7 Best Linux Distros For Beginners
- November 27, 2023
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The world of Linux distributions can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. There are numerous options and the paradox of choice can be overwhelming. However, Linux itself is not inherently complex. It is simply the newness factor that causes confusion. In this article, we will explore the best Linux distros for beginners, providing detailed insights into each distribution’s features, ease of use, and software availability. By the end, you will have a clearer understanding of which of the best Linux distribution for new users, is the right choice for you.
Ubuntu is undoubtedly the most popular Linux distribution, both for desktop and server usage. It has gained its fame due to its user-friendly experience and comprehensive software support. The installation process is straightforward, and the operating system comes with essential tools pre-installed, such as a web browser, office suite, and media player.
One of Ubuntu’s significant advantages is its vast collection of software applications available through the Software Center. Whether you need productivity tools, graphics software, or development environments, you can find them easily and install them with just a few clicks. Additionally, Ubuntu benefits from a large and active community, ensuring extensive documentation and support through forums and community-driven websites like Ask Ubuntu.
Ubuntu utilizes the GNOME desktop environment, which provides a clean and modern interface. However, for users coming from the Windows platform, the GNOME desktop might not feel familiar. Fortunately, Ubuntu offers official flavors like Kubuntu (with the KDE Plasma desktop) and Lubuntu (with the lightweight LXQt desktop), providing alternative user interfaces that resemble Windows and cater to different preferences. All of these features make it among the premier Easy-to-use Linux distros for beginners.
2. Linux Mint
Based on Ubuntu, Linux Mint is another excellent choice for beginners. It aims to provide a user-friendly experience while offering some improvements over Linux. One of the standout features of Linux Mint is its familiar user interface, which closely resembles that of Windows. This similarity helps Windows users feel at ease when transitioning to Linux.
Linux Mint is available in multiple editions, each featuring a different desktop environment. The most popular edition is Cinnamon, which provides a traditional desktop experience with a taskbar, start menu, and system tray. Xfce and MATE editions are also available, offering lightweight alternatives for older hardware or users seeking a more minimalist environment.
Like Ubuntu, Linux Mint benefits from the extensive software repository of its parent distribution. This ensures a wide range of software applications is available for installation. Additionally, Linux Mint emphasizes stability and reliability, making it an excellent choice for users who prioritize a hassle-free computing experience.
3. Zorin OS
Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that stands out for its focus on delivering a Windows-like user interface. It offers a familiar and intuitive experience for users transitioning from Windows to Linux. Zorin OS provides a polished and aesthetically pleasing interface, making it one of the most visually appealing Linux distributions.
Zorin OS comes in different editions, including Core, Lite, and Education. The Core edition is designed for general usage, while the Lite edition is tailored for older hardware, ensuring smooth performance even on low-spec machines. The Education edition focuses on providing educational tools and resources for students and teachers.
In addition to its visual appeal, Zorin OS offers a range of pre-installed software applications, including office suites, web browsers, and multimedia tools. This ensures that users have the necessary tools readily available after installation. Zorin OS also provides an Ultimate edition, which includes even more pre-installed software and games, making it an enticing choice for users seeking a comprehensive out-of-the-box experience.
4. Elementary OS
If you appreciate elegant and minimalist design, Elementary OS might be the perfect Linux distribution for you. Drawing inspiration from macOS, Elementary OS focuses on delivering a clean and visually pleasing user interface. The operating system is designed to provide a seamless and intuitive experience for users, especially those new to Linux.
Elementary OS is based on Ubuntu, ensuring access to a wide range of software applications from the Ubuntu software ecosystem. However, unlike Ubuntu, Elementary OS takes a minimalist approach to pre-installed software. It includes only essential applications, such as a web browser, email client, and media player, allowing users to customize their experience according to their needs.
One of the notable features of Elementary OS is its AppCenter, a curated software store that provides a hand-picked selection of applications. This ensures that users can find high-quality software without being overwhelmed by the vast number of choices available in other distributions. Elementary OS also emphasizes security, privacy, and stability, making it a reliable choice for beginners.
5. Linux Lite
Linux Lite is a lightweight Linux distribution that aims to provide a user-friendly experience while running efficiently on older hardware. It is based on Ubuntu LTS (Long-Term Support) releases, ensuring stability and long-term software support. Linux Lite is an excellent choice for users with low-spec machines or those who prefer a lightweight operating system.
Linux Lite utilizes the Xfce desktop environment, which is known for its simplicity and resource efficiency. The interface resembles Windows, making it comfortable for Windows users to transition to Linux Lite. The distribution comes with a selection of pre-installed applications, including a web browser, office suite, and media player. This ensures that users have the necessary tools right from the start.
Despite its lightweight nature, Linux Lite doesn’t compromise functionality. It offers features like a welcome screen with useful tips and tricks, a system backup tool, and an easy-to-use software manager for installing additional applications. Linux Lite also emphasizes user support, providing a friendly and helpful community forum where users can seek assistance and share their experiences.
6. Manjaro Linux
While most beginner-friendly Linux distributions are based on Ubuntu, Manjaro Linux takes a different approach by being based on Arch Linux. Arch Linux is known for its rolling release model, where updates are frequently released, providing the latest software versions. However, Arch Linux itself can be challenging for beginners due to its complex installation process and advanced configuration requirements. Manjaro Linux solves this.
Manjaro Linux aims to provide a user-friendly experience while retaining the benefits of Arch Linux. It offers an intuitive graphical installer that simplifies the installation process. Manjaro also provides an easy-to-use package manager, ensuring that users can install and update software without dealing with complex command-line instructions.
One of the significant advantages of Manjaro Linux is its access to the Arch User Repository (AUR). Arch User Repository is an archive where a vast collection of software is indexed. It allows users to install software that is not available in the official repositories, expanding the software options available on Manjaro Linux. Additionally, Manjaro provides multiple desktop environments to choose from, including Xfce, KDE Plasma, GNOME, and more, catering to different user preferences.
Pop!_OS is a Ubuntu-based Linux distribution developed by System76, a company known for producing Linux-based computers. While it shares the same foundation as Ubuntu, Pop!_OS offers some enhancements and additional features that make it a compelling choice for beginners. This is a big reason why Pop!_OS is among the top Linux distros for newcomers.
Pop!_OS utilizes the GNOME desktop environment, but it adds its own touch to provide a more polished and refined user experience. One of the standout features of Pop!_OS is its auto-tiling functionality, which allows windows to automatically resize and organize themselves on the screen for efficient multitasking. This feature can significantly enhance productivity for users who frequently work with multiple windows.
Pop!_OS also emphasizes a consistent and cohesive design throughout the operating system, making it visually appealing and user-friendly. The distribution comes with essential applications pre-installed, such as a web browser, office suite, and media player. Pop!_OS benefits from the extensive Ubuntu software ecosystem, ensuring a wide range of software options for users.
Choosing the right Linux distros for beginners can be a tough task. The right choice can greatly influence your experience with the operating system. The options listed above are all excellent choices for beginners, each offering a user-friendly experience with its unique set of features.
Ultimately, the best Linux distribution for beginners depends on your personal preferences and requirements. Consider factors such as user interface familiarity, software availability, hardware compatibility, and community support when making your decision. With any of these distributions, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on your Linux journey and discover the power and flexibility of open-source computing.
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