There are many Linux distributions or distros.
Linux Distribution Families
Linux Distribution families featured on this post:
Debian was released in 1993.
It is considered among some Linux communities the “purest” Linux.
Ubuntu was released in 2004.
In Ubuntu family we can find, among others:
- Ubuntu and derived flavours (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, etc.)
- Linux Mint
- MX Linux
Red Hat is the name of the company that develop Linux operating systems, being Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) its flagship. RHEL requires a paid license.
RPM-based are known like this because of .rpm packages.
Red Hat released also CentOS, that was the free rebuild of RHEL. Nevertheless, it was discontinued in 2021. CentOS project was forked into other projects like Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux.
Among the Red Hat-based OS, we can find:
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
- Rocky Linux
SUSE was released in 2000.
OS within SUSE family:
- SUSE Linux Enterprise
Mandriva also belongs to RPM-based.
Arch Linux was released in 2002.
- Arch Linux
Non-GNU Linux distributions
There are some distributions that do not use GNU project utilities. Then, they are not GNU/Linux
Chimera Linux replaces GNU with BSD utilities. It could be considered a BSD/Linux OS.
Alpine Linux is a minimalist distribution that replaces GNU with other FOSS libraries.
Distributions approved by Free Software Foundation (FSF)
Free Software Foundation (FSF) disapproves any Linux (or, as it suggests to call, GNU/Linux) distributions that is not considered free based on the free system distribution guidelines. The main reason to disapprove a Linux distro is that it contains any sort of proprietary software, including firmware drivers. If this proprietary software is installed only by user’s choice (e.g., when user marks an optional checkbox), it is disapproved. Holding proprietary software on one of the distro servers or providing official instructions about how to install proprietary software also disqualifies the distro.
Because of these strong requirements, most (if not all) the distributions on this post are disapproved by FSF. You can find a list of Linux (or GNU/Linux) distributions disapproved by FSF with the corresponding explanation on this external link.
FSF maintains a list of Linux (GNU/Linux) distributions that are considered free on this external link.
- Wikipedia; “List of Linux distributions“; Wikipedia