Linux distributions

Various linux distributions


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.

Distribution Description
64 Studio Attempts to specialize in audio and video production on x86-64 workstations.
AbulÉdu French. Designed for data processing in educational establishments.
AGNULA Former DeMuDi for multimedia production
Baltix For Lithuanian and Latvian languages
BeatrIX A compact distribution from the Czech Republic that focuses on providing a user-friendly desktop environment.
Corel Linux 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.
Dreamlinux A Brazilian Linux distribution.
eBox Router/Firewall and NAS/PDC
Elive A Live CD and Distribution featuring Enlightenment as the only window manager. Aims to be intuitive and easy to use.
Finnix A small system administration Live CD that is available for multiple architectures.
Gibraltar Commercial. Router/firewall distribution.
gnuLinEx A distribution promoted by the government of Extremadura, Spain.
grml Live CD for system recovery
Kanotix An installable live CD for desktop usage using KDE, focusing on convenient scripts and GUI for ease of use.
Knoppix The first Live CD (later DVD) version of Debian GNU/Linux.
Kurumin Earlier, it was a version of the Knoppix distribution, modified with Debian and designed for Brazilian users.
LEAF Project The Linux Embedded Appliance Framework. A tiny primarily floppy-based distribution for routers, firewalls and other appliances.
LiMux An ISO 9241 industry workplace certified Linux distribution, deployed at the City of Munich, Germany.
Linspire Commercial. Desktop-oriented distribution, previously called Lindows. Focuses on a proprietary software application manager obtained via a paid (CNR) subscription. Bought by Xandros Linux.
Maemo A development platform for hand held devices such as the Nokia N800 and N810 Internet Tablets and other Linux-based devices.
MEPIS Focuses on ease of use. Also includes lightweight variant called antiX.
Neopwn Debian based network penetration-testing distribution for mobile phones.
NepaLinux A Debian and Morphix based distribution focused for desktop usage in Nepali language computing.
OpenZaurus Debian packages and ROM image for the Sharp Zaurus PDA. Replaced by Ångström distribution.
Outernet Server A modified version of Debian that installs pre-configured and is specifically meant for a High speed multimedia Networks.
Parsix Optimized for personal computers
Progeny Componentized Linux Distribution from Progeny Linux Systems which was also founded by Debian founder Ian Murdock.
Pure:dyne 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.
Rxart Desktop-oriented distribution. Focused on providing proprietary software.
Salgix Distribution developed and maintained by GMSI (Gemini Microsystems International) for its line of Visual Computing workstations.
sidux Multilingual desktop-oriented Live CD based on Debian unstable.
Skolelinux A distribution from Norway. It is provided as a thin client distribution for schools.
Sunwah Linux A Chinese distribution
Symphony OS 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.
Ubuntu 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.
Ulteo Virtual desktop project
UserLinux 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.
Xebian For the Xbox home gaming console.


Knoppix, itself, is based on Debian.

Distribution Description
Feather Linux Fits in under 128 MB. It boots from either a CD or a USB flash drive. Uses Knoppix-based hardware detection and the Fluxbox window manager.
Kaella The French translation of Knoppix.
KnoppMyth Specialized Knoppix distribution for easy setup of the MythTV PVR software.
Morphix 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.
Musix 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).

Official distributions[]

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.

Distribution Description
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.
Kubuntu An official derivative of Ubuntu using KDE instead of the GNOME which is used by default in Ubuntu.
Xubuntu 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[1], and uses mostly GTK+ applications.
Edubuntu 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.[2]
Gobuntu 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".[3]
Ubuntu Mobile An embedded operating system designed for use on mobile devices. The operating system will use Hildon from maemo as its graphical frontend.
Ubuntu Netbook Remix


Released in 2008,[5] Netbook Remix is an official derivative of Ubuntu designed for netbooks using the Intel Atom processor.

Contributed distributions[]

Distribution Description
Ubuntu Studio An Ubuntu flavor providing the best open-source applications for multimedia creation aimed at the audio, video and graphic enthusiast or professional.
Mythbuntu provides an Ubuntu based and MythTV based distribution that is easy to configure, maintain, and use.

