Lots of movement in Karmi’s Top 10 Linux Distros over the past 20 months as the Ebb ‘n Flow of 2000++ Linux Distros produced ‘a recurrent or rhythmical pattern of coming and going or decline and regrowth’ of their own.

As mentioned in ‘Year of the Linux Desktop‘ ‘n still @ 1.5-3% after 29 years!? I am in the process of updating my Top 10, and my requirements have also changed over the past 20 months since I started the Linux Newbie – since 1996 blog.

The Top 10 is now divided into two sections:

  • 1) Spots 1-5 are reserved for Distros that I use in testing other Linux Distros, and a main requirement is no ‘Pesky Passwords’! During tests I use ‘n check a lot of Linux apps/programs that require a password in order to use them or add stuff to the Distro being tested. Most Linux users are not opening such apps/programs that often during normal use of the Distro, so perhaps the password requirements are not as annoying to them…in fact, passwords didn’t bother me a lot at first, but I did wonder why there wasn’t an option/setting to turn off password requirement (like Windows has). After 20 months of testing Linux I am done with that juvenile Linux ‘Authentication Required’ requirement on my computers!!!
  • 2) Spots 6-10 will be for Linux Distros I recommend for normal Desktop OS usage and/or specialty/niche Linux Distros like Kodachi Linux. Windows 10 Pro is my main Desktop OS, but I enjoy working with ‘n testing other OSes.

I was going to do a Part 2 on Manjaro-Architect 20.0.3 ‘n a full report on CentOS Stream; however, they are probably too difficult to install for most Linux users, and wouldn’t be read that much…also, after 6 days of pretty intense testing, I have lost and/or forgotten much of the testing (GRIN). Besides, FossaPup64 9.5 was such a pleasant experience that humble me is still in awe of what the Puppy Linux developers have created with their new Puppy Linux 9.5!?!

The Top 10 #2 spot goes to CentOS Stream – not to be confused with CentOS Linux 8:

CentOS Stream is a rolling-release Linux distro that exists as a midstream between the upstream development in Fedora Linux and the downstream development for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It is a cleared-path to contributing into future minor releases of RHEL while interacting with Red Hat and other open source developers. This pairs nicely with the existing contribution path in Fedora for future major releases of RHEL.

Not an easy install…getting the correct installation USB media setup can be very difficult, and w/o that the installation is probably going to fail from the start. I ended up going with Rufus because the CentOS installation guide’s recommendation of Fedora Media Writer failed several times, and it was a pain to reformat the USB each time. Since it was CentOS, I also needed a larger USB, especially with settling on the 8.28GB CentOS-Stream-8-x86_64-20200801-dvd1 iso as the source. The #2 spot gets a lot of turnover, so I’ll have to wait ‘n see how reliable CentOS Stream stays.

The Top 10 #3 spot goes to Manjaro-Architect 20.0.3 – an *EXTREMELY* tough competitor, and could easily have been my #2 choice if not for past bad experiences with the basic/standard Manjaro Linux Distro version.

I am also moving Windowsfx/Linuxfx out of the Top 5 – the hybrid no password was still problematic since it had this constantly popping up during testing:

I didn’t need to put the mouse down in order to type in a password, all I needed to do was click on “Authenticate” or just hit “Enter” on the keyboard, but even that was a distraction. No password needed, but that Authenticate popup was almost as annoying. Excellent Linux Distro and the 06/14/2020 Windowsfx 10.2 (Linuxfx 10) – ‘a smooth downhill path to Linux adoption’? post is the most popular post I have done in 20 months. 2,902 views since being published on 06/14/2020, views from all over the Earth.

Clonezilla is a little off topic here, but has been such a useful tool in my recent Linux testing that I want to mention it here. Many of these recent tests involving Vanilla Arch, Manjaro-Architect and CentOS Stream were long installs…Manjaro-Architect can take up to 3 hours to install, so saving a backup image can also save hours on retesting.

Those are images saved onto a 128GB SSD, they’re just taking up 43GB’s, and it only takes about 5 minutes to restore one of them. Anyone using Linux should learn how to use Clonezilla, IMHO.

For now, Windowsfx/Linuxfx goes to #6 (Top Spot in Section 2), MX Linux 19.2 KDE to #7, Kodachi at #8, Ubuntu LTS to #9 and Mint comes in at #10. Those 5 ‘n about 5 more Linux Distros make Excellent to Good Desktop OSes…most are Ubuntu-based, naturally.

Rule of Thumb – if you can’t install Ubuntu on it, then you can’t install any Linux Distro on it.