Top 5 Linux Distros for beginners - 2014

UPDATED - 11/30/2014 (rev.13)

There are plenty of Linux Distros out there but there's only very few that is truly for beginners. So I have picked 5 distros that suit the category. You might be curious about the factors that I considered when picking the Top 5. Well, out of the box support is very important in picking beginner distros. Other factors include: User friendly UI, easy installation and great online support. The Distros below are well-known for excelling in those areas.


1. Linux Mint 17

Linux Mint is known as the second most popular linux distribution simply because of its user friendliness It comes with loads of software carefully picked by the team, media codecs and drivers. The distro works so well out of the box you will not be spending any time trouble shooting. Mint focuses on what is best for its users and provides what the mainstream linux users demand (most of the time). Linux Mint 15 comes in 2 editions. The Cinnamon edition includes a modern Gnome 3 desktop with a familiar and traditional layout. The MATE edition comes with a Gnome 2 desktop. Compared to the cinnamon edition, the MATE edition is more stable but is outdated and quite boring. After years of development, Cinnamon has become one of the best DEs that are available for linux user who prefer a traditional desktop based on Gnome 3. Cinnamon has plenty of cool little features that are definitely worth checking out and you simply cannot go wrong with mint.

Linux mint is based on Canonical's Ubuntu.

http://www.linuxmint.com/

2. Ubuntu 14.10

Ubuntu is the #1 and the most popular distro out there. Even though Linux Mint appeals more to users who prefer a traditional desktop experience, Ubuntu has a rigorous release cycle and tends to have more bleeding edge features implemented in each release. Ubuntu does not come with a load of software and codecs pre installed like Linux Mint. So new users may have trouble playing certain media formats and may require a few command line installations. But due to the excellent community support they can be sorted out within minutes.

Ubuntu comes with its own user interface called "unity". The unity desktop interface has come a long way and comes with tons of unique features that cannot be found on other desktops. But it may be not for everyone as it has a few quirks that some some users may find annoying. Good news is that it is configurable and certain features that you dislike can be disabled. Ubuntu 14.10 adds even more user friendly features to unity and is simply the best distribution for the average linux user. This latest release also adds Netflix support so you can start watching movies without relying on any workarounds.

http://www.ubuntu.com/

3. Zorin OS 8

Zorin OS is optimized for users who are transitioning From windows. It looks quite similar to Windows 7 and comes with "zorin look changer" that can make your desktop look similar to older Windows versions and Mac OS X. Zorin OS also offers four premium versions (Ultimate, Business, Multimedia, Gaming) which are available upon donating. There is also a free version that does not come with as much software preinstalled. If you prefer a distro that works and functions similar to windows 7, Zoris OS provides the best out-of-the box experience. (even though other distros can be configured with a bit of effort)

http://zorin-os.com/

4. Pinguy OS 14.04 LTS

Pinguy OS is an Ubuntu based distribution that comes with A LOT of software preinstalled. It is great for users who want to explore the extensive software that Linux has to offer. It is also very convenient because it includes almost all the software that a user may require. Pinguy OS is a fairly new distro but it is gaining popularity quickly. Pinguy OS includes two Docks by default and the overall look of the desktop leans toward OS X. Pinguy OS 14.04 includes a customized gnome-shell. Pinguy download images are quite huge since it packs a lot of software in it and the OS itself is a bit resource hungry(understandably). If you have a modern computer pinguy should run smoothly but if you have an older and limited PC, you may want to look at a lighter-weight distro.

http://pinguyos.com/

5. Peppermint OS 5

Peppermint OS a very light distro that comes with LXDE desktop environment. LXDE is very simple to use and many will find it to be a straightforward DE. The OS boots up quite fast which makes it ideal for older computers or netbooks. Peppermint OS 5 is based on Lubuntu 14.04. It includes an elegant theme by default and includes media-codecs out of the box. If you require a feature-rich and light-weight distro, peppermint is the way to go. Peppermint also promotes the use of cloud based apps and services. However, you are free to install any application using the included mint software center.


NEW poll

What is your favorite beginner friendly Linux distribution?

See results without voting

If you don't see a distro that you believe should be a part of this list leave a comment. I would love to see more suggestions.

