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. Organizational 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 each active and noteworthy 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]

Basic general information about the distributions: creator or producer, release date, the latest version, and such. References are not added here but can be found in respective articles.

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 3.4.0 ? 2016-05-31[2] X security, lightweight, general Gratis Active
ALT Linux ALT Linux Team ALT Linux Team, ALT Linux LLC 2001 7.0 ? 2013-07-10[3] X Mandriva Linux general, school Gratis Active
antiX Anticapitalista Anticapitalista 2007 15.1 ? 2016-02-19[4] X Debian - MEPIS old computers Gratis Active
ArchBang Willensky Aristide Stan McLaren 2010 Rolling Rolling ? X Arch Linux general Gratis Active
Arch Linux Judd Vinet dev team 2002 Rolling Rolling ? X general Gratis Active
BLAG Brixton Linux Action Group Brixton Linux Action Group 2002 140k ? 2011-05-04 100% Free: GNU FSDG Fedora desktop Gratis Inactive
Bodhi Linux Bodhi Linux Team Bodhi Linux Team 2011 3.2.1 ? 2016-05-13[5] X Debian, Ubuntu desktop Gratis Active
CentOS CentOS Project CentOS Project 2003 7.2-1511 10 years 2015-12-14[6] 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[7] desktop Gratis Active
Chromium OS ? ? 2009 ? ? ? X Chrome OS web applications Gratis Active
ClearOS Peter Baldwin ClearFoundation 2000 6.5.0 ? 2013-12-20 X RHEL, CentOS server, gateway, network Gratis Active
CrunchBang Linux Philip Newborough Philip Newborough 2008 11 ? 2013-05-06[8] X Debian desktop Gratis Inactive
Damn Small Linux John Andrews dev team 2003 4.4.10 ? 2008-11-18[9] X Debian, Knoppix portable, lightweight Gratis Active
Debian Ian Murdock Debian Project 1993 8.6 ~3 years[g 1] 2016-09-17[10] Debian Social Contract and DFSG general, server, desktop Gratis Active
Debian Edu Debian Project 2004 8.0+edu0 ~3 years[g 1] 2016-07-03[11] Debian Social Contract and DFSG schools Gratis Active
Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre Matias A. Fonzo Matias A. Fonzo 2009 2.2 ? 2012-04-21 100% Free: GNU FSDG Independent, inspired from Slackware general Gratis Active
dyne:bolic Jaromil Jaromil 2005 3.0.0 ? 2011-09-08 100% Free: GNU FSDG Debian multimedia Gratis Inactive
Elementary OS Daniel Foré elementary 2011 0.4.0 ? 2016-09-09[12] X Ubuntu general Gratis Active
ELinOS SYSGO SYSGO 1999 ? ? 2016-07-06[13] X embedded systems Partial Active
Elive Thanatermesis Thanatermesis 2005 2.0 ? 2010-03-04 X Debian desktop Gratis Active
Emdebian Grip Embedded Debian Project Embedded Debian Project 2009 3.1 End-of-life 2013-06-15 X Debian embedded systems Gratis Inactive
Fedora Fedora Project Fedora Project 2003 24 ? 2016-06-21[14] Fedora Licensing Guidelines[15] general Gratis Active
Freespire Lindows.com, Inc. Linspire, Inc. 2002 2.0.8 ? 2007-11-30 X Debian desktop Gratis Inactive
Gentoo Linux Daniel Robbins Gentoo Foundation, Inc. 2002 Rolling Rolling ? Gentoo Social Contract general Gratis Active
Guix System Distribution Ludovic Courtès Ludovic Courtès, Ricardo Wurmus, the Guix community 2012 0.11.0 Rolling 2016-08-03[16] 100% Free: GNU FSDG general Gratis Active
