Which Linux distribution do you primarily use on your Linux desktop?

I don't use Linux on my desktop
5% (1174 votes)
13% (3321 votes)
8% (2051 votes)
2% (590 votes)
9% (2404 votes)
Red Hat
3% (881 votes)
5% (1319 votes)
17% (4397 votes)
3% (739 votes)
4% (914 votes)
11% (2886 votes)
1% (235 votes)
19% (4980 votes)
Total votes: 25891
Carlie Fairchild - Thu, 2020-11-18 09:29.

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The mepis correction

It's not just my opinion. Mepis is on the Top Ten list at DistroWatch.

There's more. I think those who have discovered mepis and use it, would vote for "Other" or "Debian" in the poll. Therefore those choices together could put mepis over the top. So any major distro that is left out makes the poll useless at best.

I know every distro can not be on the short list. Mepis should be.

Mepis is the star of the newbie. So this is very strange.

NeoTux (not verified) - Wed, 2020-12-08 12:17.

I agree.

I'm a newbie Linux user and I was having a hell of a time finding a distro that would just "work" right out of the box. I tried a tonne of distributions in my search for the perfect one, but each had at least one major fault that made it unusable to me. The list includes Red Hat (some time ago, before Fedora), Knoppix, Morphix, Ubuntu, Mandrake, SUSE, and Linspire.

I was getting frustrated and discouraged to the point of giving up when, just recently, I stumpled upon MEPIS. To put it simply: I was absolutely blown away. It's surprisingly easy to install, has great hardware support, comes with a nice collection of software and tools, and is quite stable. My search for the perfect distribution is over. I'd recommend it to any new Linux user.

anjori (not verified) - Wed, 2021-01-12 19:10.

Mepis is the best

Mepis is absolutely the best distro I've come across yet. I'm relatively new to Linux which is why I love Mepis so much. I've tried Red Hat, Linspire, Mandrake, and Mepis before choosing Mepis. Red Hat just didn't suit me as a desktop OS. Linspire is ok, but it's not free and they're all about paid subscritions for updates. Mandrake is good, but it can get confusing and is not exactly newbie friendly. Mepis blew them all away. It had better hardware detection and driver support than all the others. Installing it was a snap and there were no problems. I like it because it doesn't require a whole lot of user-intervention to do simple tasks; it does them for you. It worked right out of the box and setting up my wireless connection was pretty easy. If you're considering trying a Linux distro, I'd definitely recommend giving SimplyMepis 2004 a shot. Try some of the others first and you'll understand why I say it's the best for newbies.

axel_2078 (not verified) - M - , 2021-01-24 20:59.

Linux version used.

Slackware it is. Had Debian for two years or so (Slink->Potato->Woody), then Slacked my way in, been running it since 9.0.

Eg - Spengler (not verified) - M - , 2020-12-06 22:18.


I use BeatrIX mostly because it is so fast and lets me pick what I want instead of subtracting what I don't want.

I use Ubuntu to learn what I want to add to Bea and how to do it.

There are others that I would try but I do not like kde. I like my distro simple, easy to use and that is BeatrIX.


CAPTAIN RON (not verified) - Sun, 2021-02-20 10:19.

Kinda reminds me of that old "Bayer" commercial ...

Break up Red Hat and Fedora, so they are each less. ;->

If you're going to break up the two, then you should break up SuSE's two lines as well, among others.

Bryan J. Smith (not verified) - M - , 2020-11-22 20:41.

You may find it interesting

You may find it interesting to check out some relevant pages in the field of... Thanks!!!

An - ymous - Wed, 2020-06-15 07:50.


