Comparison of Linux distributions

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Technical variations of Linux distributions include support for different hardware devices and systems or software package configurations. Organisational differences may be motivated by historical reasons. Other criteria include security, including how quickly security upgrades are available; ease of package management; and number of packages available.

These tables compare notable distribution's latest stable release on wide-ranging objective criteria. It does not cover each operating system's subjective merits, branches marked as unstable or beta, nor compare Linux distributions with other operating systems.

General[edit]

The table below shows general information about the distributions: creator or producer, release date, the latest version, etc.

Linux distributions endorsed by the Free Software Foundation[1] are marked 100% Free under the System distribution commitment column.

Distribution Founder Maintainer Initial release year Current stable version Security updates (years) Release date System distribution commitment Forked from Target audience Cost Status
Alpine Linux Alpine Linux Team Alpine Linux Team 2006 3.12.0[2] ? 2020-05-29 X LEAF Project security, lightweight, general Gratis Active
ALT Linux ALT Linux Team ALT Linux Team, ALT Linux LLC 2001 9.0[3] ? 2019-10-28 X Mandrake Linux general, school Gratis Active
antiX Anticapitalista Anticapitalista 2007 19[4] ? 2019-10-17 X Debian, MEPIS old computers Some editions are gratis Active
ArchBang Willensky Aristide Stan McLaren 2011 Rolling Rolling ? X Arch Linux (UKM Edition) general Gratis Active
Arch Linux Judd Vinet dev team 2002 Rolling Rolling Rolling X Independent, inspired from CRUX general Gratis Active
BLAG Brixton Linux Action Group Brixton Linux Action Group 2002 140k ? 2011-05-04 100% Free: GNU FSDG[5] Fedora desktop Gratis Inactive
Bodhi Linux Bodhi Linux Team Bodhi Linux Team 2011 5.1.0[6] ? 2020-03-25 X Debian, Ubuntu desktop, lightweight Gratis Active
Canaima CANTV / CNTI / CENTIDEL / Edelca / VIT / FUNDACITE / Free software community CANTV / CNTI / CENTIDEL / Edelca / VIT / FUNDACITE / Free software community 2007 6.0[7] ? 2018-03-19 X Debian, Ubuntu Government of Venezuela Gratis Active
CentOS CentOS Project CentOS Project 2003 8.2-2004 10 years[8] 2020-06-15 X Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) server, workstation Gratis Active
Chakra Jan Mette and Arch Linux KDEmod developers The Chakra Project Team 2010 Rolling Rolling ? X Arch Linux[9] desktop Gratis Active
Chrome OS Sundar Pichai Google 2009 75.0.3770.129[10] 6.5 years[11] 2019-07-09 X Chromium OS web applications Gratis Active
ClearOS Peter Baldwin ClearFoundation 2000 7.6.0[12] ? 2019-05-09 X RHEL, CentOS server, gateway, network Some editions are gratis Active
CrunchBang Linux Philip Newborough Philip Newborough 2008 11[13] ? 2013-05-06 X Debian desktop Gratis Inactive
Damn Small Linux John Andrews dev team 2003 4.4.10[14] ? 2008-11-18 X Debian, Knoppix lightweight, portable Gratis Inactive
Debian Ian Murdock Debian Project 1993 10.4[15] ~3 years[g 1] 2020-05-09 Debian Social Contract and DFSG (main is 100% free, non-free packages are optional)[16] Softlanding Linux System (SLS)[17] general, server, desktop Gratis Active
Debian Edu Debian Project 2004 10.3[18] ~3 years[g 1] 2020-02-08 Debian Social Contract and DFSG Debian schools Gratis Active
Devuan The "Veteran Unix Admins" (VUA) The "Veteran Unix Admins" (VUA) 2016 2.1[19] ? 2019-11-25 X [20] Debian general Gratis Active
Deepin Wuhan Deepin Technology Co., Ltd. Wuhan Deepin Technology Co., Ltd. 2004 15.11[21] ? 2019-07-05 X Debian(0.3-0.6;15-), Ubuntu(1.0-2014.3), Morphix(0.1-0.2) general Gratis Active
Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre Matias A. Fonzo Matias A. Fonzo 2009 3.0-beta1[22] ? 2019-10-16 100% Free: GNU FSDG[5] Independent, inspired from Slackware general Gratis Active
dyne:bolic Jaromil Jaromilx 2005 3.0.0 ? 2011-09-08 100% Free: GNU FSDG[5] Debian multimedia Gratis Active
Elementary OS Daniel Foré elementary LLC 2011 5.1.2[23] ? 2020-02-05 X Ubuntu, Debian general Gratis Active
Elive Samuel F. Baggen Samuel F. Baggen 2005 3.0.6 ? ? Debian lightweight, general, beauty Partial Active
ELinOS SYSGO SYSGO 1999 6.2[24] ? 2017-10-01 X embedded systems Partial Active
Emdebian Grip Embedded Debian Project Embedded Debian Project 2009 3.1 End-of-life 2013-06-15 X Debian embedded systems Gratis Inactive
EndeavourOS Bryan Poerwoatmodjo EndeavourOS 2019 Rolling Rolling 2019-07-15 X Arch Linux general Gratis Active
