Home News Software Applications The Top 7 Best Linux Distros for 2014

The Top 7 Best Linux Distros for 2014

The Linux avalanche is rolling and gathering mass and momentum. Linux won, so what's next? Amazing growth is what's next: we're at the bare beginning of the Linux juggernaut rolling into existing markets and blazing into new ones. All this growth and progress is the result of years of hard work by tens of thousands of people and billions of dollars of investment. It has reached critical mass and there is no stopping it.

The strength of the Linux and FOSS ecosystem is its breadth and depth, and ability to fill important niches large and small without worrying about profitability. My top 7 picks for 2014 are nowhere near comprehensive, but they highlight important work. As always you are invited to share your own picks in the comments.

Most Beautiful Distro: Bodhi

This is an easy choice: Bodhi Linux. Bodhi Linux uses the Enlightenment window manager, which has always occupied a unique niche. Enlightenment is beautiful, lightweight, and extremely customizable. Its flexibility has worked against it in the past, because when you install the stock Enlightenment it takes a fair bit of work to set it up as it's more of a framework than a finished desktop environment. The Bodhi team have done a great job of taming Enlightenment and giving users a beautiful, ready-to-use implementation.

Bohdi desktop

Bodhi is based on Ubuntu LTS and takes a minimalist approach: minimum system requirements are 300+MHz CPU, 128MB RAM, and 2.5GB hard drive space, and it installs with a bare minimum set of packages. Then you make it your own. Sharing artwork is a big part of the Bodhi community, with something for everyone.

Best Desktop Distro: Xubuntu

People seem to forget that Ubuntu is much larger than the Unity desktop, and judge all of Ubuntu by that alone. I don't much care for Unity, but I do like the whole *buntu ecosystem. You can reliably upgrade to new releases, which is not true of a lot of desktop-oriented Linuxes. It's engineering brilliance to support multiple distros like Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu Server, and all the rest from a common core and common repos, and the only distro with bigger repos is Debian, so you can almost always find what you want. If you can't then you have the giant thundering herd of Ubuntu PPAs (Personal Package Archives) to get software from.

So suppose you install Ubuntu, and you're sitting there looking at Unity and going "ew". You don't have to dump Ubuntu-- just install any of the other variants, and then choose the one you want when you log in. You want Xubuntu? apt-get install xubuntu-desktop. Are you a KDE4 fan? apt-get install kubuntu-desktop. And so on. You also have the option of selectively installing smaller package groups instead of the *-desktop packages, which pull in everything.

fig-2 xubuntu desktop

Xfce is a super-nice desktop environment, and it has come a long ways from its humble beginnings. Xubuntu's implementation of it is sleek and nicely-organized. It reminds me of how Ubuntu customized GNOME 2 back in the early Ubuntu days. Nothing fancy, just some useful stuff in the panel and a standard system menu, plus with Xubuntu you get a dock. It starts up and shuts down quickly, and it's peppy on feebler hardware. If you want all kinds of ornamentation and special effects then Xubuntu will disappoint you. If you want to get your work done and not fight your computer, you want Xubuntu.

Best Laptop Distro: Lubuntu

Again I must go with a member of the Ubuntu family. Lubuntu flies on older, less-powerful laptops. Lubuntu is Ubuntu-ized LXDE, which is one of the lightest-weight graphical environments you can use without sacrificing a lot of functionality. You'll get longer battery life, and have more system resources available for more demanding applications such as audio recording or graphics editing.

Most Important for the Future of Linux Distro: DouDou

Where do Linux gurus come from? From baby newbies. How do baby newbies become gurus? From using DouDou Linux. DouDou is an excellent, safe platform for children to explore and learn skills the fun way. It comes with the superior Gcompris and Childsplay suite of educational software, multimedia production software, and challenging brain games. DouDou is simplified and locked-down, and includes Dan's Guardian for some protection against Internet badness. DouDou is also an good platform for adult beginners.

Best Fighting the Man Distro: TAILS

Online privacy is a sad sick joke, with our own government and private businesses snooping freely into our online activities, and collecting and trading our data without the tiniest bit of oversight or accountability. But we're not entirely on our own as hardy hackers give us tools to protect ourselves. Like TAILS. TAILS, the Amnesic Incognito Live System, is a Debian-based live distro that routes your networking through TOR, the Onion Router, and erases all tracks from any local storage media. If you run TAILS from a USB stick you'll get nice fast performance.

TAILS uses other good privacy tools like HTTPS Everywhere, NoScript, and a cookie manager, plus it's a complete distro with the usual set of Linux applications, so you can use it for your everyday work. It's all rolled into a nice easy-to-use bundle, which is essential because security tools that are too hard to use don't get used.

Best Enterprise Distro: SUSE and Red Hat

This is a tie: SUSE and Red Hat. I can't pick one over the other because they're both rock-solid, they're excellent community members, and they have similar product lines.

SUSE has always been a top enterprise Linux distro, but it is not so well-known in North America. They hold a number of bragging rights: first mainframe Linux and most popular mainframe Linux with 80% market share, half of the world's largest supercomputers run SUSE, most widely-used commercial enterprise Linux distribution in China (more than China's Red Flag Linux), and it dominates in retail--even Walmart uses SUSE Linux Enterprise Point-of-Service.

Tux in a Red Hat and SUSE logo

When Attachmate bought Novell in 2010 they did a smart thing: they divided Novell into three separate business units. Novell's security products were moved to the NetIQ division, and SUSE was divorced from Novell. This was a glorious event for SUSE, who could once again control their own destiny. They have done well, growing at a record rate with their largest growth in North America. 2014 may be the year that SUSE stops being the obscure enterprise Linux.

We all know and adore Red Hat. Red Hat is the first billion-dollar Linux vendor, and has been a cornerstone of Linux development from their humble beginnings way back in 1994. Red Hat is the #1 corporate kernel contributor and employs the largest percentage of kernel developers.

SUSE and Red Hat both have formed large networks of key partnerships with enterprise vendors like IBM, HP, Intel, Cisco, Dell, Fujitu, and SAP. These are essential to penetrating the enterprise and staying there, and we also enjoy a trickle-down benefit of features, hardware support, and wider acceptance of Linux at all levels. Most Linux enterprise growth has come at the expense of proprietary Unix, and not so much from Microsoft Windows. But Linux has exercised considerable influence in the datacenter by being open and supporting open standards, and providing interoperability even when proprietary competitors were actively trying to foil it. Now we see vendors who used to be hostile to Linux are now open to it, and have become contributors, and Red Hat and SUSE both deserve credit for helping to make this happen.



Subscribe to Comments Feed
  • valyum Said:

    HelLo !A small mistake in the article:BodhI Linux not Bohdi Linux. :-)

  • Carla Schroder Said:

    Hi Valyum, Thank you! Doggone it, I make that mistake every time! Carla

  • Phil Said:

    Actually, if you look at the desktop image in the article, it is Bohdi Linux. I hardly think that would be wrong in a released version!!

  • darrell Said:

    Actually it is Bohdi. (google is your friend).

  • Tauqir Ahmad Said:

    In my Opinion Linux Mint is the best Distro Ever.... :) Ubuntu is also good

  • michael3ov Said:

    It is not Bohdl. What is Bohdl? It is Bohdi linux. Bohdi is a word for the understanding that Buhdda possessed about nature.

  • theowhowe Said:

    I'm going to go with how they spell it on their website

  • albinard Said:

    Who says Xubuntu disappoints on zippy special effects? I install stock Ubuntu, apt-get my Xubuntu, and there is Compiz, all ready to be set up and give me a crazy sphere hanging out under a cresting wave, or some other equally bizarre imagery. Wobbly windows live!

  • Carla Schroder Said:

    Well OK then, I stand corrected!

  • nigredo Said:

    "Beauty" is no reasonable category for a linux distribution: only the most inepted beginners actually stick with a stock design - linux has a vast potential for customization, so independently from distributions, every user has the chance to get his personal perfect appearance. Apart from that, I just can't stand the "buntu ecosystem" cuz it is hit by a meteor every month, cuz Shuttleworth makes some stupid decision thats a "revolution to the desktop". So I stick with gentoo.

  • Mantoo Said:

    Hehe so true! Doesn't matter which distro is it but as long as it's a "user friendly" one then you have something unmaintainable on a long run, potentially slow etc. While Gentoo might look a bit hackerish for the first look, it's simple, customizable and fast in terms of usability and maintenance.

