Best Linux Distros of 2020

There’s not one.

Well, that was a boring post.

Oh, I should explain? Every year there are click baity articles about the best Linux distros ever made. They usually say something like Ubuntu is great for everyone and Mint is perfect for new users. Grab Fedora if you want cutting edge. Give OpenSUSE Tumbleweed a shot for a simple rolling release. If you’re really 133t, you already say, “BTW I run arch.” If you’re coming from Mac, you’re feel comfortable with Elementary OS. Windows refugees should install Zorin. And so on.

It doesn’t matter.

Any large distro like Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, or OpenSUSE will contain most of the standard desktop environments (Gnome, KDE, Cinnamon, Mate, XFCE, LXDE) and the same standard mix of software. When I install Ubuntu or Fedora, I’m going to be greeted by Gnome with Firefox and the same file manager, the same terminal, the same office suite. Maybe the version will be slightly off. Will 71.2.3 be that different from 71.2.4?

Sure, Ubuntu has Snap enabled by default. Fedora doesn’t but I can add it easily. I can enable Flatpak support across virtually any distro at this point. If the software isn’t in the distro’s repos, I can almost always download a DEB, RPM, Flatpak, Snap, AppImage, or even tarball of it.

Now before you bring out the torches and pitchforks and say, “Whoa there! You just wrote how amazing Fedora is. Aren’t you being hypocritical?” Yeah? Maybe? I value Fedora largely for the contributions that the team and the project’s backer, Red Hat, make to the open source world. They’re not reinventing the wheel. They’re not just making another pretty desktop. They contribute code back that patches software and adds new features.

I don’t think that there is anything wrong with distro hopping. Try out different distros. Check out how half baked most of them are. Deal with the bugs. Scan the forums for fixes. Then when you’re tired of fighting your system instead of just using it, pick a polished, supported distro.

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