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The Best Linux Distribution for New Users

This is a debate that most certainly brings out the beast in many a Linux user. The argument doesn't generally boil down to which distribution is truly best suited for new users, but which distribution is favored by those in the debate. If we set our personal preferences aside, a clearer picture can arise. But even that clarity can quickly get obscured by the needs and desires of the new users. Given that, I decided to take a different approach to finding the “best distro for new users." My criteria for best distribution must not only be easy to use, but also must appeal to a more modern design aesthetic brought about by the ever-growing thrust of the mobile interface metaphor.

For the purposes of this examination, to be included in the short list a distribution must: 

  • Be incredibly user-friendly

  • Include, out of the box, all common apps

  • Include some form of an app store

  • Offer a modern user interface.

Let me explain each criteria.


This is such a hotly debatable topic. But the truth of the matter is – a new user must be able to pick up a flavor of Linux and just start using it, with little to no explaining. If too much explanation must be given, then the distribution is not user friendly. I hate to be that guy, but nearly any user can sit in front of a Windows 7 or OS X desktop and start using it with almost zero coaching. That is what every Linux desktop should shoot for.

Common apps

Users should not have to install the necessities out of the box. Period. And just what are the necessities? The list grows shorter every year. Currently, the list of must-have apps are:

  • Web browser: Either Chrome or Firefox (sorry, all other browsers need not apply)

  • Email client: Thunderbird is the obvious choice

  • Office Suite: LibreOffice. End of story

  • Music player: Play local files and connect to streaming services (such as Spotify).

That's the short list of apps nearly every user depends upon.

App store

Thanks to that ever-growing dependency on mobile devices, users have grown accustomed to app stores. Linux has had these for quite some time (Synaptic being one of the oldest). Without a well thought-out app store, users will struggle with adding software in the Linux environment. This is, without a doubt, crucial.

Modern interface

I've mentioned the mobile landscape a number of times already. Thanks to iOS and Android, users have grown fond of the modern UI. The desktop needs to follow suit and draw the attention of users with a unique, modern, yet easy-to-use interface. The old metaphor is no longer as effective in a multi-touch-friendly, mobile world.

Top three distros

With the criteria in place, which distributions meet (or exceed) our needs? First, let's examine the top three candidates. Each of the following meets (or exceeds) the criteria.


Ubuntu Linux has long reigned the king of user-friendly Linux. Out of the box, it's a challenge to find a desktop (Unity) that is more engaging and easy to use... even for those unfamiliar to the platform. The desktop layout, although different, is logical and intuitive. With the addition of one of the single most powerful search tools of any desktop environment, Ubuntu Unity should be considered a crowning achievement among the Linux faithful.

Linux Mint

If there is a distribution set to usurp the crown from the king, it is Linux Mint. Linux Mint takes a more standard approach to the desktop, but layers just enough eye candy and variation to make it stand out from the long-in-the-tooth desktop metaphor. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, so it does benefit from the stability and reliability found in its big brother.

Linux Deepin

New to the user-friendly list is Linux Deepin. This relatively new distribution hails from China and should be making some serious waves. Why? Because it takes the Linux desktop and turns it into a thing of artistic beauty; while at the same time retaining a high level of user-friendliness. When the newest iteration of this distribution is released, I expect big things. Linux Deepin takes the GNOME 3 desktop and retools it into something completely different and completely marvelous.

Scoring the Distros

With the top contenders listed, let's compare each to our criteria and rank each. Scoring for the distributions is as such: For each criteria, the distributions are ranked first to last (first getting 1 point, last getting 3 points). In the end, all scores are totaled to determine the winner -- lowest score wins.


This is probably the tightest of categories and hardest to judge. Each distribution is tops in user-friendliness in different ways. In the end, I'd rank the top three:

1. Linux Mint

2. Ubuntu Linux

3. Linux Deepin

Why? Mint gains a slight edge simply because it still holds to the old metaphor of start menu, task bar, and desktop icons. The margin of victory is incredibly slim though, as both Ubuntu and Linux Deepin require next to zero learning curve – even for the yet-to-be-initiated.

Common apps

The only reason this category is hard to judge is because each distribution includes all of the necessary applications. Although Linux Deepin currently offers Kingsoft Office (one of the finest mobile office suite solutions), the plans are to default to LibreOffice in the 2014 release.

