Ever stuck in the endless loop of having to switch between multiple Linux distributions for months? You might want to explore all of the options available in search of the best, but with so many distros to try out, it seems like an impossible task.
While new operating systems can be fun to install and test, settling for a feature-rich Linux distribution that suits your needs is far better than going on a wild goose hunt.
Let's dive deep into distro hopping and learn how to put an end to it by finding a perfect Linux distro for yourself.
What is distro hopping?
Distro hopping is the activity in which Linux users frequently switch between multiple distributions, mainly to find the best distribution for themselves. But distro hopping can also be a hobby for users who enjoy trying out different systems, testing their functions, and exploring the near-infinite world of Linux operating systems.
The main reason for distro hopping is the myriad of distributions available for free on the internet. Although the kernel behind these operating systems is the same (Linux), each distribution is a little different from the other in some respects. You can find Linux distributions for developers, music producers, artists, and more.
Put simply, Linux distros are like candy in a jar, you don't know which one tastes best until you've tried them all.
How to stop distro hopping
While distro hopping is not a bad practice and does not harm anyone, it can quickly become routine if ignored. You can easily spend months and years installing the latest distributions on your computer and still end up with nowhere.
Because of this, it's important to choose an ideal Linux distribution for yourself that you can fall back on if you want stability and convenience.
1. Check why you are switching distributions
The main tip that will help you get started with a Linux distribution is to think carefully about why you are using distro hop in the first place. Perhaps you want a stable system that won't give up when you need it most. Or maybe you are looking for a distribution that follows a rolling release distribution model so that you always get the latest updates.
Even minor reasons to switch distributions are acceptable. Maybe you don't like the look of a particular distro, or the name doesn't get you going, that's perfectly fine. But don't stop at paying attention to the smallest details that you can compromise on. Also, think about the main problems you have with the distributions you have installed, such as: B. Package manager, technical complexity, poor documentation, etc.
Introspection can sometimes help you narrow down your choices. For example, if you want your desktop to be minimal, you can try Arch Linux. But Arch is not for the faint of heart, and you'll have trouble installing and setting it up if you're a beginner.
Even then, if you want an Arch-based distribution, you can go for Manjaro Linux, an easy-to-use operating system.
2. List your needs and preferences
Making a list of your expectations of an "ideal" operating system will help you move closer to your ultimate goal; H. finding the best Linux distro for yourself. You can also list the problems you have had with distributions you have already tried.
Here are a few items you can add to your list:
I don't like the standard package manager
Too technical for me OR need an easy to use system
The desktop environment is not comfortable
Do you want a minimal system with no bloatware
You will need a Windows-like Linux distribution
When you have finished making the list, try looking for the best distribution for each of the items you mentioned. Let's say that if pacman (the default package manager on Arch-based distributions) doesn't suit your needs, you'll need to switch to a Debian- or RHEL-based Linux distribution instead. This excludes Arch Linux and its derivatives and further narrows the distribution catalog, making it easier for you to choose.
At the end, take a look at the distributions in your list and the one that comes up the most is probably the best distribution for you.
3. Choose your primary distribution family
Although there are thousands of Linux-based operating systems to try, most of them come from three "primary" Linux distributions, namely Debian, Arch Linux, and Fedora. If you look at the GNU distribution timeline from Wikipedia, you will find that most distributions are derived from some base operating systems (for example, Slackware, Debian, and Arch).
The GNU distribution split came about because each primary distribution was different from the other in some respects. To name a few:
- Package manager: Debian uses APT as its package manager, while Arch and Fedora use pacman and DNF to manage packages.
- Software distribution: Arch Linux follows a rolling release model, which means you'll get the update as soon as the developer releases one. On the other hand, Fedora and Debian both offer long-term support for their stable releases.
In the end, whatever Linux distribution you install will be based on either Debian, Arch, or Fedora. So it's a good idea to pick up a team before digging any further down. You can also use either Gentoo or openSUSE, but that is unlikely.
4. Find a comfortable desktop environment
In the end, once you know which distro to stick with, it's time to pick a desktop environment that you can personalize. The most popular are KDE Plasma, GNOME, Xfce, etc. You can opt for a different desktop environment if you have one in mind.
- KDE plasma: It's a highly customizable desktop environment that gives you the choice to personalize almost every aspect of the desktop.
- GNOME: It is preinstalled on Ubuntu and is known for its stability and error-free workflow.
- Xfce: If you have a computer with less memory, you need a lightweight desktop for your system and Xfce has that need for you.
Choosing the right Linux distribution for yourself
When someone steps into the open source software community, the first operating system they hear about is Linux. But what they don't know is that it is not easy to find a Linux distribution that ticks all the boxes.
But with the right expectations in mind, you can quickly make a list and choose an operating system that will last for years, if not decades. The best thing about Linux is that you can find a distribution for just about anyone, including developers and artists.
10 best Linux distributions for developers
Are you ready to start developing on an open source operating system? Here are the best Linux distributions for programming.
About the author
(88 published articles)
Deepesh is Junior Editor for Linux at MUO. He writes informational guides on Linux with the aim of providing a blissful experience for all newbies. I'm not sure about movies, but if you want to talk about technology, he's your man. In his spare time he can be found reading books, listening to different genres of music, or playing guitar.
From Deepesh Sharma
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