Fedora Fedora Project Fedora Project 2003 32[25] 1 year 2020-04-28 Fedora Licensing Guidelines[26] Red Hat Linux general Gratis Active
Freespire Lindows.com, Inc. PC/OpenSystems LLC 2001 6.0[27] ? 2020-02-10 X Ubuntu desktop Gratis Active
Gentoo Linux Daniel Robbins Gentoo Foundation, Inc. 2002 Rolling Rolling Rolling Gentoo Social Contract Enoch Linux general Gratis Active
Guix System Ludovic Courtès Ludovic Courtès, Ricardo Wurmus, the Guix community 2012 1.1.0[28] Rolling 2020-04-15 100% Free: GNU FSDG[5] general Gratis Active
gNewSense Brian Brazil and Paul O'Malley Sam Geeraerts with sponsorship from the FSF 2006 4.0 (Ucclia)[29] ? 2016-05-02 100% Free: GNU FSDG[5] Debian general, server Gratis Active
gnuLinEx Regional Government of Extremadura dev team 2002 LinEx 2013 ? 2013-02-11 X Debian desktop Gratis Inactive
Grml Michael Prokop The Grml Team 2005 2018.12[30] ? 2018-12-31 X Debian live, maintenance, security, network, forensic, accessibility Gratis Active
Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre Hyperbola Founders Hyperbola Founders 2017 0.3[31] 3 years (stable), 5 years (old stable)[32] 2019-09-23 100% Free: GNU FSDG[5] followed in Hyperbola Social Contract Arch Linux general Gratis Active
Instant WebKiosk Marco Buratto Binary Emotions 2012 16.0[33] ? 2017-04-05 X Debian web kiosks, digital signage, personal web navigation Gratis Active
Kali Linux Max Moser, Mati Aharoni, Martin J. Muench Offensive Security 2013 2020.2[34] ? 2020-05-12 X Debian auditing, forensic, security, network Gratis Active
Knoppix Klaus Knopper dev team 2000 8.6[35] ? 2019-08-08 X Debian live Gratis Active
Kodibuntu The XBMC Project Team Kodi 2008 ? ? ? X Debian, Ubuntu multimedia Gratis Inactive
Korora Chris Smart Dev Team 2005 26[36] ? 2017-09-16 X Fedora desktop Gratis Inactive
LibreCMC LibreCMC team LibreCMC team 2010 1.4.8[37] ? 2019-06-30 100% Free: GNU FSDG[5] Merged from LibreWRT embedded systems Gratis Active
Linspire Linspire, Inc. Linspire, Inc. 2001 8.7[38] ? 2020-03-03 X Ubuntu ? Commercial[39] Active
Linux Mint Clement Lefebvre dev team 2006 20[40] ~3 years (LMDE); 5 years (main editions) 2020-06-27 X Debian(LMDE), Ubuntu (main editions) desktop Gratis Active
Linux Lite Jerry Bezencon Linux Lite Team 2012 5.0[41] ? 2020-05-31 X Ubuntu desktop Gratis Active
Mageia Mageia Community mageia.org 2010 7.1[42] 1 year 2019-07-01 X Mandriva Linux general Gratis Active
Mandriva Linux Mandrakesoft S.A. Mandriva S.A. 1998 2011 ? 2011-08-28 X Red Hat Linux general Some editions are gratis Inactive
Manjaro Linux Roland Singer dev team 2012[43] Rolling Rolling Rolling X Arch Linux general Gratis Active
MEPIS Warren Woodford MEPIS LLC 2003 11.9.90 ? ? X Debian desktop, server Gratis Inactive
Musix GNU+Linux Musix team Musix team 2008 3.0.1 ? 2014-03-13 100% Free: GNU FSDG[5] Debian multimedia Gratis Inactive
Netrunner Blue Systems dev team 2009 20.01[44] as per Debian 2020-02-23 X Debian desktop Gratis Active
NixOS Eelco Dolstra and Armijn Hemel NixOS Foundation 2003 19.09[45] 0.5 years 2019-05-02 X general, server, desktop Gratis Active
Novell Open Enterprise Server Novell Novell, Inc. dev team 2003 OES 2018 SP1 ? ? X SUSE Linux Enterprise Server server Commercial[46] Active
OpenELEC Stephan Raue, OpenELEC Team OpenELEC Team 2011 8.0.4 ? 2017-06-04 X Kodi multimedia Gratis Inactive
openSUSE SUSE Linux openSUSE Project 2006 Leap 15.2[47] 3 years[48] 2020-07-02 X general, desktop Gratis Active
OpenWrt ? OpenWrt team 2007 18.06.4[49] ? 2019-07-01 X embedded systems Gratis Active
OpenMandriva Lx OpenMandriva Association OpenMandriva Association 2013 4.1 ? 2020-02-01 X Mandriva Linux general Gratis Active
Oracle Linux Oracle Corporation Oracle Corporation 2006 8.1[50] ? 2019-11-17 X Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) server Gratis Active
Parabola GNU/Linux-libre Parabola Hackers Parabola Hackers 2009 Rolling[51] Rolling 2017-05-28 100% Free: GNU FSDG[5] followed in Parabola Social Contract Arch Linux general Gratis Active
Pardus Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) TÜBİTAK 2005 19.1[52] ? 2019-11-23 X Gentoo (2011.2)
Debian
general Gratis Active
Parsix Alan Baghumian Parsix Project 2005 8.15 ? 2017-01-25 X Debian desktop Gratis Inactive
Parted Magic Patrick Verner Parted Magic LLC. ? 2019_12_24 ? 2019-12-34 X - live, maintenance Commercial[53] Active
PCLinuxOS Bill Reynolds dev team 2003 2019.06[54] Semi-rolling 2019-06-16 X Mandriva Linux desktop Gratis Active
Pop! OS Carl Ritchell System76 2017 20.04 LTS 2 years for LTS releases.