gNewSense Brian Brazil and Paul O'Malley Sam Geeraerts with sponsorship from the FSF 2006 4.0 (Ucclia) ? 2016-05-02[17] 100% Free: GNU FSDG Debian general, server Gratis Active
gnuLinEx Regional Government of Extremadura dev team 2002 ? ? ? X Debian desktop Gratis ?
Grml Michael Prokop The Grml Team 2005 ? ? ? X Debian live, maintenance, security, network, forensic, accessibility Gratis ?
Instant WebKiosk Marco Buratto Binary Emotions 2012 14.0 ? 2015-05-06[18] X Debian web kiosks, digital signage, personal web navigation Gratis Active
Kali Linux Max Moser, Mati Aharoni, Martin J. Muench Remote-Exploit 2013 2.0 ? 2016-01-21[19] X Debian auditing, forensic, security, network Gratis Active
Knoppix Klaus Knopper dev team 2000 7.6.0 ? 2015-11-21[20] X Debian live Gratis Active
Kodibuntu The XBMC Project Team Kodi 2008 ? ? ? X Debian, Ubuntu multimedia Gratis Active
Korora Chris Smart Dev Team 2005 20 ? 2015-08-02[21] X Fedora desktop Gratis ?
LibreCMC/LibreWRT LibreWRT team LibreWRT team 2010 1.3 (LibreWRT was at 2.0) ? 2014-12-23 100% Free: GNU FSDG LibreWRT embedded systems Gratis Active
Linux Mint Clement Lefebvre dev team 2006 18 ~3 years (LMDE); 5 years (main editions) 2015-12-04[22] X Debian, Ubuntu desktop Gratis Active
Mageia Mageia Community mageia.org 2010 5 1 2015-09-13[23] X Mandriva Linux general Gratis Active
Mandriva Linux Mandrakesoft S.A. Mandriva S.A. 1998 2011 ? 2011-08-28 X Red Hat Linux general Commercial Inactive
Manjaro Linux Roland Singer dev team 2012[24] Rolling Rolling 2015-12-23 X Arch Linux general Gratis Active
MEPIS Warren Woodford MEPIS LLC 2003 ? ? ? X Debian desktop, server Gratis ?
Musix GNU+Linux Musix team Musix team 2008 3.0.1 ? 2014-03-13 100% Free: GNU FSDG Debian multimedia Gratis Active
Netrunner Blue Systems dev team 2009 ? ? ? X Debian, Ubuntu, Kubuntu desktop Gratis ?
Novell Open Enterprise Server Novell Novell, Inc. dev team 2003 ? ? ? X SUSE Linux Enterprise Server server Commercial Active
OpenELEC Stephan Raue, OpenELEC Team OpenELEC Team 2011 ? ? ? X multimedia Gratis ?
openSUSE SUSE Linux, Novell openSUSE Project 2006 42.1 3 years[25] 2015-11-04 X general, desktop Gratis Active
OpenWrt ? OpenWrt team 2007 ? ? ? X embedded systems Gratis ?
Oracle Linux Oracle Corporation Oracle Corporation 2006 2012 ? 2014 X Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) server Gratis ?
Parabola GNU/Linux-libre Parabola Hackers Parabola Hackers 2009 Rolling Rolling 2016-11-03[26] 100% Free: GNU FSDG followed in Parabola Social Contract Arch Linux general Gratis Active
Pardus Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) TÜBİTAK 2005 ? ? ? X general Gratis ?
Parsix Alan Baghumian Parsix Project 2005 ? ? ? X Debian desktop Gratis ?
PCLinuxOS Bill Reynolds dev team 2003 ? ? ? X PCLinuxOS desktop Gratis ?
Pentoo Michael Zanetta, Rick Farina, Jens Pranaitis Pentoo 2005 2015.0 RC4.6 ? 2015-12-02 X Gentoo Linux auditing, security Gratis Active
Porteus Fanthom Porteus 2010 ? ? ? X Slackware lightweight, portable Gratis ?
Puppy Linux Barry Kauler Puppy Foundation 2003 6.3 ? 2015-11-16 X portable, lightweight Gratis Active
Qubes OS Joanna Rutkowska Invisible Things Lab 2012 3.2 ? 2016-09-29[27] X Xen and Fedora Security by Compartmentalization, desktop Gratis Active