I Just started using linux two weeks ago. I started with DAMN SMALL LINUX. I liked it alot. Then I tried KNOPPIX 3.6, KANOTIX, SIMPLY MEPIS { like it a lot too],PC LINUX [liked it too] UBUNTU LIVE, and MANDRAKE MOVE. I then put UBUNTU on my hard drive. Could not get everything to work even though it did with the live version. Replaced it with Mandrake 10.1ce. That is the one I have right now and like. I did try UBUNTU again after some updates and it is working. I have XANDROS, YOPER, freeBDS, FEDORA, REDHAT 9, VECTOR 4.3, and GENTOO waiting in the wings to try. But still I am using Mandrake 10.1 ce because of the help I am able to get from the forums. The only problem I see with MANDRAKE 10.1ce is how long it takes to boot up from the time I choose linux over windows ME. I dual boot. ME boots a lot faster. Also it has to be shut down manually after giving the kill signal. I have to hold the button in for about 10 seconds to end it. I will probably try FEDORA and REHAT because of all the books on them I can get from the local library.

Captain R - (not verified) - M - , 2020-11-22 14:59.

RE: Not Sure

I then put UBUNTU on my hard drive. Could not get everything to work even though it did with the live version.

Captain Sir,

I have had the same experience with the LiveCDs I have HD installed. With the notable execption of Damn Small Linux, DSL. I installed it on this little 486 laptop of mine after Slackware 96 started showing its age. I have been very happy with it as a modern Linux for older lower resource machines like this. With Fluxbox as the window manager, even the limitation of 640x480 graphics is tolerable. And I should note that the 640x480 is the limitation of my LCD display, not DSL.

Kevin Hudson

Kevin Huds - (not verified) - M - , 2021-01-10 21:25.

Where are: Mepis and Kanotix ? ?

Where are: Mepis and Kanotix ? ?

Now using Kanotix LiveCD (which includes Persistent Home & Save Config features) and Linspire LiveCD...

Awaiting newer version of Simply Mepis LiveCD, which is planned to include Persistent Home & Save Config features.

Since I run "diskless" (with OS on CD and saving files & configs to USB-memory key), I much prefer those distros which offer ease of use under those conditions.

Going for annual subscription to TUX...

wsg (not verified) - M - , 2020-11-22 06:49.

Kanotix - Knoppix Debian for your hard disk

Kanotix takes a bit of experience to get it running on your hard disk - but is easier than the Knoppix HD install and is 100% cutting edge Debian.

Beatrix is great for cats.

Puppy Linux will run without a Hard disk and is faster because all its programs run from RAM. There is nothing faster.

Public domain time travel Linux will be based on Puppy

Lobster (not verified) - Wed, 2021-03-09 15:59.


Will Tmxxine Linux contain the ASQ language?

An - y mouse (not verified) - Thu, 2021-04-07 02:16.

No it contains the enviroment

No it contains the enviroment for the development of ASQ

Ed Jas - (not verified) - Thu, 2020-06-23 03:54.

I agree with many others... u

I agree with many others... ubuntu is a very nice distro... it should have been included in the poll

cheers - pistooli

Pistooli (not verified) - Sun, 2020-11-21 08:18.

I'd prefer Redhat but Mandrake has more "in the box"

I currently using Mandrake after trying Redhat (Fedora). In setting up a desktop, everything you need should be "in the box". With Redhat you have to download mp3 programs and other elements just to get basic functions. If Redhat ever gets over it's phobias I'd probably switch back again.

But Mandrake is good despite the default being KDE. I not saying anything bad about KDE, it's just that Gnome has a look and feel more consistent with business and everyday use. KDE seems to have the look and feel associated with hobbyists.

Anyway, just my HO.

Greg Smith (not verified) - Fri, 2020-11-19 17:33.


Unbuntu is an excellent desktop linux distribution, it shouldnt have been overlooked in this poll!

SegPhault (not verified) - Fri, 2020-11-19 16:16.

Too late for "how familiar"...

