Best Linux Distributions of the Decade (2000-2009)

Posted by jun auza On 2/09/2010
We've seen plenty of "Best of the Decade" lists around, but not one is related to Linux distribution. So it's only fitting that we will give credit to the best Linux distros that dominated the last decade (2000-2009), or most part of it.


One of the best ways to measure a Linux distribution's caliber is to look at its popularity. Since Distrowatch is the only site that religiously measures the popularity of distros through its "Page Hit Ranking" system, let's take a look at first at some of its data gathered from 2002-2009.

Distrowatch Distro Rankings (2002-2009)

2002
1. Mandrake (Mandriva)
2. Red Hat
3. Gentoo
4. Debian
5. Sorcerer
6. SuSE
7. Slackware
8. Lycoris
9. Lindows
10. Xandros

2003
1. Mandrake
2. Red Hat
3. Knoppix
4. Gentoo
5. Debian
6. Yoper
7. SUSE
8. Slackware
9. Lycoris
10. Xandros

2004
1. Mandrakelinux (Mandriva)
2. Fedora
3. KNOPPIX
4. SUSE
5. Debian
6. MEPIS
7. Gentoo
8. Slackware
9. PCLinuxOS
10. Damn Small

2005
1. Ubuntu
2. Mandriva
3. SUSE
4. Fedora
5. MEPIS
6. Debian
7. KNOPPIX
8. Damn Small
9. Gentoo
10. Slackware


2006
1. Ubuntu
2. openSUSE
3. Fedora
4. MEPIS
5. Mandriva
6. Damn Small
7. Debian
8. PCLinuxOS
9. Slackware
10. Gentoo

2007
1. Ubuntu
2. PCLinuxOS
3. openSUSE
4. Fedora
5. Sabayon
6. Mint
8. MEPIS
9. Mandriva
10. Damn Small

2008
1. Ubuntu
2. openSUSE
3. Mint
4. Fedora
5. PCLinuxOS
6. Debian
7. Mandriva
8. Dreamlinux
9. Sabayon
10. Damn Small

2009
1. Ubuntu
2. Fedora
3. Mint
4. openSUSE
5. Debian
6. Mandriva
7. Puppy
8. PCLinuxOS
9. Sabayon
10. Arch

With a rough estimate based on the Distrowatch rankings, here are the best Linux distros from 2002-2009:

1. Ubuntu
2. Mandriva
3. openSUSE
4. Fedora
5. Debian
6. Mint
7. Gentoo
8. Slackware
9. Damn Small
10. MEPIS

You may also want to see this graph from Google Trends:


I think there's no doubt that Ubuntu is the best Linux distribution of the last decade. It started its ascend in 2005, and from then on its popularity has been astounding. But to those of you who don't agree with me (or with the stats), you may cast your votes below.


You can also share with us your thoughts via comment.


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