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.
Which of these distros would you choose as the ‘Best Linux Distro’ in 2022?
Total Voters: 4,545
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.
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.
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!