Similar Software to Pop! OS: 20 best alternatives for 2023

We have 20 alternatives to Pop! OS. The best Pop! OS alternatives are Ubuntu, OpenSuse, and Fedora.
Name Platforms
Ubuntu Linux.
OpenSuse Linux.
Fedora Linux.
Debian Linux.
MX Linux Linux.
ParrotOS Linux.
Black Arch Linux Linux.
Kali Linux Linux.
Elementary OS Linux.
Kubuntu Linux.
Zorin Linux.
Puppy Linux Linux.
Linux Mint Linux.
Parabola Linux.
Arch Linux Linux.
Gentoo Linux.
CentOS Linux.
Lubuntu Linux.
DeepinOS Linux.
Windows 11 Windows.

Pop! OS is an open-source Linux operating system that uses the GNOME desktop as its main feature. This platform was developed by Sytem76. Its initial release was 4 years ago on October 27, 2017, and its latest release was on April 25, 2022. Its package manager consists of APT, dpkg, Pop!_shop, and flatpack and its update method is using APT which is a part of the Pop!_Shop user interface. It uses a monolithic kernel type and works on platforms x86-64. This platform is created to work fast but in an easy way. All the tools can be customized to this platform easily. It uses auto-tilling with the pop shell to organize the work and work efficiently. It has a muti type of desktop so that you can move an unwanted job to another desktop but not delete it. It also comes with easy keyboard navigation and stacking of windows applications. You can also toggle between different videos using a GUI interface. It comes with a recovery partition to refresh your system whenever you are installing new software.

1. Ubuntu

Screenshot of Ubuntu. Ubuntu runs on Linux.

Ubuntu is an open-source operating system that is released in three editions: Desktop, Server, and Core which can run both on computers and virtual machines. It is an open-source Debian-based Linux distribution that is considered a good one for beginners. This operating system was primarily intended for personal computers and later on, used on servers. The number of Ubuntu users is far lesser than that of Windows. That is why it has a lesser risk of damaging software and virus attacks which makes it known as more secured than the WIndows. Aside from being a free open source, Ubuntu has a software center and is highly customizable. The majority of today's Users of Ubuntu are a group of professionals who have been using this operating system software for over five years. When it comes to gaming, Ubuntu Desktop is a great choice for Linux gaming. You can also use Ubuntu for day-to-day usage in the office, programming, or video production projects as well.

2. OpenSuse

Screenshot of OpenSuse. OpenSuse runs on Linux.

OpenSuse is a platform that introduces open-source software which is free to use. Its first initial release was 16 years ago in October 2005 and its latest release was on 8th June 2022. This platform was developed by OpenSuse Project under the Linux operating system. It is available in multiple languages including English, German and Russian. It uses a Monolithic kernel type. They have two types of releases, Tumbleweed which is a fast, stabilized, and tested Linux package or you can choose Leap which is a regular release version of complete Linux. Some of their main tools are Open Build Service which builds all the packages in one, OpenQA which can test any operating system, YaST which can configure and install tools in your system, and Kiwi which creates images for Linux in real hardware. Apart from that they also have Systemd, PHP 7, and printing systems. Meanwhile, in the desktop environment, it has Xfce, GNOME, and KDE.

3. Fedora

Screenshot of Fedora. Fedora runs on Linux.

Fedora is an open-source model which is under the Linux operating system and developed by Fedora Project. Its initial release was 18 years ago on November 6, 2003, and its latest release which is version 36 was released on May 10th, 2022. Every six months a new release will be done by this platform. Their package managers are RPM, Flatpack, and OStree. They use Linux kernel type and their default user interface are GNOME, Shell, and Bash. They have 3 official editions which are Fedora workstation which gives a complete set of tools for easy navigation of the system on laptops and desktops, Fedora Server which comes with the latest data centre technologies for your total control of all services and Fedora IoT which provides a platform for IoT systems. Another part of Fedora is the emerging editions. There are 2 of them Fedora COREOS which is an auto-update operating system and Fedora silver blue which is an immutable desktop operating system. Apart from that they also have Fedora Spins, Fedora Labs, and Fedora alt downloads. The best part is that it's free to use.

4. Debian

Screenshot of Debian. Debian runs on Linux.

