(Last Updated On: May 8, 2019)

Introduction

Question: What are the best Linux distros for 2019?. With the fury of activities ahead of you in 2019, this article is meant to assist you to choose a Linux distribution that you can settle with while doing your work this long year. It focuses on the best Linux distributions together with their respective features and qualities.

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”Eleanor Roosevelt

Deepin 15.10

As an open source operating system, Deepin 15.10 is based on Linux kernel and it mostly runs desktop apps. After installation, Deepin 15.10 comes with Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE) by default and not only does it bring beauty on the table but ships with over 20 default apps. The community that supports Deepin’s development proffers several other applications as well.

What is new in Deepin 15.10?

According to Deepin’s website, Deepin 15.10 presents an operating system with many known glitches fixed and optimization of the existing functions.

1. Rebuilt using Debian stable repository

The new deepin 15.10 is crafted, built and released based on Debian stable. Unlike the previous Debian unstable repository, Deepin users can now get timely security updates and improved system stability.” (www.deepin.org)

2. Smart Connection to the nearest Mirror

The Smart Mirror Switch found in update settings has the ability to connect to a mirror found neaarest to you automatically. This translates to faster download speeds hence saving your time during updates and all that kind of stuff.

3. Better Power management

The new power management interface is quite brilliant in its intuitive and user-friendliness quality

4. Gestures and Touch screen Support

You can now click, double click or long press to bring out the context menu, slide up and down and others to make you get the true feeling of an operating system. This without mentioning is only possible on devices with touch screens already installed. THis means that an on board keyboard can come in really handy if you would wish to type via the touch screen.

5. Glitches Fixed

As it had been mentioned, Deepin 15.10 comes with fixed bugs that had been experienced and raised in the previous versions.

Examples of fixed issues include:

  • Fixed the focus losing issue in kwin window manager
  • Fixed the incorrect menu position on HiDPI screen
  • Fixed the issue that it cannot be muted on lock screen
  • Fixed the unexpected exit after saving a picture

6. Added Functions

Examples of added functions include:

  • Added support for using the file selection dialog of Deepin File Manager (in deepin)
  • Added the shortcuts (Ctrl+Alt+arrow keys) to adjust the part size after splitting the window in terminal
  • Added support for split-screen mode in deepin editor
  • Added the prompt asking for adding the execute permission when opening ELF file in File manager

Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo)

Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) was released in 18th April 2019. It comes with new features that were supposedly not completed by the time Bionic Beaver was released.

Disco Dingo comes with GNOME 3.32 and better default icon theme known as the Yaru Community theme. When compared to the default icon theme of Bionic Beaver, one cannot miss to observe that it looks way better and more stunning. Such a beautiful icon theme it comes with there.

What is new in Ubuntu 19.04?

Well, there can never be a new release without improvements, right?. Let us take a look at some of the improvements made, shall we?

1. Installation

The installation process of Ubuntu is very simple and elegant. The installer will take you through the installation process without any trouble as long as the questions and settings are done correctly.

What is interesting about Ubiquity graphical installer is its fastness, its ability to accommodate a wide variety of file systems such as JFS, ext2, ext3, ext4, LVM, XFS, and Btrfs.

You will meet two sessions that are made available during installation including one that is labeled Ubuntu and another one labeled Ubuntu on Xorg. It is worth noting that Wayland has been gaining much ground now and the step that Ubuntu has taken to make its users choose between the two is a clear indication that it has truly gained a lot of ground.

The one labeled just Ubuntu runs GNOME on Wayland while the others it can be deduced runs Gnome on classic Xorg server display. Both of them work pretty well so you have the liberty to settle on one.

2. Hardware

When it comes to Ubuntu 19.04 and its compatibility with hardware, it is worth noting that it runs pretty well on both Virtual environment and on a computer such as a laptop. There is no need to worry especially if you would like to run it virtually.

You will access all of the features in the OS. What is more is that Ubuntu 18.04 will ship with default support for finger-print scanner. This means that if your laptop has a fingerprint scanner, you are ready to go using it.

3. Applications

The new spin of Ubuntu 19.04 comes with a collection of default applications to get you hitting the road without much fuss. For the ones who are engaged with writing documents, LibreOffice comes by default and you can a well prefer to install other office applications such as WPS if you so wish. Moreover, Firefox 66 browser and Thunderbird email client are also at your disposal. In addition, Transmission bittorrent application for getting torrent sites files.


Multimedia applications have not been left behind so no problem will be encountered if you have music or videos to watch. The Totem video player comes in to sort you out as well as Rhythmbox to spice up your mp3 music listening experience.

Other applications include the network Manager, file manager (Nautilus), calendar and systemd initialization software.

4. Linux Kernel 5.0

Disco Dingo comes with the new Linux Kernel 5.0. This automatically means that you can expect better hardware support and performance improvement specially if you have additional graphics card.

