According to our “Newbie” Distro Poll, someone considering moving from Windows or Mac to Linux should consider taking Linux Mint for a spin. The poll asked the question, “What Linux distro would you be most likely to recommend to a new Linux user?” Evidently this was a subject that interested many of you, because a whopping 1,339 votes were cast in this poll, making it the most number of votes one of our polls has ever received.
602 of you, representing 45% of the votes cast, said you’d steer someone new to Linux in the direction of Linux Mint. Ubuntu, the distro on which Mint is built, was a distant second, garnering 344 votes, or 25% of those cast.
After that, it wasn’t even close. PCLOS, a distro that defaults to the KDE desktop many consider to be easiest for Windows users to learn, picked-up 87 votes for 6%, with openSUSE close behind with 69 votes for 5%. Fifth place in our polling went to Mageia/Mandriva with 50 votes or 4%. 44 votes or 3% went to Fedora, with Chrome OS taking last place with 20 votes or 1%.
The “Newbie” Distro Poll was posted on May 20, 2013 and was closed on June 13 at about 7:45 PM EDT. Participants could vote for one distribution only out of a field that included the seven distros named above and an eighth choice labeled “Other.”
Voters who made the later choice (“Other”) could “write-in” a vote for a distro not listed by typing a choice into a provided text box. 123 participants, representing 9% of the total votes cast, chose to vote “Other.” 51 different distros ended-up being named by these “Other” voters.
The distros receiving more than one write-in vote are listed below, with the number of votes each received:
- Debian–19 votes
From the time this poll was opened until Monday afternoon of this week, voting on this poll was limited to one vote per computer by use of a cookie placed on the participants machine at the time the vote was cast. However, after another poll we were conducting was tainted and had to be closed early and the results discarded because a single user stuffed the ballot, we tightened voting security. Therefore, since Monday, voting in all of our polls has been controlled both by cookie and IP address. Before making this change to this poll, we checked our logs to determine that no obvious ballot stuffing had taken place.
The fact that both Linux Mint and Ubuntu fared well in this poll came as no surprise, as both distros have become somewhat synonymous with the term “user friendly” in the world of GNU/Linux distributions. However, we were somewhat surprised that PCLinuxOS didn’t recieve a larger share of the votes. Over the years, this distro has built a sizable user base, the OS is both robust and stable and KDE is considered by many to be the most “Window-like” of the major desktop environments.
We were also a little surprised that Mageia/Mandriva fared so poorly, as Mandrake (the original name for Mandriva) practically wrote the book on newbie friendly distros. However, it appears as if Mageia, the community based fork of the Mandriva code, is picking-up traction. We wouldn’t be surprised to see it perform much better when we repeat this poll next spring.