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What is a distro?

Answer: A "distro" is short for "software distribution," which is a set of software components packaged in a single software installer. Since "software distribution" takes awhile (several seconds) to type or say, "distro" has become a common slang abbreviation.

Distros are typically associated with the Linux operating system, which is available in several distributions. Examples include:

  • CentOS
  • Debian
  • Fedora
  • Gentoo
  • Mandrake
  • OpenSUSE
  • Red Hat
  • Slackware
  • Ubuntu
Many of these base distributions have also produced other sub-distributions. While distros are most commonly associated with Linux, they may refer to other software distributions as well.

Published: March 3, 2010 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center