Fedora 30

As a user-friendly, reliable and powerful FOSS operating system, Fedora can be wonderful for your laptop or desktop computer. As this article is being written, Fedora supports a wide range of developers, from hobbyists and students to professionals in corporate environments.

For installation, check: How To Install Fedora 30 – Step by Step With Screenshots

The following are new features that this new release of Fedora can afford to its audience

1. Sleek UI

As it can be guessed, Fedora 30 comes with a beautiful user interface. This is augmented by the release of GNOME 3.32 that has amazing changes made to it to make it achieve better aesthetic value.

2. Enabled modular Repositories

The modular repositories that were only privileged to the server versions is now open for everyone. The ripple effect of this decision is that there will be more variety as far as software is concerned.

Read more on How to use Fedora / RHEL 8 Modular Repository

3. Covert GRUB

On systems with only a single OS installed, Fedora has decided that the grub menu will be hidden by default. The smoother boot up of the operating system due to that causes better user experience.

4. Liberation Fonts

The amazing Liberation fonts in Fedora 30 has been upgraded to Liberation 2.00.3 version which currently stands at Liberation fonts 1.07.4.

5. Transport Layer Security 1.3

The new Fedora 30 has TLS 1.3 by default which is the newest version approved by the Internet Engineering Task Force as the protocol for making HTTPS secure web connections.

6. Linux Kernel 5.0

Fedora 30 comes revamped with the new Linux Kernel 5.0. This automatically means that you can expect better hardware support and performance improvement specially if you have additional graphics card.

You can also change / tweak your Desktop Environment. We have few guides for this: Install Deepin Desktop Environment of Fedora 30

7. Performance improvements

Fedora 30 embraces GCC 9.0, which brings modest performance enhancements across all applications that have been recompiled using the new GCC 9.0. Whatsmore, there are even better improvements which begun with Fedora 29. For instance, the new flicker-free boot process, which hides the GRUB loader/kernel select screen by default. This as well makes updating software through the Software Center a smooth process.

Manjaro 18.0 “Illyria”

Introduction Manjaro has managed to stay on the top three list of Linux distributions for a long time now on trusted sites and this tells more of good news than bad about the distribution.

As a new user, you can download either GNOME, KDE, Xfce, Manjaro-i3 and many other editions that are available in the community for example Mate, Budgie and Cinnamon among others. Anyhow, whether it deserves to be your distribution of choice depends on you based on the following features.

1. The desktop environment

One of the things that is so impressive about KDE on Manjaro 18.0 is the sleek and beautiful look it was designed for users to enjoy. In case you will not be impressed with the settings you will encounter, there is an armoury of widgets that you can use to tweak your environment to befit your preference and unique taste.

2. Applications

There is a collection of applications that come with Manjaro by default which aid in the immediate usage of the OS. Some already mentioned include Firefox browser which comes without flash support, Libre Office and Thunderbird email app. Moreover, the Pidgin messaging app, the HexChat IRC client and the Guayadeque music player are included in the distribution.

3. Xfce 4.13 and Plasma 5.14

Manjaro 18 comes with the new Xfce 4.13 and KDE with Plasma 5.14

4. Xfce 4.13

Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon

It has been known that most users who switch from other operating systems such as windows to Linux almost always choose Linux Mint to begin with. This is major because Mint has many user-friendly tools and a good look that will cause them to feel comfortable pretty fast. Now Mint is a distribution that is based on Ubuntu as the base.

Check our comprehensive guides on Linux Mint 19.

The new Linux Mint 19 will be receiving security updates till 2023 because it is a Long Term Support edition. Not only does Mint 19 have Cinnamon 3.8, it is also available in MATE editions.

Cool features include:

1. Timeshift

Timeshift was introduced in Mint 18.3, but according to their website, Timeshift is “now at the center of Linux Mint’s update strategy and communication.” Timeshift is a developed system restore resource which periodically takes snapshots of the system. As a result of that, these snapshots can be restored at a later date to undo system changes. With a big laugh, “If anything breaks, you can go back to the previous snapshot and it’s as if the problem never happened.”

2. Cinnamon 3.8

Linux Mint 19 comes with the new Cinnamon 3.8. The reason this is amazing is because it feels snappier since it has been developed to be faster and more efficient at launching applications and rendering new windows.

3. Refined Software Manager

Faster, asynchronous search. Improved keyboard navigation and refined user interface.

4. Hot new Welcome page

5. Update Manager

The new update manager works hand in hand with Timeshift to guarantee the stability of your system and suggests to apply all available updates.

MX Linux

According to mxlinux.org, “MX Linux is a cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS communities, using the best tools and talents from each distro.”

1. Updates

The new realease comes with Updated packages from Debian 9.6 (stretch), antiX and MX repos.

