This page provides general information about notable Linux distributions in the form of a categorized list. Distributions are organized into sections by the major distribution they are based on, or the package management system they are based around.
Debian is a distribution that emphasizes free software. It is supported on many hardware platforms. Debian and distributions based on it use the .deb package format and the dpkg package manager.
Attempts to specialize in audio and video production on x86-64 workstations.
French. Designed for data processing in educational establishments.
Former DeMuDi for multimedia production
For Lithuanian and Latvian languages
A compact distribution from the Czech Republic that focuses on providing a user-friendly desktop environment.
Commercial. Short-lived desktop distribution, bought by Xandros Linux.
Damn Small Linux
A desktop Linux distribution designed to be extremely lightweight and run on less powerful hardware.
A Brazilian Linux distribution.
Router/Firewall and NAS/PDC
A Live CD and Distribution featuring Enlightenment as the only window manager. Aims to be intuitive and easy to use.
A small system administration Live CD that is available for multiple architectures.
Commercial. Router/firewall distribution.
A distribution promoted by the government of Extremadura, Spain.
Live CD for system recovery
An installable live CD for desktop usage using KDE, focusing on convenient scripts and GUI for ease of use.
The first Live CD (later DVD) version of Debian GNU/Linux.
Earlier, it was a version of the Knoppix distribution, modified with Debian and designed for Brazilian users.
The Linux Embedded Appliance Framework. A tiny primarily floppy-based distribution for routers, firewalls and other appliances.
An ISO 9241 industry workplace certified Linux distribution, deployed at the City of Munich, Germany.
Commercial. Desktop-oriented distribution, previously called Lindows. Focuses on a proprietary software application manager obtained via a paid (CNR) subscription. Bought by Xandros Linux.
A development platform for hand held devices such as the Nokia N800 and N810 Internet Tablets and other Linux-based devices.
Focuses on ease of use. Also includes lightweight variant called antiX.
Debian based network penetration-testing distribution for mobile phones.
A Debian and Morphix based distribution focused for desktop usage in Nepali language computing.
Debian packages and ROM image for the Sharp Zaurus PDA. Replaced by Ångström distribution.
A modified version of Debian that installs pre-configured and is specifically meant for a High speed multimedia Networks.
Optimized for personal computers
Progeny Componentized Linux
Distribution from Progeny Linux Systems which was also founded by Debian founder Ian Murdock.
pure:dyne is a Debian based operating system developed to provide media artists with a complete set of tools for realtime audio and video processing.
Desktop-oriented distribution. Focused on providing proprietary software.
Distribution developed and maintained by GMSI (Gemini Microsystems International) for its line of Visual Computing workstations.
Multilingual desktop-oriented Live CD based on Debian unstable.
A distribution from Norway. It is provided as a thin client distribution for schools.
A Chinese distribution
Includes the Mezzo desktop environment. Previous versions were based on Knoppix.
The Linux Router Project
A defunct floppy-based distribution for routers and firewalls. Supplanted by LEAF Project.
A distribution sponsored by Canonical Ltd as well as receiving major funding from South African Mark Shuttleworth. Aims to offer a complete and polished desktop on a single CD.
Virtual desktop project
Commercial distribution that would have included GNOME. Short-lived.
Xandros Open Circulation Edition
Based on Xandros 3.0 Standard Edition. DVD burning is disabled and CD burning is restricted to a maximum speed of 4X.
Specialized Knoppix distribution for easy setup of the MythTV PVR software.
A Live CD distribution with different flavours, including GNOME. Used as a base for many other custom live distribution such as Clusterix, PHlAK or Gnix.
A Knoppix/Debian based distribution, intended for music production, graphic design, audio, video editing, and other tasks. It is built with only free software.
Ubuntu is a distribution based on Debian. Each has a different release schedule; Debian's release cycle is about 1.5 years and Ubuntu's is 6 months. Ubuntu's packages are downloaded from Debian, re-packaged with Ubuntu version numbers and integrated to the system with Ubuntu-specific patches as needed. Ubuntu officially only supports 2 computer architectures, Debian about 10. Ubuntu has two maintenance lines (stable, in development), Debian has several suites (stable, testing, unstable, experimental).
