What is DistroWatch? DistroWatch is a website dedicated to talking about, reviewing and keeping up to date with open source operating systems. This site particularly focuses on Linux distributions and flavours of BSD, though other open source operating systems are sometimes discussed. There is a lot of information out there on Linux distributions and this site tries to collect and present that information in a consistent manner to make it easier to locate.
The front page of DistroWatch primarily features release announcements of new versions of Linux distributions as well as links to reviews, podcasts and newsletters about open source operating systems. While our weekly newsletter, DistroWatch Weekly, contains hands-on reviews of new distribution releases along with a summary of new developments in the open source community.
DistroWatch features a number of resources for experienced Linux users, including an index of the hundreds of Linux distributions and BSD projects, distribution news and developments, information on key open source components and packages, and a package comparison page to assist in doing side-by-side software comparisons of distributions. If you are looking for a Linux distribution with specific features, chances are you can find it on our Search page.
DistroWatch also includes several resources for newcomers, including a glossary of commonly used open source terms, a summary of the major Linux distributions, a cross-distro guide to managing software packages, an archive of useful tips and a collection of questions and answers from other beginners.
We also maintain a list of places where people can purchase computers and computer hardware which will be compatible with Linux and BSD.
History: The DistroWatch web site was first published on 31 May 2001. The concept started as a very simple table comprising of 5 major distributions and the chart only compared a few features (price, version, release date) and a few package versions (Linux kernel, KDE, GNOME, XFree86, Apache). In trying to make it slightly more comprehensive and useful, more distributions, features and packages were added until the table reached a fairly reasonable state in terms of information provided. At that stage, the table was moved from a spreadsheet into an HTML document and it was shared with the Linux community worldwide.
DistroWatch.com is a product of Unsigned Integer Limited. Over the years many people have helped to build and expand the site, notably Ladislav Bodnar (founder), Dr Zhu Wen Tao, Jesse Smith, Robert Storey, Caitlyn Martin and Susan Linton, to mention the most active ones. If you would like to join or help in some way, please see our Contributing page.