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Red Hat Red Hat 2002 7.2 ? 2015-11-19[28] X Red Hat Linux, Fedora server, workstation Commercial Active
Red Hat Linux Red Hat Red Hat 1995 9 ? 2003-03-31 X server, workstation Gratis Inactive
Rocks Cluster Distribution UCSD Supercomputing Center, Clustercorp UCSD Supercomputing Center, Clustercorp 2000 6.2 ? 2015-05-12 X Red Hat Linux server, workstation Gratis Active
Sabayon Linux Fabio Erculiani dev team 2005 16.02 ? 2016-01-29[29] X Gentoo Linux general Gratis ?
Salix OS Cyrille Pontvieux, George Vlahavas, Pierrick Le Brun, Thorsten Mühlfelder Salix team 2009 ? ? ? X Slackware general Gratis ?
Scientific Linux CERN, Fermilab dev team 2004 6.7 ? ? X Red Hat Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) server, workstation Gratis ?
Slackware Patrick Volkerding dev team 1993 14.2[30] ? 2016-06-30 X Softlanding Linux System (SLS) general Gratis Active
Slax Tomas Matejicek Tomas Matejicek 2002 7.0.8 ? 2013-03-16[31] X Slackware live Gratis ?
SliTaz GNU/Linux Christophe Lincoln dev team 2008 2.6.37 ? ? X portable Gratis ?
SolydXK Arjen Balfoort dev team 2013 ? ? ? X Debian desktop Gratis ?
Source Mage GNU/Linux Ryan Abrams, Eric Schabell dev team 2002 ? ? ? Source Mage Social Contract Sorcerer general Gratis Active
SUSE Linux SUSE Linux, Novell Novell, Inc. dev team 1994 12.1 ? 2015-12-22 X Slackware, Jurix workstation, server Commercial Active
Tails ? Tails Development Team 2009 2.7 [g 2] 2016-11-15 X Debian security-focused aimed for anonymity and privacy Gratis Active
Tiny Core Linux Robert Shingledecker Team Tiny Core 2009 ? ? ? X Tiny Core Linux portable Gratis ?
Tor-ramdisk Anthony G. Basile dev team 2008 20151215 ? 2015-12-15 X Gentoo Linux Embedded, uClibc Tor server Gratis Active
Trisquel GNU/Linux Rubén Rodríguez Pérez (quidam) Rubén Rodríguez Pérez (quidam) 2005 7.0 5 years[g 3] 2014-11-03 100% Free: GNU FSDG Ubuntu LTS desktop Gratis Active
TurnKey GNU/Linux Alon Swartz, Liraz Siri TurnKey GNU/Linux Team 2008 14.1 Debian packages as per Debian; TurnKey packages for life of current major version (plus backports per request) 2016-04-15[32] Debian Social Contract and DFSG Debian server based software appliance library aiming to balance security and ease of use Gratis Active
Ubuntu and Derivatives[33] Canonical Ltd. Canonical Ltd. 2004 16.04.1 LTS Standard releases 9 months, LTS releases 5 years. Flavor LTS releases 3 to 5 years. 2016-07-21 X Debian general, server, desktop Gratis Active
Univention Corporate Server Univention GmbH Univention GmbH 2004 3.2-2 ? 2014-05-15 X Debian (small business) server Commercial Active
Ututo Diego Saravia, Daniel Olivera UTUTO dev team 2000 XS 2012 ? 2012-04-27 100% Free: GNU FSDG Gentoo Linux general Gratis Inactive
VectorLinux Robert S. Lange dev team 1999 7.1 ? 2015-06-27 X Slackware desktop Gratis ?
Void Linux Juan Romero Pardines dev team 2008 Rolling ? 2015-07-13 X general Gratis Active
Webconverger Kai Hendry Webconverger Limited 2007 34.0 ? 2016-02-20 X Debian Kiosk software, digital signage Commercial Active
Zentyal eBox Technologies eBox Technologies 2005 ? ? ? X Debian, Ubuntu Small Business Server ? ?
Zenwalk Jean-Philippe Guillemin dev team 2004 8.0[34] ? 2016-07-02 X Slackware general ? ?
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

