Get Linux: the perfect way to find and download the distro you want

If you’re an old hand at Linux then downloading a specific distribution won’t be a problem. You’ll probably have your preferred distro bookmarked already, if not a quick search will turn up the necessary links and you’ll be downloading the appropriate files in a few seconds.

If you’re a total Linux newbie, though, it’s a very different story, and just figuring out which variations might best suit your needs may seem like a major challenge. But fortunately help is at hand in the shape of a small Windows tool called Get Linux.

Launch the program and it displays icons for 136 distros: Arch Linux, Debian, Fedora, KNOPPIX, Kubuntu, Mandriva, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, and many more. And if you do recognize the name you want, then choose that option, click the Download link and the program will grab the appropriate ISO image for you (click Settings and there’s even an option to burn the image to disc once it’s arrived).

If you just want to learn more about what’s available, though, you can simply scroll the list, click on anything which looks interesting, and read the program’s description. This is sometimes very brief -- click "Musix", say, and you’ll read that "Musix GNU+Linux is a Debian-based distribution featuring a collection of free software for audio production, graphic design and video editing" -- but that could still be enough to be interesting, and of course you can research a distro further online, if necessary.

And when you find something you like, then downloading is as easy as choosing the 32 or 64-bit option, and clicking the Download button.

Useful though this is, the program would probably benefit from a few extra touches. Being able to sort by the download file size would seem like a good place to start, for instance. Newbies may prefer a 300MB to a 3GB download, but right now you have to click every single distro individually to see how bulky it might be.

And organizing distros into groups might help, too. Again, you can click each distro in turn to understand its focus, but the process might be simpler if, say, all the multimedia-oriented distros were grouped together for easier comparison.

Still, if you’re planning to try out several distros in the near future then Get Linux is a quick, easy and free way to get some help, and on balance it should save you considerable time and effort.

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