When choosing the best Linux distribution for your needs, multimedia experts such as video editors and photographers will benefit most from a Linux distro that specializes in multimedia production.

There are a few Linux distrubitions that fill the gap for multimedia gurus, and we're going to cover the top choices in this article. Read below to see our countdown of the five best multimedia Linux distros.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • Top 5 Multimedia Linux distributions
Best Multimedia Linux distributions
Best Multimedia Linux distributions
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Ubuntu Studio, Fedora Design Suite, AV Linux, Modicia O.S., io GNU/Linux
Software N/A
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Ubuntu Studio

Ubuntu Studio
Ubuntu Studio

Best Features: Video editing, audio production, and ease of use.

Starting off the list of multimedia distros is Ubuntu Studio, a "flavor" of good old Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu Studio is a well rounded multimedia distro, featuring a lot of apps for photo editing, video editing, and audio production. This flavor has been around a long time and you're sure to get up and running very quickly if you decide to use it, hence it takes the number 1 spot on our list.

Ubuntu works tremendously well as an everyday operating system, and this is basically just regular Ubuntu packed with a bunch of multimedia tools for content creators. As a matter of fact, if you already have Ubuntu installed, you can install the full Ubuntu Studio suite of applications by using the following command in terminal:

$ sudo apt install ubuntustudio-installer

If you're starting off with a fresh install, it's still recommended to download the Ubuntu Studio ISO file since it comes preconfigured with all the optimal settings, including configuration all the way down to kernel level. Ubuntu Studio is supported by Canonical, as you'll find a link to it on the official Ubuntu website, but it's easier to download it directly from the aforementioned link.

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Fedora Design Suite

Best Features: Image design and bleeding edge tech.

Fedora Design Suite
Fedora Design Suite

Fedora also has its own multimedia "spin" called Fedora Design Suite. It comes decked out with various multimedia tools, but with a heavy focus on image creation and editing. The distro is even used by the Fedora design team themselves, responsible for all the Fedora branding you see throughout the official website, in the distro and some applications, on CD sleeves, etc.

Download a copy if you'd like to install Fedora along with all the extra tools that the design team recommends.

AV Linux

AV Linux
AV Linux

Best Features: Music production and recording, audio editing.

AV Linux is specifically targeted to music producers. If you're the kind of person (or band) to record your own tunes and release songs, this would be the ideal distro. It also comes with video editing software, so it can tackle those tasks as well.

Head over to the official download page to grab a copy and read more about its specific features.

Modicia O.S.

Modicia O.S.
Modicia O.S.

Best Features: Graphic design, simple interface.

Modicia boasts itself as being the Linux distro for graphic design professionals. It of course comes packed with all the multimedia software you'd expect to find, but what sets this distro apart is its sleek interface, optimal config, and ease of use. Just from a few minutes using the operating system, you'll find it very intuitive.

Navigate to the Modicia website to download your copy and find out more.

io GNU/Linux

io GNU/Linux
io GNU/Linux

Best Features: All in one multimedia distro, live operating system.

io GNU/Linux works well as a live boot operating system, but can also be installed to a hard drive. Its main highlight is professional level audio production, but it comes with plenty of image and video editing tools as well. The distro has some apps you've definitely heard of, but interestingly enough some that you definitely haven't. The developers definitely dug deep in their quest to find some undiscovered but powerful apps.

Download io GNU/Linux if you'd like to create a bootable USB drive or install it to your computer.

Closing Thoughts

Some people think you need an Apple or Windows computer for multimedia production, but they would be surprised at how well Linux steps up to the task. There's no shortage of multimedia tools available for Linux, for free, and the distros in this list do a great job of compiling them into their own operating systems. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

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