Group: Software/FSDG distributions/How to choose an FSDG distribution

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FSF certified distributions can be used for a wide variety of purposes. Many people use them as their only distribution on their computers.

In that case, it can often be answered with simple questions like:

  • Can this distribution run on my computer? or What computer do I need to run this distribution?
  • Is that distribution easy to use? Does it require to learn the command line or a specific programming language? Or is can it be used without learning the command line or programming?
  • Do I need to upgrade often? Or is the distribution updated all the time?
  • Is it similar to other popular distributions (to be able to get help easily)?

The Group:Hardware/FSDG_distributions can help answer to most of these questions, especially the General information section.

For specific small distributions, the Group:Hardware/FSDG_distributions#Small_distributions also similar information on them like kind of hardware and users they target.

But it's also possible to use these distributions for specific tasks, like running a server, deploying software on top of another distribution[1], deploying a wiki[2], organizing a community or a company[3], running a free software project[4], or a conference[5], etc. Some people might even need to contribute to them in order to deploy specific software to users.

For that the FSDG distributions group of articles in Group:Software have a lot information on various aspects of FSF certified distributions.

A specific audience isn't necessarily implied as for instance in Group:Software/FSDG_distributions/DistroConfiguration we have documentation about software used to configure servers for both complete beginners not very familiar with the command line (like Freedombox on top of PureOS) and more complex way to configure servers (with various software like FAI, or with relatively simple programming in the case of Guix).


  1. Guix makes that relatively easy.
  2. This can be done with system administration skills on top of Trisquel or by using Freedombox on top of PureOS.
  3. If you are part of a community, like a repair cafe, community supported agriculture group, etc, people often need ways to organize like a mailing list, a website, etc. Companies have similar needs.
  4. Most FSF certified distributions also run at least part of their infrastructure. So for instance Replicant uses Trisquel for hosting its code.
  5. For instance the FSF uses FSF certified distributions for running Libreplanet conferences: They use Trisquel on computers used by the presenters. They also deploy a conference streaming infrastructure on top of Trisquel and/or other FSF certified distributions.

Group:Software/FSDG distributions