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Comments 92 comments

Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 5 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Good article. I hadn't heard of Zorin, so might take a look now. Presently I like Mint the best for its ease of use and stability. After 3 years using it (quite heavily), it has not crashed or had any issues yet!


hasben profile image

hasben 5 years ago Author

Thanks. Yea Mint is a rock solid distribution.


jellmoo 5 years ago

Not that I really disagree, but the poll is a little on the narrow scope considering it consists of nothing but Ubuntu and Ubuntu derivatives.


hasben profile image

hasben 5 years ago Author

yes. I see what you are saying. But most of the beginner distros are Ubuntu based. Thanks for the comment.


jellmoo 5 years ago

While they aren't my particular cup of tea, both MEPIS and PCLinuxOS are considered to be quite newbie friendly. I would personally still vote for an Ubuntu based distro, but a little more variety would be nice (especially since they are all Gnome based as well).


hasben profile image

hasben 5 years ago Author

If I made a top 10 list they would both be in it. Thanks for the comment.


jo13 5 years ago

still ubuntu is rocks!!!


the polack 4 years ago

I use zorin, pinguy and joli on my comp all 3 run smooth, i like them all so i made 3 partitions and my computer and i are very happy, i all wish you happy linuxing......


Paul 4 years ago

I have systematically worked my way down the distro watch list burning through a rather large stack of cds/dvds and the one disto that works first time everytime without having to tweak the os to death is Pinguy. LM 11.10 didn't work properly on my toshiba and neither would ubuntu. Forget Fedora and Suse they would only boot on one of the four pc's i maintain for my family.

All have their benefits but for easy of installation and having every program you need preinstalled I think Pinguy is the best OS on the market bar none. Even my 65 year old mother in law fell in love with her old celeron based laptop again once pinguy was up and running (no effects though as it is only a celeron.

A lot of guys miss the point - for linux to work it has to be better and easier than both windows and mac. people lead busy lives and don't want to spend hours customising their os so that it works properly, they want an "it just works" experience so that they can spend more quslity time with their family and less time geeking.

From and Ex fedora, arch, pclinux, suse, mint, puppy mandriva etc trialist bravo pinguy os for the easiest OS experience I have ever some across (i mean pre configured samba, de ve de, libreoffice, 2 web browsers banshee brasero etc - magic.


km 4 years ago

Linux Mint is the Best


Jake 4 years ago

I started using Linux several months ago. After reading several articles, and talking with people I knew who used Linux, I decided to go with Fedora. I chose Fedora for two reasons. [1: While at the time, I did not have an extreme desire to handle everything from a command line, I did have an interest in the way Linux worked, and the power the user has, to truly customize any level of their machine. 2:I did not have a need for a "think free" environment. Doing a little work to customize and have my machine work the way I wanted to was okay.] I'm no genius, the truth is that using the terminal, and tweaking certain parts of the system was not that hard at all. Especially when you take into account that you can use Google to solve almost any problem you could ever run into. Over all, I really enjoy Fedora, and I have even noticed, that in my opinion, it runs much more efficiently than Windows. You also have to take into account the hardware a beginner might be working with. Many other desktop environments other than Gnome provide a much smoother atmosphere for lower end machines. I think all those aforementioned distros are great (I think I'm actually going to give Joli a try, it sounds really interesting!), but in the end the beginner will benefit the most if they have a clearer understanding of why they want to try Linux, and they take the time to figure out what will run best on their platform.


Vikram Shenoy 4 years ago

I have used Linux Mint since Mint 10, and tried Ubuntu 11.10, Mandriva 2011, Mint 11 Gnome and Kubuntu 11.10. In my opinion, the best and most stable is still Mint 11. It has the good ol' Gnome 2 which is much better than Gnome 3 Shell. It is also as stable as a rock and some more.

Kubuntu 11.10 is by far the best desktop out there, and the KDE 4.7 desktop is light years ahead of Gnome 3. I can access either the Plasma Netbook interface (which also has a Desktop layout built i) as well as the traditional KDE desktop.

However kernel 3 seems to have some issues with stability with my Samsung Laptop, while kernel 2.6.38 is stable without issues.

So I'm back to Mint 11, and have installed Libreoffice 3.5 manually since Mint 11 repositories only upgrade to LibreOffice 3.4.3.

Installing some of the Bisigi themes and additional software was good,and there was also a patch for the Elan touchpad which was identified as a PS/2 mouse (Windows also does the same for Samsung mind you).

I'm sticking with Mint 11 for the next year at least, till kernel 3 is stable enough. Then maybe I'll move to KUbuntu 12.04 or 12.10.


