Linux is a versatile and powerful operating system that has become increasingly popular in recent years, but for new users, the world of Linux can seem intimidating and complex.
Fortunately, there are many Linux distros available that offer an easier transition into the Linux ecosystem.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best beginner-friendly Linux distros, with a focus on easy-to-use and user-friendly options.
10 Beginner Friendly Linux Distros
Ubuntu is one of the most popular and user-friendly Linux distros available which was developed by Canonical. It has a large and active community that provides support and resources for beginners. Ubuntu is known for its stability, ease of use, and compatibility with a wide range of hardware.
Its popularity has led to several other distributions being derived from it. Ubuntu is an open-source and free operating system that ships with a GNOME desktop environment and includes polished icons and a rich set of desktop backgrounds.
Ubuntu comes pre-installed with basic applications such as the LibreOffice suite, Rhythmbox media player, Firefox browser, and Thunderbird email client.
It has full multimedia support, and users can install almost any software package using the APT package manager on the command line.
The availability of over 50,000+ software packages from its four main repositories: Main, Restricted, Universe, and Multiverse, has made Ubuntu a popular choice for users.
The graphical front-end Software Center makes it easy for users to install and remove software packages from the system without having to run commands on the terminal.
Ubuntu is highly customizable and supports up to 10 desktop environments. The latest release is Ubuntu 22.04, also known as Jammy Jellyfish, which is a Long Term release that will be supported until 2032.
The latest version includes polished icons, enhanced monitor support with fractional scaling, additional theme variants, ZFS file support, and more emphasis on Snaps. Ubuntu has also evolved over time to include enterprise support for cloud technologies such as OpenStack, Kubernetes Clusters, and even IoT devices.
While older versions of Ubuntu run smoothly on older PCs, Ubuntu 20.04 and later require a PC with specific requirements to run smoothly.
- 2 GHz dual-core processor
- 4 GB RAM
- 25 GB of hard disk space
Linux Mint is another popular Linux distro that’s perfect for beginners. It’s based on Ubuntu but has a more user-friendly interface. Linux Mint is known for its ease of use, stability, and ability to run on older hardware.
It is a community-driven project and is based on the Ubuntu distribution, which is itself based on Debian.
Linux Mint provides a familiar desktop environment that resembles that of Microsoft Windows, making it easy for Windows users to switch to Linux without feeling too lost.
It also comes with a variety of pre-installed software, including a web browser, media player, and office suite, making it a complete solution for everyday use.
One of the key features of Linux Mint is its emphasis on privacy and security. It comes with several built-in tools and features that help protect user data and prevent unauthorized access.
Overall, Linux Mint is a reliable, user-friendly, and versatile operating system that is suitable for both home and office use. It is a popular choice among Linux users, especially those who are new to the platform.
Linux Mint 21.1 “Vera” is the most recent version available which was launched on December 20, 2022, and is now available for download in 64-bit architecture. Being an LTS (Long Term Support) release, it will receive support until 2027.
This version comes with three desktop environments, including Cinnamon, MATE, and XFCE, and offers a variety of customization options such as desktop backgrounds, accent colors, and improved monitor support with fractional scaling.
Compared to Zorin, Linux Mint requires a more powerful system for installation and running smoothly. This is due to its larger footprint and system requirements.
Linux Mint OS Requirements
- 2GB RAM
- 20GB hard disk space
- A resolution of 1024 x 768
Elementary OS is a beautiful and easy-to-use Linux distribution that is based on Ubuntu. It has a simple and elegant interface that is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive. It comes with the Pantheon desktop environment, which is lightweight and fast.
Elementary OS has its own AppCenter, which is a curated store of applications that are designed to work well with distribution. It also has the Terminal app, which makes it easy to use the command line interface.
Elementary OS 7 Horus, the latest release, includes significant enhancements such as a new-look login screen, improved system settings, and new desktop tweaks.
