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5 Best Linux Distribution Releases of 2022 (imo, ofc)

5 Best Linux Distribution Releases of 2022 (imo, ofc)

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In this post, I review the best Linux distributions of 2022 — and spoiler: not all of them are based on Ubuntu!

I know: I make the same joke every year I do this. But hey: I’m writing about Ubuntu. I’m using Ubuntu. You can expect me to keep everything for ubuntu. But the Linux ecosystem? That’s more than just Ubuntu. There are a ton of top-tier Linux distributions that deserve praise, celebration, and recognition. This list is my little way of giving them that!

However, what follows is not a position of superiority, nor a ranking of importance. It’s just me, a person calling some of the best Linux releases of the year. Is it comprehensive? No. It’s also not a criticism, so if you like the OS is not the glitch below isn’t because i think it’s terrible!

Now that the SEO gods have (hopefully) had their fill of this long introduction, let’s take a look at my top 5 Linux distributions for 2022!

1. Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

In short, what’s new in 22.04

Argued on the best Linux distro of the year for me was Ubuntu 22.04 LTSwho arrived back in April.

Long-term support releases are always a big deal because tens of millions of people use them. Fortunately, the dedicated Ubuntu developers have put together a release worthy of attention.

Put regrets aside (see video). Jamie Medusa purchased GNOME Shell 42, configurable accent colors, default Wayland, new multitasking options, new dock options, better desktop icon extension, Linux kernel 5.15, Raspberry Pi 4 support. Plus heaps upon heaps (after stacks etc) updated apps, tools and packages.

Although I’m an interim release rider—always have been, probably always will be—most people stick with an LTS release. And with Ubuntu 22.04, they get a version that is really good enough to be used during the maintenance period, without FOMO.

2. Fedora 37 workstation

Perfectly finished: Fedora 37

Fedora Workstation is a leading desktop Linux distribution for good reason: it’s robust, it’s reliable, it’s built impeccably — it distills what many people are looking for most: a “pure” GNOME experience delivered as the developers intended, on a strong and stable basis.

Autumn offer of Fedora 37 Workstation Characteristic GNOME 43 – an update that significantly improves the GNOME Shell user experience with Quick settings. There is also a more functional one files rebuilt to GTK4/libadwaita; renewed Calendar application; a Device protection panel; Raspberry Pi 4 support; GRUB instead of syslinux on BIOS; and more.

People often overlook Fedora Workstation because, as Linux distributions go, it’s pretty understated, low-key, and drama-free. Still, it’s a sophisticated and functional distro that ditches the fancy trappings to focus entirely on its performance, its integration, and its cohesiveness.

If you’ve never tried Fedora, you’re missing out, so get sorted!

3. Manjaro 22.0 ‘Sikaris’

a screenshot of the Manjaro Linux distribution with a terminal and web browser open
Manjaro 22.0 “Sikaris”, in situ

Che a version of Manjaro had to be on this list, it was obvious. And as Arch-based Linux distributions go, Manjaro is one of the best. Oh, I know: there’s talk around Manjaro within the wider Linux community, but for me these tempests in a teacup never affect the quality (or should that be taste ☕️) of the distro itself.

Manjaro 22.0 “Sikaris” isn’t just a distribution: it’s an experience

An example of this is Manjaro version 22.0 released in December. The “core” service with KDE Plasma provides a flawless experience. Everything from the shell to the package manager to custom touches and apps is cohesive, thought out and choreographed.

Manjaro 22.0 isn’t just a distribution, it’s an experience.

The desktop-specific “releases” of Manjaro also compile great. They never feel like Manjaro plus Xfce, plus GNOME etc. Each is a carefully curated and beautifully integrated showcase of its respective desktop’s strengths—or to put it in less flowery terms: no matter which edition of Manjaro you choose, it always feels like BASIC one.

Also, the Manjaro community is large and active. For any problem I encounter, chances are I’ll find a Manjaro forum post about it (or someone willing to point me to a solution). Community is an important aspect of any distribution. The Linux kernel is the heart of most distributions, but its community is its lifeblood.

Manjaro is the complete package and definitely the distro of the year.

4. Linux Mint 21

screenshot of the Linux Mint 21.1 desktop with new folder icons appearing in the Nemo file manager
Mint got new Windows-y icons

Linux Mint 21.1 is the newer and more visually interesting (see new applets and updated artwork) update, the original Linux Mint 21 made the biggest impact this year of the two.

Often promoted as a “rookie” distribution, Linux Mint’s primary goal of offering a lightweight, familiar, non-intrusive computing experience continues to resonate with users in unison with how Windows works.

Linux Mint 21 “Cinnamon” is lightweight and efficient, making it a good choice for lower-end hardware and older machines. In addition to being easy to use, Linux Mint comes with an interesting selection of preinstalled software that aims to cover the needs of most users, including some home applications which are quite special.

Overall, Linux Mint 21 is the perfect choice for users who want a reliable and easy-to-use operating system.

5. Ubuntu 22.10

In short, what’s new in 22.10

Ubuntu twice in one list?! A little goes a long way, but turning on PipeWire means I have to turn on 22.10. Honestly, it’s in my contract as editor of this site –What? Yes, I wrote the contract myself… Why did you ask?

But seriously, the aforementioned Ubuntu 22.10 addon PipeWire (albeit belatedly) means that most Bluetooth audio devices now “just work” with Ubuntu. This along with the audio device switcher in GNOME Quick settings means that Ubuntu 22.10 hits the right note with modern audio equipment.

Second, increasing shipments of GNOME 43 and a litany of libadwaita ports meant Kinetic kudu arrived on site with real dynamics — this was one of the earliest ways to experience GNOME 43, for context — which has been missing since the early days of Unity.

Finally, without doubt the most important, critical and distribution-defining element was Kinetic kudu mascot wallpaper – on best default ubuntu wallpaper by Hardy Heronimo.

Honorable mentions

Zorin OS 16.2 deserves praise

Limiting my selection to 5 was necessary, otherwise this would just be a very long list of every Linux distribution that released an update in the last 12 months.

A few extra shoutouts: the last ones EndeavorOS The “Cassini” release is the perfect mount point for anyone who wants to take advantage of a reliable rolling release distribution. The last one Zorin OS is based on an older Ubuntu base, but the out-of-the-box wow factor remains invigorating for users new to Linux.

Gamers, programmers and creatives love it Pop!_OS 22.04, which is the final version of the System76 distribution that ships with GNOME Shell by default; and there’s a lot of love around the lightweight Linux distribution MX Linux which breathes new life into older hardware.

And a shout must go SteamOSpreloading the Arch-based Valve distribution on the Steamdeck console.

To you

So that’s it mine list of the best Linux releases for desktop 2022 I tried to weigh the various feature sets, changes and key technologies when choosing them, and kept appeal and popularity in mind. Phew, MX Linux was *so* close to taking a seat — expect to hear more about this and other distributions on our sister site Oh my gosh! linux.

Anyway, who cares what I think?!

I want to hear Yours selected distribution releases from the last twelve months. So dive into the comments (and tip: the “old” Disqus theme is available to choose from again, yes). Try to keep a positive outlook whenever possible by focusing on the distros and developments you like rather than the ones you don’t.


#Linux #Distribution #Releases #imo #ofc

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