I bought my first (and up to now only) own computer (A laptop, Mitac 8375) in january 2004. I had no experience with operating systems at all, was a "mouse-pusher" on the computers in my company, didn't like Bill Gates, had heard that somethin like "Linux" exists. A SuSE 9.0 installed nearly without problems (Monitor frequencies; Knoppix could help). Since Windows XP refused to be comprimed to less then 20 GB on the hard disk (5 GB I would have accepted), I deletet it totally, and I don't regret that. For the internal 56 K softmodem I had to search and install the appropriate driver (pctel-0.9.6), and now I don't fear tarballs any more.
Primary uses of my laptop: www-terminal, typewriter, dvb (Some more tarballs...). So I think I am one of those people you want to reach with your magazine.
Regards Ludwig

Ludwig Gebauer (not verified) - Fri, 2020-11-19 14:13.

56k Modem

I have a question for Mr. Gebauer, if you don't mind answering, or anyone else who has feedback. I understand that you are using an internal 56 K modem. I am wondering, Which ISP are you using?


Chris (not verified) - Sun, 2020-11-21 16:23.

Chris: The ISP shouldn't m


The ISP shouldn't matter. Pick one that you like and can afford, and sign up. If the modem works with one ISP, it should work with others as well.


Frank_B (not verified) - M - , 2020-11-22 21:34.

Best for businesses

Since it's likely that this site is primarily visited by techies I understand the poll's breakdown of votes. However, as someone who tests different distros as part of his job, I have to say that the best "desktop" Linux distros are Xandros, Lycoris and, to an extent, Linspire. Mandrake and SUSE are good but still need a bit to much user intervention. Fedora is great for developers and techies while the Debian based distros are wonderful for, well, I haven't quite figured that out yet. They do so many things so good it's hard to pin them down. Ubuntu is looking like it will be a very good desktop option in a few years. We all know about Knoppix and it's clones. Debian based distros, especially Debian itself, make superb servers. The source based distros, such as Gentoo, Luner Linux and the like, will never be business desktops. Or home user ones for that matter. Way to much user intervention.

All this said, I do not like Debian and it's derivatives for my personal use, either for home or work. As stated above I do not question their technical capabilities at all. I am just not happy with the way the deb packages are made. It's just a personal choice. Just like the choice that makes me prefer Thai food over French food. Personal taste.

An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2020-11-19 10:57.

best for business?

Depends - if you want out of the box performance for multimedia purposes then Linspire, Xandros et al might be what you want. But beware - they are not 100% compatible with Debian and will break if you fiddle with /etc/apt/sources.list and /etc/apt/preferences. That they both customise the GUI to appeal to ex Windows refugees is nice, but you're very limited. Try updating the Desktop environment (KDE etc) to something later and you lose ALL of the custom GUI enhancements. Not great if you ask me.

I use Libranet GNU/Linux 2.8.1 and it runs fine. It does take some more effort to set up, and of course more time, but it runs, runs well and there's no proprietary lock in. It's 100% compatible with Debians repositories. From what i've heard, both Xandros and Linspires support has been wanting (however the respective user forums are very good).

Debians apt-get and dpkg utilities are the BEST in the business. RPM is simply shockingly disgraceful. If you don't believe me why are so many RPM distros going to apt-get and yum? You seem to dislike Debian because it's not a "multimedia" distro. Sure, out of the box it isn't, but you could, with effort make it so.

Dave W Pastern

PS - No i'm not a paid shill of Libranet! I'm just a very happy user.

David Pastern (not verified) - Tue, 2020-11-23 19:58.

Debian not "multimedia"?

I must say I'm confused by this. The official Debian repositories have tons of "multimedia" applications, and although the Debian Free Software policy means that the official repositories cannot contain encumbered software, like MPlayer as an example off the top of my head, when a user is ready to go looking for a specific piece of software they will also have enough experience to add the unofficial repository to the /etc/apt/sources.list and have the non-Debian-official applications (and all their dependencies!) available seamlessly.

Don't forget that Debian has a little package called "RPM", which will install .rpm packages to run seamlessly, if there is a need for something that only comes in an .rpm package.

Oh well, as others have said, Linux distributions are like cars. They all get you where you want to go, but no two people like the same cars.

BobRoberts - (not verified) - M - , 2021-02-14 12:40.

