Best Linux Distro for beginner

Discussion in 'Computer Software and Operating Systems' started by VinLark, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. VinLark

    VinLark This machine kills bourgeois sentimentality.

    Jun 11, 2016
    Trinidad and Tobago
    4chan and other wonders of the internet
    I want to get into Linux. I have been curious of if their is something better than windows. I want to try new things. I was going to boot a Linux distro off my USB but I did not know where to start. I saw so many it honestly confused me. What is the difference between something like "Mint" and "Ubuntu" and what would be the best OS for a noob like me? Thanks

  2. Jao Chu

    Jao Chu GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Aug 20, 2013
    straya m8
    I'm not too experienced with linux (been a windows user for as long as I can remember) but my first foray into the world of *nix is Fedora 23 on my 1.76 firmware PS4.

    Talk about getting thrown in the deep end! It's a very steep learning curve coming from Windows and it's required many many hours trawling forums and tech blogs. I enjoy tinkering with electronic devices so I haven't become frustrated enough to rage-quit thus far.

    If you're the type of person who like things to "just work" out of the box, Linux won't be for you, but if you see obstacles as a challenge to overcome and don't mind spending an hour or two in a command-line terminal, I think you'll find Linux quite rewarding once you get it working sweet.
    VinLark likes this.
  3. natanelho

    natanelho GBAtemp Maniac

    Apr 25, 2015
    Ppl recommend ubuntu. I used several linux distros and that was the easiest to use for me...
  4. nIxx

    nIxx GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Sep 30, 2007
    Gambia, The
    Basically every Linux Distro with a ready to use desktop enviroment. Like Ubunut, Mint and such. The main difference between them are these desktop enviroment since Mint is a derivate of Ubuntu and Ubunut is a derivate of Debian :). However the nice thing about Linux is that you can use whatever desktop enviroment you want to name a few KDE, Gnome, Unity (its what Ubuntu uses).
    Here is a list with more ;)
    Last edited by nIxx, Aug 26, 2016
  5. iluvfupaburgers

    iluvfupaburgers FUPA Luva

    Sep 21, 2010
    in front of my computer
    manjaro can be a nice try, it has a easy installer, and you get the arch experience but with stable releases

    i personally think debian based distros are less user friendly. once you get an arch based distro like manjaro or antergos going, its easier to use, install programs and commands are easier too
    Last edited by iluvfupaburgers, Aug 26, 2016
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    Anything on save for arch linux* and a copy of
    Assuming you have a machine of modest power (core2 and 4 gigs of RAM is plenty) then stick it inside a virtual machine
    If you are using an odd distro with virtualbox then pick whatever you recognise when it gives you the premade setup choices (usually ubuntu) as it should do just as well.

    *if you are ultimately intending to know it all and set up servers then arch is great but if you just want click around a UI before diving right in then don't. You can follow a guide and have to know nothing but why have the hassle. Equally there are probably big distros out there which that link does not cover, and most people would have no clue what mageia is and probably only have used slackware if they were doing stuff way back when, but hey.

    Once you have the VM then read what you are doing at each step (it should all be on the screen) and use the logic of the comic above. About the only thing I will say is everything on linux goes through the file system. Visit the /proc directory and see some files -> they are files but they are actually files representing the processes running on your machine. We could cover what each does but for normal users on a machine (and unlike windows' "make everybody an administrator" approach to life you do spend most of your time as a normal user) your files are usually stored in /home/username. In the command line this is given the symbol # so you can type cd # and it will change to it for the user you are logged into. There is more to the command line and it is very powerful but you can probably avoid using it really if you want. Likewise there are other little things like file ownership and marking (chown and chmod respectively) but don't worry so much about those for now, they are however of major importance in servers and the like.

    Other than that just play. If you are on an old laptop or something you gave to the task, or a virtual machine there is nothing you can do which will mess things up beyond deleting files on your network shares or something like that.
  7. brigcaster

    brigcaster GBAtemp Regular

    Mar 17, 2015
    Under the Moon
    I prefer debian or arch, but for a beginner Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition is by far the best choice. Avoid Ubuntu. Mint is based on it but without most of its bullshit :rolleyes:
  8. Lacius

    Lacius GBAtemp Guru

    May 11, 2008
    United States
    There's nothing stopping you from trying out multiple distros and seeing which you prefer, because in the end, the choice comes down to a matter of personal preference. Ubuntu and Mint are the two most popular distros, so you should probably start there. Both are also as noob-friendly as a Linux distro is going to be.

