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The world of Linux The Best Linux Distributions The Best Linux Distributions There are many Linux distributions available for a number of different purposes, which makes it difficult to choose at times. Here's a list of the very best to help you decide. Read More is rather diverse in its offerings, especially compared to the likes of Windows or macOS. If you’re not happy with the desktop you’re using for example, it’s easy to change it to your liking, or do away with it completely It's Your Choice: The Top 10 Linux Desktop Environments It's Your Choice: The Top 10 Linux Desktop Environments From Gnome to KDE, from MATE to Unity, there's a lot of choice out there. Where should you start? Overwhelmed? Start here. Read More . As a result of this though, there’s always going to be arguments about which of them is “better”.

For example, user-friendly Linux operating systems What Is The Easiest Version Of Linux To Learn? What Is The Easiest Version Of Linux To Learn? With each day that passes, more and more people are giving Linux a try. It’s free and it can hold its ground against both Windows and Mac, so why not? And maybe you want to... Read More are sometimes snubbed by Linux geeks due to petty and overly technical reasons. While they mightn’t go as far as to discourage them, there is little respect for the likes of Ubuntu and Mint Linux Mint vs Ubuntu: Which Distro Should You Choose? Linux Mint vs Ubuntu: Which Distro Should You Choose? Linux Mint and Ubuntu are two of the most popular Linux distros, but there are real differences between the two. Which one is right for you? Read More for example.

But as it turns out, all this really isn’t necessary as long as you don’t split hairs. For the most part, Linux provides a good experience, regardless of how you decide to run it. Whether it’s an Arch system, or Elementary OS It's Time to Try Something New: Elementary OS Loki It's Time to Try Something New: Elementary OS Loki Elementary OS isn't your typical Linux distribution. Some would say it isn't a distro at all. But is Elementary really a usable alternative to Windows and macOS as its developers claim? Read More , it doesn’t really matter. So use whatever Linux operating system with pride.

Standing on the Same Shoulders

Despite the variation between Linux operating systems, they all share a common ground with each other. This goes past the little differences like how they install software Which Linux Package Manager (and Distro) Is Right for You? Which Linux Package Manager (and Distro) Is Right for You? A key difference between the main Linux distros is the package manager; the differences are strong enough that it can influence your choice of distro. Let's look at how the various package managers work. Read More . To see what your programs are really running on is to see the extent to which they’re similar.

The Linux Kernel

Every Linux operating system is built around the same kernel The Linux Kernel: An Explanation In Layman's Terms The Linux Kernel: An Explanation In Layman's Terms There is only one de facto thing that Linux distributions have in common: the Linux kernel. But while it's often talked about, a lot of people don't really know exactly what it does. Read More . It’s one of the largest factors of your system that determines performance, along with whether or not your computer runs on the distribution of your choice. Since it has all the drivers and resource management needed to run programs properly, any differences above this are mainly superficial.

linux kernel

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And fortunately for everyone, there isn’t much variation on that front, regardless of which Linux operating system you use. This means that you should expect performance and compatibility to be relatively the same. Yes, there are extremely lightweight operating systems 5 Lightweight Linux Distros Ideal for an Intel Atom Processor PC 5 Lightweight Linux Distros Ideal for an Intel Atom Processor PC Don't let your Atom-powered netbook or low-specced laptop gather dust in a closet -- install a lightweight Linux distro and start enjoying mobile computing once again! Read More such as Lubuntu. But as it turns out, a lot of their properties can be achieved with the current system you’re using.

Core Programs

It isn’t just the Linux kernel that’s the same. Along with this, many Linux operating share a lot of the same software The Best Linux Software The Best Linux Software Linux is full of awesome apps, both open source and proprietary. People new to Linux and even seasoned Linux users tend to find new and useful software quite often. Here's what we love. Read More . It’s easy enough to install whatever programs you want across the system of your choice. This makes sense — it’s still Linux after all.

homogeny linux

If you’ve ever used a different distribution, you’ll see that the same programs are available, pre-installed. LibreOffice Is LibreOffice Worthy of the Office Crown? Is LibreOffice Worthy of the Office Crown? LibreOffice is the king of free office suites. It's unlikely to replace Microsoft Office in a business environment, but it's an excellent alternative for casual users. Here's what's new in LibreOffice 5.1. Read More is a staple of many of them for example, along with GIMP GIMP: A Quick Walkthrough Of Everyone's Favorite Open Source Image Editor GIMP: A Quick Walkthrough Of Everyone's Favorite Open Source Image Editor Read More . These similarities go even deeper than just the desktop software however.