Cost[edit]

The majority of Linux distributions are available for free.

The following distributions come in several editions, some of which cost money and some do not: ClearOS, MEPIS, Univention Corporate Server, Zentyal and Zorin OS.

The following distributions cost money: Novell Open Enterprise Server,[38] Red Hat Enterprise Linux,[39][40] SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.[41]

The following distributions had at least one version which used to cost money: Corel Linux OS (discontinued), Elive (now freely available), Linspire[42] (discontinued), Mandriva Linux (discontinued) and Xandros (discontinued).

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 file system Default init system Install-time desktop environment or window manager selection
Alpine Linux ext4 openrc none
ALT Linux ext3 systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces, Xfce
Arch Linux none[43] systemd none
BLAG ext3 sysvinit GNOME
Bodhi Linux ext4 sysvinit Moksha (Enlightenment fork)
CentOS xfs systemd GNOME
Chakra ext4 systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces
ClearOS ext3 ? GNOME
CoreOS ext4 systemd None
CrunchBang Linux ext4 sysvinit Openbox
Damn Small Linux ext3 sysvinit JWM
Debian ext4 systemd GNOME, KDE, Xfce, LXDE[44]
Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre ext4 runit Xfce
dyne:bolic ? ? ?
Elive SquashFS, ReiserFS initscripts Enlightenment
Fedora ext4 systemd GNOME (default Workstation Edition), Spins for: KDE Plasma Workspaces, Xfce, LXDE, MATE (with Compiz), Cinnamon, Sugar on a Stick
Funtoo none openrc None
Gentoo none openrc Awesome, Enlightenment, Fluxbox, GNOME, KDE, LXDE-Meta, Openbox, XBMC and Xfce (live DVD)[45]
gNewSense ext3 ? GNOME
gnuLinEx ext2 ? GNOME
GuixSD ext4 GNU Shepherd GNOME, Xfce, i3, ratpoison, xmonad
Instant WebKiosk SquashFS ? Has no DE. It's a browser-only interface
Kali Linux ext3 sysvinit GNOME
Knoppix XFS microknoppix LXDE
LibreCMC/LibreWRT[46] ext4 busybox-init none
Linux Mint[47] ext4 upstart MATE, Cinnamon
Mageia ext4 systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces, GNOME
Mandriva Linux ext4 systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces
Manjaro Linux none[48] openrc or systemd Xfce, KDE[49]
MEPIS ext3, ext4 sysvinit KDE Plasma Workspaces
Musix GNU+Linux[50] ext4 initscripts LXDE
OpenELEC SquashFS shell script XBMC Media Center
openSUSE btrfs systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces, GNOME, Xfce
OpenWrt overlayfs+SquashFS/JFFS2[51] procd[52] none
Parabola GNU/Linux-libre none systemd none
Pardus ext4 ? KDE Plasma Workspaces
Parsix ext4 systemd GNOME
PCLinuxOS none sysvinit KDE Plasma Workspaces, GNOME, LXDE, Xfce, Enlightenment, Openbox
Pentoo SquashFS openrc Enlightenment
Porteus Squashfs, ext2, ext3, ext4, FAT32, reiser, xfs sysvinit KDE, LXDE, Xfce, Openbox, Razor-qt
Puppy Linux SquashFS containing ext2 busybox-init JWM
Red Hat Enterprise Linux xfs systemd GNOME
Rxart Desktop ext3 ? KDE Plasma Workspaces
Sabayon Linux ext4[53] systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces, GNOME
Scientific Linux ext4 sysvinit GNOME
Slackware ext4 BSD init scripts KDE Plasma Workspaces, Xfce, Fluxbox, Blackbox, twm
Slax SquashFS sysvinit KDE Plasma Workspaces
SliTaz GNU/Linux ext3 busybox-init Openbox
Source Mage GNU/Linux ext2 simpleinit-msb none
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop ext3 systemd GNOME
Tor-ramdisk ext2 ? none
Trisquel ext4, xfs upstart GNOME, LXDE
TurnKey GNU/Linux ext4 systemd none - headless server by design; provides Webmin for administration
Ubuntu/Edubuntu ext4[54] systemd Unity on GNOME, Unity 2D for fallback
Kubuntu ext4[54] systemd KDE Plasma Workspaces
Xubuntu ext4[54] systemd Xfce
Ututo ext3 ? GNOME
VectorLinux ReiserFS sysvinit KDE, Openbox, Fluxbox, IceWM, Xfce
Void Linux none runit none
Webconverger gitfs sysvinit dwm enforcing a Browser-only interface
XBMC Live ext3 upstart XBMC Media Center
Zentyal ext4 ? LXDE
Zenwalk ext4 sysvinit Xfce
Distribution Default file system Default init system Install-time desktop environment or window manager selection

