Top 10 Linux Server Distributions of 2017

Top Linux Server Distributions

Top Linux Server Distributions

You know that Linux is a hot data center server. You know it can save you money in licensing and maintenance costs. But that still leaves the question of what your best options are for Linux as a server operating system.

We’ve researched, crunched the numbers and put dozens of Linux distros through their paces to compile our latest list of the top ten Linux server distributions (aka “Linux server distros”) — some of which you may not be aware.

The following characteristics, in no particular order, qualified a Linux server distro for inclusion in this list: ease of installation and use, cost, available commercial support and data center reliability.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 Linux server operating systems for 2017.

Top Linux Server Distributions

You know that Linux is a hot data center server. You know it can save you money in licensing and maintenance costs. But that still leaves the question of what your best options are for Linux as a server operating system.

We’ve researched, crunched the numbers and put dozens of Linux distros through their paces to compile our latest list of the top ten Linux server distributions (aka “Linux server distros”) — some of which you may not be aware.

The following characteristics, in no particular order, qualified a Linux server distro for inclusion in this list: ease of installation and use, cost, available commercial support and data center reliability.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 Linux server operating systems for 2017.

41 Comments (click to add your comment)

 

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By spongebob   January 18 2017 23:42 PST

To be honest they all suck ! most distros are bloated with useless crap. most of which reduces security by running deamons galore. i tought i had found something slim in tinycore but found out that its just too slim . i have yet to find a good server distro: slim only CLI by default . tinycore(corepure64) had almost everything : freeradius, ldap , dhcp server, bind (dns) , ssh for remote access ( can even use with sshfs ) samba and alot of other necessary things without much bloat , even redid the initrd to have zfs … works great … but no PAM support sucks very badly . now on the hunt for a new distro….

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By Timir   January 10 2017 03:09 PST

I want multiple Remote desktop support. Which distributions will be the best as free for education and research work?

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By Highwinder   December 20 2016 14:02 PST

From a 25-year veteran, I offer this: The only Linux I can take seriously in corporate environments is SUSE and Red Hat. Personally I favor SLES or OpenSUSE LEAP (one in the same, really). It is rock solid, released less often so you’re not constantly dealing with version fatigue (that is actually a huge drawback to even adopting Linux in the first place), has every feature under the sun for hobby, workstation and server, is the leading Linux variant for supercomputing (check the “500”). And neither Red Hat or SUSE have been “dumbed down for grandma” like all the Debian regurgitations (Ubuntu). Personally, I consider Red Hat and OpenSUSE the only viable Linux distros out there for corporate use. Everything else is just a glorified kiddie toy. That said, if you REALLY want to take UNIX seriously because you have something that absolutely MUST run without fail, you have to follow NASA’s example and just ditch Linux and go with an actual UNIX, Sun’s Solaris, which is actually real SVR4 UNIX. It’s not as “cute” as Linux, but it’s as bulletproof as computing gets. A Solaris vs Linux kernel code comparison reveals Linux is a sloppy, bloated mess even acknowledged by L. Torvalds.

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By Frank f   January 15 2017 13:33 PST

I like your straight-talking!

By guru   November 04 2016 22:19 PDT

Hello Guys, I am working in a small business company, so for we dont have server yet and i am planning do deploy them. Please advice me which linux server has the equal features of windows server 2012? Any other suggestions would be much appreciated thanks.

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By yoda78   November 28 2016 15:36 PST

For folks used to Windows and in corporate structures that favor support contracts (rather than in-house support), Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) offers a great stable, modern and yes SUPPORTED system. You will have to pay for it, though. To avoid paying, you also avoid support. If you’re going that route, CentOS is pretty damned good. I’m in-house IT for a small non-profit arts company; since I’m reasonably responsible and reasonably savvy, I use Fedora’s server spin. Yes, it’s bleeding edge and you have to be careful with updates, but for a simple fileserver/VPN it works great.

By WonderingDane   October 18 2016 11:27 PDT

I would suggest visiting a site like https://linuxpeer.org for a list of distributions. There is a lot of information to be found there.

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By Solarsails   July 13 2016 16:19 PDT

I prefer to read at my own pace. A slideshow is very inconvenient, I was interrupted no less than 8 times while trying to read this presentation and had to restart it many times. Frustrating.

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By    July 15 2016 12:08 PDT

Pausing and advancing slide-by-slide might be the best approach.

By linuxfan   July 11 2016 12:40 PDT

these can be summarize in to 5, RH Base, Debian Base, Suse Base, Arch and Slackware,

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By Steve   June 24 2016 01:17 PDT

Written by another Ubuntu fanboy, for these the Linux world starts and ends with Ubuntu. They know little about linux let alone technology in general. My experience with Ubuntu servers is best described as painful and slow. Oracle linux is just a rebuild of RedHat. Best free servers: Debian, CentOS and Arch Best Paid servers with support: RedHat, SUSE How Ubuntu manages to screw up on an excellent base like debian is beyond me.

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By Michael   October 24 2016 16:08 PDT

Steve or anyone that can understand the need. We are looking for a middleware layer that we can strip to bare bones. It will be used for a passthrough after many layers of auth on the webapp/client side. We are protecting a mass data repository from even knowing about the client side. Thank you.

By Jepsen   September 14 2016 04:10 PDT

I would say, if you go for Lubuntu you have a lightweight and very good Linux distro. So for me Ubuntu in the form og Lubuntu is the best.

By krish   July 11 2016 18:06 PDT

Steve, As a starter which linux server is best to begin with?

By gilberto   June 21 2016 06:26 PDT

why can not download the linux system of my windows 8.1 64 bit pro.would you please help me with on how to download and install the compatible linux system of my acer laptop.because i am interested to use for the very first time.thanks.

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By Teiwaz   October 04 2016 12:29 PDT

Download Free: VMware, virtual box etc.. go to any of the linux distro, suse, ubuntu, debian, puppy etc.. get the iso and test out linux.. if you like then consider duel boot or removing windows and having it as an virtual machine on Linux hehehe

By Dan L   August 05 2016 11:01 PDT

@Gilberto: You should have updated your windows 8.1 to 10 for free by now. As of Windows 10 sp1 (anniversary update), the developer mode enables the windows subsystem for linux (feature). I have configured this on both the “home” and “pro” editions. Your other options are to download and boot from a CD/DVD/USB image of any “Live” linux distribution to at least get a taste of what linux is like without taking any space on your hard drive.

[Source:-Server Watch]