  • dwss Said:

    Based upon the first three "Best Distros" you've listed, Carla, you clearly favor Ubuntu-based distros. Am a wee bit surprised that you haven't mentioned Linux Mint as another Ubuntu-based one given its apparent popularity on the desktop, but can understand that for you it may not live up to your expectations. Sure, you've also mentioned Debian-based Doudou and TAILS for their respective niche roles. I'll put in a bigger plug here for CrunchBang Linux as the best Laptop distros, as well as even for maybe one of the best Desktop distros. For those who are unaware, CrunchBang Linux ( ) is based on Debian rather than on the "whole *buntu ecosystem" for those who don't care for the latter. With CrunchBang Linux's super lightweight Openbox window manager, CB absolutely "flies" even faster than LXDE Ubuntu on those very older, less-powerful laptops you tout above. You might also consider CrunchBang Linux for your next Top Linux Distro review. Website again is , and if you're planning to attend next month's SCaLE 12X – the 12th annual Southern California Linux Expo -- then maybe you and readers here can check out the small CB booth located hopefully near Debian's there.

  • Frank Said:

    Yup! Got to agree! Linux Mint and Lucid Puppy are keeping an old Gateway desktop going. I put Lubuntu on an Acer Aspire One 250 and it isn't a dog anymore. I put Lubuntu on an old Dell Latitude I gave to my nephew to intro him to Linux and had to configure the drivers with the terminal. Pain in the...! Crunchbang is what I should have put on it. It has all the drivers for wireless and boy is it fast. Saved a little Gateway ancient laptop. It flys now. WOW!

  • Linux411 Said:

    Amen! I've given almost every top 100 linux distros a try, but always end up going back to Slack! Currently using Slackware 14 with MATE. ( Strick Slackware with MATE built after ).

  • Josh Mason Said:

    I pretty much got no choice other than to agree with 'ya there. The four most stable distros, IMO are Slack, RHEL/CentOS, Debian Stable, and Ubuntu LTS.

  • Oobi Said:

    Slackware is, hands down, the best Linux distro out there. Always has been -- always will be it seems.

  • itfloss Said:

    On "Slackware? Mint? Peppermint? TinyCore?", could also say Arch? Puppy? PCLinuxOS, SystemRescueCd? so on and so forth. Major difference I always thought was that TinyCore, Puppy, PClinuxOS and SystemRescueCd were specifically designed as bootable Linux liveCDs. Else I'm seriously missing something here.

  • Zagdul Said:

    This response represents the core issue with Linux. Choices don't make for a better community or better operating environment. It only serves to confuse end users. People don't want to, nor do they have the time to sit there and test each one. The reality is, defining Linux by it's distros is what's holding Linux back. Since nobody can agree, it'll sit in stagnation. These lists end up being a waste of time for people like me where the comment sections always hold the most value. I've found my distro, it's Mint as it seems to be the most popular among the comments here and I'm also not a fan of Ubuntu.

  • Grumpy Said:

    Do you actually use Linux on your desktop? Linux Mint...the best.

  • Jason Said:

    Do you actually use Linux on your desktop? Linux Mint...the best for me. There, I fixed it for you. Your favorite distro will not be my favorite distro, just like my favorite distro will not be your favorite distro. I have used Ubuntu on and off since its birth. Time and time again I run into issues with other distros that I simply haven't ran into with Ubuntu for years. Every distro has pros and every distro has cons. I use a multitude of different distros for different reasons. But when it comes down to my work machine, or my home laptop, you know end user systems I want to 'just work', I use what I use because it does the best job for me. An operating system is a tool. Use the best tool for the job. Anybody ever see one mechanic try to convince another mechanic that he should use a Craftsman socket wrench set as opposed to a Kobalt socket wrench set? No? Bazinga.

  • harry Said:

    You also forgot yo mention Elementary OS : Luna. I have used Ubuntu + Unity, Ubuntu + KDE and Ubuntu + gome3 and did not like them. Luna fits perfectly and has awesome UI.

  • Gustavo Said:

    I disagree with best laptop and more beautiful. I think the one is Elementary OS, I found that it's the best for battery life, lightweight and beauty. Althought based on Ubuntu, this outperforms.

  • max Said:

    Ever tryed Manjaro or Antergos...? Best according to me!

  • Jason Said:

    I love comments like this. Thanks for including the "best according to me" statement at the end. All too often people begin swinging to see who has the bigger stick when it's all meaningless. What works the best for you = the best distribution for you, hands down. Cheers!

  • Josh Mason Said:

    I did play with Manjaro in Virtualbox a couple times, and it's a nice distro, does what it set out to do successfully, however something about the idea of an Arch-based distro that point-releases just seems weird to me, but that's probably because I got spoiled by Arch's constant updates, and in addition, Manjaro is outdated compared to Arch. Now Antergos would be a good alternative to Manjaro if you're a beginner and you'd rather run an Arch distro than a Ubuntu or Debian distro, as it uses the official Arch repos, and thus gets constant updates and has newer software than Manjaro.

  • Jumbo21 Said:

    Manjaro has access to the arch repo, so if you wanted, you could essentially turn manjaro into arch :P

  • Clark Said:

    On my laptop (Dell XPS13), Mint 16 + the Sputnik PPAs (when the changes are yet in the mainstream) has been terrific - fwiw!

  • Daniel Burcaw Said:

    My personal favorite is Black Lab Linux. Very light, very elegant looks good and combines the best of Xubuntu and common sense.

  • ttt Said:

    Porteus looks solid too if you want to run "Slackware' from a usb memory stick.

  • Chirag Said:

    Did you evaluated Mageia Best Desktop Distro. OpenSuse education? Laptop and education Distro.

  • ChybeQ Said:

    Where's Manjaro? Where's Arch Linux? Clearly Carla, you favor Ubuntu-based distros and those are slower than those Arch-based ones (not to say they use more resources like RAM memory -> Arch Linux + Gnome 3 / Manjaro Xfce -> not more than 500MB of RAM used)

  • Hunkah Said:

    I think two that were missed are Linux Mint - for best GUI Cinnamon Fedora - for innovation, upstream contributions, bleeding edge, best community... You might just as well remove all *bumtu Linux versons, they're exactly opposite of Fedora.

  • Scott Said:

    It's interesting that when I came back to try Linux again a few years ago I tried Fedora (because of Amahi) but man, driver problems all over the place. So I tried Ubuntu and bam - good to go. It's interesting those first experiences we all have colour us so much into the future :)

  • jm Said:

    I gave up on Fedora after an upgrade failed on my old i486 machine; so I now access it with Puppy live CD. Even before that there were driver issues and poor, slow video. More modern machines I run Xubuntu and find the drivers are there for everything I try.

  • Marius Said:

    Hi Carla You should have a look at Linux Mint ( ) :: Based on Debian and Ubuntu, it provides about 30,000 packages and one of the best software managers. For me this is the best Linux distro for desktop / laptop.

  • zykoda Said:

    I second that. But tablets? where are they? Desktops are obsoleted for mobile! Android 4.[1-4] is king.

  • Mario Said:

    hi where is linux mint .. please try it once

  • Carlos Yoong Said:

    you might consider ALDOS from

  • Holger Böken Said:

    I disagree with the best Laptop distro. It simply cannot be that a desktop environment which uses status bars and such at the top an bottom of the screen is a good choice where laptop screens are wide. We fight for every single pixel in the vertical and waste it to the decorations? No. You don't need to like unity but the side kick-bar is a definate advantage. So if it ought to be *buntu it might as well be Xubuntu but not LXDE.

  • Martin Persson Said:

    To be honest, Elementary OS is more beautiful than Bohdi any given day. And the new Isis-release will be fantastic. And I also agree with the persons asking where Mint is.

  • Stefan Said:

    Best distro to create another distro on it: Debian

  • Jamenson Espindula Said:

    Agree! Remember that Ubuntu, Xubuntu, e some, all of them are Debian in essence.

  • iMadalin Said:

    After participating for 15 years in the Linux world, I really enjoy the tremendous amount of new distributions derivates, but as an old school bad ass admin, even on desktops, I still enjoy using the base distributions: Fedora, Debian, OpenSuse, ArchLinux. I can always do whatever I want with them as they don't customize default settings based on a few persons opinion, they stick with almost vanilla settings for the applications and let you do your thing.

  • Josh Mason Said:

    You dabbled in Gentoo at any time in the past?