Another great feature of Elementary OS is the Wingpanel, which is a top panel that provides quick access to system settings and notifications.
Zorin OS is a beginner-friendly Linux distribution that is designed to be easy to use and familiar to Windows users. It comes with the Zorin Desktop, which is a user-friendly and customizable desktop environment. It also has the Zorin Connect app, which allows users to connect their Android phones to the desktop.
Zorin OS comes with the Synaptic Package Manager, which is a powerful and easy-to-use package manager. It also has the Wine compatibility layer, which allows users to run Windows applications on Linux. Another great feature of Zorin OS is the Zorin Appearance app, which allows users to easily customize the look and feel of the desktop.
Fedora is a popular Linux distribution that is developed by the Fedora Project, which is sponsored by Red Hat. It is a cutting-edge distribution that is perfect for beginners who are looking to learn about new technologies. Fedora comes with the GNOME desktop environment, which is user-friendly and intuitive.
Fedora uses the DNF (Dandified Yum) package manager, which is a modern and fast package manager. It also has the Cockpit web interface, which allows users to manage the system settings and services from a web browser. Another great feature of Fedora is the Fedora Modularity, which allows users to choose different versions of software packages.
Debian is a free and open-source operating system based on the Linux kernel. It is known for its stability, security, and the huge number of software packages it offers.
Debian is maintained by a large community of developers and users who collaborate to ensure that the system is reliable, efficient, and up-to-date.
Debian is available in three different versions: Stable, Testing, and Unstable.
The Stable version is recommended for most users as it is the most reliable and is designed for production use.
Testing is a rolling release distribution that provides access to the latest features and updates but is less stable than Stable.
Unstable is the development version of Debian, and is not recommended for use in production environments.
Debian can be used for a variety of purposes, from desktop and server computing to embedded systems and scientific research. It is highly customizable and supports a wide range of hardware architectures.
Debian has a vast repository of software packages, with over 59,000 packages available for installation. These packages cover a wide range of software categories, including productivity, multimedia, networking, development, and more.
One of the key features of Debian is its package management system, which uses the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT). APT makes it easy to install, update, and remove software packages and also manages dependencies between packages.
Overall, Debian is a robust and reliable operating system that is widely used in both personal and professional settings. Its emphasis on stability, security, and open-source values makes it a popular choice for those who prioritize these factors in their computing experience.
openSUSE is a community-driven Linux distribution that is perfect for beginners who are looking for a stable and reliable operating system. It has two main releases: Leap, which is a stable release, and Tumbleweed, which is a rolling release. The Leap release is recommended for beginners as it has a longer support cycle and is more stable.
openSUSE comes with the YaST (Yet Another Setup Tool) configuration tool, which makes it easy to manage the system settings. It also has the Zypper package manager, which allows users to easily install and update software packages. Another great feature of openSUSE is the Open Build Service, which is a platform for developers to build and distribute their packages.
Manjaro is an Arch-based Linux distro that’s designed for users who want a rolling release model with the latest software and technologies. It’s known for its simplicity, speed, and ability to run on a wide range of hardware. Manjaro is also a good option for users who want a customizable Linux distro.
Pop!_OS is a Linux distro that’s designed for developers and users who want a simple and streamlined operating system. It’s known for its ease of use, stability, and performance. Pop!_OS is also a good option for users who want a customizable Linux distro.
Solus is a Linux distro that’s designed for users who want a stable and reliable operating system with the latest software and technologies. It’s known for its user-friendliness, performance, and ability to run on a wide range of hardware.
There are many Linux distributions that are perfect for beginners. Each distribution has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it is important to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Whether you are looking for a stable and reliable distribution like Ubuntu or openSUSE, a cutting-edge distribution like Fedora, or a user-friendly distribution like Elementary OS or Zorin OS, there is a Linux distribution out there for you.
With the right distribution and a little bit of practice, you can become a Linux expert in no time.