I'm a Xandros user, just upgr

I'm a Xandros user, just upgraded to 3.0 which is really excellent. Personally I have no complaints about the tech support. On the rare occasions where I haven't been able to find the information I need on the user's group, the tech support has come through for me very well.

Xandros has now added VPN, removing another reason for not jumping to Linux. If we can just get some high-end Cad developers into the Linux mode I can say goodbye to M$ for good!

DaveB (not verified) - Tue, 2020-12-14 09:20.

Strange that you would say th

Strange that you would say that you don't like Debian, but yet you like Xandros and Linspire -- both Debian-based distros. :) Libranet is another one that is a good and simple desktop -- again, Debian based.


Frank_B (not verified) - M - , 2020-11-22 21:44.

Which Linux Distribution do you use on Desktop

I use Linspire having moved from windowsxp I like Linspire for its ease of installation and for the small cost of the CNR technology which gives me great choice of programs to use from the warehouse and which down;oad and install and are usable from installatioon. I am also impressed with the acrobat reader whic I use for pdf files on CD's for doing Family History research. Also the Linspire internet suite with ts spell checker and calendar and web searcher have proved in valuable and of course open office 1.1, so I would never go back to XP and I am learining from the friendly foruns how to get the most out of the Distribution. I also emjoyed the quick start audio tutorials. It really is a case of what you want to use I would say this Distro is ideal for newbies to Linux.


Cobden (not verified) - Fri, 2020-12-03 07:08.

Linux Desktop

I've been using Redhat/Fedora since 5.2, but I'm looking to change. After reading about SuSE's newest version I think I'll give them a try.

aTypical (not verified) - Fri, 2020-11-19 09:43.

re: Linux Desktop

I also used Redhat/Fedora since version 5.2, recently though I switched from Fedora to Ubuntu (debian based) and really like it.

chip (not verified) - Fri, 2020-11-19 11:23.

Re: Linux distribution

I personally use Slackware since I understand it. But I have used SuSE and Fedora as well. A friend of mine says Ubuntu rocks.

troy (not verified) - Fri, 2020-11-19 09:00.

Yes, Ubuntu needs to be on th

Yes, Ubuntu needs to be on the list! Fast, light, polished and the easiest distro I have ever used. Everything "just works"!! Its the distro to watch.

Jeff Johnst - (not verified) - Fri, 2020-11-19 07:41.

Missing ubuntu as an alternat

Missing ubuntu as an alternative.. !

An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2020-11-19 06:31.

Depends on the hardware and the project

Which distribution I use often depends on the hardware I'm running Linux on and the kind of project it's being used for.

I run a low volume LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl) server on a Debian box which has only been down due to a building power failure. This box is an experimental server for a few people in a non-profit organization.

At home I have a Celeron 466MHz box with 384MB RAM that runs Fedora Core 2. I use to use this box as my main system, but since I bought a Compaq Armada E500 1GHz notebook which runs SuSE 9.1 and Fedora Core 2, this box has been relegated to a backup machine.

SuSE 9.1 runs beautifully on the E500, though I'd like to point out that Knoppix 3.6 runs really nicely on this machine as well. I used Knoppix 3.6 when I went laptop hunting.

Charles McColm (not verified) - Fri, 2020-11-19 00:45.

re: which linux distribution?

I've just moved over to Ubuntu from Debian, and I love it!

An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2020-11-19 00:05.


Mepis 2004.4. It found all my hardware on all my systems and plays most, if not all of the various formats of stuff on the net ( wma, realplayer, etc ).
It's Debian-based, so package management is not a chore ( apt-get upgrade, badda-BING, you are done )
It's easy to upgrade components, and Mepis comes out with a new version every so often, so they keep up with new hardware out-of-the-box.

Terry Egan (not verified) - Thu, 2020-11-18 23:31.

Libranet Is a Good For Newbies

The installation routine can be handled by a total beginner! The e-mail list is top-notch, and tolerant of newbies. A+ in my book.

Steve Haines (not verified) - Thu, 2020-11-18 18:19.