  • Zeroastro Said:

    Best Distros.. well.. of course Slackware and Debian ;-)

  • Alen Said:

    What about Debian? SolydK? Arch? Mint? Ubuntu is full of bugs! I had Ubuntu 13.10 and deleted it because of bugs.

  • antoine Said:

    Bonjour, à la maison nous utilisons Voyager basé sur Xubuntu sur tous les ordinateurs du plus récent au plus ancien, parent et enfants. J'évite Unity qui me pose trop de problèmes d'installations dù au serveur graphique.

  • Pedro Gouveia Said:

    I am so happy to see *buntu distros in that "ranking"... I hear people always criticising the distros, and I can't understand why. Even for people who has ubuntu, they can take off the unity bar also it is just a matter of googling it. I always loved ubuntu and I always will. Sadly because oI was studying multimedia, I had to change to Windows...(Adobe Premiere, After Effects, and similar stuff...) But I hope one day to come back to Ubuntu, or Lubuntu maybe (I didn't even know it existed!)

  • therealmg Said:

    Thanks Carla! Nice article. Of all you listed, Bodhi is my personal favorite. It gets overlooked a lot. Maybe because of the learning curve? If you want a really beautiful interface, learning the tweaks and tricks of Enlightenment is worth it, and Bodhi makes a great choice in this field because the community is excellent, and Jeff Hoogland (the distro's creator) is willing to jump in and participate in forum discussions and offer help quite often. Then, of course is the beautiful and simplistic XFCE! Runs really nice on Arch. I see folks picking on you for not including Arch, but I have a feeling your article isn't really aimed at that sort of Linux purist. These are all great picks for someone looking for an alternative OS which is relatively easy to set up and maintain. Arch is a lot of fun, and a great learning experience, and once you've got it running is a great experience period, but it is definitely different. And thanks to the Commenters: yes, Mint is awesome! And, some of you have given me some ideas of some other distro's to play with, like SolydXK, and Elementary. I would like to give Antergos a go, but have been unsuccessful in all my attempts to run it from any medium so far. Maybe they have fixed the liveCD, it has been a few weeks.

  • Salah Jupp Said:

    I think arch linux will be the best distro ever in the future. have a lot of thing that we doesn't find it in others linux distro.

  • Gonzalo Said:

    Very interesting and we all have our own 7, naturally, so I will just add 2 thoughts: the distros to make gurus could have been any from Gentoo or Arch family; and another good desktop from 2013 is SolydXK and good and old PCLinuxOS (both semi-rolling release and yet very stable). Cheers, Carla.

  • ph0t0n Said:

    The only distro that i like is Ubuntu + Unity and i have never come across a bug that i couldn't fix myself(and i consider myself a linux noob), I think Unity is the best thing that could have ever happened to ubuntu and i agree that i didn't like it initially but i gave it a try anyway, now its a feature that i can't live without. Trust me i have installed each of the distros mentioned above, i miss the menu integration to upper panel in most of them and gui kind of sucks too. Shuttleworth keep up the good work, Unity rocks!

  • TRUTH Said:

    This is the BEST "top distro" article has put out in YEARS... you know why? Because that clueless shmuck Katherine Noyes didn't write it this time! Thank you! Thank you for putting out an actual good article with legit information for the first time!!

  • vds Said:

    Best Laptop Distro: Lubuntu, because works well on old laptops, try Debian 1.2, you'll see, it works even better!

  • Pelukia Said:

    Hi, and too the best distro in latin america "Canaima"... very good...

  • Anacronico Said:

    Elementary OS is the most beautiful. although this too inspired by OS X

  • fishears Said:

    I haven't run Bodhi but the screenshot provided looks AWFUL. Next we get Ubuntu-worship - forgetting the evil Canonical. Oh, and RPM-based distros, well, they're good for enterprise aren't they. Lazy article. This list is not based on facts so why have it? I really expect more objectivity from TLF....

  • HumanLiberty Said:

    I'm an absolute noob - as in running SolydX through VirtualBox my friend set up for exactly 1 day. I'm very excited yet overwhelmed by tall the Distros. Would very much appreciate an expanded response from you if you have time, since it sounds like you know what you're talking about...

  • Ettienne Said:

    i tried to use *buntu's really i did, for myself and family (since they say it is a good start for newbies -bull), however i usually get some sort of show stopper. It just dont work for me. my first work computer in '96 was slackware, thereafter the redhats-fedoras and suse. For the last few years i just get stuck on Arch, happily

  • archuser Said:

    Beginners can try all the distros they want to , but once you are tired of this you will stick with archlinux.

  • yankee495 Said:

    I realized the other day that a lot of the people using certain distros today were not around to see what I consider one of the best ever, Mandrake. Based on Red Hat it held at number one on Distro watch for a few years. It merged with Conectiva and became Mandriva. Later, after problems in the company it became Mageia, with the same programmers from the days of Mandrake, but it is entirely a community effort today so share holders will not be able to make decisions instead of programmers! If you have not tried it I think it could fill almost all of the categories you list. Xfce, KDE, Gnome, it's all there though I have not tried Gnome since the Mandrake days. I'm a KDE man myself but I did install Xfce a while back and I must say I'm very impressed with the progress it has made. I'll be using that on my laptop. I have tried the *buntus and Fedora but not Mint. Kids today like new shiny things as do us older people, but when it comes down to it we all like classic cars and Mageia is one of those!

  • Don Said:

    I know a lot of people who used to use mandrake (including me) and they all went to Ubuntu or kubuntu when it came out. I have not used an rpm based distro since - back then rpm gave nothing but trouble - mostly dependancy loops. I am guessing it is better these days, but the Debian packaging system was far better, and Debian was not very user friendly.

  • yankee495 Said:

    Someone needs to fix the comments. It runs it all together and makes us all look like idiots who don't know how to form a paragraph! People who don't comment won't take you seriously with grammar and punctuation like that. You cannot post another comment, please try again in 167 seconds Ok I'm done.

  • joncr Said:

    Ubuntu and its direct derivatives really ought to be considered together. They are all essentially the same thing. It's a different matter if we're talking about implementations of different DE's. Xubuntu is fine. But, in actual use, there's little to set it apart from Mint 16's Mate or just running Mate on Ubuntu 13.10: Panels, menus, fie manager... all 99% the same. Slackware, Debian, etc., don't merit inclusion because they stand pat, they don't innovate. Elementary deserves recognition for knowing the good design is not useless eye candy, and ignoring the ill-informed folks who think it is.

  • Martin Said:

    Linux Mint should be in there somewhere, in my opinion. In fact, if I made the list it would win both "Most Beautiful" and "Best Laptop" distro.

  • robert Said:

    Slackware has been the best distro since 1993.

  • Linux411 Said:

    I am in no way discouraging people from trying whatever their hearts desire, but I have also noticed that spin-offs never have the same quality as base distros. They do fill the need for an out-of-the-box experience, but that comes with a price. I always stick to the "Good 'Ole Boys" like Slackware, Gentoo, SuSE, RedHat, Debian, Arch, PCLinuxOS, etc. There may not be as much flash until you add it, but the base system is much more stable.

  • Michelle Klein-Hass Said:

    I put the XFCE spin of Linux Mint on my Acer Aspire One and it's very, very happy. It had Ubuntu LTS + XFCE on it previously, and I have to say that the Minty Freshness of 16 is very delightful. It helps that it's got a SSD instead of the old HD now. That's a big difference. Speeds things up considerable, and also helps on battery life. BTW Aspire One is maintaining its value over would be amazed how much they are fetching on eBay now. You'd think they'd be a dime a dozen...nope, they cost almost as much as they do new.

  • Bob416 Said:

    I generally agree with the picks. I'm inclined to use distros with a Ubuntu/Debian base with an LXDE or XFCE desktop They're lightweight enough to work on somewhat older PC's and have access to lots of software packages. I think we all need to put a bit of a push on for those who are still running XP which reaches end of life in a few months. I've done a number of GNU/Linux distro installs for friends/family of late. Also want to put a bit of a plug in for LXLE. It's a slightly modified Lubuntu 12.04 but unlike the "official" Lubuntu has LTS support. Did an install for a family member recently and it's beautiful.

  • SinnerBOFH Said:

    I'm missing the best desktop Linux. Distro: Mageia !

  • Doom3d Said:

    For old desktops/laptops AntiX is much better, then Lubuntu. AntiX runs circles around *buntus. It runs nicely on 128 MB RAM.

