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Arch Linux Gets Reader’s Choice ‘Best Distro’ Award

The FOSS Force Poll

The voting is all done for the second round of our poll to decide which GNU/Linux distro our readers would choose to receive our “Reader’s Choice Best Linux Distro” award for 2015. As in round one, Arch Linux won the day. The poll results are considered to be more a measure of a distro’s community support than any indication of a distro’s technical merits.

The first round of our poll was a qualifying round, which Arch won as well, racking up 1,376 votes. The second round of voting was “winner take all,” and with the voting lighter than in the first round, Arch still managed to put together 592 votes. In all, 2,625 votes were cast in round two, which was active for seven days.

Arch Linux Best Linux Distro 2015While Arch’s taking of the gold wasn’t much of a surprise, given the distro’s commanding performance in the qualifying poll, round two results below the top slot were a little different from what we expected. Elementary OS took second place, with 502 votes, just three percentage points behind the winner. In the qualifying round, Elementary wasn’t even offered as a poll choice and only made the final round due to a write-in campaign from the Elementary community. Involvement by the community was also responsible for the distro’s strong second round showing, with the distro using its Twitter account to rally users to participate in the poll. Elementary users launched something of a rally during the final hours of the poll, and it looked for a while like they might pass Arch, which was ahead throughout second round polling.

Fedora, which placed second in the qualifying round didn’t do so well this time, making a ninth place showing with 120 votes. Linux Mint was the number three vote getter in the final round, after a fourth place showing in the first round. The complete results of the second round poll can be seen on our poll archives’ page, with a complete listing of round one in the FOSS Force article announcing the second round.

Unfortunately, the people at Arch Linux don’t win anything other than bragging rights and a little bit of free advertising. We can’t write them a big check or take anyone on the Arch team out for dinner or anything like that, but we have created a nice graphic proclaiming them as the “Best Linux Distro 2015” winner, which will stay on our front page until this year’s winner is decided sometime next Jaurary.

We’re currently in the midst of our 2016 Indiegogo fundraising drive. Your support is crucial. Won’t you please visit our fundraising page and make a contribution to support FOSS Force?


  1. bollocks bollocks January 17, 2016

    “The poll results are considered to be more a measure of a distro’s community support than any indication of a distro’s technical merits.”

    erm Debian, huge vast community and support.

    “Poll is bollocks”

    Look at Fedora ..huge vast RedHat/Fedora community and support.

    The list makes no sense ?

  2. Dietrich Schmitz Dietrich Schmitz January 17, 2016

    Interesting. Who knew?!

    Seriously, I’ve told readers that during the next 5 years the vast distro sprawl would dry up and what was left would be no more than 5 solid contenders.

    I was told by friends (around the globe) I should try Arch. I thought, this is a step backwards. I have to do the work in cobbling together a gui with the kernel? No thank you.

    So, I ignored Arch for quite some time. My primary complaint was it was going to stay a ‘niche’ Distro for gearheads only. It would never gain broader ‘joe average’ appeal, I said.

    In a sense, I was and still am right. Take a cross section of the demographic of voters and you’ll likely find it is mostly a tech crowd who thrive on this kind of stuff. Fine.

    But what’s really happening? I believe the advent of Antergos and Architect will catapult Arch popularity.

    I became acquainted with Antergos (Arch) Linux this spring and have never turned back.

    It now comes down to two Distros I recommend: 1) Antergos, 2) Fedora.

    Antergos is what I use on my ThinkPad. As for family and ‘joe average’, I recommend Fedora.

    Arch tends to be ‘bleeding edge’ as it is a ‘rolling release’. So, I have a cron external BlacX eSATA 1TB WD HDD which fires at midnight a ‘Back in Time’ rsync incremental backup. If/as/when something goes fubar, the backup is there from which to recover.

    I wouldn’t need the backup for Fedora. Rock solid stable.

    But what makes Antergos, Architect, Arch great?: In a word, ‘Pacman’.

    Some of you are nodding your heads.

    It’s best feature? Automagic git compilation, packing, installing in one painless step. None of the ‘manual tedium’ of dependency build steps is required that faces users of other Distros. Pacman pkbuild wraps it up into just ‘one’ step. A beautiful thing.

    So, I am not surprised at the voting results.

    If you’ve been hesitant @Christine, try Antergos. The live cd installer iso includes options for six (6) guis. Kind of like Mageia in that respect.

  3. lachlan lachlan January 17, 2016

    I have never seen a more rabid community than the arch one.

    They are the jehovah’s witness of the distro world.5

  4. 2_OK 2_OK January 18, 2016

    \i have told you to omit that kind of jokes, beacause they are not funny to some people.

  5. W. Anderson W. Anderson January 18, 2016

    To:Dietrich Schmitz
    I am a Linux professional and long time user – since 1995, and evaluated Arch Linux about 2 year ago with satisfactory results.

