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February 6th, 2017

Best Linux Distro Award: The Envelope Please…

For the second year in a row, Arch Linux wins both rounds in our poll to determine the winner of our Readers’ Choice Award for Best Linux Distro.

The FOSS Force Readers’ Choice Awards Poll

Arch Linux Best Linux Distro 2016The readers of FOSS Force have made their voices heard and for the second year in a row you have chosen Arch Linux to be the recipient of the FOSS Force Readers’ Choice Award for Best Linux Distro. The recipient was determined by the results of a poll that opened on January 30 and closed at noon EST today.

The selection was a two part process that began with a qualifying poll in which readers could suggest distros to be included in the just ended final round of voting. The final round asked the question, “Which of the GNU/Linux distros listed below would you choose to win the FOSS Force ‘Best Desktop Distro’ Award for 2016?”

This year, both rounds of polling set records for our site. As they like to say after political elections, voter turnout was very heavy.

The qualifying round, which Arch also won, collected a total of 6,217 votes, surpassing the record for our site set in last years opening round, in which 5,784 votes were cast. Arch won both the qualifying and the final round in last year’s voting as well.

In previous years, the final round of voting hasn’t received nearly as many votes as the qualifying round. Last year’s final round, for example, garnered 2,625 votes. This year was different, and the all important second round raked in a whopping 8,176, setting a new bar for FOSS Force polls.

In the final round, Arch received 1,621 percent of the vote, or 20 percent of the total votes cast. This year’s runner up, Elementary OS, raked in a respectable 1,251 votes or 15 percent. Third place PCLinuxOS had 857 votes or 10 percent of the total. Six of the 20 distros included in the poll failed to receive 100 votes.

This was the third year that we’ve handed out our Best Linux Distro Award. The first competition, held in 2015, had a photo finish ending, won by Ubuntu with only an 11 vote lead over second place Linux Mint.

While we like to pat ourselves on the back and toot our own horn, the real credit for the succes of this poll goes to you, the readers of FOSS Force…you know, the people who did the actual voting. Thank you. We are grateful. And while we can’t speak for the maintainers of the distros that were included in the poll, we’re pretty sure its safe to assume that they appreciate the vote you cast for your distro too.

The complete results from this year’s polling can be found on our Completed Polls page.

24 comments to Best Linux Distro Award: The Envelope Please…

  • UncleEd

    I’m going to claim Russians hackers interfered and that there were millions of ineligible voters casting ballots against my candidate.

    Just because.

  • Chris J

    Just some more “alternative facts”, at least that what Sean Spicer would say.

  • soocki

    Obviously Arch, no doubt.

  • tracyanne

    We’re all winners, because we use Linux, it doesn’t matter which one.

    Congratulations Arch.

  • W histle-blower

    “Very heavy” turnout, indeed. Perhaps next year’s poll should be entitled “Which distro’s fans can push the most votes through multiple channels and can any of them automate the process?” Apparently TOR has been quite useful for several distros, as each vote can have a different IP and one has only to erase the cookie, or so I’m told.

    But if you prefer to believe your poll was popular, that’s fine too.

  • soocki

    Man just take a deep breath, everything’s gonna be just fine.

  • Michael Adamson

    I agree with tracyanne that all Linux users are winners and I think the idea behind this poll is a good one. But if the intent is to actually determine the consensus about the best distro, a better polling method would help. I say this because the winner had a plurality of only 20%. Another way to look at it is that 80% preferred a different distro. That’s not exactly a mandate. There is a better way: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting

    This method allows each voter to rank all the candidates. The lowest vote getter is dropped and the first place votes for that candidate are re-distributed based on their second choice. So it works just like a series of runoff elections. This continues until one candidate has a majority.

    The algorithm is actually simpler than the verbal description would imply 🙂 Also, this method would make a qualifying round un-necessary since nobody’s vote is ever wasted. It always counts.

  • Fik

    On the completed pool page there is an obvious mistake in both last positions, which say 2% (OpenMandriva and LXLE)

  • MisterGoldiloxx

    I’ve tried several. I still prefer Mint.

    As for “alternative facts” we had 8 years of those, like you can keep your doctor, you can keep your insurance, Islamic State is the JV Team, Benghazi was because of a YouTube video, and more. Not to mention doubling our National Debt from $10 trillion to $20 Trillion. Not everyone who uses FOSS is a brainwashed leftist who thinks their crap doesn’t stink.

  • Mike

    @MisterGoldiloxx

    Better than the Trump administration who are literally MADE of crap.

    #BowlingGreenMassacre #NeverRemember

  • Michael Adamson

    @Mike Maybe this is a good place to point out that if the Republican Party had used Instant Runoff Voting, as I describe above, Trump would not have received their nomination. He never had more than 35% when the full field of candidates were in the race and he was nobody’s second choice. 🙂

  • Mike

    @Michael Adamson

    Agreed, I’ve thought for a long time that method of voting is far superior, as it lets people vote for the candidate they REALLY WANT without fear it will detract from another candidate who is more likely to win but less desirable. Also getting rid of the electoral college would be great, as it is a pointless holdover and unlike any other democratic system in the world, including every other election in the U.S. Unfortunately the powers that be would not allow either of those things to happen.

    …back on topic: GoboLinux is pretty awesome, but probably not for beginners.

  • Danny Michael

    >Also getting rid of the electoral college would be great, as it is a pointless holdover and unlike any other democratic system in the world, including every other election in the U.S. Unfortunately the powers that be would not allow either of those things to happen.

