Linux.
Choosing a Linux distribution is easy!
Linux is an awesome and stable operating system, but not only that, you can choose the Linux distro that best suits your needs.
If you’ve ever wanted to switch to Linux, there’s never been a better time. You can choose your distribution today and take the leap.