Linux distributions(distros) are suitable for programming because of their features and the benefits of using Linux. However, you have to choose the right Linux distro, and this article helps make that choice. 

1. Ubuntu

Best Linux Distros For Programming

Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution and has many good features. Most users view it as the best user-friendly Linux distro, and it is suitable for beginners and professional programmers. Ubuntu has good community support because of its popularity, and this community helps you find quick solutions to any problems that arise.

Why You Should Use Ubuntu

  • It had a large community that would help solve issues.
  • It has .deb packages that help you gain easy access to your favorite tools and apps.
  • Its software center has many free apps.
  • It provides the stability of a fixed release.
  • It is free to download, use, and share.
  • You get a high screen resolution, touchpad support, and other features that give you a better user experience.

2. Debian

Best Linux Distros For Programming

Debian is a popular Linux distro you can use for programming. It is also one of the best because it is user-friendly, and many other Linux distros -including Ubuntu- are based on its stable branch. Debian is a Free Software Foundation (FSF) project, and you can use it on other Unix-like operating systems.

However, it is not recommended for beginners but can be a helpful Linux distro for advanced programmers.

Why You Should Use Debian

  • It has a great community support.
  • It is free and open-source software.
  • Its requirements are less, and it can work on old computers.
  • You can also use it on FreeBSD, NetBSD, and Mac.
  • You can easily install new applications, configure old ones, and administer the system.
  • It suggests other packages you can install. 

3. Fedora

Best Linux Distros For Programming

Fedora is a user-friendly operating system for beginners and professional programmers. It is also great for virtualization if you like testing different operating systems and lets you focus on your code without distractions. It comes in different versions, but Fedora Workstation is the version designed for developers.

Why You Should Use Fedora

  • It has a great community support.
  • It is more stable than many Linux distros.
  • It has tools you can use to configure the development environment.
  • Software like Firefox, LibreOffice, and Tor are pre-installed.
  • It has many free applications for download.

4. Pop!_OS

Best Linux Distros For Programming

Pop!_OS is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. Although it is a general-purpose distribution, it is suitable for use by programmers. Pop!_OS is a good Linux distro for programming because of its native support for many programming languages and tools.

Why You Should Use Pop!_OS

  • It supports many programming languages and tools natively.
  • You get a keyboard-driven tiling window manager to increase your productivity.
  • It has shortcuts that enhance user experience.
  • It has good driver support.
  • It is easy to use and helpful for beginners.
  • It features advanced window management and workspaces.

5. Arch Linux

Best Linux Distros For Programming

Arch Linux is a popular Linux distro that gives you total control of your OS. It is a raw OS and gives you so much power to customize that you have to configure every setting. It is one of the best Linux distributions for programming, but beginners and new Linux users may find it hard to use.

Why You Should Use Arch Linux

  • It is customizable and gives you control of your operating system.
  • Its repository is updated monthly to provide new features.
  • It has good community support.
  • It is lightweight.
  • There is no need to start another installation process when you are updating the operating system.
  • You can compile a package from the source with makepkg and install it via Pacman.

6. OpenSUSE

Best Linux Distros For Programming

OpenSUSE is one of the Linux distributions preferred by programmers. It is among the top Linux distributions because of its stability and professional development. OpenSUSE is a distro you can easily use, whether you are used to Linux operating system or not.

Why You Should Use OpenSUSE

  • You can choose your preferred desktop environment.
  • It is easy to install.
  • It has good community support.
  • It is a stable operating system for programming.
  • It features YaST package management, which you can use to automate different tasks.
  • Its building service makes packages for major Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora.

7. Manjaro

Best Linux Distros For Programming

Manjaro is one of the best Linux distros for programming and a suitable alternative if you find it installing Arch Linux difficult. It makes it easy for beginners to use the features of Arch Linux and still have control of the operating system. It also has a software center that provides the necessary tools you need.

Why You Should Use Manjaro

  • It has a friendly and organized community.
  • It is user-friendly and suitable for beginners.
  • You can choose the desktop environment.
  • It has a rolling release model that keeps you regularly up to date.
  • It has an easy GUI installer.
  • It supports ARM devices like raspberry pi.


Linux is great for programming if you choose a suitable distribution. These Linux distributions have differences, but any developer would enjoy programming with them.

You may also like to read:

Best Linux Distros For Gaming

Linux VS FreeBSD

Best 5+ Alternative Operating Systems for Windows

Free Krita Alternatives