  • Ras Steven Said:

    wow alot of touchy dudes on here guys have nothing more impotant to do?

  • Hugh Said:

    Too bad, it looks as if they only will sell their distro. At least it the response time of their "download side" is so long, that I could download Mint in the time before the site reacts, btw, I left the site after five minutes waiting. To put their user communication on a google blog, instead of a real website isn't very clever. But the announcement, where to buy computers with their distro ist over nearly halve the side. So my conlusion is, they don't want the common linuxer, only the ones with big money bags. Too bad.

  • Mario Kukucov Said:

    Very wrong on the most important distro. The most important distro is steamOS. Nothing is more important 4 linux than going into mainstream pc gaming. literally nothing. This article doesn't even mention steamOS, which leads me to conclude that it is written by somebody misinformed and/or it's just an opinion piece written by somebody out of touch with the community. There are two projects deciding the future of desktop linux. Steam and Desura. No game sales on linux => no interest by game developers => no Ati/Nvidia suuport and no stealing desktop marketshare from windows.

  • erinn Said:

    Indeed, touchy, grumpy, and whiny! I prefer plain Debian, but having a preference doesn't make me superior :) I liked Mint for a few releases, but you can't depend on a clean dist-upgrade, and I have better things to than reinstalls.

  • Scott Said:

    Ubuntu and all of its flavors is delicious.Great support and info available. For me PC Linux OS is really, really nice. Installs perfectly with awesome video etc. Very, very easy. SUSE is of course top notch also. Those three should make a Windows user happy. Manjaro if your a tech type.

  • cat1092 Said:

    Hey, what happened to Linux Mint? I don't know about the current moment, but at one time usage numbers surpassed Ubuntu. I've tried several versions of Linux & have found that Mint is my favorite. Comes in different packages according to need of the user. Cat

  • Hunkah Said:

    So it seems... Linux Mint and Fedora are two people love the most. I personally love a hybrid of the two. Fedora with Cinnamon GUI Fedora releases are supposed to change in the near future, can't wait to see what those changes will bring. If they suck, I might end up looking at Mint.

  • Hunkah Said:

    I haven't had any driver issues except for the broadcom wireless card, but there was a simple fix with one google search. I haven't had any driver issues in the past 4 years.

  • raindeer mystic Said:

    Carla thanks for the suggestions the bodhi linux is my personal favorite. But you have not consider the derivatives of fedora and debian.according to my research of hundreds of linux the most light weight which can run smoothly on any hardware even with 128mb of ram and low processor,having the most stylist appearance,flexible computing,one click package installer and most flexible environment with powerful as enterprise edition is FUDUNTU.the best of the best . thank you

  • BozoDel Said:

    I (and a lot of people here, it seems) am surprised you didn't mention Mint. Oh, well. I'm not saying those other distros are bad, though. I remember having a decent experience with Xubuntu and Bodhi. There's one thing about Bodhi, though: so, it's desktop is extremely customizable... but how customization do people need? I certainly don't need much. Maybe just a few ~desklets~, and latest Mint has those. But I have to advise against Lubuntu. There's some Phoronix benchmarks, only a couple years old, showing that Lubuntu's power management is no better than Xubuntu's or Ubuntu's (though that's pre-Unity times, so I guess Ubuntu doesn't count anymore). However, it was a bit of a pain to do something as simple as adding an item to the start menu. So if you want the most lightweight 'buntu, Xubuntu kicks Lubuntu's ass.

  • Rorr Said:

    Why not give Ubuntu a try, unity and all ? It does a pretty good job for me.

  • Blake Said:

    Arch is, in my opinion, the best of the best.

  • cat1092 Said:

    That is true if one has used Windows for the past 20 years, but long before there was Windows, there was Unix, which is part of Linux today. Linux based OS's are just as good, better security wise, than Windows will ever be. How many time do we hear of a massive attack on Linux computers? Why are the large majority of the supercomputers Linux powered (Windows isn't in the top 20)? Whether or not we want to acknowledge it, we all use some form of Linux, directly or indirectly. There are several Linux based OS's that are great for daily users, however to learn, one must not be comparing how things work between the two brands in the learning process. I think what you meant to say is "Windows is waaaay easier than linux". Click here, click there, things open. For security reasons, it's best that Linux doesn't follow that trend. Cat

  • pedro Said:

    Hi everyone, i have used ubuntu and all it's flavours and i have to say that i love lubuntu for slower pc and ubuntu with gnome 3 to my powerfull laptop :P The article is great and give us a light in the linux world when we need some tips :)

  • Joe Said:

    Linux Mint 16 Petra Cinnamon is the best I've used. It's completely ready and easy to use. Recognizes my hardware allowing me high resolution on my monitor. No need to download anything except Wine from their large 67,000* Software Packager. Frankly Ubuntu 12.04 and 13.10 are not very good. Takes too much time to get it running and trying to get Wine installed will make anyone but the experience Linux user give up. One, amazingly, even needs to install Flash in YouTube the Firefox browser. Incredible What is this, 2008? There really is no comparison. Linux Mint 16 Petra is the best Linux disto out there. All ready to do with a minimum of effort.

  • vhince4005 Said:

    And where is my Kali? best hacking Distro? hmmmm

  • chris Said:

    I think your write up is very good for the length. Lubuntu is great for old laptops. I am not very enlightened by Bohdi though. You have got to try Manjaro Linux, Open-Box edition. You will love it for something different. Arch rocks, but when you are busy, you don't have time to fiddle as much. Manjaro doesn't go crazy by adding too much, which would screw up the simplistic views of Arch users. chris

  • rahul Said:

    i guess for appearance and the design lowest specification requirement i agree with raindeer....cause i have the like the oldest legendary desktop in my home.....i can't even install xp correctly in my desktop.....but the FUDUNTU omg....i mean i didn't even thought that my desktop pc fan will ever get a rest in his life.....the best os i have ever seen....i mean the style,and the system tools,it changed my thrashed pc into a server,with most beautiful working environment,i mean for development has package installer manager....also has a yum package installer through....its like a server...i think everyone with an old pc or desktop must give it a try....cause it definitely worked for is a like for it....

  • walter vlatko Said:

    I think that LXLE ( is better than Lubuntu.

  • phillips1012 Said:

    > "Most Beautiful Distro: Bodhi" what.

  • Well... Said:

    Hopefully you're not under the illusion that most people follow these distro-related discussions. I'm not going to change my distro every year just because someone comes up with various "distro-du-jour lists". By the way, how do you even define the word "Linux distribution"? A very crucial question is whether Android can be regarded as a "Linux distribution" in the real sense of the word. Is it only about the kernel? What if it is a fork? And how about simply talking about *nix-like operating systems? In that case, Mac OS could be included in the list as it is a *nix-like OS.

  • Cat Tilley Said:

    It doesn't matter which distro fits you, use it! Security wise, they're all better than Windows. As long as one doesn't do silly things, like running browsers in "sudo" mode (same as "Run as Administrator" in Windows). Too, your computer will last longer, by running not as hard, as most Linux OS's plays very well with most any computer built in the last 8-10 years, though some of the older ones may not support PAE.

  • Sonny Bonds Said:

    "As long as one doesn't do silly things, like running browsers in 'sudo' mode (same as 'Run as Administrator' in Windows)." Trust me, those who use various Linux distributions are no longer particularly tech-savvy people on the average. That's why they are likely to have the false assumption that you cannot get hit by malware or damage/compromise your system as someone told them that "the system is immune to viruses and there are no viruses for Linux". (Average users use the term "virus" in a generic sense: "all the malware that exists".) First of all, Linux distributions can be rooted, and secondly, just like you said, running unknown programs/scripts in sudo mode *can* be dangerous. That's especially true if the program/script was downloaded somewhere from the dark corners of the internet. Therefore, most programs should be downloaded via package management systems... However, anyone can create a repo that appears to be legitimate at first -- the repo maintainers can also start adding malicious features to any of the programs there after a couple of days/weeks/years... and since we know that many users of Linux distros do not use any AV software (as they were told by the most experienced users that such AV programs "are not necessary"), the results can be pretty nasty. There's also another problem with Wine if you run your Wine in sudo mode and start the executable game files (oslt) that were pirated. Granted, not all Windows malware works on Linux distributions but still not a liability I would want to have around. (I'm assuming none of the aforementioned tech-savvy folks would ever fall prey to any of this... but take a look at what I said above about average users of Linux distros.)

