These are (some of) the most difficult Linux Distros to install and use

Different Linux distros is not (normally) difficult to install and use. It could have been at the beginning, when its orientation was more focused on the technical field, but for years there have been many distros that have done a great job of paving the way and making their interface much easier for users who do not have great computer skills.

But of course, not everything is Linux Mint or Ubuntu in this world . There are certain distributions whose complexity is higher, although Linux From Scratch rises above all of them , which is not even a distribution: it is an installation guide that allows you to compile and install each Linux component you want to make a system tailored.

The typical discussion of who has it bigger (the difficulty)

These kinds of debates about who beats who or who does this or that better are our daily bread in Linux. Legendary flame wars like the ones between vi against emacs or KDE against GNOME are a good example of this.

Of course those wars also affect the Linux distros themselves. There are many users who are very loyal to distributions who use only one distribution and defend it to the death , although it is also true that others enjoy the so-called ” distrohopping “, continually changing distro to try different “aromas”.

Linux mint

The truth is that this variety of opinions is normal, especially considering that according to Distrowatch – today there are 276 active distributions (almost 600 have remained along the way) that give their users all kinds of flavors and colors.

There are more technical and less technical, more spartan or with more fireworks , oriented to video games or pentesting, and, in short, distributions for practically any type of user.

And if you can’t find yours, you can always build your own from scratch or – as many do – from an established base like Debian or Ubuntu itself, which has some official forks and numerous unofficial forks.

Harder still

Although all of them have their own personality, there are Linux distros that seem, as we said, specially designed for more advanced users and who enjoy certain challenges when it comes to customizing and configuring them.

Precisely on Reddit they debated it a few weeks ago and took advantage of a famous XKCD comic strip that they modified to indicate which Linux distributions were the most complex.

The strip in the image is not the one that appeared in the original strip, which is this one, but it certainly winked at an issue that has long been the subject of more or less serious dialectical battles between fans of these distributions.

Making a classification of the most complex distributions is difficult, but if we are guided by that image what is clear is that Linux Mint, enormously popular, is according to some one of the easiest distributions to use. It is based on Ubuntu , which is perhaps “a bit” more difficult in some sections.

In that particular comic ranking then Debian would arrive , which is the distribution from which Ubuntu actually started and which continues to maintain a halo of “technical distribution” due to its seniority.


Arch Linux is a different aspect that can be somewhat strange for traditional users of Debian distros (Ubuntu and other derivatives included), but the truth is that it is simply “different” from them in issues such as its package manager or installation, which is done (God forbid) in text mode. To solve it, yes, variants like Manjaro appeared that allowed you to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Slackware could be situated along these lines, the oldest distribution of all and which is famous for being updated much less frequently but also for having fewer security vulnerabilities. Its installation is of course somewhat more complex, but those who use it value it as a spectacular distribution.

Kids, don’t try these Linux Distros at home

The one that is already beginning to be a real challenge for many is Gentoo, a Linux distribution (or meta-distribution, as some call it) based on source code packages that we must compile to customize the system and adjust it as much as possible to the machine on which we are installing this operating system.

But above all of them is Linux From Scratch (LFS), which for a certain Linux audience is not even a common distribution. It is more of a Linux system installation guide that allows you to build a Linux system from source code. It goes further than Gentoo, and that means that compact, flexible and secure distributions can also be achieved that also have another advantage: you will learn a lot by installing these systems.

We want things easier or more difficult, whether our purpose is to learn less or more during the process, the truth is that the result in the end – if we do everything well – will be basically the same, and after those processes we can always enjoy the lights (and shadows, which are also there) of Linux, an operating system whose versatility and chameleon personality are exceptional.

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