Is using specific distro is recommended?

Hi! it's been awhile. Sorry I can't go much here in the forum in the past months.

I'd like to ask is it recommended to use specific distro like distro for programming, cyber security or creatives than using general? Like what is its benefit than the general one? Example: Kali which is specific to cyber security. What is its benefit compared to others that isn't cyber security claimed distro? This just confused me in some way since as far as I know, we can modify Linux distro to our own taste and needs. Thank you for any answer!

Broadly speaking a distribution is simply a set of default software installed and some configurations. For example Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu... you can think of those as different people who tweaked their Ubuntu default installation and then shared it with the world. Again, broadly speaking.

Some major differences relies on the package managers which may or many not include certain programs, or in different versions when compared to others (package managers).

Also, some distributions created their own version of the programs like Zorin or PopOS do, so that they fit it closely with their "own view" of Linux.

Different distros may already come with certain packages installed, removing the necessity to chase after certain dependencies.
Yes, you are correct, you can just install those packages, yourself.

Sometimes, learning programming may set a requirement from instructor or school to have a Certain Version of Python, for example, installed. The interdependencies may mean that one distro will have a lower version than the instruction requires, necessitating using a Distro that has released a later version. This is less common... And it often is still possible to install a later version of python on Zorin, with some know-how.

1 Like

Okay. Now it was already cleared. Just my friend who attend in seminar of cybersecurity, when he said the speaker said distros like Kali and Parrot, I just suddenly wonder if those are necessary or he can also just install those pretesting softwares especially he is new to linux. Thanks a lot!

Means, as long as you know how things work at the back-end, you can do it yourself everything? Okay... Clear

1 Like

If he's new to Linux it'd be better to use one of those distributions since it all comes installed by default, and will receive updates as for those programs as well.

I've recently run into issues with this where CentOS didn't run a script properly because it used Python 3.6 instead of Python 3.8... And this turns out to be hard to update since you have to build from source.

1 Like

That would explain mention of Kali Linux, as that distro is focussed particularly towards cyber security Pen Testing etc. I don't think that OS would be considered a candidate for general desktop use.

I think it would now.
What I loved about Kali has changed, recently... turning Kali into more of a regular desktop with cybersecurity as a theme.
Don't get me wrong... some of the changes are... acceptable... Just annoying.
For example, Kali Linux used to not have a User Account. You were root. You never needed to elevate to Root. It was elevated, at all times.
I think the devs got tired of Kali's popularity causing it to be used frivolously - so they toned it down in case new users get on it, then nuke it, then complain.
Everything still works and can be set up as it was before - with some know-how.

Yes, and I do this already on Zorin. A lot. :stuck_out_tongue:

Exactly. Zorin OS 16 has Python 3.8.
But some instructors require Python 3.9 or higher.

I see. But I guess to someone like me who just self study Python whatever versions of it will not much affected unless application asked for.

This is also why I think should I go Ubuntu Studio or the likes for creatives. Since it was specific to creatives but I read creatives complaining about it.

I see. cause I read somewhere that Kali isn't for beginner to Linux.

I would stick with Zorin. I do a lot of Creative work, as an Icon maker and themer, as well as 3D scultping in Blender, etc.
Stuff works better and faster on Zorin...

It isn't. But it is more beginner friendly than it used to be. I wish it would go back to the way it was before...
The user can easily still knock it right back in many regards. But still...

I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to a beginner who is just trying to get some work done. But if there's enough interest to learn or practice about cybersecurity I assume there's some technical expertise. This is the best way to learn in my experience, by doing, and is not like is insanely complicated either.

Another thing to consider is to have a live-usb with Kali installed, while you run a different distribution for daily use.

EDIT: Sorry for the quote Ara, had it selected when I clicked reply and didn't notice.


This is the proper way to run Kali, actually. :stuck_out_tongue:


I guess I'll just tell to him that since he don't know what to use. The last time he tried to install even Zorin to his other laptop it run to an error we can't solved:hard disk failed. hahahaha Thanks

If he decides to got with the live-usb option, just know that it's not necessary to install anything permanently. The daily machine can run Windows and hop into Kali simply by plugging the usb and restarting. I'm not sure if this would work with Mac, I have never tried, but I assume it does?

I tried Ubuntu Studio in live usb. Funny, one of the software artist needed keep on crashing despite the live only using 7% of my ram and almost 2% of my cpu. I was like "so, this is for creatives." No wonder there are complaints.