Top 8 Linux Distributions for Developers in 2021

Linux OS is far more superior compared to Windows in terms security, customization, software updates and so on. Linux provides support for all major programming languages like C, C++, Java, Perl, Ruby and Python etc. Moreover, it provides access to a vast set of tools and utilities for programming purposes.

Hence. When it comes to development, programmers prefer Linux OS than Windows as they can get the job done quickly. But the important question comes in mind that “Which Linux Distro is best for programming and development?

While there are many distros or distributions available for Linux OS, not all OS provide great support for development. But still there are many available for development and choosing among them can be a bit tricky. Hence, we’ve compiled this list to provide the best linux distros for developers in 2021.

1) Manjaro

When it comes to choosing the best Linux distro for developers, Manjaro tops the list. It is a free and open-source arch-based linux distro that mainly focuses on usability, ease of use and accessibility. Unlike proprietary OS, Manjaro provides users with complete control over the hardware without any restrictions. Hence, Manjaro is one of the best linux distro for developers.


Manjaro also provides support to run various windows applications like Wine, PlayonLinux or Proton etc. It comes loaded with an excellent package manager with all the tools and utilities to get you started with your development right away.


  • Available in multiple editions (KDE, Xfce and GNOME)
  • Supports Optimus Manager
  • AUR Enabled
  • BBSwitch compatible
  • Ease of use
  • Based on Arch

Download:  You can download Manjaro Linux here.

2) Debian GNU/Linux

Debian GNU/Linux is another popular Linux distro that is largely useful for developers mainly because of its stable branch. Another main reason that developers favor Debian is because it offers an excellent set of tools and packages required for development.


Debian is one of the oldest distros out there, but still it is considered to be one of the stable distros in the market. According to Debian policy, any program that needs to get included in the Debian family, needs to fulfill all the standards set by the “Debian Free Software Guidelines“.


  • Community-driven distro
  • Highly stable build
  • Extensive library of manuals
  • Ideal for programmers and system administrators
  • Large repositories of open-source tools and software

Download: You can download Debian GNU/Linux here.

3) Ubuntu

Next in our list of the top 8 Linux distros for developers is Ubuntu, another widely used and most popular Linux distro. It is perfectly suitable for all kinds of users including newbies and professionals.


Ubuntu LTS provides a stable and trusted development environment for developers, since they don’t to worry about upgrading the distro every 6-12 months.
Ubuntu comes loaded with a host of tutorials, manuals, how-to guides and other resources aimed at helping the programming community.


  • User-friendly
  • Compatible with Android Open-Source Project
  • Excellent community support
  • Stable development environment
  • Vast set of tutorials and guides

Download: You can download Ubuntu here.

4) Fedora Workstation

Fedora is another popular community-driven distro that comes in various editions to satisfy different kinds of users. If you are looking for a distro that supports developers, then Fedora Workstation is an excellent choice.


It comes packed with a lot of tools to provide an excellent development environment. Fedora workstation provides support for smart auto-configs and updated packages conducive for programming.


  • Community-driven
  • Owned by Red Hat
  • Cutting-edge Linux distro
  • Open-source components

Download: You can download Fedora Workstation here.

5)  openSUSE

Next in our list of the top 8 linux distros for developers is openSUSE, a LTS release that guarantees stability. Another highlight of openSUSE is that it is a YAST package management which makes it easy for developers to automate tasks easily.

Even though openSUSE is not a popular distro like Ubuntu and Fedora, it provides an excellent development environment for developers. It is available in two versions namely, openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed. While Leap is a stable release version, Tumbleweed is rolling release distro.



  • Ideal for programmers
  • Available in stable and rolling release version
  • Powerful configuration tool

Download: You can download openSUSE here.

6) CentOS Stream

CentOS Stream is a rolling release distro that enables developers to stay a step ahead as they will have clear view of next version of RHEL. CentOS Stream is mainly aimed at providing a helping hand to ecosystem developers to allow them write code for hardware drivers quite easily.


Application developers will also be happy as they will get a test bed to test their applications and make it ready for future RHEL versions. Hence, the developers will be able to keep pace with the latest developments and trends in the open-source ecosystem. The CentOS Stream repositories are packed with all the apps and tools to quicken the development process.


  • Stable rolling release
  • Development-friendly distro
  • Ideal for ecosystem developers

Download: You can download CentOS Stream here

7) Elementary OS


Elementary OS is a distro that is based on Ubuntu and one of the best-looking distros available. It is also one of the best distros that helps developers in a big way as it is lightweight and fast.

The workspace allow you to easily switch between application making it easy for developers. Elementary OS provides complete access to their source allowing developers to play with it as per their requirements.

Elementary OS is not available for free to download, but you can pay whatever you want and download the distro easily.


  • User-friendly
  • Lightweight and quick
  • Productive distro

Download:  You can download Elementary OS here.

8) Raspberry Pi OS

Raspberry Pi OS, formerly known as Raspbian is another developer-friendly Linux distro that is packed with a rich set of features. Raspberry Pi comes loaded with a large set of programming tools like Python, Geany, BlueJ, Scratch and Mathematica etc.


Raspberry Pi is ideally suited for new coders as it allows learning programming easily. It also comes with a huge library consisting of excellent documentation and how-to articles to allow programmers to make the development process much easier.


  • Ideal for new programmers
  • Packed with a lot documentation and how-to guides
  • Easy to use

Download: You can download Raspberry Pi OS here.


While there are many Linux distros available, we’ve chosen only the best of the lot in our list of the top 8 Linux distros for developers. Linux distros are very useful for developers because you don’t need a software license as you can download and start using it right away.

If you need, you can make changes in the source-code and customize it according to your requirements. Moreover, Linux expertise is in great demand and if you are new, you need to get started now with Linux development as it surely will help grow your career.

Please provide your thoughts and comments in the feedback section below. Thank You!!!

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