Which Linux distribution do you recommend I try?

eranet

New Member
Hi all,

Hopefully posting this in the right section of the forum! I have slightly-old Compaq laptop with Windows Vista on it, and I've tried Windows 8 and it's just awful and unintuitive to use on a laptop. I don't think you can remove the Windows 8 Start screen, so I've had a serious look at some Linux distribution I could try instead. Anyone have any personal favourites you would recommend? I'm looking at Linux Mint but there are so many to choose from I thought it'd be easier to ask and see what others recommend.

Thanks.​
 

Quags

Administrator
Staff member
I'm fond of centos for a server, just due to the ease. It will also work as a workstation, as long as you install a browser like firefox yourself (to get the latest version) and may need some tweaking for java to work. Otherwise, the browser will be a little old (but stable / working). I personally use centos for my workstation.

Ubuntu is probably the easiest for a workstation which the latest software though. You will get a better out of the box solution with newer software.
 

Svedren

New Member
It sounds like you're new to Linux, so I would recommend Ubuntu. The method for installing software (packages) is a little easier to learn, and there are a lot more people talking about it online than just about any other distribution. With Ubuntu you can generally find whatever you need by googling it.

OpenSuse is also really nice and very pretty. It's almost the same as SUSE enterprise, (like CentOS is to RedHat) so researching issues online is fairly easy.

The best thing? Download the liveCD's and play with them before you install to your hard drive. Try before you buy, even if the buying is free!
 

Raivyn

New Member
I'm going to have to agree here and say I'd go with Ubuntu. It's the first one I tried when I was new to Linux and it's very easy to learn.
 

bearbin

New Member
Ubuntu is really very easy to learn, but is not suitable for older hardware because it consumes so many resources. If you want something for low-powered hardware, you might want Linux Mint or Crunchbang. Debian is also very nice, but it's quite hard to set up if you want a graphical interface which I'm sure you do.
 

Owen Smith

New Member
Ubuntu is really very easy to learn, but is not suitable for older hardware because it consumes so many resources. If you want something for low-powered hardware, you might want Linux Mint or Crunchbang. Debian is also very nice, but it's quite hard to set up if you want a graphical interface which I'm sure you do.

I agree,

Ubuntu is the easiest and in my opinion the best to run.
 

Quags

Administrator
Staff member
In regards to Live CD's Knoppix is my favorite: http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html

It has a GUI as well as text based only. I personally use it for fixing servers, in text mode that are unable to boot. But the default is a fully functional os. You can't mess it up either, if there is a problem reboot and your are back to what it was before.
 

thomasgreen

New Member
I think I've disabled the windows 8 start screen before on my computer. You would have to use a third party program like: http://www.addictivetips.com/window...-toggle-enable-disable-metro-ui-start-screen/ or buy windows 7. :p

If you still want to go with linux, I would highly suggest Ubuntu like what others said. Ubuntu doesn't need a computer with great specs (but lets you actually do stuff with a GUI) and is the most user friendly (in my opinion). Install wine and you'll be able to run most of your windows programs.
 

Ryan Maxey

Member
My first distro was Ubuntu, I believe.. Since then I've used Debian, CentOS, Backtrack 5, Back Box 3 (i think), Mint, Ubuntu, and a few others I can't remember. Anyway, Ubuntu has the least high learning curve. My personal favorite is Debian. I'd first start with Ubuntu, as a home OS. I love Debian because of the fact that it's great in the home, and in servers, the stability is rock solid. Ubuntu is based off Debian, so whatever you learn there will surely transfer to Debian. Matter of fact, that really applies to Linux in general. I'd stay away from the ones that are dead, or barely get updated. If you need Windows, really and truly you should duel boot. Although you can run Wine, etc for running Windows programs, it just simply isn't as smooth. Other than that, Linux is great. I'd say Ubuntu as a first linux OS.
 

protoboard

New Member
For many years I used Ubuntu as my main distro until they ditched Gnome and switched to Unity as their default desktop. I think that was around 2011. Ever since Ubuntu has been loosing its user base because they are making many changes without actually listening to feedback from the community. I don't think it is a good choice for a new user any more because the future of the distro isn't really clear.

For a newbie I think right now the best distro is Linux Mint. I don't know if it is still based on Ubuntu or if it's based in Debian but either way the package system is the same. The Debian way of doing things is very easy to learn so it's perfect for new users.
 

protoboard

New Member
@Yanz I haven't tried it for a long time. Maybe since the release 8 (I believe) but back then it looked really nice.

I haven't used linux since I got into my current job a year and a half ago although ocasionally I boot a live cd with lubuntu which is also amazing. I like the LXDE desktop environment a lot. It's simple, clean and lightweight.
 

Yanz

New Member
All I use for my work is Linux, though my main OS is windows for gaming.
I think they made Linux Mint for the users, as in it's all about the look of it. It's really nice.
 

NatureSun

New Member
You should start out with Ubuntu, it's extremely user friendly and intuitive.

The learning curve is great and I don't think you'll have any problems in using is, especially if you've used OS X in the past.

Hope that helped!
 

nonsiccus

New Member
If you're looking for a slick user experience, you'll probably want to head over to Ubuntu or some derivative thereof. I personally like Debian, however I'm using that strictly as a file/webserver without using a GUI, so it's pretty different from the day-to-day tasks you'd probably be using your copy for.

Ultimately, there are so many distros out there, the biggest issue is determining what you want to use yours for and then picking one accordingly.
 

seotut

New Member
I've been using Arch Linux for years, for both desktop and server purposes. It's one of the few distros besides Gentoo and LFS, that offers complete control, for people who hate bloat. Something like Ubuntu/Xubuntu would work nicely for a beginner though.
 
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