There are so many Linux distros, and they all look good, but which one is right for me?
That is a question that almost all new Linux users ask. Really, it just depends on you. What do you want to use it for? I’ll go through a brief rundown of some mainstream Linux distros, and maybe from there you can make up your mind. I’ll sort by the most popular ones.
I don’t particularly care for Ubuntu for a few reasons: It is ad supported because they lack support from users, It comes with spyware pre-installed, and they try to act like they’re the best despite all that. A lot of people who have been using Ubuntu for a while don’t care for the new UI that they’ve installed, which is the defacto option for Ubuntu. Not only that, but they, unlike any other distro, have a very distinct security hole: a guest session that can be accessed without a password. NOT the best for use...in really any environment.
But, to their credit, they’ve got the largest software repository second only to Debian, even though there’s a lot of applications that do the same exact thing. Their UI is very polished considering that they released it just in 2011. And their forums have a ton of helpful Ubuntu users.
LM is pretty much just like Ubuntu, only instead of everything being either purple or orange, it’s green or white. Much like Ubuntu, they have their own UI, and their own Software Center.. But, because they are rooted in Ubuntu (http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=mint
) they may inherit some of Ubuntu’s problems. You guess which ones.
Of them all, Fedora is probably the most user friendly, except for the fact that they use cutting edge packages that may/may not be 100% stable, and Fedora is making a change as of 21 to focus more on stability. (Personally, I’ve had very few issues with stability, and the issues I come accross seem to apply to most distors) Other than that, it’s a great distro, asthetically pleasing, Fedora comes standard with GNOME Boxes (lets you run another OS within Fedora, like Windows), an app store like thingy, and many nice GNOME applications.. Fedora is suitable for most any machine, including tablets and hybrids like the Lenovo Yoga, thanks to GNOME.
Debian is really in a world of their own. In an effort to focus on stability, they sacrifice reasonably up-to-date software. If you have old hardware that was supported, but is not now, Debian is for you.
Debian also has a lot of software, but I’ve had trouble with broken packages, dependencies completely missing, and whatnot.
Like Linux Mint, everything in openSUSE is green. Unlike Linux Mint, openSUSE is rock stable, mature, and has great avenues for customizing it to your specific needs, using the GUI. Most everything configurable is made much easier with YAST, rather than using the command line. openSUSE features something no other distro has: a one-click install for applications. Ubuntu is trying to copy it...good luck with that. And, like Debian, they've got most every package under the sun...which can be good and bad at the same time. The packages in openSUSE are complete, no missing dependencies from what I can see. The only problem I can see with it is that WiFi drivers and nonfree codecs can be a pain.
Now the reason you're reading this is to get an idea of what's out there as far as Linux goes. But maybe you haven't thought about Unix as a viable option.
If you have an i386 arch processor, you can forget trying to boot up with Solaris 11. But once you get it running on an x86_64 machine, it's pretty decent, considering that it is an enterprise OS. It's stable. It's fast. And it has some proprietary Oracle tools to help administrate it, much like YAST on openSUSE. Solaris is targeted at being a workstation OS, so you won’t find things like games in abundance in it. Considering what it is, Solaris rocks.