One of my issues with the common apps falls into that of audio players. Though I stream a lot of music (using the Spotify client), when I play music on my local drive, I always use Clementine. The default players are:

  • Ubuntu: Rhythmbox

  • Linux Mint: Banshee

  • Linux Deepen: DMusic.

Of the three, Banshee (Figure 1) offers the most features, DMusic (Figure 2) offers the best interface, and (surprisingly enough) Rhythmbox (Figure 3) is, by far, the least reliable.




So, how do they score? Like so:

1. Linux Mint

2. Ubuntu Linux

3. Linux Deepin

App store

This category cannot go without being addressed. Why? Because the app store can easily make or break a Linux distribution for a new user. There will always be apps needed and no new user wants to jump through the hoops of learning the command line. Each distribution has their own take on the app store.

  • Ubuntu: Ubuntu Software Center

  • Mint: Software Manager

  • Linux Deepin: Deepin Software Center

It should be said, that each of these tools is based on the Ubuntu Software Center. What is odd about this is that it is the Ubuntu Software Center that lands squarely on the bottom. The primary reason for this is the Ubuntu Software Center is very slow – even on an incredibly powerful machine.

I would order the app stores as such:

1. Linux Deepin

2. Linux Mint

3. Ubuntu Linux

Each of the app stores functions in a very similar manner. The reason Linux Deepin gets the top bill is twofold: The interface is easier to navigate and the application opens far faster than either the Ubuntu Software Manager or the Mint Software Manager.

Modern interface

This is the category in which Linux Mint falls way, way behind. Even though it does offer a bit of eye candy and a more shallow learning curve, Linux Mint still suffers from what is, by comparison, a very outdated desktop. Even on powerful hardware (with solid graphics), Linux Mint still looks like it could very easily have been transported from the late 1990s. To that end, we must look to either Ubuntu Linux or Linux Deepin to bring us into the future. The winner is:

1. Linux Deepin

2. Ubuntu Linux

3. Linux Mint

What Linux Deepin does is use GNOME 3 to create an amalgam of GNOME and OSX that works so beautifully, you think you're dealing with a piece of interactive art.

The overall winner

Although this is very rudimentary, the order of our best Linux distro for new users would be:

1. Linux Mint with a collective score of 7

2. Linux Deepin with a collective score of 8

3. Ubuntu Linux with a collective score of 9

If you're wondering about the 'writer opinion' of this piece, know this: I have used Ubuntu Linux for years (and still do). I have recently been quoted as saying “If there's a Linux distro that will sway me from Ubuntu, it's Linux Deepin.” Although I appreciate Linux Mint for what it is, I only use it for testing purposes. With that said, Linux Mint is the clear winner, when it comes to best Linux distribution for new users.

Here's the real truth of this matter – you can't go wrong with any of these Linux desktops. They each shine in their own right. If you're looking for a true beauty, go with Linux Deepin. If you want a combination of beauty and ease of use, go with Ubuntu Linux. If you just want simplicity and you don't care about eye candy, go with Linux Mint. No matter which way you go, it's a win-win-win scenario.

What do you think? How would you rank the three chosen desktops? Or, would you write in a completely different Linux distribution for best in show for the new users (and why)?



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  • Phillip Hedayatnia Said:

    Hands down Elementary OS and Linux Deepin are the easiest to use - Mint and Ubuntu should not even be ranked.

  • Steve Said:

    Seriously? A small child could use Mint.

  • Akshar Said:

    I second that. Mint is very user friendly.

  • Ilya Said:

    Mint is user friendly to users who are used to working with a classic desktop (classic gnome or windows). I agree that we need legacy desktops for people who don't want to change. For me, screen space is very important, while having a taskbar etc. are not. Ubuntu is (apart from envs such as ratpoison) most screenspace-efficient. I haven't used a start menu in ages and they just aren't necessary. Neither is a taskbar (alt-tab, the new window search function in ubuntu).

  • Steve Said:

    I've played with a number of Linux distros over the years and Mint was far and away the easiest to load and configure. From download to CD burn to install it was child's play.

  • falcao Said:

    Well, IMHO, Mint is pretty darn easy! Very happy it exists. :D

  • Lionel Archer Said:

    I don't think we go search...we're looking for full interface with powerful search is still so slow and new in that feature...eventought it uses Ubuntu...