Unofficial distributions[]

Unofficial variants and derivatives are not controlled or guided by Canonical and are generally forks with different goals in mind:

Distribution Description
Alinex Portuguese Linux distribution, from Évora university, used as OEM from some Portuguese computer manufacturers.
BackTrack An Ubuntu-based network security suite from It includes many penetration testing utilities and development tools. Principally a live CD, it can also be installed.
Baltix 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.
Buddhabuntu Ubuntu based distribution for Buddhists to complement Ubuntu Christian Edition and Muslim Editions
BlankOn Ubuntu based distribution for common PC users in Indonesia, especially in the academic, corporate, and government sectorsTemplate:Citation needed
Buildix An Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, developed by Global IT professional services firm, ThoughtWorks. For agile developers.
CrunchBang Linux 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.
Eeebuntu Specifically for the Eee PC range of netbooks
Fluxbuntu Light-weight and featuring the Fluxbox window manager
gNewSense 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.
Goobuntu An Ubuntu-based distribution used internally by Google.
gOS Uses the GNOME desktop environment with user interface enhancements to make it work more like Mac OS X, it also features Google Apps, Picasa, Google Gadgets and other web-based applications, and comes with Wine 1.0 pre-installed
Guadalinex Ubuntu-based distribution promoted by the local government of Andalucia, Spain, for home users and schools (cf. EduLinux, Skolelinux).
Hiweed 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.[6]
Impi Linux South African and focuses on the enterprise and government sector.
Kuki Linux Lightweight Ubuntu-based Linux distribution founded by João Ferro, built to be a replacement for the Linpus Linux Lite distribution on the Acer Aspire One.
Linux4One Based on Ubuntu, specially designed to work on the Acer Aspire One series
Linux Mint Based on Ubuntu
LinuxMCE (Linux Media Center Edition) Kubuntu based distribution that provides in-depth HTPC functionality as well as home automation.
LOUD (LCSEE Optimized Ubuntu Distribution) An Ubuntu distribution used at West Virginia University. It contains several specialized educational packages as well as its own themes and login manager.
MAX Stands for MAdrid LinuX.
Maryan Linux Uses Enlightenment as its default window manager, also has Fluxbox and Pekwm ready to use. It is aimed at users migrating from Microsoft Windows.
Molinux Ubuntu based initiative to introduce the Castile-La Mancha community in Spain to the information society.
Moon OS Moon OS uses the Enlightenment window manager and also has an LXDE version, and is based on the LTS release.
Mundus OS An unofficial derivative of Ubuntu
nUbuntu or Network Ubuntu 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
OpenGEU Ubuntu based distribution with Enlightenment window manager, previously known as Geubuntu.
Poseidon Linux 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.
PSUbuntu Ubuntu distribution intended for the PlayStation 3.
Sabily Ubuntu based distribution for Muslims (formerly Ubuntu Muslim Edition).
Super OS (formerly: Super Ubuntu) Aiming to provide an ‘Out of the Box’ experience, containing various enhancements over Ubuntu.
Trisquel Created in Galicia (Spain). It has support for old PCs, includes a 3D desktop with Compiz.
TurnKey Linux Open source project developing a family of free, Ubuntu-based appliances optimized for ease of use in server-type usage scenarios.
Tuquito Created in Argentina.
U-lite Has the main goal to be very light consuming hardware resources. The last version uses the LXDE desktop environment. It was previously called Ubuntulite.
Ultimate Edition Formerly Ubuntu Ultimate, it is based on Ubuntu and contains various software not included in the official Ubuntu repositories.
XBMC Live An embedded operating system with XBMC Media Center designed to make any computer into a dedicated media center appliance.
Icebuntu 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.

Distribution Description
Calculate Linux Calculate Linux is a family of distributions, based on the Project Gentoo and fully compatible with it.
Gentoox An adaptation of Gentoo for the Xbox.
iloog For academic/student usage.
Knopperdisk A new distribution aimed at USB sticks.
Kororaa Aimed at easy installation of a Gentoo system by using install scripts instead of manual configuration.
Pentoo Penetration-testing Live CD
Sabayon Linux An installable Live DVD with multiple desktop environments. Uses a customized version of Red Hat's Anaconda Installer. Includes a Media Center application.
SystemRescueCD System rescue Live CD version of Gentoo.
Tin Hat Linux Based on hardened Gentoo
Ututo Made in Argentina
VidaLinux Uses Anaconda as its installer.


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.

