I normally like to stick with self-hosted stuff around here, but hear me out on this one. Have you ever wanted to try out new Linux distros, but don’t want to go through the trouble of spinning them up? I like to tinker around, even though I hardly ever change distros on my computers.

What is a Linux distro?

Taken from Wikipedia:

Linux distribution[a] (often abbreviated as distro) is an operating system made from a software collection that includes the Linux kernel and often a package management system. Linux users usually obtain their operating system by downloading one of the Linux distributions, which are available for a wide variety of systems ranging from embedded devices (for example, OpenWrt) and personal computers (for example, Linux Mint) to powerful supercomputers (for example, Rocks Cluster Distribution).

What does it do?

So what DistroSea allows us to do is “spin up” various Linux distributions virtually on someone elses computer. This makes it incredibly easy for you to switch around between distros to find one you like or just test out new features. So let’s quit yapping and take a look. When you first visit the website you’ll be shown a list of popular distros to try out.

Pick a distro

So let’s see how easy this process really is. I’m going to pick a very popular distro called “Linux Mint”. Once I click it I’m met with many different versions to pick from. I’m going to go with 21: Cinnamon.

Pick a version

Now that I’ve picked the distro and version that I want, I’m placed into a queue. I have zero users ahead of me so it gives me the option to “Start Linux Mint”. I’ve used this site quite a few times and the most users I’ve ever had ahead of was one.

Start it up

So, let’s start it up. From the time it took me to type and click the button a few people got ahead of me but, as you can see, the wait is very short. I’m open up a few things to give you an idea of what it will do. There is a bit of lag between me clicking things and them happening, but I can’t complain about a completely free service like this.