There is only one Windows operating system Microsoft Windows 10 soon 11. There is only one Mac OS, OS10. That said why are there so many Linux versions out there?
The answer is, there is only one company called Apple and one company named Microsoft. Linux is an open-source OS. There are approximately 16,000 developers and more than 1400 companies working on the kernal (the base OS). There are perhaps hundreds of thousands to millions of Linux application developers. In Linux, everything that is not in the kernal is an application. With all of these developer involved there are going to be differences of opinions.
What is a Distribution?
When a developer or group of developers build a Linux with a particular group of applications and features that is significantly differently from an other, this is called a Distribution. Debian, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, RedHat, Mandriva, OpenSUSE and many, many, many others.
RPM or DEB
Distros or distributions come in to basic types based on which packet manager they use. RPM (RedHat Packet Manager), or DEB (Debian). List of distributions by RPM or DEB.
RMP distributions are,
- RedHat of course,
- CentOS, Fedora,
- and many others.
DEB distributions are,
- Linux Mint,
- Raspberry Pi OS,
- I guess you could include, Android and Chrome OS if you want to get technical.