John 4 years ago

I'm trying to transition to Linux (from Win7) and a lot depends on whether a particular distro will run on my HP Pavilion g7 laptop. Since I have a preference for speed, tried both Puppy and CrunchBang. Neither worked. Each had problems with specific hardware.

Next up was Zorin and everything worked in LiveCD mode. Very impressed. Movies, Music, WiFi worked perfectly. These guy even put in a CBR/CBZ reader:-) Tested a couple of 'portable' windows apps and they also worked with the built-in Wine. Right now I'm leaning heavily toward the Zorin OS since I don't want to do a lot of distro hopping.

Currrently downloading SimplyMepis, Pinguy and Mint. I figure I should at least take a look at these based on the many glowing reviews before I jump in full-time. Still... really like what the folks at Zorin have done in terms of ease-of-use and support software for transitioning users.


4 years ago

Currently using Ubuntu 11.10, and honestly, it's FAR buggier, more unstable, and WORSE across the board than XP, XP pro, or even Vista. My CD/DVD won't eject when I close the media player, every 1-2 days I'm on the forums trying to find a command-line to perform a BASIC function (such as connecting the wireless that was connected and behaving FINE 1-2 hours earlier), and at this point, I have to reboot every 2-3 hours or a driver/basic functionality somewhere WILL stop working, for absolutely NO reason.

This is even after "Downgrading" from the horrid "Unity" GUI to the more limited "Gnome Classic", which simplified style was working at least somewhat okay for about 2 days.


Tty 4 years ago

I bought a new laptop /toshiba/ and installed pinguy os. I was unaware until i saw it on distrowatch. I am pretty happy with it because it is customized gnome 3 and stable enoguh than ubuntu. KDE is buggy, it crashes a lot may be more than ms windows. I previously used archlinux and i am an arch fan. But after working in pinguy i just don't want to switch to any other distros though pinguy isn't that simple as arch. I just hate the plain new unity ubuntu (wtf).


anonymous 4 years ago

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shoshyo 4 years ago

I 'm big fan of pinguyos..it is very easy to use those who has transition from windows..i hav changed my pinguy os in mac os x leopard style by using macbuntu..now desktop look like mac os leopard...really linux helps to learn about working mechanism of os and hacking.


willian 4 years ago

from a linux lover, all those distro suffer from many bugs. Some are very annoying. I still have to find a killer distro.


Jason Sawyer 4 years ago

I have tried Linux Mint with no success. Two different machines, a 64bit & 32bit. Nothing but locking and crashing. I was excited about Mint. Everyone says how awesome it is, but it just seems like it's hype. I grabbed an old Dell D600 40gb HDD 1.5gb RAM for the sole purpose of running pandora. Mint has constantly crashed. Any recommendations for a distro?


Cesar 4 years ago

I have installed many different distros and all are pretty much hit and miss depending on the hardware you have. For example... I installed Ubuntu 11.10 on my Dell Vostro 1500 and have absolutely no problems with it. It runs smooth, fast, never crashes, its awesome. I installed 11.10 on an older Sony desktop and I have nothing but issues with it. Same for Mint, Fedora and lots of others. I notice that Gnome 3 doesn't really like old hardware and that Unity is a little more cooperative with older desktops. There's not one ideal scenario unless you're installing it on a brand new machine and are sure it works perfectly fine with all the hardware.


Nikki 4 years ago

I'd been running Ubuntu quite happily for a few years and decided to give Joli OS a go on my Inspiron 1525 yesterday. I'm used to losing my wireless functionality with every major update, but it was fixable in Ubuntu with a bit of a hacking. The post-installation scripts for bcmwl-kernel-soure cannot run in Joli OS and after hours of faffing I'm giving up and going back to using web-based Jolicloud and looking for another OS to try. Not that there's anything wrong with Ubuntu, I just fancied a change.


kabayan 4 years ago

i'm newbei. i try ubuntu but i can't do anything with it. bansee music player doesn't run.

lalieur nu aya ah!


shejuguru 4 years ago

Of all the Linux Distors available, I believe Zorin and Ubuntu are worth trying for the windows Users.


raja 4 years ago

Yeah I have installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS in my PC . its cool.

unity was fixed a lot as compare with the previous releases. One more thing what i have got in my observation is 12.04 LTS is not much RAM eater as compare with the previous releases . so what i am thinking is now need to go for other flavors of Ubuntu for Low Memory system .


