HomeLINUX DISTROSBest Linux Distro For Developers & Programmers

Best Linux Distro For Developers & Programmers [Updated]

Best Linux Distro For Developers & Programmers: The Linux distros have long been a favorite among Developers & Programmers since the rise in popularity of the OS in the nineties. Programmers are technical by nature, and Linux distros appeal to that technical nature. Let’s discuss why Linux is a great desktop OS for programmers and developers.

Why Linux?

The major concerns while choosing a Linux distro for programming are compatibility, power, stability, and flexibility. Distros like Ubuntu and Debian have managed to establish themselves as the top picks when it comes to the best Linux distro for programming.

  • Linux is free, as is most of the software that comes with it.
  • Linux is safe and secure.
  • Linux supports most programming languages (Java, JavaScript, HTML, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, C, C++, HTML, CSS, etc…).
  • Linux is easy to install.
  • Linux terminal. The GUI interface with Linux distros, unlike other OSs, in Linux the GUI is optional. Many programmers who use Linux as their coding platform live solely in the terminal.
  • An expansive range of applications to choose from. While nano and Vim are tremendous and fundamental, perhaps you want to give Sublime Text a look (you do). Linux lets you do that.
  • Linux experience and expertise always looks good on a resume.

Best Linux Distro For Developers & Programmers

1. Best Linux Distro For Developers: Ubuntu

Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions. It’s popular with every kind of Linux user, from beginners to seasoned Linux pros. For developers and programmers, Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) provides additional stability.

Like Debian, Ubuntu uses the DEB package manager, while later versions of Ubuntu also include Snap packages so that installing new software is a simple, straightforward process.

Its own Software Center has tons of free applications that make it a great Linux OS for programming. Its LTS version remains supported for 5 years and provides the stability of a fixed release.

Its massive user base means you can take advantage of its highly active community forum for any support issues. There’s plenty of scope for customizing the user experience with various Ubuntu derivatives like Lubuntu and Xubuntu, making it a strong contender to be the best Linux distro for programming.

Why use Ubuntu for coding and development?

The most popular open-source OS has a huge user community to help you out at every step. A polished experience is provided by LTS releases that are quick to fix issues. Ubuntu also supports the popular .deb package management system.


Best Linux Distro For Developers & Programmers

2. Best Linux Distro For Developers: Debian

Debian is the mother operating system of hundreds of Linux distributions, which means not only is it a familiar distro for programmers to use, it also has a vast amount of support around it.

Debian was started by the joint association of individuals with the desire to make a free Operating System available to the world. It is designed to be a computing powerhouse capable of running on different types of hardware especially when being used for development.

Debian’s repositories are top tier and there’s a thriving community supporting the distro, making it a friendly option for beginners who get stuck with other flavors of Linux.

Why use Debian for programming?

If you want a rock-solid stable system whose repositories have tons of open source goodies, go for Debian. Also, its popular .deb package management is another plus point.


Best Linux Distro For Developers & Programmers

3. Fedora

Fedora is a community-supported derivative of the commercial distribution Red Hat Linux. It also enjoys the distinction of being the distro of choice of Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds.

It is sponsored by the Fedora Project and owned by Red Hat, developed independently of any other Linux distribution, and is available in several versions referred to as ‘Spins‘. And these spins are built with unique areas of focus such as gaming, security, computing & robotics, etc.

Fedora is fast, too. Even programmers are running Gnome report no latency or speed-related issues with their Fedora distro. The software repository for Fedora is rich, its community robust, and its reputation stellar.

Why use Fedora for programming?

Fedora is pretty stable and it just works. It works mostly out-of-the-box on most hardware. Its small release also delivers cutting edge features.



4. openSUSE

openSUSE is a professionally and community-supported Operating System designed to provide field experts with a reliable computing environment for their work. It is distributed in 2 versions, Leap – a Long Term Support (LTS) release, and Tumbleweed – a rolling release, and they both use the YaST package manager for delivering applications to users.

OpenSUSE yields an enterprise environment with an excellent package manager in YaST. It’s stable and provides plenty of installers on its website, including options for hypervisor installations and various desktop environments.

Why use openSUSE as a programming Linux distro?

It’s stable with very latest packages and comes with tons of packages in the repository. Its YaST package management is loved by many.


Best Linux Distro For Developers & Programmers

5. CentOS

CentOS is a Fedora-based community-driven Operating System designed as a non-commercial rebuild of RHEL with a focus on using Linux to deliver a robust open-source ecosystem using 2 versions, CentsOS Linux – a stable release, and CentOS Stream – a rolling release. It ships with a wide range of programming tools for developers alongside enterprise-class stability without charging for support or certification.

CentOS also boasts an impressive repository of software, as well as Red Hat Software Collections (RHSCL) for dynamic languages and open-source databases. It offers the ideal environment for programmers focused on enterprise development and programming in general.

Why use CentOS for development?

CentOS is a rock-solid Linux distro that’s perfect for programming. If you’re doing enterprise development, look no further.


CentOS 4

6. Manjaro

Manjaro is an Arch Linux-based Operating System designed to be fast, user-friendly, and intuitive while flexing the power of Arch Linux and a lot more. It is built to have a sleek UI design that migrants from Windows and Mac platforms will have no issues using and it is available in both official and community-supported editions.

Manjaro is not only gaining popularity among the general Linux user base but especially with developers. This is in large part due to easy access to a vast array of development tools, especially with AUR enabled, which provides access to a virtual cornucopia of Github projects.

Especially of interest to programmers, is Manjaro’s compatibility with bbswitch, which allows developers to power down GPUs and test their programs in different graphical environments with ease.

Why use Manjaro for programming?

If you love the power of Arch Linux and a stable distro that just works, try Manjaro. You can also go for Manjaro-OpenRC if you don’t like the system.


Best Linux Distro For Developers & Programmers


We’ve covered much ground in this article. You can go with any of the six distros listed, and no one could fault you. My best advice is to test each one out in a virtual environment until you find the one that is comfortable for you.

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