There are tons of Linux Distros for programming available to all open-source operating system users.

With this in mind, choosing and sticking with one with functionalities that suits a user just right, may prove quite difficult.

More so, this could be because the relevance of features is subjective to users.  

However, here are 15 Best Linux Distros that should meet your programming needs.

1. Ubuntu

Ubuntu is considered the most popular Linux distro, although based on Debian. While being free, very customizable, and open-source, it is very user-friendly. Also, it offers a lot of apps in the software center. However, with excellent support from a very decent community, it would be the best fit for beginners.

Best Features:

  • Default support for Bash
  • It’s open-source
  • Great community support
  • Very Secure

2. Kali Linux

Kali Linux is a Linux-based distro with very light features yet prepared with tons of packages, advanced penetration tests, and vulnerability analysis tools. Incredibly, the Kali Linux is open-source, also.

Best Features:

  • Great for programming
  • Light OS
  • Features advanced tools for, vulnerability, penetration, and network analysis
  • Does not require high-end hardware

3. Fedora

Just like Ubuntu and several others on this list, Fedora is very popular Linux distro amongst Linux users. Similarly, it is quite easy to use and offers a great user experience. Additionally, Fedora tightly affiliates with the Gnome Foundation, affording its users ample experience of the latest Gnome shell updates.

Best Features:

  • Very safe and stable
  • A quite fast booting
  • Excellent for virtualization
  • Wide graphic tools

4. Linux Mint

An Ubuntu-based open-source Linux distro, currently considered very popular and probably better than Ubuntu by some of its users. Linux Mint has a resourceful and fast Software center, as well as a consistent user interface. Although it has low hardware requirements, it also uses less memory on Cinnamon than on Gnome and MATE.

Best Features:

  • A Fast and resourceful Software center
  • Consistent Interface
  • Consumes less memory space on Cinnamon
  • Low Hardware specifications

5. Manjaro

Manjaro is an Arch Linux-based distro. With a transcendent user interface and lots of apps, it is quite easy to use. Although it has a tedious installation and setup process, it is quite unpopular, also.

Best Features:

  • Reliable Community support
  • Excellent hardware support
  • Install and switch kernels without a hassle

6. Debian

Debian has many features that have impressed the world of Linux distros users. While very polished Debian is a base for Ubuntu and other popular distros, it is very refined in a lot of ways. Even more, the packages are easy to set up, there is an always available update-issue support, and open testing of updates before release.

Best Features:

  • Robust bug tracking system
  • Easily upgradable
  • Smart integration
  • Always available support

7. Arch Linux

Among the most prevalent Linux distros, yet simple and minimalist is the Arch Linux. The Arch Linux, aside from its very simplistic and excellent user interface, also gives a whole new flavor of user experience to its vast users with the availability of helpful resources. Despite its difficult installation and setup process, it is still an astounding OS to use.

Best Features:

  • Huge user repository
  • Does not require updates
  • Freedom to choose desired packages
  • Arch Wiki provides installation and maintenance guidelines.

8. Xubuntu

Xubuntu was built and intended for ease of use and elegance. It incorporates a freely customizable desktop and a super modern look to give users a good experience. Similarly, it is light with a consistent and stable performance.

Best Features:

  • Light and stable Xfce desktop environment.
  • Still efficient in older systems.
  • It is polished
  • Comes with several pre-installed apps

9. OpenSUSE

OpenSUSE is a much stable distro, with a myriad of updated features. Additionally, it has the power for scalability and an improved booting process. OpenSUSE, in addition to its features, have Xfce, LXDE, and Gnome Desktop software alternatives to its native KDE Plasma desktop all integrated. 

Best Features:

  • Desktop software alternatives
  • Scalable
  • Very stable
  • Very secure, more so

10. CentOS

CentOS is a very stable and agile Linux distro, which is a result of the resolute and basic version of packages that it runs. Also, the stability protects systems from unwanted crashes.

Best Features:

  • It is stable
  • Very reliable
  • Extremely fast, likewise

11. Ubuntu MATE

As an Ubuntu-based distro, Ubuntu MATE is very simple to use. Similarly, it has a very firm framework and a desktop that can be smoothly configured to the user’s expectation.

Best Features:

  • Works seamlessly on much older system
  • Stability and ease-of-use
  • Can be configured, however
  • Similarly, it has decent Hardware requirement

12. SteamOS

One of the very popular Debian-based Linux distros would be the SteamOS. While originally built for gamers and optimized with third_party driver, it features the Gnome desktop environment.

Best Features:

  • Utilizes most recent Linux kernels
  • Additionally, it has relatively good support
  • Easy transition through overlays using the Custom graphics compositor
  • It is stable, also

13. Deepin

Deepin has been gaining a lot of traction in recent times, winning more popularity. Built for elegance and simplicity, similarly. Although it has a desktop that looks like a macOS, it can be configured to look like a Windows OS desktop, however.

Best Features:

  • Launches apps faster
  • Similarly, lightweight and very stable
  • Has repository with a lot of packages, also
  • However, easy to install with a default toolkit

14. Raspbian

The Raspbian distro is based on the Debian OS. It is a free-to-use OS, still. Although optimized for use on the Raspberry Pi system, Raspbian comes with several installation-ready packages.

Best Features:

  • Numerous ready-to-use packages
  • It’s free
  • Also, easy to use
  • Similarly, has fair community support.

15. Elementary OS

Elementary OS, a Linux distro, has in recent times, released several versions, each with features making it better than the previous. Although most users have their reserves concerning the restrictions in customization of the interface. More so, it uses the Pantheon desktop environment.

Best Features:

  • Lightweight, still
  • Support and updates are available
  • Also, Fast and Minimalist

Final Thoughts

While there might not be any Linux distros built for the sole purpose of programming, users can find features that meet their needs and suit their tastes, as well, in a particular OS.

One can never know unless one tries, right? So try and then find what works for you.