Distribution Description
aLinux A distribution for home use designed to be equivalent to Windows XP Home (formerly known as Peanut Linux).
ALT Linux Several distributions including Master, Compact, and Junior. Provides support for Cyrillic languages. [7]
Annvix A security-focused server distribution. Originally based on Mandrake 9.2 but has diverged a lot.
Ark Linux A distribution focused on ease of use and ease of learning.
Berry Linux A medium-sized Fedora-based distribution that provides support in Japanese and English.
Caixa Mágica A Portuguese distribution.
Caldera Linux Caldera bought SCO then took the SCO name and no longer produces a Linux distribution. Last release: 3.1.1 - Jan. 30, 2002
cAos Linux A general purpose distribution. Designed to have low overhead, run on older hardware, and be easily customizable.
EduLinux A distribution for educational purposes (cf. Guadalinex, Skolelinux).
EnGarde Secure Linux Server-only distribution designed to be secure.
Fedora Community-supported distribution sponsored by Red Hat. It usually features cutting-edge Linux technologies.
Granular Linux Based on PCLinuxOS and features two desktop environments - KDE & Enlightenment
Karoshi A PCLinuxOS-based distribution designed for use in schools.
Linkat A distribution promoted by the government of Catalonia, Spain.
Mandriva Linux Easy to use system through its unique Control Center.
MCNLive A Mandriva-based distribution designed to run from CD or USB Flash Drive, focused on multimedia, internet, graphics.
PCLinuxOS A Live CD distribution. Originally based on Mandrake 9.2. Later rebased on Mandriva 2007.
Red Flag Linux A distribution developed in China and optimized for the Chinese market.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Red Hat's officially supported distribution. Meant for enterprise use.
Red Hat Linux Split into Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The last official release was Red Hat Linux 9 in March 2003.
SUSE Linux A desktop-oriented Linux distribution by Novell, Inc., popular in Europe and having Eval versions.::* openSUSE - A community-developed branch, sponsored by Novell. It maintains a strict policy of ensuring all code in the standard installs will be from Free/Libre/Open-Source Software solutions, including Linux kernel Modules. Novell's enterprise Linux products are all based on the codebase that comes out of the openSUSE project.::* SUSE Linux Enterprise Server - A server-oriented Linux distribution supplied by Novell, Inc. and targeted at the business market.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (previously branded Novell Linux Desktop) - A desktop-oriented Linux distribution supplied by Novell, Inc. and targeted at the enterprise market.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time - A specialized version of the SUSE distribution from Novell designed to support low latency for time critical operations.
TinyMe A lightweight distribution based on PCLinuxOS
Trustix A distribution focused on security.
Turbolinux Based on Red Hat Linux.
Vine Linux A Japanese distribution based on Red Hat Linux.
YOPER A desktop distribution from New Zealand that focuses on optimizing system performance for workstation use.


Distribution Description
Aurora SPARC Linux For Sun's SPARC architecture
K12LTSP A distribution for educational purpose. Comes with LTSP support.
Linpus Linux Focused on the Chinese market, along with Linpus Lite focused on the netbook market.
MythDora Specialized distribution for easy setup of the MythTV PVR software, similar to KnoppMyth, based on Fedora.
Ojuba Linux Focused on providing the best Arabic support, as well as some Islamic tools such as Hijra (Hijri calendar) and Minbar (prayer time indicator).
Simplis Simplis (formerly Vixta) is a distribution that tries to emulate the appearance of Windows Vista. It is based on KDE.
Yellow Dog Linux For the PowerPC platform.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based[]

Template:See also

Distribution Description
Asianux A distribution co-developed between Red Flag Software Co., Ltd., Miracle Linux Corp. and Haansoft, INC., focused on Chinese, Japanese and Korean supports.
CentOS Community-supported distribution that aims to be compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux without the inclusion of proprietary software.
ClarkConnect Small Business Server. File, Print, Messaging, UTM, VPN.
Radix Linux A distribution that is targeted at being compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Rocks Cluster Distribution 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).
Scientific Linux A distribution co-developed by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which aims to be compatible with and based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
SME Server Based on CentOS and targeting Small and Medium Enterprises.
White Box Enterprise Linux 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.

Distribution Description
Austrumi An 86 MB bootable live CD
BasicLinux A mini Linux designed to run in old PCs (386). Has a certain degree of compatibility with Slackware packages.
Frugalware A general purpose Linux distribution designed for intermediate users.
GoblinX A live CD that features multiple customizable desktop environments.
HostGIS HostGIS Linux is a Slackware based distribution specifically made for handling GIS information.
KateOS A desktop distribution aimed at intermediate users. It uses Xfce as its default desktop environment.
MuLinux Floppy-based distribution with replaceable modules.
NimbleX Completely customizable through the NimbleX website.
Slackintosh An unofficial port of Slackware to the PowerPC architecture.
Slamd64 An unofficial port of Slackware to the x86-64 architecture.
SLAX A very popular live CD which aims to provide a complete desktop for general use. Permanent installation of SLAX is not recommended or supported; it is designed for "live" use only.
Topologilinux Designed to run from within Microsoft Windows, Topologilinux can be installed without any changes to the user's hard disk.
VectorLinux A lightweight distribution designed to be easy to use even for new users. Generally considered well-suited for older hardware.
Wolvix A desktop-oriented Linux distribution based on Slackware, mainly targeted at home users, featuring Xfce.
Zenwalk Linux Originally a minimal version of Slackware, Zenwalk has evolved into a very different operating system; however, compatibility with Slackware is still maintained.
ZipSlack A lightweight and portable version of Slackware


SLAX's modularity and reputation of quality have made it a popular base for other live CD projects.

