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It’s Time to Vote in the Best Linux Distro Poll’s Final Round

Last updated on January 24, 2023

There’s more at stake than merely bragging rights. This year’s winning Linux distribution will receive passes to All Things Open and SCALE, as well as t-shirts and hats.

Arch Linux Best Linux Distro 2015

Which of these distros would you choose as the ‘Best Linux Distro’ in 2022?

  • Fedora (33%, 1,507 Votes)
  • Pop!_OS (19%, 874 Votes)
  • MX Linux (11%, 489 Votes)
  • elementary OS (9%, 399 Votes)
  • Ubuntu (8%, 354 Votes)
  • Linux Mint (5%, 237 Votes)
  • Debian (4%, 201 Votes)
  • EndeavourOS (4%, 190 Votes)
  • openSUSE (3%, 154 Votes)
  • Manjaro (3%, 140 Votes)

Total Voters: 4,545

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Update: You can read about the results of our poll here.

Update: 5:13 pm EST — We’re waiting to hear back from the winning distro, Fedora, regarding the prizes that their user community has earned for them before making our official announcement on the outcome of the poll. However, we’ve verified all of the votes and the figures in the closed poll to the right will be the official tally once we hear from someone from their team. We have reached out to them and are awaiting their reply.

Editor’s note: The polls have now closed for or Best Linux Distro Poll. We’re verifying the numbers now, but don’t expect any changes, and will publish our findings later this afternoon.

Voting is now open for the final round of our Readers’ Choice Best Linux Distro 2022 poll. The poll will be open between now and Wednesday, January 18, so it’s time for those of you who support one of the ten distributions that survived our elimination round to start getting out the vote to recognize the people who work to develop and maintain the Linux distro that you depend upon.

In the past our annual poll has pretty much been solely for bragging rights. While this remains basically true, we’re happy to announce that there’s now a little more at stake. Thanks to the community spirited folks at the Southern California Linux Expo and All Things Open conferences, this year’s winning distro will receive two free top-tier passes to attend SCALE (coming up in Pasadena March 9-12), as well as two passes for ATO, the Raleigh-based open source conference that will take place October 15-17.

All Things Open branded g-shirts
In addition to tickets to attend SCALE and All Things Open, the winning distro will also receive a couple of these cool ATO t-shirts, and a couple of ATO hats.

In addition, the folks at ATO are throwing in a couple of t-shirts and a couple of hats — because who doesn’t like t-shirts and hats, especially when they come branded with ATO’s nifty spaceman logo.

In our opinion, this reeks of open source coolness. If you don’t know, SCALE, one of the oldest and most well known community-based Linux and FOSS events, has been happening on an annual bases for 20 years (well, they missed a year during pandemic, which had a negative effect on all events). ATO hasn’t been around quite as long (it turns 11 this year), but has quickly become what is perhaps the largest annual open source event on the US East Coast.

Southern California Linux Expo logo

Both are chock full of presentations and workshops that are sure to be useful to the folks who work to keep your distro stable, secure, and oh so cool. Also, each of these conferences draws multiple thousands of attendees, so there’s always the important networking possibilities.

The passes to the events come with no strings attached. In other words, the winning distro will be able to use them anyway they like. This means that if none of the distros’ developers can attend the event, either because they’re too busy or can’t afford the travel expenses, the project can give them away to someone who can, or even put them up for auction in a fundraising event.

Many thanks to the folks at SCALE and ATO for making these prizes available. FOSS Force is proud to be a media sponsor at both events.

But enough about prizes, let’s get on to our poll…

The 2022 Readers’ Choice Best Linux Distro Poll

We’ll start by explaining why we call it the 2022 poll when we’re holding it in 2023 — which even confuses us sometimes. It’s simple, really — 2022 because we’re asking our readers what they think was the best Linux distro during the previous year (or in the case of this final round, to choose from the distros that are still in the running).

So what does “best” mean?

The simple answer: anything you like.

Voters can choose using any metrics that are important to them. For example, those with more technical expertise might use the quality of the code as a criteria, gamers might go by which is best for gaming on Linux, newcomers might pick by ease-of-use, or those who prefer a particular desktop environment might choose by how well a distro works with their favorite DE.

If “best” means anything you want, what’s the purpose of the poll?

We’ve thought about that a lot since we launched our first “best distro” poll back in 2015. We’ve come to the conclusion that the poll is more about the community that supports a particular distro than it is about the quality of the distro itself.

For example, the second time we ran this poll, in 2016, Arch Linux was the winner, even though it wasn’t included in the official polling during the first round. The users of the distro cared enough about getting the word out about how great they thought their distro was that they organized, and got enough people to place enough write-in votes (which are allowed in our qualifying round, but not in the current round) to get the distro on the ballot for the final round.

In fact, until this year, every time we’ve conducted the poll several distros have been included in the final round that weren’t on the ballot for the first qualifying round by way of write-in votes — a great accomplishment for the communities that support those distros. This year, write-in voting was noticeably down when compared to other years, possibly because this is the first time we’ve conducted the poll since 2017, or perhaps because we didn’t explain well enough how the poll works before the first round of voting. We’ll try to do better next time.

Best Linux Distro Poll Rules

Other than the fact that you can only vote once, there are no rules. The poll is set up to not allow multiple votes from a single IP address and also utilizes a session cookie to limit multiple voting from a single machine. This isn’t perfect, of course, and we do ask people to respect this rule and not try to get around the methods we have in place and not try to cheat the system.

Beyond that, it’s wide open. We encourage you to post to social media or to a forum on your favorite distro’s website to try to convince people to vote for your favorite distro.