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 ia64 ppc[55] ppc64 sparc32 sparc64 arm hppa[56] loongson mips[57] sh s390 s390x alpha[58] m68k[59]
Alpine Linux Yes Yes No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No
Arch Linux Yes (>=i686) Yes No Discontinued unofficial port No No No Yes
Unofficial[60]
No In progress. Unofficial port[61] No No No No No No
BackTrack Discontinued from BackTrack 5 and superseded by Kali Linux[62] Discontinued from BackTrack 5 and superseded by Kali Linux No No No No No Discontinued from BackTrack 5 and superseded by Kali Linux No No No No No No No No
Bodhi Linux Yes Yes No No No No No Discontinued
2013-10-23
[63]
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 Discontinued
3.5-3.8
4.1-4.7
[64]
Beta, Discontinued
4.0
AltArch Beta
4.2
[64][65]
No AltArch No No No No Discontinued
3.5-3.8
4.1-4.7
[64][66]
Discontinued
3.5-3.8
4.1-4.7
[64][66]
Discontinued
4.2-4.3
[64][67][68]
No
Chakra No Yes No No No No No ? No No No No No No No No
CRUX Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Debian[69] Yes Yes
4.0+
Discontinued
3.0-7.0
[70]
Yes
2.2+
Yes Discontinued
2.1-4.0
[71]
Discontinued
-7
[72]
Yes
2.2+
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
Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Fedora[73] Yes Yes Discontinued from
Fedora 9
[74]
Yes Yes No Still active but slow in development, Last available is
Fedora 12,
Working on
Fedora 18
[75]
Yes[76] No In progress Inactive from
Fedora 13
[77]
No No Yes No No
Finnix Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No
Gentoo[78] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes[79] Yes Yes[80] Yes[81][82] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
gNewSense Yes Yes No No No No No No No Yes Yes No No No No No
Kali Linux Yes Yes No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No
LibreCMC/LibreWRT No No No No No No No No No No Yes XBurst No No No No No
Manjaro Linux Yes Yes No No No No No Yes
Unofficial[83]
No No No No No No No No
MEPIS Yes Yes No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No
OpenELEC Yes Yes No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No
openSUSE[84] Discontinued
42.1
Yes No No[85] No[85] No partial[86] partial[87] No No No No No No No No
OpenWrt[88] Yes No No Yes No No No Yes No No Yes Yes No No No No
Oracle Linux[89] Yes Yes Discontinued
5
[90]
No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Parabola GNU/Linux-libre Yes Yes No No No No No Yes[91][92] No Yes Yes No No No No No
Red Flag Linux Discontinued
8.0
[93]
Discontinued
8.0
[93]
Discontinued
3
[94]
No Discontinued
3
[94]
No No No No No No No No No No No
Red Hat Linux[95] Discontinued
9.0
No Discontinued
7.1-7.2
Test release
5.1
[96]
No Discontinued
4.0-4.2
5.1-6.2
Test release
5.1
[96]
No No No Test release
5.1
[96]
No Discontinued
7.2
Yes Discontinued
2.1-7.1
Test release
5.1
[96]
Red Hat Enterprise Linux[97] Discontinued
2.1-6
[98]
Yes
3+
Discontinued
2.1-5
[99]
Yes
3+
Yes
3+
No No No No No No No Discontinued
3-4
[100]
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 Discontinued
3-4
No No No No No No No No No No No No No
SHR No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No
Slackware Yes Yes No No No Discontinued
?
[101]
No Yes No No No No Discontinued
?
[102]
Discontinued
?
[102]
Discontinued
8.1
[103]
No
Source Mage GNU/Linux Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No ? No No No No No No
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server[104] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No Yes No No
Tor-ramdisk Yes Yes[105] No No No No No No No No Yes[106] No No No No No
TurnKey GNU/Linux Selected ISOs
available
Yes No No No No No No - but under development by community No No No No No No No No
Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Lubuntu Yes Yes No Yes No No No Yes, including 64-bit ARMv8-A No No No No No No No No
Ututo Yes Yes No No No No No No No In progress No No No No No No
Void Linux Yes Yes No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No
XBMCbuntu Yes No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No
Yellow Dog Linux No No No Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No
Distribution x86 x86-64 ia64 ppc ppc64 sparc32 sparc64 arm hppa loongson mips sh s390 s390x alpha m68k

