More Linux Distros That Don’t Suck

Distros That Don't Suck

Following Linux Distros That Don’t Suck from earlier this year here is a comprehensive list of, you guessed it, more Linux Distros that don’t suck. Some of these are more obscure lesser known distros that are quite powerful and very useful. Some of these come from personal use some of them came from the great comments you readers posted the first time I did this.

Remember that this is just a personal list, nothing more, nothing less. I’m not trying to start a holy war since that’s what usually happens when you open something like this up. With that being said, let’s us know in the forums what your list of Linux Distros That Don’t Suck would be.

SLAMPP – A Slackware based Live DVD that can only be described as a one-stop server system. Right off the DVD your up and running with pre-configured services including an HTTP server, FTP server, DHCP server, DNS server and a whole lot more. This is the perfect Distro for those “I really don’t know when I will need a fully functional small network server” times. Best of all, you can run it all without ever having to install anything on the host machine.

Pardus – Pardus, which is the scientific name for the the Anatolian Leopard (watch out Apple), is a Turkish Linux distro which is extremely underrated. It’s wonderfully crafted and has a lot of polish to it. You can tell that the developers have really put a lot of time and energy making this not only run really well but also make it really sexy. I would easily recommend this distro to novices and experts alike.

CrunchBang – Think of CrunchBang as Ubuntu for the advanced. It offers speed and style as well at the bleeding edge of packages. It’s highly customizable and comes with the nimble openbox window manager. No bloated Gnome or KDE here. This is the perfect distro if you really like Ubuntu but don’t like how it’s geared towards linux n00bs.

Sabayon – Sabayon promises to transform your computer into a powerful Gentoo Linux system in under 5 minutes. It’s a livecd (with the option to install) of the uber geek popular Gentoo. It’s very powerful and very polished like you would expect from any Gentoo system, but best of all it still acts like an other Gentoo system allowing you to use portage to pull from the Gentoo repositories.

PC-BSD – Alright, I know it’s technically not Linux, it’s BSD based, but it tries really really hard to be Linux. If you are more of a BSD fan but like the Desktop functionality that a standard linux distro offers then PC-BSD is perfect for you. Much like any out of the box distro you can listen to music, watch some video, work with office documents and you can even install applications with a gui. Best of all, it’s a rock solid BSD core that powers everything.

CentOS – Based on the rock solid RHEL, CentOS is one of the most reliable distros you will every find. It offers quick errata, package management that offers stable applications and has a very strong community behind it. They even get upstream fixes from RHEL. If you want a solid server based OS you can’t do much better than CentOS.

Slackware – The oldest of the bunch. Created in 1992, Slackware is the oldest surviving distro. It orginally came on 24 floppy disks as was built on top of kernel 0.99 and it was one of the hardest things to install. Thank God that things have changed. It’s now a highly technical and clean distro. No fancy tools for settings, you have to do everything by editing text files. You know what they say, if you learn Ubuntu you know Ubuntu. If you learn Slackware you know Linux.

There you go, another list of distros that don’t suck (according to me). You millage may vary. I really don’t want to start a holy war so I open it up to you to add to the list by visiting our forums and letting us know what you like.

Frank's the editor in chief of He can be found surfing the internet and playing with gadgets. Follow him on twitter @franklinhares

  • Raul

    Arch Linux doesn't suck

    • JCMG12

      Arch Linux sucks, Gentoo rocks. Just made the move recently, and there's nothing like the control Gentoo offers you.
      To be more precise: * sucks, Gentoo rocks.

      • Jasim A Basheer

        I thought it was the other way. Maybe you like spending 12 hours compiling everything from scratch. Arch offers binaries that are as good as any compiled-from-source stuff.

        • Jasim A Basheer

          Hey sorry! The blog autoposted my eariler comment when I clicked reply.

          I meant to say that PCLinuxOS was really easy to use. I'd vote of PCLinuxOS for people who need an OS that competes with Ubuntu.

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  • guest

    Mepis is a very good distro as well…

  • a-non-e-mouse

    Arch Linux doesn’t suck, but could stand a little more intelligence in the initial install. Still working on the rest.

    Ubuntu Netbook Remix doesn’t suck initially, but could stand a LOT of improvement in the QA dept. Initial install of 9.04 had a few minor glitches but was otherwise good, but the “security” updates basically started dismantling my netbook UI. It’s gotten to the point that shopping around for another netbook-friendly distro for my Asus EEE is now on my to-do list, as UNR simply isn’t worth it.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • Nelli

    A compilation of pardus reviews, including yours.

  • dan

    another vote for mepis

  • Marcos

    another one for Mepis

  • Enrique

    ¿since when PC-BSD is a linux distro? ¿are you insane? PCBSD is FreeBSD based and it never wanted to be a Linux distro, you should be more serious Frank

    • Frank Linhares

      I clearly state in the article that PC-BSD isn't Linux it's BSD. What I meant about it trying to be like Linux is the fact that they package everything up just like a Linux distro.

      • Debianita

        If you put it this list PC-BSD, you should put OpenSolaris too.

