In my experience, the most innovative distributions include NixOS and GNU Guix System (Nix influenced it): determinism/correctness, pure functional paradigm, declarative, atomic, departing from FHS for good, … And they are pretty useful currently: Nix has the most packages, both are declarative so can easily reuse the configuration and apply in infrastructure as code, can rollback, can use for development (basically a way better alternative to Docker), can use in other distributions and Nix even on MacOS… Nix community being generally more practical, agile and flexible, while the GNU Guix community enforcing more correctness (building everything in their repositories from source including all transitive dependencies) and software freedom as GNU/FSF defines.
Other distributions I could include are musl based ones, Clear Linux, Fedora SIlverblue, OpenSUSE MicroOS, and projects like sel4, Theseus OS, but I don’t have much experience with them to describe them fairly. So please lets discourse about innovative distributions and operating systems, those which you have experienced, which you may be excited about.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Linux is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution (or distro for short).
Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word “Linux” in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy.
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Debian, for providing security backports, pioneering reproducible builds, and handling software licensing carefully.