I am surprised that Mepis is not on the list!
I have had my best result with n00bies using this.
(Love Debian myself!)

Tux! Very Cool!
Signing up today!

Thanks! ..geo...

..geo... (not verified) - Thu, 2020-11-18 14:15.

If I ever decided to switch f

If I ever decided to switch from Mandrake to Debian, I would use Mepis.

An - ymous (not verified) - Thu, 2020-11-18 14:42.

Fav distro

I have pretty much switched from Mandrake to Kanotix, which is a Knoppix based Live CD that can be installed to HD. It uses all the very latest Linux goodies (kernal 2.6, latest KDE. OOO, GIMP, Scribus, but no Gnome). It comes with TONS of software and can access Debian repositories for more. Best of all it detected ALL my hardware. MDK 10 REALLY disappointed me due to the very limited amount of software that was installed. Since Kanotix AND all the software fits on one CD it is fast to download, fast to install and even runs very fast for a live CD. When installed to HD, it boots much faster than MDK10. BTW the latter would not install on one of my machines, but Kanotix had no problem at all. I also run Xandros and MDK 9.2. But the latter will probably be wiped. I much prefer the Debian package manager to RPM since it pretty much ALWAYS works and does everything with no problems.

Joe Tamai (not verified) - Sat, 2020-11-20 12:19.

"MDK 10 REALLY disappointed

"MDK 10 REALLY disappointed me due to the very limited amount of software that was installed. Since Kanotix AND all the software fits on one CD it is fast to download"

Does this make any sense? MDK 10 really disappointed you because of the limited amount of software but it comes with 4 CDs of software and urpmi mirrors that add another couple of GBs. Kanotix includes all the software on one CD and has more?

Most people don't set up their sources on Mandrake which is a shame as it acts just like debian when you do that. urpmi downloads the package from an ftp site, calculates dependancies, downloads them if needed and installs everything. If you want to do an entire update to your system just do a urpmi --auto-select and it updates "world". If you want to upgrade to a new version just change your sources to the new version, urpmi.update -a, then urpmi --auto-select and it ugrades to the new release. I've upgraded from 8.1->8.2->9.0->9.2->10.0->10.1 using this method without reinstalling.
Mandrake isn't perfect but starting with 10.0 I would put it in front of a Windows user without worrying too much.


Grant McWilliams (not verified) - Sun, 2020-11-28 15:00.

I Love Mepis

This Newbie loves Mepis ... I've tried the rest and now I'm running the BEST! :-)


Wayne Whalen (not verified) - M - , 2020-12-06 15:12.

Libranet overall, SimplyMEPIS for the desk

I've been a big Debian fan ever since getting a hold of Libranet about three years ago. Libranet is a terrific all around system. It's free for the download at http://www.libranet.com/trial_download.html. Libranet 2.8.1 is freely available. Libranet 3.0 is about to begin Beta testing within a week, and following successful testing, will become commercially available. It's the best system around for hobbyists and enthusiasts who use a desktop. SimplyMEPIS is the best thing for people who just want a preconfigured system that is easy to install and use. Both have really solid software and are flexible and very capable.

Brian Masinick (not verified) - Fri, 2020-12-17 19:20.


i agrre i have used suse red hat 9 mebis and mandrake and i would say libranet is the bestoverall in my opion many choice of browsers desktops comes loading with software and is easy to run being fairly new to linux libranet satisfied me where red hat and the others failed me

Ray (not verified) - Fri, 2021-01-28 23:10.

Deb-based Distros Are Best

Since 1998, I've used most of the major distros including the following Debian-based distros over the years: Stormix, Corel, Libranet, Xandros, Knoppix, Lindows/Linspire, Kanotix, Ubuntu. So far the cat's meow is Mepis. Xandros is excellent for beginners, but it is less "Linuxy" than the others. In any case, I highly recommend a Debian-based distro for newbies. One of the most frustrating experiences for newbies is package installation/management. I finally left SuSE, Mandrake, Caldera, etc. due to rpm-dependency hell.
So my recommendation is try a bunch of Debian-based distros. There are several live-CDs that make it easy to try Linux. Use the one that floats your boat.