2-3 months after the next release for other releases.

2020-04-30 X Ubuntu desktop, laptop Gratis Active
Pentoo Michael Zanetta, Rick Farina, Jens Pranaitis Pentoo 2005 2019.1 ? 2019-01-17 X Gentoo Linux auditing, security Gratis Active
Porteus Fanthom Porteus 2010 4.0[55] ? 2018-04-29 X Slackware lightweight, portable Gratis Active
Puppy Linux Barry Kauler Puppy Foundation 2003 8.0[56] ? 2019-04-11 X Independent, inspired from Vector linux lightweight, portable Gratis Active
PureOS Todd Weaver Purism 2009 9.0[57] Rolling 2019-09-26 100% Free: GNU FSDG[5] Debian general, security, privacy Gratis Active
Qubes OS Joanna Rutkowska Invisible Things Lab 2012 4.0.3[58] ? 2019-01-23 X Xen and Fedora security by compartmentalization, desktop Gratis Active
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Red Hat Red Hat 2002 8.2 10 years[59] 2020-04-28 X Red Hat Linux, Fedora server, workstation Commercial[60][61] Active
Red Hat Linux Red Hat Red Hat 1995 9 ? 2003-03-31 X server, workstation Gratis Inactive
ROSA ? LLC NTC IT ROSA 2011 R11[62] ? 2019-03-15 X Mandriva server, general Gratis Active
Rocks Cluster Distribution UCSD Supercomputing Center, Clustercorp UCSD Supercomputing Center, Clustercorp 2000 7.0 ? 2015-12-01 X Red Hat Linux server, workstation Gratis Active
Sabayon Linux Fabio Erculiani dev team 2005 19.03[63] ? 2019-03-31 X Gentoo Linux general Gratis Active
Salix OS Cyrille Pontvieux, George Vlahavas, Pierrick Le Brun, Thorsten Mühlfelder Salix team 2009 14.2 ? 2016-08-29 X Slackware general Gratis ?
Scientific Linux CERN, Fermilab dev team 2004 7.6[64] ? 2018-12-03 X Red Hat Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) server, workstation Gratis Inactive
Slackware Patrick Volkerding dev team 1993 14.2[65] ? 2016-06-30 X Softlanding Linux System (SLS) general Gratis Active
Slax Tomas Matejicek Tomas Matejicek 2002 9.9.1[66] ? 2019-06-17 X Debian, Slackware (until Slax 9) live Gratis Active
SliTaz GNU/Linux Christophe Lincoln dev team 2008 Rolling Rolling 2017-12-03 X Independent portable Gratis Active
Solus Ikey Doherty dev team 2005 Rolling Rolling 2020-01-25 X desktop Gratis Active
SolydXK Arjen Balfoort dev team 2013 201902[67] Debian packages as per Debian 2019-03-03 X Debian desktop Gratis Active
SparkyLinux ? Sparky Linux team 2012 5.10.1[68] ? 2020-02-05 X Debian general, video games Gratis Active
Source Mage GNU/Linux Ryan Abrams, Eric Schabell dev team 2002 0.62-11 ? 2017-10-22 Source Mage Social Contract Sorcerer general Gratis Active
SteamOS Valve Valve 2013 2.195[69] ? 2019-07-19 X Debian video games Gratis Active
SUSE Linux Enterprise SUSE SUSE 2000 15SP1 13 years per version[70] 2019-08-12 Common code base for x86-64, Power, System z, Arm64 Slackware, Jurix edge, workstation, server, supercomputer Commercial[71] Active
Tails ? Tails Development Team 2009 4.8[72] [g 2] 2020-06-30 X Debian security-focused aimed for anonymity and privacy Gratis Active
Tiny Core Linux Robert Shingledecker Team Tiny Core 2009 11.0 ? 2020-02-09 X Independent, inspired from Damn Small Linux portable Gratis Active
Tor-ramdisk Anthony G. Basile dev team 2008 20170130 ? 2017-01-30 X Gentoo Linux Embedded, uClibc Tor server Gratis Active
Trisquel GNU/Linux Rubén Rodríguez Pérez (quidam) Rubén Rodríguez Pérez (quidam) 2005 8.0[g 3] 5 years 2018-04-18 100% Free: GNU FSDG[5] Ubuntu LTS desktop Gratis Active
TurnKey GNU/Linux Alon Swartz, Liraz Siri TurnKey GNU/Linux Team 2008 15.x[73] Debian packages as per Debian; TurnKey packages for life of current major version (plus backports per request) 2019-06-28 Debian Social Contract and DFSG Debian server based software appliance library aiming to balance security and ease of use Gratis Active
Ubuntu and Derivatives[74] Canonical Ltd. Canonical Ltd. 2004 20.04 LTS[75] Standard releases 1 year, LTS releases 5 years. Flavor LTS releases 3 or 5 years. 2020-04-23 X Debian general, server, desktop, supercomputer, IBM mainframe Gratis Active
Univention Corporate Server Univention GmbH Univention GmbH 2004 4.4-4[76] up to 6 months for the free Core Edition; if maintenance is purchased, it's up to 7 years, see:[77] 2020-03-24 X Debian home, business, and school Core Edition is gratis Active
Ututo Diego Saravia, Daniel Olivera UTUTO dev team 2000 XS 2012 ? 2012-04-27 100% Free: GNU FSDG[5] Ututo XS: Gentoo Linux, Ututo UL: Ubuntu general Gratis Active
VectorLinux Robert S. Lange dev team 1999 VL 7.2[78] ? 2017-08-28 X Slackware desktop Gratis ?
Void Linux Juan Romero Pardines Juan RP and contributors 2008 Rolling Rolling 2019-11-09 X Independent, partially inspired by FreeBSD/NetBSD general Gratis Active
Webconverger Kai Hendry Webconverger Limited 2007 35.0 ? 2016-05-19 X Debian kiosk software, digital signage Commercial Active
Xandros Xandros Incorporated Xandros Incorporated 2001 ? ? 2007-07-26 X Corel Linux ? Commercial Inactive
Zentyal eBox Technologies eBox Technologies 2005 6.1[79] ? 2019-12-12 X Debian, Ubuntu small business server Some editions are gratis ?
Zenwalk Jean-Philippe Guillemin dev team 2004 Rolling[80] ? 2018-03-09 X Slackware general Gratis Active
Zorin OS Zorin Group Zorin Group 2009 OS 15[81] ? 2019-06-05 X Ubuntu general, desktop ,windows & mac-like experience Zorin OS Lite & Core are free, while Business and Ultimate are paid for Active
Distribution Founder Maintainer Initial release year Current stable version Security updates (years) Release date System distribution commitment Forked from Target audience Cost Status
  1. ^ a b Debian releases are officially supported for 1 year after the subsequent release, with releases being approximately 2 years apart. The Debian LTS Project provides community based support extending the complete support period to 5 years.
  2. ^ All security updates are in new versions which are released every six weeks.
  3. ^ for more information visit: https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/trisquel

