25 Best Linux Distributions for 2017 | Lightweight, Gaming, Hacking [Linux OS]

25 Best Linux Distributions for 2017 | Lightweight, Gaming, Hacking [Linux OS]

In this Post, Get the Best Linux Distributions (Distros) for Beginners to Advanced users from Gaming to Hacking. Here, We have collected and filtered out the top best Linux Distros from the huge list of Linux Distributions out there in the Linux world. The question of what is best Linux Operating System Suitable for New users often arise. It’s fairly tough question to answer. Because, you have to satisfy different things and they want best Linux Operating System. Different Distros offer different customization and various features.

All Linux Distros have same Linux Kernel at its core and develop their own product out from there. Unlike Windows and Mac OS, In Linux, you have a lots of choices to make your Operating system based on your Interest. Here’s our list of best Linux Distros for beginners to advanced users. From this list, choose the best Linux Distro that matched your Interest.

Most of the Linux beginners may know the Popular Linux Distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Open SUSE and Fedora.  My favorite of the above list is Linux Mint which offers user-friendly Interface. However, I have moved to other Linux Operating Systems like Debian, Slackware, Mageia, Manjaro and Cent OS.

Best Linux Distributions For 2017 Gaming to Hacking

# Day-to-day use (General Purpose Linux Distros)

Ubuntu and Kubuntu Distro

Kubuntu-13 Ubuntu is the Popular Linux Distribution out there and has followed by the most users after the Proprietary Operating systems like Windows and Mac OS. Most of all know that Ubuntu is based on Debian. It offers its own collection software repository. One can easily install any Linux Software Applications using the terminal or Ubuntu Software center. Kubuntu is the Official derivative of Ubuntu Operating system which uses the KDE Based desktop environment instead of the Ubuntu’s Unity GUI.

Linux Mint

Linux_Mint_15_Cinnamon Linux Mint is the most Loved Linux Distribution among the New Users. It is because, Mint is elegant, modern and comfortable and offers some Proprietary software packages for media Playback. Mint offers two GNOME based Desktop environments: Mate and Cinnamon. The Mate is designed from the Outdated GNOME 2 desktop and cinnamon is modern and gives neat menus and awesome Nemo which is much like Windows explorer. It is based on Ubuntu and Debian.


Debian Debian Linux is the one of the most Popular Linux Distribution for Servers and Personal computers. Many Linux Distros derived from the Debian operating system. Because, it is considered as the solid Linux. Debian Project offers the Software repository which has a wide range of Free Linux Software applications in one Place.

Fedora Linux Distro

Fedora19gnome Fedora is developed by the Fedora Community and owned by the Red Hat. It has very short life cycle, every 6 months new version will be release and maintenance period in only 13 months. Last few years, it has come with many server oriented features rather desktop oriented. That makes many beginners t switch over to the other Linux Distributions. It has developed its own Linux Software applications and uses them before any Linux Distros.


OpenSUSE_13 OpenSUSE is general-purpose operating system for every people, though it excels in the Enterprise environment. This OpenSUSE project is supported by Open-Source community and sponsored by SUSE and other companies. OpenSUSE supports thousands of free Linux Applications. It offers many Desktop environments such as GNOME, KDE, LXDE GUI’s.

In addition, SUSE includes an installation and administration program called YaST which handles hard disk partitioning, system setup, RPM package management. Although the Package installer is not easy like Ubuntu.


Slackware_GNU_Linux_14 Slackware is one of the earliest operating system that built-on top of the Linux kernel. This Distro is not for  New Linux users, because it requires some basic Knowledge of Linux. So the Advanced users can use this Operating System effectively. Slackware is stable in design and simple.  It is more likely provide the Unix-like Linux Distro.

Slackware doesn’t provide any GUI based Administration tools and so you have to use the command-line to modify any changes. Other Linux distributions have switched to the more advanced GRUB, but the Slackware simply sits on LILO which is a simple Linux Boot Loader.