john garside 4 years ago

Pclinuxos full monty. i think it tops pinguy os as the 'All in one' linux desktop.

i used pinguy os 11.04 after ubuntu 11.04 and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.

pclinuxos = which one to use. very impressive and quite fast for 32 bit.

very close call


zeeman 4 years ago

Installed Ubuntu 11.04 - crashed. Ubuntu 12.04 - crashed. Linux Mint 12, it crashed everything on PC. Kubuntu did not worked. Fedora is empty. OpenSuse is not friendly. Only Pinguy OS 11.04 is very good right from beginning. But! Time to time it has issues, need to be restarted. I want stable OS and I do not care about how it works. So, Pinguy 11.04 OS!


Pete 4 years ago

Zorin for me .


Ciprian 4 years ago

Mint for me


baddraz 4 years ago

Ubuntu 10.04 is the best...


Rohit 4 years ago

Both Ubuntu & Mint are best os till 2012


Ben 4 years ago

Got a cr-48 from Google during the beta...Chrome OS requires a radical change of paradigm, though it is certainly a step towards the future of computing... When my beloved cr-48 died, I went looking for the next best thing (the chromebooks they brought to market are way overpriced)... Found Joli OS (formerly Jolicloud). Joli is yet another example of an excellent concept with amazing potential that gets thrown away as devs get sucked into making everything "more social." Joli OS IS DEAD, and probably isn't coming back. It was a brilliant concept- a "bridge" os if you will... after begging and pleading for updates (or even just workarounds) it's Ubuntu 12.04 in Gnome 3 session with AWN dock (unity is cluttered, not intuitive, bulky, and doesn't work well)...


David 4 years ago

I think PCLinuxOS Full Monty should be in this list:

http://www.pclinuxos.com/?page_id=1413


Camilo 4 years ago

Ok just want to say that if I wanto to install an aplication from MS... I just click in the .exe file, the most without problems . How? I've installed PinguyOs in my laptop. No more to say Thnx!!!


Troy 4 years ago

Zorin is quickly becoming the next great thing.


Northern Monkey 4 years ago

Agree re Joli os. Looks great but have been fighting with it for over a year - crashing, kernel issues etc. Spend more time fixing it than using it. This OS is now ancient and even the graphics cant compensate. It does seem the project is dead; no amount of account sign ups to the cloud can hide the fact it has been trading off the pretty desktop for far too long. Shame.


Javier 4 years ago

I like both Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

I'm running Ubuntu 12.04 (12.11 LTS I believe) in a desktop environment with a OCZ Agility 3 SSD and its lightning fast. I also run it on my notebook on an external SSD. I've considered using it internally, but I'm not so comfortable with Wine and have had limited success under both distro's running Windows programs with the exception of Autodesk Sketch and it's a bit unstable at that.

I have way too many Windows programs and though both OS's have tons of software many simply have no counterpart especially in photography. Shotwell's a great program, but others are weak. Excellent disk tools like gparted, etc, but it's the exception.

I Recently installed LM12 and about a week ago I installed LM13 on a SSD. I like it. I'm running Cinnamon on 12 and mate-64 on 13 both appear very stable.

Both these Os's are very impressive implementations of Linux.


Willynux 4 years ago

SolusOS seems to be a nice OS for windows users. Based on Debian stable with updated repositories is like having the best of both worlds, stability and freshness.


Jaan 4 years ago

I originally caught my teeth on Ubuntu. I tried Fedora but just as they warned after an update I had problems connecting wirelessly to the internet. I discovered Mint in drop off bin in Iraq of all places while I was deployed. I love Ubuntu but do not like Unity. I have tried LDME but honestly am wed to ubuntu based systems because of the programs that I use. Ubuntu seems to be light years ahead of debian. Mint 13 has been great so far I am using cinnamon.


kevin 4 years ago

Why isn't Fedora core 17 included as one of other linux distros for beginners?


hasben profile image

hasben 4 years ago Author

@kevin. Fedora is definitely not for beginners. It is mainly for advanced users.


Rangdrol 4 years ago

Im new to Linux, well, used it more than 20 years ago when it was just text based, for the most part, as a temp at O'Reilly in their Cambridge, MA offices. It sure has come a long way! Im very tired of the Macintosh IM hoping some new computer company is spawned...cause I hate paying for stuff that dies just over the warranty—over never worked at all, like my optical drive—etc.

