The 9 Best Obscure Linux Distros You Probably Didn’t Know About – MUO – MakeUseOf

If you’re looking for obscure operating systems to install and test on your machine, here’s a list of some of the best unknown Linux distros.
The open-source Linux kernel has spawned some excellent distros over time. Unfortunately, not all of these names have managed to turn heads around.
Despite their limited outreach, each distro mentioned below continues to have its own merits, which makes them special in their own unique way. If you are an unconventional user looking for some not-so-common, obscure Linux distros, then read on for some options.
Calculate Linux finds use among patrons for open-source software testing and server-side computing. The distro has several versions: Calculate Linux Scratch, Calculate Scratch Server, and Calculate Directory Server with proactive dev support.
Calculate comes with KDE, Xfce, Cinnamon, and Mate desktop; you can try each one for size. Each flavor has excellent out-of-the-box software support as well.
Some pros of Calculate Linux are:
Some drawbacks of using Calculate Linux include:
Download: Calculate Linux
Freespire is a Debian/Ubuntu-based OS featuring an Xfce desktop environment. Recently, GNOME has been added to the list of environments that ship with the distro. Freespire extends Ubuntu’s support cycle by offering users the latest software components and an updated Linux kernel.
Some advantages of using Freespire are:
A few of Freespire's cons include:
Download: FreeSpire Linux
Related: The Best Linux Distros for Windows Users
4MLinux is also one of the best live, portable distros, thanks to its fundamental four tenets: maintenance, multimedia, mini server, and mystery. This uncommon Linux distro is well-suited for hands-on Linux-based multimedia tasking, gaming, and server hosting.
Users can use it as a bootable rescue CD for maintenance and repairs. 4MLinux, as a Linux distro, can be set up as a multimedia computing environment for desktop execution on a broad array of hardware configurations. You can also use it as a 64-bit server with added LAMP functionalities.
Some pros of 4MLinux are:
A few of 4MLinux's cons include:
Download: 4MLinux
antiX is a Debian-based Linux distro launched for premium-grade OS experiences running on low configuration systems. antiX's extensive documentation helps Linux newcomers quickly acquaint themselves with the SpaceFM desktop environment.
Users can easily avail updates via the apt-get package manager and Debian-compatible repositories. Besides bootable OS image downloads, this is one of the few distros that actively promotes live CD installations.
Some pros worth a mention include:
Some cons of antiX include:
Download: antiX
In its latest iteration, Q4OS presents an operating system that can run many resource-intensive applications without stressing out low-config systems. The distro even renders dual-booting and third-party installations for apps with different processing builds.
Q4OS packs a punch with innovative features like the Trinity desktop environment, a Unix-related desktop, usually not supported on Linux distros.
Here are some reasons to try Q4OS:
One of the most extensive cons is the limited options available in the app center. You would need the command line or Synaptic Package Manager for extra installations on Q4OS.
Download: Q4OS
MakuluLinux was released to deliver fast and user-friendly computing, wrapped within a familiar UI, using Debian Testing. The distro invites users with a stable and customizable distro.
Makulu has four specific desktop environments: Cinnamon, standard & customizable Xfce, and GNOME. Makulu’s support for dedicated GPU enhancements and dev-friendly pre-installed software ecosystem makes it an ideal open-source operating system.
Some pros of MakuluLinux include:
Some drawbacks of installing MakuluLinux are:
Download: MakuluLinux
SystemRescue is a maintenance and repair-centric, live Arch Linux-based distro. It’s replete with system repair, boot repair, driver repair, and data rescue tools to repair regular workstations and server infrastructure.
Some pros of SystemRescue are:
Some cons include:
Download: SystemRescue
Related: The Best Linux Distros for Power Users
Devuan is a Debian distro that eschews the systemd service manager in favor of Init Freedom. This Linux distro excels with its stable builds and aesthetic UI.
Devuan is self-proclaimed as a fully-stocked, stable, and fast Linux distribution which allows users to reclaim control over their systems.
Here are some reasons why you should try out Devuan:
Some cons of the distro include:
Download: Devuan
Bluestar comes in three versions to offer us a picturesque, clutter-free desktop environment: Desktop, Deskpro, and Developer.
Users can look forward to a web-centric, richly bundled app ecosystem that makes Bluestar a versatile, open-source distro to have.
Some pros of Bluestar Linux are as follows:
Download: Bluestar
The Linux ecosystem offers a lot of distro options, each of which caters to specific user needs. Nonetheless, each distro continues to be upgraded, so that they can offer the best features to the end-users. So which distro are you choosing today?
Gaurav Siyal has two years of writing experience, writing for a series of digital marketing firms and software lifecycle documents.
Join our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free ebooks, and exclusive deals!


Compare items
  • Total (0)