is a distribution that emphasizes free
software. It is supported on many hardware platforms. Debian and
distributions based on it use the .deb package format and the dpkg package
General Purpose Debian distributions
||French. Designed for data processing in educational
||Former DeMuDi for multimedia production
||Live CD for system recovery
||For Lithuanian and Latvian languages
||A compact distribution from the Czech Republic that focuses
on providing a user-friendly desktop environment.
||Commercial. Shortlived desktop distribution, bought by Xandros
||A Brazilian Linux distribution.
||A Live CD and Distribution featuring Enlightenment as the
only window manager. Aims to be intuitive and easy to use.
||A distribution of GNU/Linux focused on guaranteeing 100% Free Software
||A distribution promoted by the government of Extremadura,
||An installable live CD for desktop usage using KDE, focusing
on convenient scripts and GUI for ease of use.
||The first Live CD (later DVD) version of Debian GNU/Linux.
||Earlier, it was a version of the Knoppix distribution,
modified with Debian and designed for Brazilian
||An ISO 9241 industry workplace certified Linux
distribution, deployed at the City of
||Commercial. Desktop-oriented distribution, previously called
Lindows. Focuses on a proprietary software application manager obtained
via a paid (CNR) subscription. Bought by Xandros
||Focuses on ease of use.
||A Debian and Morphix based distribution focused for desktop
usage in Nepali language computing.
||French distribution aimed at local communities, public
organizations, schools, etc. It comes in three editions: PingOO
Communication Server, PingOO Secure Server and PingOO File Server.
|Progeny Componentized Linux
||Distribution from Progeny Linux Systems which was also
founded by Debian founder Ian
||Desktop-oriented distribution. Focused on providing
||Multilingual desktop-oriented Live CD based on Debian
||A distribution from Norway. It is provided as a thin
client distribution for schools.
||Includes the Mezzo desktop environment.
Previous versions were based on Knoppix.
||Created in Galicia (Spain). It has support for old PCs,
includes a 3D desktop with Compiz.
||Created in Argentina.
||A distribution sponsored by Canonical Ltd as well as receiving major
funding from South African Mark Shuttleworth. Aims to offer a
complete and polished desktop on a single CD.
||Commercial distribution that would have included GNOME.
Open Circulation Edition
||Based on Xandros 3.0 Standard Edition. DVD burning is
disabled and CD burning is restricted to a maximum speed of 4X.
Specialized Debian distributions
||Attempts to specialize in audio and video production on AMD64 workstations.
||Router/Firewall and NAS/PDC
||A small system administration Live CD that is available for
||Commercial. Router/firewall distribution.
||The Linux Embedded Appliance Firewall. A tiny primarily
floppy-based distribution for routers, firewalls and other appliances.
|The Linux Router Project
||A defunct floppy-based distribution for routers and
firewalls. Supplanted by LEAF
||A development platform for hand held devices such as the Nokia
N800 and N810 Internet Tablets and other Linux-based
||Debian packages and ROM image for the Sharp
Zaurus PDA. Replaced by Ångström distribution.
||A modified version of Debian that installs preconfigured and
is specifically meant for a High speed multimedia
||pure:dyne is an Debian based operating system developed to
media artists with a complete set of tools for realtime audio and video
||Distribution developed and maintained by GMSI (Gemini
Microsystems International) for its line of Visual Computing
||For the Xbox home gaming console.
itself, is based on Debian.
||For agile developers.
|Damn Small Linux
||Generally considered as the starter of mini distributions. A live CD
designed for MiniCD with a hard drive
||Fits in under 128 MB. It boots from either a CD or a USB flash drive. Uses Knoppix-based
hardware detection and the Fluxbox
window manager.
||The French translation of Knoppix.
||Specialized Knoppix distribution for easy setup of the MythTV
||A Live CD distribution with different flavours, including
Used as a base for many other custom live distribution such as
Clusterix, PHlAK or Gnix.
based distribution, intended for music production, graphic design,
audio, video editing, and other tasks. It is built with only free
is a distribution based on Debian.
Each has a different release schedule; Debian's release cycle is about
1.5 years and Ubuntu's is 6 months. Ubuntu's packages are downloaded
from Debian, re-packaged with Ubuntu version numbers and integrated to
the system with Ubuntu-specific patches as needed. Ubuntu officially
only supports 2 computer architectures, Debian about 10. Ubuntu has two
maintenance lines (stable, in development), Debian has several suites
(stable, testing, unstable, experimental).
