For the past few years I have tried to find an accurate list of Linux OSes, but haven’t had much luck. Maybe my search questions are wrong or I’m not ‘holding my mouth right‘!? Wasted time going thru lists (yes, there are more than one of these types) that mix both supported ‘n non-supported Linuxes & active ‘n non-active.

Anyway, when searching for “how many Linux OSes” or “how many Linux Distros” there are, the number “600” came up a lot. A few years ago, I just took that number and started adding SPINS, Flavors, DE’s, X-based etc. to that “600” number and came up wid an estimate of around 3,000 Linux OSes.

Turns out that the 3,000 estimate is probably way off, and that there is probably an accurate list somewhere that shows around 600+ Linux OSes. How do I know this? By becoming some kinda ‘Data Entry‘ character for this post, just after getting new glasses wid an updated prescription on them, i.e., bad timing on my part!!! 😉

Recently decided to do a post on the number of Linux OSes, and went wid DistroWatch’s “H.P.D = hits per day” as a starting point. There are Distro’s missing that are on other lists like Comprehensive list of all Linux OS distributions, but that article is missing some that DistroWatch has. However, if I was ever going to find a close count of how many Linux OSes there are, then having one list as the starting point would suffice.

I also cater a lot of my post’s towards Windows users, so my final list needed to focus mainly on Desktop/Laptop & Mobile OSes. OSes wid “No Desktop” or “WebUI” were not included. All the Linux lists seem to include Linuxes that have a specialty, e.g., Kali Linux focuses on ‘Penetration Testing, Ethical Hacking and network security assessments‘ & Tails Linux focuses on protection ‘against surveillance and censorship‘ (Tails is very popular in Russia right now).

Special *PURPOSE* Linuxes

Specialist Linux OSes, ones that have a special purpose or a ‘Specialty‘ make up a big part of my list. Giving Windows users some of the better points about Linux is how I go about presenting Linux to them. Not many people actually use Linux as their primary OS, but the normal users are very vocal about Linux, and many of them bash Windows in the process of trying to convert Windows users from the most popular OS in the history of OSes to the least popular choice of all OSes.

  • Linus Torvalds has said: ‘One of the problems Desktop Linux has is it’s not made for normal people, and by normal people I mean, obviously nontechnical people…‘ (NOTE: A brief update to that, i.e. to now define ‘Technical people‘ as Developers, Programmers, Sysadmins, IT Specialists, Maintainers, etc.)

A ‘Specialty‘ can also be extremely portable, which Windows OSes are not, e.g., on something as small as a USB. I promote Linux as a ‘Companion OS‘ to Windows 11 & 10, and that is another ‘Specialty‘. The Special *PURPOSE* Linuxes page has more info on the special purpose Linuxes.

Year of the Linux Desktop

Linux Statistics:

Linux has been around for 30+ years. Chrome OS has been around for about 11 years.

  • Linus Torvalds says Fragmentation is Why Linux Hasn’t Succeeded on Desktop: ‘I still wish we were better at having a standardize desktop that goes across all the distributions … It’s more of a personal annoyance how the fragmentation of the different vendors have, I think, held the desktop back a bit … It seems to be that Chromebooks and Android are the paths towards the desktop.

List of Linux OSes

Desktop Environments (DE) are not all the same, and a GNOME DE on Manjaro Linux may work better than the Cinnamon DE on Manjaro. One DE on same Distro can be buggy, but another might not have any issues. I count a DE as one Linux OS, and Linuxes in this list are listed in the order of how many DE’s they offer.

