For a pretty long time Linux was considered to be an operating system way too complicated for most pc users. Some would have even said in the past that Linux was for hackers only. Which is somehow a myth mostly because Linux has been there for decades and during that time it has been used mainly by people looking for certain features they couldn’t get by using Windows or sometimes because other similar operating systems, such as MacOS were accessible at high costs, while Linux has always been open-sources which means it has been actually free!
Lately Linux has grown into popularity due to the fact that most and more “flavours” of it have become more user-friendly by emphasizing user interface and requiring less usage of the command line, the so specific feature of linux. In Linux world, the “flavours” mentioned above are much better know as “distributions” or “distros”. There are lots of such distributions available out there and another thing to be aware of is that there are even specialized ones: for gaming purposes, for programming, distros designed especially for old PCs with less resources available, privacy-oriented distros, hacking distros, audio/video production distros and many others.
Below you’ll find the 7 distributions that would be the easiest for beginners to start with in the world of linux. This is not a top, the distros below aren’t in a specific order.
We’d consider Ubuntu to be one of the best choices for a beginner in the world or Linux. Many have said that Ubuntu is Linux for human beings, mostly because of it’s ease of use, meaning it can be used even by those with very little technical knowledge. It’s beautiful graphical interface and allowance in installing the most common apps make it a great choice. Plus it’s very easy installation process is indeed something that make more and more people at least give it a try.
It allows you to take a look at it’s functionalities even without installing it by using a live usb! Besides that, you can always switch a desktop environment without having to reinstall it or do anything too complicated. And there are indeed lots of desktop environments avilable out there: Cinnamon – very much like the common Windows, great choice for Windows users, GNOME (the default desktop environment), XFCE (lightweight), MATE Desktop Environment, Unity Desktop and some others.
You can read more about Ubuntu or download it here. For help with Ubuntu you can always go to the Ubuntu Forums or Ask Ubuntu!
2. Linux Mint Cinnamon
If you’ll check out DistroWatch.com you’ll be able to see that Linux Mint has been rated the number one linux distro for a number of years. It comes equiped with the Cinnamon desktop environment mentioned above and that makes it very pleasant for people switching from Windows to Linux especially. All the available software gets nicely categorized.
Linux mint is built having Ubuntu as a base. It’s fast and works great on older computers with limited resources, so if you have an older laptop that you haven’t used in a while then it’d be the perfect piece to put Mint on and start your adventure into the Linux world. Older Windows users, such as Windows 7 users will find Linux Mint great, especially if they aren’t big fans of the way Windows evolve to Windows 10. Find out more and download Linux Mint here!
3. Elementary OS
Especially users of MacOS are going to love Elementary OS! It’s one of the best looking Linux distributions out there with lots of custom apps you’re going to love. It’s custom desktop environment is called Pantheon and looks very much like Mac. This operating system is extremely stable, based on the much better known Ubuntu. Installing Elementary OS is also very easy, just like most distributions meant especially for the average computer user.
It doesn’t come with many pre-installed software like some similar distributions, but don’t worry. The AppCenter is the place to go to easily install all kind of software you’d need. It is a rather light OS and will work fine on older computers. You won’t suffer when it comes to updates as those show up regularly. You can download it or learn more about Elementary OS here!
Peppermint is another good choice if you’d like to start using Linux on a side, older computer. It doesn’t need a lot of resources to run like a charm. It is a stable distribution based also on Ubuntu. The particularity of Peppermint comes from it’s unique desktop environment which looks a lot like Windows UI’s but it’s actually a hybrid of two well known Linux desktop environments, LXDE and Xfce. Peppermint is also nice and should be given a try due to its ability to be easily integrated with web apps. You can take a deeper looks at details about, screenshots or actually download Peppermint right away!
5. Zorin OS
Zorin OS is another Linux flavor built on the Ubuntu base and has been built having the Windows users in mind actually. So if you’ve used Windows or Mac before you’ll definitely feel familiar with the look proposed by Zorin OS. It is pretty much an Windows 7 with the features and power of Linux. But what’s even better is that it’s interface isn’t stuck at Windows 7 style, users can easily switch between for a Windows XP like interface, Mac like interface or opt for GNOME 3 desktop environment.
Besides looking very much like Windows, it also comes with Wine and PlayOnLinux pre-installed. These two pieces of software will allow users to actually run Windows software on Linux, such as their favorite games and other applications. So what else could you hope for from a Linux distribution if you’ve been a fan of Windows your whole life?
If you’re ready to play with Zorin OS then start by downloading it here!