Those who’re new to Linux want the best distro out there for new users, which means simple things like ease of use, productivity, speed, and security. But which distros are the best for new users? Actually, there is probably no “best,” but there are many distros that are designed keeping the needs of the inexperienced Linux user in mind.
Some of them, like Linux Mint, are tried and true — a solid operating system that has proven its mettle over time. Others, such as Elementary OS, provide a beautiful interface which impresses many users. Still, other Linux distributions include Zorin OS, which is designed to look like Windows. So let’s take a look at five of the best Linux distros for new users.
Ubuntu: It’s impossible to talk about user friendly Linux distros without mentioning Ubuntu, which is near the top of most lists when it comes to ease-of-use and robustness. Indeed, Ubuntu’s Debian based guts are so solid that it’s the basis not only for every distro on this list, but for many other distros as well. Although Ubuntu’s default desktop, Unity, is considered to be wonky by some, it is a solid choice for anyone wanting to use Linux for the first time.
Elementary OS: Although Elementary OS is a derivative of Ubuntu, that’s where the similarity stops. Elementary OS has an impressive interface that shows a well thought out design throughout. While it doesn’t offer many apps, and what apps it has shun proprietary codecs, you can use the Ubuntu repository for additional applications. Definitely worth a look-see and a test drive.
Zorin OS: Users who are afraid of leaving Microsoft must check out Zorin OS. This distro uses the Zorin Desktop Environment which is designed to give the user the look and feel of Windows XP or Windows 7. Although the developers push the distro’s ability to run native Windows programs through the use of WINE, this isn’t necessarily as easy as it seems.
Linux Mint: One of the most popular Linux distros is Linux Mint — voted the best distro for newbies in a FOSS Force reader’s poll in 2013. Arguably, it’s the third most popular operating system for home users after Windows and Mac. Mint is based on Ubuntu, with a Debian version available, which makes it both powerful and reliable. It comes with a more traditional desktops, either Cinnamon or Maté, and offers many applications right out of the box.
Deepin: The Deepin distro derives its name from the Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE). This desktop environment is intuitive and simple to use. Deepin apps work well and are tailored to the operating system. Because it’s simple and intuitive, it makes for a good place to start for anyone using Linux for the first time.The installation procedure is simple — even easier than Ubuntu or Mint. Be certain to download the multi=language ISO image, as the distro is developed in China. The interface is clean and you pretty much have an empty window. It has hot corners that enable you to access features. The bottom left corner returns you to the desktop and the top left corner enables you to launch an application. The bottom right corner gives you access to the control center. You can set each corner to something different if you choose.