Distro

What Does Distro Mean?

Distro is IT vernacular for a Linux operating system (OS). It is a shortened version of the term distribution.

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The singular and the plural (distro vs distros) are often used synonymously.

Techopedia Explains Distro

In the Linux world, there are hundreds of different flavors of distro. Examples include Debian, Ubuntu and Red Hat (among many others). When referencing a Linux OS, administrators usually ask questions like: Which distro does the application sit on top of? or Which distro are you using?

Technically, a distribution is any deployment of software and isn't specifically Linux. Usually in this case you'll hear it referred to as a "distribution of software." Despite this, the term "distro" is nearly always used in a Linux context. So, while a distribution of software is a generic term for any bundle of software, distro is nearly always a flavor of Linux.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.