Debian is an open-source software that is free to use and uses Linux operating system. It was developed by The Debian Project. Its initial release was 28 years ago in September 1993 and its latest release was on March 26, 2022. It is available in 75 languages and it uses the dpkg package manager. It uses Linux kernel type and can be used on multiple platforms. Its default user interface are GNOME, XFCE, MATE, KDE plasma, LXQT, LXDE, and Cinnamon. Many people use this software because it is free but another main reason is that it is very stable and secured. Most hardware gets extensive support and is always available. It comes with a few types of installers so it is available all the time. Its upgrades are done regularly in a rolling method and it is the base for many other developers. Apart from that this software is also available for developers and enterprises with good features like embedded devices, tons of software packages, a public bug tracker, and cloud images. It also comes with long-term support.

5. MX Linux

Screenshot of MX Linux. MX Linux runs on Linux.

MX Linux is an open-source Linux operating system and it uses antoX feature that is based on the Debian stable. It was developed by MX Dev Team and was initially released 8 years ago on 24th March 2014 and its latest release was on 9th April 2022. It is available in multilingual and uses the APT update method. It uses a monolithic Kernel type and is used in amd64 and i686 platforms. Its default user interface is Xfce, Fluxbox, and KDE. Xfce is user-friendly, fast, and uses low resources. KDE uses advanced desktop Plasma and comes with powerful tools. Fluxbox uses MX Linux to give a fully functional system. This platform releases a new version a few times a year and releases snapshots every month for updates. The latest release comes with Firefox browser, VLC video player, Clementine music player, Thunderbird email client, and LibreOffice office suite. It is very stable, easy to install, and comes with automatic configuration. Event sound can be enabled with one click and hibernation is enabled by default. You can get help from the video set or you can GOP to a friendly forum to seek support if any issues.

6. ParrotOS

Screenshot of ParrotOS. ParrotOS runs on Linux.

Parrot OS is a Debian-based Linux distribution that focuses on three things: development, security, and privacy of the users. Different desktop settings are available for the different versions of Parrot that are based on Debian. First, Parrot Security is meant to offer a set of penetration testing tools that could be used to stop attacks, do research for security, do forensics, and figure out where weaknesses are. It is made for penetration testing, figuring out and fixing security holes, computer forensics, and browsing the web anonymously. Second, Parrot Home is the basic version of Parrot that is meant to be used every day. It is aimed at regular users who want a lightweight system. Third, there is Parrot ARM, which is for systems that are already built. It can be used on Raspberry Pi devices. Everyday work is made easier by the distribution. This edition allows you to chat privately, document encryption, and anonymously surf the internet. This system can serve as a starting point for making a system that includes security tools specific to the needs of the user. Lastly, Parrot Architect & IoT ParrotOS, has nothing installed on it by default. With this edition, you can install any software or DE.

As for the user experience, It has the best interface for both users and penetration testers. In addition to keeping an eye on resources in a friendly & clear way with a good user interface and using the right amount of resources, it contains important and powerful tools for penetration testing, so you don't have to download them and deal with the problems they cause. Also, it uses much less Disk Space, CPU, and RAM than Kali, and its graphical user interface is better. It's also great that Parrot OS came with a lot of tools that can be used regularly for penetration testing networks and different pieces of hardware.

Parrot OS is easier to use than either Black Arch Linux or Kali Linux. It has Libreoffice packages and a lot of other general-purpose tools already installed, which makes it very easy to use. In general, Parrot OS is a great, easy-to-use, lightweight distribution. Almost everything about it is the same as Kali Linux, but there are a few small differences. It may not have as many tools as Kali Linux, but the collection of tools is great as a whole. It also has some tools that Kali and other similar distributions don't have. Parrot Security OS isn't just for Ethical Hacking and Pentesting; it's also for privacy, anonymity, and development.

7. Black Arch Linux

Screenshot of Black Arch Linux. Black Arch Linux runs on Linux.

Black Arch Linux is a cyber security tool that uses open-source penetration in testing distribution. They use Linux operating system and were developed by an open-source Project. Its latest release was on 1st September 2021. They use the Pacman package manager and update method. It uses a monolithic kernel type and can run in x86, x86-64, and aarch64 platforms. This can be downloaded and installed on top of an ArchLinux. You will need the correct ISO Depending on the ISO you have 3 options to install Black Arch. You can simply reinstall ISO from the repository and you will need an internet connection. The second will be the live ISO where you will install it offline. The third option for advanced users is to get code and compile it. The live ISO comes with multiple windows managers like Spectrum, Awesome, and OpenBox. It also supports multiple architectures and comes with an installer that you can build from the source. It has over 1800 tools and can be installed individually or as a group package.