The Linux mountaintop is confusing...so many apps, and "distros" etc./ Right now Im using Virtual Box and ive sucessfully loaded Ubuntu 12.04, but I want to check out Pinguy, and Maya 13 MATE. Im still not sure if Im doing it right, but ive only been able to load Ubuntu...and IM not sure if im even doing the right things,but cant seem to be able to install other "distros".

DOes anyone know if there is anything better than the VM Manual out there, like Missing Manual for Virtual Machine? There are so many different combinations, Master slave DVDs, Secondary slaves, etc., reminds me of a phase I went through...

Part of the problem is that my Mac Mini don't work, never did, and Apple wont replace it, so I cant burn DVDs, so IM stuck using iso files and trying to get to load them, but not so easy. Ubuntu was nice because it had a downloadable DVD which I could mount and then trashed, once I had installed the program, but others don't seem to have that option...

Oh well, all in time...


hasben profile image

hasben 4 years ago Author

@Rangdrol Have you tried using USB thumb drives instead of DVDs? using a simple utility called Unetbootin (available free for pc, mac and linux) , you can write .iso files to thumb drives.


narwesh guevara 4 years ago

mintttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt


f4rh4t 4 years ago

I see PCLinuxOS friendly to new user (There is no beginner in linux)

maybe Fedora for server (I have no knowledge about servers)

but still Slackware the best (My love),no else


Clint 4 years ago

New users should be tied to chairs and only use solaris


Dave 4 years ago

SolusOS is my pick.


DEXONE 4 years ago

PINGUY os for me...


Johan 4 years ago

The Linux Mint 13 Mate appears incompatible with Optiplex GX150 desktop (1GH Pentium III, 512 MB RAM, 20 GB HD).

The Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx had worked just fine on this machine since its release. Upon first wiping the HD clean, the installation of Mint failed each time (of some half a dozen attempts) exactly at the point when its installation window announces that “the slide show that will show you around while the system is being installed”: at that point that window immediately disappears, upon which the mouse pointer stays “busy” forever (waiting even an hour does not help).

The above happens regardless whether one follows the Mint's own automatic partitioning, or one tries one's own partitioning, etc., etc., etc. BTW, the Mint DVD itself is OK, it check-sums fine.

So much for this “best Linux desktop distro in 2012”... ... ...


hasben profile image

hasben 4 years ago Author

@Johan You may want to install a lighter distro on that hardware. You should try peppermint OS, which is a much lighter distro. Peppermint os 3 will be released in a few days. Until then you should attempt to install Peppermint 2.


Blue Collar 4 years ago

Two Years... Still consider myself a newbie, however I have tried Ubuntu, Mint. Joli and Puppy... Enjoyed them all! The unity thing didn't excite me... My daughter loves Joli OS on her Mini 9 as it keeps her in touch with everyone and everything. I have had to make tweeks and repairs from time to time. My wife loves the simplicity of Mint but complains that the text is hard on her eyes. I can tweek that too... She also uses a Netbook. Netbooks and small operating systems seem to be more and more useful around our home.

Ubuntu & Mint both seem like very stable operating systems. I think I lean more towards Mint. The Mint OS seems very easy for others that are familiar with the Windoze system to feel comfortable in no time. We have converted many friends to Linux users due to the simplicity of easy loading on their computer and the ability to operate with little to no help. If Joli could make a stability leap and step up the fun level I think it would be a great fit for all those Netbooks out there sitting in the closets. Perhaps Peppermint may be one our next Distros to check out. We thank everyone involved for the endless hours of work you have contributed to make such great operating systems that just keep getting better all the time:-)


leohaywire 4 years ago

I have been using Ultimate Edition for some years now. A full blown, app packed powerhouse based on Ubuntu. Every new release is better than the previous one. I highly recommend it to Newbies and seasoned gurus alike. You will be amazed!


averageuser-ish 4 years ago

Well I have tried a lot of distros on my HP Pavillion 6 laptop - but none matched Ubuntu in terms of ease of use and there was barely any set up involved at all. I tried Fedora 17... lets just say that if you are new to Linux, don't go there hehe.


ummmmm 4 years ago

easypeasy is another easy to use operating system for beginners


gray 4 years ago

I have tried the latest versions of Ubuntu, Linux Mint, OpenSuse, and Fedora - on my netbook.

