When I first came across Clear Linux about two years ago, the information available on the project was limited. It was simply being called Intel’s custom distribution that will offer the best Linux support on Intel hardware in cloud deployments. As developers were also working to add support for Steam, gamers also expected to get a great gaming performance out of it.
Over the course of the past two years, the Chipzilla kept on improving the hardware support and the overall performance of Clear Linux. In the latest development, at its Open Source Technology Summit, Intel announced the release of Clear Linux Developer Edition. This was the first year Intel opened its private event to customers and the media.
What makes Clear Linux different?
The latest release ships with a new installer for the easy setup process and a Clear Linux Store for all bundles, apps, and container images for the distribution. The tools on the store are categorized in Developer Tools, Education, Games, Security, Productivity, Programming, etc.
The Developer Edition is focused towards Linux developers and Intel will ship one image daily. To help developers who are looking to push optimized code regularly, Clear Linux ships with GCC9 and Intel plans to upgrade to GCC10 as soon as it’s released. It also comes loaded with basic programming bundles to provide an out-of-the-box experience to developers.
On the security front, Clear’s rolling release model lets developers get the latest update as soon as possible. This removes different roadblocks and ensures a secure platform for developing software. Clear Linux is also helping out the Linux kernel in general by helping the kernel become more efficient on Intel hardware.
When it comes to hardware requirements, Clear Linux can run on hardware as low as a single core CPU, 600MB storage, and 128MB storage. However, different applications obviously mean different configurations. Generally, Intel recommends a 64-bit processor that supports UEFI and SSE v4.1 streaming SIMD instructions.
The current release of Clear Linux features GNOME desktop environment by default. There are also options to use Xfce, KDE Plasma, LXQt, and i3 desktops.
You can read more about different features and technologies used in Clear Linux in detail on the distro’s documentation page. This Phoronix article also shares some great performance insights and comparison of Clear Linux with Ubuntu and RHEL.