Top 5 Best Linux Distributions for Coders and Developers in 2021

The Linux operating system or Linux Distributions is probably the favorite system of programmers and developers. It’s easy to use if you are experienced enough, and it includes tons of specialized tools for software development – and yeah, it’s free!

Any developer can start working with any Linux Distribution, but it’s true that there are some that are better suited for this purpose; either for its stability, its default tools, or security, in GNU/Linux you won’t miss anything.

Linux can work on anything from servers to an old laptop to a Raspberry Pi – that’s what we’d call flexibility.

Then, if you are excited to start programming on this great operating system, is enough of blah blah; let’s see which is the best Linux distro by category and according to your needs.

5 Best Distributions of Linux for Developers

For beginners

1. Ubuntu: Ubuntu is an excellent option for beginners. It includes an easy to use desktop interface and the system is automatically updated. You can also find it on computers, smartphones, and tablets – in fact, Android builds are regularly tested using the latest versions of Ubuntu.

This distro also includes the “Snapcraft” tool that allows developers to write applications in different programming languages, so you can choose the one you prefer, or create a mixed development environment.


  • Fixed release cycles with good support periods.
  • Great documentation.
  • General distribution with a very large community.
  • Big repositories and a wide variety of ready-to-install apps.
  • The Linux distro that has more compatible drivers already compiled.


  • Excessive dependency on Debian.
  • The non-LTS versions only have 9 months of support.

For experts

2. Arch Linux: A modular distribution in which you start from scratch and have to add the components you want. It’s not beginner-friendly and uses Pacman, its own package manager. Arch is probably the Linux distro for programmers and developers with the highest level of specialization.

In Arch Linux you are who must choose which parts you want to install, so you can customize the entire pack for the use you are going to give it. This way you can reduce the possibilities of anything interfering with your coding – definitely not for beginners.


  • Excellent software management.
  • Precise and super customized system adjustments.
  • Continuous update system.
  • Impressive documentation library.


  • Possible bugs and instability during updates due to its rolling releases.
  • High level of knowledge.

For stability

3. Debian: It is a surely stable and 100% free Linux distro. Debian is for stands out for the “.deb” package management system for its APT. It’s one of the very important Linux Distributions that currently used by a big company like Ubuntu.

Every program that’s included in a Debian distro must comply first with certain guidelines; every package is carefully tested to gain inclusion in the distro, decreasing the chances of system instability.

This methodical way of selection and testing makes this distro a good option for programmers.


  • Great stability.
  • Intense development with great quality control.
  • Huge library of packages in its repositories.
  • Support for many processor architectures.


  • Long time between stable versions.
  • Very conservative distribution kit.
  • Relatively old kernel version.
  • The democratic management of your projects leads to ambiguous solutions, which could paralyze the development.

For business environment and security

4. Fedora: Fedora is using the base core system of the Red Hat Linux distro. It’s mainly targeted to business environments and has multiple versions like a desktop for user-friendly, servers, and cloud-based systems, but the distro also known for its security thanks to its Secured Enhanced Linux (SELinux).

On the other hand, Fedora is also very easy to configure and install distro with a very active support community behind it.


  • Constant innovations.
  • Native Docker support.
  • Excellent security features.
  • Superextensive compatible package library.


  • It is focused on solving corporate problems, not on the bugs of personal computers.

Linux Distributions for security

5. Kali Linux: Kali is a Debian-based distro that stands out for offering a great number of tools for security. It comes in handy when you are developing a web app for example, and you want to test it against different types of attacks.

Kali also works well on devices like the Raspberry Pi and it’s perfect to use as a support or “backup” system – just in case.

It also includes a kernel with security patches to enhance even more the security level.


  • Excellent to test apps against different types of attacks.
  • Huge variety of security tools.
  • It also works on devices like the Raspberry Pi.


  • It can be unstable sometimes, depending on what you are doing.
  • You might feel stunned by the great number of software tools it includes.

In this article, I described and summarise the Top 5 Best Linux Distributions for Coders and Developers in the year 2020 and 2021. It is suitable for you if you are a beginner programmer or developer in which you can decide what distro you would like to use.

Let me know in the comment below if you have some recommendations about the Best Linux Distributions for Coders and Developers and share this article if you find this is helpful stay connected at Marjun.Net. Have a good day!

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