Top 5 GNU/Linux distributions of 2017

Are you currently unsatisfied with your Linux distribution? Perhaps it’s time to consider a distribution that offers more than a different selection of wallpapers. Make your Linux experience great again by choosing one of the following operating systems.

5. Arch Linux

I’ve always had a love–hate relationship with Arch, but for some reason it always manages to hide away on one of my drives. Those willing to ignore the exaggerated rumors of Arch being difficult to install and hostile to new users will enjoy a bleeding edge system with a rolling release model.

Arch Gnome 3.26
Steam on Archlinux with Gnome 3.26

Arch is mostly stable but a major kernel version bump may occasionally introduce unexpected issues. I would encourage new users to consider installing the LTS (long term support) kernel alongside the vanilla kernel.

Become one of the cool kids at reddit and install Arch today.

4. Debian 9 (Stretch)

Debian is my goto distribution whenever I need to quickly deploy a server or workstation in order to evaluate some new software or service. In my experience, most software will run on a Debian platform without going through the loops of having to build your own stack. Actually, with more than 51000 packages available from the Stretch repository you’re probably already covered.

Debian 9 mate
The MATE Desktop Environment on Debian Stretch

Debian is a good choice for new and experienced Linux users alike. You’ll enjoy a friendly community, well maintained documentation and most importantly, a solid distribution.

3. Void Linux

Granted, Void is somewhat of a wild card in my collection but it’s definitely the best distribution you’re not running. Void is everything Arch once was: fast, exciting and free of systemd.

Void Linux Gnome Shell
Running the latest Gnome Shell release on Void Linux

Hallmarks of Void includes LibreSSL, the X Binary Package System (xbps) and runit as the init scheme with service supervision. Though not available as prebuilt downloadable images, Void does provide current versions of KDE Plasma 5 and Gnome 3. Enjoy a unique bleeding edge distribution with a rolling release model

2. Gentoo Linux

I decided to try Gentoo on my desktop a couple of years back and was truly impressed by the possibilities it offered. I’ve not seen anything in the Linux ecosystem that compares to the power and flexibility of Portage. Critics may say you’re always compiling on Gentoo, but in truth, you’re always learning.

Gentoo Linux KDE Plasma
KDE Plasma 5.8.6 on Gentoo Linux without PulseAudio.

If you’re looking for a reliable source based distribution with a rolling release model then this is it.

1. Slackware 14.2

Slackware Linux was the first distribution that trusted me with absolute control of the system. Simple text based configuration files exposed the otherwise hidden system logic and introduced me to the KISS philosophy. Even today Slackware adheres by the same old principles and remains a sane bastion in an ever-changing Linux world.

Slackware ARM -current
Xfce on Slackware ARM (hard float) powered by a RPi2

Users wanting to experience a classic Unix-like operating system renowned for its stability and ease of administration should consider a move to Slackware. Keep an eye out for the upcoming release of Slackware 15.0.

Do you disagree with my selection? If so, please let me know in the disabled comment section below ;-)
Happy new year!

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