Does It Matter Which Linux Distro We Use?

I have heard a lot of Linux users say, “It really does not matter which distribution of Linux that you use.”

Are they right about that?

Or are they entirely wrong?

To find out if their statement is true, I will have to do an in-depth analysis.

So, it is dissecting time!

Not Every Distribution Of Linux Is User-Friendly

If you are recommending Linux to someone who has never used it before, you will most likely recommend a distribution of Linux that is user-friendly; for example:

The distributions of Linux that were mentioned above work well out-of-the-box.

In my case, the first distribution of Linux that I ever used was Ubuntu (I eventually moved on to another distribution of Linux ― one that is not user-friendly for the novice user).

As a matter of fact, a lot of the Linux users started off with a user-friendly distribution of Linux and moved on to a more advanced version of Linux when they learned the proverbial ropes of Ubuntu or the other Ubuntu-based distributions.

The newbie to Linux would have a very hard time wrapping their mind around Arch Linux (Which by the way, is one of my favourite distributions of Linux).

So, in this case, it does matter which distribution of Linux the newcomer to Linux utilizes.

There Are Distributions Of Linux That Are Most Suited For People Who Want The Latest Of Everything

Those of you who use Linux would know that Arch Linux provides the user with the latest kernel and software.

If you do not want to go through the time and the trouble of installing Arch Linux in the manner that is specified in the ArchWiki, you can install the following distributions of Linux with ease:

Please note, that Arch Linux and the other distributions of Linux that are based on Arch Linux are not for the faint of heart.

And, why is that so?

Because Arch Linux and the other distributions of Linux that are based on Arch Linux use a rolling release model.

So, be prepared to fix any broken packages (Now, do not allow that to scare you away from using Arch Linux and the other distributions of Linux that are based on Arch Linux, because breakages happen once in a while).

Do keep in mind that if you plan on using Arch Linux and its derivatives, you will have to learn how to use basic Linux commands in the terminal.

Now, in the case of a person wanting the latest kernel along with bleeding-edge software, it does matter which distribution of Linux they choose.

There Are Distributions Of Linux That Are Best Suited For People Who Want Stability

The stable branch of Debian has a high track record for being a very stable version of Linux.

People who do not want to go through the hassle of installing Debian can install other distributions of Linux that are based on it; such as:

Debian has a reputation for containing software that is many versions behind (This is what adds to its level of stability).

Now, in spite of the software on Debian being old, they are patched to prevent any security-related vulnerabilities.

So, in regards to stability, it does matter which distribution of Linux a person uses.

There Are Distributions Of Linux Without Systemd

There are Linux users who would not touch systemd with a ten-foot pole.

And, why is that the case?

Some Linux users hate systemd because it goes against the Unix philosophy that states, “Do one thing and do it well.”

Apparently, systemd does too many things underneath the hood for some people’s liking.

The good news is that systemd-haters can download the following Linux distributions (Ones that do not contain systemd):

So, in this case, choosing a distribution that is devoid of systemd matters a lot to those people that want nothing to do with systemd.

There Are Distributions Of Linux That Are Best Suited For Desktop Environment Enthusiasts

A desktop environment enthusiast can be viewed as someone who is fully devoted to their favourite desktop environment.

In my case, I am a huge fan of the MATE Desktop Environment (I mostly go for the option of using the MATE desktop environment whenever I am installing a distribution of Linux to test).

I would like to state for the record, that the desktop environment of a person’s choice (whether it be MATE, Xfce, LXQt, etcetera) can be added to any distribution of Linux.

However certain desktop environments tend to work way better on certain distributions of Linux; for example:

Therefore, choosing the right distribution of Linux matters a lot for the desktop environment enthusiast.

There Are Distributions Of Linux That Still Support 32-Bit Computers

Those of us who use Linux are aware of the fact, that most of the popular Linux distributions have dropped their support for 32-bit computers (Yes, believe it or not, there are people on the face of the Earth who still use those ancient 32-bit computers).

People who need 32-bit support for their computers can download the following distributions of Linux:

The fewer computers there are in the landfill, the better!

I have nothing against a person for wanting to use a computer with a 32-bit architecture in this modern age.

Where the usage of 32-bit computers is concerned, it truly matters which distribution of Linux is used.

Specific Software Can Be Installed On Almost Any Distribution Of Linux

Some people who have used Solus complained that Solus’s software repository is not as large as Ubuntu’s software repository (That statement is true).

However, little do they know that they can acquire additional software by using:

Therefore, it grants the Linux user the freedom to find the software that they desire via additional sources.

Arch Linux users can also utilize software from those three sources that were mentioned above (But, they would hardly do such a thing because they can access almost any software that they can think of via the Arch User Repository).

Some Debian users who want more up-to-date software and do not want to compromise the stability of their operating system by switching to Debian’s Testing or Unstable Branch will opt for using Flatpak.

