everyday, computer user who has a basic working knowledge of computers and who
uses their computer for common tasks such as listening to music, playing games,
watching videos, writing documents and editing photos and video clips.
Yahoo answers is “Which distro should I use?” and it is usually followed up by
a brief set of requirements and the names of distributions that the user has
distribution they should be using and I have heard people say “I was thinking
of Ubuntu or Arch” or “I was thinking about Gentoo and how hard is it to use
Linux From Scratch”.
check out the distributions listed on that site and I’m sure many of those
users then look at the rankings down the right hand side.
are really going to be useful for a beginner or everyday user.
Distrowatch for 2013 (Here is a link to the list for 2014) and gives a brief outline of the purpose of those
distributions and whether they are the sort of operating systems a new user or
average computer user should be using as their first port of call.Click here for a new article analysing the top 10 Linux distributions of 2015.
should be checking out.
revolution and if you are looking for a traditional desktop oriented operating system with taskbars,
system trays and menus then Linux Mint is definitely worth a go.
out of the box” operating system and as soon as you install it you can easily
do the sort of tasks you would normally do without having to install any extra
available for Linux Mint including Cinnamon, MATE, XFCE and even KDE. Use the
Cinnamon or KDE desktop environments on newer hardware and MATE, XFCE
environments on older hardware.
matter which desktop environment you choose the general look and feel and
behaviour of the operating system is the same.Click here for a full review of Linux Mint
Ubuntu is the distribution that most people have heard of and consequently it
is the first Linux based operating system that they try.
actually be down to the fact that because most people have heard of Ubuntu they
go straight to the downloads page rather than to Distrowatch. This is of course
opinion and not necessarily fact.
Microsoft wanted Windows 8 to achieve. The Unity desktop once you get used to
it is a slick desktop environment and it is easy to see how it could work on
desktops, laptops, tablets and phones.
encroached upon by Ubuntu and if you aren’t comfortable with seeing adverts for
products within your desktop experience then you might want to move on to
another distribution or one of the other buntus such as Kubuntu, Lubuntu or
boundaries. The desktop, although clearly not to some peoples tastes, is
forward thinking and modern.
have a really good operating system.
Debian has been around for what feels like forever and it provides the base for
hundreds of other distributions including Ubuntu and Linux Mint.
large number of applications available for users to install.
free software and there are no third party or proprietary products included by
challenge compared to Ubuntu or Linux Mint.
tricky and depends on the person who will be using it. If you want the latest
stuff today then you can install the unstable branch which has all the latest
products but they may or may not work for you. At the other end of the scale
you can choose the stable branch which has older versions of software that are
pretty much guaranteed to work.
to start from a base installation and build something from the ground up. It
may not be suitable for people who have limited computer skills and it requires
more of a learning curve than Linux Mint or Ubuntu.
comes to trying out Linux.Click here for a review of Debian
10 years ago the Linux landscape looked a lot different to how it looks today.
Ubuntu was still in development.
leading the way including Mandrake (Mandriva), openSUSE and PCLinuxOS. Mageia
was originally a fork of the Mandriva codebase and it is a community driven
distribution targeting the same sort of users as Ubuntu and Mint.
to Linux should try out.
including Gnome, KDE, XFCE and LXDE.
people out there who swear by this operating system and think it is the best
there is. What I would say though is that if you don’t like it, don’t dismiss
Linux based on your experience with Mageia.Click here for a full review of Mageia
At the beginning of the article I mentioned that people often mention
distributions that they have heard of whilst asking for advice on which one to
use. Fedora’s name quite often comes up.
and more reliance on trying out new things. If you want the latest stuff now
then Fedora is definitely the way to go.
tricky customer and you may find the odd issue as you go along.
only ships with free software and you have to jump through a couple of extra
hoops to install proprietary software and drivers.
openSUSE is a community distribution with big backing.
environments to choose from including Gnome, KDE, XFCE and LXDE.
looking for an alternative to Mint, Mageia and Ubuntu.
set up and use.
little danger of it disappearing in the near to medium term future.Click here for a review of openSUSE
A definite must try for new users to Linux. It always surprises me that
PCLinuxOS languishes lower down in the top 10 rather than sitting up in 2nd
closest experience to what they are probably used to than any of the
aforementioned distributions (with the possible exception of Linux Mint).
community is very friendly and supportive.
available and therefore it caters to modern and older computers.
you install it you will never have to upgrade.Click here for a review of PCLinuxOS
The rise of Manjaro has been nothing short of amazing. Based on Arch Linux,
Manjaro provides an instant entry point into the world of Arch Linux.
performances very well on older and modern hardware.
steeper than the likes of Mint, Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS.
be considered a first choice for the average computer user.Click here for a review of Manjaro
It scares me the number of people who have never tried Linux before that ask
the question “Should I try Ubuntu or Arch first?”
then Arch is definitely not your first port of call.
your next port of call.
build and tailor your operating system the way you want it to be but to get
there you have to want to invest time and you have to be willing to learn on
your feet (sounds like a job specification, must be a self-starter).
you are doing as you are doing it then there is definitely merit in trying Arch
out. Ultimately if you succeed then you will feel great satisfaction knowing
that you have a stable, secure, reliable and highly responsive operating
the forums can be a little bit hit and miss depending on whether the questions
you ask show that you have put in the effort to try and solve your issues
first. For instance saying that you can’t do basic things without having
followed the beginners guide will be answered in the standard way. Read the
Puppy is designed to run from a USB pen drive or from DVD. It is not designed
to be installed to the hard drive although it can be.
functionality trumps pretty graphics.
and VLC but there are a host of lightweight alternatives installed by default.
would advise inexperienced users to use as their main operating system but I
can’t stress enough that you should give it a go by running it from a USB
if you always carry a USB drive with you then you have a bootable version of
Linux available wherever you go.Click here for a series of reviews about different versions of Puppy
systems currently occupying the top slots at Distrowatch.
are most relevant to your situation.
Ubuntu, Mageia, openSUSE and PCLinuxOS with the addition of Puppy on a pen