Networking & Systems Grad looking at switching to Linux

Hey Guys I’m a recent grad from a networking and systems course. I mainly did a whole lot of virtualization with CentOS and Windows based clients/servers, I also mainly do network design and Cisco switch programming. I run a i7 6700K, GTX 970, 16GB DDR4, and a Z170x-Gaming 3 Mobo(Gigabyte).

My experience is pretty limited with Linux, ie; CentOS. I did a whole lot of terminal work on it with networking (turning a server into a router), setting up services, doing administrative tasks, some security, setting up local repo’s for software, building sandboxed work-spaces, and imaging through CentOS. Nothing too extreme.

Outside of experimenting and work, I play video games.

From an actual general use side, I’ve never done anything, only technical work.

I’m finding my self often frustrated with Window’s 10’s lack of hardware passthrough, inconsequential issues with navigating menus, and frustrations with overhead.

I’ve heard a whole lot about Manjaro, Pop’OS, Elementary OS, and Ubuntu but never really played with them. Are any of them objectively different for virtualization, network design software for diagrams, piecing together word documents, and gaming? Are they stable? Do they work well for someone who works as a IT professional?

Different distros tend to use different network management tools. But most of them will use NetworkManager. They should run KVM the same, barring any issues with non-sane defaults depending on the distro; kvm is kvm. If most of your experience is with CentOS, I would suggest fedora instead of those as it will be more familiar; that and it’s a very good distro.

Well the distro doesn’t matter all that much, they’re basically just the same with different package release cycles.

Manjaro is Arch, so it’s rolling and bleeding edge.
The rest are all Ubuntu so no huge differences there.

Virtualizations hsould be the same across the board.

Try out Fedora, it’s in the rpm family you’re most likely faniliar with, and also, yes it is stable as in it doesn’t break.
But if you want stable as in ‘doesn’t change’, well, maybe look at rhel or back at centos.
They are ancient as far as package management goes tho.