A Guide to Today's Top 10 Linux Distributions
One of the most confusing things for the newcomer to Linux is how many distributions, or versions, of the operating system there are. Ubuntu is the one most people have heard of, but there are hundreds of others as well, each offering some variant on the basic Linux theme.
What follows, then, is a roundup of sorts of the top 10 Linux distributions today.
Yes, Ubuntu has become the poster child for Linux these days, and no wonder--it's the most popular distro by far, garnering more than 2,200 hits per day on the Distrowatch site alone, compared with some 1,400 for Fedora, the No. 2 contender.
Ubuntu is actually a relatively late arrival on the Linux scene, having been announced in just 2004, but it's more than made up for that shorter history. Founded by South African millionaire Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical--the company behind Ubuntu--for many years shipped Ubuntu CDs to interested users for free, thus speeding its market penetration.
Fedora is the free version of Red Hat, whose RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) has been a commercial product since 2003. Because of that close connection, Fedora is particularly strong on enterprise features, and it often offers them before RHEL does.