  • Cat Tilley Said:

    Sonny, you're right, many of today's Linux users aren't that "tech savvy", they just want to get away from Windows 8 or needs to get away from XP (the latter of which is critical). It's best for those who uses any Linux OS to join the community & read about the basics of the OS they're planning on running. If possible, run it in a virtual machine (or spare computer) before going with a permanent install, because like me, the first choice wasn't the one I stuck with. This way, the user gets some experience & can see if the OS is compatible with their hardware, as well as meets their needs. Truth is, most mainstream Linux OS's will work for the majority of users, only a small fraction of users needs all of MS Office features & the built in Firefox or Chromium is all that's needed for web browsing. You do bring up another point, it's unwise to grab software from the Internet & install it, when there's tens of thousands of 100% Free apps in the Software Manager, the safest place to get everyday apps. This is another unique feature of Linux, not having to grab unknown software from shady places. And yes, major infections can happen, fortunately there are free rootkit scanners, such as chkrootkit & rkhunter available in the Software Manager. It's up to the user to learn how to use them. Plus there's an optional Firewall for added security, though if behind a router, this will provide a NAT or hardware firewall. Good points you make. I began using Linux OS's in 2009 & am still learning today. Why doesn't this article allow the creation of paragraphs? Cat

  • Ari Torres Said:

    Best Distro Ever be it Desktop,Laptop,Tablet is UBUNTU and Unity Period......... This is 2014,time to get rid of those 15 year old boxes and 14.04 has the cutting edge of any app in the Linux world. Always the latest and the best.

  • Don Said:

    I've tried many many different LINUX offerings - I run and "stick with" UBUNTU for one reason - I simply am not having the slightest issue - When I think I might have an issue, I simply Google "the issue" and then find out why I'm not really having an issue! :) I use it for a backup server and theater system - It just runs - When I do check it on occasion, It's always running - It's easy to use and "things" just work...

  • Rod Bastias Said:

    We all know that there is a very big variability between hardware or laptop/netbook/pc models and the performance of Linux distros. For that reason I think that it is quite difficult to say which one is "the best". Some distros may have better performance than any other depending on model, year, ram, cpu, whatever. If you want to know you have to test. I have had serious problems with Ubuntu since Unity came to live, the requirements of it made my laptop always collapse. Even installing Gnome fallback it was always a pain in the a... This was with Ubuntu 12.04, I never wanted to upgrade to 13.10. For that reason I tested Linux Mint and it was good, until frequent messages of some crush made me dismiss it. Then I installed Ubuntu 13.10 and the same thing. Slow performance even deactivating special effects in Compiz manager. At last I erased the whole Ubuntu 13.04 and installed Lubuntu. Till this moment it is working perfectly. With LXDE my laptop runs quite fine, no big problems yet. I hope to work a long time with no need to change to any other distro. Thanks all of you for contributing to this article. I'm going to read and learn about Crunchbang and Slackware. Greetings from Chile :)

  • pinky Said:

    i don't want to be the only commenter to say Sabayon. can someone else install it, agree, and comment too? ^_^

  • Béret Gascon Said:

    It's isn't often that I read all of the comments in a *very* long comments section, but this was extremely interesting and educational. As a *nix nexbie, I've installed Xubuntu on a slow desktop, a good laptop and a Compaq netbook that could barely handle the pre-installed Windows 7 Basic. Xubuntu has never given me any problems on any of them, with straight-forward installation and driver discovery. I regularly read articles about different distros but my priority is installing an OS with as little fuss as possible and then my benchmark is seeing how it runs LibreOffice and Firefox with a couple of add-ons compared to how it does with Windows. On the PC and the netbook I have dispensed with Windows altogether. On the laptop I use Grub to switch between Win 7 Pro and Xubuntu. The dual-boot feature is a nice simple installation option with Xubuntu and, with very little terminal activity required I have a sweet desktop, a Wally-driven wallpaper changer, Teamviewer running as a start-up program and many other features that give me a computer that loads and runs much faster than the laptop's Windows installation yet gives me all of the productivity without any of the crashes or security issues. There's only one reason I keep the dual-boot to Windows and that's because I have two programs, one of which is a game, that have no Linux alternatives (one runs badly in Wine, the other not at all). This and the confusion of a multitude of Linux distros have always been a massive impediment to a global surge of Linux upgrades away from the big corporate O$'s. However, Xubuntu and its like will be a life (and money) saver to millions of Windows XP users in the next few months and I wonder if this may be the kick-start the Linux movement has needed for so long? Who knows - I certainly hope so? Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth I moved away from OS2 because in spite of its great promise it was unreliable and Windows offered me both more stability and more choice of software. And thanks to disaster that is Windows h8 and the corporate obesity of Apple I am without hesitation a full-time Linux convert. I believe the challenge for Linux distros is not to convert Fedora lovers to Debian fans or vice versa, but to convert millions and millions of long-time, established Windows users to the world of Linux. Because as long as that challenge remains unmet, Linux as a desktop environment will remain the province of a happy, enlightened, delighted, tinkering, security-conscious few.

  • Cat Tilley Said:

    I tried Sayabon a couple of years ago, it's a good OS to run. Great music at startup! However I've been running Mint since version 7 (Gloria) & have grown to love the distro. Clem has done a great job with it. Had I never seen Mint, Sabayon would be one of my top choices, Cat

  • dyp Said:

    what could have been a good way to say "hey this is what I like for things I think" loks like "the big dictator says to you what you shoud do... Carla, you should explain your choices.

  • Lee Said:

    I do like ubuntu + unity. I've used Linux since 2006 and alot of OS's have appeared. There are to many distros to choose from, just got to go with what works for you.

  • Felipe Said:

    Get out of this hell ! Install Windows 8.1 today!

  • Cat Tilley Said:

    Did I read you right? Windows 8 & 8.1 were really designed for mobile devices, why MS had to infect traditional desktop PC's & laptops with the software, I don't know. Windows 7 is still the best & most used OS on the planet today, followed by XP (which though fading, has twice the market share of 8 & 8.1 combined). Now, back to the topic on hand. The latest releases of Windows is all the more reason why to learn a Linux distro. I don't care which, whatever works for the user & is maintained with security & current software updates. Most all Ubuntu based distros going back to 10.04 fits the bill, though it's best for those who had PAE enabled CPU's to run 12.04 or greater, or a distro based on that platform. Lubuntu 12.04 isn't a LTS distro, so it's better if possible to move forward. Mint 13 (5 year LTS until sometime in 2017) runs fine on non-PAE enabled computers & actually an all around mature, stable distro. There's Mate, Cinnamon & a couple of others, including a Debian based version. Felipe gives us all the more reason to get the hell away from Windows 8/8.1, whatever M$ wishes to name it. If either were so great, then why is Windows 7 in higher demand although the OEM's charges more to obtain it? Fortunately, more OEM's are thinking outside of the box & beginning to sell non-Windows OS's. Chromebooks runs a Linux based OS, though not really open source. Can't blame Google for this, it takes considerable time & money to put forth an OS with the hardware to match. System 76 & others sells Ubuntu much higher than many of the Chromebooks costs. Just get the hell away from any Windows OS past 7. Cat Cat

  • ElQueue Said:

    Cat, I've respected a lot of your posts so far. I'm unfortunately not with you on 2 points: 1) Ubuntu: I was a long-time supporter of Ubuntu until that side bar came up and the menu bar disappeared. I've had more trouble locating installed apps and having bugs appear because of their "innovative" system. I had to decide between changing distros (I did, to Debian 7) or to install an older version of Ubuntu (not wise). 2) Windows 8/8.1 is MARVELOUS. It's quick, I've only had it crash due to heat issues on my laptop (2 in the 1.5 years I've owned it), and I've never had any compatibility issues with old software. I've only seen people hate on it because of the way it handles the Start Menu now. It's a layout change, nothing more. It's not "infect[ing] traditional desktop PC's & laptops with the software". It's more stable, streamlined, and once I got over the fact that there's no traditional start menu but a set of tiles, I was set and happy.

