best linux os for programming

Suppose you want to know  the Best Linux Os For Programming, then this article is what you need. It contains best linux distro for developers 2021. Also, it includes best linux distro for advanced users.

The best Linux distros for developers provide an easy, stable, and secure environment for coding and programming applications. While Linux has a reputation for being primarily for coders and programmers, over the past couple of decades there have been moves to provide versions of Linux that are more friendly to ordinary users, such as by providing more of a graphic user interface (GUI) and be less reliant on command line use. However, at its core Linux still offers a thriving environment for coders and developers.

Here are the best Linux operating systems that will help you create your custom programming and development workstation.

best linux distro for developers 2021

Best Linux Os For Programming

  1. Manjaro
  2. Puppy Linux
  3. Solus
  4. Ubuntu
  5. Sabayon Linux
  6. Debian
  7. CentOS Stream
  8. Fedora Workstation
  9. openSUSE
  10. Raspberry Pi OS
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Manjaro Linux website
(Image credit: Manjaro Linux)

1. Manjaro

User-friendly Arch distro that you can use for all kinds of development

VISIT WEBSITE

REASONS TO BUY

+Based on Arch+Multiple editions+Intuitive custom tools

Arch is a powerful distro that can be used to create a customized environment. However, installing the distro is notoriously laborious. You can escape the installation and still experience the best that Arch has to offer using Manjaro Linux. With the help of a whole set of custom tools and utilities, Manjaro takes the pain out of installing and administering an Arch-based system.

Manjaro is available in multiple editions with different desktop environments. If you are a Qt developer, you can use the KDE edition of the distro, which ships with tools such as the Qt Designer and Qt Assistant to help you with your development.

Manjaro claims the distro ships with tools required to compile and develop software for other developers as well. According to the project’s website you can use Manjaro’s intuitive package manager to easily install IDEs like Qt Creator, KDevelop or Netbeans and libraries like libnoise, boost or matplotlib. Of course in addition to its own repositories, you can also access the comprehensive Arch User Repository (AUR) that houses all sorts of tools and libraries.

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Puppy Linux website
(Image credit: Puppy Linux)

2. Puppy Linux

The best option for developing on older machines

VISIT WEBSITE

REASONS TO BUY

+Lightweight+Out of the box functionality+Strong programming support

Puppy Linux is an extremely lightweight distro that has separate editions based on Ubuntu and Slackware. The entire OS is small enough to be run entirely in RAM, which makes it extremely fast and responsive. You can also anchor the distro to your hard disk as well. 

Despite its small size, there’s no beating Puppy for out of the box functionality. The distro ships with apps and utilities for virtually all the functions you can perform on a desktop. 

There are multiple mechanisms for installing apps in Puppy. One of the most convenient ones involves SFS (SquashFS) files, which are compressed environments that package one or more apps and all their required dependencies. If you want to develop on Puppy you can use the devx SFS file that contains various development and build tools. 

Furthermore, the Puppy Linux wiki has a nice introduction to programming, which is a good starting point for new developers. The page also shows you how to install support for over a dozen programming languages in your Puppy installation.

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Solus website
(Image credit: Solus)

3. Solus

A rolling but stable distro for developers

VISIT WEBSITE

REASONS TO BUY

+Curated rolling release+Multiple editions+Supports development use-cases

Solus is special in that it’s one of the few Irish Linux distros, and also because it follows a curated rolling release model. The advantage of this is that once you’ve installed the OS, you can keep running updates rather than a major upgrade. Solus, however, tries to avoid installing extremely recent packages and beta software to maintain system stability.

The distro advertises its use as an ideal environment for developers. Solus supports several editors and IDEs such as Atom, Idea and Gnome Builder, as well as multiple version control systems including Git, Bazaar, and others through graphical tools like GitKraken and git-cola. The Solus project website also claims that the OS supports a number of programming languages such as Go, Rust, PHP, Node.js and Ruby. 

