The 5 Best Linux Distributions Of 2020

We recently asked you to share with us your best distributions from the last 12 months. And we should warn you in advance, no, they are not all based on Ubuntu!

So far, this is a blog about” all things ” in the Ubuntu world and not only, and we do not pretend that this is the only project in this area. Ubuntu is a country on a continent called Linux. This is not an independent island, isolated, free from connections. It’s part of a wider, more diverse and very rich landscape – and the list below is a panorama of that landscape!

The Best Linux Distribution Releases of 2020

Good. Before you scroll down to absorb everything that will be discussed below, I would like you to remember two things.

First, this list is not presented in any order. Why? Because all of these releases are awesome, albeit in different ways. The rating is a) complicated and b) ultimately redundant, since what gives me points may not be what gives you points in favor of one or the other distribution.

Second: the distribution releases highlighted in this list were chosen by the readers, not by me.

So, if your favorite release isn’t listed below, don’t take offense to me! It’s not a vendetta or a message; I’m not trying to say something without saying anything; it’s just a good-natured end-of-year celebration with readers, not a declaration of excellence…😅.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ‘Focal Fossa’

This year saw one of the best Ubuntu releases in years: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ‘Focal Fossa’ – and readers seem to agree!

Ubuntu developers have released an excellent LTS that surpasses the previous ones, while at the same time offering more and more new, secure and modern technologies for users.

And with 5 years of critical updates and future updates to the Linux kernel, Focal enthusiasts can rest easy knowing that they are enjoying the best that open source has to offer.

Download: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Manjaro 20

Manjaro is technically a distribution for rolling releases, but it offers fresh ISO images throughout the year. In 2020, there were four such versions: Manjaro 19, 20, 20.1 and 20.2. It was Manjaro 20, released in April 2020, that attracted the most attention on our Twitter!

The Manjaro 20 ‘Lysia’ distribution is now available in Xfce (default), KDE, and GNOME environments. It comes with the Linux Kernel 5.6, also added support for Flatpak and Snap to the well-known pacman package manager, zsh is now the default shell and there is support for ZFS.

The subsequent update of the Manjaro image offers various improvements over the previous ones. The most recent version available for download (and now recommended for beginners) is Manjaro 20.2, released in December.

Download: Manjaro Linux

Linux Mint 20

Linux Mint is a very popular alternative to Ubuntu (not to mention Windows), and the main reason for this is the focus on attention to detail.

You see, some Linux distributions based on their user experience are what they think works best for users. Linux Mint is different. This distribution prefers to ship ready-made distributions whose design and guidance is clearly based on user feedback. The result is a very user-friendly yet highly customizable desktop operating system that “just works”.

Linux Mint 20, released in June 2020, adheres to this winning formula. Instead of adding extra features, it focuses on providing the features that users say they need for Linux Mint 20, which includes support for fractional scaling (setting different zoom values on the monitor), an easy-to-use file transfer tool, thematic accent colors, and a faster Nemo file manager.

Download: Linux Mint 20

Fedora 33

As the second most popular Linux distribution (as far as I know, anyway), it’s no surprise that Fedora Workstation 33 has found favor with a ton of omg! readers.

Fedora 33 (specifically the workstation build) was launched in late 2020 and offers, among numerous changes: Btrfs as the default file system; EarlyOOM memory management; GNOME 3.38 functional desktop; nano as the default CLI text editor.

Next year, hopefully, the Fedora developers will add some new tools and integrations to take advantage of more Btrfs functionality.

Download: Fedora Workstation 33

POP!_OS 20.04

Last but by no means least, we got to Pop!_OS 20.04. This recently released Ubuntu-based distribution debuted with a big usability change: Pop Shell.

What’s it? System76 devs describes it as “…a collection of technologies that enable a keyboard-centric workflow by automatically positioning workspaces and navigating the keyboard with a wide range of new keyboard shortcuts.”

This is a very solid modern workflow implementation, often seen as utilitarian and functional. You don’t have to be a keyboard shortcut pro to appreciate Pop Shell. You can use the features that work well for you and ignore the ones that aren’t needed!

Other LTS features include Flatpak integration into the Pop Shop app Store, better hybrid graphics support, offline firmware updates, and more.

Download: Pop!_OS 20.04

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