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What Linux Distro Should You Use? The Best Linux Distributions

What are the best Linux distributions? Let’s look at four distros that we feel are the best available for general needs – secure, stable, and reliable.

  • About Linux
  • Best Linux Server Distros for You
  • Flavor #1 – Ubuntu
  • Flavor #2 – CentOS
  • Flavor #3 – Debian
  • Flavor #4 – Fedora
  • Deploying Your Linux Server

About Linux

As an operating system (OS), Linux is software that allows programs and the user to access the computer’s hardware and perform tasks. The OS sends directions from a program to the central processing unit (CPU), for example. Once the assigned work is completed, the CPU gets the data to the OS for transfer back to the program. The OS is like a mediator.

As opposed to OS X and Windows, Linux is developed and supported through the open-source community. “Companies participating in the Linux economy share research and development costs with their partners and competitors,” explains the Linux Foundation. “This spreading of development burden amongst individuals and companies has resulted in a large and efficient ecosystem and unheralded software innovation.”

Customization – the ability to have control over the features and settings of your OS – is an essential positive of Linux distributions. While OS X and Windows are set in stone, Linux is user-friendly in the sense that you can change the environment to better meet the requirements of a given situation.

Every distribution is based on the Linux kernel, with elements chosen by the developers layered on top. The majority of Linux users try out various flavors before finding one that they really enjoy.

Best Linux Server Distros for You

Let’s look at Linux servers that we feel stand out as the most robust and widely used. Each of these distros is a secure and stable option for private Cloud Hosting.

Flavor #1 – Ubuntu

Ubuntu is an ancient African expression that describes feeling empathy or as though your selfhood arises from the strengths of the group.

Ubuntu was developed in 2004 from another Linux distro, Debian (below), by Mark Shuttleworth and his team. He was specifically interested in making the OS more accessible and immediately user-friendly. Ubuntu itself is free, but there are optional services from Canonical available through the OS.

Ubuntu sets itself apart from other flavors by treating every user uniformly. Other commercial distros tend to come in two version, one free and one beefed-up version for enterprises. At Ubuntu, instead, “[t]he commercial and community teams collaborate to produce a single, high-quality release, which receives ongoing maintenance for a defined period,” notes Canonical. “Both the release and ongoing updates are freely available to all users.”

Flavor #2 – CentOS

CentOS uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) as its basis. Also first released in 2004, this distro is free both to download and to distribute. CentOS is developed by a primary team of coders in conjunction with the operating system’s community.

Throughout 2016, the CentOS Project is broadening its game-plan so that it will serve as a community platform for technologies that arise in OpenStack and other settings. The technologies will be accessible via versions of CentOS.

Flavor #3 – Debian

The Debian Project is a group of people who decided to work together to create the free Linux OS Debian.

The Debian OS can be based on the kernel of either Linux or another open-source OS, FreeBSD. Debian developers are currently developing Debian for placement with other kernels – especially the Hurd, which is a free program from the GNU project. Many of the tools that perform essential tasks within the OS are from GNU as well.

More than anything, people who are exploring different Linux flavors want to know what they can achieve with the software via applications, such as editing documents or managing customer accounts. “Debian comes with over 43000 packages…, a package manager (APT), and other utilities that make it possible to manage thousands of packages on thousands of computers as easily as installing a single application,” notes the Debian Project. All of these elements are distributed free of charge.

Flavor #4 – Fedora

Fedora is a widely used Linux OS – actually the second most popular distro behind Ubuntu, according to TechTarget. Its primary focus is to be a secure OS for everyday use. It is released twice a year via the Fedora Project, which is sponsored and managed by Red Hat.

The Fedora Project develops the Fedora OS. The mission of the Fedora Project is three-fold:

1.    Be ahead of the pack.

2.    Always focus on developing enhancing, and distributing free code and content.

3.    Recognize (as with the ubuntu word origin) that the ecosystem succeeds through the work of the entire community.

Fedora isn’t just the operating system itself but the context of its integrated user base. “It is a community of contributors from around the world, including volunteers and Red Hat employees, who work with each other to advance the interests of the free culture movement,” explains the project’s wiki.

Deploying Your Linux Server

Are you looking to deploy a Linux cloud server for your project? At Atlantic.Net, we offer all the above distros running on cloud servers backed by 100% enterprise-grade SSD storage. Get reliable Linux Cloud Hosting up in 30 seconds.

Linux cloud server hosting services are only one of our offerings – we also offer dedicated hosting, managed hosting, and HIPAA-compliant cloud hosting.

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