So while the distro might not ship with very many tools out of the book, you can easily flesh it out with your development toolchain.

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Ubuntu website
(Image credit: Ubuntu)

4. Ubuntu

A popular distro with developers

VISIT WEBSITE

REASONS TO BUY

+Designed for all kinds of users+Has stable Long Term Support releases+Very well documented

Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distros for all kinds of users, from Linux newbies to seasoned campaigners. For programmers, the Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) release provides a stable development environment that they don’t need to upgrade every six month.

In fact, Ubuntu is the chosen distro of the Android Open Source Project for building source files. The Android build is regularly tested using the most recent versions of Ubuntu. The distro’s official website hosts several tutorials, guides, and other resources aimed to impress the development and programming prowess of the distro. 

Owing to its popularity, you can find virtually all the development and programming tools and libraries in official Ubuntu’s repositories or in a Personal Package Archive (PPA). With the introduction of the snap packaging format, installing new software is a straightforward process. 

Furthermore, Ubuntu has a developer friendly command-line tool called Ubuntu Make that you can use to download several developer friendly tools.

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Sabayon Linux website
(Image credit: Sabayon Linux)

5. Sabayon Linux

The best programming workstation for Gentoo users

VISIT WEBSITE

REASONS TO BUY

+Multiple editions+Graphical tools+Power of Gentoo

In simple terms, Sabayon is to Gentoo, what Manjaro is to Arch Linux. Gentoo is a source-based meta distro that can help you create lightning quick bloat-free installation. The catch however is that just like Arch, installing Gentoo isn’t for the faint of heart. The Sabayon Linux takes the best of Gentoo and wraps it in an easy to consume distro that caters to all kinds of users.

Sabayon Linux is available in multiple editions, based on different desktop environments. The project aims to deliver a fuller out of the box experience and despite being a bleeding edge rolling release, is pretty stable thanks to its Gentoo underpinnings. The project is about to merge with Funtoo, which is led by the original creator of Gentoo Linux. 

Sabayon Linux ships with a few development tools, particularly for Python developers, but you can install more using Gentoo’s famed portage package management system.

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Debian website
(Image credit: Debian)

6. Debian

An evergreen option for Linux developers

VISIT WEBSITE

REASONS TO BUY

+Built for stability+Extensive manuals

REASONS TO AVOID

-Some software outdated

Debian is one of the oldest Linux distros and is built with stability in mind. All programs included with Debian have to meet the Debian Free Software Guidelines. Packages are carefully selected and tested for inclusion in the ‘Stable’ branch of Debian meaning that while some may be dated, there’s very little chance of system instability, making this OS ideal for programmers.

The Debian website has extensive manuals, including a chapter on programming talking you through the basics of creating a script, compiling it, and using Autoconf to allow your scripts to be compiled on other Linux distros.

Furthermore, Debian boasts of one of the largest repositories of open source software, and you wouldn’t have much trouble finding and installing your favorite programming tools and libraries.

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CentOS Stream website
(Image credit: CentOS)

7. CentOS Stream

Provides a stable rolling release environment

VISIT WEBSITE

REASONS TO BUY

+Stable rolling release+Enterprise-grade packages+Development oriented

CentOS Stream is a free, community-based variant of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It’s a rolling release distro that’s built using the same packages as RHEL. As a testbed for the commercial RHEL, CentOS Stream gets packages and fixes before they end up in RHEL, which means users can get enterprise-class software at no-cost.

CentOS Stream thinks of itself as a “developer-forward” distro that’ll help users keep pace with the latest technologies in the open source ecosystem, while ensuring the stability of a well-tested distro.

The CentOS Stream distro was visualized as an upstream development platform for distro developers, which means its repositories are flush with apps and tools that will help you set up your ideal development platform, especially once you enable the new PowerTools repository.

