dcsimg

Top 8 Debian-Based Distros

  • Top 8 Debian-Based Distros

    Top 8 Debian-Based Distros
    There have been many distros based on Debian introduced over the recent years. Which one is best for you?
  • MX Linux

    MX Linux

    If there's one single Linux distro based on Debian that has completely changed what we expect from a desktop Linux experience, it's going to be MX Linux. Lightweight, dead simple to use with tools designed to provide needed support for newer users - MX Linux has it all.

    MX Linux is a joint venture between the antiX and former MEPIS Linux communities. The distro is based on Debian Stable and it reflects this choice by providing its users with a stable, simple to set up desktop. MX Linux provides users with a strong community, a rich history and won't disappoint those interested in using a stable Linux distro without a lot of extra configuration. I also love that there are pre-configured Conky options for the desktop. And of course, active support for 32bit PC users which is important.

  • SolydXK

    SolydXK

    This next Debian based distro is actually one distro with two different desktop environment options. The first one is SolydX and it uses the Xfce desktop. The second is SolydK and it runs with a KDE desktop environment. Both versions of this distro are based on Debian stable.

    Like other distros featured here, SolydXK aims to make the user experience a painless one right after the installation is finished. Special tools to configure things the way the user wants, all types of media playback right out of the box, everything the user could want from a Debian based distro. Bundle all this with the fact that SolydXK also provides active 32bit support, it's easy to see why this distro is such a winner.

  • Deepin

    Deepin

    Deepin is a Linux distro that was once based on Ubuntu, however recently switched back to a Debian base. Deepin is developed with a design forward desktop experience. Focus goes to its own app store and a mix of proprietary applications ranging from WPS Office to Skype. Perhaps most important of all is that the distro is developed by a company instead of a community. This can provide access to resources that community based distros might lack - funding, manpower, and so on.

    Access to these resources also mean Deepin comes with some of its own special software programs not found in other distros. Many of these applications are simply branded apps for common tasks - video, music, screenshots, etc. But some of them aren't as typical. For example, Deepin Cloud Scan is proprietary in nature.

    The last consideration is that Deepin is provided by a Chinese company. On the surface this is fine, however in reading any of their documentation the language gap presents itself fairly quickly. Setting that aside, Deepin is an attractive, capable Debian based distro.

  • antiX

    antiX

    This next distro shares roots with MX Linux, with a twist - antiX. It comes with a default Rox-IceWM desktop user experience and can run on very, very old hardware configurations with ease. While antiX is not a complicated distro, it's a touch more involved than its cousin, MX Linux. It's worth noting that antiX comes with some of the same tools as MX Linux, such as grub repair. But antiX is focused on running on older hardware first, with an easy user experience being a close second.

    antiX allows its user to run with Debian repos that are stable or unstable in nature. Additionally, you can consider antiX to be a deeply customizable distro for those who want to maximize their PCs resources, but do so on their own terms. So while antiX is not super newbie friendly, it's a great distro for those comfortable with most Linux distros.

  • Raspbian

    Raspbian

    For those who want to run Linux on on a Raspberry Pi, Raspbian is a solid choice. It's worth noting that there are indeed other distros that will run on your Pi, however it's Raspbian that has proven to be the most popular of the Pi friendly distros.

    One of the things that makes Raspbian unique is that it comes with Pi specific software packages that wouldn't be found with other Debian based distributions. These applications allow users to manipulate Pi "hats" or other attached hardware, create Pi specific scripts, among other functions. Raspbian relies on a modified version LXDE called PIXEL. This lightweight desktop environment is designed to make the most out of the hardware provided.

  • AV Linux

    AV Linux

    If you're someone who would like a Debian distro for audio/video production work, AV Linux is a fantastic option. This distro comes with the software to create, edit and otherwise utilize whatever video/audio you choose to throw at it. I also love that JACK is pre-configured along with a RT (real time) kernel for immediate usage and no extra work needed.

    It should be noted that while this does share some things in common with the media friendly Ubuntu Studio, AV Linux is designed to act as an appliance. It just does stuff for you, sometimes in a bit of an unexpected way. For example, mounted drive permissions are automatically changed to read write access. Not the end of the world, but something you wouldn't see with other AV friendly distros.

  • KNOPPIX

    KNOPPIX

    KNOPPIX was the first "Live" distro I ever used. To this day, it's still a recommended option for those needing a live Debian based distro with a ton of great applications pre-installed. Some of these applications can be used to help with recovering data from a problem hard drive, others are useful in demonstrating software from a Live instance of Linux.

    KNOPPIX is definitely a great distro for anyone needing a dependable Debian installation that can be used on the fly, without actually asserting itself onto your hard drive. Taking this point further, I recommend keeping KNOPPIX on a flash drive and not installing it directly onto a hard drive. Being a live distro is where is shines best.

  • PureOS

    PureOS

    If you want a Debian based distro that's Free Software Foundation approved, PureOS is the the best solution for you. It comes with a modern feeling GNOME 3 desktop, no proprietary blobs and the sort of applications pre-installed you'd expect from a great Linux desktop.

    Some of its out of the box benefits include the Tor browser, HTTPS Everywhere plugin and the usage of the Duck Duck Go search engine. The inclusion of qTox for private messaging is also a nice feature. PureOS is indeed, a distro that respects your software freedom.