    However, since I no longer wished to engage in lenfthy install and configuration process including install of GUI, I settled on Manjaro which was purely Arch based at the time, with intuitive graphical install and choice of GUI, including my preference of KDE.

    While Manjaro has “slightly” different Respostories now, I can still use AUR, and the overall experience with Manjaro has been excellent

  6. Randy Noseworthy Randy Noseworthy January 18, 2016

    I just think that Christine did this poll for the fun of it. That’s all. – If the Arch community rallied and voted, then so be it.

    I still use Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and Debian myself, but that’s because I’m familiar with them. Given enough time, I might try Arch also drink their kool aid and become a stark raving mad Arch Lunatic.

    But it’s all about time. I currently don’t see the need to try something else when what I’ve gotten used to isn’t broke.

    Kudo’s to Arch!

  7. Christine Hall Christine Hall January 18, 2016

    @Randy you’re spot on. We can run some polls expecting to glean some information. But something like a distro poll automatically becomes a popularity contest. So if we run these, we encourage the different distros to go ahead and get the vote out and use the poll to incite a little healthy and friendly (we hope) competition.

  8. lebanon lebanon January 19, 2016

    @Christine Hall
    Also to make more popular and with a hope to receive more funds and more adverts.

  9. tracyanne tracyanne January 19, 2016

    Well I voted Linux Mint Cinnamon. I use it on my primary computer. I also have 2 Servers running Ubuntu, and two machines running Ubuntu Studio, 1 for recording my music, the other as a sound source/controller for my MIDI keyboard. My partner uses Xubuntu, she says she prefers it because “it’s [XFCE] a simple desktop for a simple person.”

    A couple of ladies in my Country Womens Association group also use Ubuntu/Unity, they appear to have no problems with it, so I don’t really understand why tech geeks do. It probably helped them stop trying to do things the Windows way.

  10. FOSS Force Staff FOSS Force Staff Post author | January 20, 2016

    Hey guys and gals, we’ve got the coolest perk ever for our Indiegogo campaign, and we’re sharing it with you here in the comments section before announcing it on our front page. We’ve heard from you that getting through the captcha when you’re making a comment can sometimes be a pain. Well, now you’ll be able to post comments to our articles simply by typing your comment and clicking “Post Comment.” No captcha or filling in the email text box when you want to make a comment — and you’ll be able to edit your comments after you post them as well, just in case you made a typo.

    Our “Frequent Commenters Membership,” available through our Indiegogo fundraiser, gets you your own account on FOSS Force. You login to your account and all of your commenting is captcha free — and the post will automatically go up using the username you give us when we set-up your account. In addition, after we get ten or so of you signed up, each week we’ll offer a discussion topic which will only be available to logged-in members. And down the road, we have even more ideas we might implement.

    The memberships are available for a $25 contribution to our Indiegogo fundraising campaign. This is just one way we’ve come up with to say thank you for your support. To claim your membership, just go to our Indiegogo page now and make your contribution!

    Oh, and whether you make a contribution or not, thank you for being a part of FOSS Force. 🙂

  11. tracyanne tracyanne January 21, 2016

    Well I Posted a comment right here in response to the Arch Linux article. I know I must have posted it, because when it didn’t ahow up in a reasonable amount of time I reposted the same comment, and was informed that I had already posted that. And yet my comment is still MIA.

  12. mike mike January 21, 2016


    That has happened to me in the past. It seems sometimes posts get flagged as spam and never show up, yet if you try to repost, you get a message that you already posted that.

    Did your post include links? That’s the most likely culprit.

  13. CFWhitman CFWhitman January 21, 2016

    I just don’t feel like taking the trouble to maintain Arch these days. It’s certainly an interesting experience to use it, but it’s easier to use something more stable. To be honest, most of my desktop type machines have some variation of Ubuntu 14.04, though never Ubuntu itself (instead they have Xubuntu, Lubuntu, or Ubuntu Studio, though Ubuntu Studio is in danger of shutting down as a project, though I still hope it doesn’t). I do use other distributions at times, depending on various factors.

    I give the same thing to family members because the automated support cycles are nice and long. I have an Ubuntu Studio 15.10 machine, but I would never install a nine month supported distribution for someone else.

  14. Christine Hall Christine Hall January 21, 2016

    @tracyanne @mike

    That’s exactly what happened. For some reason, Tracyanne’s post was flagged by Akismet as spam and sent to the spam folder. I’ve rescued it, so that it now appears as the fifth comment above this one, which is where it would’ve appeared on the timeline. Sorry Tracyanne.

    Comments that contain two or more links are held for moderation by one of the FOSS Force admins to discourage comment smammers. That wasn’t the case with tracyanne’s comment, however, as it contained no links whatsoever.

Comments are closed.

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