    Good, because the last thing we need in this country is having California and New York decide what’s best for the rest of the country. The “tolerant” liberals true colors have been showing since the election. They lost because they supported a candidate that couldn’t even beat the worst candidate of all time. Not because of Russia, not because of the electoral college and not because of Comey. And by the looks of it they haven’t learned a thing from their mistakes. I hope they keep following the Pelosi’s and Warren’s of the “tolerant” left. The Democratic party is gone. It no longer exists. All that’s left is a bunch of whiny, spoiled brat anarchists.

    …back on topic, CentOS is my favorite but wasn’t on the poll.

  • James

    @Mike: I like the directory structure in Gobolinux. It actually looks easier for someone from a Windows background to find stuff than traditional linux. I think I’ll download it and play with it to see what I can break. Thanks for pointing it out! LOL.

    As to the electoral college, I think I prefer it to the popular vote. With a popular vote, you have the chance to commit fraud in one place and walk away with the whole thing. With the EC, it costs more to steal it, as you have to commit fraud in three or four of the tightly contested areas, (presumably with more oversight) instead of one place you’re already popular, and the Sec. State just gives you a wink and a nod.

    Disclaimer:I’m not saying any of the above happened in the past election, just that it COULD have, from either side. It was THAT divisive. If it had been a popular vote, it would have boiled down to who could vote the graveyard the best.

  • Mike

    @Danny Michael

    > “The “tolerant” liberals true colors have been showing since the election.”

    Yes the left is intolerant…of fascism. Trump is a dangerous moron backed by white supremacists and conspiracy theorists…and that’s just inside the White House.

  • Mike

    @James

    At first glance it looks Windows-like and may be easier to grok quickly, but there is actually a lot of thought in the design.

    The design allows the filesystem itself to be the ‘database’ for the package manager, leading to a cleaner system. It also allows for multiple builds and versions of the same application or libraries to co-exist on a machine and even, in some cases, to run simultaneously. 32-bit and 64-bit builds of the same application can co-exist without all the multi-arch machinery most distros need.

    They recently switched the default desktop from Enlightenment to Awesome, which is…um…awesome. 🙂

  • Mike

    @Danny Michael

    > “Good, because the last thing we need in this country is having California and New York decide what’s best for the rest of the country.”

    MYTH.

    The states of California and New York together only make up a little over 18% of the U.S. population, and that includes their sizable rural populations which are often conservative. Conservative dominated Texas and Georgia together make up roughly 11.7%.

    The cities of New York, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco added together are only about 4.5%. Abolishing the electoral college would actually mean rural areas would see a greater influence on the election overall, but it would mean that smaller population states would no longer have their influence unduly amplified.

    ***You probably shouldn’t try to push myths so easily dis-proven via math.

  • Mike

    @Danny Michael

    > “They lost because…not because of the electoral college”

    The loss can be directly attributed to the electoral college since the popular vote was very clearly not in Trump’s favor.

    …Unless you subscribe to Trump’s completely unhinged belief in ghost voters. Less than half the country voted in this election. You can’t get people to go vote for themselves, let alone multiple times for dead people. Even the Republican Congress think Trump is cuckoo on this one.

  • uncleV

    The next poll should be “What kind of Linux distro does Trump like and use”, isn’t it children?

  • @W histle-blower: You mean online voting is unscientific and easily manipulated? Why, I am shocked; I had no idea, and I’m sure nobody else here did either. Thank you for doing the valuable service of stating the very very obvious as if you were contributing something to the conversation, and being super-indignant about an incredibly trivial, just-for-fun popularity contest that nobody else but you was taking seriously anyway.

    @Michael Adamson: Yeah, I’m a big fan of instant runoff voting. FPTP encourages polarizing choices rather than consensus. (Not that I’d compare Arch to Trump, mind.)

    @Danny Michael: “They lost because they supported a candidate that couldn’t even beat the worst candidate of all time. Not because of Russia, not because of the electoral college and not because of Comey.”

    I agree that the biggest reason Hillary Clinton lost the election is that she was Hillary Clinton, and that the Democrats made a serious mistake in nominating her, and that they should learn from that mistake. However, that doesn’t mean that Russia, Comey, and the electoral college weren’t factors, or that they should be ignored.

    “And by the looks of it they haven’t learned a thing from their mistakes. I hope they keep following the Pelosi’s and Warren’s of the “tolerant” left.”

    Wait, I’m lost. Did the Democrats lose because they nominated Hillary Clinton instead of Bernie Sanders, or did they lose because they took their marching orders from the left wing of the party? You can’t have it both ways.

    @James: “As to the electoral college, I think I prefer it to the popular vote. With a popular vote, you have the chance to commit fraud in one place and walk away with the whole thing.”

    Yeah, it’s a good thing that under the electoral college, you can’t swing an election with a few hundred votes in a single district. Possibly in favor of the governor’s brother. Just, you know, hypothetically.

  • Nonya

    Well, I see that this quickly deteriorated into political BS that has nothing to do with the subject! The results of the poll won’t change my mind about my Linux distro of choice. And one of the great things about there being a lot of Linux distros IS choice. Everyone is free to choose the distro that suits their needs, or just what they like.

    I don’t particularly like Arch, I feel that its overly difficult to install and configure. I will continue to use my distro of choice, and no doubt so will others. Now I will be going to a moderated forum where political discussions are not allowed!

  • tracyanne

    @Nonya
    February 7, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Yep, I voted for my Linux of choice, and that’s really the point, isn’t it. real choice. The Freedom to make an informed choice, rather than the limited choices on offer elsewhere.

  • Mike

    I think a poll like this is more about bringing attention to various distros people are actively using than about which is “most popular” or “best”. Those things can not be reliably measured.

    Enjoy voting for your distro and maybe try some new ones. Trying to treat an internet poll as a quantitative representation of anything is silly.

  • @Mike +1 That’s why we stress that this poll is actually more about the strength and determination of the communities around the distros more than anything else.