An - ymous (not verified) - Thu, 2020-12-30 08:48.

3 months ago, I would be in lockstep with you

When I jumped the M$ ship, I thought Linux was going to be my life boat...turns out to be a 5 star cruise ship. After fiddling around with a dozen distros, I ended up with Kanotix becuse of its stability and its debian roots. 3 months ago, if you told me I would ever use anything else than a debian distro, I would have laughed. I'm not laughing now. I had some real problems with Mandrake and it never crossed my mind to revisit it, however a friend pestered me for a month to try PCLinuxOS and I finally did. After a few days of playing with the live-cd, I took the plunge and did a hd install. PCLinuxOS is a Mandrake fork that uses apt/synaptic for package management and has been the most stable and fun distro I have used to date. Now remember, this distro is now just a preview, and it knocks the socks off of the big guys. The repositories are the richest I have ever seen and it is by far the fastest linux distro I have tried. ALL plugins work out of the box and Texstar has ingeniously incorporated the nvidia drivers...you touch nothing and nvidia's full capabilities are at your command. PCLinuxOS will be the top rated distro of 2005...you might wanna take a look at it.

helios (not verified) - Fri, 2021-02-11 08:25.

Red-Hat rulez

I started with MS - about 15 years ago ... but RedHat is by far the most secure system - in my opinion - ...........

An - ymous (not verified) - Wed, 2021-03-09 10:57.


PCLinux is very quick and easy to install, sets up nvidia without having to delve into its innards, and only needs a few "no"'s taken off noauto in the fstab file to give me access to my vfat partitions when I want. It also has RealPlayer for those essential online broadacasts in ram. format. The PCLinux Control is an excellent GUI which works in a very clear and logical fashion for the main tweaks or changes of features to run the computer.

Does very much most of what want it to do without much hassle. Gets my vote for my desktop space, despite trying a lot of other distros. Xandros gets a special mention though, for it's ability to use Win modems.

alinux (not verified) - Thu, 2021-02-24 14:11.

Arch rox!

Having used just about any Linux distro out there I've settled for Arch Linux for all my desktops (including laptops), because it's ages ahead of any binary based distro, while having just a tiny fragment of the (IMO unnecessary) fuss bundled with source based distros.
Needless to say it's ages ahead of popular distros like Mepis/PCLinuxOS/Yoper/Ubuntu, rock solid, extremely fast while keeping itself nicely on the "bleeding edge".
The best n00b friendly distro is IMO Kanotix (just looking like Mepis, but way better) which is a very sofisticated Knoppix spinoff.
For server usage, Slackware still waits for some serious competition (maybe FreeBSD, which ain't Linux).

scarecrow (not verified) - Wed, 2021-03-09 11:03.

Actually, I run Debian at wor

Actually, I run Debian at work and both the KDE and Gnome desktop versions of the Novell Linux Desktop 9 (based on SUSE 9.2) at home a virtual machines in VMware. I also play with an FC3 VM when I have the time.

An - ymous (not verified) - M - , 2020-05-02 16:02.

On Ubuntu and Fedora

Well, am very new to Linux. Read about Knoppix in a recent local papers and downloaded the Live CD version. Pretty good! I managed to get everything done off the Knoppix Live CD!

But Live CDs I think has a disadvantage that everything is temporary. Bookmarks, etc. Even downloads. Unless it is been saved to an external medium. Knoppix uses KDE (Knoppix Starts with K)

Then I ventured to www.Gnome.org and downloaded their "Live-CD" which is essentially a Ubuntu Distro.

Fell in love with it! After a week, I downloaded the Ubuntu HD installation and got it into my HD permanently.

My Buddy reccommended Fedora. I tried, but the wifi did not working on my T41 wireless Radio.

Tad bit dissappointed and reverted back to Ubuntu.