22. Debian: AfterStep, Awesome, Blackbox, Cinnamon, Fluxbox, flwm, FVWM, GNOME, i3, IceWM, ion, JWM, KDE, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, Openbox, pekwm, Ratpoison, WMaker, XBMC, Xfce

14. ALT Linux: AfterStep, Blackbox, Cinnamon, Enlightenment, FVWM, GNOME, IceWM, KDE, LXDE, MATE, Openbox, LXQt, WMaker, Xfce

13. Gentoo: AfterStep, Awesome, Blackbox, Enlightenment, Fluxbox, GNOME, IceWM, KDE Plasma, LXDE, MATE, Openbox, WMaker, Xfce

13. Fedora: Awesome, Cinnamon, Enlightenment, i3, GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, Openbox, Pantheon, Ratpoison, Xfce

13. Source Mage: AfterStep, Blackbox, Fluxbox, GNOME, i3, IceWM, JWM, KDE, Openbox, Ratpoison, Razor-qt, WMaker, Xfce

12. Funtoo: AfterStep, Blackbox, Cinnamon, Fluxbox, GNOME, IceWM, KDE Plasma, LXDE, LXQt, Openbox, WMaker, Xfce

12. T2: AfterStep, Awesome, Blackbox, Enlightenment, Fluxbox, GNOME, IceWM, KDE, LXDE, Openbox, WMaker, Xfce

11. Manjaro: Awesome, bspwm, Budgie, Cinnamon, GNOME, i3, KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE, Openbox, Xfce

11. Garuda: bspwm, Cinnamon, GNOME, i3, KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE, Recbox, UKUI, Wayfire, Xfce

11. ArcoLinux: Awesome, bspwm, Budgie, Cinnamon, Deepin, GNOME, i3, MATE, KDE Plasma, Openbox, Xfce

10. Ubuntu DP: Budgie, Cinnamon, Deepin, GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE, Unity, Xfce

10. Parabola: Blackbox, Fluxbox, GNOME, IceWM, KDE, LXDE, MATE, Openbox, WMaker, Xfce

10. NuTyX: Enlightenment, GNOME, IceWM, JWM, KDE Plasma, LXDE, MATE, Openbox, Ratpoison, Xfce

10. Tiny Core: dwm, Fluxbox, flwm, GNOME, Hackedbox, i3, IceWM, JWM, Openbox, WMFS

10. Mageia: Cinnamon, GNOME, IceWM, KDE, MATE, LXDE, LXQt, Openbox, WMaker, Xfce

9. Gecko: Budgie, Cinnamon, GNOME, IceWM, KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE, Pantheon, Xfce

9. openSUSE: Cinnamon, Enlightenment, GNOME, IceWM, KDE Plasma, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, Xfce

9. SparkyLinux: Budgie, Enlightenment, JWM, KDE Plasma, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, Openbox, Xfce

9. NixOS: Awesome, Enlightenment, Fluxbox, GNOME, i3, IceWM, KDE Plasma, Ratpoison, Xfce

8. Porteus: Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, Openbox, Xfce

8. EndeavourOS: Budgie, Cinnamon, GNOME, i3, KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE, Xfce

7. Debian Edu: Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, Xfce

7. Exherbo: Awesome, Enlightenment, Fluxbox, GNOME, KDE, Openbox, Xfce

7. Void: Cinnamon, Enlightenment, GNOME, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, Xfce

7. Arch: Cinnamon, Enlightenment, GNOME, KDE, LXDE, MATE, Xfce

7. Spiral: Budgie, Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE, Xfce

7. PLD: Blackbox, Fluxbox, GNOME, IceWM, KDE, WMaker, Xfce

6. Slackware: Blackbox, Fluxbox, FVWM, KDE, WMaker, Xfce

6. LFS: Fluxbox, IceWM, KDE Plasma, LXDE, Openbox, Xfce6. Artix: Cinnamon, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, KDE Plasma, Xfce