  • JustSaying Said:

    Another obvious troll being obvious. Even real Windows fans will know what an absolutely retarded, uninformed, ridiculous, ignorant, stupid etc statement that is & tell whatever idiots who even like the atrocity Windows 8 is that they should either stop using computers and ruining it for everyone else (because then they are catered to & their opinions are more important than ACTUAL computer users) or to get a tablet, since that's obviously what they want. If they want what is practically a way overpriced tablet or "facebook machine", than by all means, get useless Windows 8 & waste that huge chunk of money that they could spend about 1/4th of & get a tablet that does everything they want. Also, the fact someone in the comments actually had the audacity to think & state that desktops are out & the future is ONLY mobile, well there's another group of people that infuriate me, since they think because they don't use a computer for anything but minimal tasks that DON'T require the versatility & capabilities that a desktop will give you, then nobody else needs it for anything else either. It's a very self-absorbed idea, they are completely ignorant of all the users who love the power & flexibility, or need it. There's too much you can't do with a mobile device, no matter how good the technology becomes. A lot of us also HATE touch devices, or at least being forced to only use that, since an actual mouse is much easier to manipulate & deal with, & it just feels better. There are a million reasons why that was beyond stupid & self-absorbed to say so. Android phones are fantastic, but not a replacement for a good computer, especially when it comes to resource intensive programs like 3D modelling software, fractal generating software, graphic design software & some of the more intense games, etc.....

  • hellsing Said:

    Nothing against Windows, but Windows are not beig discussed here... If you dont like about what we are discussing here, please be my guest to find an article about Windows, and give your opinion. I can bet that you never used linux, and that dont know the idea of free software. Your opinion is not the most important of th world, so, please, dont be so ridicolous, if you dont have something interesting to share, just dont spend your time typing this kind of comment, ok? Thank you, and go study man!

  • Ben Hur Said:

    I can't understand why elementaryOS isn't in this list.

  • Peter Tux Said:

    About the comparison Suse:RedHat: At least for me, SUSE is a big joke nowadays. A company I work for has been running Suse - OpenSuse & SLES - for quite some years. Now late last year I needed to purchase a new SLES license for this company. I tried on the web - purchasing SLES is not available. I called the Suse representative in Stockholm, he didn't know where to buy it. "Maybe Dustin could supply it?" (Dustin is a swedish IT retailer.) Dustins salesman said: "Hmm I guess we should have it... don't know really? Can I call you back?" He returned back whithin a few days, saying "Sorry, I can't find it". And all this moving Suse to *this* business unit, then to some other business unit, then separating it... Sadly, I believe Novell doesn't have the first idea as to what to do with Suse. They lost their awesome Novell Directory Service to MS just because they were not prepared for competition, and are now trembling in the dark. Sad. NDS was so much better than MS AD, they just didn't know how to fight. And now the same happens with Suse. Novell is desperately trying to find a way to make it prosper, but they still don't know how to fight.

  • Cat Tilley Said:

    hellsing, Thank You for reminding everyone what the topic is about! LINUX! Cat

  • srikanth Said:

    I am surprised none of the stalwarts like Debian, slack, Arch or Gentoo made to the list

  • M1 S0 Said:

    Hi All Linux are wonderful what i did was to add two internal hard discs 1 TB each for my desktop PC and at the moment installed triple boot Debian - OpenSUSE - Fedora every day i wake up with different challenges coming up with each environment next one I am planning to add will be one of Mageia / Arch / Gentoo or Slackware what do you suggest ? Thanks M1S0

  • Cat Tilley Said:

    Anyone planning on installing the upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 on their Dell XPS 8700? I feel that it will be a great OS for it, as I have plenty of power to run whatever other virtual machines I wish to. Cat

  • SaintJohnPublic Said:

    Have most of You Even Tried Them Not read Else Where Xubuntu is 1st place it will work o any pc old and new has most firmware drivers ect... fedora is 2nd i like yum but limited slow getting updated updates puppy linux is light fast and latest version LTS is stable much as im tested so far and flash games never been faster in it beats all others ive tested mint 16 is ok but not my taste but good for newbies crunchbang is pretty good too but needs some work but looks good and fast

  • Jopower Said:

    I'm coming at Linux from the WinXP point of view and I'm looking for the right distro based on the that familiarity. I'm OK with XP and it's abilities and tunability, though not overjoyed, but it's being phased out SOON. Vista and Win7 are tolerable but hardware hogs. Win8 is RIGHT OUT! A feeble attempt to make my PC behave like a smartphone. Then there are the security problems.... In the 1998 and 2005 years, I tried Red Hat and Debian, but they were a too annoying to be home desktop worthy.... and I helped too many people stuck with non-Linux products to go all the way over to them. Currently, 2 Linux friends are pushing Ubantu 10.4 as the best sliced bread. They use them daily, so can't be too bad. Ubantu 12.4 LTS seems to have some legs. I should say I am a gear head and will try to attach any new or ancient device I find to my PC and get it working. Cranky old Win98SE is a still a god for much of this work (ah, what fine old SCSI scanners it can run...) but it's not my daily magic. My hardware is pretty good in most cases. I prefer independent graphics boards of some power. I have multiple drives and externals to swap. Have tool box, will fiddle!! A Linux that can help in that direction is a plus. Finally, though I taught myself DOS3.3 over 25 years ago on my 1st PC, I'm liking plug and play that works. Hacking drivers is getting pretty old. DOS-Windows emulation is important. I do play new and ancient games and want to continue that. I play "World of Tanks" online. I play "Reach for the Stars" and "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" off floppy. I play "Alpha Centauri", "Civilization", "Dungeon Siege" and "Great Naval Battles" without circus tricks. I do have a laptop or two with wireless to consider as well. I'm thinking a Linux OS on a smartphone one day. I want to tell a large number of WinXP orphans I help that there's a better place to go. So, you want Linux to make a conquest? Lets hear what you got that might fit me.

  • LinuxJack Said:

    Jopower, many Linux distros have a 'Live' version, which runs exclusively from a CD/DVD or a thumb drive. They don't touch your HDD unless you specifically tell them to install. It's a good way to test drive a distro without going to all the trouble of wiping your hard drive and installing a distro only to discover you don't like it. Ubuntu is a very good distro. My personal preference has been for OpenSUSE. What it boils down to is two questions: Is Linux really right for you? If you can say yes to that then the question becomes which of the countless distros suits your needs best and feels best. Don't forget to try the many desktop environments available (KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment, XFCE, etc...). Like choosing the right blend of coffee, trial & error is the best strategy here, try one distro, dislike it, try another. That's the beauty of Linux, with MS, your choices are Windows or...use your computer for a door stop.

  • Jopower Said:

    OOps, Wikipedia says the Ubantu LTS distros are 10.04 LTS, 12.04 LTS, and 14.04 LTS. Need to read about 14.04 still.

  • Jestoy Said:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One distro may be great to you, but for others it may not. I am using ubuntu based distro also and it is made from ubuntu builder.

  • gyrfalcon Said:

    GNOME 3 can burn in hell. Its only accomplishment was lobotomizing the desktop GUI worse than Windows 8.

  • Josh Mason Said:

    There is a Classic mode, if that helps. And if you dislike GNOME3's recent Classic mode, there's always Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, or Enlightenment to go to. Not stuck with GNOME3, exactly.

  • alberto garea Said:

    I have spent a couple of weeks benchmarking some linux distros like Mint with cinnamon desktop environ. Ubuntu, the new debian 7.4 Fedora CentOS elivecd And I have Elivecd installed because the full support of the mac hardware, i.e. WiFi chipset, and elive works pretty fluently.

  • Cat Tilley Said:

    Note that some computers "designed for Windows XP" has no PAE instructions embedded in the CPU, so there are restrictions as to what distros can be used. Mint 13 (5 year LTS until 2017) runs well on many of these computers, though some issues are reported with Cinnamon. Ubuntu 12.04 may or may not work, the only way to know would be to try a Live DVD. 12.04.2 (& above) will not run on these machines w/out the knowledge to create a "fake PAE", something that a Linux newcomer may find difficult at best. However those with PAE empowered CPU's can install most any modern Linux distro. Thought I'd pass this own.

  • Mahesh RS Said:

    Very few people acknowledge that Xubuntu is one of the best distros in the debian/Ubuntu family. And now with your stamp of approval, I am thrilled to see my favorite distro (that's Xubuntu, obviously) being listed as the best desktop OS. Great job! Thanks! (Shameless attention seeking: Please check out my blog: I just started it but I will be adding a lot more content very soon. So far, most of the articles are about Xubuntu.)

