Are There Too Many Linux Distributions?
Literally there are hundreds of Linux distributions to chose from. You can find hundreds of operating systems based on the Linux kernel. These are more than enough to confuse you to find the right one for yourself. Are there really too many Linux distributions out there? I would say no.
Most of the Linux distributions have their own preferences and they are here with specific missions. For the most part, volunteers join hands to develop a distributions for their common interests. These volunteers are somewhat same minded and develop the distro to offer the users something special. Of course there are some distributions which come with the same desktop environments and the same package managers. Then the question normally arises what is the use of them, where there are already distributions out there with ‘almost’ the same stuffs. I’m not taking their side. In fact, I even don’t see the reason behind their existence. But there are some distributions which have proven their credibilities over time and they are doing really well. I can cite the examples of Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS etc. They are here with their own preferences and respective goals. Their user bases are also diverse who have their own way of using the desktop Linux. Ubuntu is definitely the most popular choice for desktop Linux. Ubuntu stands third after Windows and OS X in desktop genre. Linux Mint is also doing a great job in shaping the desktop with the traditional flavor. Linux Mint got Ubuntu-refugees when Ubuntu embraced the Unity desktop. Unity is a desktop environment aimed at touch interface. Ubuntu is aiming for bringing Ubuntu Touch, and they are working with that in kind. Most probably they would offer Ubuntu Touch by 2015. On the other hand, Linux Mint is concentrating on the desktop only. They don’t have any plan to bring Linux Mint on mobile devices. And for elementary OS, they are trying to offer the users an awesome distribution with aesthetic beauty. It’s OS X-like interface has already got popularity among the new users to the Linux world. And it’s doing great.
These are only three examples. In a nutshell, what I’m trying to say is that, having too many distributions is never a disadvantage. More distributions means more choice to choose from. If any distribution let you down, don’t hesitate to switch to another distribution of your choice. Options are always there. You can find many distributions with their preferences and if you find any distribution that suites you, stick to it. Distributions are there with variations of package managers and all these. Debian based distributions use DEB packages where Red Hat Enterprise Linux based distributions use RPM packages. These are the main upstream distributions. You could also find distributions using sources instead of package managers. So it’s up to you to decide which distribution you should go with. If you ask me, I could mention of some distributions which have great potentials. Debian is the large volunteer based distributions. It’s popularly known as the granddaddy in Linux world. Debian is an universal operating system. It supports practically any processor architecture. I can mention of Mageia, which is a Mandriva fork, but with a specific goal and it’s doing great. Other distributions are out there but I think these distributions that I mentioned in this post have their goals well defined. You wouldn’t get disappointed with them. They would never let you down.
Choices are always great to have. You would know which one to use, for what purpose and whether you should really be using them where you have a better alternative. So too many Linux distributions are not really bad indeed.