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Fedora Workstation website
(Image credit: Fedora)

8. Fedora Workstation

A distro designed primarily for developers

VISIT WEBSITE

REASONS TO BUY

+Multiple variants+Developer-friendly documentation+No dearth of tools

Fedora Workstation boldly claims it is “created for developers”. The distro is another community supported derivative of the commercial RHEL, that’s more bleeding edge than CentOS Stream. It also enjoys the distinction of being the distro of choice of Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds.

Aside from being very easy to set up and install, Fedora has a dedicated Developer Portal. Simply click ‘Start a Project’ to see dedicated guides on developing web, command line, desktop and mobile apps. There’s also an excellent section on working with hardware devices such as Arduino. 

If this wasn’t enough, the Fedora repositories also include Eclipse, a fully featured and multi-language IDE. Eclipse is probably best known for Java, but also has a C/C++ and PHP IDE. You can expand its functionality even further with plugins.

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openSUSE website
(Image credit: openSUSE)

9. openSUSE

Offers multiple platforms for developers

VISIT WEBSITE

REASONS TO BUY

+Both regular and rolling releases+Designed for programmers+Powerful configuration tool

openSUSE doesn’t receive the same amount of attention as Ubuntu and Fedora, but the project produces a fantastic environment for developers. The openSUSE project produces two distros; openSUSE Leap is the fixed release cycle regular distro, while openSUSE Tumbleweed is the rolling release variant.

You can use either of the two distros depending on the kind of development you’re involved in. Both distros use openSUSE’s excellent YaST configuration tool, which helps you tailor the installation as per your requirements.

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Raspberry Pi OS website
(Image credit: Raspberry Pi)

10. Raspberry Pi OS

Best option for programming on the Raspberry Pi

best linux distro for advanced users

What Is The Difference Between Server OS And Everyday OS?

Understanding how to differentiate a server OS from an everyday one is vital to our discussion. The differences are very specific.

An everyday OS will be able to run programs like MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. including running one of your favorite video games. It enables applications that make browsing the web and checking emails easy. It uses LAN and Bluetooth connections and is cheaper than a server OS.

Server OS, on the other hand, are expensive and rightfully so. These platforms enable unlimited user connections, a greater memory capacity, and act as universal servers for web, emails, and databases.

A server OS can handle multiple desktops as it is optimized for a network instead of catering to a single user.

What Is An Operating System?

An operating system in its most general definition is the software that allows a user to run crucial applications on his/her computing device. It helps to manage a computer’s hardware resources. It helps to support basic functions like scheduling tasks, and controlling peripherals.

Which OS Is Best For Personal Use?

When it comes to home use, traditional Windows and MAC OS are great options. At home, you don’t need powerful OS especially for simple tasks like writing or browsing the web. For gaming, the Windows operating system is well optimized than that of MAC.

Which Is The Fastest OS?

While discussing the fastest OS, there is no argument that Linux based OS is the lightest and fastest OS in the market right now. It doesn’t need a powerful processor unlike Windows to operate at an optimal level.

Linux based OS like Ubuntu Server, CentOS server, Fedora is great options especially for running business enterprises where substantial computing power is mandatory.

Free Operating System Alternatives

We understand that not everyone has enough dollars to afford a high-grade operating system for their computers. However, that’s not all the bad news as there are free OS alternatives which ensure that your computer keeps running. All the below options are available for download, hence you can simply install it today.

  • Linux: Linux is absolutely free and will literally run on anything.
  • Chrome OS: Chrome OS is available on a number of Low cost and some high-end laptops, like chrome books.
  • Free BSD: With its roots connected to Linux, it is the modern-day version of the Berkeley Software Distribution.
  • Syllable: Syllable is yet another free alternative for home and small business users only.
  • ReactOS: Initially launched as a Windows 95 clone, this OS has come a long way since then.

Notable mentions go to OS like Haiku, MorphOS, Android.