A lot of the Linux users on the other distributions of Linux would use APPImages because APPImages are distro-agnostic.

So, where free and open-source software is concerned, it does not matter which distribution of Linux that you use.

Wrapping Up

As you have learned, it does matter (in most cases) which distribution of Linux that we use (Our specific needs would determine which distribution of Linux we would utilize).

However, in regards to the availability of software, it does not matter which distribution of Linux that we use.

Why?

Because in addition to the software that comes readily available to us in our chosen distribution of Linux, we can find almost any software that we need via:

  • Flatpak
  • Snaps
  • APPImages

Some of the Linux gurus uttered the saying, “It really does not matter which distribution of Linux that you use,” with the intention of letting all Linux users know, that they can get their work done on any Linux distribution and that distro-hopping was unnecessary.

The funny thing is that the saying, “It really does not matter which distribution of Linux that you use,” is neither one hundred percent true or false.

52 thoughts on “Does It Matter Which Linux Distro We Use?

      1. And I want to tell you that I have also installed 64-bit linux systems on 32-bit computers, and vice versa, and it works well. If a system doesn’t match the computer, it won’t install . It’s simple … 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. 🙂 In my case, I have done it the other way around; I experimented with Linux that was designed to work with a 32-bit computer on a 64-bit computer (Therefore, I know firsthand that a 32-bit Linux distro would work on a 64-bit computer).

          Unfortunately, I do not have a 32-bit computer to install a 64-bit Linux distro on.

          Also, it is a common belief among a lot of Linux users, that a 64-bit Linux distro would not work on a computer with a 32-bit architecture.

          So, I will have to take your word for it, Walter.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hi Renard ,

            Today, I have just installed Manjaro Cinnamon 64-bits on my old machine (15 years old) which works in 32-bits. And everything works fine.
            And the installation was faster than the one of Manjaro XFCE 32-bits done yesterday on the same machine.

            So you see, a 64-bit ditribution also works on a 32-bit machine.

            Best regards 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  1. I used Linux maybe 15 years ago when I had a computer geek boyfriend. If I recall correctly, I used the Fedora distribution, and it was easy enough to use. Then I ditched the boyfriend, bought a new computer, and have stuck with Mac and MacOS ever since.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Robin's Rants and Raves and commented:
    Although I have written extensively on why the Linux distribution you choose matters, like for example, choose a distro and you’re also choosing it’s software repositories, or your choice of distro includes your selection of support level, community, etc. Here’s a fresh summary.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Linux is great! I currently run on Mint and it is so simple compared to many of the others! That and GrapheneOS on my phone and RaspberryPis throughout the house. My boyfriend has run machines with a dozen variants… I think his favorite right now is Kali and been playing with “sandboxes” which, as I understand it, allows you to isolate tasks and assign permissions within different modules. Open-source software is the way to go.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dolly, please keep in mind not every Linux user is a techie. I know I’m not. And still happy as a clam on my Arch-based Linux. Because it is in fact easier and simpler than Windows/Mac. The greatest problem for newcomers from Windows is not that they have to learn new stuff but it’s very hard for them to forget all the shit they once learned in order to use Windows.

      My desktop looks a lot like Win7 and the operation is very similar, too. But it’s easier and faster.

      Dom yourself a f avour, download Linux Mint, install it on an old computer and try it out. Here you go:
      https://linuxmint.com/download.php
      In my blog I helped a number of fellow housewives to get onto the Linux train. And all seem to be over the moon with it.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes, just do the updates when they come, and once a month type “sudo apt-get autoremove” in the Terminal to delete the old linux kernels. And that’s all . 🙂

        There is never a slowdown of the computer, never a bug or anything else…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dear Orca, I truly appreciate your taking the time to help me! However, on a scale from 0 to 10, if you are not a techie, I am completely below zero. I am so technologically challenged, it defies description!
        Perhaps I’ll do it one day, but I am not a housewife, even though I am retired. I work, and it keeps me pretty busy. I have to learn something new every day to teach virtually and I don’t have an old computer. My laptop is my link not only to the world, but to my work. Years ago, before Windows and in the very beginning of Internet era, as I needed a computer to work on my dissertation, my brother, a hardware engineer, sent me one in three separate boxes and guided me over the phone to stick this to here and that to there. I was still afraid to touch it; I thought it would blow up in my face. He also sent me a little red cap that read “PANIC BUTTON” and told me to put it on top of ESCAPE.
        Let me tell you, darling, I don’t have that computer and the red panic button any more, but I am still scared to download and try anything I don’t have to! 😻

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have tried many but stuck with Mint as it works. Funnily I have an old supposed 32 bit machine that runs mint 64 from a preinstalled HDD, but a clean install halts as it’s 32 bit? Its an old server.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes Neil, me too, I have a 32-bit machine that works with Mint 64-bit, + one 32-bit machine that works with Mint 32-bit and 2 other 64-bit machines that work with Mint 64-bit . Everything works …

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “I have heard a lot of Linux users say, “It really does not matter which distribution of Linux that you use.”