  • None Said:

    Mint is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Justan Said:

    I would say my top distros for beginners would be: Xubuntu, Peppermint 5, Linux Mint, Manjaro, Kali.(But you should also just look around at various distro on Distrowatch, and try anything that interests you.... make good backups and you can even try installing many different distros from CD/USB.) I have never tried Zorin / Mageia / PCLinuxOS / Black Lab / other similar distros, but they would probably be good as well. Honestly just grabbing a distro that looks interesting to you, and then sticking with it is probably the best option.

  • Sloan Said:

    jesus christ why do human beings have to argue?!?!? Insteaad of trying to determine which is best,

  • EroticPastry Said:

    We run mint on our old 32 bit laptops in our elementary schools in our school district. Kids love the machines and have very few issues.

  • Marc Gray Said:

    I've given Netrunner to my 10 year old twins and my computer illiterate father. I've only had to help out once: when the bottom panel was unlocked and the task list accidentally removed. I've used Ubuntu and Mint, I personally rate Netrunner higher on usability for people familiar with Windows.

  • lunarcloud Said:

    No one I know uses a desktop application to do email with.

  • Árpád Said:

    A lot of ppl do, even if you don't know anybody of the.

  • Richard Palmer Said:

    Thunderbird, simply the best.

  • TheSeanTeam Said:

    Lots of people in the corporate world use Outlook

  • David Watson Said:

    My recommendation would be Black Lab Linux, Its the most user friendly distro out of box and they have AWESOME support. I had a problem with one of their ISO's one time, not only did they have it fixed and uploaded the same day, Roberto sent me a liveUSB key free of charge "for my troubles" when the church gets its new systems in July, the pastor already said we will be going with the commercial release. So if you are looking for a distro that the guys stand behind it, look at Black Lab.

  • Jimmy Said:

    Interesting take on the matter, but why must a Linux distribution contain an Office suite when other OS's doesn't?

  • Bert Said:

    Because others can easily be bought or pirated and they are way more familiar and not to be worried about. As for this article's criteria, it is right to assume that every single mouse move and touch are worrisome to do therefore easing into it is important.

  • Shawn Moniz Said:

    i second black lab linux as well,im really suprised at distrowatch or any other site for that matter not mentioning them because there constantly updating and making sure things just work unlike some distros that don't care

  • Argi Skelton Said:

    Why there is no mention for Zorin OS? it's a Ubuntu distro and its control center mimics control panel for windows users and also the interface can look like windows 7 or windows xp. I am using Linux Mint and Zorin OS and i thing for beginners or windows users it's a very friendly choice

  • Trench Reynolds Said:

    I was wondering why there was no love for Zorin. Great beginner distro.

  • Derek Smith Said:

    I agree with Argi, I run 4-5 OS and my main OS and the one I consider the best is Zorin. This distro is the easiest to use, and with the Windows 7, Xp and Gnome themes at a touch of a button, should satisfy most users. Whilst I consider Ubuntu 10.10 the best ever, Unity is too difficult for the new user.

  • Justan Said:

    One of the first linux distro I ever tried was Arch Linux(in 2013), because it seemed like fun -- the worst thing you can tell a beginner is "it's too difficult" -- because it's NOT. It's never "too difficult" and unity is definitely easy enough for a beginner to use. The problem with finding a "beginner friendly distro" is everyone thinking "its too difficult" so they don't want to even try, What a beginner needs isn't a linux clone of windows, or a distro that requries you to do NOTHING. What they need is to be eased into the mindset of solving problems and making nothing "too difficult". Thats one reason why I think having a GUI package management system isn't really a "must have" especially if you're using an Ubuntu / Debian based distro... the terminal "apt-get" method is more than easy enough.

  • derek Said:

    Sorry, wrong choice of word, should have said complicated

  • Lakmus Said:

    i am using LinuxMint, my choice LinuxMint

  • john Said:

    I think that most people who write articles about this subject are forgetting something, who is going to help all of these people. When I started with Linux I started with Debian Sid. No, I'm not super smart and up to that time had only used windows. A friend that I met in a windows forum pointed me to it. He was involved in the development and promised to "hold my hand" I asked him many questions and learned to find answers on the forums and by using google. I have since gone on to use several different distros including slackware and some derivatives and the same with debian, from stable to testing to sid. I currently used Fedora. When I built my granddaughter (22) a computer I put Windows back on it and also Fedora. I didn't put any of the many suggestions for one simple reason, I knew that if she had a problem she would call/text me and I could help her. I wanted to make the experience fulfilling. When I talked to her yesterday after about 8 months on the new computer she asked if I could put windows on so she could play sims. She didn't even know it was there. Yes she has asked for help and learned to find answers on her own. If I had used one of your suggestions she would have been on her own because I am not familiar with any of them and would never have a desire to use them. I have tried Mint and Ubuntu and changed after about 2 days. Too many problems that shouldn't exist. Wouldn't recognize my hardware, etc. I think that if you are going to recommend a distro to someone, you should show them what you are familiar with because they are going to turn to you first. What do you say to them, sorry, that is a good one for you but I don't use it.

  • Ralph Said:

    I had never heard of Linux Deepin before, but I gave it a try after reading about it in this article. Jack Wallen: You owe me a half-hour of my life back. It should be completely obvious to anyone who uses it for a few minutes that Deepin is an unpolished turd. It has absolutely no business being compared to Mint and Ubuntu. That'd be like comparing a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, and a used Ford Pinto. Did the Deepin people pay somebody off to be included in this article? I can think of no other reason why it would even be mentioned alongside real distros. I'm not even going to give any specific examples of why Deepin sucks because the whole thing sucks.

  • Piggyteats Said:

    I just tried Deepin and holy snit! What a joke. The problems began when I tried to set the clock and I couldn't find my city, which just so happens to be New York City. I didn't know what my UTC time zone is so I had to google it. So already I'm googling things just to set the clock in Deepin. So, it turns out that New York City is in UTC-4 during the spring/summer. Deepin's examples of locations within the UTC-4 time zone: San Diego, Georgetown and San Juan. Uhhh... San Diego and San Juan are on the opposite sides of North America. They are over 3,000 miles apart from each other, but Deepin puts them in the same time zone. Deepin is a joke. How could you recommend it to anyone in good conscience?

  • Steve Said:

    Sorry, but you are wrong. You should make sure you know for a fact before you post mis-information. New York City is there, Very clearly, I don't understand how you could fail to see it?? Type in USA New York.. Or even just Type in the word "New" and it is there when you scroll down.

  • Nifanta Said:

    I think that the hole article is a joke! I am using (in parallel with other OS's and distros ofc) Ubuntu since version 7.04 - There is no way to believe you that it is recommended for beginners - there is indeed too many problems that shouldn't be there For example if you have broadcom wireless devices you will never have internet! If you have an older (2007-2010) ATi card - Forget about adequate video driving even systems effects will be slow and laggy - Try to put external audio tru USB and listen to clicks and glitches - Just please Don't talk about beginners and Mint/Ubuntu/Deepin, please! There went too much time from the point that These OS's doesn't do the beginners job... They became way too crappy... I am sorry for sayin' that but every intervention in the system for fixing something is about becoming an engineer guy and ends up with no effect! :/

  • Steve Said:

    I don't know what you're talking about.. I have 2 laptops, one from 2004, one from 2010 and 2 desktops, one with ATI card earlier than 2010 and one with a newer 2013 card and all 4 systems run all 3 of the above distros perfectly without any issues with graphics or audio or detecting wireless adapters. It all just works even from the live usb! The issues you are talking about were issues in 7.04 which was 6 odd years ago.. Maybe you aren't aware that all those issues no longer exist?

  • Kasper Said:

    It depends of which kind of a new user it is. If it's a user with experience with working with computers, i don't think there should be any issue recommending Mint, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora etc. On the other hand if it is a user with a very little experience with using computers ( Email, browsing etc) I would recommend Zorin or similar

  • Davor Said:

    Audio players - try Clementine. The best there is ! (believe me)

  • Falcao Said:

    Linux comes is many different flavours. There is one for every taste! Choose the one makes you happy and let it be. That's how it's meant to be!

  • Lawrence Hearn Said:

    LinuxMint by far. I love Ubuntu but am not fond of pictograms replacing language everywhere. I just installed LinuxMint 16 on an old Vista laptop for my totally computer illiterate wife to become literate (since she now has her own digital camera). Mint is simple to grasp and easy to use and her illiteracy is vanishing quickly.