These Ubuntu variants simply install a set of packages different from the original Ubuntu, but since they draw additional packages and updates from the same repositories as Ubuntu, all of the same software is available for each of them.
Ubuntu Server Edition
An official derivative made for use in servers. Ubuntu Server handles mail, controls printers, acts as a fileserver, can host LAMP and more.
An official derivative of Ubuntu using KDE instead of the GNOME which is used by default in Ubuntu.
An official derivative of Ubuntu using Xfce. Xubuntu is intended for use on less-powerful computers or those who seek a highly efficient desktop environment on faster systems, and uses mostly GTK+ applications.
A complete Linux-based operating system targeted for primary and secondary education. It is freely available with community based support. The Edubuntu community is built on the ideas enshrined in the Edubuntu Manifesto: that software, especially for education, should be available free of charge and that software tools should be usable by people in their local language and despite any disabilities. Since version 8.04, Edubuntu has now been named Ubuntu Education Edition and has been made as an add-on for the Ubuntu operating system.
Gobuntu was an official derivative of the Ubuntu operating system, aiming to provide a distribution consisting entirely of free software. It was officially announced by Mark Shuttleworth on July 10, 2007, and daily builds of Gobuntu 7.10 began to be publicly released. The project ended around the release of 8.04 and has since merged into mainline Ubuntu as a 'free software' option.
Ubuntu JeOS (pronounced as "juice")
Described as "an efficient variant [...] configured specifically for virtual appliances".
An embedded operating system designed for use on mobile devices. The operating system will use Hildon from maemo as its graphical frontend.
Ubuntu based distribution for Lithuanian and Latvian people. Supported languages are Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Russian, English, Norwegian and other around Baltic region. Main language is Lithuanian.
An Ubuntu based distribution featuring the lightweight Openbox window manager and GTK+ applications developed from a minimal Ubuntu install and has been designed to offer a good balance of speed and functionality.
Designed for users who wish to use only free software. It is officially sponsored and recommended by the Free Software Foundation. The project has also produced a set of scripts that allow anyone to create a free distribution.
Chinese Linux distribution, based on Ubuntu. Its features include preconfigured Chinese applications, such as Chinese (simplified) input method, Chinese-English and English-Chinese dictionaries, and Chinese (simplified) true-type fonts.
HP Mi (MIE)
Based on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, designed by Canonical and HP for use on the HP Mini 1000 and 110 series netbooks.
Based on Ubuntu. Available as a Live CD and Full Install with tools needed for penetration-testing servers and networks. Meant to keep Ubuntu's ease of use and mix it with popular penetration testing tools. nUbuntu can also be used as a desktop distribution for advanced Linux users.Template:Citation needed
For academic and scientific use. Based on Ubuntu, but enhanced by e.g. GIS/maps, numerical modelling, 2D/3D/4D visualization, statistics, tools for creating simple and complex graphics, programming languages.
Lightweight Ubuntu derivative replacing GNOME desktop environment with lightweight IceWM window manager. Designed for ageing computer hardware.
Gentoo is a distribution designed to have highly optimized and frequently updated software. Distributions based on Gentoo use the Portage package management system with emerge or one of the alternative package managers.
Red Hat Linux and SUSE Linux were the original major distributions that used the RPM file format, which is today used in several package management systems. Both of these later divided into commercial and community-supported distributions. Red Hat Linux divided into a community-supported distribution sponsored by Red Hat called Fedora, and a commercially supported distribution called Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
A distribution for building a High-Performance Computing computer cluster, with a recent release supporting Cloud computing. It is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux but with extensions to support large multi-node heterogeneous systems for clusters (HPC), Cloud, and Data Warehousing (in development).
A distribution designed to be compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Slackware is known as a highly customizable distribution that stresses ease of maintenance and reliability over cutting-edge software and automated tools. Generally considered a distribution for advanced users, it is often suggested to those who want to learn the inner workings of a Linux operating system.
CRUX is a lightweight, i686-optimized distribution targeted at experienced users. The focus is "keep it simple", which is reflected in a simple tar.gz-based package system, BSD-style initscripts, and a relatively small collection of trimmed packages
An alternative distribution which redefines the file system hierarchy by installing everything belonging to one application in one folder under /Programs, and using symlinks from /System and its subfolders to point to the proper files.