"SOLVED my choice was Linux Mint" Choosing a Linux distribution

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Hello,

I would like to move from Windows to Linux and need help choosing a Linux distribution. Here are the factors I’m looking for in a distribution. My computer is 3 years old. I would like a distribution that has a lot of software compatibility. I don’t need to run Windows-only applications, but I would like a distribution that makes it easy to install software. I honestly don’t care much about what desktop environment I use. I can figure out how to get around it. I would also like to strike a balance between stability and new software. I need the latest version of a web browser, but not so much other applications. I would like a distribution where it is easy to get support from if something goes wrong. Something that is not too complicated to learn. These are the factors I am looking for when it comes to choosing a distribution and hopefully you can help me find one.
 


KGIII

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That pretty much sums up all the major distros. Though some will have Firefox ESR - it'll be updated to the most recent ESR version there is and it's easy enough to install just regular Firefox in pretty much every distro.

So, I'll toss this into the mix:

 
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Hello KGIII,
I would like to narrow down my search for the perfect distro for me. I was wondering if you could ask me some questions so that we can narrow it down to 1 or 2 possible distros.
 

SlowCoder

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There's certainly lots to choose from, and really no right answer to this question. I think you can't go wrong with Linux Mint, as it's about as close to a Windows style interface as you'll come, out of the box. It also has good support for users who are not familiar with the CLI (command line/bash/terminal). For a system as new as yours, I recommend Linux Mint Edge, which has better driver support for newer hardware.

Whatever distro you decide to go with, stay with it for a while, and learn your way around. Don't start "distro hopping" until you're reasonably comfortable getting around your own system. Once you do get more comfortable, you can start checking out different desktops, like KDE, Gnome, Xfce and Mate, and many more, if you're interested.

Don't be afraid to ask questions if you get stuck. Good luck, and welcome!
 

SlowCoder

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I would like to narrow down my search for the perfect distro for me. I was wondering if you could ask me some questions so that we can narrow it down to 1 or 2 possible distros.
As KGIII said, most of the mainstream distros have good software libraries, and easy to use desktops. Unless you want to pay for a distro like RedHat, support is community driven, e.g. forums like this one.

The Linux community is lively, and there are lots and lots of tutorials for every facet and interest. Youtube channels like LearnLinuxTV and The Linux Experiment have good info for beginners as well.
 
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Thank you. I will give it a try. I do know some of the command line and I think it will be useful, especially when troubleshooting my system and doing basic tasks.
 

KGIII

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Grab the most interesting looking distros from DistroWatch and *write* them to USB (with Balena Etcher, for example). Then, test them out and see which you like best out of those that work well with your hardware.

This is really only a decision you can make.

If it matters, I'm a Lubuntu fan - to the point of officially being on the team that makes it.
 

darry1966

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To be honest it will be whatever best suits your machine then working with that.
 

f33dm3bits

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Any distribution will do since 3 years old isn't that old of a system, try out Mint, Ubuntu and ElementaryOS by running them from a flash drive(live boot)and see which one you like best.
 

Brickwizard

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Welcome to the forums, as others have said, your kit will run any build of 64-bit Linux, although a bit of tweaking may be required. There is no such thing as the best distribution, only what is best for you, almost any Linux application can be installed on any distribution, first do some research there are over 500 desktop versions of Linux with many desktop environments, see
https://www.tecmint.com/best-linux-desktop-environments/, choose one or two you think you like and try them along with 5 or 6 different distributions to see which works best for you, if you find a desktop you like and a distribution you like [but it doesn't have your chosen desktop] you can transplant most between each other.

New to Linux
How Do I Install Linux (A General Guide) • Linux Tips
 
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Brickwizard

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I would like a distribution that has a lot of software compatibility
If you mean windows software [Linux has applications] then you cannot directly run windows programs, In many cases you can run some windows programs using wine, bottles, play on Linux or some other compatibility layer, But for the best performance and stability there are many Linux applications to try,
 

Terminal Velocity

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Try Debian 11 non-free cinnamon (search for this). Non-free means that it has all the drivers, even those that there is no source code available, most likely it works in your machine. Firefox ESR is always up to date and tested by and for Debian. Debian repositories are huge but if something is not there then you can use the latest appimage or flatpak if it is available, usually is.

I use this OS since it came out a year ago, never crashed, everything just work. I use it just as I was using Windows, I learned few things and that's it
 

bob466

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For me it's Linux Mint Cinnamon, user friendly and very stable...comes with many tools and has a good software manager.
happy0035.gif
 

wizardfromoz

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try out Mint, Ubuntu and ElementaryOS by running them from a flash drive(live boot)and see which one you like best.

Broadly speaking a good idea, but if you have a defect in eyesight (eg need reading glasses) leave out Elementary OS - it does not support HiDPI (large text/scaled resolution) and it's advance from v5 to v6 has not remedied this.

Cheers

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 
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Hi everyone,
I think I might start off my Linux journey with Linux Mint since the user interface is user-friendly and has a lot of useful features that are similar to Windows. Thanks everyone for your input.
 

Brickwizard

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once you are happily up and running, please come back and edit the title of your first post to include "SOLVED"
 
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