  • Woakes Said:

    Coming straight from Windows 7 to using Ubuntu (in various flavors), with NO prior Linux experience, my vote goes to Zorin OS. Talk about a minimal learning-curve! Even my wife, who broke her Windows 7 laptop every time she touched it (I swear it had a gremlin that could sense her fear), has had no issues with Zorin. The worst part of Linux for an old Windows user is having to add things that were standard in Windows. The default set of things in Ubuntu is too small ... probably so that the ISO file is smaller. Zorin provided everything I needed by design and default. Perhaps Mint would please me just as well. I couldn't get the LiveUSB to work on either laptop!

  • old-Linux-user Said:

    That it should be "so easy that anyone could use it without having to stop and think" is a false goal and one that undermines Linux in general and that insults human intelligence. I started with Red Hat 6. There was nothing "easy" about using Linux in those days. But then I looked for an alternative to Windows because it was too easy and I was bored (as well as disgusted with the proprietary/predatory ethos). I made my way, with help from LQ and a lot of trial and error, to being able to use Linux for just about everything. The drive to make all versions of Linux "so easy a child could use it without thinking" is awful and is, I bet you, were we able to find out, driven by the competition, not by user's requests. Linux is under attack from all sides - the aim is to make it useless, bug ridden and changed so often that no one can 'get behind it' and then it can be abandoned and the proprietary boys can step in and claim the final victory. So the "we included all the proprietary filth for you so you have no chance to learn for yourself and make an informed decision" type distros are actually doing Linux a disservice. But everyone worships the god of convenience these days, even though he makes fools of all his adherents. People should be encouraged to think and explore and if they're not willing to do that - there's an Apple store in just about every city on earth.

  • wally Said:

    If you are talking about "new users" (as the title suggests) the the argument to hold on to "old metaphors" is senseless. That pretty much undercuts your final ratings.

  • ksd Said:

    Please review Stella ( Stella combines the rock solid stability of RedHat/CentOS and the support for newer apps by using the Fedora and other repositories.

  • bjb1959 Said:

    Mint is Ubuntu base with Mate or Cinnamon desktop. So saying Ubuntu shouldn't be ranked is kinda myopic. the only real difference is the desktop manager which is a matter of preference. I have used them all and have settled on Unity, my choice. Either Mint or Ubuntu would be great choices for all but the most staunch of Linux purists.

  • spyder Said:

    For me the best of distribution linux is Manjaro:

  • robertc Said:

    Please no more "Best Desktop" vauge reviews.

  • Steve Said:

    Seriously flawed article which doesn't even mention Gnome Shell???? I'm inclined to believe the writer has never even used it or has some sort of vendetta against it. How on earth is it possible that Linux mint can be listed instead of Gnome Shell?? Even KDE deserves to be there instead of Gnome Shell.. Are you kidding???

  • aicardi Said:

    What's flawed is your comment. Neither KDE or Gnome Shell are Linux Distributions. KDE is a desktop environment and can be run on any Linux distribution. Gnome Shell is the default graphical shell of the GNOME desktop environment, which can also be run on any Linux distribution.

  • Steve Said:

    Sorry.. my bad.. Even KDE deserves to be there instead of Linux Mint (previous comment was supposed to say).. No edit function so I had to post another comment.

  • Kevin Said:

    As the previous commenter stated, KDE is a desktop enviroment, not a Linux distribution. Linux Mint is available in different desktop enviroments. There is Cinnamon, Mate, KDE or Xfce.

  • Kevin Said:

    As the previous commenter stated, KDE is a desktop enviroment, not a Linux distribution. Linux Mint is available in different desktop enviroments. There is Cinnamon, Mate, KDE or Xfce.

  • Ari Torres Said:

    What a joke! you guys always screw up this topic nothing.nothing but nothing beats eOS (Elementary OS Luna) ease of use,modern,fast,,beauty you guys suck no the other distros

  • eldergeek Said:

