If we spend any time in the Linux community, we hear many opinions as to which of the many Linux distributions is “best.” Often, these discussions get really silly, focusing on such things as the prettiness of the desktop background (some people won’t use Ubuntu because of its default color scheme!) and other trivial matters.

The most important determinant of distribution quality is the packaging system and the vitality of the distribution’s support community. As we spend more time with Linux, we will see that its software landscape is extremely dynamic. Things are constantly changing. Most of the top-tier Linux distributions ...

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