OS Market Share

OS_Market_Share

[image source]

Also read =>> 10 Best Laptops For Coders

Android: 39.19%, Windows: 35.12, iOS: 13.85%, MAC OS: 5 %, Linux: 0.77% are some numbers for the market share of these companies.

As of July 2019, Android’s pervasiveness through portable smartphones has made it an undisputed leader in the Operating Systems domain.

It is followed closely by Windows whose familiarity crosses boundaries beyond the United States. Apple iOS and Mac OS are understandably behind because of their exclusiveness to the Apple brand.Pro Tip: Before deciding on your operating system, try to identify what your requirements are. If you have a budget and want the best gaming and application experience then maybe you won’t mind spending a few bucks on the Windows Pro Version. For entrepreneurs, who might be looking for more than just an application running system, opt for a Linux based system for optimal results.

The below list aims at making your decision-making process simpler, hence you don’t need to waste time on pondering over what is best.=>> Contact us to suggest a listing here.

10 Best Operating Systems In Market

Get ready to explore the top operating systems that are used worldwide.

  1. MS-Windows
  2. Ubuntu
  3. Mac OS
  4. Fedora
  5. Solaris
  6. Free BSD
  7. Chrome OS
  8. CentOS
  9. Debian
  10. Deepin

Comparison Of The Top Operating Systems

OS NameComputer Architecture SupportedTarget System DefaultSecurity ThreatBest ForPriceWebsite
WindowsX86,
x86-64,
Workstation, Personal ComputerHugeApps, Gaming, Browsing$119 – $199Windows
Mac OS68k,
Power PC
Workstation, Personal ComputerNegligibleApple Exclusive AppsFreeMac OS
UbuntuX86,
X86-64,
Power PC,
SPARC,
Alpha.
Desktop/serverNegligibleOpen Source Downloading, APPSFreeUbuntu
FedoraX86,
X86-64,
Power PC,
SPARC,
Alpha.
Desktop/serverNegligibleCoding, Corporate UseFreeFedora
FreeBSDX86,
X86-64,
PC 98,
SPARC,
others.
Server, Workstation, NAS, embeddedNegligibleNetworkingFreeFreeBSD

#1) MS-Windows

Best For Apps, Browsing, Personal Use, Gaming, etc.
Price: $119 – $199$ (Pro)

MS Windows

Windows is the most popular and familiar operating system on this list. From Windows 95, all the way to the Windows 10, it has been the go-to operating software that is fueling the computing systems worldwide.

It is user-friendly, and starts up & resumes operations fast. The latest versions have more built-in security to keep you and your data safe.

Features

  • A robust User Interface which helps in easier navigation, with a start menu on the left side by listing out options and representing applications.
  • The Task View feature lets the users switch between multiple workspaces at once, by displaying all the open Windows.
  • Two separate user interfaces, one for mouse and keyboard, and the ‘Tablet Mode’ designed for touchscreens.
  • Multifactor authentication technology for higher security like BIN, PIN, Fingerprint recognition, etc.
  • Automatically compress system files to reduce the storage footprint.

Verdict: The Windows software is simply best because of how it has evolved with time. Its security system is state-of-the-art, its user interface allows convenient usage irrespective of the device that you are using it on. The only thing that will pinch some is its price.

Website: Microsoft


#2) Ubuntu

Best for Open Source Downloading, Running Apps, Browsers, and Gaming.
Price: Free

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a Linux based OS that comes with everything that you are looking for in an operating system. It is perfect for organizations, schools, and home use. It is free to download, use, and share and that alone should be worth checking this app out.

Suggested reading =>> Windows Vs Ubuntu- Which is a better OS?

It is backed by Canonical which is a global software company, and now by the leading Ubuntu service providers.

Features

  • Ubuntu is an Open Source software, which allows it to be freely downloaded, used and shared by its users.
  • It comes with a built-in firewall and virus protection software, by making it the most secure OS around.
  • You get five years of security patches and updates.
  • Ubuntu is fully translated into 50 different languages.
  • It works and is compatible with all the latest laptops, desktops and touch screen devices.