  • 1 of

Top 8 Debian-Based Distros

  • 1 of
  • Top 8 Debian-Based Distros

    Top 8 Debian-Based Distros

    There have been many distros based on Debian introduced over the recent years. Which one is best for you?
  • MX Linux

    MX Linux

    If there's one single Linux distro based on Debian that has completely changed what we expect from a desktop Linux experience, it's going to be MX Linux. Lightweight, dead simple to use with tools designed to provide needed support for newer users - MX Linux has it all.

    MX Linux is a joint venture between the antiX and former MEPIS Linux communities. The distro is based on Debian Stable and it reflects this choice by providing its users with a stable, simple to set up desktop. MX Linux provides users with a strong community, a rich history and won't disappoint those interested in using a stable Linux distro without a lot of extra configuration. I also love that there are pre-configured Conky options for the desktop. And of course, active support for 32bit PC users which is important.

  • SolydXK

    SolydXK

    This next Debian based distro is actually one distro with two different desktop environment options. The first one is SolydX and it uses the Xfce desktop. The second is SolydK and it runs with a KDE desktop environment. Both versions of this distro are based on Debian stable.

    Like other distros featured here, SolydXK aims to make the user experience a painless one right after the installation is finished. Special tools to configure things the way the user wants, all types of media playback right out of the box, everything the user could want from a Debian based distro. Bundle all this with the fact that SolydXK also provides active 32bit support, it's easy to see why this distro is such a winner.

  • Deepin

    Deepin

    Deepin is a Linux distro that was once based on Ubuntu, however recently switched back to a Debian base. Deepin is developed with a design forward desktop experience. Focus goes to its own app store and a mix of proprietary applications ranging from WPS Office to Skype. Perhaps most important of all is that the distro is developed by a company instead of a community. This can provide access to resources that community based distros might lack - funding, manpower, and so on.

    Access to these resources also mean Deepin comes with some of its own special software programs not found in other distros. Many of these applications are simply branded apps for common tasks - video, music, screenshots, etc. But some of them aren't as typical. For example, Deepin Cloud Scan is proprietary in nature.

    The last consideration is that Deepin is provided by a Chinese company. On the surface this is fine, however in reading any of their documentation the language gap presents itself fairly quickly. Setting that aside, Deepin is an attractive, capable Debian based distro.

  • antiX

    antiX

    This next distro shares roots with MX Linux, with a twist - antiX. It comes with a default Rox-IceWM desktop user experience and can run on very, very old hardware configurations with ease. While antiX is not a complicated distro, it's a touch more involved than its cousin, MX Linux. It's worth noting that antiX comes with some of the same tools as MX Linux, such as grub repair. But antiX is focused on running on older hardware first, with an easy user experience being a close second.

    antiX allows its user to run with Debian repos that are stable or unstable in nature. Additionally, you can consider antiX to be a deeply customizable distro for those who want to maximize their PCs resources, but do so on their own terms. So while antiX is not super newbie friendly, it's a great distro for those comfortable with most Linux distros.

  • Raspbian

    Raspbian

    For those who want to run Linux on on a Raspberry Pi, Raspbian is a solid choice. It's worth noting that there are indeed other distros that will run on your Pi, however it's Raspbian that has proven to be the most popular of the Pi friendly distros.

    One of the things that makes Raspbian unique is that it comes with Pi specific software packages that wouldn't be found with other Debian based distributions. These applications allow users to manipulate Pi "hats" or other attached hardware, create Pi specific scripts, among other functions. Raspbian relies on a modified version LXDE called PIXEL. This lightweight desktop environment is designed to make the most out of the hardware provided.

  • AV Linux

    AV Linux

    If you're someone who would like a Debian distro for audio/video production work, AV Linux is a fantastic option. This distro comes with the software to create, edit and otherwise utilize whatever video/audio you choose to throw at it. I also love that JACK is pre-configured along with a RT (real time) kernel for immediate usage and no extra work needed.

    It should be noted that while this does share some things in common with the media friendly Ubuntu Studio, AV Linux is designed to act as an appliance. It just does stuff for you, sometimes in a bit of an unexpected way. For example, mounted drive permissions are automatically changed to read write access. Not the end of the world, but something you wouldn't see with other AV friendly distros.

  • KNOPPIX

    KNOPPIX

    KNOPPIX was the first "Live" distro I ever used. To this day, it's still a recommended option for those needing a live Debian based distro with a ton of great applications pre-installed. Some of these applications can be used to help with recovering data from a problem hard drive, others are useful in demonstrating software from a Live instance of Linux.

    KNOPPIX is definitely a great distro for anyone needing a dependable Debian installation that can be used on the fly, without actually asserting itself onto your hard drive. Taking this point further, I recommend keeping KNOPPIX on a flash drive and not installing it directly onto a hard drive. Being a live distro is where is shines best.

  • PureOS

    PureOS

    If you want a Debian based distro that's Free Software Foundation approved, PureOS is the the best solution for you. It comes with a modern feeling GNOME 3 desktop, no proprietary blobs and the sort of applications pre-installed you'd expect from a great Linux desktop.

    Some of its out of the box benefits include the Tor browser, HTTPS Everywhere plugin and the usage of the Duck Duck Go search engine. The inclusion of qTox for private messaging is also a nice feature. PureOS is indeed, a distro that respects your software freedom.

Most people tend to forget that despite Ubuntu's success over the years, it's still just a distro based on another distro - Debian. Debian on its own, however, isn't really well suited for newer users...hence the explosion of distros based on Debian over the recent years. There are lot of great choices for Linux users. Which one is best for you?

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...