WHAT IS THE BEST LINUX DISTRIBUTION, WHICH SHOULD I USE ?

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Brickwizard

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This is the most asked question we receive, and the answer is, NO one distribution is better than any other, some may be a little easier for the newbie moving from Windows, some are designed for a specific task, and a few are for experienced Linux users only.
THE BEST DISTRIBUTION
Is the one that works best on your machine, The one you like the look and feel of, the one that lets you perform your daily tasks.
We recommend that you download around 6 different distributions with different desktops, and test them out "live" from a Pen-drive, You will not get a full speed experience, but you will be able to see if you like the look and feel of a particular distribution, and if everything works [wi-fi, camera, touchpad etc.]
YOUR MACHINE
Any machine built with an amd64 [or intel] and has at least 4Gb of ram will be capable of running any Linux distribution you choose [Edit.. Many distributions now also offer an ARM compatible version]

If you only have 2Gb of ram, then there are many lightweight distributions you can run,
If your machine is more than 10 yrs old with a 64bit CPU then personally I would recommend you use one of the medium or lightweight builds,
What is best for me or any other member, Is not necessarily the best for you,
ONLY YOU CAN CHOOSE
 
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Good write up @Brickwizard. I think much of the problem is for newbies coming from Windows world. Where there is basically only one choice. Here in the Linux World we have hundreds of choices. And often their confusion is compounded by friends to supposedly tried linux once and gave up. The sheer number of choices is overwhelming to most of them. So I suspect we will continue to see these types of questions far into the future. Which may not be a bad thing. Because it introduces the newbie to more experienced ops that can help direct them into the linux world.
 
I personally think that Linux Mint and Ubuntu are good options most of the time for beginners to Linux, with the exception of if they have really low-end hardware. People who are wanting to try Linux are already overwhelmed by how many Linux distributions there are so just giving them two good options is already a big help to them to get them started. If for example I or you reply to a beginner topic that they can try Linux Mint and then they have trouble installing then they can then create a topic here about installation troubles and then we will most likely ask for their hardware and then probably advise a more lightweight distribution. That's just my view on it, to keep it as simple as possible since it's already a big step for someone taking the step to try Linux.

Also great topic! :)
 
I personally think that Linux Mint and Ubuntu are good options
Both of which normally appear on my list of suggested builds [as you know I do not recommend] but equally Debian stable + driver pack, linux-Lite, MX-Linux , Parrot home edition, often also appear on my list, depending on machine specifications.

I do have to agree with the comment "People who are wanting to try Linux are already overwhelmed by how many Linux distributions there are" and there is still the old misconception that Linux is for geeks, and Linux doesn't work, which is usually down to a bad choice of distribution and the failure of the user to read ALL the documentation from the relevant developers before installing. And also those who want a free windows distribution, and get Pi**d off because Linux is not Windows and has a learning curve.
 
Both of which normally appear on my list of suggested builds [as you know I do not recommend] but equally Debian stable + driver pack, linux-Lite, MX-Linux , Parrot home edition, often also appear on my list, depending on machine specifications.
I don't think it's necessary for a beginners to share their hardware specifications in their first post, just recommend something and if they run into problems they will return back with an installation troubles topic and at that point it would be a good time to ask about hardware specifications. If you ask for hardware specifications in their first post it just adds to the stress of trying Linux or switching to Linux since they never had to think about it with Windows either, the same reason why I don't start about the different Desktop Environments in their first post but just recommend something and let them experience it for themselves. In most cases the system they are wanting to install Linux on was running a version of Windows before and if it can run Windows it can most likely run Linux Mint or Ubuntu as well, with some exceptions but most of the ones I've seen come across lately can run Linux Mint and Ubuntu.
 
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As far as the distro, I have gotten to very much like Fedora. It is well supported, very common and works on almost anything. It is easy for beginners to use. I run a shop and put out Fedora to windows users and new linux users without issue. They all love it. I have scripts for them to use for updates and upgrades along with easy to follow directions. I print a 200 page manual for them to use and never get complaints about Fedora.
I very much recommend Fedora for new users. It behaves well in all respects and is quite powerful.
 
