11 Best Linux Distros For Programming And Development [2022 Edition]

Operating systems that run on Linux are among the most popularly sought and most suitable for programmers and developers. Most developers utilize various Linux operating systems to complete their work quickly and develop something innovative; however, as a former programmer myself, one of my main worries is, “Which Linux distro should I be looking at exactly?” In the same way, when selecting the Best Linux Distros For Programming or to develop software , Other issues to consider are compatibility and stability, power, and flexibility.
Distros such as Ubuntu or Debian have established themselves as the top choice for developers’ most reliable Linux distros. Other excellent options are openSUSE, Arch Linux, etc. Don’t overlook the credit-card-sized Raspberry Pi, using which you can master the art of programming and develop unique projects. Also, look at our complete guide to selecting the most suitable Linux distributions to suit your needs.

11 Best Linux Distros For Programming In 2022

Here is a list of the top Linux distros for programmers and developers.

1. Debian GNU/Linux

Debian GNU/Linux needs no introduction. It’s among the essential distros, not for its popularity but because many other distros are built on the stable version.
Debian is regarded as a development operating system because of the large number of software packages and vital support for developers. It is highly recommended for advanced programmers as well as system administrators.
If you’re a novice Linux user who wants to master the fundamental basics of programming, Debian isn’t the perfect operating system for programming. To do that, you have to search for beginner-friendly Linux distros, such as Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint, or Zorin OS.

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2. Ubuntu

Ubuntu is among the top adored Linux distro in terms of development. Through the years, thanks to the open-source community, it has risen to be one of the mainstays in the Linux desktop experience.

It’s a Debian-based distro that is utilized for cloud and server applications. It also comes in various varieties with various configurations of desktops and features that satisfy the needs of different users.

It’s easy to begin developing with Ubuntu. With Ubuntu’s .deb software, all of your preferred applications and tools are only two clicks away. In addition, its own Software Center has a lot of free software that makes it a fantastic Linux OS for programming. Its LTS version is available for five years and offers the security of an official release.

Best Linux Distros For Programming

3. openSUSE

openSUSE, which can allow Ubuntu to compete for money because of its expert and rapid advancement, has a reliable operating system for programming. It is a Linux distribution available in two variants — Leap and Tumbleweed.

OpenSUSE is an LTS release that’s up-to-date and offers stability, and Tumbleweed is a rolling release for those who enjoy the freshness of the latest software. If you’re interested in trying the most cutting-edge hardware support, Tumbleweed is the way to take a look.

One of the main advantages of openSUSE is the YaST package management. This makes it easy to automate various tasks. Another notable feature of this trusted Linux operating system for software developers is how it delivers software. I love openSUSE because you can visit the software portal site and download any software with just one click. The vast database of packages and friendly community is another great benefit.

Best Linux Distros For Programming

4. Fedora

Fedora is a community-driven initiative that offers the most advanced operating system with a variety of editions focusing on specific usage. The most appealing aspect of Fedora is the primary partner, and Red Hat Inc. is a well-known business in the Linux ecosystem.

Fedora is available in a variety of versions as well as the Fedora workstation is made explicitly for developers. It’s pretty robust and comes with various tools to set it up as a development platform. It runs out-of-the-box on the majority of hardware. Additionally, the minor version includes all-new features, security, and bugs fixes.

Additionally, Fedora only ships with open-source components, making it an ideal option for avid open-source lovers. It’s even Linus Torvalds likes Fedora ahead of Debian or Ubuntu. Furthermore, you can discuss your concerns on the Fedora forum and anticipate a solution promptly. Finally, because Red Hat backs fedora, you can count that it will work flawlessly in the development process.

Best Linux Distros For Programming

5. Pop!_OS

The American-based Linux hardware maker System76 released its Ubuntu-based custom Linux distribution, dubbed Pop! OS in the year 2017. Following when Ubuntu decided to abandon its Unity desktop software, the company took this decision and went with the popular GNOME desktop application. They’ve now created their desktop environment, which they’re calling COSMIC it’s an environment based on GNOME with additional features.

System76 is Pop!_OS, an operating system designed for makers, designers, and computer science professionals who use their computers to make new things. It can run a wide range of different programming languages and tools natively.

Pop!_OS provides programmers with a unique capability with its keyboard-driven tiling window manager, making your work more efficient. Advanced windows management, shortcuts, and workspaces improve the user experience.

If you’re confused about Pop!_OS and Ubuntu, check out our Ubuntu VS. Pop!_OS article.

Best Linux Distros For Programming

6. Arch Linux

Arch Linux is a most-loved Linux distribution for passionate Linux users who desire total control over the operating system. It is possible, to begin with the basics. In this situation, you’ll be able to pick Arch Linux to build a customized operating system that will rapidly become a fantastic Linux distro to use for programming or other needs.

