Which distros are innovating?

What are a few (3-5) distros you think are doing new and innovative things for the Linux desktop?

For me I would probably say (in no particular order)

  1. FerenOS
  2. ZorinOS
  3. Manjaro

I think the KDE team has been doing a great job lately when it comes to understanding how to make a cohesive desktop that is functional and feature rich, but also lean on resources. I know that you can install Plasma on any distro, but KDE Neon and Kubuntu both have great implementations. Personally, I think FerenOS has the best KDE implementation, on top of having wonderful tools to get a regular user get up and running.

I think the team behind ZorinOS knows what Linux needs to become more popular in the market. Zorin Ultimate is great to give new users who would need a little bit of guidance in finding Linux software and Zorin Grid is great for massive deployments. I really appreciate what the team behind ZorinOS is doing.

As much as I think Manjaro is the new “Arch btw” meme, I cannot deny that they have made Arch easy to install and easier to maintain with better stability, all while having an absolutely gorgeous color scheme. And having those bleeding edge releases makes it great for gamers who just want to play with the best drivers out there.

Runners up (because I didn’t want to have 3 Ubuntu based distros in my post):


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MX Linux seems to be rethinking a lot of things and they’re going for what some consider the sweet spot between Debian and Ubuntu (and Ubuntu needs more competition not forks imho).

I installed it in a VM recently and they seem to be rethinking everything like allowing you to go through the configuration options while the installation is running, even import the changes you make to the live DE when install is complete. I’m not a fan of XFCE and MX’s removal of GUI confirmation (single click icon launch and applying changes on field change) but they seem very future minded.

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+1 for MX.

I’d also add Endeavor to the mix.

Not desktop related, but Redhat / CentOS 8 have added a streaming release. It will interesting to see how this pans out for the server side of things.

Arch doesn’t need to innovate. It’s model innovates itself. :grinning:
Also a strong +1 for KDE, They are Amazing

Curious, how does the model innovate itself?

Arch Linux is very bare-bones in my opinion, and has a rolling model. Arch is bare-bones enough that the actually OS is very small and does not need to be replaced much. You have to build Arch and so the innovating is majorly up to you.

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+1 for MX. The MX Tools (such as MX Snapshot, and Live USB creator), are underrated. For example, I discovered lately how one of these (thusly-created) Live USB sticks (which have all your favorite apps, not on the original installer .iso) can have “persistence” added to it, and the persistence file can be > 4GB, because it does not live on a fragile, slow VFAT partition (as is the case with live USB distros like Peppermint).

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I found the MX Tools to be very useful. This is part of what sets MX apart from the others.

If MX was as pretty as Zorin, MX would be the talk of the town in every Linux related article/news.

I was able to make MX pretty-enough for my needs. I main issue with MX is the slow introduction of apps due to being Debian based. I would be nice to see a MX KDE variant, though.