How to Test Linux Distros Online without Installing

There are a ton of Linux distributions available for everyone to use or try out. Moreover, almost all Linux distros have something unique to offer that no other distro does. Although, with the right amount of time and knowledge, you can fully customize any distro. Nonetheless, if you’re looking to try out a new Linux distro, then there’s a way to make this super easy. Rather than having to download and then create a bootable USB drive, you can test Linux distros online. Yes! you can check out almost every recognized Linux distro without downloading it.

Thanks to a website called DistroTest, users can try out over 256 operating systems with 927 versions at the time of writing this post. That’s a lot of distros to check out. What’s even more interesting is that you can do absolutely anything on the distro. And all functions and features are available to use including the option to format the hard disk. Of course, the entire experience depends on your internet connection. Therefore, having a fast internet connection is a bonus. Nevertheless, check out the steps below to get started testing Linux distros online.

Test Linux distros online

As we mentioned above, DistroTest offers a bunch of different distros to check out. For this guide, we’ll be checking out Elementary OS. You can also check out the top 5 Linux distros to help you choose which distro to test. So without much further ado, let’s dive into the guide.

  1. First off, you have to visit DistroTest.
  2. Scroll through the list of distros available to test.
  3. Since we’re checking out Elementary OS, we’ll click on elementaryOS on the list. You would have to click on the Linux distro you want to test.
    Test Linux distros online step 1
  4. Now you should be able to see a list of versions available for the selected distribution. If you’re looking to have the best and latest features, then we suggest sticking to the latest version.
  5. Click on Start beside the version name.
    Test Linux distros online step 2
  6. Depending on how many users are on the site, you might have to wait a few seconds or a few minutes. You would see your Slot no. which will let you know where you stand in the cue.
  7. Once it’s your chance to use the distro, if no window appears, click on Open built-in VNC viewer or Open external VNC-Client. To keep things simple, open it in the built-in VNC viewer.
    DistroTest step 3
  8. Wait for the OS to boot and then you’ll be logged in automatically.

Now you can navigate around the virtual OS and check out the default apps or settings. Additionally, you can install third-party apps and try them out as well. The site gives you 30 minutes to test Linux distros online. However, you can extend your time by 15 minutes after 15 minutes have passed. This is a necessary step to avoid congestion on the site. As you might notice from the steps above, using DistroTest is fairly easy and just about anyone can test Linux distros online. So what are you waiting for?

Read next: 20 Cool Ubuntu Commands You Must Know About

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