1: Mint Linux: This should come as no surprise. Mint is an excellent distribution and my own personal favorite. Users have enjoyed and loved using it ever since Ubuntu started down the Unity path.

What Mint has going for it is an outstanding desktop interface of its own, Cinnamon, which is very remindful of the classic GNOME 2.x interface. Add to that outstanding software and hardware support, there's little question as to why Mint still appears to be the most desktop popular Linux of all.

2: Mageia: And, number two is, "who?" I can hear some of you asking. Mageia is a September 2010 fork of Mandriva Linux, a commercial Linux distribution, which was once quite popular in its own right. In 2006, Mandriva suffered management and financial problems. Since then, while the firm has continued to have problems, Mageia -- freed of Mandrivia's business woes -- has continued on to become a wildly popular Linux distribution.

3: Ubuntu: What's that you say? Ubuntu: the darling of so many Linux fans only in third place? Yep. It's in third. Why? Well even though I like its relatively new Unity interface, a lot of other people really don't. I think that mostly it's because while Unity is great for new users who aren't especially computer savvy, a lot of Linux professionals find it gets in the way -- and, of course, experienced old Linux hands are exactly the kind of people who visit DistroWatch.

4: Fedora: But while Debian isn't one of favorites, I confess I really haven't cared for Fedora, Red Hat's community Linux distribution, in recent years. Well, it's not so much Fedora, it's the fact that it uses GNOME 3.x -- the desktop interface I love to hate.

Regardless of how I feel about it though, Fedora clearly has its fans. And, if you work on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) development, it's a really wise idea to keep a copy of Fedora on hand so you can see RHEL's future.

5: Debian: I've never been a big Debian fan -- I much prefer Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu and Mepis -- but lots of other people are. Debian, which just turned 19, remains important not just because it is the foundation for many other Linux distributions, but because year after year it continues to be loved by its users.

Keywords:Mint Linux, Users, Ubuntu, Unity path, desktop, Cinnamon,classic GNOME , Linux ,Mageia, Mandriva Linux,commercial Linux, Linux fans,computer, Fedora, Red Hat's community ,RHEL, Debian fan