Technical[edit]

The table below shows the default file system, but many Linux distributions support some or all of ext2, ext3, ext4, Btrfs, ReiserFS, Reiser4, JFS, XFS, GFS2, OCFS2, and NILFS. It is possible to install Linux onto most of these file systems. The ext file systems, namely ext2, ext3, and ext4 are based on the original Linux file system.

File systems have been developed by companies to meet their specific needs, by hobbyists, or adapted from Unix, Microsoft Windows, and other operating systems. Linux has full support for XFS and JFS, FAT (the DOS file system), and HFS, the main file system for the Macintosh. Support for Microsoft Windows NT's NTFS file system has been developed and is now comparable with other native Unix file systems. CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs' ISO 9660 and Universal Disk Format (UDF) are supported.

Unlike other operating systems, Linux and Unix allow any file system regardless of the medium it is stored on, whether that medium is a magnetic disk, an optical disk (CD, DVD, etc.), a USB flash memory key, or even contained within a file located on another file system. Similarly, many C compilers (mainly GNU Compiler Collection (GCC)), init systems (mainly sysvinit), desktop environments and window managers are widely supported.

Distribution Default Linux kernel Default file system Default init system Install-time desktop environment or window manager selection Reproducible builds
Alpine Linux Binary blobs ext4 openrc none In progress[82]
ALT Linux Binary blobs ext3 systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces, Xfce No
Arch Linux Binary blobs[83] none[84] systemd none In progress[85][86]
BLAG Linux-libre ext3 sysvinit GNOME No
Bodhi Linux Binary blobs ext4 systemd Moksha (Enlightenment fork) No
Canaima Binary blobs[83] ? systemd Cinnamon and MATE No
CentOS Binary blobs[83] xfs systemd GNOME No
Chakra Binary blobs ext4 systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces No
ClearOS Binary blobs ext3 systemd none (Web based) No
CoreOS Binary blobs ext4 systemd None No
CrunchBang Linux Binary blobs ext4 sysvinit Openbox No
Damn Small Linux Binary blobs ext3 sysvinit JWM No
Debian By default Linux-libre, but the Debian Project also hosts a non-free repository allowing blobs to be installed optionally.[83] Built with Linux-libre tools.[87] ext4 systemd GNOME, KDE, Xfce, LXDE[88] In progress[89][90]
Devuan Binary blobs ext4 sysvinit Xfce No
Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre Linux-libre ext4 runit Xfce No
dyne:bolic Linux-libre ? systemd GNOME No
Fedora Binary blobs ext4 systemd GNOME (default Workstation Edition), Spins for: KDE Plasma Workspaces, Xfce, LXDE, MATE (with Compiz), Cinnamon, Sugar on a Stick In progress[91]
Funtoo Binary blobs none openrc None No
Gentoo Binary blobs none openrc Awesome, Enlightenment, Fluxbox, GNOME, KDE, LXDE-Meta, Openbox, XBMC and Xfce (live DVD)[92] No
gNewSense Debian Linux kernel, and (unlike Debian) blobs cannot be installed[87] ext3 sysvinit GNOME No
gnuLinEx Binary blobs ext2 ? GNOME No
Guix System Linux-libre, Hurd (in progress)[93] btrfs, ext4 GNU Shepherd GNOME, Xfce, Mate, Enlightenment, i3, ratpoison, xmonad In progress[94][95]
Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre Linux-libre none openrc[96] none No
Instant WebKiosk Binary blobs SquashFS systemd Has no DE. It's a browser-only interface No
Kali Linux Binary blobs ext3 systemd GNOME No
Knoppix Binary blobs xfs microknoppix LXDE No
LibreCMC[97] Binary blobs ext4 busybox-init none No
