Best Cloud OS: Chrome OS
Chrome OS may not be your typical Linux-based distribution because it’s a browser-based operating system for online activities. However, because it’s based on Linux and its source code is available for anyone to compile, it’s an attractive OS. I use Chrome OS on a daily basis. It’s an excellent, maintenance-free, always updated OS for anyone using a computer purely for web-related activities. Chrome OS, along with Android, deserves all the credit for making Linux popular in the PC and mobile space.
Best Laptop OS: Ubuntu MATE
Most laptops don’t have very high-end hardware, and if you are running a really resource-intensive desktop environment then you won’t have much system resources or battery life at your disposal -- they will be used by the OS itself. That’s where I found Ubuntu MATE to be an excellent operating system. It’s lightweight, yet has all the bells and whistles needed for a pleasant experience. Thanks to its lightweight design, the majority of system resources are free for applications so you can still do some heavy work on it. I also found it to be a great distro on really low-end systems.
Best Distro for Old Hardware: Lubuntu
If you have an old laptop or PC sitting around, breathe new life into it with Lubuntu. Lubuntu uses LXDE, but the project has merged with Razor Qt to create LXQt. Although the latest release 15.04 is still using LXDE, the future versions will be using LXQt. Lubuntu is a decent operating system for old hardware.
Best Distro for IoT: Snappy Ubuntu Core
Snappy Ubuntu Core is the best Linux-based operating system out there for Internet of Things (IoT) and other such devices. The operating system holds great potential to turn almost everything around us into smart devices -- such as routers, coffeemakers, drones, etc. What makes it even more interesting is the way the software manages updates and offers containerization for added security.
Best Distro for Desktops: Linux Mint Cinnamon
Linux Mint Cinnamon is the best operating system for desktops and powerful laptops. I will go as far as calling it the Mac OS X of the Linux world. Honestly, I had not been a huge fan of Linux Mint for a long time because of unstable Cinnamon. But, as soon as the developers chose to use LTS as the base, the distro has become incredibly stable. Because the developers don’t have to spend much time worrying about keeping up with Ubuntu, they are now investing all of their time in making Cinnamon better.
Best Distro for Games: Steam OS
Gaming has been a weakness of desktop Linux. Many users dual-boot with Windows just to be able to play games. Valve Software is trying to change that. Valve is a game distributor that offers a client to run games on different platforms. And, Valve has now created their open operating system -- Steam OS -- to create a Linux-based gaming platform. By the end of 2015, partners started shipping Steam machines to the market.