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7 Unknown Linux Distros that Emerged Winner in 2023

Distributions that caught your attention in 2023!

distros winner 2023

Every year we have some exciting new distributions that try to do things differently, or offer something meaningful, than being “just another distro”.

Similarly, in 2023, we have had distributions that got everyone's attention even if they are not as popular as some of the best Linux distributions.

If you have been following us, you probably know that there were a bunch of new immutable Linux distributions as well. Unfortunately, not all of them emerged as winners for the year.

So, what were some successful distro reveals this year? Let me highlight the best ones:

1. Vanilla OS

Vanilla OS is an immutable distribution based on Ubuntu.

It is not like any other Ubuntu-based distribution. You can choose to game on it, create development work environments, or just use it as a daily driver for work with good reliability.

You can configure your system to your heart's desire, and not break the experience.

Even though immutability can be a new concept for many, Vanilla OS presents an easy-to-use user experience while trying interesting things under-the-hood.

2. XeroLinux

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XeroLinux will be archived later in 2024 and the pre-configured tweaks will be available as a tool kit for anyone to use on any Arch-based distribution.

XeroLinux gives newbies a good chance to have a beautiful Arch Linux system without any hassle.

Sure, if you have never used Linux distributions, it may not a suitable starting choice for you. However, if you know that you need some help with using Arch Linux on your system, XeroLinux lets you do that beautifully.

Not just having a good out-of-the-box look, but also giving you the fine grain ability to customize the experience.

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3. Ubuntu Unity

ubuntu unity

Started as an unofficial Unity-powered Ubuntu remix to promote the revival of Unity7 desktop environment, Ubuntu Unity is now one of the official Ubuntu flavors.

It shined through in 2023 where some Linux users got a taste of the Unity desktop environment (which was the default for Ubuntu years before 17.10).

4. Crystal Linux

crystal linux

An Arch-based distribution that packs in the GNOME desktop. Crystal Linux aims to utilize the latest technologies while providing a familiar user interface.

If you are someone who wants to experience a customized GNOME experience on top of an Arch distribution, Crystal Linux is the answer. At the time of writing, it is still in its beta phase.

However, it includes all the essentials to help you get started for a daily driver experience (though I would recommend you not to use it in production).

5. Bazzite

bazzite

Bazzite is a Fedora-based Linux distribution that makes it easier for you to game on your desktop or Steam Deck.

With the inclusion of proprietary graphics drivers and pre-installed apps like Mission Center and Discover Overlay, it makes it an interesting experience to get started.

You can choose the set of apps to install as per your purpose (streaming, gaming, etc).

In contrast to other Linux distributions, it comes with support for various gaming hardware like Xbox Controller, Razer devices, and more.

Bazzite: A Distro for Linux Gaming on Steam Deck and PCs
Gear up for gaming on Linux desktop or the Steam Deck. That sounds exciting!

6. Fedora Asahi Remix

Every one of us has had our eyes on the Asahi Linux project to make Linux possible on Apple Silicon.

And, they have managed to do it, starting with Fedora Asahi Remix as their flagship distribution. If you want to use Linux on top of your latest Apple Silicon device, you can install Fedora Asahi Remix.

It comes packed with KDE Plasma desktop, with an option to use GNOME 45, and other customization options to get you started.

Not to forget, you get a Wayland-only experience with support for X11 apps using XWayland.

7. CachyOS

I know right? A lot of Arch-based distros did succeed getting the attention in 2023.

And, CachyOS is yet another one.

Unlike others, it purely focuses on providing you a fast, optimized Linux experience, along with security improvements. CachyOS utilizes the advanced BORE Scheduler and kernels compiled with optimized instructions and LTO for giving you the best performance.

It may not be a beginner-friendly distro, but you can get started by choosing various desktop environments, including some window managers as well.

Suggested Read 📖

Xplorer: Not Just a Pretty Open-Source File Manager!
For a change, do you want to a try a new file manager? Xplorer is an interesting project to look at!

Wrapping Up

It if often the underrated distribution that manages to present something exciting and useful for Linux users. You never know, right?

Sure, for the majority, it is safer to stick with popular Linux distributions. However, if you are looking to try something different for a change, lesser-known distros could give you a breath of fresh air.

💬 What will be your pick among the list? Do you think we missed any of your favorites?


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