Top Linux Distributions for Cloud Computing

What images generate in your head whenever someone mentions cloud computing? Like when you read this article’s topic, for example?

CrouchTech defines it as the delivery of on-demand computing services such as servers, storage, networking, databases, analytics, software development platforms through a cloud services provider such as AWSMicrosoft AzureGoogle CloudRackspace and many more via the internet on a pay as you use basis.

Basically, cloud computing is the practice of using remote servers hosted on a network to manage and process data instead of using a local server or the storage on your PC. You can read more about that here.

Today’s article is not about what cloud computing is but about the best Linux distribution options there are for you to choose from. So, without further ado:

1. Cloud Linux OS

Cloud Linux OS is a distro created specifically to be used for cloud computing and thus, it marketed to shared hosting providers.

It features ultimate security for VPS, dedicated and shared servers, and given that it powers up to 20 million websites, it is tagged the #1 OS for web hosting.

Cloud Linux is based on CentOS which is based on RHEL, so you can trust that it is reliably secure, scalable, and supports integration with various cloud services.

2. Amazon Linux

Amazon Linux is a Linux Image provided, supported, and maintained by Amazon Web Services for specific usage on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud also known as Amazon EC2.

It is designed for scalability and comes preinstalled with several tools to enhance your workflow and platform integration.

3. Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop, also referred to as RHEL, is a distro developed by Red Hat for commercial markets and is currently the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source solutions.

RHEL is so cool it has given rise to awesome distros in their own right including CentOS and Oracle Linux (based on CentOS).

RHEL features military-grade security and is excellent for high-performance computing and work with containers, Kubernetes, and cloud technologies.

4. CentOS

CentOS is a Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based OS that provides enterprise-grade software and cloud computing support for free. It suits a wide variety of deployments and is completely compatible with RHEL.

This community-driven distro enables you to self-host private clouds using its generic cloud-init enabled image, or use any of its several official images for Google, Amazon, etc.

5. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is targetted for desktops and at the business market. It is flexible and has support for almost any tool you might need.

It also fixes a firewall around its applications using its smart AppArmor system and easily integrates with Novell GroupWise, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft Active Directory.

6. Oracle Linux – CentOS based

Oracle Linux is a free enterprise-class RHEL-based distro developed, maintained, and distributed by Oracle for containers, virtualization, and computing technologies.

Oracle Linux is scalable, secure, and optimized for hybrid cloud environments and is used to run billions of transactions every day on both cloud workloads and enterprise setups.

7. Linux Mint

Linux Mint is a Debian and Ubuntu-based distro that aims to be simple enough for anyone to pick up and use, but elegant and customizable enough for even the most advanced Linux users to enjoy it.

Unlike most of the listed distros, Linux Mint was not built for enterprise deployment and it doesn’t have any enterprise-level support so you will have to set things up yourself. On the plus side, using it for enterprise-level jobs is cost-efficient.

8. Ubuntu for Enterprise

Ubuntu, by Canonical, is a Debian-based Linux distro committed to the open source philosophy and stands as the most popular Linux distro in the world. It was built for PCs, smartphones, and network servers so this list will not be complete with it.

Ubuntu features a robust UI and you can integrate it with several services e.g. AWS has hundreds of Ubuntu-based app stacks so you can’t go wrong with this choice.

9. Peppermint OS

Peppermint OS is an Ubuntu-based lightweight and blazing fast distro developed with its users in mind. It ships with only a few vital apps to avoid bloatware and give the user complete control over how the OS runs.

Among its cool features is ICE, an app that enables you to create Site Specific Browsers (SSBs) and integrate any website or web app into your system menus to later run it in its own window like any locally installed application.

ICE, Synaptic Package Manager, and the default Software Manager contribute to making Peppermint OS an ideal distro for cloud computation. It has been tagged the real deal desktop cloud Linux by cloud computing experts so while it is listed last, it definitely isn’t the least.

All these distros are popular for their reliable performance, security, customizability, and general ease of use and I bet you are familiar with at least 2 or 3 of the listed OSes.

Are there other distros that deserve to be on the list? Share your experience with us in the comments section.

Divine Okoi

I am a graphic designer and web developer with a passion for the open source community. I am also thrilled by the latest world technologies and have made it a pleasurable duty to share my experience with you.