12 Best Linux Distros for Developers and Programmers

Linux is the most preferred OS by developers and programmers as it has a lot of benefits. They use Linux distros (Linux distribution software) to complete their work and create new things. But, a lot of them wonder that which are the best Linux distros for developers. There are plenty of good choices available on the web.

If you are looking out for a great Linux distribution software with stability, compatibility, power, and flexibility, this post is specially written for you. Here, you will find not one, but 12 Best Linux Distros for Developers in 2020.

12 Best Linux Distros for Developers in 2020

Developers and Programmers choose Linux to work on instead of Windows or any other OS. There are a lot of reasons for that such as Linux is free and open-source, it is compatible with almost any programming languages, and it is tremendously secure. Linux viruses are very rare. Earlier, Linux had a preconception that only pro-developers or programmers can use it.

But, now there are hundreds of Linux distributions available that allow even the beginners to work on Linux. They do the hard work for them by collecting codes from open-source and compiling them. It could be confusing for the beginners as well as professionals to pick the right Linux distro.

So, we have made this list of 12 best Linux distros for developers. You can choose any distribution from here and start working.

1. Kali Linux

Kali Linux is a well-known Linux distro specially chosen by security-aiming Linux developers. This Linux distro is perfect for pen testing, white-hat hacking, and network vulnerability checks. The interface may seem a bit confusing for the beginners, but once you get around with it, it is going to be your permanent choice.

The built-in tools like John the Ripper for password cracking, web app security scanner OWASP ZAP, and penetration testing suite Aircrack-ng make Kali Linux one of the best Linux distros for developers. If you are an aspiring ethical hacker, this is the right distro for you.

2. Ubuntu

Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distros and considered the best Linux distribution by a lot of developers. This distro is suitable for all sorts of users. It is impressively well documented and optimized. You will also have lots of support options from official forums to third-party communities. It is one of the most user-friendly options out there.

With Ubuntu, you will get Android Open-Source Project compatibility which is very helpful for Android developers. Also, there is a snap package support to write apps in your preferred languages. It is an all-in-one Linux distro that is Debian-based and has tons of resources.

3. Debian

Debian is one of the oldest and most used Linux distros by developers and programmers. You can estimate the greatness of Debian by the fact that Ubuntu is Debian-based. This incredible Linux distro is highly stable, secure, and compatible with almost all the languages.

It has an extensive user community from which you can seek support for almost any bug or issue. The best part is that Debian is very much user-friendly. So, you can use it even if you are just beginning with Linux.

4. CentOS

CentOS is the free community edition distro from RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). It is another well-known Linux distro flaunting a long list of features for absolutely free. You can access its YUM package manager and the Red Hat Software Collections repo to get your work done swiftly.

It comes with a wide range of open-source databases, making it suitable for the programmers.  It even has a commercial RHEL software for free. So, you can even choose this stable and secure Linux distro for an enterprise environment.

5. Pop!_OS

Pop!_OS is a brilliant Linux distro from Linux PC manufacturer, System76. This distro is specifically suitable for programmers and makers. Pop!_OS is based on Ubuntu and features the GNOME desktop environment. This distribution software has a list of helpful functionalities like keyboard shortcuts, access to repos like TensorFlow, and a strong app store.

It supports seamless switching between integrated and dedicated graphics. This unique feature makes it a very compatible option for programming. The best part is that this distro is very simple to use.

6. OpenSUSE

OpenSUSE is another great Linux distro. This distribution is developed by keeping developers and sysadmins in focus. So, it is highly stable, secure, and compatible. It supports downloading devel packages with a one-click installer and provides access to text editors like Emacs and VIM. Additionally, you’ll get access to RPM package management and CMake for build automation.

All this makes OpenSUSE an incredible developer-centric Linux distro. You can easily install it and understand it within the first few days.

7. Raspbian

Raspbian is another simple to use Linux distro with lots of programming resources including BlueJ, Python, Greenfoot, and many more. It supports a good range of programming languages as well. The best thing about it is the Pixel desktop environment.

The Raspberry-Pi is small, suitable for programming, and runs efficiently on a single-board computer (SBC). It is an excellent choice to go with for beginners.

8. Gentoo

Gentoo is the next great Linux distro on our list. This distribution software comes with a lot of special compilation options on your executable files. It even allows you to rebuild your entire system for the specific CPU architecture. The installation process is a bit hard but will give a lot of information about your system and its subsidiaries.

Gentoo is able to configure whatever a compilation flag package can support. It is powerful, stable, and very flexible. If you are an aspiring developer, this is the perfect option for you.

9. Fedora

Fedora is the next Linux distro on our list. This distribution is a bit similar to CentOS with a lot of advanced features and one of the favorite options chosen by a lot of famous programmers. It is highly stable, always updated, and provides an impressive developer portal.

It includes a multi-language IDE in Eclipse that you can for languages such as PHP, Java, C, and C++. Along with all this, Fedora is very much user-friendly. So, anyone can use it easily.

10. Arch Linux

Arch Linux is a great Linux distro for professional developers and programmers. However, it is not suitable for beginners as it has a difficult installation. This distro lacks an installation bundler or graphical user interface (GUI).

Apart from that, it is absolutely amazing if you know how to use it. The part about it is that it is completely bloatware-free. Also, the Pacman package manager is excellent and very helpful. It is lightweight, stable, and always updated.

11. NuTyX

NuTyX is one more very stable and flexible Linux distro for developers and programmers. It provides complete control to the user and adopts the Linux from the beginning. It comes with a good package manager and kernel that allow users to create a customized experience.

You can choose from a desktop environment to applications and more. The only limitation of this distro is the lengthy installation process that not everyone can understand.

12. Manjaro Linux

Manjaro Linux is an Arch-based Linux distro with tons of useful programming resources. This excellent distro comes with impressive features like the Pacman package manager, rolling release, and more. It is stable, highly compatible, and very flexible.

The user interface is friendly so even the beginners can use it. Also, the installation is easy and simple, unlike Arch Linux. It is one of the simplest options to use out there.

Final Take

These are the 12 best Linux distros for developers in 2020. You can pick and use any of these to get your work done swiftly. If you need help with any of these, let me know in the comments. I’ll be glad to assist you further. Also, if you know about any other great Linux distribution, feel free to share it with us.

That’s all for this post. I hope you find it helpful.