Distribution Description
DAVIX A live CD for data analysis and visualization.
DNALinux A small distribution designed for running bioinformatics software, including BLAST and EMBOSS.
SLAMPP Designed to be used on a home server.


The following distributions either use another packaging system, do not use any, or are simply not categorized.

Distribution Description
Arch Linux An i686- and x86-64-optimized distribution targeted at experienced users. Arch runs on a rolling release system and uses the pacman utility for package management.
Billix A live CD or live USB system administration toolkit and multiboot distribution with the ability to install any of the included distributions.
Coyote Linux Router/firewall distribution.
CRUX 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
DD-WRT Embedded firewall distribution.
DeLi Linux A desktop based mini distribution with office suite, web browser and other graphical programs to run on a 486. Built from scratch with some influences from Slackware and CRUX.
Devil-Linux Router/firewall/server distribution running from CD or USB. Configuration held on USB or floppy disk.
Draco GNU/Linux A distribution originally based on Slackware that uses pkgsrc for package management.
DSLinux Version of Linux designed for the Nintendo DS.
dyne:bolic Live CD geared toward multimedia (audio and video) production, but comes with other non-media specific application (eg: word processor, desktop publisher).
Familiar Linux Distribution for iPAQ handhelds.
Fli4l a single floppy ISDN, DSL and Ethernet-Router.
Foresight Linux A distribution built around the Conary package manager.
FREESCO A free replacement for proprietary routers supporting up to 10 network cards and up to 10 modems.
Gazelle A Point of Sale / Kiosk embedded Linux produced by GNU Solutions Ltd. Designed by the same person as SCO Smallfoot
GeeXboX Live CD media center distribution, mainly to play special-encoded video files (eg: .ogg, XVID) on home theater.
GoboLinux 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.
Hikarunix A distribution solely for studying and playing the game of Go.
IPCop Router/firewall distribution.
iPodLinux Embedded Linux firmware for the Apple iPod based on the µCLinux kernel.
Jlime Distribution for the HP Jornada 6xx and 7xx and NEC MobilePro 900(c) handhelds.
LinuxConsole An independently developed distribution focusing heavily on gaming and multimedia.
Lunar Linux A source code-based distribution descended from Sorcerer GNU/Linux.
Lycoris Desktop/LX: Fell down to one employee and then acquired by Mandriva.
MCC Interim Linux MCC Interim Linux, possibly the first Linux distribution. Created by the Manchester Computing Centre in February 1992.
MkLinux A legacy distribution for PowerPC systems that runs the Linux kernel as a server on top of the Mach microkernel.
Mobilinux By Montavista for smartphones.
MontaVista Linux Embedded systems distribution by MontaVista Software.
NASLite a floppy-based Linux designed to turn an old computer into a simple Network Attached Storage device.
Nitix Developed by Net Integration Technologies Inc., Nitix claims to be the first autonomic Linux-based server operating system.
OpenWrt Embedded firewall distribution.
Pardus Developed by Turkish National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology. It uses PISI as package manager, COMAR as configuration framework.
PS2 Linux Sony Computer Entertainment distribution released officially for the PlayStation 2 video game console.
Puppy Linux A mini distribution which runs well under low-end PCs - even under 32 MB RAM. Includes Slackware 12 support (since version 3).
Recovery Is Possible Live CD for system maintenance and recovery.
rPath A distribution built around the Conary package manager.
Sentry Firewall A firewall, server or intrusion detection system distribution.
SliTaz GNU/Linux A small desktop distribution. The ISO is under 30 MB; runs entirely in RAM; uses its own tazpkg package system.
Smallfoot Developed by the Santa Cruz Operation ( SCO UNIX / SCO Group ), formerly Caldera.
SmoothWall Router/firewall distribution.
Softlanding Linux System One of the earliest distributions, developed from 1992-1994; Slackware was originally based on it.
Sorcerer A source code-based distribution.
Source Mage GNU/Linux A source code-based distribution, descended from Sorcerer.
Tinfoil Hat Linux Bootable floppy distribution focusing on extreme security
Thinstation Thin client distribution supporting all major connectivity protocols.
tomsrtbt Root boot disk.
Yggdrasil Linux/GNU/X One of the oldest Linux distributions, not updated since 1995.