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What is Linux Distribution – Distros?

Even if you are new to Linux, you probably have the term “Linux distribution”. But what exactly is Linux distribution and what is the difference between different Linux distributions?

If you want to use the Windows operating system, just select one of the versions and then install it. All parts of Windows are manufactured by Microsoft and come in one package.

But Linux is different. The Linux operating system is not developed by a single organization. A complete operating system is made up of different parts that work on Linux for different organizations and people around the world. If we want to name a few different parts of a Linux operating system, for example, we can use the Linux kernel (operating system kernel), the GNU Shell tool (the terminal interface and many of the commands you use), the X Server (the interface field). Provide a graphical user interface) and Desktop Environment (which runs on the X Server to provide a graphical desktop). These components and other applications may be independently developed by organizations or individuals, and most are open source.

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If you want, you can get Linux kernel source code, GNU Shell tools, desktop environments, and other programs, compile each one and eventually integrate them to have a complete Linux operating system. Compiling these software as well as integrating it to work together and interact properly can take a long time. A Linux distribution actually eliminates the need to do this and provides all of these components in a single package.

In a Linux distribution, all the applications needed, from the Linux kernel to the applications and GUI, are compiled and delivered in the form of a complete operating system that is easy to install and use. In addition, in many Linux distributions final changes such as adding themes and additional software to the operating system are taken into account.

One of the important software used in any distribution is a package manager. The task of this program is to install, update and manage applications. One of the major differences between the various Linux distributions is the package manager software used by them.

Differences between Linux distributions

Different Linux distributions have been developed with different approaches. For example, the Fedora-Fedora distribution does not use closed-source software, while in a distribution such as Mint, it is also used to provide more software to users of the operating system. Also another important difference between them is the software that is intended by default. For example, Ubuntu – Ubuntu distribution that used Unity up to version 2.3.

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Another difference is the length of time a Linux distributor supports it and offers various updates, including security updates. For example, LTS versions of the Ubuntu – Ubuntu or Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution are distributions that are designed to be stable and offer security updates and other updates for years to come. Some distributions are designed for use on desktops and some for use on servers without a GUI.

Which of the Linux distribution is right for you?

Keep in mind that different distributions are designed for different applications or with a different philosophy. It’s not like there is an ideal Linux distribution for every application. Part of deciding what Linux distribution to use depends on how important you are to using free software. Another part is the package manager software used in different distributions. You should also consider whether the hardware you are using needs a driver installation and whether your hardware driver is compatible with the distribution you have selected.

Ref 1: https://www.linux.com/what-is-linux/

Ref 2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_distribution

Image credit: https://thecustomizewindows.com/2012/06/linux-distribution-a-brief-introduction-on-linux-distro/