When we recommend a Linux distribution, we usually do it with a standard user in mind, and even novice users who have never tried Linux before. This leads us to distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Fedora, quite simple distros designed to save us as many headaches as possible. However, these distros can often fall short for more advanced users, who are always looking to go the extra mile.
Of course, the shadow of Linux is very long, and that allows us to find from distros for those who have never left Windows before to distributions for more advanced users who want to touch even the smallest detail of their computer.
Generally, these Linux distributions offer advanced users more control in customizing and choosing the packages they want to install. With this, greater system stability and better performance on all types of hardware is achieved. And, of course, also increased security. However, keep in mind that almost everything must be done and configured by hand, which implies that we need the knowledge, and the time, for it.
Of course, once we have these advanced Linux distros configured, we can be sure that we will have an operating system for a long time, always updated and adapted to our needs.
Linux distros for advanced users
Arch Linux: the most advanced for the most advanced
Arch Linux is one of the safest, fastest and most stable distributions that we can install on our computer. This distro is characterized by giving the user absolute control over the packages that are installed and how they are installed. This makes installing Arch Linux quite a tedious task, although if we complete it well, we will appreciate it later.
Arch Linux does not come with programs installed out of the box, nor with desktops or other packages that are very common in other distros. Arch is designed so that each user can adapt the distro according to their needs. From its repositories we can install all kinds of programs and packages, but only if we need them.
Once Arch Linux is installed, we can have one operating system forever. Its updates are of the Rolling Release type, so we can always keep it up to date without ever having to reinstall it.
OpenSUSE, another of the advanced distros for day to day
OpenSUSE is another excellent Linux distro designed for advanced users. Specifically for system administrators. This distro inherits many functions and features of SUSE Linux Enterprise, and, although anyone can use it since it comes with a desktop and a complete collection of packages and programs installed by default, to take full advantage of it and take advantage of its security, control, performance functions and stability is necessary to dedicate time and have knowledge to match.
We can download OpenSuse from its website .
“Server” editions of other distros
In addition to the desktop editions (generally known as “Desktop”) of distributions such as Ubuntu, we can also find other distributions known as “Server”. These distributions are generally much smaller than desktop distributions, eliminating window managers and all packages and applications intended for users to function in the smallest possible way.
During the installation of these distros we can choose the packages that we want to install according to our needs. And once the installation is finished, we will have a TTY through which we can begin to configure the distro to our liking and install the applications, or services, that we need.
It is rare to use a server Linux distro on a day-to-day PC, but it is an interesting option for advanced users who want to go further.
One of the most popular server distros is Ubuntu Server .
CentOS, one of the most stable
CentOS is a consistent and manageable Linux distro capable of adapting to a wide variety of implementations. For some open source communities, it is one of the best, solid, robust and stable bases on which to start programming other projects.
This distro provides users with intermediate development between Fedora and RHEL. Many system administrators turn to it to use it on all types of servers due to the flexibility it offers, the great community behind it ready to help and, above all, for its security and stability.
On its website we can download the latest version of CentOS .
Slackware Linux, a veteran and reputed distro
Slackware is another of the most popular advanced Linux operating systems. This distro is not as complicated as the previous ones that you have to configure them almost from scratch, but it has a package of applications (quite complete, really) by default and a desktop that allows us to use it in graphic mode.
Despite this, it is still a distro focused on advanced users. This system offers a balance between stability, performance, safety, flexibility and power. This distro follows the KISS principle and has been the foundation of large distros, such as Debian.
In the following link we can download Slackware Linux .
Debian (testing), balance between simplicity and control
Many distros, like Ubuntu, are based on Debian. However, if we want a much purer, more stable system that offers better performance, it is necessary to go to the root. That is, to Debian as a Linux distro. Specifically to the “testing” branch.
Debian is one of the purest distros that we can find, although, yes, it comes with a desktop and a series of packages by default so as not to be as complicated as, for example, Arch Linux.
Debian’s “testing” branch is also one of the most frequently updated branches so that it is always up-to-date. This distro that is constantly receiving patches and news (many even experimental) so that users who choose it can always be up to date.
We can download Debian testing for free from the following link .
Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the ideal choice for companies
The needs of companies are generally different and far superior to those that any other user may need. For this reason, there are also distros designed for business use such as RHEL, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
This distro is based on Fedora and is mainly characterized by coming with a series of added services for companies, such as support and training for workers. Security, stability and performance are also key factors of a distro of these characteristics.
We can download this distro from the Red Hat website .
Gentoo, a challenge even for the most expert
This is a highly configurable and customizable distro that requires advanced knowledge to change if we want to get the most out of it. And it is that Gentoo offers us even more control than what other distributions can offer us, being able to obtain a software to our measure, but it does so in exchange for an exceptional cost, since it requires us a considerable time to learn to master all its technical ins and outs . Not because it has a graphical installation interface, for which it is aimed at the most advanced Linux lovers.
We can download Gentoo for free from their website .
Antergos, the best Spanish Linux distro
This Linux distro is a distribution with a continuous release, whose system, from the most basic components of the operating system, to the applications that we install, will receive half-published updates . It is available in Spanish and was developed by Spaniards with the most advanced Linux users in mind. During the installation we can choose which desktop environment and applications we want to install. We can also configure the fonts, the configuration of the windows, the desktop extensions, the behavior of the top bar or the applications that are executed at the beginning, so that we can leave GNOME to our liking.
We can download Antergos, completely free, from the developer’s website .
Sabayon, Gentoo-based distro
We are now faced with a Gentoo-based Linux distribution, so we can imagine that it is aimed at advanced users. It is a reliable, open source system that has equo (text mode) and rigorous (graphical interface) tools , so it offers us packages compiled directly from the Portage tree , with weekly updates, offering us multiple repositories. This distro also includes specific graphical properties that allow us to choose between AIGLX or XGL .
Sabayon is available for KDE, GNOME, Xfce, Enlightenment, etc. desktop environments and can be downloaded from this link .