Linux Mint[98] Binary blobs[83] ext4 systemd MATE, Cinnamon, KDE 4, XFCE No
Mageia Binary blobs ext4 systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces, GNOME No
Mandriva Linux Binary blobs ext4 systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces No
Manjaro Linux Binary blobs none[99] systemd Xfce, KDE, GNOME [100] No
MEPIS Binary blobs ext3, ext4 sysvinit KDE Plasma Workspaces No
Musix GNU+Linux[101] Linux-libre ext4 initscripts LXDE No
OpenELEC Binary blobs SquashFS shell script XBMC Media Center No
openSUSE Binary blobs btrfs systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces, GNOME, Xfce In progress[102]
OpenWrt Binary blobs overlayfs+SquashFS/JFFS2[103] procd[104] none In progress[105]
Parabola GNU/Linux-libre Linux-libre none openrc or systemd none No
Pardus Binary blobs ext4 systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces No
Parsix Binary blobs ext4 systemd GNOME No
PCLinuxOS Binary blobs none sysvinit KDE Plasma Workspaces, GNOME, LXDE, Xfce, Enlightenment, Openbox No
Pentoo Binary blobs SquashFS openrc Enlightenment No
Porteus Binary blobs Squashfs, ext2, ext3, ext4, FAT32, reiser, xfs sysvinit KDE, LXDE, Xfce, Openbox, Razor-qt No
Puppy Linux Binary blobs SquashFS containing ext2 busybox-init JWM No
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Binary blobs xfs systemd GNOME No
Rxart Desktop Binary blobs ext3 ? KDE Plasma Workspaces No
Sabayon Linux Binary blobs ext4[106] systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces, GNOME No
Scientific Linux Binary blobs ext4 sysvinit, systemd[107] GNOME No
Slackware Binary blobs[83] ext4, ext3, ext2, reiserfs, brtfs, xfs sysvinit compatible BSD init scripts KDE, XFCE Fluxbox, Blackbox, fvwm2 twm No
Slax Binary blobs SquashFS sysvinit KDE Plasma Workspaces No
SliTaz GNU/Linux Binary blobs ext3 busybox-init Openbox No
Solus Binary blobs ext4 systemd Budgie, Gnome, MATE No
Source Mage GNU/Linux Binary blobs ext2 simpleinit-msb none No
SteamOS Binary blobs ? systemd Steam No
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop Binary blobs[83] btrfs[108] systemd GNOME No
Tails Vanilla Linux[83] ? systemd GNOME Reproducible ISO and USB images[109][110]
Tor-ramdisk Binary blobs ext2 ? none No
Trisquel Linux-libre ext4, xfs systemd GNOME, LXDE No
TurnKey GNU/Linux Binary blobs ext4 systemd none - headless server by design; provides Webmin for administration No
Ubuntu/Edubuntu Binary blobs[83] ext4[111] systemd Unity No
Ubuntu GNOME Binary blobs ext4 systemd GNOME 3 No
Ubuntu MATE Binary blobs ext4 systemd MATE No
Kubuntu Binary blobs ext4[111] systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces No
Xubuntu Binary blobs ext4[111] systemd Xfce No
Lubuntu Binary blobs ext4 systemd LXQt No
Ututo Ututo XS (stable) is de-blobbed with Linux-libre tools.[112] Ututo UL (development) uses Linux-libre. Ututo UL means "Ubuntu-Libre" ext3 systemd GNOME No
VectorLinux Binary blobs ReiserFS sysvinit KDE, Openbox, Fluxbox, IceWM, Xfce No
Void Linux Binary blobs none runit none No
Webconverger Binary blobs gitfs sysvinit dwm enforcing a Browser-only interface No
XBMC Live Binary blobs ext3 systemd XBMC Media Center No
Zentyal Binary blobs ext4 systemd LXDE No
Zenwalk Binary blobs ext4 sysvinit Xfce No
Distribution Default Linux kernel Default file system Default init system Install-time desktop environment or window manager selection Reproducible builds

Instruction set architecture support[edit]

Linux kernel portability to instruction set architectures other than x86, was an early feature added to the kernel.