Package management and installation[edit]

Information on features in the distributions. Package numbers are only approximate (some distributions like Ubuntu tend to separate tools into different packages (usually stable release, development release, documentation and debug).

Distribution 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 8,135[107] apk[108] .apk[109] setup-alpine No ? ?
ALT Linux 8,300[110] APT (APT-RPM), RPM RPM Yes ? ?
Arch Linux 8,892[111] 8,892+34,341 from ABS and AUR [112] Pacman .pkg.tar.xz None (install scripts only) No Yes iPXE
BLAG 10,000[113] RPM, yum, APT RPM Yes No No
Bodhi Linux 35,000 APT .dpkg Ubiquity Yes ? ?
CentOS 17,565[114] RPM, yum/up2date RPM Yes Yes ?
Chakra 3,074[115] CCR: 4,663[116] Pacman (will be replaced by Akabei in future) .pkg.tar.xz Package manager in development ? ?
ClearOS RPM, yum RPM No ? ?
CrunchBang Linux 23,000 APT .deb Yes ? ?
Damn Small Linux 610 myDSL, APT .dsl, .tar.gz, .uci, .unc, .deb No ? ?
Debian 56,864[117] 21,041[note 1] APT .deb Debian-Installer Yes Yes PXE
Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre 484 pkgsystem[118] .tlz ? No No No
dyne:bolic ? ? APT .deb Debian-Installer Yes No No
Elive 20,000 APT .deb Yes ? ?
Fedora 22,804[119] DNF, yum, PackageKit RPM Anaconda Yes Yes ?
Gentoo 108[120] 19,092[121][note 2] Portage .ebuild, .tbz2 Yes[122] ? PXE[123]
gNewSense ? ? APT .deb Debian-Installer Yes Yes No
gnuLinEx 200 APT .deb Yes ? ?
GuixSD 4,460[124] 4,460 Guix .scm, .go guix system init No Yes No
Knoppix 3,600 APT .deb No ? ?
LibreCMC/LibreWRT 826 ? ? ? ? ? ?
Linux Mint 50,781 APT .deb Ubiquity Yes ? ?
Mageia 17,283 (i586), 11,409 (x86-64)[125] 8,834[126] urpmi, rpmdrake RPM DrakX Yes Yes ?
Mandriva Linux 22,600 urpmi, rpmdrake[127] RPM DrakX Yes ? ?
Manjaro Linux ? ? from AUR[112] Pacman .pkg.tar.xz None (install scripts only) Yes[128] Yes iPXE
MEPIS 20,000 APT .deb MEPIS Install Yes ? ?
Musix GNU+Linux 1819 APT .deb Debian-Installer Yes No No
OpenELEC 140[129] XBMCbuntu addon manager, own and 3rd party addons .zip Yes ? ?
openSUSE 69,367 34,891[130] YaST, Zypper RPM YaST Yes Yes ?
OpenWrt 2,000 opkg .ipk - No ? ?
Parabola GNU/Linux-libre 15,352[131] ? Pacman .pkg.tar.xz None (install scripts only) No MIPS64 No
Pardus 4,000 PiSi .pisi YALI Yes ? ?
Parsix 29,000 14,900 APT .deb Yes ? ?
PCLinuxOS 12,000 APT, RPM RPM Yes ? ?
Puppy 700 PupGet, DotPup .pup, .pet Yes ? ?
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3,000 (plus 9,155 from EPEL[132]) RPM, yum RPM Yes ? ?
Rxart 5,000 APT .deb Yes ? ?
Sabayon Linux >13,130 Portage, Entropy ebuild, .tbz2 Calamares Yes ? ?
Scientific APT/yum RPM Yes ? ?
Slackware 2,292 installpkg, upgradepkg tgz, .txz, .tlz, .tbz No ? ?
Slax 2,050 none .lzm ? ?
SliTaz GNU/Linux 3,381[133] Tazpkg .tazpkg tazinst Yes iPXE iPXE
Source Mage GNU/Linux 5,514 Sorcery Package Manager src Yes ? ?
SUSE Linux 24,094 11,385 YaST, Zypper RPM YaST Yes ? ?
Tiny Core Linux 25,160 ab, tce-load tcz tc-install, core2usb Yes ? ?
Tiny SliTaz 50 Web site[134] tazpkg No ? iPXE
Tor-ramdisk none none No ? ?
Trisquel 52,748[135] ? APT .deb Ubiquity Yes Yes ?