PCLinuxOS_KDE_2013 PCLinuxOS is the free Linux Distribution that developed from Mandriva Linux Package. It mainly targets personal computer users and provides ease of use interface, applications. Furthermore, You can use the apt-rpm and the Synaptic Package Manager to install RPM Packages in your system. Also, Users can play any multimedia files in PCLOS, all media codes pre-installed.


Mageia_3 Mageia is forked from the Mandriva Linux distribution. It was developed by the former Mandriva employees and other users, supporters of Mandriva. KDE is the default desktop environment, however you can choose the GNOME as your Desktop GUI. Furthermore, Users can install RPM Packages in Mageia.


Gentoo12 Genoo is not recommended for Linux Beginners. This Operating system built on top of Linux kernel and based on the portage package management system. Unlike traditional software distribution, You have to compile the software packages in your own system based on your configuration.

Hence, Installing the Gentoo Operating system is very time-consuming process. Because, It downloads all the package source codes from the internet for you to compile locally. If you select many packages during the installation, then it may take hours to days for the installation.


Sabayon_Linux_with_MATE Sabayon is the Gentoo-based Linux Distribution. It provides wide range “Out of the box” Linux Applications and pre-configured operating system that builds on Solid platform. It has its own software repository and a package management system called Entropy. Portgage is inherited from Gentoo. Unlike Portgage, the Entropy compiles the software and gives only the Binaries to the system. It supports the following Desktop GUIs:  GNOME, KDE, Xfce, and MATE. It can be installed within 30 minutes not like Gentoo.



Chakra is based on the Arch Linux Distribution, and it is the best looking KDE Linux Distro available for Linux Users. The Chakra does not have scheduled release system but uses a “Half-Rolling release” system. It has its own official repository and user-driven repository.


Knoppix_6.0 Knoppix is the Debian based Operating system which is the first OS available as LiveCD to boot directly from PenDrive or memory card. Also, it is available as two editions: CD edition and DVD edition. 1000 software packages are included on the CD edition, and more than 2600 are included on the DVD edition. It comes with 3 different Desktop Environments:  By default LXDE, GNOME and KDE.

# Best LightWeight Linux Distributions

Bodhi Linux


Bodhi Linux is one the best Lightweight Linux Distro that is based on Ubuntu and uses the Enlightenment Window Manager. By default the Bodhi Linux does not have any software packages other than basic Applications like File browser (EFM), Browser (Midori) and a Terminal emulator. Bodhi Linux has a list of  Lightweight Linux Software Applications in online database that can be installed one click using apturl. Since it is based on Ubuntu, Bodhi Linux users can install any packages that was created for Ubuntu.

Puppy Linux


PuppyLinux is the most loved Lightweight Linux Distribution. It only runs on minimal memory and provides easy to use interface, features. You can run the entire system on the RAM itself, it only takes 130MB memory only.

By default the lightweight word Processor (Abi Word), MediaPlayer(Mplayer)  and lightweight web browsers included. It has its own Package manager. The Packages are identified .pet extensions. You can install any Packages from the Puppy repository and other users developed Puppy repositories.

This Puppy Linux is most useful for older computers and net books. Since it has been using only smaller memory footprints.



Porteus is the Portable Lightweight operating system that has been derived from the Slackware Linux. You don’t need install this Linux OS in Hard Disk, you can directly run this Linux Distro from the USB Flash Drive or CD. However, if you need, you can install in the Hard Disk. Like Puppy, Poreteus also directly runs from the RAM memory, so it is very fast.

Currently, Porteus comes with the LXDE and KDE desktops.



Lubuntu is derived from the Ubuntu but uses the LXDE desktop environment that makes the Lubuntu as a Lightweight Linux distribution.LXDE is known for lighter and less memory hungry and more energy-efficient interface. Lubuntu includes many default applications like Ubuntu such as Synaptics Package Manager, Abiword, Mplayer etc..You can also install the Linux Applications from Ubuntu repository.