Gentoo is a distribution designed to have
highly optimized and frequently updated software. Distributions based
on Gentoo use the Portage package management system with emerge.
||An adaptation of Gentoo for the Xbox.
||A new distribution aimed at USB sticks.
||Aimed at easy installation of a Gentoo system by using
install scripts instead of manual configuration.
||Penetration-testing Live CD
||Live DVD which includes a wide range of desktop environments
open-source software applications. Like Knoppix, Sabayon Linux can be
installed on the hard drive.
||System rescue Live CD version of Gentoo.
|Tin Hat Linux
||Based on hardened Gentoo
||Made in Argentina
||Uses Anaconda as its
||Official Cuban distribution.
Red Hat Linux and SUSE Linux were the original
major distributions that used the RPM file format,
which is today used in several package management systems. Both of
these later divided into commercial and community-supported
distributions. Red Hat Linux divided into a community-supported
distribution sponsored by Red Hat
called Fedora, and a commercially
supported distribution called Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
|Aurora SPARC Linux
||For Sun's SPARC architecture
||A distribution for educational purpose. Comes with LTSP support.
||Focuses on ease of installation and use. It uses a Windows like interface.
||Focused on the Chinese market, along with Linpus Lite focused
on the netbook
||Focused on providing the best Arabic support, as well as some
Islamic tools such as Hijra (Hijri calendar) and Minbar (prayer time
|Yellow Dog Linux
||For the PowerPC platform.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based
See Red Hat Enterprise Linux
derivatives for a more complete list, as well as Commercial
products based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
||A lightweight distribution based on PCLinuxOS
||A distribution for home use designed to be equivalent to
Windows XP Home (formerly known as Peanut Linux).
||Several distributions including Master, Compact, and Junior.
Provides support for Cyrillic languages. 
||A security-focused server distribution. Originally based on Mandrake 9.2 but has diverged a lot.
||A distribution focused on ease of use and ease of learning.
||A medium-sized Fedora-based distribution that provides
support in Japanese and English.
||A Portuguese distribution.
||Caldera bought SCO then took the SCO name and no longer
produces a Linux distribution. Last release: 3.1.1 - Jan. 30, 2002
||A general purpose distribution. Designed to have low
overhead, run on older hardware, and be easily customizable
||A distribution for educational purposes (cf. Guadalinex,
|EnGarde Secure Linux
||Server-only distribution designed to be secure.
||Based on PCLinuxOS and features two desktop environments
- KDE &
||A distribution promoted by the government of Catalonia,
||Uses KDE as its default desktop environment.
||A Mandriva-based distribution designed to run from CD or USB
Flash Drive, focused on multimedia, internet, graphics.
||A Live CD distribution. Originally based on Mandrake 9.2.
Later rebased on Mandriva 2007.
|Red Flag Linux
||A distribution developed in China and optimized for the
|Red Hat Linux
||Split into Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The
last official release was Red Hat Linux 9 in March 2003.
||A desktop-oriented Linux distribution
supplied by Novell, Inc..
SUSE is one of the most popular distributions in Europe. Like Red Hat
Linux, it is a large distribution on several CDs/DVDs. Free Eval
versions are available for the SUSE Linux Enterprise versions.
- openSUSE - A branch developed by the community
and sponsored by Novell. openSUSE maintains a strict policy of
ensuring all code in the standard installs will be from Free/Libre/Open-Source
Software solutions, including Linux
kernel Modules. Novell's enterprise Linux
products are all based on the codebase that comes out of the openSUSE
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
- A server-oriented Linux distribution supplied by Novell, Inc. and targeted at the business
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
(previously branded Novell Linux Desktop)
- A desktop-oriented Linux distribution supplied by Novell, Inc. and targeted at the enterprise
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time - A specialized
version of the SUSE
distribution from Novell designed to support low latency for time
||A distribution focused on security.
||Based on Red Hat Linux.
||A Japanese distribution based on Red Hat Linux.
||A desktop distribution from New
Zealand that focuses on optimizing system performance for
is known as a highly customizable distribution that stresses ease of
maintenance and reliability over cutting-edge software and automated
tools. Generally considered a distribution for advanced users, it is
often suggested to those who want to learn the inner workings of a
Linux operating system.
||A 86 MB bootable live CD
||A mini linux designed to run in old PCs (386). Has a certain
degree of compatibility with Slackware packages.
||A general purpose Linux distribution designed for
||A live CD that features multiple customizable desktop environments.
||HostGIS Linux is a Slackware based distribution specifically
made for handling GIS information.
||Floppy based distribution with replaceable modules.
||Completely customizable through the Nimblex website.
||An unofficial port of Slackware to the PowerPC
|SMS - Slack Mini Server
||A full feature server distribution (inc. dovecot, postfix,
mailscanner, clamav, spamassassin, openldap), manageable through webmin
interface or kde environment. Also features TorrentFlux (a php
bittorrent client). 
||An unofficial port of Slackware to the x86-64
||A very popular live CD
which aims to provide a complete desktop for general use. Permanent
installation of SLAX is not recommended or supported; it is designed
for "live" use only.
||Designed to run from within Microsoft Windows, Topologilinux can be
installed without any changes to the user's hard disk.
||A lightweight distribution designed to be easy to use even
for new users. Generally considered well suited for older hardware.
||Originally a minimal version of Slackware, Zenwalk has
a very different operating system; however, compatibility with
Slackware is still maintained.