8. Kali Linux

Screenshot of Kali Linux. Kali Linux runs on Linux.

Kali Linux is a Linux distribution based on Debian that was made for penetration testing & digital forensics. Offensive Security takes care of it and pays for it. Kali Linux has about 600 penetration-testing systems, such as Armitage, Nmap, Wireshark, metasploit, John the Ripper, sqlmap, Aircrack-ng, Burp suite, and OWASP ZAP web application It was made by Mati Aharoni and Devon Kearns from Offensive Security. They did this by rewriting BackTrack, which was a Knoppix-based Linux distribution for testing information security. It was first made with kernel auditing in mind, which is how it got its name, Kernel Auditing Linux. People sometimes think that the name comes from the Hindu goddess, Kali. Raphal Hertzog, who was an expert in Debian, was the third core developer who joined them. The Debian Testing branch is the basis for Kali Linux. The Debian repositories are where Kali gets most of the packages it needs. When Kali Linux was shown in numerous episodes Mr. Robot, its popularity grew.

As for the user experience, it’s a powerful OS for people who work in Cyber Security. You don't have to install each tool separately if you use Kali Linux because it has almost all of the tools you need for vulnerability assignments. It's easy to figure out how to use. It gives a lot of security and stability. It can be used both to attack and to defend. Just put it in place, and you're ready to go. The live USB mode is my favourite. Just plug it into the computer to turn it into a machine for hacking. The tools in Kali Linux are easy to use because they are already set up. You only need to know how to use the terminal well to get the most out of the system's tools. Furthermore, most of the tools can be changed to fit the needs of the person who uses them. This gives each user flexibility and personalization. Also, Kali Linux can help solve daily problems because it makes audits easier and automates tests. This saves the IT audit staff time because they don't have to build their own tests and scripts because the tool already has automatic tools.

Also, keep in mind that Kali Linux is probably not what you want if you are not familiar with Linux in general, have no basic level of system administration skills, lo for a Linux version to practice with, or a distro that serves as a general desktop installation. Lastly, misusing security and penetration testing tools in a network, especially without permission, can cause damage that can't be fixed and has serious personal and legal consequences. You can't say that you didn't know what you were doing as an excuse. So, use this wisely.

9. Elementary OS

Screenshot of Elementary OS. Elementary OS runs on Linux.

Elementary OS is one of the newest open-source software made with the Linux operating system to be a replacement for Windows and macOS. Its developers are elementary and inc. Its initial release was 11 years ago on 31st March 2011 and its latest release was on 20th December 2021. It uses a long-term support update package and uses APT, dkpg, and Flatpack package manager. It uses a monolithic kernel type and works on the AMD64 platform. Its default user interface is Pantheon. It comes with dark color and accent color for a better experience overall. Their notification features are improved to get a better response from the system. It also supports online accounts and it comes with multi-type gestures. They also have a screen shield function which will prevent the screen from shutting off after some time. A new task app will let you work faster and efficiently. Firmware update and app update is done regularly so that you stay updated. Its desktop workflow, installer, and screenshot utility have been improved. It also comes with a multitasking view, picture-on-picture function, and a do not disturb feature. This software is user-friendly and the best part is, that you only pay what you can to start using this software

10. Kubuntu

Screenshot of Kubuntu. Kubuntu runs on Linux.

Kubuntu is an open-source Linux operating system that is the official feature of Ubuntu. Its initial release was 17 years ago on 8th April 2005 and its latest release was on 21st April 2022. Its developer was Canonical ltd before being taken over by Blue Sytems. Currently is being developed by community contributors. It uses a monolithic kernel type and its default user interface is KDE plasma desktop and Plasma mobile. It package manager is dpkg and it uses PackageKit and APT update method. It is available in more than 55 languages. With Kubuntu, you can browse your file easily by quickly finding all the files needed. Searching for images is also easy with the platform. You can surf the internet with Firefox and also you can open and read the document very easily. With its IRC client feature, you can easily chat from your desktop. It also comes with a built-in movie and music player that makes it easy to look for your favourite things and its default music tool, Elisa is very user-friendly. For your job, you can finish off your documentation with its office suite.

11. Zorin

Screenshot of Zorin. Zorin runs on Linux.