Distribution x86 x86-64 arm ia64 ppc[113] ppc64 sparc32 sparc64 hppa[114] loongson mips[115] sh s390 s390x alpha[116] m68k[117] riscv
Alpine Linux Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No No No No No No No Yes No No No
Arch Linux Unofficial[118]
Official discontinued 2017-11-08
[119]
Yes Unofficial[120] No Discontinued unofficial port No No No No Discontinued. Unofficial port[121] No No No No No No
BackTrack Discontinued from BackTrack 5 and superseded by Kali Linux[122] Discontinued from BackTrack 5 and superseded by Kali Linux Discontinued from BackTrack 5 and superseded by Kali Linux No No No No No No No No No No No No No
BLAG Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Bodhi Linux Yes Yes Discontinued
2013-10-23
[123]
No No No No No No No No No No No No No
BOSS Linux Yes Yes ? No Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No
CentOS AltArch Yes AltArch Discontinued
3.5-3.8
4.1-4.7
[124]
Beta, Discontinued
4.0
AltArch Beta
4.2
[124][125]
No No No No No Discontinued
3.5-3.8
4.1-4.7
[124][126]
Discontinued
3.5-3.8
4.1-4.7
[124][126]
Discontinued
4.2-4.3
[124][127][128]
No
Chakra No Yes ? No No No No No No No No No No No No No
CRUX Yes Yes No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No
Debian[129] Yes Yes
4.0+
Yes
2.2+
Discontinued
3.0-7.0
[130]
Discontinued
2.2-8
Yes Discontinued
2.1-4.0
[131]
Discontinued
-7
[132]
Discontinued
3.0-5.0
Yes Yes
3.0+
In progress Discontinued
3.0-7
Yes
7+
Discontinued
2.1-5.0
Discontinued
2.0-3.1
In progress[133]
Devuan Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
dyne:bolic Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Fedora[134] Discontinued from
Fedora 30
Yes Yes[135] Discontinued from
Fedora 9
[136]
Discontinued from
Fedora 17
Yes No Inactive from
Fedora 12
[137]
No In progress Inactive from
Fedora 13
[138]
No No Yes No No In progress[139]
Finnix Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No
Gentoo[140] Yes Yes Yes[141] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes[142] Yes[143][144] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Test release[145]
gNewSense Yes Yes No No No No No No No Yes Yes No No No No No
Guix System[146] Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No In progress[147]
Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre Yes Yes No No No In progress[148] No No No No No No No No No No In progress[149]
Kali Linux Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No
LibreCMC No No No No No No No No No No Yes XBurst No No No No No
Manjaro Linux Yes
Unofficial[150]
Yes Yes[151] No No No No No No No No No No No No No
MEPIS Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Musix GNU+Linux Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
OpenELEC Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No
openSUSE[152] Discontinued
42.1
Yes partial[153] No No[154] No[154] No partial[155] No No No No No No No No
OpenWrt[156] Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No Yes Yes No No No No
Oracle Linux[157] Yes Yes No Discontinued
5
[158]
No No No No No No No No No No No No
Parabola GNU/Linux-libre Yes Yes Yes, ARMv7[159][160] No No Test release[161] No No No Discontinued[162] Discontinued[162] No No No No No Test release[163]
Red Flag Linux Discontinued
8.0
[164]
Discontinued
8.0
[164]
No Discontinued
3
[165]
No Discontinued
3
[165]
No No No No No No No No No No
Red Hat Linux[166] Discontinued
9.0
No No Discontinued
7.1-7.2
Test release
5.1
[167]
No Discontinued
4.0-4.2
5.1-6.2
Test release
5.1
[167]
No No Test release
5.1
[167]
No Discontinued
7.2
Yes Discontinued
2.1-7.1
Test release
5.1
[167]
Red Hat Enterprise Linux[168] Discontinued
2.1-6
[169]
Yes
3+
No Discontinued
2.1-5
[170]
Yes
3+
Yes
3+
No No No No No No Discontinued
3-4
[171]
Yes
3+
No No
Sabayon Linux Discontinued Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Scientific Linux Yes Yes No Discontinued
3-4
No No No No No No No No No No No No
SHR No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Slackware Yes Yes Yes No No No Discontinued
?
[172]
No No No No No Discontinued
?
[173]
Discontinued
?
[173]
Discontinued
8.1
[174]
No
Solus No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Source Mage GNU/Linux Yes Yes No No Yes No No No No ? No No No No No No
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server[175] Yes Yes AArch64 only[176] Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No Yes No No
Tor-ramdisk Yes Yes[177] No No No No No No No No Yes[177] No No No No No
Trisquel GNU/Linux Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
TurnKey GNU/Linux Selected ISOs
available
Yes No - but under development by community No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Lubuntu Discontinued from
Ubuntu 20.04
Yes Yes, including 64-bit ARMv8-A No Yes Yes No No No No No No No Ubuntu only, 16.04+[178] No No
Ututo Yes Yes No No No No No No No In progress No No No No No No
Void Linux Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No
XBMCbuntu Yes No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Yellow Dog Linux No No No No Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No
Distribution x86 x86-64 arm ia64 ppc ppc64 sparc32 sparc64 hppa loongson mips sh s390 s390x alpha m68k riscv

Package management and installation[edit]

Information on features in the distributions. Package numbers are only approximate. Some distributions like Debian tend to separate tools into different packages - usually stable release, development release, documentation and debug. Also counting the source package number varies. For debian and rpm based entries it is just the base to produce binary packages, so the total number of packages is the number of binary packages. For arch based entries, it is additional. E.g. Arch Linux provides 11'000 + 47'000 packages, i.e. 58'000 packages.

