We compiled a list of the 10 best Linux distributions for everyone in 2023 based on their stability, attractiveness and time required to configure after installation.
The Linux Distribution space is heavily fragmented to the point that a new fork is being created almost daily. Very few of them are unique and bring something different to the table. Most of them are just the same Ubuntu or Debian based with a different theme or wrapper.
The Linux distro landscape is so dynamic that it changes every month. Some Linux distributions become more stable with ever-changing packages and components, while others become unstable in quality. Hence, it’s challenging to pick and choose the best Linux distribution for your school, work or just casual browsing, watching movies, etc. Not to mention, many Linux distributions are discontinued yearly due to a lack of contributions, cost overruns and other reasons.
That said, we compiled the below 10 best Linux distributions in 2023, which are perfect for any user or use case. That includes casual dual-boot users with Windows 10 or 11, students, teachers, developers, creators, etc. Take a look.
Table of Contents
Best Linux Distributions of 2023
1. Fedora KDE
The first Linux distribution, which I think is the best on this list, is Fedora Linux KDE Edition. The primary reason is that Fedora Linux is very stable with the latest tech, and KDE Plasma is super fast and perfect for all users. Moreover, this Fedora and KDE Plasma combination doesn’t require further modification or tweaks after installation. Over the last couple of releases and after the latest Fedora 36 release feedback, Fedora Linux with KDE Plasma has become the go-to distribution for every possible use case and workflow.
In addition, KDE Plasma also brings KDE Applications and goodies, eliminating additional software you need. And with the help of Fedora repo and RPM Fusion, you can blindly trust Fedora Linux with KDE Edition for your daily driver.
On a side note, you can also consider the Fedora Linux workstation edition with GNOME if you prefer a GNOME-styled desktop. In addition, you might consider other Fedora Spins or Fedora Labs if you like a different desktop flavour.
You can download Fedora KDE Edition here. Other downloads with torrent details are present here.
2. KDE Neon
The second distribution we would like to feature in this list is KDE Neon. The KDE Neon is based on the Ubuntu LTS release at its base. But the KDE Framework and KDE Applications with KDE Plasma desktop are the latest from the team. The primary reason for featuring this is that it is perfect for you if you want a Ubuntu LTS base distribution but want the latest KDE Applications. In fact, you can use it for your daily driver for years to come, provided you keep your system up to date.
In contrast, the Kubuntu LTS releases are also perfect. But they may not have the latest KDE Framework or applications.
You can download the KDE Neon at the below link. Make sure to choose the user edition while downloading.
3. Ubuntu LTS Releases with GNOME
The Ubuntu LTS releases (with default GNOME Desktop) are the most used Linux Distribution today. It’s the most popular, most downloaded and used by users, enterprises and several real-world needs.
There is no doubt about the Ubuntu LTS version’s power and stability. It has been time-tested. With the vast community support, Ubuntu LTS versions with customised GNOME might be the perfect fit for your needs.
Most third-party applications and games primarily target Ubuntu, and you get a much bigger support base than all the distributions in this list. But the recent trends of decisions from Canonical (Ubuntu’s creator), such as forcing users to adopt Snap and other stuff, may raise a concern for you if you are an advanced user.
But for casual users who want to browse the internet, watch movies, listen to music and do personal work, you can blindly trust Ubuntu LTS versions as your best Linux distribution.
Finally, you can download Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (the current one) using the below link.
4. Linux Mint Cinnamon
One of the Linux distributions that “just works” out-of-the-box in “any” type of hardware. The Linux Mint is fourth on this list. The above three distributions (Fedora, Ubuntu LTS) may not work well in older hardware (PC or Laptop) having low memory and older CPU. But Linux Mint is perfect in those use cases with its unique ability to make everyone welcome.
Furthermore, with Linux Mint, you do not need to install any additional applications after a fresh install. It comes with every possible driver and utility for all use cases. For example, your printer, webcam, and Bluetooth would work in Linux Mint.
In addition, if you are new to Linux or Windows users who plan to migrate, then it is a perfect distribution to start. Its legacy menu-driven Cinnamon desktop is one of the best open-source desktops today.
If you ever get confused or have no time to choose which distribution is best for you, choose the Linux Mint Cinnamon edition. With that said, you can download Linux Mint using the below link.
5. Pop OS
The Pop OS is developed by American computer manufacturer System76 for their hardware lineup. But it is one of the famous and emerging Linux distributions based on Ubuntu. The Pop OS is primarily known to have perfect for modern hardware (including NVIDIA graphics) and brings some unique features absent in the traditional Ubuntu with GNOME desktop.