5. Ultimate: Awesome, Budgie, GNOME, KDE Plasma, MATE

5. ROSA: GNOME, KDE, KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE

5. Devuan: Cinnamon, KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE, Xfce

5. Calculate: Cinnamon, KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE, Xfce

5. Guix System: Enlightenment, GNOME, LXDE, MATE, Xfce

5. Solaris: AfterStep, GNOME, KDE, WMaker, Xfce

4. Omarine: GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXDE, Xfce

4. Star: Fluxbox, i3, JWM, Openbox

4. postmarketOS: Phosh, Plasma Mobile, Sxmo

4. Hyperbola: GNOME, LXDE, MATE, Xfce

4. Ultramarine: Budgie, Cutefish, GNOME, Pantheon

4. ExTiX: Budgie, Deepin, KDE Plasma, LXQt

4. KNOPPIX: GNOME, KDE, LXDE, Openbox

4. Kaisen: KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE, Xfce

4. Solus: Budgie, GNOME, KDE Plasma, MATE

4. Obarun: JWM, KDE Plasma, Openbox, Xfce

4. BlackArch: Awesome, Blackbox, Fluxbox, spectrwm

4. Anarchy: Budgie, Cinnamon, GNOME, Xfce

4. Plamo: LXDE, LXQt, MATE, Xfce

3. Ufficio Zero: MATE, Openbox, Xfce

3. Scientific: GNOME, IceWM, KDE

3. Plop: Fluxbox, MATE, Xfce

3. Canaima: GNOME, KDE Plasma, Xfce

3. paldo: GNOME, IceWM, Xfce

3. PCLinuxOS: KDE Plasma, MATE, Xfce

3. MX Linux: Fluxbox, KDE Plasma, Xfce

3. Pearl: MATE, PearlDE, Xfce

3. Mint: Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce

3. Slackel: KDE, MATE, Openbox

3. Robolinux: Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce

3. antiX: Fluxbox, IceWM, JWM

3. Siduction: KDE Plasma, LXQt, Xfce

3. Trisquel: KDE Plasma, LXDE, MATE

3. MakuluLinux: Cinnamon, GNOME, Xfce

3. Kali: GNOME, KDE Plasma, Xfce

3. NST: Fluxbox, MATE, Openbox

3. Nova: GNOME, Guano, LXDE

2. Berry: LXDE, Maynard

2. Omoikane: GNOME, KDE

2. RasPlex: Multimedia, Raspberry Pi

2. RebeccaBlackOSK: Hawaii, KDE

2. Runtu: KDE Plasma, LXDE

2. Armbian: Cinnamon, Xfce

2. KANOTIX: KDE, LXDE

2. Lubuntu: LXDE, LXQt

2. SysLinuxOS: GNOME, MATE

2. Pardus: GNOME, Xfce

2. SUSE: GNOME, IceWM

2. Openmamba: KDE Plasma, LXQt

2. Emmabuntüs: LXQt, Xfce

2 Voyager: GNOME, Xfce

2. Nitrux: JWM, NX Desktop (KDE Plasma)

2. Parrot: KDE Plasma, MATE

2. Feren: Cinnamon, KDE Plasma

2. EuroLinux: GNOME, KDE Plasma

2. Q4OS: KDE Plasma, Trinity

2. Ubuntu: GNOME, Unity

2. Archcraft: bspwm, Openbox

2. Archman: i3, Xfce

2. Salient: KDE Plasma, Xfce

2. Zorin: GNOME, Xfce

2. AV Linux: Openbox, Xfce

2. Puppy: JWM, Openbox

2. Openmamba: KDE Plasma, LXQt

1. Rocky: GNOME

1. Absolute: IceWM

1. Ubuntu Studio: KDE Plasma

1. Snal: i3

1. Ubuntu Budgie: Budgie

1. Ubuntu Kylin: UKUI

1. CRUX: Openbox

1. SliTaz: Openbox

1. OSMC: Kodi

1. GParted: Fluxbox

1. Haiku: Haiku

1. BunsenLabs: Openbox

1. Lakka: RetroArch

1. SystemRescue: Xfce

1. JingOS: KDE Plasma

1. Redcore: KDE Plasma