  • puru Said:

    My dell was shipped with Ubuntu. I didn't like it much and gave try to Vector linux but soon switched to Slackware. Since then i'm using Slackware. Although i frequently use Slackware i have Ubuntu, Vector, and Slackware on my system. Recently i installed FreeBSD also, which seems interesting too. Also, i have to keep windows so that i can work from home sometimes as the tool i use for my work needs it. I think everyone has affinity towards a distro and want others to get the same happiness they get from that distro. But it always certain that anyone who tries linux, tries at least four to five distros and then come to love a distro and settles.

  • Leon Said:

    I think I have spent the last week trying every distro I could get my hands on to try on my old Toshiba Tecra A5 Laptop. My bias is I am a windows user coming to Linux for the first time. Most beautiful by far on screen is "linux lite" the unfortunate thing is it's performance doesn't match it was one of the slowest on my hardware and althought finding things was easy you could not forgive it's performance but I would like to see it on a good modern PC. For shear speed on my hardware puppy linux, slitaz and archlinux were hard to seperate. Issues with puppy linux was the mouse click which is very weird and some of the window sizing terrible it reminded me of windows 3.1. Slitaz downfall was the sound which was an absolute nightmare I never resolved. Arch was great until I decided I would install wine to run a few neat small windows apps, to say getting wine in and installed was a mission was an understatement. So each of the best speed performance had issues I could not resolve. Honorable GUI mention goes to Zorin OS 8.1 which looks great and feels like windows and comes with wine installed the downside is much the same "Linux lite" it is extremely slow. Honorable performance mention goes to Tinycore but the UI is just extremely unusual and got quite ugly the more apps I installed. The web browser had real issues with flash and I quickly tired of trying to resolve the issues.

  • LinuxJack Said:

    I gotta take this opportunity to plug OpenSUSE. I started using RedHat way back in '95 and have tried all of the major distros. OpenSUSE is in my opinion the best for me. It's a good solid reliable OS, excellent hardware support, excellent documentation both online & offline (of course this can be said for Linux in general) Good selection of available software, It's designers have always been right on target as far as fixing bugs/design flaws and adding new features. Both KDE and Gnome look and function superbly. The process for in place upgrades to new versions have been constantly improving for several years now as has their RPM based package management system. The OpenSUSE folks also put emphasis on making their distro more friendly to Microsoft and Mac refugees, thereby ensuring a smoother learning curve while at the same time they have not compromised the savvy user's ability to tinker around under the hood (that's what killed MS Windows for me and Android isn't far behind). I find OpenSUSE to be an outstanding, well rounded, well thought out and designed OS, good for security, general desktop use, backend server use and typical business use. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not advocating OpenSUSE at the expense of any of the other major distros, as I said I've tried them all and have found them all to be most efficient and innovative. I would gladly stack any of them up against winblows any day of the week and twice on Sunday! OpenSUSE simply fits my personal preferences best. The only thing on my wishlist for OpenSUSE is a version I can replace Android with on my tablet. Pulseaudio still has a few quirks to iron out, but from what I can tell that is not an OpenSUSE exclusive problem.

  • Steve Vanderbilt Said:

    Great and to the point article!

  • thegreyman Said:

    Linux is awful. I've wanted to use it for years, become proficient, but it isn't right. Stop convincing yourself it is. Let's hope Steam/Valve starts to drive its acceptance. Stop the drivel. Stop the nonesense and fanboy cr@p. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. It isn't right for Average Joe. The hundreds of people I know, nobody - NOBODY - wants to use Linux, has never used Linux, doesn't like Linux when I've showed it to them. Get your heads out of your butts and look what's right in front of you: very few give a rats about Linux. For God's sakes stop deceiving yourself. Blah blah, the only people reply to this comment are fanboy/fangirls. I haven't subscribed, won't be reading, simply shedding light on what's right in front of you, but which you won't accept. Same old conversation, same old forum, same old blah blah but Linux .... blah blah. Get Linux right. Update the drivers. Get a solid distro. Simplify. Consolidate. Linux basics are complicated. Nothing fits right now and nothing ever has. I doubt nothing ever will. It'll remain in the fractional market share and don't share your mobile market drivel. You and I both know you're off track. Yes, I like Linux, believe it or not. I advocate its philosophy. I'm a realist. XP is better than any distro. Hell, Win98 is better than most of them. Linux is a hobby. I've only ever met one person in my entire life that uses Linux - and he used dual boot with XP. Not exactly a desktop replacement. Linux juggernaut my ass. You're probably basing your overwhelming comments on a successful mobile market share, not popularising the 'desktop'. with its many flavours and faculties. Most Linux sites I've gone to, even looking as a n00b, gives too much technical detail. BE BASIC. Talk like a frikking human. For God's sakes, Linux communities miss the simple stuff. For example, let's punch in ... "What is Linux": in Firefox, Google. First hit - Wikiipedia (lol, typical right), states, "Linux is a Unix-like and POSIX-compliant computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution." WTF does that mean to Average Joe?? Seriously?? Most Linux pages are like this. If I were interested in Linux and came across this I would've moved on. Many I've spoke to did just that. OK, same thing, but Windows: ""What is Windows 7" Wikipedia, lol, sorry we have to cumulative laugh on that one. Regardless, the first sentence is, "Windows 7 is an operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablet PCs, and media center PCs." WHICH IS SIMPLER TO UNDERSTAND? Is it that Linux is a POSIX compliant system, or Windows 7 is for personal computers? Stop dreaming. Wake up and be real. You aren't dealing with computers. You're dealing with people. And with that, Microsoft's going to win 99.99% of the time.

  • Shane Said:

    Wow, you're clearly a throwaway troll, and therefore a well thought out and articulate response is not only a waste of time but plainly too indulgent for you. I will, however, touch on a couple of points for my own sanity and dismantle your idiocy - not to give you any benefit whatsoever. Anyone using a computer (other than for gaming, which is a serious exception) can benefit immensely by choosing a Linux distribution that suits their need. Modern distributions, chosen and deployed properly, are rock solid and support virtually any hardware they're running. Configured properly, even my wife (who says she hates computers and shuns most of the tech I introduce) uses Linux (mint, if anyone cares) as a daily driver and finds it not only suitable but MUCH faster on her bargain laptop than Windows ever was. Which is simpler to understand? That depends on how it's presented, and your personal history with computers. Presented with the "average Joe" in mind, and said Joe having little skin in the Windows game or personal investment in any OS whatsoever, Linux is not only acceptable, but for some, ideal. Wake up and be real, indeed. Clearly you're either old and immutable in your opinions, or completely drunk. I'm assuming both, and everyone here agrees with me.

  • Way Said:

    I would like to say Linux has come a long ways But 75% of the people have not the time or interest in going back to the days dos coding. They want to point and click and have there work done. This would be compared to a person that could fill up the car with gas, to keep moving. They would have no interest or ability to repair or maintain there vehicle. When you have thousands of people creating distros that still can't get together to make it simpler for users.MS Windows would then be in the archives. Don't get me wrong as I use booth MS and Linux but when I am in a hurry and no time to play, I use XP.

  • Shane Said:

    You literally made me laugh out loud. Let's go piece by piece! "75% of the people" is a totally made up statistic unless you can cite a source. "the days of dos coding" has so little to do with Linux, it makes me wonder if you've ever actually googled it. "...point and click and have there work done" - I'll quietly point out that you used "there" instead of "their," and also mention that this same objective is not difficult to achieve in Linux. The rest of your post is as incomprehensible as the first part. Let me sum it up for you: your position is an analogy to the prospect that perhaps everyone in the world wants to purchase a prefabricated house made of inferior materials, and justify it by the fact that everyone has one and all the appliances work most of the time. I don't know about you, but the nicest houses I've ever seen in my life were either built by the owner's own hands, or she paid someone to make it for her. There's no trace of linoleum or patchwork of any kind; it's entirely thoughtfully constructed and not only meets the needs and serves the purpose, but is a pleasure to live in as well. That's Linux. You really should google it sometime.

  • stu Said:

    @Shane - you both made me lol - Way has a point - he can't spell but that's irrelevant - The most basic things in linux if you are a newbie are not so simple - try change the screen res in crunchbang - If linux is to be a real force on the desktop - then they really really need to simplify the gui experience. Such a shame as you say - linux really does allow you to personalize and fine tune your house beyond anything that MS gives you - just make sure you have a billion hours to learn it and that's the point!