Now he has provided some advise on how to setup my T41 with Fedora by getting the rpms for my Wireless Radio.

Gotta have a go at it again!

Cannot give up on Linux yet. :P

LinuxNewbie (not verified) - Sat, 2020-05-07 08:37.


I keep coming back to Knoppix.

I have spent the last year trying all the latest distros and becoming familiar with Linux. I am so tired of crash/restart (M$). I am migrating my business usage to Open Source apps, and slowly moving to linux.

I was also tired of cleaning up my fathers (76) xp box, and finally blew it (XP) away and installed knoppix HD. He only surfs and sends a few emails, but I was spending many hours each month just keeping his machine running!!!

I also bought a Micron Trek-2 laptop (PII-400) for my wife. Loaded it with HD install of Knoppix and use an SMC USB/Ethernet adapter to hook to the network. She loves it and everything works great in 3 months of daily use.

Now keep in mind that she is just coming back to using a computer after about 8 years of child rearing, and one year back at work. So she is learning Windows and Linux at the same time! By the way, she has no idea how to install a program in either system! (I have to say that I prefer Synaptic for this.)

So far... she is doing great. I guess the point is that these beginner to intermed. users are able to use Linux with no problem at all..... But.... I have been the one to setup and configure for printing etc. and this takes a person that knows a fair bit about what they are doing.

I am now trying to set up DVD and Wireless internet on the laptop... this is way out of the wife's league. I have got the DVD working (with bugs) but the wireless is elusive in spite of my choice of Orinico PCMCIA card etc.

But, this is an old laptop and I can't see that 98 would be so good as knoppix. It runs pretty fast and very stable.


Batto (not verified) - Thu, 2020-05-12 09:39.

Debian wins it, I choose Libranet as my commercial version

I really like many of the Debian implementations, and I can tell you because I've been tracking this very closely, the Debian based distributions have made the most progress of all in terms of making it easier to install and immediately use the system. In that sense, Libranet might not rank at the top of the list, I'd pick SimplyMEPIS as the easiest to install and immediately use. However, Libranet is king of the tools.

Libranet 3.0, released this spring, has gobs of system management tools. The latest version, hands down, beats any other Debian based system for tools, and rivals, and arguably exceeds, the likes of SUSE (YAST is too cumbersome), Red Hat (Kudzu and Anaconda are great for hardware detection, but not as flexible as Libranet or Mandriva in their organization of tools), and Mandriva, once the leader in ease of use and detection, and still a great player, but Libranet provides tools that can manage and upgrade a system, especially on the desktop, quicker and easier.

Moreover, the latest release of Libranet comes with five CDs jammed full of software. You can get more than that from the non commercial Debian archives, but Libranet packages them in such a manner that installation is effortless, whether you are relatively new to computing or an experienced veteran.

If you want great system administration tools and the broadest selection of software included with the system and you are willing to pay for it, Libranet 3.0 is definitely the way to go. If you are cheap (or poor) and you cannot afford the somewhat pricey Libranet 3.0, Libra Systems LTD> is kind enough to make free ISO images available of their previous releases, so Libranet 2.8.1 is free for the taking. Like any good Debian based system, you can make Libranet 2.8.1 run the same applications that you get with Libranet 3.0 if you download all the packages from the "Testing" archives, or, for that matter, from the "Sarge" archives.

If you don't care about system administration or a lot of packages and you simply want a quick to install, easy to use desktop system, then in that case, I highly recommend SimplyMEPIS instead of Libranet 3.0. Both systems are really good, but SimplyMEPIS is, hands down, the easiest software in the world to install. It also comes preconfigured with all the applications that are available, so it is immediately usable. Highly recommended.

So there you have it, two really great distributions, both full of excellent desktop software, one catering to the tinkerer who wants great software and management tools, the other which caters to the desktop user. Try both out, they are both really good. You may find yourself keeping one of them as your default desktop system. That's what I have done!

Brian Masinick (not verified) - Wed, 2020-06-22 15:55.