So vote. Get others to vote, if you wish. Most of all, just have fun — which is what competitions like this are really about!

All Things Open branded hat
All Things Open branded hat.

29 Comments

  1. Anonymous Anonymous January 13, 2023

    PopOS is obviously using a bot.

  2. FOSS Force FOSS Force Post author | January 13, 2023

    Not likely. Looking at our poll logs, votes appear to be legitimate.

  3. anomalous anomalous January 13, 2023

    PopOS got 27 votes in the first round and already has 338 votes in this round?
    … and this does not seem suspicious to you?

  4. Anonymous Anonymous January 13, 2023

    I suspect Fedora too.
    Its easy for a competent programmer to set up a bot using random IPs.

  5. Anonymous Anonymous January 14, 2023

    Pop OS devs shared this poll on their reddit and mastodon.
    I bet something similar happened to fedora, as it grew super fast in one day.

  6. Debbs Debbs January 14, 2023

    Pop_os. Best linux desktop experience by far.

  7. Tommi Tommi January 14, 2023

    Pop!_OS simply works for all my needs.

  8. David David January 15, 2023

    I heard about this poll from the pop_os reddit indeed, maybe a recaptcha to settle the nerves of people.

  9. Kan Kan January 15, 2023

    Garuda Linux, one of the best gaming distros is not on here? Please.

  10. Not Manjaro Not Manjaro January 15, 2023

    Every Linux distro is good, except Manjaro.

  11. FOSS Force FOSS Force Post author | January 16, 2023

    David: The poll is set up to limit voting to one per IP address, and also one per device by use of a non tracking cookie.

  12. FOSS Force FOSS Force Post author | January 16, 2023

    Kan: Garuda was in our first round of voting but didn’t get enough votes to qualify for the second round, in which it made a 12th place showing. To qualify for the final round a distro had to place in the top 10.

    Out of 749 votes cast in total in our first round, Garuda received 11 votes, or 1% of the votes cast. By comparison, the 10th place first round winner was Endeavour OS, with 22 votes, or 3% of the total. A total of six distros received fewer votes than Garuda.

    The top vote getter in the first round was MX Linux, which is currently in third place, with 10% of the votes in the final round.

    You can view the first round results here: https://fossforce.com/2023/01/time-to-vote-in-our-best-linux-distro-2022-poll/

  13. MX Linux Bot #365 MX Linux Bot #365 January 16, 2023

    MX Linux still botting.

  14. Anonymous Anonymous January 17, 2023

    My choice is not there. And if you ask me why I didn’t vote for it in the first round, I only heard of this poll today (1/17/2023).

  15. Anonymous Anonymous January 18, 2023

    Same. All nice and fun, but innovative? Nah. I vote NixOS or something declarative.

  16. Anonymous Anonymous January 18, 2023

    The top two vote counts look very suspicious – both of those distros are essentially commercial.

  17. Anonymous Anonymous January 18, 2023

    Fedora is huge for its stability and confidence in the system at the security level, 13 years on it already and I happen to discover possibilities and innovations, the prize that it deserves is amply deserved. Of course, I voted for Fedora like many grateful users

  18. Arv Arv January 18, 2023

    I have voted for Fedora from a Fedora ( 37), Cheers!

  19. Anonymous Anonymous January 18, 2023

    How did you hear about this poll? Did Fedora nudge you?

  20. Anonymous Anonymous January 18, 2023

    Fedora is the best

  21. Anonymous Anonymous January 18, 2023

    PopOS Ftw

  22. Anonymous Anonymous January 18, 2023

    EndeavorOS best Arch based distro and community out there

  23. Justin W. Flory Justin W. Flory January 18, 2023

    Howdy folks! It is nice to see the support for Fedora. The day isn’t over yet, but conference passes are a great perk for us so we can send our community Ambassadors to events for representing Fedora and spreading the good news of Linux. 😉

    However, if Fedora wins, I’d like to share the SCaLE 20x conference passes with Pop!_OS folks to come and represent themselves at SCaLE! As it happens, Fedora was already given free passes for our community folks to attend and have a booth. So, we don’t need the passes for SCaLE! And since at the end of the day, we are all representing Linux against some **much** larger competitors, it is a win for all of us if we cast a wider Linux net and bring more folks in.

    The site admins should be able to see my email address to get in touch. Thanks to our Fedora Friends who helped spread the word about this poll across the community.

  24. Anonymous Anonymous January 18, 2023

    I’m confused . Where is the link to vote from?
    I must be too stupid.

  25. Paul Eveleigh Paul Eveleigh January 19, 2023

    I knew nothing of this poll, very poorly published which means it does not carry very much weight. Only die hard enthusiast’s or bots would have picked this up. Just ignore the so called results, meaningless !

    With a fair hand the order should be 1. Linux Mint, MX Linux, Kubuntu, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and then maybe Fedora.

    My personal choice is OpenSUSE and I’ve used them all in 2022

  26. Anonymous Anonymous January 20, 2023

    RebornOs

  27. Anonymous Anonymous January 20, 2023

    Fossforce: you have been gamed by Fedora and PopOS.
    Distrowatch tells a very different story.

  28. Anonymous Anonymous January 23, 2023

    Fedora is a great distro – no doubt. But what this survey really reveals is the tiny userbase Linux has in general. And that’s the real shame. Linux has much to offer and there are a lot of decent distros out there. So instead of praising the best distro, a contest asking for ideas to make Linux more popular would help us all more.

  29. Ketil Ervik Ketil Ervik January 24, 2023

    I use Deepin Linux and i like it verry well.

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