SLAX's modularity and reputation of quality have made it a popular
base for other live CD projects.
||A network security suite developed by RemoteExploit.org. It
includes many penetration testing utilities and
development tools. While BackTrack is principally used as a live CD,
it can also be installed permanently.
||A live CD for data analysis and visualization.
||A small distribution designed for running bioinformatics software, including BLAST and EMBOSS.
||Designed to be used on a home server.
The following distributions either use another packaging system, do
not use any, or are simply not categorized.
distribution targeted at experienced users. Arch runs on a rolling release system and uses the pacman utility for package
||CRUX is a lightweight, i686-optimized
Linux distribution targeted at experienced Linux users. The primary
focus of this distribution is "keep it simple", which is reflected in a
simple tar.gz-based package system, BSD-style
initscripts, and a relatively small collection of trimmed packages
||Embedded firewall distribution.
||A desktop based mini distribution with office suite, web
browser and other graphical programs to run on a 486. Built
from scratch with some influences from Slackware
||firewall/router/server distribution running from CD or USB.
Configuration held on USB or floppy disk.
||Version of Linux designed for the Nintendo
geared toward multimedia (audio and video) production, but comes with
other non-media specific application (eg: word processor, desktop
publisher). It is completely free
software as defined by the Free Software Foundation.
||Distribution for iPAQ handhelds.
||a single floppy ISDN, DSL and Ethernet-Router.
||A distribution built around the Conary package manager.
||A free replacement for proprietary routers supporting up to
10 network cards and up to 10 modems.
CD media center distribution, mainly to play special-encoded video
files (eg: .ogg, XVID) on home theater.
||A GNU/Linux based on Archlinux packages. The package manager
spaceman features mostly Archlinux packages and gives the opportunity
to include packages from any Gnuffy user. Gnuffy is currently in
development. Binary and source packages are both available.
||An alternative Linux distribution which redefines the entire file
hierarchy by installing everything belonging to one application in one
folder under /Programs, and using symlinks from /System and its
subfolders to point to the proper files.
||A distro solely for studying and playing the game of Go.
||Embedded Linux firmware for the Apple iPod based on the µCLinux kernel.
||Distribution for the HP Jornada 6xx and 7xx and NEC MobilePro 900(c) handhelds.
||A source code-based distribution descended from Sorcerer GNU/Linux.
||Desktop/LX: Fell down to one employee and then acquired by
|MCC Interim Linux
||MCC Interim Linux, possibly the first Linux distribution.
Created by the Manchester Computing Centre in February 1992.
||A distribution for PowerPC
systems that runs the Linux kernel as a server on top of the Mach microkernel.
||By Montavista for smartphones.
||Embedded systems distro by MontaVista Software.
||a floppy-based Linux designed to turn an old computer into a
simple Network Attached Storage device.
||Developed by Net Integration Technologies Inc., Nitix claims
to be the first autonomic Linux-based server operating system.
||Embedded firewall distribution.
||Developed by Turkish
National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology. It uses
PISI as package manager, COMAR as configuration framework.
||Sony Computer Entertainment
distribution released officially for the PlayStation
2 video game console.
||A mini distribution which runs well under low-end PCs - even
under 32 MB RAM. Includes Slackware
12 support (since version 3).
|Rocks Cluster Distribution
||A distribution for building a High-performance computing computer cluster.
||A distribution built around the Conary package manager.
||A firewall, server or intrusion detection system
||A small desktop distro. The ISO
is 25 MB; runs entirely in RAM.
||Developed by the Santa Cruz Operation ( SCO UNIX / SCO Group
), formerly Caldera.
|Softlanding Linux System
||One of the earliest distributions, developed from 1992-1994; Slackware
was originally based on it.
||A source code-based distribution.
|Source Mage GNU/Linux
||A source code-based distribution, descended from Sorcerer.
|Tinfoil Hat Linux
||Bootable floppy distribution focusing on extreme security
||Thin client distribution supporting all major connectivity
||Root boot disk.
||One of the oldest Linux distributions, not updated since 1995.