      • anywho

        I don't understand how that's trying to be Linux. Solaris uses packaging too, does that make them trying to be like Linux too? Admittedly I don't know anything about PC-BSD's packaging system, but what makes their's like a Linux distro?

  • Gobbo

    And I like new FHS concept introduced by Gobolinux

  • Zauber

    Arch has been my favorite distro, because it's easy for me to get the technical stuff done that "easy" distro's like Ubuntu or Fedora just get in the way of.

  • antes

    A vote for arch here

  • folle rec

    Arch has been great for me. I'm a recent switcher from Fedora. Fast, stable, and up-to-date.

  • godane

    I been building archlinux livecd for awhile now. This is for testing archlinux without installing it.

  • Vjay

    PCLinuxOS is my favourite.

  • just some dude

    Totally agree that Arch should be here as well.. IMHO – it sucks less than Gentoo.. But this is coming from a daily user of Fedora, CentOS and Arch…

  • Debianita

    My favourite distros are Debian and Slackware.
    I love Arch too.
    I know Gentoo is so hard, but I love it philosophy.

  • Jeroen Diederen

    I would add ClarkConnect or ClearOS to the list, an easy to use server distro with a web gui.

  • fabio

    linux mint for me

  • ircubic

    I'd probably replace slackware with Arch in that list. Arch is like a more modern Slackware. You still have the good old textfile tweaking and barebones system, but with actually up to date packages and decent package management. :)

    • xoxo

      You forgot one major distro. Mandriva GNOME! its three times faster then any other distro and it has the best system tools so far!

      • Jasim A Basheer

        I'm yet to try Mandriva. I'll give my opinion after that. But if you wrote this without actually using ArchLinux, then it might do good to try it. Your opinion may change after that.

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  • anywho

    How is any BSD 'trying' to be linux?

  • cx42net

    Nice post but some screenshoot would have been greater :)

  • Robert

    liking the CrunchBang

    side note – I noticed in CentOS the first sentence you wrote "every" but meant "ever".

  • Bill

    +1 Arch !

  • Jasim A Basheer

    ArchLinux it is! I've been using LXDE+ArchLinux for quite some time after trying out a bunch of other distros. here is nothing like the trusted pacman package manager (even better yaourt and the whole bunch of user generated repositories).

    And it is absolute freedom – simple text file configuration, a very minimal bleeding edge initial install. Absolute customizability. Arch should definitely be on this list. And for noobs who want something quick and great – there is Chakra – a KDE based distro on top of Arch.

  • M.S. Babaei

    Gentoo ROCKS!! no doubt about it…
    but I want to be fair: Arch is a great distro too, but less less customizable than Gentoo…
    Other distros ??? They all sucks.

  • Roger Franssen


  • Adam

    Sabayon has been one of my worst linux experiences, Gentoo is not meant to be "out of the box". This is why I installed Gentoo instead of Sabayon. Arch Linux is a good binary substitute (for laptops), but the packages are too unstable and the distribution is less flexible than Gentoo.

    Gentoo should be on the list.

  • Joe

    I'm a FreeBSD user, and in no way is PC-BSD trying to become Linux.. I would like to listen to your reasoning as to why you think it is. This is really ignorant. And no, No Linux suck. None of them suck. They are all different flavors of the same thing, LINUX. If you ever used freebsd/gentoo, and packaged your own system from scratch, you would realize that they are all the same thing respectively. Only with extras, and different packaging( wallpaper, logo, name, customized file system hierarchy,ported software, Installers, amount of ported and package management). Things you can do your self if you start from scratch. LIke is the case with freebsd, gentoo, debian etc.. That is why they are called forks.

    And with this amount of ignorance, how is Mint not even up there. That is one of the best forking done.


    This is almost useless.

    Just give a qualification from 0 to 10 to each, according to your opinion with a brief explanation of why + pros + cons.


  • madeinusa

    You would have finished more quickly saying that you don't like Debian.
    Which is really strange!

  • James

    Arch Linux is awesome!

  • guest

    I like Mandriva spring 2008 for my first choice because it has a lower learning curve for those new to Linux.
    Printers were installed with a mostly automated process.
    Hardware detection was very good.
    It was stable and had plenty of easily installable packages.
    Those were the pros.
    The cons were the size of the distro grew after applying a couple hundred updates and It wasn't one of the faster distros out there.
    If I had a second choice… DSL linux and Goblin micro would be a tie.
    Pros- small and fast distros.
    Cons- Need a good knowledge of command-line manipulation of linux and prepared packages are limited for DSL and no-longer available from the goblin website as far as I can tell.

    • guest

      I would like to add one more thing to the above post.
      If you intend on using either DSL linux or Goblin micro linux on a Dell computer, expect display problems. The display on Dell Optiplex GX270,Dell Dimension 2400, Dell 8110 gave psychadelic-looking and not very usable screen display. You'll see what I mean.

      • guest

        Display was bad with DSL, with goblin was only "passed undefined display number"

  • Ada

    You miss Arch Linux?? Dude??