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Which Linux distro's are valuable to learn for the Enterprise?


Hey All, I have recently decided to go full Linux for my PC, and I am trying to decide which distro to run as my daily driver.

I have experience with Ubuntu/Mint primarily, with some experience with Manjaro/Antergos (couldn’t do Arch the Arch way). Right now I am running MX Linux 17, and I definitely like it for it’s simplicity and ease of use.

I am just starting my IT career and I am trying to figure out which distro’s translate well to the Enterprise. Should I be running straight Debian, or is something like Fedora or CentOS more useful later in my career?

[As of right now I am just starting help desk, potentially moving into Cyber Security, but not tied down anywhere.]


Red Hat, CentOS are pretty much primary.

You might see a few Ubuntu’s around, or the occasional Debian unless the place was set up originally by a Debian guy then it’ll all be Debian.

funny feeling you’d see a little more SUSE in Europe, but I’ve no idea. In the UK. RHEL and CentOS.

You can get a free license for RHEL for one physical machine, or two virtual machines so you can use it directly, or just use CentOS as its almost identical.

What do you mean by running? If for your desktop, use what you like (Fedora is nice… :stuck_out_tongue: ). Run up a VM for your server OS’ for example. Depends what you want to get out of it.


RHEL is one of the archaic distros you should learn :stuck_out_tongue:

But seriously @Eden is right there with CentOS.


By running I generally mean fooling around with and experimenting. My computer right now is an MX Linux 17 VM, but I have room to run a few others alongside it to experiment. So MX is my daily driver desktop, but I can run other distros with or without a GUI just to try and learn.


What do you want to get out of running enterprise used distros? You mention cyber security, anything in particular you’re looking at? I (and others) might be able to give some suggestions on things you should do with your test systems.


Enterprise is all RHEL now, but something like CoreOS might come up from behind pretty soon. You do need some basic sysadmin knowledge, but I would focus on learning Kubernates right now.


As Red Hat bought CoreOS, and have project atomic in the works, id say this is a certainty. Though will likely always be separate from RHEL.


Specifically I don’t have anything in mind. In my experience when I have fooled around with different distro’s I would eventually look up and find a solution, but I haven’t had a great foundation to start with (I have a Linux+ book but I don’t have the time to study at the moment). So I am more looking for a distribution that can teach me the fundamentals of Linux, while also giving me skills that are applicable in the Enterprise.

For example, I am using unRAID to make VM’s, and I am not doing it myself. This has caused me some grief here and there when I need to edit XML files or change different things but I have unRAID in the way. On the other hand, I don’t even know how to start my own VM server so I can bypass it. Stuff like that.

Maybe my question should have been phrased as ‘Which distro will give me a proper understanding of concepts that I will see in the Enterprise?’.

Is CoreOS something like finding Server 2004 on my A+ exam? Where I shouldn’t really see it, but in case I run into it I should have a rough understanding of how to use it?


No, CoreOS is a stripped-down Linux distribution intended to run everything in containers. It’s where the future is going. That ties in with Kubernates also.

Any Linux distro will give you basic sysadmin experience, and you do need that foundation to do more interesting (and lucrative) stuff. Yes Debian does things a bit differently than Redhat, but the difference between rpm and apt is no biggie.


Noted. Is Arch only going to be seen on the desktop side? I imagine most Enterprise environments won’t want a rolling release because they can’t risk it.

Like QubeOS, but with less software to begin with?


Nobody uses Arch in the enterprise but again, it’s fine for getting that basic sysadmin experience.

Qubes is completely different, it aims to be a full-on desktop distro that isolates everything in its own VM. If you find that interesting, it’s a fine choice to learn Linux too. But it’s kinda weird, so it has less in common with RHEL than the other ones.


Open Suse would also be a decent distro to poke arround at.
Open Suse is the public available version of Suse Linux Enterprise.

Its similar to what Fedora and Centos are to Redhat.



Redhat, Suse, Ubuntu, and Debian are whats going to be used in an enterprise environment.

Employers will ask if you have CentOS experience because they don’t expect you to buy the actual redhat distro.

Fedora, CentOS, Ubuntu, Opensuse, Kali linux (since you are looking at cyber security), and Clear linux would all be great distros to get your feet wet with.

Focus on Fedora or CentOS because those are probably the most widely required distros to have experience with.


Yeah not sure if there are any available global statistics of which,
Distributions are used the most in certain industries.
But Suse Linux Enterprise, Redhat or Ubuntu / Debian is probablly what you are going to find mostlly.


Thank you all so much for your pointers. while I am thinking of it, does anyone here see or use Parrot OS in the field?


I mean TBH you should just learn linux and the package managers and the rest just kinda melts into view as you go along.


The market share is something like 70% RHEL ( centOS ) 20% Ubuntu/Debian 10% SLES ( openSUSE ).
There are a few sources on the internet and some say opensuse is ob second place and some say that Debian or Ubuntu are on second place for me it doesn’t actually matter.

I would recommend you to go with CentOS for starters and then take a look on the others.
OpenSUSE uses rpm too so it may be a good second, and then check deb/ubuntu.

Kali Linux is a must understand as it has a lot of hacking tools by default.

Also cant give you now some links but check out the hacker manifesto and the tutorial how to hack by. … man I forgot his name. Will link when I get home.


The word on the street is EU uses SUSE but I have never come across it. Never found anyone in the enterprise running Ubuntu or Debian either.

Everybody is on some version of RHEL, whether that be Redhat, CentOS, or (rarely) something like Oracle Linux or Scientific Linux.



RHEL has a developer account that you can sign up for that gives you access to a the ISOs and a free subscription.


Yeah this is what I want referring to earlier. It’s valid for one physical machine or two virtual, you need to renew it around once a year (still free, just requires the renewal of the license)