Top 5 Key Linux Distros for the Enterprise: Red Hat, Ubuntu, & More

Today, every IT professional will assure you that Linux is a comfortable operating system to work with. It runs file servers, print servers, content delivery systems, global caching servers, data archives, VPN servers. 

We can confidently say that most of the hardware in your company runs on Linux. According to Statista, the Linux operating system for software engineering developers is the second most popular operating system in the production environment.

Why is Linux so popular?

The popularity of Linux has grown because Linux-based servers perform well in a cloud server. It is convenient for large development teams — programmers can build their applications on Linux desktops to run in a consistent environment. 

Server administrators and programmers can also find a flexible Linux approach to their work. Even for ordinary home computers, this system is becoming more and more attractive.

Another essential advantage of Linux over other systems such as Windows and Apple is its low cost. In addition, basic Linux is an open-source OS with more customization options.

In this article, we’ll take a look at a few unique Linux options.

But first, let’s find out.

How do Linux distros work?

It is not difficult to understand how they work if you know that Linux is based on the Linux kernel. And this kernel is the main component that performs operations such as memory and disk management. 

This kernel acts as an interface that connects the computer’s hardware and processes. In this way, the software can interact with physical resources. That being said, IT administrators can choose from a variety of enterprise Linux distributions. The distribution consists of a Linux kernel and supporting system software, libraries, and tools. Supporting components allow you to use the kernel and, as a result, the underlying hardware as needed by the administrator.

Interestingly, Linux distributions can be very different from each other. Some distributions are known to be based on other distributions, in which case they add their functionality to the OS. Famous enterprise Linux distributions include Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Ubuntu, Debian, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Arch Linux, and Linux Mint.


Ubuntu is one of the most famous Linux distros. In the Forbes article, it is written that this is a convenient and attractive system that always works reliably on any device. Not surprisingly, Ubuntu has a polished desktop environment that supports HD touchscreen functionality and an interface translated into over 50 languages. The Ubuntu distribution includes several productivity applications such as an office productivity suite, a browser, an email program, a built-in firewall, and antivirus protection. Conveniently, anyone who wants to can download, use and distribute Ubuntu for free. There are several plans with paid features and support levels.

2.Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Red Hat was initially focused more on business applications. As a result, many Red Hat servers reside in corporate data centers. 

Techcrunch notes that RHEL’s legacy business is still growing at 14 percent, but its new cloud and container technologies are growing like thugs by 40 percent, and he says this is positive for revenues. Linux (RHEL). It is a solid choice for desktop deployments and is more stable and secure than a typical Microsoft Windows installation.

The standard RHEL Desktop configuration includes integrated email, calendar, contact management, a suite of office applications, and virtualization capabilities.

3.Linux Mint

Linux Mint is designed for desktop use and not for enterprise deployments. But it is impossible not to mention this in the context of Linux systems, since

Linux Mint is one of the most straightforward Linux desktop environments. 

The current version of Mint, based on the proprietary and popular Cinnamon window manager, is based on Ubuntu and Debian Linux distributions. There is no paid or enterprise-grade support in Linux Mint, so companies that adopt this version of Linux receive internal support themselves. 

Thus, while Mint is not ideal for personal and confidential documents and data, it can still minimize user support costs for other staff.

4.SUSE Linux 

SUSE offers both server and desktop configurations for its enterprise Linux software. Since Linux is an open and flexible platform, virtually any application available on one enterprise Linux desktop platform is likely known to everyone else. 

Thus, SUSE also integrates with Microsoft Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange and works with Novell GroupWise.

In terms of security, AppArmor’s intelligent SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop effectively creates a firewall around each application so that even if users inadvertently launch something malicious, it will not infect their system or the enterprise as a whole.


Another handy tool for many enterprise Linux distributions is the Fedora Project, a community-driven project sponsored by Red Hat. The project offers two distributions: Fedora Server and Fedora Workstation.

Moreover, both are built on the same platform, but Fedora Workstation is made for the desktop, with an open-source OS for administrators, power users, and developers.

How to choose the proper Linux distribution?

We have described in the article only some probably the most popular Linux distributions. But there are many more enterprise Linux distributions to choose from, such as OpenSUSE, Kali Linux, Elementary OS, and Manjaro, and each OS has some significant differences from the others. When a corporation has to decide which Linux distribution of working with, it is essential to consider several factors:

  • Service cost. Free settings are not always enough, and the cost may vary from version to version. For some organizations, support and service fees may pay off compared to the labor costs of ongoing maintenance. If a support contract is truly worth the investment, organizations should carefully review and compare plans.


  • Frequency of distribution’s update. Depending on the work intensity in your dedicated development team, you need to know how often the organization supports the distribution and releases updates. In addition, they should check what types of management tools are included in the OS and how well the OS can integrate with their current environment.


  • The current system on the server. Choosing the same distribution for desktops can result in a more consistent OS experience across all platforms. In addition, the IT department needs to check what hardware each enterprise Linux distribution supports and what security features each distribution includes.