Are you a programmer looking to switch to a Linux distribution? Look no further. Linux is a kernel and its distributions are built on top of it. These distributions are nothing but operating systems. Developers love Linux because it’s fast, secure, and free. Being open-source there is great community support as compared to other OS like Windows.
Top Linux Distributions for Programming
If you are new to Linux and are confused about which distro to install for your programming stuff this article will interest you.
Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distro among developers with wide community support. It is the most user-friendly distribution. It is suitable for any beginner or advanced level developer to achieve any task. Installing applications is really easy here thanks to the ubuntu store which lets you install packages with one click. It is a Debian-based OS and has huge community support. If any problems arise there are 99.99 % chances you will find the answer on the internet.
Fedora is a user-friendly and powerful operating system build for students and developers in a corporate environment. While coding fedora focuses on you so that you can focus on your code without any distractions. Fedora has its own open-source applications. There is great support for virtualization if you are interested in testing different operating systems. Fedora has great community support so you are most likely to get an answer quickly to your question on the discussion forum.
If you are looking for a beautiful environment to work in, Manjaro might be the right choice. Manjaro has official three flavors – Plasma, XFCE, and Gnome. Manjaro has great support for ARM devices like raspberry pi, If you are planning to start coding on raspberry pi go for Manjaro. It is an Arch-based OS. This is the best distro for programmers who are looking to enter the Arch-based OS. Support for the open-source applications is great in Majaro. You can have a look for the necessary tools you will need in the Software Center.
System76 brought Pop!OS, which is based on Ubuntu. Although it is a general-purpose distribution this OS is the best choice for programmers who work in the daytime and play games at night. Best for beginners as it has good support for out-of-the-box software with the help of flatpak and good driver support.
Reading the name Raspbian you may be thinking of raspberry pi. Yes, you guessed it right – Raspbian is the official OS for the raspberry pi board. But the company has also released a desktop version of Raspbian after being so popular. Raspbian is a very lightweight general-purpose distribution based on Debian. Before installing it on your Pi you can always try the desktop version. Or just use the desktop version on a low-end system.
Debian is an OS on which various other distributions are based like Ubuntu and Raspbian. Although it has great software support, I will not recommend it for beginners because it is a very raw OS. You will need to configure and install packages correctly before any development task. On the other hand, the requirements for Debian are very less, so it can work smoothly on an old laptop or computer.
7) Arch Linux
Arch is another popular distribution like Debian. Arch has a different approach than other distributions. It gives users full control over the OS. A user can customize it from scratch. It is so raw that you need to configure each and every setting while installing it on your system. Initially, there is no UI for the user, you need to manually install a desktop environment. Therefore, most advanced users use this distribution to get full control over their system.
8) Zorin OS
If you love Linux, but want to feel like windows while working Zorin os might be the best choice. It is a distribution built on top of ubuntu. It is easy to use and best for beginners to start their coding. While having minimum requirements there are versions for you to choose from like the school version, lite version, and pro version. It is highly customizable
9) Kali Linux
Kali is a famous operating system and is mostly referred to as a “hacking OS”. It’s because it has almost every tool required for pen-testing, networking, and forensics. It is based on the stable branch of Debian. Obviously, this distribution is not recommended for beginners as there are too many things to handle while installing and using Kali. It is the best OS for ethical hackers or pen testers as they need to use hacking tools as well as develop scripts.
Which is the best Linux distro for programming?
There is no such thing as the best OS. It depends on how you want the OS to be like – does it require less space or more, great community support in case of errors while using, the overall look and feel, is there any driver support, etc.
And most importantly your system architecture. In my preference, Ubuntu will be the best choice for any level programmer as used widely as well as in industries. It is highly customizable and supports many desktop environments like Gnome, etc. Ubuntu is so popular that almost any tutorial related to it can be found on the internet.
And if you are not sure which distribution to choose, try them out on a virtual box to test them first before installing them. Dual boot is also a great way to work around it as we get to keep Windows as a backup.
Every distribution has its own advantages and disadvantages. Almost any Linux OS can be transformed into a programming workstation. I have only listed distributions that most users find more convenient to use with great community support.
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