    The problem I have with articles like this is that no two Linux users have the same notions about what apps and features are "essential". For example, I've no interest in Spotify, Pandora, or any related service so VLC is the only media player I need. Nor have I any use for an "Apps Store". I like Synaptic. If it's not included in the distro, I install it and remove whatever they were using in its place. I've no idea what a "modern user interface" is. For my own daily use I like KDE but if it's to big a load on the system resources of whatever machine I'm using, I don't mind switching to Xfce. If the hardware won't support Xfce then it's not adequate to my needs and I'll scrounge a different piece of hardware. No big deal. Wanting common apps out of the box is all well and good but there's a lot of perfectly usable P4 machines out there which don't have DVD drives in them and there aren't so many distros left which will fit on a CD, nor do any of them come with a full compliment of software. Most computer users don't really care about hardware issues and have no interest in learning how to install an Operating System. Linux has been completely ready for the average desktop user for years now but the average desktop user has no idea how to go about installing it and isn't interested in learning. I know a lot of competent, happy Linux users who didn't install their Operating Systems. I did that for them and my wife taught them how to use it. Arguments about what software should be included "out of the box" in a Linux distro are about as relevant as arguments about whether the lug bolts on car wheels have SAE or metric threads; the driver, the guy who's going to have to change the tire in the middle-of-nowhere when he has a flat, doesn't care. He just wants to know that it'll get him home after he changes the tire. The ordinary, non-tech, computer user who winds up using Linux doesn't care which distro it is or what software came "out of the box" because the nerd who installed it for him will handle all that. He just wants to be able to do whatever stuff he's accustomed to doing on his computer. He's totally ok with slight differences and mostly even ok with doing some things completely differently to get around the hassle and expense of proprietary software. The sort of computer users who're totally dedicated to the status quo are never going to wind up using a Linux system in the first place. Incidentally, given the particular criteria you've chosen to define your ideal distro, I'm a little surprised that you haven't given at least an honorable mention to Console OS. :)

  • BobZmuda Said:

    You aren't the type of user this article was written for. "Scrounging a different piece of hardware" because it doesn't work with some piece of software is time-consuming, costly, and entirely out of the question for anyone who doesn't understand a new OS, let alone why individual components aren't cooperating or being recognized.

  • Matthias Said:

  • Linuxcanuck Said:

    Linux Mint should not even be in the running as a user friendly distro because it is so hard to upgrade from one version to the next compared to Ubuntu. It used to be that upgrading was an iffy proposition, but now it is just what most users do and they do it repeatedly. I have not installed a fresh version of Kubuntu for three years. That is how reliable it has become. Yet, Mint continues to not offer an upgrade tool for users. Instead they must download a fresh ISO and re-install or edit their sources as root (something most newbies could not manage without help) and then cross their fingers. I am not saying Mint is bad, just that it is not user friendly when it comes to something most people will eventually want to do. I would say that Mate and Cinnamon are bad compared to KDE and even Unity. They are stuck in the past in an old desktop paradigm and have no future. Add to that the dumbing down going on in both GNOME and anything based on it (and Unity) and it can be more frustrating than anything else. Undoubtedly their will be some users who like Cinnamon and Mate, but it is not where we are going with new devices and touch screen interfaces. Eventually users will have to switch to something more advanced as they are forced to by new hardware. Already Mint is showing signs that it can't even keep its current pace with Ubuntu as they will not be offering new six month releases, but instead offering backports to the LTS. If I was a Mint user I would be concerned. Fortunately I am not. I am a KDE user and I look forward to the next Plasma 5 Desktop and beyond.

  • Prasetyo Wardoyo Said:

    no matter, whatever linux distro installed on my laptop, i use both kde and gnome ....

  • Richard Palmer Said:

    To the essential apps list I'd add: PDF reader/editor - Libreoffice can do this but is not infallible, particularly fro complex pdf documents. An image reader/editor that also enables photo printing.

  • Ashok Said:

    If you are currently using Windows7, it is easy to use Zorin. But my opinion Linpus lite, Linux Deepin and PClinuxOs are easy, feature rich and beautiful interface. For regular users Ubuntu is always best.

  • Ari Torres Said:

    here we go again :) 1-Elementary OS second to none (Best Ever) 2-Ubuntu 14.04 I don't care for the third :)

  • Derek Said:

    I was going to try Elementary until I read -

  • Ari Torres Said:

    very old stuff,all you need if you want it is Firefox but most ppl are happy with Midori,Libreoffice and the Restricted Extras the rest is a myth ONLY IF YOU WISH never had to install drivers for anything and all I mentioned above can be achived with this simple input sudo apt-get install firefox sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras and for office this: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install libreoffice It is a clean system with no bloat as Ubuntu that more than half the crap that comes installed has no use for many of us Clean and Beautiful :) nah nah nahnah nah nah nahnah :)

  • Luke Said:

    Debian Wheezy ..better stability and not prone to crashes. Other's use the .deb system but they lack the the stability of the Daddy of them all, Debian.