For example, you get a well-designed COSMIC desktop with Pop OS (which is currently being written with Rust), a built-in tiling feature, well-optimized power controls, and a stunning Pop Shop. The Pop Shop is a software store designed by its maker to give you a well-categorized set of applications for your study, learning, development, gaming, etc. This distribution is also perfect for gaming if you plan to start your Linux journey with gaming in mind.
In addition, if you want a professional-grade Linux distribution with official help and support, you should check out actual System76 hardware with Pop OS.
However, you can download the Pop OS for various hardware for free using the link below.
6. MX Linux
MX Linux is a well-designed Linux distribution primarily targeted at older hardware with productivity and stability in mind. It’s an emerging Linux distribution that is free from systemd and uses the init system. Based on the Debian Stable branch, it brings Xfce Desktop, KDE Plasma desktop and Fluxbox with its own powerful MX utilities.
You can use MX Linux for all of your needs. But I would not recommend it for gaming or development work. If you need a stable Linux distribution for your older hardware, free from systemd, you can choose MX Linux. Especially the Fluxbox edition.
You can download MX Linux from its official website below.
7. Endeavour OS
If you like the concept of “Rolling release”, which gives you all the latest packages and operating system components, Arch Linux is perhaps the best you can have. However, installing Arch Linux might be tricky for new users, although the recent archinstall does a pretty job.
However, EndeavourOS is a perfect Arch Linux-based distribution which features Xfce, KDE Plasma and other popular desktops out of the box. Armed with the Calamares installer, it is super easy to install Endeavour OS.
However, this might not be the best Linux distribution for beginners. But it is the best one for little advanced users who are already familiar with Linux.
On the brighter side, you get to say, “btw, I use Arch”.
Last but not least, EndeavourOS has excellent community support, and its Telegram channel support is the best in my personal experience. So, if you ever get stuck, help is just a message away.
Download this excellent and emerging Linux distribution using the link below.
8. Zorin OS
Zorin OS is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu Linux and is best for those who want nice looks, power, stability, and a productive system. In this Linux distribution, the default desktop is a blend of Xfce and GNOME 3, heavily customised. One of the advantages of Zorin is it comes with ready-made themes. With those themes, you can make Zorin OS look like Windows and macOS with just one click.
This helps the new users easily migrate to Linux and use Zorin for their day-to-day work.
Additionally, Zorin OS maintains three editions – Pro, Lite and Core, which cater to different user bases. The Pro edition is a paid version with additional themes and tweaks for a minimal fee.
You can download Zorin OS from the below link.
9. Debian with Xfce
There are many Linux distributions which are based on Debian. But I have included vanilla Debian in this list because of its excellent stability and power. Debian – termed a “Universal Operating System”, is perfect for moderately experienced users of Linux. But if you can set up a daily driver with Debian Stable with Xfce, you can run it for years without reformating or reinstalling for fear of breaking your system.
Debian package repo contains all possible packages, which gives you the ultimate flexibility to set up any custom system you want.
A perfect Linux distribution if you know how to set up a Debian box with some experience. You can download and install Debian after choosing the proper installer for your system here. Debian comes with an installer for several architectures. You may read our guide if you are confused about which one to choose and how to install it.
10. Ubuntu Studio
The final best Linux distribution we feature in this list is Ubuntu Studio. Ubuntu Studio is an official Ubuntu Linux distribution specially curated for Multimedia production type of work.
Ubuntu Studio comes with the low-latency mainline Linux Kernel to give additional advantages to multiple operations. In addition, Ubuntu Studio brings its native “Ubuntu Studio Controls”, which provides creators with several options to tweak CPU settings for heavy CPU-intensive rendering and processing.
Moreover, a massive list of free and open-source audio, graphics, and video applications is pre-loaded into the ISO, saving time if you plan to build a multimedia workstation.
Ubuntu Studio is powered by the KDE Plasma desktop, the perfect Linux distribution for all creators worldwide.
You can download Ubuntu Studio from the below link.
I hope this list of “curated and best Linux distributions” helps you pick one for yourself, your friends and co-workers. These are based on their current status (active project), prospects (i.e. it has a well-defined vision for the future) and how easy to set up and out-of-the-box experience.
Finally, which Linux distribution should you think should be in the top 10? Let me know in the comment box below.