That said, it’s quite obvious that most of the time new users go for Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distribution at the moment. They choose it either because one of their friends recommended it to them or they heard something good about it from news, blogs, or forums. In both cases, it’s evident that Ubuntu has been, and will be the first choice for most of the new users.
But there are a few users who don’t want to go with the crowd, and for them, Ubuntu doesn’t quite fit the bill. Yet, they being new to Linux can’t go for Arch Linux or Slackware straight away. Instead they’re looking for some distro that is both easy to setup as well as easy to install. If you are one of those users, read on as we list some of the best Linux distributions for new users.
openSUSE, Novell’s openSUSE is a great starting point for new users. Lush green interface along with robust stability makes it one of the most popular general-purpose distributions out there. The operating system will let you edit documents, organize photos, play music and do pretty much everything you’d do on your Windows machine.
One of the main features of this distribution is the YAST Control Center. It is used for downloading and installing new software. Another unique feature that SUSE has is that it is built on top of KDE. While most of the distributions, including Kubuntu, ship with the vanilla version of KDE, openSUSE comes with a highly customized version of it.
Fedora is another great Linux distro for new users. It comes with both GNOME and KDE desktops and is known to be extremely stable and secure. The distribution always strives to be 100% free and open source and doesn’t come with any proprietary software whatsoever. Another great thing about Fedora is its artwork, which, many would agree is better than that of Ubuntu. Worth a try if you want something stable, secure, and free from any proprietary tools.
Linux Mint is probably the best alternative to Ubuntu. It offers almost everything Ubuntu offers but with simplicity. Many Mint users swear by the highly popular distro and have been using it for years. The distribution has continually strived to keep the desktop as simple as possible. Also, there are no drastic changes in the operating system with every release, thus making it highly reliable. Definitely worth a try.
Pinguy OS is a distribution designed for new users. It comes with a gorgeous-looking user interface along with some amazing customizations. Based on the GNOME Shell interface, Pinguy project rests on three main goals: to look good, to work well, and to be incredibly simple to use. The Ubuntu-based distribution is specially designed for people who come from a Windows or Mac background and can be a great starting point for many Linux-curious users.
Kubuntu is the KDE variant of Ubuntu. It is quite simple to use, and being based on Ubuntu, expect the same kind of stability and ease of use in this distribution too. The KDE desktop can be extremely comfortable for users coming from a Windows environment providing the eye-candy of a modern desktop and the stability of Linux.
Zorin OS is designed especially for Windows users who are switching over to Linux. It has a start menu that is quite familiar to the Windows start menu. Also, you’ll find Wine installed, thus letting you play your favorite Windows games and more. The distro is KDE-based and does a great job bringing the Windows familiarity to the Linux desktop.
Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.