Comparison of Linux distributions

Technical variations of Linux distributions include support for different hardware devices and systems or software package configurations. Organizational differences may be motivated by historical reasons. Other criteria include security, including how quickly security upgrades are available; ease of package management; and number of packages available.

These tables compare each noteworthy distribution's latest stable release on wide-ranging objective criteria. It does not cover each operating system's subjective merits, branches marked as unstable or beta, nor compare Linux distributions with other operating systems.


The following distributions are completely without cost : aLinux, ALT Linux, Annvix, Arch Linux, Ark Linux, Arudius, Asianux, Aurox, BLAG Linux and GNU, CentOS, CRUX, Damn Small Linux, Debian, DeLi Linux, DeMuDi, Devil-Linux, dyne:bolic, Edubuntu, EnGarde Secure Linux, Fedora, Finnix, Foresight Linux, Freespire, Frugalware, Gentoo, gNewSense, Gnoppix, gnuLinEx, GoboLinux, Gobuntu, Impi Linux, Kanotix, Knoppix, Knoppmyth, Kubuntu, Kurumin Linux, Linux Mint, Lunar Linux, Musix GNU+Linux, NimbleX, NUbuntu, openSUSE, Paipix, Pardus, Parsix, PCLinuxOS, Puppy Linux, QiLinux, SabayonLinux, Satux, Scientific Linux, sidux, Slackware, SLAX, SliTaz GNU/Linux, Source Mage GNU/Linux, Symphony OS, Trustix, Ubuntu, Ututo GNU/Linux, Xubuntu, Yoper and Zenwalk.

The following distributions have several editions, some of which are without cost and some of which do cost money : Caixa Mágica, Mandriva Linux, MEPIS and Red Flag Linux.

The following distributions cost money : Elive, Linspire,, Novell Open Enterprise Server, Pie Box Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Rxart., SUSE Linux Enterprise

Note that when talking about "free software", the word "free" refers to software freedom, not monetary cost: for an explanation of the difference, see The Free Software Definition.

Hardware requirements

This table lists the hardware requirements of each distribution, as given by the vendor or other authoritative sources. "Recommended" figures are presented in preference to "required" figures, when both are given.

                                            Processor speed    Memory size (MB)     Disk space for installation  
Damn Small Linux             486-class                       16                         0.05 GB (50 MB)
Debian                                 1 GHz                             512                       5 GB             
Fedora                                 400 MHz                       192                       9 GB
Gentoo Linux                     486-class                       64                          1.5 GB
Knoppix                              486-class                       128                        0 GB
Mandriva Linux                 1 GHz                             512                        4 GB
MEPIS                                Unknown                       128                        4 GB
Pardus                                1.2 GHz                          512                        10 GB
PCLinuxOS                       1 GHz                              512                         4 GB
Puppy Linux                     Pentium 166MMX        128                        256 MB
Ubuntu Linux                   1GHz                                256                       4 GB
sidux                                   i686, AMD64                 192                        0 / 3 GB
Slackware                          486-class                        32                          3.5 GB

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