Zorin is an open-source Linux operating system that uses GNOME 3 and XFCE 4 as default desktop environments. This platform was developed by Zorin Group and its initial release was in 2009. The latest release was on 10th march 2022 with its latest preview happening on 15th April 2021. This software is available in over 50 languages and it is written in C, C++, Java, D, and Python. It uses APT, dkpg, Snap, and Flatpak as package managers. It uses a monolithic kernel type and runs on an x86_64 platform. Zorin is an alternative to Windows and macOS. This software is easy to use and very fast with no buffering. They have 2 types of operating systems, one for the school and is Pro. The school operating system comes with educational apps, teaches coding and engineering, and with its built-in Kolibri app, you will get unlimited content for all your educational needs. It also has classroom control and it will rebrand your old PC to become new. In pro, you can choose any desktop you need and it comes with a suite that is professional grade. It also comes with advanced productivity software and you can speak, write and even sketch your notes.

12. Puppy Linux

Screenshot of Puppy Linux. Puppy Linux runs on Linux.

Puppy Linux is an open-source Linux operating system that works perfectly well with home users and it comes in multiple flavours. Its original developer was Barry Kauler and currently, it is being developed by Larry Short, Mick Amadio, and the Puppy community. It was initially released on 19th June 2003, that's 18 years ago. Its latest release was on 20th September 2020. It uses Puppy Package Manager and can be used in x86, x86-64, and ARM platforms. It uses Linux kernel type and its default user interface is JWM/IceWM + ROX desktop. There are tons of advantages to using this platform. All tools are included and ready to use and it is very much user-friendly. Comes in a small size of 300MB or less. It is fast, versatile, and can be customized in a matter of minutes. Comes in different varieties and different flavours that you can choose from. There are 3 categories you can choose from and they are official Puppy Linux distributors, woof-built Puppy Linux distributions, and unofficial derivatives.

13. Linux Mint

Screenshot of Linux Mint. Linux Mint runs on Linux.

Linux Mint is an open-source software that is free to use and runs in Linux operating system. It was developed by Clement Lefebvre, Vincent Vermeulen Oscar799, and the community. Its initial release was 15 years ago on August 27, 2006. Its latest release was on March 20th, 2022 with its latest preview on 14th December 2021. It is available in multilingual and uses the APT update method. It uses dpkg and Flatpack, package manager. It runs on Linux kernel type and can run on x86-64 and x86 platforms. It has web apps that are easy to use. You can turn any website that you use to become a desktop with your icons and window. You can pin it if not running so that it is available all the time. Hynoptix meanwhile supports live TV and also support movies if you have VOD options. You can store all your files in the favorites tab for easier accessCinnamon 4.8 meanwhile, has better performance and the menu can be sorted as per your liking. They also have made improvements in the printing, artwork, scanning, and X apps. Overall the system has been improved and it comes with an LTS strategy.

14. Parabola

Screenshot of Parabola. Parabola runs on Linux.

Parabola GNU/Linux-Libre is an operating system that is complete and user-friendly that is suitable for day-to-day general use. Its packages are built in clean chroots and are based on Arch Linux that caters to power users. It can be a powerful and secure distribution. It ships with the features "Your freedom" and "your privacy" which scan the system for any risk as well as show the programs that have security risks. It aims to keep its management tools and package simply. Its goal is the provide the user with overall control of the system with its 100% Free Culture and Free Software Foundation. Its development focuses primarily on the balance of its code-correctness and bleeding edge. It is a lightweight and simple design that makes the system that you are building easy to mould and extend. It is claimed that this project is community-driven and a result of the "labour of love" effort to ensure and maintain its 100% free operating system that is clean and unhackable.

15. Arch Linux

Screenshot of Arch Linux. Arch Linux runs on Linux.

In March 2002, Arch Linux project was initiated by Judd Vinet. He was inspired by CRUX, another simple distribution. Vinet chose the name because he liked that it meant "the main thing," like "arch-enemy." Arch Linux is a general-purpose x86-64 Linux distribution that was made by an independent group. It tries to give you the current stable versions software by using a rolling-release model. The default installation is a simple base system that the user can tweak to add only what is needed. Pacman is a package manager for Arch Linux that can be used to update, install, and even remove software packages. Arch follows rolling release model, which means no major release and no completely new versions. All you need to do to get the latest Arch software is update your system regularly. The installation images that the Arch team releases every month are just snapshots of the main system components that are up to date. Arch Linux has a lot of documentation. The ArchWiki is a wiki that is run by the community.