1. Salix: Xfce

1. Neptune: KDE Plasma

1. Septor: KDE Plasma

1. UBports: Unity

1. Whonix: Xfce

1. Regata: KDE Plasma

1. Proxmox: Openbox

1. FuguIta: Fvwm

1. Zenwalk: Xfce

1. Rescuezilla: LXDE

1. Venom: Openbox

1. ArchBang: i3

1. Batocera: Openbox

1. ClearOS: GNOME

1. Freespire: Xfce

1. LXLE: LXDE

1. Tails: GNOME

1. Bluestar: KDE Plasma

1. elementary: Pantheon

1. Lite: Xfce

1. Endless: EOS Shell (GNOME)

1. Slax: Fluxbox

1. Oracle: GNOME

1. Xubuntu: Xfce

1. PureOS: GNOME

1. Mabox: Openbox

1. Deepin: Deepin

1. KaOS: KDE Plasma

1. Red Hat: GNOME

1. Ubuntu MATE: MATE

1. Kodachi: Xfce

1. Qubes: Xfce

1. RasPiOS: LXDE

1. Clear: GNOME

1. Bodhi: Moksha (Enlightenment)

1. RebornOS: GNOME

1. 4MLinux: JWM

1. Elive: Enlightenment

1. OpenMandriva: KDE Plasma

1. KDE neon: KDE Plasma

1. Pop!_OS: GNOME

1. Kubuntu: KDE Plasma

1. Linuxfx: KDE Plasma

1. AlmaLinux: GNOME

1. Alpine: Xfce

1. Peppermint: Xfce

1. CentOS: GNOME

1. EasyOS: JWM

1. LibreELEC: Kodi

1. Exe: Trinity

1. NomadBSD: Openbox

1. Netrunner: KDE Plasma

1. OpenIndiana: MATE

1. Porteus Kiosk: Firefox

1. Wifislax: KDE

1. Parted Magic: Xfce

1. BigLinux: KDE Plasma

1. Live Raizo: Fluxbox

1. AcademiX: MATE

1. Fatdog64: Openbox

1. Univention: KDE

1. SELKS: Xfce

1. Zephix: LXQt

1. Pisi: KDE Plasma

1. RDS: Chromium

1. Redo: LXDE

1. SolydXK: KDE, Xfce

1. VzLinux: GNOME

1. ArchStrike: Openbox

1. CAINE: MATE

1. Rescatux: LXQt

1. Thinstation: Xfce

1. PrimTux: Fluxbox

1. Pentoo: Xfce

1. APODIO: Xfce

1. Karoshi: Xfce

1. RSS: Omxplayer

1. Vine: GNOME

1. Condres: KDE Plasma

1. RISC: Pinboard

1. Miracle: GNOME

1. BOSS: Cinnamon

1. Linspire: Xfce

1. OSGeoLive: LXQt

1. Enso: Xfce (Gala)

1. LliureX: KDE Plasma

1. Springdale: GNOME

1. Ubuntu Christian: Unity

1. Zentyal: LXDE, WebUI

1. Diamond: KDE Plasma

1. Refracta: Xfce

1. Grml: Fluxbox

1. MAX: MATE

1. Shark: MATE

1. Swift: Xfce

1. Untangle: Xfce

1. PakOS: LXQt

1. Uruk: MATE

1. ToOpPy: JWM

1. HamoniKR: Cinnamon

1. OB2D: Xfce

1. XStreamOS: LXDE

1. eLearnix: Xfce

1. Ubuntu Unity: Unity

1. Kwort: Openbox

1. TUXEDO: KDE Plasma

1. XeroLinux: KDE Plasma

Conclusion

I’m no data entry expert, and putting this list together has been tough. 🥴

  • There may be mistakes in spelling, and the numbers or addition of them may off.

The number that I came up wid was 602, so that seems to be close to what my searches had shown in the past, i.e., those lists may have been including a Distro’s different DE’s (?). There are other Distros not listed. There are Distros that come ‘n go, and others on waiting lists to become recognized as a Linux OS.

May do a page just for this post, and will also add this post to the Windows 11 page…

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!