Arch Linux is an independent and original GNU/Linux distribution that adheres to the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) principle in its design. The project expects its users to have a hands on role in installing and maintaining the distribution. As such it has no installer or any GUI tools of any kind for administering the system. But it does have a highly regarded wiki that guides users in installation and all other aspcts of the system. It's package manager -- pacman, and its user repository -- the Arch User Repository are also highly regarded, pacman for its simple effectiveness and the AUR for availability of software. It uses a rolling release model and makes new upstream software available quickly.
BunsenLabs is a Debian based GNU/Linux distribution that is a showcase for the Openbox window manager, continuing this role after its spirtitual predecessor, Crunchbang, ceased development. Like Crunchbang, it makes an Openbox based "desktop" environment usable out-of-the-box, configuring Openbox and the various tools that are usually used with Openbox to make a complete desktop environment.
Debian is one of the oldest GNU/Linux distributions. It is also the most influential distributions, serving as a base for many other distributions, including the popular Ubuntu distribution, which in turn is a base for many other distributions, ultimately making Debian the base of a large number of distributions.
Debian is known for its solid stability derived from its long developemnt and testing cycle, as well as for its support of a multitude of processor architectures.
32-bit PC (x86, IA-32)
64-bit ARM (AArch64)
64-bit MIPS (little endian)
64-bit PC (AMD64, Intel 64, x86_64)
EABI ARM (ARMel)
Hard Float ABI ARM (ARMhf)
IBM System Z (s390x)
MIPS (big endian)
MIPS (little endian)
elementary OS is an Ubuntu (Long Term Release) based distribution originally developed with an emphasis on the visual and usability design of the distribution. It aims to present a cohesive design relationship between the desktop environment and applications. As such the project develops its own custom desktop environment, based on GNOME, and applications.
The project, currently organized as elementary, Inc., monetizes the distribution with a pay what you want model for downloading the installation ISO as well as for installing applications, developed spcifically for it by third party developers, from its Software Center.
Fedora is a community developed GNU/Linux distribution supported by Red Hat, Inc. It originated from Red Hat Linux and the addon community developed Fedora Linux repository for Red Hat Linux. When Red Hat Linux was discontinued and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the community project was absorbed into the new Fedora Project in 2003.
Fedora is now known as a cutting edge distribution that includes new Linux technologies developed by Red Hat and others and features current software. It is the only Linux distribution that uses Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) kernel module.
Garuda Linux is an Arch based distribution that distinguishes itself by customizing many aspects of the Linux environment. Besides offering numerous highly customized desktop environments, it uses the fish shell as a login shell with a customized configuration that also uses the starship shell prompt. Other atypical choices focus on improving performance, include using the linux-zen kernel, using zram for swap instead of the common choice made by distributins to use a swap partition if available, and disabling CPU power saving settings in favor of "performance."
Garuda is also an early adopter of the btrfs file-system, viewed as some as the next standard Linux file system, replacing the current standard ext4. It uses btrfs's snapshot capabilities along with TimeSsift to allow rolling back the root filesystem to a previous state.
KaOS is a KDE Plasma focused conservatively rolling release distribution primarily built upon Arch tools for packaging and package management. While using Arch tools it is not the typical Arch based distributions. It builds its own kernel and packages and hosts its own repositories. It also provides a community distribution with a sophisticated and user friendly online discovery portal. It develops a community package helper program that has a command line interface as well as integration into the default GUI package manager Octopi.
Kubuntu is an official flavor of the Canonical, Ltd. backed Ubuntu distribution that, along with other official flavors, offers alternative desktop environments to the GNOME desktop environment used in the default Ubuntu flavor. Kubuntu provides KDE's Plasma desktop environment with the same Debian based, Ubuntu core provided in the default distribution flavor and the other flavors.
Mageia is a direct descendant of the defunct Mandriva Linux distribution which was previously known as Mandrake Linux. It retains and continues development of the system tools created by its predecessor, such as the urpmi CLI package manager, and the Mageia Control Center, an integrated set of modular system configuration GUI tools similar to but not nearly as comprehensive as openSUSE's YaST.
openSUSE is one of the oldest GNU/Linux distributions still in actively development. It's origins is SUSE Linux from which it split to be a community developed and maintained distribution. It features the unique and comprehensive YaST system configuration and administration program.
It offers users the choice of the stable Leap edition that is at its core the same as SUSE Enterprise Linux, or the rolling and cutting edge Tumbleweed edition.
Redcore Linux is a Gentoo based distribution that aims to make a Gentoo installation easy for the masses by saving them the hours and maybe days that a Gentoo installtion may take due to it being a source based distribution. In addition, it provides more current software than Gentoo itself would have by using the Gentoo testing repositories as its package base.
It also uses a hybrid source/binary package management system called Sisyphus, that wraps Gentoo package management tools, and promises an easy transition to Gentoo package management for users coming from other distributions with more traditional package management.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the dominant -- at least in the United States -- commercial Linux distribution, taking the place of UNIX in enterprise applications. It is produced by Red Hat Inc., one of the first commercial Linux vendors, which grew out of the Red Hat community project.
Red Hat Inc. sponsors Fedora, the community developed Linux distribution, which it uses as a development test bed for RHEL. The company also supports various open source projects such as the GNOME desktop environment and is a major innovator in important Linux technologies supporting and instigating the development of such projects as systemd and Dracut, among others.
The distribution has a long and influential history since its inception as Red Hat Linux. It developed one of the most successful package formats and package manager, the RPM package format and the RPM package manager, originally standing for Red Hat Package Manager.
Sabayon is a Gentoo based distribution rolling distribution that provides an easy to install and use Gentoo system as it offers binary packages in its repositories. It can also be maintained, like Gentoo, with source package management or hybrid source/binary package managment.
Solus is an indepedent rolling distribution that is focused on improving the experience of desktop GNU/Linux users. It features its own package management system -- forked from Pardus Linux's PiSi package manager, and its in house developed GNOME stack based Budgie desktop environment.
Ubuntu is a Debian based distribution supported by Canonical, Ltd. It originated with the goal of making a GNU/Linux distribution that is easy to use and accessible to everyone. It is the base of many other GNU/Linux distributions.
Void Linux is an independent and original rolling distribution with some unique features, including the use of the runit init system and service manager as opposed to the common systemd, the availability of a system built with the Musl C Standard Library as opposed to GNU Lib C, and a source package build system and manager that is integrated into the binary package manager.