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Understanding and Types of Linux distro

When you first got to know Linux and decided to learn Linux there was one term that was foreign to your ears that is "Linux distributions".

When you want to use Linux then you have to choose the type of Linux such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Linux times, CentOS, and so on. This type of Linux is referred to as "Linux distributions", there are hundreds of Linux distributions that are published on the internet, all of which are different and made with their respective goals.

You must first understand what a Linux distro is and know its types and types so you can determine which Linux distro best suits your needs.

What is a Linux Distro

Linux distributions are operating systems built from the Linux kernel with the addition of other components in the form of modules, applications, services, or other packages to create an operating system with specific goals that have been determined by the developer.

The Linux developers then issued and distributed their version of Linux to the public, the result of this development is what is called DISTRO.

Why are there so many Linux distro?

You already know through the history of linux that Linux's Linux "Linux Torvalds" presents his work to the world for the advancement of all humanity by giving an open-source license for the Linux kernel so that it can be developed by everyone.

Unlike Windows or macOS which are only developed internally by company employees, Linux is free to be developed by anyone and for any purpose by all humans and even aliens throughout the world and universe.

Linux has many components in it that are developed separately by different groups and organizations independently and distribute them in source code.

Until here, you already know that Linux components are produced separately by many people/groups/companies and the components are still raw, in the form of source code.

If you want, you can take these components for free from the developer on the internet and then arrange them to create the Linux version you want.

The problem is that compiling Linux components so that they run optimally is not easy and can only be done by experts, therefore there are companies or groups that focus on assembling these Linux components into an ideal Linux operating system for a particular purpose.

The developers of the Linux distributions that you use to do the hard work for you, so you only need to use the finished product without the hassle of assembling your own Linux.

Likewise, when you need an application or an update, the Linux distro has prepared everything so you just click to install it using the package manager.

There are so many developers who assemble Linux components for a variety of different purposes so that there are many Linux distributions scattered.

Difference between Linux distributions

Until here you now understand how a Linux is formulated by the developers of the Linux distro, what you probably don't know is, every Linux distro has specific goals and objectives for their final product (Linux distro).

Each Linux distribution is made with specific objectives, this is intended so that developers can optimize the performance of Linux versions when used in accordance with the specified goals.

Linux Mint is designed to be as easy to use as Windows so that Windows users can directly use Linux without any difficulty.

Kali Linux is designed for IT forensic and security audit purposes, that's why in Kali Linux many hacking tools are included by default.

Ubuntu Server is designed to build a server that emphasizes stability and flexibility so that the server version of Linux only includes the core modules and some services, while for display, entertainment is eliminated.

Android is designed for the HP operating system, so even though both Linux Linux has a way of working and an environment that is very different from standard Linux. This is made to get the best performance and security level.

The most basic thing that can be felt is the difference from various Linux distributions is the package manager used, Package Manager is an application used by users to search, install, update and delete applications.

Debian Linux distro and its derivatives use APT, Redhat and its derivatives use YUM while the Arch distro and its derivatives use Pacman.

Which Linux distribution is right for you?

You already know that each Linux distro is designed for a different purpose, if you want to find a Linux distro that suits you then you should know first "for what purpose are you using Linux?".

Broadly speaking, Linux is divided into 2 types based on the intended use, namely Linux desktop and Linux server.

As the name suggests Linux desktop is designed for use by ordinary users who do not need to study technical knowledge so that it can be used to help with daily work such as homework and office.

Linux desktop has a beautiful appearance like Windows, you can click here and there, drag and drop like you are using Windows. Its appearance is no less beautiful with windows, even you can set your own Linux desktop appearance according to what you want without having to download a theme.

On the other hand, the Linux server is designed for geeks and developers to build a powerful server for use by many people, for example, the webserver that is used by the website whose article you are reading.

The server version of Linux doesn't have a desktop display, there is only a console and you can only use the keyboard to use it by typing Linux commands.

Linux servers also cannot play music let alone play movies, browse or stream YouTube. Pure Linux server is made only to run the server to be stable so that it removes many unnecessary features.

5 Kinds of Main Linux Distros

Until now there are hundreds of derivatives that appear on the internet and a total of thousands can be worldwide if totaled with distributions that do not appear on the internet and are only used for certain communities/groups such as industry, military, security, and research institutions.

The following is the oldest Linux parent distro that still survives until now and from this parent distro comes the distro/child distros which were developed but with different names.