    Are they right about that?”

    No!

    “Or are they entirely wrong?”

    Yes! Like totally.

    “Not Every Distribution Of Linux Is User-Friendly”
    Right!

    Now you’re giving the n00bs too much choice, and while that is usually great and all sorts of cool it only confuses the n00bs and makes them wanna give up before they start:

    “Ubuntu
    Ubuntu MATE
    Linux Mint
    Zorin OS
    Linux Lite
    Elementary OS”

    Ubuntu lost all user-friendlyness loooong ago; just go with the Minty goodness and be happy for the rest of your life.

    “EndeavourOS
    ArcoLinux
    RebornOS
    Archman Linux
    ArchBang
    Artix Linux”

    Archman is just Endeavour in Turkish, Arco is for people who wanna learn Linux in all aspects. I don’t have time and patience for such silly shit, so of all those Archies I can only recommend Endeavour.

    “So, be prepared to fix any broken packages”

    Nope! Not ever! Broken packages cause updates to fail. That’s all. So if an update fails, just forget about it and keep on using your system as usual. The devs and maintainers upstream will come up with a solution in hours/days. Just try to update every day and sometime it will work. It’s a special Linux technique no other OS has: Magic. =^.^=

    “Do keep in mind that if you plan on using Arch Linux and its derivatives, you will have to learn how to use basic Linux commands in the terminal.”

    Not really. Nowadays you can do everything in a GUI. But where’s the fun in that, where’s the elegance? So knowing the one or other command line is beneficial.

    “The stable branch of Debian has a high track record for being a very stable version of Linux.”

    That term “stable” has caused many hilarious and aggravating misunderstandings in the Linuxverse. Stable doesn’t mean your system won’t crash – it’s Linux, it won’t crash anyway – it just means they are freezing the development at a specific point in time, Debian once paused for 4 years, which is good for lazy users or admins of server farms and huge machine parks of hundreds or thousands of machines.

    “MX Linux
    LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition)
    Elive
    Netrunner
    BunsenLabs Linux
    SparkyLinux”

    Of those I like Sparky best, and for people who love Mint I’d recommend LMDE.

    “Debian has a reputation for containing software that is many versions behind (This is what adds to its level of stability).

    Now, in spite of the software on Debian being old, they are patched to prevent any security-related vulnerabilities.

    “Devuan
    PCLinuxOS
    Void Linux
    Calculate Linux
    Gentoo Linux
    Obarun”

    These are all freakshow kits for little boys who have nothing worthwile to do on their computers and just wanna play and tinker.

    “Flatpak
    Snaps
    AppImages”

    I never found out what this shit is. Doesn’t matter since I quite obviously don’t need it. When your distro’s repo is too small – don’t use the distro and find something better suited. Simples.

    “The funny thing is that the saying, “It really does not matter which distribution of Linux that you use,” is neither one hundred percent true or false.”

    It’s 100% WRONG! For me it matters a helluvalot! When a distro doesn’t offer the Mate DE, I won’t use it. I could, ok, but I won’t! Because I’m the nemesis of every Linux expert: a creature of habit, someone who wants to get their work done with the least amount of keyclicks and mousestrokes. I am a USER!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Apparently, you missed the part, “I would like to state for the record, that the desktop environment of a person’s choice (whether it be MATE, Xfce, LXQt, etcetera) can be added to any distribution of Linux.”

      In my blog post, I mentioned, “Therefore, choosing the right distribution of Linux matters a lot for the desktop environment enthusiast.”

      I am a desktop environment enthusiast; hence the reason for being deeply attached to the MATE desktop environment.

      The part where it does not matter which Linux distribution that you use is the availability of packages via:

      • Flatpak

      • Snaps

      • AppImages

      Unfortunately, the rest of the other Linux distributions do not have the vast amount of our software that our beloved Arch Linux provides.

      Hey, the truth is that packages do break on Arch Linux occasionally and when that happens, they can be fixed via the terminal. I do not wait for the developers to fix them.

      I am a tinkerer and I do not mind fixing things.

      In regards to choice, people need to know what options they have available to them.

      Thank you for sharing your perspective!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes Orca Flotta,

    I also tried Fedora Workstation for 3 months, but I didn’t like the layout, nor the new command lines to use. So I went back to mint .

    I think that everyone has to find what suits him …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sorry to bother you Renard but I couldn’t understand your post as I really don’t know what Linux is and what its about, could you explain to me in short words

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Linux is slowly calling me over to their side… My external drive’s indexing file got corrupted and the NTFS drive became RAW. I read somewhere that he was able to recover his files because he plugged his drive in the Linux OS. I’m not in a rush, though, but if it’s true, that is good news.

    Liked by 1 person

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