Fedora 17 installed in the quickest time - around half an hour from downloading from the site to installation on to hard drive. Ubuntu, Mint and OpenSuse took nearly twice that time. On more than one occasion I had problems during the installation of each distro - with the exception of Fedora.

Post installation, Linux Mint was the easiest system to set up and configure (with most features ready 'out of the box'), followed by Mint and lastly by OpenSuse and Fedora.

However once a system has been installed and properly configured with the settings and applications you need, it is the desktop environment itself that determines how easy the system is going to be for everyday use (such as launching apps, finding files). I have found Gnome 3.4 (which comes as default with Fedora 17) to be much easier and comfortable to use on my netbook than KDE, Unity or Cinnamon.

In my experience, from acquiring the .ISO image to testing and installing it to hard drive, and for carrying out day to day work, Fedora 17 is the fastest, easiest and most reliable Linux system I have used. If it had better font rendering by default, more features available "out of the box" and a graphical software centre then I think it would be the one of the easiest Linux systems available for newcomers.


MikeMo 4 years ago

I downloaded Zorin OS 6 and haven't looked back at all...it's stable and reliable, and VERY user friendly which make it easy to switch over


RichyNoble 4 years ago

Ubuntu for me. 9.10 and 10.04 is the best!


Fedora User 4 years ago

I have started my linux experience with Ubuntu 9.04.

For a long time (till 11.04) I never considered other distros. When Unity came along I switched to Fedora.

I tried Ubuntu 12.04 which improved Unity and to my surprise performed very well in terms of graphics. My two issues which ultimately brought me back to Fedora were:

1. Overheating (which should be fixed by now)

2.Wine 64-bit will not run my 32-bit applications. Despite trying this has not been fixed.

Fedora has made a very nice installer and with an active internet connection you can get a fully working (and up to date) system in less than 2 hours right from the installer. You can also add apps that are not part of the default installation. Of course there are some tweaks and extra stuff you have to add post install but that is easy.

Add to this the fact that you can encrypt the entire drive and password protect GRUB with just a few click straight from the regular .ISO (not like Ubuntu where you need to get the alternative download to do all this).

Note that I tend to install both Gnome and KDE Desktop since I use these two GUIs interchangeably. If I chose only one during the install things would go faster.

P.S.

With https://extensions.gnome.org/

you can tweak the gnome shell significantly. The developers are active and tend to fix any issues that arise.


Dave 4 years ago

Hi.

Well I have a toshiba a665 s6067, I want to start trying a "no windows" OS... would you recommend some toshiba friendly distro? thanks in advance


VicksyG 4 years ago

Hi;

I need to replace my Ubuntu due to VNC not working properly (screen won't refresh). Any suggestions for an easy-top-use dist with no known VNC issues?

Thanks


hasben profile image

hasben 4 years ago Author

r@Dave You should definitely start with ubuntu.

@VicksyG I am not aware of that specific issue. Please try ubuntu forums. Chances are it has already been answered.


jackuars 4 years ago

By the way Linux Mint 13 is the most popular distro at DistroWatch not Ubuntu


hasben profile image

hasben 4 years ago Author

@jackuars - I believe the statistics at distrowatch are based on the number of clicks on the distro name. Correct me if I am wrong.


Chris 4 years ago

I like Zorin far


Harkuchh 4 years ago

Awesome post really helpful and this made me optimistic to start with Ubuntu, Thanx for your great knowledge...... information...


Falco 4 years ago

Voyager XFCE is a very "user friendly " distro based on Xubuntu .


Billyboy 4 years ago

SolusOS is my personal favourite linux distro


n3hima 4 years ago

Might be worth mentioning some of the Ubuntu derivs like Kubuntu or Xubuntu. I find Kubuntu is an excellent choice for beginners -- I have installed it for friends and family and they've found the interface much more intuitive than standard Ubuntu. Also many GNU/Linux users (including myself) don't like the way GNOME has gone in recent years, and I find KDE much more customisable and usable.


Bambang Ismanto 4 years ago

For myself, i am Debian user. But thanks for this post because gave new user more informations


Sainz Vermon 4 years ago

Linux Mint 14 (MATE) Edition for me..

I've made some tweak to the menu (taskbar) panel to look like Windows 7 where you can just click the icon of any application you pinned and it launches right away.. When you hover your mouse over an icon which has 2 or more windows open, it will show a thumbnail preview just like in windows. I also tweak the menu panel to make it transparent all the way across to the notification area and date/time..