Each major distribution below has a desktop or server version, so you don't worry when choosing it, you can explore it on the official website.


Debian was launched to the public in September 1993, Debian is one of the largest and most popular distributions with the most users to date. Ubuntu is one of the successful Debian derivatives and is very popular today.


Slackware is the oldest Linux distribution that was released to the public on July 17, 1993, a popular derivative distribution to date is SUSE.

OpenSUSE distributions offer speed and stability, according to what is written in the distro's documentation.


RedHat was founded in 1993 and was introduced to the public at the end of 1994, RedHat is aiming at enterprise-class users by creating OSs for servers.

Some derived distributions that dominate the operating systems of enterprise-class servers include RHEL, Fedora, Oracle Enterprise, and Oracle Linux.

RedHat is not suitable for beginners, because redhat is designed for servers.


Gentoo Linux was introduced to the public on July 26, 2000, Gentoo is a replacement for the name of the previous Linux distribution named Enoch.

Have you ever heard of ChromeOS made by Google? yep, ChromeOS is a Gentoo puppy distro developed by google.

Gentoo is not suitable for beginners but is very suitable for people who want to learn more about Linux.


Arch Linux was introduced to the public on March 11, 2002, Arch Linux brought the concept of simplicity, the correctness of the program, and minimalism.

"Simplicity" is defined as "no need for additions, modifications, or complications" according to the developer's point of view, not the user's point of view.

Arch Linux is not very suitable for you who are just learning Linux, but it is very suitable for people who want to learn deeply about Linux and like to open.

Free BSD

Wait a minute, bro, technically FreeBSD is not Linux (because it doesn't use the Linux kernel).FreeBSD is a UNIX operating system developed by AT&T through the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) branch.

Timeline Development of Linux distributions

Next, I will attach the distribution of the distribution timeline of distribution along with the downfall taken from Wikimedia

Open: Development Timeline for Linux distributions

At we will use a Debian derivative from Ubuntu, I deliberately chose a derivative because the appearance has been polished as beautiful as possible making it easier for people who are just learning Linux and this distro are most popular among Linux Desktop users.

5 Kinds of the Best and Most Popular Linux Server Distros

If Windows became the most popular operating system among desktop computer users, then Linux became the most widely used and popular operating system used on servers and became the life of the internet.

The selection of Linux distributions for servers is usually based on personal desires/preferences or it could be because of the benefits offered by these distributions.

Whatever distro you choose, users will not be aware and care because it makes no difference to them.


Debian is one of the distribution brokers who are more than 20 years old who remain focused to create a stable system to survive for a long time.

There have been many distros derived from Debian that are very popular, for example, ubuntu.
There are 3 versions in Debian namely:
  • unstable
  • testing
  • stable
For an application that can have a stable status, it must be tested for months to ensure that the application/package is truly stable.


Canonical is the big company behind ubuntu, this company has made an LTS (Long Term Support) kernel version for ubuntu server.

Ubuntu is built based on Debian main Linux distro.

Just like the desktop version, this kernel is designed to be supported for 5 years without having to upgrade.

Ubuntu server also offers the ubuntu cloud server if you want to build a cloud platform such as OpenStack, Bootstack, or others.


CentOS is the result of developing Enterprise Linux Linux (RHEL) distributions developed by the community, as well as Fedora.

If you want to try a RedHat Linux server, then CenOS can be your best choice.


OpenSUSE is a Linux distribution designed for developers and system administrators who want to create their own servers.

Very simple and easy to use by the admin because by default it doesn't need a GUI so this server can run.

This distro was developed on the basis of the Slackware master distribution.


Just like CentOS, Fedora is a distribution result of the development of Redhat Enterprise Linux by the community.

Fedora uses FreeIPA which allows you to manage authentication credentials, access control information, and conduct audits centrally.

4 Kinds of Popular Linux Desktop Distros for Beginners

Formerly Linux was only created for server operating systems, but now Linux has been developed so that it can be used on desktop computers and can function and replace Windows.

You don't need to know the Linux command, you can directly use Linux desktop like using widows.

With an elegant appearance, beautiful and attractive and you can change at will, really different from windows that you can't change.

The 6 distributions below are perfect for beginners who want to try Linux for the first time.

Linux Mint

Linux Mint (Ubuntu Ubuntu Distro) also appears by making Linux specifically for the desktop with a beautiful and sweet appearance aimed at making it easier for beginner Linux users who want to migrate and learn Linux.