TurnKey GNU/Linux As per Debian + ~30 custom packages As per Debian (currently TurnKey only supplies source code for custom packages) APT .deb DI-Live (custom fork of Debian Installer) No No No
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu 58,318[136] 24,474[note 3] APT .deb Ubiquity Yes Yes PXE
Ututo 5,000 ? UTUTO Package Manager ebuild ? ? No No
Vector Linux slapt-get, gslapt, installpkg tgz Yes ? ?
Void Linux 6,000 ? xbps .xbps No Yes ?
XBMC Live APT .deb No ? ?
Zentyal APT .deb dpkg Yes ? ?
Zenwalk 2,000 netpkg, installpkg, upgradepkg tgz, txz Yes ? ?
Distribution 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
Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre 655 ? Yes ? ? ?
Elive 700 Yes Yes
Fedora 1,434 256 to 1,024 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gentoo 2,048 up to 128 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Grml 460 32 to 128 Yes No Yes Yes
Knoppix CD
700 128 to 320 Yes Yes Only DVD edition is maintained
Knoppix DVD
4,813 128 to 500 No Yes
Mandriva Linux One 700 128 to 768 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manjaro Linux 548 to 1,900[137] 256 to 1,024 Yes Yes Yes Yes
MEPIS 700 to 4,000 128 to 512 Yes Yes Yes Yes
MCNLive 350 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
Oralux 500 Yes Yes No longer updated
Parabola 531 ? 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[138] By hand
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[139] 640 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Slax 200 96 to 320 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 1.44 4 Yes Yes By SliTaz By SliTaz
Tor-ramdisk 5 256 or >[140] Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trinity Rescue Kit 104 Yes Yes
Trisquel 1,500[141] 384 Yes Yes Yes Yes
TurnKey GNU/Linux Core (base) appliance ISO 212 ~173 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ubuntu 1,400[142] 384 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ututo 3,500 ? No Yes Yes ?
Edubuntu 2,900[143] Yes Yes Yes
Kubuntu 1,400[144] 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[145] 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[146] Unknown PaX Yes Unknown
Debian/Ubuntu Yes SELinux,[147] AppArmor PaX optional Optional Optional
Fedora Yes SELinux[148] Exec Shield[149] No No
Gentoo[150] Optional SELinux, AppArmor[151] PaX optional Optional Optional
gNewSense Unknown SELinux, AppArmor[152] Unknown Unknown Unknown
HLFS Yes Unknown PaX Yes Unknown
Mandriva Unknown AppArmor[153] Unknown Unknown Yes
SUSE Linux Yes AppArmor[154] Hardware NX and other methods in mainline kernel and toolchain[155] No No
Tor-ramdisk Unknown Unknown PaX Yes No
Trisquel Unknown SELinux, AppArmor[156] Unknown Unknown Unknown

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Note this number is just of packages in the Official Gentoo Overlay (or Portage Tree). Several hundred other packages are available from other overlays
  3. ^ From the Sources.gz files in the main,universe, multiverse and restricted sections of Ubuntu Wily.

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External links[edit]