  • Jopower Said:

    Hmmmm, some dissension in the ranks? OK, I'm fairly tech savvy and Linux by whoever will likely get tried again soon. But the comment "other than for gaming, which is a serious exception" has my attention. I game, as I said above a foot or so. So, how can I game well with Linux?? Is this a WINE required thing? [If this is addressed in another thread, please supply a link to it so we can keep this topic from diverging way far away.}

  • me Said:

    This is the first time this desktop-environment is mentioned, but although XFCE, LXDE, OpenBox, and FluxBox are decent, no one has mentioned the mother of them all ;) : xmonad !!!! Crazy fast and stable, with a learning curve that's worth learning.

  • pepe andreo Said:

    suck my dick, your fucking distros sucks.

  • RHugga Said:

    You don't sound old enough to even be using linux nub. Go back to windoze, you'll be happier there.

  • LinuxJack Said:

    Wow, what a well thought out opinion. "suck my ..., your ....... distros sucks." How long did it take you to come up with that? Look if you hate Linux so much, I gotta question what the hell you are doing reading and posting prepubescent comments on a Linux article in the first place.

  • me Said:

    I can't believe that a distribution as buggy as Ubuntu is recommended as "best"

  • zennnith Said:

    I have used linux mint and so far have no issues.Fedora seems to have lot of issues, I faced grub errors while installing,tried usb booting but failed.I am happy with normal boots.not a big fan of usb boots.

  • linguy Said:

    Bodhi user interface looks like shit, look at elementary os and learn.

  • WilliamC Said:

    It doesn't have to. I actually just moved from elementary OS to Bodhi a little over a month ago, and I am loving it. Even Bodhi's default interface really is kind of crappy, I'll admit. But if your will to suffer the learning curve, it is remarkable. Also, with me it's not all about looks. As more of a power user the features (once you find them and understand them) are just superb. With that said, I originally came to ask why elementary OS is not on the list. It should be best desktop distro. All around this list is poorly chosen.

  • WilliamC-Again Said:

    Looking at this list, have you seriously never heard of tried elementary OS? It is easily the biggest up and comer. It is easily the most well thought out, polished, easy to use "everyday desktop" Linux there is. It should have easily taken the spot of Best Desktop Distro over Xubuntu by a mile. Heck, it should have taken best laptop too. While it might not be my distro of choice, defending on those lines is still a no brainer. Go check it out then come back and re-read your own article and see if it still makes sense.

  • Bala Krishnan Said:

    I have tried most of the distros mentioned here and also tried all major Ubuntu derivatives every year. If i had to choose only 1, i will choose Linux Mint. It has all the good stuff of Ubuntu and the speed of lighter distros. But my personal favorite so far is Peppermint OS. I use it the most actually. They developers of Peppermint OS actually work together with Linux Mint developers. If compatibility and availability of drivers and package, i would go for Xubuntu or Lubuntu.

  • saintjohnpublic Said:

    Update: ArchLinux now best archbang not bad puppy best for boot cd and for fixing/backups/moving files ect my forum were i'll post my own readme's and help if some 1 needs any xubuntu is only ubuntu type worth useing but its becomeing bloated too uses way too much harddrive space for a minimal install why im moving to arch simple clean and fast and SMALL harddrive install witch is bigest concern for me smaller the install faster things run ;-)

  • steve Said:

    No mention of Linux Deepin yet they have their own software center, video player, music player etc with window decorations you can change per application from the applications window border.

  • SaintJohnPublic Said:

    xubuntu amd getting pretty good 12.4.4 lts working good ran my war commander nicely almost double the speed win7 google chrome ;-)

  • chrisdem Said:

    To me this seem very much like someone who was not particularly interested in linux had to wright an article on various linux distros,and is a waist of time to read

  • nadiha Said:

    top five are on below link

  • myue Said:

    Any one can recommend a Linux Distro for my Thinkpad X41? eventually want to have a Linux desktop, and fully work at standby/hibernation aspect. In past 15 years I've worked with many different Unix distros(Solaris SPARC/X86, HPUX, AIX, Suse, Mint,Ubuntu,Lubuntu,Xubuntu,Fedora,Mandrid,...) , and really enjoyed Unix/Linux stability and robustness, and happy to see Linux's great improvements. Based on my experience I figured that no one distro is comparable with Windows at standy/hibernation aspect. Maybe some distros working pretty good with some particular type of laptops, but no one has the wide compatibility as Windows(XP,Vista,7, ...).

  • Madhu Said:

    any one please tell me which is the best os to install in Dell 7720 17r laptop 64 bit

  • LinuxJack Said:

    Check out the distro's your interested in and see if they have an HCL (hardware compatibility list) for laptops on their website. Worth the look in case your laptop has some wacky proprietary tech like a fingerprint scanner or TPM hardware. I had a Thinkpad X200 Tablet that worked fine except for the fingerprint scanner and the TPM, which I'm not sure any distro is going to support since TPM is strictly a MS artifact.

  • chrisdem Said:

    try a few out and see what you like most fairly modern computers will run any disro you choose just fine there is no one that would be best for a particular model

  • saintjohnpublic Said:

    x41 has pae issue dont detect it but will install use older install with out pae to install then update like xubuntu 12.3 or b4 archlinux think but its not much use less for servber uses i have a x40 and 41 they suck and harddrive die alot

  • Hank Mortar Said:

    All the buntus are forks off the debian distro. Regardless of how much some deny it, it will always be true, because the Ubuntu staff is not capable of making a distro from scratch.

  • John Said:

    Arch linux is by far the best... Get what you desire not the extra fluff with other distros... Installer isnt as friendly as *buntu's but well worth it afterwards as you get a very let yet very up today distro installing packages is a breeze.. If you can do apt-get you can do pacman... And there are GUI updating tools like package manager as well

  • Jopower Said:

    I took the advice of Nadiha: "" Soooo, who's used Zorin OS???

  • Jumbo21 Said:

    I am simply not a fan of ubuntu or any of its derivatives in the least. I don't like the way they are supported, new versions come out way to fast, and are supported for a very short time. Even the LTS versions don't get the major updates the newer versions get. And it was very unstable, and buggy for me. Canonical is slow to improve things like the software center, they are creating Mir instead of using Wayland and focusing on actually making Ubuntu better. It also not the easiest distro to use like so many claim, and Linux Mint is also not "ubuntu done right" like people also claim. You can't update the kernel either to get the latest hardware and feature support either. Manjaro, and so many others are far better choices.

  • rune2099 Said: I agree about the buddha thing but it is spelt Bodhi afaik

  • gjdgjd Said:

    Have read this entire thread with some interest. It concerned me a bit that such a well considered commentary as that supplied by Béret Gascon attracted so few responses - I am a long time Windows XP user (who is quite happy - with a few adjustments - to take his chances with it in the post-support era), whereas a few polemic statements ("Windows 8" for example) cause extensive animation. I suppose it might have been trolling but it (and others) might have been irony - Linux people don't do irony? Despite being OK to continue to use Windows XP I am very interested in some form of Linux - partly for fun partly to keep some neurones functioning and maybe even to use for certain tasks which might be a bit iffy in Windows XP post-support. From the thread I thought "Elementary OS" might be a place to start. So checking for recent issues I see "can't install using unetbootin" - and from about 4 months ago and answer to the same question; "you can't use unetbootin anymore"..... so I think to myself "wonder why not - (whatever unetbootin is)?". You will know why not (I assume). Undaunted I thought "this Arch one seems to be well thought of" so I Googled "arch linux installation problems" and looked at a couple (of the hundreds) of issues - my favourite (which is also very recent) >> I went sudo dd bs=4M if=x86_64.iso of=/dev/sdb && sync and it's working 12 hours now... I don't think it should be like that

  • XPLiCiT Said:

    Lol! TOR network secure? you would be better off using any linux distro and setting up a proxy chain. TOR has been proven to have leaks and poses a security threat, you never know who is scanning it.

  • dj Said:

    I have tried many different distros of Linux. Quit Ubuntu about 2 or 3 years ago. The one and only one that I recommend is Mint Mate Debian (don't mess with cinnamon - too much like ubuntu). Mint Mate Debian works wonderful on a laptop too. It is very stable.

  • Enrique Pascalin Said:

    I think I'll remain Debian for 2014

Who we are ?

The Linux Foundation is a non-profit consortium dedicated to the growth of Linux.

More About the foundation...

Frequent Questions

Join / Linux Training / Board