Verdict: Ubuntu is a great option for those with holes for pockets. Its open-source feature is enticing enough to attract many users. But, it also makes up in quality by providing a robust interface, and security features that are too hard to pass on.

Website: Ubuntu


#3) Mac OS

Best For Apple-exclusive Apps, Dynamic Desktop, etc.
Price: Free with Apple Devices.

Mac OS

The Mac OS has been the staple of almost all Apple devices as we can remember. It has evolved with time to include the features that first and foremost define innovation.

In recent years, the MAC operating systems have been completely free with the occasional free upgrade by its developers. For Apple users, there is no other option except the MAC OS.

Features

  • The new dark mode gives your desktop interface a more dramatic look which is easier on the eyes.
  • A dynamic desktop which helps to automatically organize your desktop files by kind, date or tag.
  • Continuity camera that scans or photographs a document nearby your iPhone and automatically appears on your mac.
  • Discover handpicked apps with the MAC app store.
  • New iTunes that allows users to search for songs with few lyrics.
  • Prevent websites from tracking your Mac by making your profile more anonymous online.

Verdict: Mac’s biggest accomplishment is how dynamic the look and design of its interface appears. It is probably one of the best looking OS today. Now, Apple is allowing its users to get their hands on this OS and all its upgrades for free, and this has alleviated a lot of burden from Apple users who are already paying heftily for the Apple devices.

Website: Apple


#4) Fedora

Best For Open Source DevelopmentCorporate Use, etc.
Price: Free

Fedora

Fedora is another Linux based system which gives Ubuntu’s open-source features a run for the money. Fedora is reliable, user-friendly and makes for a powerful operating system for any laptop and desktop computer.

Fedora is the Operating system that is for casual users and caters to students, hobbyists, and professionals working in corporate environments.

Features

  • A sleek new user interface that allows the developers to focus on their code on Gnome 3 environment.
  • It offers a complete open-source toolbox with languages, tools, and utilities in all just a click or commands away.
  • Allows digging into powerful virtualization tools to get virtual machines up and running.
  • Containerize the own applications or deploy applications out of the box with OCI (Open Container Initiative) image support.

Verdict: Although also good for personal use, fedora works best for developers in the corporate environment. It has all the tools and utilities that a developer needs to work on in their projects and is free of cost!

Website: Fedora


#5) Solaris

Best for Large workload processing, managing multiple databases, etc.
Price: Free

Solaris

Solaris is a UNIX based operating system which was originally developed by Sun Microsystems in the mid-’90s. In 2010 it was renamed as Oracle Solaris after Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems. It is known for its scalability and several other features that made it possible such as Dtrace, ZFS and Time Slider.

Features

  • Provides the most advanced security features in the world such as process and user rights management, thereby allowing you to secure mission-critical data.
  • It offers indisputable performance advantages for web, database, and java-based services.
  • Delivers high-performance networking without any modification.
  • Unlimited capacity for helping in managing file system and databases.
  • Allows seamless inter-operability for solving hundreds of hardware and software problems.

Verdict: Oracle Solaris is considered as one of the best free open source OS in the industry by most of them. It allows for scalability, interoperability, data management and security that are all critical for businesses with the need for high-end operating software.

Website: Solaris


#6) Free BSD

Best For Networking, Internet and Intranet server compatibility.
Price: Free

Free BSD

FreeBSD, as the name suggests is a free UNIX based open-source software. It is compatible with a variety of platforms and mainly focuses on features such as speed, and stability. The most fascinating part about this software is its origin. It was built in the University of California by a large community.

Features

  • Advanced networking, compatibility, and security features which are still missing in many OS today.
  • Ideal for internet and intranet services and can handle large loads and manages memory efficiently to maintain good responses for multiple simultaneous users.
  • Advanced embedded platform catering to higher-end Intel-based appliances.
  • Easy to install using CD-ROM, DVD or directly over the network using FTP and NPS.

