Linux is completely new, so why not give it a try? Here are some beginner-friendly Linux distributions:
Linux is a family of open source operating systems based on the Linux kernel. There are so many distributions available that we list the top 8 that are easy for beginners to use.
The rankings and opinions listed here are my own! As an Ubuntu user for over 10 years, I’m not new to Linux, but I’m new to the ones on the list. Therefore, this could be a Linux review by a beginner.
Solus, Formerly known as the Evolve OS, is an OS originally developed for 64-bit processors. The system offers four desktop editions: Budgie, GNOME, MATE, and KDE.
The unique Budgie Desktop provides a traditional Windows-like desktop look, along with configuration utilities for changing themes, fonts, and managing panel items. There are also Gnome-style “system settings” for configuring many other settings.
Solus comes with a variety of software. In addition to its own package repository, it also supports Snap and Flatpak, giving you more choice.
7. Beginner OS
Elementary OS A Linux system based on Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support). It has been marked as the most beautiful Linux distribution. It is now touted as a “fast, open and privacy-respecting” alternative to macOS and Windows.
The system features a Pantheon desktop. In addition to custom apps such as photos, music, videos, calendars, terminals, files, you can use it right away without any customization.
The benefits of Ubuntu and Flatpak allow you to take advantage of a huge collection of software packages for your system.
6. Zorin OS
Zorin OS Another Ubuntu-based system designed specifically for Linux first-time users.
There are four editions on the system download page. Ultimate is a must-play for download, but Core, Lite, and Education editions are free.
It has a customized GNOME desktop and aims to be an alternative to Windows and macOS. Zorin OS is clean and sophisticated. There is also an appearance dialog that allows you to change the desktop layout with a single click.
Thanks to Wine and PlayOnLinux, many Windows applications can be easily installed on Zorin OS with just a few clicks.
5. Deepin Linux
Deepin is the most beautiful Linux system I can see. It has a Deepin desktop environment with core applications.
Deepin Linux was developed by a Chinese company. It comes with its own WPS Office, which supports full MS Office files, and CrossOver, a paid commercial version of CodeWeavers.
With Deepin, installing Windows apps such as WeChat and QQ is very easy. This is the best Linux OS for Chinese users.
Fedora Is a Linux distribution developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and owned by IBM’s subsidiary Red Hat.
Like Ubuntu, Fedora announces new releases every April and October. However, support for each release is only 9 months. Linux author Linus Torvalds also uses Fedora as his main Linux distribution.
Due to the close relationship between Gnome and Fedora, Fedora Workstation (desktop version) always benefits from the latest Gnome Shell release first.
Fedora workstations are state-of-the-art. Always get new technology, driver, and package updates first. In addition, the appearance of the desktop can be easily configured via system settings, Gnome Tweaks, Dconf Editor, and Gnome Shell Extensions. However, installing proprietary drivers is not easy for beginners.
Manjaro A Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. It focuses on ease of use and accessibility.
Unlike other Linux, Arch Linux and Manjaro use a “rolling release” system. This means you don’t have to reinstall or upgrade your entire system multiple times.
It has three desktop editions with XFCE, KDE, and GNOME. The system looks up to date and is ready to use with a variety of pre-installed software.
XFCE and KDE editions have a classic Windows-like layout. Also, Gnome’s default is a top panel with a dock on the left. However, there is a settings dialog for the UI layout.
The package manager “pamac” is great. You can get all the latest software packages in one from the main repository, AUR (Arch User Repository), flat hub, or snap store. It also includes utilities for installing the latest kernel and proprietary NVIDIA drivers.
Ubuntu Is the most popular Linux distribution ranked by Google Trends. Popular not only for desktops, but also for Linux servers and cloud computing.
Like Fedora, Ubuntu announces new releases every six months. Versions released in April of even-numbered years (16.04, 18.04, 20.04, etc.) are LTSs that are supported for 5 years. All other support is only 9 months.
Ubuntu is based on Debian and uses GNOME as the default desktop environment. The desktop isn’t perfect on its own. Software Center is the worst. The media codec is not pre-installed. Clicking the app icon on the dock does not minimize the open window.
However, there are plenty of tutorials and answers on the web that show you how to fine-tune Ubuntu. And you can ask at https://askubuntu.com/.
Ubuntu includes various software packages. The default repository packages are always out of date, but many software developers (LibreOffice, Inkscape, etc.) and third-party maintainers maintain PPA (Personal Package Archives) with the latest packages for Ubuntu users. You can also select Flatpak and Snap.
Ubuntu isn’t great for people who have never used Linux, but it has the largest community base of active participation and support for its users.
1. Linux Mint
Linux Mint In my opinion, it is the most friendly Linux system for beginners.
It is based on Ubuntu LTS and has three desktop editions: Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. Linux Mint includes a variety of pre-installed software and is ready to use.
All settings for desktop users are easily accessible through an all-in-one System Settings tool, including desktop appearance, accounts, privacy, displays, power management, printers, drivers, and firewalls.
In addition to the Ubuntu package base, Linux Mint also has its own package repository. The app can be easily installed via Synaptic or your system package manager. The kernel can be easily installed via the update manager. PPA and apt repositories can be easily managed through the “Software Sources” utility. Thanks to Ubuntu, even the latest NVIDIA drivers can be easily applied.
As a fast-growing Linux distribution, Linux Mint is stable, secure, reliable and extremely easy to use.
There are so many Linux distributions that you can’t try them all one by one. If you find something better, leave a comment.