The development team's design philosophy is based on minimalism, simplicity, elegance and correctness of the code. The user is expected to put in some effort to understand how the system works. Arch's core repositories are kept small and free of dependencies that aren't needed. At first, only the most basic parts of the system are set up. Through the package manager, it's easy to get the other apps. The repositories are almost as full as Ubuntu's, and they are usually more up to date. So, you won't waste time on other software that are not needed. The AUR is a repository that has a very long list of build and install scripts that users have contributed. Even though these scripts are less secure than traditional packages preserved by authors of the distro, it's still a lot easier to check the safety of install scripts than writing it yourself. Even though Arch Linux only comes with about 10,000 packages, Arch User Repositories (AUR) can also be utilized to add over 50,000 more packages.

In general, Arch Linux is very easy to use. It's mostly just a package manner, file systems, partition scheme, Linux kernel, and the bare minimum of utilities you need to establish your hardware easily. This makes it very easy to build the system you want utilizing binary packages, since there is no bloat to get in the way when installing or setting up packages.

16. Gentoo

Screenshot of Gentoo. Gentoo runs on Linux.

Gentoo is built system management using Portage package for Linux operating system. Gentoo foundation is its developer and they used it as an open-source model. It was first released 21 years ago on 26th July. It uses the rolling release update method and monolithic kernel type. Its default user interface is CLI with support from windows manager and desktop environments. This platform was created by Daniel Robbins under a different name before combining with other developers to create Gentoo. Installing Gentoo is a little bit different from other Linux platforms. First, you need to boot a live environment. In this, you can choose either lean Gentoo CD or live CD. Then follow the installation instruction from the handbook and it does not need any coding with abilities to customize yourself. Then you are ready to go. With this platform, the development and cross-compilation are made very easy. It has high performance and high availability of the packages. The hardware is greatly supported to give a consistent system. Gentoo used its own modular Init system and comes with a lot of colours.

17. CentOS

Screenshot of CentOS. CentOS runs on Linux.

CentOS is one of the most impressive Linux distributions, which can act as a platform for corporate operating systems and is compatible with its source, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat, Inc. CentOS provides open-source code for its Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution, which is used in the development of its releases. This code may be accessed by the general public without charge (RHEL). CentOS is a solution that now holds the seventh spot on the list of the best-operating systems for businesses. PeerSpot users, on average, have awarded CentOS an eight out of ten ratings, with ten being the best possible score. CentOS is a free product, but it has a one-time setup charge. CentOS makes it available to everyone interested in using a computing platform that is open source and free to use. It is possible to utilize it in the operation of data centres to manage the servers.

18. Lubuntu

Screenshot of Lubuntu. Lubuntu runs on Linux.

An official Ubuntu flavour that employs the Lightweight Qt Desktop Environment (LXQt). A Linux distribution that is not only lightweight but also functional and that is built on a rock-solid Ubuntu basis. A graphical user interface that is not only easy to use but also up-to-date and powerful, and it comes preloaded with an extensive range of apps that allow you to surf the web, send and receive emails, chat, play games, and do other productive tasks which may be possible with other people
Lubuntu 22.04, codenamed Jammy Jellyfish, is Lubuntu's 22nd version and the eighth using LXQt as the default desktop environment. Includes: Qt 5.15.3, LibreOffice 7.3.2 suite, VLC 3.0.16, Software Center 5.24.4, and with the release of version 98.0.2, Mozilla Firefox will be distributed as a Snap package, and it will continue to receive upgrades during the release's support period.

19. DeepinOS

Screenshot of DeepinOS. DeepinOS runs on Linux.

Previously known as Linux Deepin and Hiweed GNU or Linux, is a Debian-based system. Based on Ubuntu until the release of version 15 in late 2015. Seeks to deliver a safe, user-friendly, elegant, and reliable operating system. Not only includes the finest that the open-source community has to offer but has also designed its desktop environment based on the Qt 5 toolkit named Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE). Places significant emphasis on design that is intuitive. Proprietary apps, such as Deepin Software Centre, DMusic, and DPlayer, are designed with the typical user in mind. A viable alternative to Windows for home and workplace usage as being simple for installation and usage. Deepin 20.6, the latest version, created and integrated a large number of functionally useful features, synced with the version of upstream kernel, patched underlying vulnerabilities, the stable kernel upgraded to V5.15.34, and enhanced system security and compatibility.

20. Windows 11

Screenshot of Windows 11. Windows 11 runs on Windows.

Windows 11 is Microsoft's flagship operating system. The most popular operating system in the world for commercial users.