Verdict: Free BSD’s biggest appeal is its ability to deliver a robust operating system, given the fact that it was built by a large community of students. It is best for networking, and is compatible across multiple devices and is very simple to install. Hence, give it a try.

Website: Free BSD


#7) Chrome OS

Best For a Web application.
Price: Free

Chrome OS

Chrome OS is another Linux-kernel based operating software that is designed by Google. As it is derived from the free chromium OS, it uses the Google Chrome web browser as its principal user interface. This OS primarily supports web applications.

Features

  • An integrated media player that enables the users to play MP3’s, view JPEG’S and handle other multimedia files while offline.
  • Remote application access and virtual desktop access.
  • Chrome OS is designed to be compatible with all the Android applications.
  • With Chrome OS it is possible to run Linux applications.

Verdict: Chrome OS is an operating software that works fine, but there is still a lot of promise to what it might eventually become. For now, it is good for multi-media, Linux and Android applications. For the other features, we will have to just wait and watch.

Website: Chrome OS


#8) CentOS

Best for Coding, Personal, and Business Use.
Price: Free

Cent OS

The CentOS is another community-driven open source free software that allows robust platform management. It is best for developers who are looking for an operating system that simply helps them to perform their coding tasks. That’s not to say that it has nothing to offer those who simply want to use it for mundane purposes.

Features

  • Extensive resources for coders looking to build, test and release their codes.
  • Advanced networking, compatibility, and security features that are still missing in many OS today.
  • It allows for seamless interoperability by solving hundreds of hardware and software problems.
  • It provides the most advanced security features in the world such as process and user rights management, thereby allowing you to secure mission-critical data.

Verdict: We recommend CentOS to coders than for personal and home use. CentOS makes their coding work simpler and faster. Moreover, it is free.

Website: CentOS


#9) Debian

Best For Running Apps.
Price: Free

Debian

Debian is again a Linux kernel-based free open-source OS. It comes with over 59000 packages and is a pre-compiled software bundled in a nice format. It is easy to install and offers a user-friendly interface.

Features

  • Faster and lighter than the other OS, irrespective of the processor speed.
  • It comes with in-built security firewalls to protect valuable data.
  • Easy to install through any medium.
  • Advanced networking, compatibility, and security features which are still missing in many OS today.

Verdict: Debian might not be the most versatile of the Operating systems mentioned above, but its free open source feature makes it something that you should try if you are short on cash.

Website: Debian


#10) Deepin

Best For Running Application.
Price: Free

Deepin

Deepin is an open-source operating system based on Debian’s stable branch. It features DDE, (Deepin Desktop Environment built on QT. It has been praised for its beautiful aesthetics and very appealing interface.

Features

  • User-Friendly and Robust Aesthetics.
  • Advanced security features.
  • Simple Installation Procedure.
  • Home to custom-tailored Deepin apps like font installer, file manager, screenshot, Deepin screen recorder, voice recorder, image and movie viewer, etc.

Verdict: Deepin can very well qualify as its own little niche OS. It is free and improves upon many shortcomings of Debian. With more modifications, it will compete with the top operating systems like Windows and Mac in no time.

WebsiteDeepin


Conclusion

An operating system is a fuel that is required to run your computer at your convenience. There are many OS out there that make it possible. Choose the best operating system that suits your needs and comfort.

If you are looking for personal use like gaming and browsing, then Windows is perfect for you. If you have an Apple device then you have no other option than using the MAC OS.

For businesses, there is the option of Linux and UNIX based OS. Whatever you choose the above list will help you clarify any confusion and make the right decision.

The Best OS must be capable of:

  • Running critical computing applications.
  • Manage a device’s software and hardware.
  • Connect with the CPU for memory and storage allocation.

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