Let’s analyse certain major Linux distros and their anticipated purpose:
1) Ubuntu: Ubuntu was once considered as the standard Linux distribution for beginners, but due to Ubuntu Unity, that title no longer belongs to Ubuntu, but that doesn’t mean it is useless. Very soon, Ubuntu is likely to emerge with the first trustworthy Linux tablet
2) Linux Mint: This is the effective standard for beginners. Linux Mint introduced great and user friendly features in Ubuntu and enhanced GNOME 3- a combination that provided an incredible environment for beginners as well as old users of Linux.
3) Fedora: If you want an advanced version of Linux, go for Fedora. Even those, looking for pure take on GNOME 3, opt for Fedora.
4) Debian: Debian is for you, especially if you’re aiming at a good development environment. It’s the distro Ubuntu was based upon and certainly a solid flavor of Linux. It’s easy to manage too due to its apt package management system.
5) Puppy Linux: This small Linux distro is used with a low-powered machine or address a specific purpose such as running VirtualBox virtual machines, network scanning, or hard disk rescue.
6) openSUSE: It’s a tough one with KDE and solid system admin tool. Opt for this one, if ytou are looking for multi-lingual support.
7) CentOS: If you are looking for the significant power of enterprise Linux but without paying for Red Hat Linux, you can go for CentOS. It can handle, mail servers, web servers, DNS, DHCP, and so on.
8) Red Hat Linux: This is the distribution for enterprise and corporate environments. Not only this, this is the first Linux company that made a serious profit. With Red Hat Linux , you get good amount of support and some proprietary software to make the task of managing server/network/environment much easier.
9) Gentoo: Gentoo is an OS that comprises several packages as Debian do. Though it doesn’t comes in pre-compiled type, but you need to compile every-time for every system. It is ideal for learning and to know internal working of a Linux OS.
10) Damn Vulnerable Linux: Vulnerable Linux (DVL) is intentionally packed with broken, ill-configured, obsolete, and usable software that makes it susceptible to attacks. This is meant for training Linux Admins.
11) Arch Linux: Arch is a systematic release OS, where one time installation is enough and you can upgrade a distro with a new version without going for fresh install. Arch is created to be kept simple from Developer’s point of view enables you to understand every detail of a Linux System.
12) Kali Linux: Kali Linux is based on Debian and enables penetration testing. Recently released, its predecessor was Backtrack. Kali is available with various penetration tools, be it Wi-Fi or Database or any other tools. Kali makes use of APT for Package Management.