  • Mark Said:

    Deepin 2014 looked awesome. I started to download the ISO distro and went to click on installation instructions. There are only Chinese instructions. I checked their forum for a possible US English link but the forum is entirely Chinese. I clicked translation links for both the installations and the forum but all I got was Chinese script. Oh well!

  • Jay Said:

    I am wondering why people was not aware of "BIG DADDY OF LINUXes" ---- ELEMENTARY OS "FREYA" is coming. Use your brain people. Use if for 1-2 days.. Have an inner look at that. You will forget everything and every other distro available till date. And yeah you dont have to email for any help and wait like hell. Directly go to and elementary os people are right there all the time to help you out.

  • Jay Said:

    Forgot to mention some (out of thousands) nice things about Elementary OS Luna (current stable). 1. Cleanest first look you will have. 2. Cleanest desktop. 3. Riding on shoulder of - Ubuntu. So you are never worried about updates and Long Term Support. and yet more simpler, beautiful and clean. 4. Do a couple of tweaks here and there and you will get what you want. 5. You will thrashed with its beauty. 6. Ubuntu or cheapo ubuntu distros users will feel like home.

  • m. edmund howse Said:

    what is the damn bitch here, i've used almost every distribution made for i don't know how many years since ? and i don't remember how many dinosaurs were still around but for the most part it is a personal preference and all are better than m$soft. stop whining mine is better than yours as they are all excellent for the most part, i've seen some glitches but nothing like that i've experienced from Apple or m$soft and those glitches are generally not the distro's fault, it's a driver issue so stop bickering and make reasonable requests and suggestions. it's almost like there are trolls posting.

  • Mason Said:

    Linux Mint compared to all. Any change need to be learned; but, not forever like Microsoft.

  • Hassan Said:

    They all damn thing about ubuntu i hate z tht it doesnt come with sound drivers...But overall all are gud...

  • Sandbar Bob Said:

    ANY OS that requires command line input to accomplish simple things, like changing screen resolution, can not be considered user friendly. Linux commands look like the the cartoon character that hit his thumb with a hammer. GEEKS love it but the every day user is instantly put off. I've been a programmer since before most of you were born, anyone remember 40 col. punch cards? No user oriented OS should require a command line and commands like "$ sudo sh -c "cd /home ; du -s * | sort -rn > USAGE". Might not be a good example since I have no idea what that does but I think you get my drift.

  • jake1954 Said:

    Boy, I don't know if I want to switch to any Linux OS now. I have heard such an array of opinions that if I wasn't confused before, I am certainly confused now. These debates between experienced users has me wandering if it would be a good idea to even consider changing from windows or not. I have tried Linux Mint17 but I can't find scanner drivers for my clx 3185. It doesn't seem to have the ability to produce drivers for hardware that I don't intend to get rid of.

  • Total_Blue Said:

    The Linux driver for the clx 3185 can be found at There should be instructions included in the archive on how to install it.

  • ram Said:

    I love ubuntu bcz its a power pack os which has gud appearance and well organized structure , i used mint too but mint has good features about in booting up the system and ensures an out stand performance compared to all the Linux disros

  • EP Said:

    I've got to say that I've never seen a Linux Distro that was what I'd call User-Friendly. I've been working with PC's since the Late 80's. I'm good with hardware, operating system issues, drivers, and I even do some programming. I've tried Linux nearly a dozen times, different Distros and have never kept Linux on a machine. It simply is TOO complicated and time consuming to make things work. I've used every version of Windows and I have a Mac, None of them require pages of command line entries to get software working or options and preferences the way you like. I've never had permission issues with Win or Mac. I've just completed an install of Mint 17.1 and I've spent literally 4 or 5 hours trying to figure out how to mount and access external drives. I spent more hours trying to figure out why Plex Media Server doesn't work 'out of the box' the way it does under Win and Mac. Even basic cosmetic changes are a Pain in the Butt with Linux. If Linux is ever going to be a real competitor in the OS market it's going to have to get a LOT easier to use.

  • Graham Said:

    EP, I have to agree with you, I have have also tried Linux many times over the years, mainly because I would really like to get away from the windows environment. The latest attempt with Mint gave me a working operating system with a few basic apps which was fine. However when I wanted to install other programs or try to get other hardware working it was a complete faff. A computer to me is a tool, I need to be able to use that tool and adapt it to my needs quickly, I don't want to sit there for hours trying to work out how to install something or get a bit of hardware working. Linux would be great if only...................................

