Yes you know. I told you often enough, no? And I also told you why that is a good thing; at least for us non-computer people, for all of us who just need an awesome OS to power our computers. And as boring as the firmly cemented Top 5 of the DistroWatch charts are in their respective positions, and as boring as this looks for someone who came to watch a breathtaking race to the top – all 5 distros have earned their ranks, all 5 make sense and are on their positions for good reasons.
Let’s see what we can see.
Talking about boring: Debian (itself on #8) is the posterchild of boring. And MX on #1 is probably the most easiest to install and operate Debian distro. A professional tool for professional IT people. But even their website is bland and uninviting. 😐
EOS on #2 is exactly the opposite of MX, an exciting, burning edge Arch Linux for playful young people. Still super duper uncrashy if you don’t abuse it by putting it thru the wringer every day. It just receives a lot of (we’re talking about hourly) updates. Too many for hardened professionals to deal with.
#3, Mint is hands down the bestest alround Linux system for when you just need your computer to get shit done. It’s not sexy looking, it’s not on the burning edge of development but it gets the job done. What job? Every job! It’s like a Honda moped, you’ll find the nicest people using it.
#4, Manjaro is the bestest compromise. That’s why it’s so strong with the semi-competent and semi-confident Linux users. Manjo is the perfect blend of Minty’s goodness and Arch’s sexyness.
#5 Pop!_OS has the least reason to be in the Top 5, at least in my eyes. Maybe coz it’s trying to be like Mint, or better than Mint, makes it such fave with other users. For me reason not to use it is coz it’s not made by an independent developer group but by small PC manufacturer, System 76. Yes it’s free and open source, of course it is. But it’s also owned by a commercial company.
Of course in the next places, #5 – #10, or even #20 or #30 you’ll find amazing distros as well. The distro which brought Linux into the mainstream, Ubuntu for example, or Fedora, which is very beloved by our American friends, or the legendary OpenSUSE or KDE Neon or one of Orca’s ex-faves, Sparky. But between #5 and #30 you’ll also find freakishly freaky distros, made for freaks. And it won’t get better the deeper you dive into the chart. 😮
These aren’t actually rankings by popularity, in case any readers might have thought so. Distrowatch is just a “hit counter” and it’s rankings are not a true reflection of a Linux distro’s popularity. Otherwise I think Mint would still be at the top! All the cool kids still use it, too.
It’s kinda not fair that Ubuntu’s flavors get rankings of their own when the only difference between them is the desktop environment. Other distros have the same thing, come in different “flavors,” so to speak, but each seperate desktop environment built on the same base doesn’t get a separate listing like Ubu, Lubu, Kubu, Xubu, Edubu.
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Yes, the DW charts are just a beauty pageant with no real meaning. I guess the true installation base will always remain a shadowy figure … fortunately. It’s nobody’s bizniz to know. I can only say that we use each ISO we download on at least 2 machines. 1 for hubby, 1 for me.
And yes, Clem is a bit stupid when it comes to promotion of his “product”. Although in case of Mint we can rightfully assume that 98% of the downloaded ISOs are Mint/Cinnamon, 1% Mint/Mate and 1% LMDE. If he was more cleverer he would make LMDE his main release and offer that one in Cin, Mate, Xfce – and KDE! – flavours … and ultimateley rule the Linuxverse!
I stopped caring for all kinda of “real” Ubu long ago, no matter what taste they come in. Can you believe it, I never ever went thru the Ubuntu phase in my early days? I wanted Linux, and after spending the grand total of 5 minutes, checking all the links I found, I was quite sure that there was better Ubuntu, one with racing stripes and yummy extras for stupid n00bs: Mint. So I installed that, not Ubu.
Of course I was too stupid to get it right with my untechy granny brain and after, like, 2 weeks of aimlessly failing I found a guruine who told me I must delete all the Ubuntu clonery from my machines, stop dual booting, and install Manjaro instead. Fortunately she showed me more patience than she mustered with Mint/Ubu/Deb, so I learned all the necessary Arch commands … and the rest is history.