Distribution Free software repositories Approximate number of pre-compiled packages Approximate number of source packages Default package management tool(s) Package format Default installer Graphical installation process Netinstall Netboot
Alpine Linux Free, and nonfree 8,135[179] ? apk .apk setup-alpine No ? ?
ALT Linux Free, and nonfree 8,300[180] ? APT (APT-RPM), RPM RPM Yes ? ?
Arch Linux Free, and nonfree 10,999[181] 66,265 from AUR[182] Pacman .pkg.tar.zst[183] None (third-party install scripts only) No Yes iPXE
BLAG Free only 10,000[184] ? RPM, yum, APT RPM Yes No No
Bodhi Linux Free, and nonfree [a][185] ? APT .dpkg Ubiquity Yes ? ?
CentOS Free, and nonfree [b] ? RPM, yum/up2date RPM Anaconda Yes Yes ?
Chakra Free, and nonfree 3,074[186] CCR: 5,342[187] Pacman (will be replaced by Akabei in future) .pkg.tar.xz Package manager in development ? ?
ClearOS Free, and nonfree [c] ? RPM, yum RPM No ? ?
CrunchBang Linux Free, and nonfree [d][185] ? APT .deb Yes ? ?
Debian Free, and nonfree 89,403[185] 28,923[e] APT .deb Debian-Installer Yes Yes PXE
Devuan Free, and nonfree [f][185] ? APT .deb Debian-Installer Yes Yes PXE
Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre Free only 484 ? pkgsystem .tlz ? No No No
dyne:bolic Free only ? ? APT .deb Debian-Installer Yes No No
Fedora Free, and nonfree 58,991 with RPM fusion[188] 30,681[189] DNF, yum, PackageKit RPM Anaconda Yes Yes ?
Gentoo Free, and nonfree 10,000[190] 19,092[191][g] Portage .ebuild, .tbz2 None (third-party install scripts only) Yes[h] Yes PXE
gNewSense Free only ? ? APT .deb Debian-Installer Yes Yes No
gnuLinEx Free, and nonfree [i][185] ? APT .deb Yes ? ?
Guix System Free only 13,168[192] 13,168 Guix .scm, .go guix system init[193] Yes[194] Yes[195] No
Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre Free only 14,494[196] ? Pacman .pkg.tar.xz None (third-party install scripts only) No Yes ?
Knoppix Free, and nonfree [j][185] ? APT .deb No ? ?
LibreCMC Free only 826 ? ? ? No No No
Linux Mint Free, and nonfree [k][185] ? APT .deb Ubiquity Yes ? ?
Mageia Free, and nonfree 17,283 (i586), 11,409 (x86-64)[197] 8,834[198] urpmi, rpmdrake RPM DrakX Yes Yes ?
Mandriva Linux Free, and nonfree 22,600 ? urpmi, rpmdrake RPM DrakX Yes ? ?
Manjaro Linux Free, and nonfree ? [l][182] Pacman .pkg.tar.xz Calamares[199] Yes[200] Yes iPXE
MEPIS Free, and nonfree [m][185] ? APT .deb MEPIS Install Yes ? ?
Musix GNU+Linux Free only 1,819 ? APT .deb Debian-Installer Yes No No
OpenELEC Free, and nonfree 140[201] ? XBMCbuntu addon manager, own and 3rd party addons .zip Yes ? ?
openSUSE Free, and nonfree 42,236 with PackMan[202] 34,000 YaST, Zypper RPM YaST Yes Yes ?
OpenWrt Free, and nonfree 2,000 ? opkg .ipk - No ? ?
Parabola GNU/Linux-libre Free only 23,000[203] ? Pacman .pkg.tar.xz None (third-party install scripts only) or Calamares Yes Yes ?
Pardus Free, and nonfree 4,000 ? PiSi .pisi YALI Yes ? ?
Parsix Free, and nonfree [n][185] 14,900 APT .deb Yes ? ?
PCLinuxOS Free, and nonfree 12,000 ? APT, RPM RPM Yes ? ?
Puppy Free, and nonfree 700 ? PupGet, DotPup .pup, .pet Yes ? ?
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Free, and nonfree 3,000 (plus 9,155 from EPEL[204]) ? RPM, yum RPM Anaconda Yes ? ?
Rxart Free, and nonfree [o][185] ? APT .deb Yes ? ?
Sabayon Linux Free, and nonfree [p] ? Portage, Entropy ebuild, .tbz2 Calamares Yes ? ?
Scientific Free, and nonfree [q] ? APT/yum RPM Yes ? ?
Slackware Free, and nonfree 2,292 7,705 from SlackBuilds[205] slackpkg tgz, .txz, .tlz, .tbz bash script[206] No Yes Yes
Slax Free, and nonfree 2,050 ? none .lzm ? ?
SliTaz GNU/Linux Free, and nonfree 3,381[207] ? Tazpkg .tazpkg tazinst Yes iPXE iPXE
Solus Free, and nonfree 9,500 ? eopkg .eopkg os-installer Yes No No
Source Mage GNU/Linux Free, and nonfree 118 8,876 Sorcery Package Manager src Yes ? ?
SUSE Linux Free, and nonfree 24,094 11,385 YaST, Zypper RPM YaST Yes ? ?
Tiny Core Linux Free, and nonfree 25,160 ? ab, tce-load tcz tc-install, core2usb Yes ? ?
Tiny SliTaz Free, and nonfree 50 ? Web site[208] tazpkg No ? iPXE
Tor-ramdisk Free, and nonfree ? ? none none No ? ?
Trisquel Free only 52,748[209] ? APT .deb Ubiquity Yes Yes ?
TurnKey GNU/Linux Free, and nonfree [r][185] (plus ≈30 custom packages) 21,041[s] (currently TurnKey only supplies source code for custom packages) APT .deb DI-Live (custom fork of Debian Installer) No No No
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Free, and nonfree [t][185] 24,474[u] APT .deb Ubiquity Yes Yes PXE
Ututo Free only 5,000 ? UTUTO Package Manager ebuild ? ? No No
Vector Linux Free, and nonfree ? ? slapt-get, gslapt, installpkg tgz Yes ? ?
Void Linux Free, nonfree and multilib 6,000 6,719 xbps .xbps ncurses script Yes Yes No
XBMC Live Free, and nonfree ? ? APT .deb No ? ?
Zentyal Free, and nonfree [v][185] ? APT .deb dpkg Yes ? ?
Zenwalk Free, and nonfree 2,000 ? netpkg, installpkg, upgradepkg tgz, txz Yes ? ?
Distribution Free software repositories Approximate number of pre-compiled packages Approximate number of source packages Default package management tools Package format Default installer Graphical installation process Netinstall Netboot

Live media[edit]

