Posted August 03, 2016
No. The situation is much more complex than that.
apehater: so the debian linux distro is one of the most basic/naked linux distros? did i got that right?
Simplifying everything to such a degree that anyone with any knowledge at all will be extremely right in saying that everything I'm about to say is totally wrong:
"Linux" is the core of the OS, the underwater bit you mostly don't see. Its most important part is the "kernel", which has regular versioned releases. On top of that there's the window manager, which creates the graphical user interface you'll mostly interact with. There are many different window managers. Gnome and KDE are the two traditional big ones (with many small ones like LXDE also existing), but when Gnome took off in a direction many people didn't like, there were a bunch of attempts to maintain its former version, or to recreate it on the basis of the technology of the new version (MATE and Cinnamon, an important basis for the popularity of Mint), while Ubuntu created Unity.
As a crosscut to these layers there's distributions (distros), which pick a specific version of the Linux kernel, and distribute it together with a specific window manager, and a suite of programs which work well together, and look nice together, mostly due to support in these programs for the chosen window manager.
The main historical difference between these distros is their choice of "package manager", which is the technology for installing new programs, and deciding that if you want to install program X, you'll also need libraries Y and Z, and automatically installing those along. APT with its .deb files is what's used in the Debian/Ubuntu/Mint system (but there's other root distros also using this). Redhat meanwhile opted for RPM.
Many distros have started from scratch. Many others base themselves on the choices of another distro, and tweaked them due to believing some of the choices to be wrong. Some of these distros have effectively become standalone, others rely heavily on the continued work of their 'parent' distro. "Debian" is one of the older distros, which has a couple of hundred other distros based on it, either directly, or through intermediate other distros like Ubuntu. But there's also slackware and redhat as two other completely separate distros, each with their own large family of dependent distros. (From a design philosophy points of view, Slackware comes close to being very "pure", in that it makes very few design decisions on how things should work together. Arch Linux, which adamhm mentioned above, possibly even more so.)
Here's a perpetually outdated visualisation of the hierarchical relations between a couple of hundred distros.
And the thing is, theoretically you don't really need a distro. You could install the linux Kernel by itself, and install a window manager on top of it (with a whole bunch of layers in between which I glossed over), and manually download and install security updates, and figure out the correct dependencies, etc. That would be the most pure Linux. But mostly people want the convenience of having someone else figure out the hard bits of that. There's also a thriving support system (linux from scratch e.a.) for not going the distro route.
Within the Linux world, choice is everything, and there's enough people with the technological know-how that if they don't like the choices someone else made, they'll bloody well make their own choices and let other people benefit from it, too. It's the cause of much chaos, but also a great strength.
Post edited August 03, 2016 by gogtrial34987