In the 1990s, Microsoft Windows had a majority of the desktop OS market. Linux soon became a contender, but it's become a hard battle for the operating system. Open-source is slowly gaining popularity. Linux was thought to be a hacker's operating system, and it was thought of as an operating system that was too difficult for the average user. This might have been true years ago, but the operating system is soon becoming user-friendly and a great, free operating system for desktops, mobile devices, netbooks and laptops.
Debian is one of the oldest distributions out there, and some newer, more popular distributions are based on the Debian software. For instance, Ubuntu is a newer Linux distribution based on the Debian architecture. Debian has more than 1,000 volunteers, which makes it very versatile. With so many people contributing to the Debian platform, there are many flavors to choose from. This means that individuals and businesses can find the best distribution with the most fitted accessories and bundled applications.
Fedora and Red Hat
Red Hat was developed several years ago, and it was known as one of the easiest of the Linux distributions to learn, if you were new to the operating system. Fedora has a great support community, and it's known as one of the better business suites out there. Fedora runs many business applications that are needed for each organization, and the organization makes its money off of support contracts for big business.
For users who are unfamiliar with Linux but want to learn, Ubuntu is the closest to Windows and user-friendly you can get. Ubuntu is one of the babies of the Linux family. It's not that old, but its popularity has grown. Ubuntu has a very "Windows-like" interface, so it's most popular for its ease of use for Windows users who want to migrate to a Linux platform. Additionally, Ubuntu is known as a great operating system for users who aren't quite as computer savvy as the rest of the user base.
Mint has one of the coolest interfaces for customizing a desktop. Mint's graphics and desktop reminds most old Linux users of the classic GNOME interface. Mint is the alternative to Ubuntu. Most Ubuntu fans who are unhappy with the way Ubuntu is heading moved to Mint. Mint is fully customizable and allows for several bundled applications with its distribution. Mint is mostly popular with the home user base as a fun operating system with powerful options. While Linux's fan base continues to grow, the community continues to add to the many distributions that make it a great operating system and free option to the more popular Windows operating system. If you want to save money on a desktop system, Linux has become more user-friendly and supports much more hardware than it used to, making it a great home or business operating system. Want more information about Linux? Check out some of the key distinctions between Windows and Linux. Photo Credit: Matt McGee
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