    For various reasons I'm not going to get into right now, it's also worth keeping in mind that a lot of people who try Linux eventually go back to Windows as their primary OS. There's no shame in this, and like I said earlier, it's all a matter of personal preference.
    VinLark likes this.
  9. Lilith Valentine

    Lilith Valentine GBATemp's Wolfdog™ Cuddle lesbian

    Sep 13, 2009
    Between insane and insecure
    Why do people keep forgetting to tag me in these threads?
    As GBAtemp's Linux Queen, I have come with answers! I have a few suggestions
    Zorin OS: For those who want to easy into Linux from Windows. It comes pre-configured with Wine/PlayonLinux. With a Windows look/feel.
    Linux Mint: For those who want everything set up and ready to go. Super stable, super easy, super great. Still keeps that Windows look, without being too "Windows."
    Ubuntu: Beginner friendly, well being the most Linux you can get. Unity is a nice touch to really get dip your toe into the Linux work, without throwing you into the deep end.
    Manjaro Linux: Manjaro is the Linux Mint of Arch. It's actually extremely stable, but also rolling release. Which means you only need to install it once and your whole OS, applications included, will be always updated without needing to download a new version of the OS.
    elementary OS: Basically an OSX replacement based on Ubuntu.
    Last edited by Lilith Valentine, Aug 29, 2016
  10. Ricken

    Ricken So long, and goodnite / So long, not goodnite

    Jan 19, 2016
    United States
    Shibuya, The small one from Vegas
    Coming from a guy who's installed far too many distros I would suggest..
    Pearl; Practically OS X without the Hackintosh (and without the .applescript support)
    Lubuntu; Light af, and is really easy to adapt to if you're used to Windows

    ..And literally everything Crystal recommended :wtf:
  11. xy2_

    xy2_ GBAtemp Regular

    Feb 4, 2016
    Debian < Arch = FreeBSD in terms of difficulty. If you don't mind spending some hours on making your computer functional go for arch/FreeBSD, you will learn a lot in the process. For something easier get Debian (or any related distro, such as Linux Mint/Ubuntu etc.)
    Last edited by xy2_, Aug 29, 2016
  12. astronautlevel

    astronautlevel Trying to Find My Way

    Jan 26, 2016
    United States
    That Nightly Site™
    As has been recommended before, Linux Mint is a great introduction to Linux. However, I would also recommend Antergos if you want something a bit more customization. It's like Arch, but with an easy to use installer.
  13. hii915

    hii915 GBAtemp Fan

    Dec 9, 2015
    United States
    Earth, GBAtemp
    I like Antergos but i think Manjaro is better for beginners.
  14. astronautlevel

    astronautlevel Trying to Find My Way

    Jan 26, 2016
    United States
    That Nightly Site™
    I've honestly had nothing but trouble with Manjaro, but it might have been weird stuff with my hardware.
  15. NutymcNuty

    NutymcNuty GBATemp's Autismo

    Mar 24, 2015
    Ottawa, Ontario
    definitely not arch for beginners, try ubuntu, debian, or mint. those are probably one of the top newb easy to setup os, I've been using linux for quite some time(like 3 years), and i still use ubuntu.:blush:
  16. hii915

    hii915 GBAtemp Fan

    Dec 9, 2015
    United States
    Earth, GBAtemp
    Manjaro/antergos is simplified arch or more beginer friendly
    astronautlevel and NutymcNuty like this.
  17. NutymcNuty

    NutymcNuty GBATemp's Autismo

    Mar 24, 2015
    Ottawa, Ontario
    mmm, i guess ill open a virtualbox, and try then out. thx fam!
  18. ScarletDreamz

    ScarletDreamz [Debug Mode]

    Feb 16, 2015
    United States
    Well, there's really no simple answer to that question, at least not that friendly.

    As example, on windows everything runs off an .exe file, like an installer, on linux distribution, sometimes you will have to turn to terminal or downloading packages trough APT, i can recommend you a lot of distros, but at the end you will be the one to decide, even 1 Linux distribution will have several variants, take mint for example, having Cinammon And Matter, so, cinnamon its based on Gnome3 tending to be more graphical exhaust, you can take Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Puppy Linux, DSL, among others, also if you don't feel that confident leaving the windows area, you can go use Ylmf OS [StartOs]:

    I use Mint, just for fun, nothing serious, as well as some other private distros ;D

  19. SlappyTheDummy

    SlappyTheDummy Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Elementary OS.
  20. FaTaL_ErRoR


    Mar 9, 2014
    United States
    Personally I like ubuntu mate. During the installation it allows you to get the non open source drivers for your pc.
    This way instead of looking for a generic wifi driver or whatever driver. You will have the correct driver for your device.
    Mate is very lightweight and seems for function very well on a laptop. One of the things that I hate about current linux distros is the removal of package manager. (it can be downloaded but That's what I prefer to use to download packages)
    If you are looking for an easy to install distro do not get arch or debian.