So Many OS's to Choose From - which one?


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May 16, 2022
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Hello - I'm completely new to Linux OS and after years of frustration with MS I'd like to see wat my alternatives are. Linux is interesting but on the Home page there looks to be 25 OS's to choose from. I have started the Tutorial but Ilike to jump in - how do I select a OS from the 25? Is there a place I can go to find a tool to help in the selection? I don't have much free time to learn how to manage an OS so keep that in mind please.

Welcome to the forums,
there are over 500 different distributions to choose from, as to what is the best one for you, is only something you can decide,
your choice will depend on what you want to use it for [server, work desktop, general home use, gaming or something more specialise scientific for example] and what the specification of your equipment is,
what is right for me or any other member may not be right for you
Thanks for the reply. I have an Acer Aspire E5-575, Intel® Core™ i3-7100U CPU @ 2.40GHz, Intel® Core™ i3-7100U CPU @ 2.40GHz, Ironman_SK Version V1.47 MoBo, and
Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit) Version (Build) 21H2 (10.0.19044). I am using this 100% as a home computer so it will see home use along with managing a small business (using open source software). I have another laptop and a Desktop also running MS Win10. If I like Linux I would convert them also assuming I get the compatibility I want.
I suggest Debian stable with non-free firmware and cinnamon desktop environment, because you don't want to learn many things just like me
Thank you! I will look at Debian First! Not wanting to learn many things may not be exactly the message I tried to convey - I don't want to spend time learning non-intuitive computer programs! I will happily learn about cars, etc. ;-) I suspect that's probably what you meant?
Hello @lturn9,
Welcome to the Forum and Linux.

I believe that you will get good advise here. You may want to look at this tutorial. And give a few distros a try on live USB's before choosing the one that's right for you and your hardware. Good luck in your search. With all that said I'm partial to Linux Mint or MX-21 :)
I don't want to spend time learning non-intuitive computer programs
Whichever distribution you try you will have a learning curve, Linux it not windows and doesn't work the same way,
as for your machine, it will be fine for most distributions except high definition gaming.
suggestions to try, for office MX-21, and Pop are developed to be office friendly [but pop can be a pig's rear to install if it doesn't work out of the box] or Parrot Home edition which claims the highest security out of the box, for everyday use, Debian stable with non-free codecs, Peppermint11, Any of the Ubuntu family, Mint, are among the most popular for newbies,
As I said Suggestions, only you can make your own decision after running a few "Live" to test

How Do I Install Linux (A General Guide) • Linux Tips
Youtube will show you what the various distros look like
and give you some insight to what makes sense in your
situation, after that try the ones with live demos, use the
likes of Balena Etcher or unetbootin from Linux,
or from windows use Rufus to flash your chosen OS to a
usb stick and try it from the USB drive before you install,
from the usb drive you will be able to determine if the
keyboard and mouse pointer work some will attempt to
connect to WiFi.
If you can successfully achieve the above and you like what
you see then ear mark it for install.

Try a few out this way.
I fintd Lubuntu easy to avnigate and there is no want of packages
MX linux is my current test distro, liking it too.
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how do I select a OS from the 25?
It's mostly a matter of preference, use case and hardware capacity. Your machine seems like it could handle pretty much anything, you didn't mention RAM, tho. I can recommend KDE Neon; based on Ubuntu and with the Plasma Desktop which IMO is the best DE(desktop environment) out there, plus it looks and feels a bit like Windows UI, and if you're a heavy keyboard user, then you'll feel right at home.


Another one is Linux Lite, build and aimed specifically for those wanting to make the switch, like you. It ships with the XFCE desktop.


Q4OS is another very good option, too. This one has two desktop editions to choose from: Plasma and Trinity.



All those above ship with sane defaults, so the learning curve is minimal. I use the Plasma Desktop (I'm a heavy keyboard user, hardly ever touch/use the mouse), and while I think there are many good DEs out there, I believe kwin (Plasma's window manager)is one of the(if not the best)in this category. Here are a couple of links:
1. Pretty old and outdated, but some info is still valid, at least to get some very basic concepts:
2. This one is more recent and focuses only on window managers.

Take your time, do your research, visit and register at some forums and ask questions there, download and try some distros from a Live USB. Take a look here, too
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Linux is interesting but on the Home page there looks to be 25 OS's to choose from. I have started the Tutorial but Ilike to jump in - how do I select a OS from the 25?
This is indeed one of the main entry barriers into Linux, as recognised by many: there are so many options that you end up with paralysis by analysis.

While there are lots niche distributions that would only make a difference when used for a very specific set of use cases, for general usage any distribution will be OK. What you need now is popularity, to make sure that there will be plenty of people using the same as you, and therefore able to help or put you in the right direction.

I think that the general consensus often is that beginners should choose any of the 5 to 10 most popular ones to start, and get going by touching all the buttons to see how that works.

Depending on how wide is the community you ask within, popularity rankings may vary. What I have seen consistently is that the following ones are popular (you will find support) and are good choices to get started, and also more or less equally easy:
  • Debian
  • Mint
  • Ubuntu
  • openSuse
  • Fedora (I'm biased towards this one)
  • Manjaro
  • MX
Any of the above will get you going.

After a taste, you may begin making finer-grained choices based on your needs, also because all of them may have pros and cons, and sometimes even caveats. For example, Debian packages are older (yet more stable) than almost any other distribution in the list, while Fedora and Manjaro have much modern versions of their packages at the cost of some unstability.

But, again, this is something for which you definitely have time. For now, just try.
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Jack Wallen wrote a good piece about choosing the right Desktop /Distro for new users. May be of help here.
Hello @lturn9 welcome to the forum:)
Just refer this thread there is so many useful suggestion there
The link does not work, page not found error.
This will get you there
Welcome aboard - yep many great choices Linux Lite mentioned earlier really good with its pop up menu at the start to guide you setting up. I have latest Debian running on this machine as I type. I will not fall into the trap of saying mine one is the best because there are many great choices to be tried - boy its like being in a lolly factory - so many flavours.

Best of luck in your search.
ubuntu and mint are both pretty awesome [which are both branches of debian], i'd recommend back up your data and fooling around with formatting your computer...or, install OracleVirtualBox, even though VMs tend to be worse in terms of performance in my experience. Don't have any expectations: some things are good and some things are bad, wine is pretty easy to use even though it can be frustrating.

btw, i recommend using balena etcher to write your images, very easy to use and the best image writer i've found so far:

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