CrunchBang Linux


CrunchBang is the lightweight Linux Distribution that is derived from the Debian. It uses the OpenBox Desktop environment  with GTK+ as a default GUI. It is  very light on resources,so that one can run this on old as well as new computers. If You want, you can run this Linux OS from PenDrive

Tiny Core Linux

Tiny Core Linux  is known for its size 12 MB. It is the minimal Linux OS that only focuses on the base system using Busybox and FLTK. You can extend the Tiny Core Linux by installing many extensions from the package manager. If you want to install the Tiny Core on your Hard Disk, first you have install the Installer from the package manager.

# Linux OS for Specific Purpose

Kali Linux OS

Kali Linux is derived from the Debian Linux and it is specially developed for the Digital forensics and Network Penetration testing. This Linux Distro was rewritten from the Back Track Linux Operating system.

Kali Linux Pre-installed with numerous penetration testing applications such as nmap (a port scanner), Wireshark (a packet analyzer), John the Ripper (a password cracker), and Aircrack-ng (a software suite for penetration-testing wireless LANs).

Parted Magic


Parted Magic Linux Distro provides the complete Hard Disk Management solutions. It has loaded with hard disk partitioning tools, Disk cloning, Data Rescue, Disk Erasing and benchmark testing tools.

Easily, any Linux user can partition your hard drive, rescue files, reset windows password to rescue files,  retrieve data from the disk even if it shows read errors. It has system stability checker, stress testing tools and more.



SystemRescueCD is not the general operating system. It is specifically designed to repair unbootable or otherwise damaged computer systems after a system crash.

SystemRescueCD has come with several Computer Rescuing tools like GNU Parted and GParted to partition disks and re-size partitions, including FAT32 and NTFS, fdisk to edit the disk partition table, File system tools, Ability to create boot disk, Support for Windows registry editing and password changing from Linux.

Joli Linux

Joli Linux is Lightweight and Responsive Linux Operating that runs on the Cloud. Hence, This linux Distribution offers nice offline feature. So, You can run the apps in offline too. One can revive the old computer or netbooks by installing the Joli Linux. All the Software in Joli Linux updated automatically, no need of manual update. After installing this Linux Operating System, You will get full cloud experience, once you sign up with Joli Cloud.

Enterprise and Commercial Linux Operating System

Red Hat Enterprise Linux


Red Hat Enterprise Linux has developed by the Red Hat, and they mainly concentrates on the server-side. In addition, You can also get the desktop edition from Red Hat. This is Commercial Linux Operating System.

SUSE Enterprise Linux


SUSE Enterprise Linux offers many Admin tools than other Enterprise Linux system that makes Admin job easier. In addition, SUSE also, develops multiple products that has long life cycle typically 7 to 10 years. Besides, It gives the stability and full technical support for users.

#Windows Like LINUX OS

Zorin OS


If you are a Linux Beginner, Just Install the Zorin OS  in your system which is Ubuntu-based Linux Operating system. In addition, It offers Windows-like Graphical User Interface and many windows like Linux Applications for users.

# For Gaming

Steam OS


The Steam Os is the the best gaming Linux Distribution. This is primarily designed for playing video games that provides console like Gaming experience. It is based on the Debian Linux Distro. Users can play native linux games, Multi player Online games provided by Steam.

Since this Linux Distro is Primarily for gaming, You can’t expect the File Managers ,Image viewers  by default. The OS natively supports the Nvidia, Intel, and AMD graphics processors.

# Mac Like Linux OS

Pear Linux


Pear Linux is the Ubuntu-based Linux Operating system for new Linux users. Furthermore, It has the Mac OS Like User Interface and Dock bar. It supports popular media-codes, Mac Like Linux Applications and other features.  This Pearl Linux Distro is Discontinued.

Raja CRN

Raja CRN is the Founder of CRN Interactive that offers various useful Digital Resources. He has more than 7 years of experience in content Writing and Web development specialized in WordPress. For the past 4 years, He is working on the Linux Administration. In Free Time, He dives into Android Development. He is an engineering graduate in Information Technology. He's also very social, find him at Google+

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