  • Philip Sanchez Said:

    Just a little back ground, since my computer has been outdated by Microsoft moving to the new platform of windows 8.0 and my system being out dated by this platform made my discussion of me converting over to Linux. Most typical user would not understand that there are other platforms of other operating systems available to them other then the Windows Platform. But being the field of studying Information Technology I came to the understanding that Windows was trying to make a move to make the typical user feel that they needed to purchase new computers,since their old versions of windows was not compatible to older computers. After doing some thinking I thought of Linux, since in my studies of computer science this has been the most reliable platform used in servers. Doing a little home work and trying to install windows 8.0 my computer platform according to windows did not support the windows 8 platform. When installing Linux running only on CD mode the platform was more powerful then the windows platforms, delivering a better friendly platform then windows xp, converting my none user windows xp versions to a friendly mode of Linux Rebbecca. Even though the Linux Rebbecca version can be used in most computer platforms, “Meaning that not all Computers interface graphic cards, drivers, and other typical internal components are computable to Linux Rebbecca. I have ran in to some problems installing the platform of Linux Rebbecca, such as my Intel graphic card not being computable to Linux Rebbecca, even though you can down load the drivers its still not computable. Driving Linux Rebbecca to a fall-back mode. The best solution for this fix is to install the old version of Linux, since Linux Mint Rebbecca does not support the drivers for Intel graphical cards. If you have any additional information, please provide this to other user!

  • boso Said:

    Linux is Linux. Just an operating system. to run programs so Why are you people so complicated?

  • Kevin Said:

    I used Ubuntu for years, though now I think Xubuntu has become the best official *buntu flavor. Xubuntu runs great on almost any hardware old or new, and is almost like having a Gnome 2 desktop again. Mint isn't bad. It has a lot of built in features, though to me it feels like a step down from the officially supported Ubuntu flavors. Lack of upgrades is a bit puzzling. I don't think Ubuntu spin-offs should be subtracting functionality (aside from perhaps Unity). The official Ubuntu release has a hefty footprint. It may not run well on older computers. It's also less configurable than Xubuntu in many ways.

  • admin Said:

    Linux MInt my favorite

  • doug Said:

    No Question about it, if you are setting it up yourslef or for a family or friend try the latest Zorin It has been stable in my use and is Ubuntu based so repositories are updated regular. Also has theme management that includes windows look desktop option. Else Xubuntu 14.04.

  • mjsba63 Said:

    All you have to use is and the computer will do the rest.

  • mjsba63 Said:

    I'm going to try Zorin. I like the Ubuntu Desktop environment; but, I'm getting people to switch to a version of Linux since they use Android on the Tablet.

  • Sacha Said:

    Am I the only guy here who want to have Java run in his browser?? It is incredibly difficult to get done in Lubuntu, even after a bit of searching on the Web, and badly needed for many websites... I can't see why there is no easy way to install it. Even updating Flash can be a nightmare if you are not a Linux geek...

  • WantedToTryIt Said:

    These comments merely highlight the issue with Linux. Fragmentation. It's why Linux will never be the desktop OS of choice for the vast majority of users.

  • Graham Storrs Said:

    I totally agree with WantedToTryIt. I used to use Unix back in the day, then MacOS, and, for the past 20 years or so, Windows. From time-to-time, I've thought about using Linux and have tried it - usually for a couple of days before I recoiled in horror at how user-hostile it was. I've been a programmer and software designer for most of my career, I've even taught programming at undergrad level in universities. So I'm not computer illiterate, and I'm not incapable of learning computing concepts, but I don't want to waste my time struggling and fighting with an OS when what I need to spend my precious time on only involves using apps. Lately, I had the urge again to look into Linux (Windows is OK but Win 8 is an abomination and I don't want to pay an annual fee to Microsoft when the "free" upgrade to Win 10 becomes available). So I googled "best Linux for beginners" - cos it's been years since I last looked - and this was the first article I read. And it's really turned me off the whole idea. There are so many different "distros" mentioned and the arguments are so tribal. There are still people here arguing that if you don't want to get under the hood of the OS, you shouldn't be using Linux at all. And I'm sorry to say it but those are the people I'm inclined to believe. Maybe I'll look again in another few years.

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