The reason why Linux is sometimes called GNU/Linux is because of the core software behind every Linux operating system. The essential programs that you don’t really notice, like the BASH shell Top 3 Sites to Help You Become a Linux Command Line Master Top 3 Sites to Help You Become a Linux Command Line Master Read More , and even basic command line tools to copy files — all of them come from the GNU Project.

core utils linux

It also supplies something called a C Standard Library called glibc, which ensures that programs written in C will run on Linux (there are others, such as the Windows C runtime library, but that’s for another story).

Many, many important parts of your Linux system are made by GNU as free software Open Source vs. Free Software: What's the Difference and Why Does It Matter? Open Source vs. Free Software: What's the Difference and Why Does It Matter? Many assume "open source" and "free software" mean the same thing but that's not true. It's in your best interest to know what the differences are. Read More . Without them all, you’d be left only with a kernel, unable to run any programs. It also means that despite how different each operating system is, they’re still standing on the same shoulders: Linux and GNU.

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Exactly

Thanks to the similarities between each Linux operating system, it’s easy enough to change each one to your liking. There are a number of desktops you can choose from, along with many themes 9 Beautiful Alternatives To The Default Linux Icon Sets 9 Beautiful Alternatives To The Default Linux Icon Sets Here's how you can switch icon sets, and which ones I recommend trying out. Read More . As such, nothing is stopping you from stripping your Linux system down to the bone, and likewise, filling a minimal one to become fully fledged.

XFCE desktop linux

Rather than reinstalling your computer with a “light” system like Xubuntu, say, you could achieve the same effects by getting the XFCE desktop The Best Lean Linux Desktop Environment: LXDE Vs Xfce Vs MATE The Best Lean Linux Desktop Environment: LXDE Vs Xfce Vs MATE On a fresh Linux installation, there's not much you can do to speed things up, other than look at your choice of desktop environment. Here we look at three options: LXDE, Xfce, and MATE. Read More on vanilla Ubuntu. The largest gains are made by the differences in desktop environments, since they’re one of the larger components in a Linux operating system.

People who argue that their desktop is better than another because of its looks miss the fact that making any Linux system like theirs is a matter of installing a few themes. Appearance is based off of multiple factors. There are themes for specific parts of the desktop, and putting these together creates something that (hopefully) looks nice. You can even make Linux look like macOS Make Linux Look Like macOS With These Easy Tweaks Make Linux Look Like macOS With These Easy Tweaks If you like Linux but want it to look more like macOS, you're in luck! Let us guide you through the steps to make your Linux desktop behave and look like Apple's macOS. Read More if you try hard enough.

theming linux

In many cases, if you’re not happy with how your Linux desktop looks, it’s very easy to change. So switching to another operating system because of how it appears out of the box might not be the best of ideas. The differences are surface-deep only, after all.

A Few Exceptions

Aren’t there always? While Linux is generally the same in most cases, there are a few differences that you should take into consideration. Switching to a niche distribution might not be a very good idea for example, and here are a few reasons why.

A Matter of Choice

Looking past small differences, Linux is Linux, no matter how it’s shaped. Each one is similar where it counts. From Elementary OS to Gentoo, it really isn’t important in the end. Either way, you’re helping the Linux desktop How You Can Help Make 2017 the Year of the Linux Desktop How You Can Help Make 2017 the Year of the Linux Desktop It doesn’t matter if Linux achieves world computing domination. What matters is that we can use it today, and it’s awesome -- and now is a great time to take the plunge! Read More .

Which Linux operating systems do you use and why?

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