Best Distro for Privacy: Tails
In this age of mass surveillance and tracking by marketers (anonymous tracking for targeted content is acceptable), privacy has become a major issue. If you are someone who needs to keep the government and marketing agencies out of your business, you need an operating system that’s created -- from the ground up -- with privacy in mind.
And, nothing beats Tails for this purpose. It’s a Debian-based distribution that offers privacy and anonymity by design. Tails is so good that, according to reports, the NSA considers it a major threat to their mission.
Best Distro for Multimedia Production: Ubuntu Studio
Multimedia production is one of the major weaknesses of Linux-based operating systems. All the professional-grade applications are available for either Windows or Mac OS X. There is no dearth of decent audio/video production software for Linux, but a multimedia production system needs more than just decent applications. It should use a lightweight desktop environment so that precious system resources -- such as CPU and RAM -- are used sparingly by the system itself, leaving them for the multimedia applications. And, the best Linux distribution for multimedia production is Ubuntu Studio. It uses Xfce and comes with a broad range of audio, video, and image editing applications.
Best Enterprise Distro: SLE/RHEL
Enterprise customers don’t look for articles like these to choose a distribution to run on their servers. They already know where to go: It’s either Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SUSE Linux Enterprise. These two names have become synonymous with enterprise servers. These companies are also pushing boundaries by innovating in this changing landscape where everything is containerized and becoming software defined.
Best Server OS: Debian/CentOS
If you are looking at running a server, but you can’t afford or don’t want to pay a subscription fee for RHEL or SLE, then there is nothing better than Debian or CentOS. These distributions are the gold standard when it comes to community-based servers. And, they are supported for a very long time, so you won’t have to worry about upgrading your system so often.
Best Mobile OS: Plasma Mobile
Although the Linux-based distribution Android is ruling the roost, many in the open source community, including me, still desire a distribution that offers traditional Linux desktop apps on mobile devices. At the same time, it’s better if the distro is run by a community instead of a company so that a user remains in the focus and not the company’s financial goals. And that’s where KDE’s Plasma Mobile brings some hope.
This Kubuntu-based distribution was launched in 2015. Because the KDE community is known for their adherence to standards and developing stuff in public, I am quite excited about the future of Plasma Mobile.
Best Distro for ARM Devices: Arch Linux ARM
With the success of Android, we are now surrounded by ARM-powered devices -- from Raspberry Pi to Chromebook and Nvidia Shield. The traditional distros written for Intel/AMD processors won’t run on these systems. Some distributions are aimed at ARM, but they are mostly for specific hardware only, such as Raspbian for Raspberry Pi. That’s where Arch Linux ARM (ALARM) shines. It’s a purely community-based distribution that’s based on Arch Linux. You can run it on Raspberry Pi, Chromebooks, Android devices, Nvidia Shield, and what not. What makes this distribution even more interesting is that, thanks to the Arch User Repository (AUR), you can install many applications than you may not get on other distributions.
I was astonished and amazed when I worked on this story. It’s very exciting to see that there is something for everyone in the Linux world. It doesn’t matter if the year of the desktop Linux never arrives. We are happy with our Linux moments!