Tommy 3 years ago

Been trying to install mint and zorin for about 12 hours now. Im sure they are great once the installer works. :/


PJ Franklyn 3 years ago

Fuduntu!


jola 3 years ago

As a newbie, i've enjoyed Lubuntu -on an old IBM thinkpad R51.

Now I wanna try Debian.

-jola


Brahim 3 years ago

Linux Mint is the best OS out there! It's a very elegant and rock-solid OS, miles ahead of any other distro!!


brokenman 3 years ago

If you have newer hardware then try Porteus. Runs most of the new stuff out there and remains compatible with older stuff. It is slackware based so it is as stable as Linux gets. The .iso file is under 300Mb !!


Linux234 3 years ago

How could you not include Joli OS or Snow Linux?


netrunner 3 years ago

Netrunner the bets linux for beginners, it have everything you need, it stable, and most polished KDE ever.


motolinux 3 years ago

Just installed Peppermint OS 3 on one netbook and Mint on another, hands down Peppermint was twice as fast and just as easy to use as Mint. Very basic, but it works for what I need it for... Thanks for article...


whymejake 3 years ago

Why doesn't the Linux community sit down with a bunch of newbies and analyze their experiences on the different distros. You guys are shooting yourself in the foot because most people will try one or two but the learning curve is too steep to decipher the differences. Even experienced users seem at odds over which is best. Trust me, diversity is not your friend. Linux will never go until you get your s&$t together. Lose the ego, work together and get it done. I've tried Ubuntu, Mint (wouldn't work) and OpenSuse. Get rid of the command line and step into the 21st century. At least do some .bat files and catch up to DOS. It isn't fun trying to figure out commands. REALLY!!!!!

Click and Go. Most people just give it up when things don't work. Trying to navigate the Help forums requires help. Geeks don't seem to communicate well. Nor do they seem to be able to agree on a solution. If only all the people working on this were working together instead of competing, something could actually progress in an orderly fashion.

Now go back to the chest pounding and proclamations of which is the best of the incomplete operating system with the archaic command structures.


protocol 3 years ago

whymejake,

Seems to me that you tried it, didn't understand it, and asked for help, but someone wasn't willing to hold your hand and do it for you when answers are all over for pretty much any question you can ask. "catch up to DOS" ? You're an idiot.


human 3 years ago

When it release?


bossosuchin profile image

bossosuchin 3 years ago

Top 10 Linux Distro for Beginners (as of April 2013 at distrowatch.com)

1. Linux Mint

2. Ubuntu

3. PCLinuxOS

4. OS4

5. Sabayon Linux

6. elementary OS

7. Pinguy OS

8. UberStudent

9. MEPIS Linux

10. Netrunner

http://www.osuchin.info/2013/04/most-popular-linux...


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 3 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

I've tried all of the above distros in the article and am thinking of switching to Zorin for a little while. Thanks for the details on the OSes mentioned here.


Joseph Morgan 2 years ago

Still an arch brother, though It was helpful for choosing a proletarian friendly install for my friend.


electronician profile image

electronician 2 years ago from Birmingham, England

I started with Ubuntu, and I think that does provide a good introduction to both Linux and to the philosophy of free open source software in general. Never even heard of Zorin or Pinguy - interesting article!


mwils 2 years ago

But Arch is so intuitive


mobo 2 years ago

i wouldn't recommend Linux Mint 16. the upgrade process is not for beginners, because there have to be a new cd/dvd image (& md5sum verification), that's not easy without help, an installation and maybe a data backup.


WestelCS profile image

WestelCS 2 years ago

Nice and interesting hub, Hasben. I guess, Zorin is good for new users. Ubuntu, now being in the market with the latest 14.04 LTS version takes it on the top, followed by Mint I'd say.


Joshua 2 years ago

ElementraryOS in my opinion.


Johnny 2 years ago

Puppy Linux.


Larry Miller 23 months ago

I have tried most, but only one runs good on almost any system I install or run it on, and that's Linux Lite.


Distro Hopper 22 months ago

What about Elive ? ​


booknow profile image

booknow 20 months ago

I run Debian stable on my servers which are really rock solid... And for my desktops I run mainly Ubuntu but I am also really liking Arch Linux which I installed on my Hummingboard - a Raspberry Pi alternative.

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