I highly recommend for those of you who are just learning Linux to use this distribution.

Ubuntu Desktop

In accordance with the ubuntu tagline: "Linux for human beings", Canonical has worked hard so that Linux can be used by anyone without having to master technical skills.

Ubuntu desktop can be the right choice to start learning to use Linux besides Linux mint.

Ubuntu or Linux mint is actually the same, only different casings, this is because Linux int is the result of the development of ubuntu.

Elementary OS

When Windows users want to try Linux, the first thing they look for is an attractive appearance.
Elementary OS offers an attractive appearance, with a display similar to macOS.

don't worry if you have previously used ubuntu / Linux mint because the elementary OS is based on ubuntu.

So you will be very familiar with the friend.

Zorin OS

Most potential Linux users are Windows users, which is why the Zorin OS desktop is designed as closely as possible with Windows.

Zorin OS is perfect as a free and legal alternative Windows operating system, "Zorin OS for Windows Refugees"

Zorin OS has been loaded with lots of productive applications so you don't need to search and install applications manually.

Zorin OS can even be used to run Windows games and some Windows applications.

Linux desktops can be customized at will, there are many themes that you can choose so that your desktop is similar to Windows or macOS.

Types of Linux Hacking and PenTesting distributions

Besides being known by the reputation of the most widely used server operating system to support the internet, Linux is also known as the favorite operating system reputation of developers and hackers.

There are several distributions dedicated to creating frameworks in development, hacking and pen-testing activities.

Basically, this distribution is focused on making Linux a platform that much as an audit by providing many security testing tools inside.

Kali Linux

There are many distributions for hacking and pen-testing or security auditing purposes, but Linux distributions are becoming very popular.

Formerly called Backtrack, but now it is called Kali Linux which is a distro developed from Debian.

Kali Linux provides many security system penetration tools and forensic tools that are commonly used by professional hackers/security auditors.

In addition to Linux times you can also use similar distributions that have the same function, you can use this distro as an alternative to Linux distributions:
  • BlackBox
  • Parrot Security OS
  • BlackArch
  • Bugtraq
  • DEFT Linux
  • Pentoo Linux

Type of Linux Distro for Smartphone

In addition to servers and desktop computers, Linux has also been developed for use on mobile devices, especially mobile devices.

Unconsciously, you have been using Linux on your handheld device even in your car too.


Android is the Linux operating system for the most mobile phones used today in various brands, types, and models of cellphones.

From mobile phones worth hundreds of thousands to tens of millions have used the Android operating system.

In addition to Android, there are actually many Linux operating systems created and developed for mobile devices that can be Android alternatives
  • Tizen,
  • Plasma mobile
  • PostmarketOS
  • PureOS / Librem
  • Ubuntu Touch
  • Monday

Not Going to Vain Learn Ubuntu & Redhat

You must believe in that you will not regret learning about Ubuntu and Fedora for your future career in the Linux world later.


Ubuntu is built as a distro that is the most widely used by people around the world besides that Ubuntu also has complete and neat documentation so you don't need to worry about Ubuntu problems
Ubuntu is also widely used among desktop Linux users because it has good compatibility with hardware.


Fedora is a piece of Linux Redhat Enterprise, a bright career prospect if you can use this distribution.

Just say the principal of Oracle Indonesia always recommends the RHEL operating system for their Oracle applications.

Redhat and Fedora are like you are not much different so you will benefit a lot from using Fedora.

BEGINNERS, It's Good to Use Linux Mint

For those who are just learning Linux, I highly recommend that you use Linux Mint, which is a Debian derivative.
The derivative sequence is like this: DEBIAN -> UBUNTU ---> Linux Mint

Best Linux Mint Distro Linux Desktop

I will choose this distribution as our learning media because Linux Mint is indeed designed and developed for beginners who want to learn Linux or switch to using Linux.

Linux Mint also has a look that is very similar to windows so it will make it easier for you.

All distributions are basically the same because all are still using the Linux Kernel so you can fit your needs and which Linux distribution you will use.

If you have mastered one of these distributions, you will be easy to learn about the others.

Like you drive using a motorized vehicle, whether manual or automatic, only a few things differently and the rest are the same.

congratulations you have completed the material in the second chapter of the Linux course for beginners you can go to the next chapter

If you have a personal opinion please fill in the comments column below.
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Aliif Arief
Aliif Arief web and app enthusiast

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