If you like all the moving Linux distributions (here are a few examples of fixed differences between fixed. rolling release distinctions) If so, look for a new home. Arch Linux has a bleeding-edge repository that is constantly up-to-date. It is enough to install it once for most users, but every time a new version gets released (very often in the middle of every month), You must upgrade your package to run the latest version of the identical.

The community is always available should you need assistance. Overall, it’s a fantastic distro for advanced users.

Best Linux Distros For Programming

7. Solus OS

Here is Solus. We’ve talked about it a couple several times throughout our earlier articles. Based on it’s Budgie desktop operating system, it’s one of the cleanest visually appealing and is among the top distros for programming since it comes with a variety of tools for programming right out from the bag.

One of the obstacles that you may encounter if starting out with Ubuntu could be the “eopkg” package manager. Knowing how to use eopkg isn’t difficult task however, you’ll have to devote time to learning it.

Best Linux Distros For Programming

8. Manjaro Linux

Manjaro is the ideal choice for those who find Arch’s installation difficult. Manjaro comes with a simple GUI installer, much like Ubuntu and Linux Mint, which makes installing much more straightforward to handle.

It’s the second most well-known distro, as per Distrowatch, which, by itself, says much about the distro. It combines all the advantages of Arch Linux. It is well for people who are just beginning to explore an Arch alternative. Furthermore, Manjaro comes in three editions: GNOME, KDE, and XFCE, which means you won’t lose out on your preferred desktop environment.

Manjaro’s developers are doing an excellent job with each new release and have improved the overall experience.

Best Linux Distros For Programming

9. elementaryOS

What’s the most beautiful Linux distro performing on this list? Although elementaryOS is a great Linux distro visually and features, it’s also built on Ubuntu. It is among the most popular Linux distros to program with. Therefore, if you’re looking for an excellent mix of macOS-like appearance, then look no further and download elementaryOS.

Elementary was among the first Linux distros I had tried while pursuing the path to my CS graduation. I was awed by it and was grateful that it was available because I was sick of my potato computer’s endless Windows performance issues.

Best Linux Distros For Programming

10. Kali Linux

Kali Linux, created by Offensive Security, is primarily utilized by ethical hackers to conduct penetration tests on weak networks and computer. It can also serve as a perfect companion for programmer who are looking for an Linux distro to program and development.

It’s loaded with lots of pre-installed software. But, I’d like to clarify that it’s not made for those who are unfamiliar with Linux. Linux world. You’ll be able to use it if you’ve already tried Linux or programming. Kali Linux also helps you learn new skills that can assist you in your professional career.

Similar to other entries in this list You can download the most recent version and install it, or create dual boot from scratch.

Best Linux Distros For Programming

11. Raspbian/Raspberry Pi OS

Let me get right to the main point. It’s the Raspberry Pi is the coolest gadget I’ve ever used. The first time I demonstrated to my non-techie acquaintances, the reactions they gave were terrific, “Wait, that thing is a computer. I’m sure you’re laughing, but is it?” This credit-card-sized computer is now huge popularity in schools since it is extensively used for Linux programming and teaches the basic concepts of programming.

The tiny Raspbian/Raspberry POS is packed with numerous tools for programming, connector pins, and other beneficial ports. This makes it an ideal Linux OS for learning embedded systems programming.

It includes BlueJ, Geany, Greenfoot, Mathematica, Python, Node-RED, Scratch, and other tools to make the learning experience more efficient. We’ve got a full series of instructional articles about Raspberry Pi, so make sure you read them If you’re interested.

If you’re thinking of buying the Raspberry Pi, decide after reading the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B review. (Psst It’s the fastest Raspberry Pi ever made)

Best Linux Distros For Programming

Why Is Linux Great For Programmers And Developers?

First of all, there’s no term “the best Linux distro for programming.” It is possible to program on any GNU/Linux-based operating system as long as you can install the required tools for development. 

Why do you think Windows is well-known even if Linux is so excellent? Many people still believe that the system doesn’t function properly, just like Windows. There are other causes, such as gaming, which we’ve discussed in our Linux Gaming article. While you’re here, take the time to read our post on the best Linux distros gaming.

There is no need for software licenses to begin. You can download any open-source tool at no cost, modify it to its source code and then heavily customize it to fit your specific environment for development, and possibly create a repository of your modified version available on GitHub.

You can modify the terminal, test various text editors and then download the desktop environment you like. Furthermore, most programming languages (if they’re not restricted to a specific OS) are compatible with Linux. And lastly, Linux expertise is in high demand. So beginning with Linux today can slowly but surely assist you on your way to a successful job.


These are some of the top Linux distros to develop and program. There are many other distros; however, we chose the most well-known ones. They are as small as a drop in the ocean.

If you’ve had a chance to use an operating system you think should be included on this list, please inform us. Make sure you read our other top Linux distros content.

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