Of course you are not limited to the Raspbian Operating System. The Raspberry Pi can run many flavors of linux, the are just a few.
Fedora Workstation is a reliable, user-friendly, and powerful operating system for your laptop or desktop computer. It supports a wide range of developers, from hobbyists and students to professionals in corporate environments.
Gentoo uses a BSD ports-like system called Portage. Portage is a package management system that allows great flexibility while installing and maintaining software on a Gentoo system. It provides compile-time option support (through USE flags), conditional dependencies, pre-package installation summary, safe installation (through sandboxing) uninstallation of software, system profiles, and configuration file protection amongst several other features.
By default in Gentoo the entire system is built from source code, using the user’s choice of optimizations. The user has complete control over which packages are or are not installed. Gentoo provides numerous choices, so users can install Gentoo to their own preferences, which is why Gentoo is called a meta-distribution.
Gentoo is actively developed. The entire distribution uses a rapid pace development style: patches to packages are quickly integrated in the mainline tree, documentation is updated on daily basis, Portage features are added frequently, and official releases occur twice per year.
This Debian-based distro uses the Xfce desktop and is compatible with the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 boards. You’ll need at least 4GB on your SD card, and the rootfs will be expanded upon first boot to use the full capacity of the flash storage.
Arch Linux is packaged in the NOOBS installer and therefore comes as an alternative for many Pi owners.
Ubuntu MATE is a stable, easy-to-use operating system with a configurable desktop environment. It is ideal for those who want the most out of their computers and prefer a traditional desktop metaphor. With modest hardware requirements it is suitable for modern workstations, single board computers and older hardware alike. Ubuntu MATE makes modern computers fast and old computers usable.
If you’re looking to get as much “oomph” out of your Raspberry Pi as possible, a stripped-down version of Linux might seem a good option. To this end, you might want to take a look at Moebius, a minimal Linux distribution for the Raspberry Pi.
An open-source OS for exploration, creation, and play – free for Raspberry Pi and the new Pi 3.