2. 4.19.5 kernel

This kernel comes with blk-mq file system corruption patch. Furthermore, MX-Linux team has gone an extra mile to make sure that the new kernel has been mitigated against meltdown/spectre security vulnerability. This goes even on the 32-bit kernel.

The MX Installer makes it easy to change kernels, say to the latest liquorix kernel or downgrade to Debian Stable Kernel (4.9).

3. Applications

MX 18 ships with essential applicaitons such as Firefox 64.0 browser, VLC 3.0.3 video player, Clementine 1.3.1 music manager, Thunderbird 52.9.1 email client, LibreOffice 6.0.1 office site and New and updated mx-apps. Moreover, most of the mx-apps received translation updates

4. Better Security and Performance

The mx-installer (based on gazelle-installer) now includes LUKS encrypted root, home, and swap partition options. Furthermore, updates to MX Package Installer, including faster performance and flatpaks

5. Theming

MX-18 now includes the ability to select themes for installed system grub boot menu and plymouth boot-splash through the mx-boot-options

Debian 10 Buster

Even though Debian 10 Buster is not yet released, some of the features that my be found on it are hereby delivered. Please read on.

The GNOME desktop has been upgraded to 1.3.30 in Buster. Gnome-todo, tracker instead of tracker-gui are some of the packages added to Buster. Dependency against gstreamer1.0-packagekit hence automatic codec installation for playing movies and much more. The big move has been all packages being moved from libgtk2+ to libgtk3+.

1. Buster uses NFtables instead of iptables

Unlike iptables, nftables provides better and easier syntax and better support for dual-stack ipv4-v6 firewalls

2. Bash 5.0

Buster ships with the new Bash 5.0 by default. Bash 5.0 comes with new features and hence buster is cleaner and better.

3. New Nodejs 10.15.2

Debian had Nodejs 4.8 in the repo for a long time. Debian Buster has moved to Nodejs 10.15.2. Javascript guys, there you have it..

5. Linux Kernel 4.19.0-4

The new Buster ships with Kernel 4.19.x

openSUSE Leap 15.0

OpenSUSE Leap 15 is offering professional users, entrepreneurs and Independent Software Vendors a new, fresh and hardened code base for their workloads that supports modern hardware, based on a stable, community- and enterprise-based open-source GNU/Linux distribution (opensuse.org, 2019).

openSUSE Leap 15 has multiple packages for containers and containerized applications such as Flatpak and AppImage. Thes are software utilities for software deployment, package management, and application virtualization. Docker containers and tooling make building and shipping applications easy and fast.

Support for KDE and GNOME Desktop Environments

Leap 15 uses gcc 7 system compiler and more compilers will be added in when Service Packs for Leap 15 are released.

New changes to YaST, the installer and boot theme are wonderful and weed out some of the past limitations with YaST in previous openSUSE versions. libstorage-ng makes YaST partitioner more powerful. Changes made to move from SuSEfirewall2 to the firewall management tool FirewallD, which is very interactive and powerful.

Find out more on: https://en.opensuse.org/Portal:15.0

Solus 4 Fortitude

Solus is an operating system that is designed for home computing. Every tweak enables us to deliver a cohesive computing experience.

What is new in Solus 4 Fortitude?

1. Solus 4 comes with the following default applications:

  • Firefox 65.0.1
  • LibreOffice 6.2.1.2
  • Rhythmbox 3.4.3 with the latest release of the Alternate Toolbar extension
  • Thunderbird 60.5.2

2. Hardware and Kernel

This version of Solus comes with Linux kernel 4.20.16. This means that Solus enables you to provide support for AMD Picasso and Raven2 APUs, AMD Vega20 and broader Vega10 enablement, as well as improved support for Intel Coffee Lake and Ice Lake CPUs. Linux kernel 4.20 expands support for other hardware devices, which includes touchpad support for the Lenovo IdeaPad 130-15IKB and 330-15ARR.

3. Budgie Desktop

Solus 4 comes with brand new release of the Budgie 10.x series, Budgie 10.5, as well as complimenting this release by shipping Solus 4 out-of-the-box with the Plata (Noir) GTK Theme.

4. Icon Tasklist

Budgie 10.5 provides a massive upgrade to the IconTasklist applet

5. Multimedia Upgrades

Solus 4 ships with ffmpeg 4.1.1, the latest of the 4.x series. This delivers improved VAAPI MPEG and VP8 decoding as well as support for AOM AV1 encoding, decoding, and parsing. There is enabled support in VLC for dav1d, an open source AV1 decoder.

Arch Linux

Read complete Arch Linux review article on:

Best Linux Distributions 2019 – Arch Linux complete review

Best AUR helper: yay – Best AUR Helper for Arch Linux / Manjaro

Conclusion

Thank you for reading through. As you journey through 2019, we wish you the best in your endeavours and wonderful adventure as you explore some of the Linux distributions we have managed to share. May it be a great experience.

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