Distribution Size of media (MB) RAM use (MB) Boots from CD Boots from DVD Installable live CD/DVD Installable from USB
Arch Linux 742 Yes Yes Yes Yes
AUSTRUMI 301 Yes Yes Yes Yes
BLAG Linux and GNU 696 ? Yes No ?
Bodhi Linux 1,024 80 Yes Yes Yes Yes
CentOS 603 (Minimal) 4,096 (DVD) Yes Yes Yes (installable since 6.0) Yes
Chakra 2,150 No Yes Yes Yes
Debian 958 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Devuan 868 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre 655 ? Yes ? ? ?
dyne:bolic 1,650 ? up to version 2.x Yes ? ?
Fedora 1,434 256 to 1,024 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gentoo 260 (Minimal) 2,048 (Live DVD) up to 128 Yes Yes Yes Yes
gNewSense[210] 1,200 512 ? ? Yes ?
Grml 460 32 to 128 Yes No Yes Yes
Guix System[211] 562 2,084 No Yes Yes Yes
Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 660 and 688 ? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Knoppix CD 700 128 to 320 Yes Yes Only DVD edition is maintained
Knoppix DVD 4,813 128 to 500 No Yes
LibreCMC ? ? No No No No
Mandriva Linux One 700 128 to 768 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manjaro Linux 473 to 2,200[212] 256 to 1,024 Yes Yes Yes Yes
MEPIS 700 to 4,000 128 to 512 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Musix GNU+Linux 2,000 ? No Yes Yes Yes
Nanolinux 18 ≈64 Yes Yes Yes Yes
openGEU 700 192 to 512 Yes Yes
openSUSE (Not 42.1) 700 128 to 768 Yes Yes Yes Yes
OpenWrt min 4 min 16 No No No No
Parabola GNU/Linux-libre 400 to 3,300 ? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pardus 1,256 to 1,276 256 to 1,024 Yes Yes Yes Yes
PCLinuxOS 130 to 700 96 to 512 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pentoo 666 and 700 48 to 96 Yes Yes By hand[213] By hand
Porteus 224 to 373 min 36 ? ? Yes Yes
Puppy Linux (Slacko) 235 32 to 192 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Puredyne 542 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sabayon Linux Live CD 695 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sabayon Linux Live DVD 2,400 No Yes Yes Yes
Scientific Linux 431 to 2,300[214] 640 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Slackware 2,600 64 to 1,024[215] Yes Yes Yes Yes
Slax 200 96 to 320 Yes Yes Yes
Solus 1,200 1,024 No Yes Yes Yes
SystemRescueCD 459 Yes Yes Yes Yes
SliTaz GNU/Linux 35 24 to 192 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tails ≈900 ≈1,024 No Yes Yes Yes (when run from DVD)
Tiny Core Linux 16 46 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tiny SliTaz 64 4 Yes Yes By SliTaz By SliTaz
Tor-ramdisk 5 256 or >[216] Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trisquel 1,500[217] 384 Yes Yes Yes Yes
TurnKey GNU/Linux Core (base) appliance ISO 212 ~173 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ubuntu 1,700[218] 384 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ututo 3,500 ? No Yes Yes ?
Edubuntu 2,900[219] Yes Yes Yes
Kubuntu 1,400[220] 384 Yes Yes Yes Yes
XBMC Live 700 256 to 1,024 Yes No Yes Yes
Zentyal 600 256 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Xubuntu 1,200[221] 256 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Distribution Size of media (MB) RAM use (MB) Boots from CD Boots from DVD Installable live CD/DVD Installable from USB

Security features[edit]

Distribution Compile time buffer checks Mandatory access control Software executable space protection grsecurity RSBAC
Alpine Linux Yes[222] Unknown PaX Discontinued in 3.8.0 Unknown
BLAG Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Debian/Ubuntu Yes SELinux, AppArmor PaX optional Optional Optional
Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
dyne:bolic Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Fedora Yes SELinux[223] Exec Shield[224] No No
Gentoo Optional SELinux, AppArmor PaX optional Optional Optional
gNewSense Unknown SELinux, AppArmor[w] Unknown Unknown Unknown
Guix System Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
LibreCMC Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Mandriva Unknown AppArmor Unknown Unknown Yes
Musix GNU+Linux Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Parabola GNU/Linux-libre Unknown Optional[225] Unknown Optional[225] Unknown
Slackware Unknown AppArmor, tomoyo Unknown Unknown Optional
SUSE Linux Yes AppArmor[226] Hardware NX and other methods in mainline kernel and toolchain[227] No No
Solus Yes AppArmor Unknown No Unknown
Tor-ramdisk Unknown Unknown PaX Yes No
Trisquel Unknown SELinux, AppArmor[x] Unknown Unknown Unknown
Ututo Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Based on Debian
  2. ^ Based on Fedora
  3. ^ Based on Fedora
  4. ^ Based on Debian
  5. ^ From the Sources.gz files in the main, contrib and non-free sections of Debian Buster. On the 2020-06-12, Debian Sid, the development release, have 31717 source packages.
  6. ^ Based on Debian
  7. ^ Note this number is just of packages in the Official Gentoo Overlay (or Portage Tree). Several hundred other packages are available from other overlays
  8. ^ Can be installed graphically (GTK+ and ncurses), but traditionally done by command line (install cd, live cd, netboot, and from distributions).
  9. ^ Based on Debian
  10. ^ Based on Debian
  11. ^ Based on Debian
  12. ^ Based on AUR
  13. ^ Based on Debian
  14. ^ Based on Debian
  15. ^ Based on Debian
  16. ^ Based on Gentoo
  17. ^ Based on Fedora
  18. ^ Based on Debian
  19. ^ From the Sources.gz files in the main, contrib and non-free sections of Debian Jessie. On the 2015-11-21, Debian Sid, the development release, have 24757 source packages.
  20. ^ Based on Debian
  21. ^ From the Sources.gz files in the main,universe, multiverse and restricted sections of Ubuntu Wily.
  22. ^ Based on Debian
  23. ^ Based on Debian
  24. ^ Based on Ubuntu

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External links[edit]