This is the most asked question we receive, and the answer is, NO one distribution is better than any other, some may be a little easier for the newbie moving from Windows, some are designed for a specific task, and a few are for experienced Linux users only.
THE BEST DISTRIBUTION
Is the one that works best on your machine, The one you like the look and feel of, the one that lets you perform your daily tasks.
We recommend that you download around 6 different distributions with different desktops, and test them out "live" from a Pen-drive, You will not get a full speed experience, but you will be able to see if you like the look and feel of a particular distribution, and if everything works [wi-fi, camera, touchpad etc.]
YOUR MACHINE
Any machine built with an amd64 [or intel] and has at least 4Gb of ram will be capable of running any Linux distribution you choose
If you only have 2Gb of ram, then there are many lightweight distributions you can run,
If your machine is more than 10 yrs old with a 64bit CPU then personally I would recommend you use one of the medium or lightweight builds,
What is best for me or any other member, Is not necessarily the best for you,
ONLY YOU CAN CHOOSE
Agreed! This is something that I realized when I first started using Linux. Moved around a bit until I got settled on a distro that I like.
 
Asking what Distro should I use...is like asking what colour or make of car should I buy.
m1203.gif
 
I will put a hand up for Devuan been running on my Thinkpad - XFCE version works well.

As for an answer I'd go with the one you use.
 
Even I - who runs a collection of what, for most folks, would seem to be a hghly specialised lghtweight distro (not really!) - will still recommend mostly the same distros as given by @Brickwizard in his first post.

I say this because I know that Puppy does most things a little bit differently to everybody else. I see no point in having to re-learn stuff all over again IF the user decides to "distro-hop" and try something more 'mainstream'.

Puppy's a brilliant little distro, but I always maintain you should come to Puppy as & when you feel ready to do so.....once you've used mainstream Linux for long enough to be comfortable with general procedures.

I guess most others here would agree with that, since 'our Pup' always was - and to a large extent, still is - something of a special 'use-case'. She's also an 'acquired' taste; it's a bit like what we Brits call Marmite, or the Aussies call Vegemite.....you either love it right from that first taste, or you absolutely loathe it. Seems Puppy has that effect on many geeks.

Good write-up, BTW.


Mike. ;)
 
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Mr. wizard was right on the point, as always, yet I would like to add my humble contribution to the topic:

As effing HUGE as the Linux family tree is, what anyone is really chosing is between the three principals - DEBIAN, REDHAT or ARCH. Of course they're more, such as slackware or gentoo, but these are for those who are feeling masochistic.

Further along that tree you will find particular distributions, but all of these are little more than gestures of convenience - beginner friendliness, improved user experience, preinstalled sets of software, minor tweaks, perhaps some preinstalled drivers that might cause a headache for an inexperienced user.

AND ITS ALL INTERCHANGEABLE!

Within any of these principals you have considerable freedom to customize it however you like! Like the features of one distro and the look of another? No problem, chose one and implement what you like from another. You can remove stuff, add stuff, change stuff, hell, you can even build your own from the ground up! You are really only limited by your imagination and knowledge of Linux commands. And even that knowledge can be supplemented by a vast repository of openly available repositories, and even first hand advice from people who have "been there, done that". And its free!

So its not that one is better, or one has more of the features you like; its more like that if you educated yourself properly on the true potential of Linux, your choice will become more or less irrelevant!
 
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I have always recommend MX Linux, because they have their own dedicated forums, & have videos produced by the people who put it all together; I don't think a beginner can get better than that.

Although, I might change to recommending what I use on a daily basis nowadays, & that is Devuan Live; uses the XFCE desktop, so will run on almost any computer made in the last decade; run it 'live' to see if you like it before installing it; it has all the programs that a normal user would want.
 
I'm going to lock this so that that doesn't happen again.

This is a suggestion thread, a bit like a tutorial. Anyone asking this question should either read the many, many pages of topics where this was already asked, should use a search engine, or should start their own thread.
 
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