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-   -   what is the best Linux OS version to use in anyones opinion, as a newbie (

terrychaplin 12-30-2009 10:24 PM

what is the best Linux OS version to use in anyones opinion, as a newbie
What is the best Linux version os to install

gregorian 12-30-2009 10:30 PM

Ubuntu, Mint or Fedora for a newbie.

GrapefruiTgirl 12-30-2009 10:33 PM

Hi Terry, welcome to LQ :)

Your question has been asked and answered 100's of times over, and the answers are very subjective. It really depends what exactly you plan to do with your Linux OS (what you use your computer for) as well as on your technical inclination (or lack thereof) and whether or not you want an OS that "Just works" out of the box, for the most part, or if you like to tinker with stuff.
Many folks will suggest to you their OS of choice, but that may not be the right one for you.

As a newbie to Linux, Ubuntu or a close relative of Ubuntu, is often suggested as a good place to start, because it tries to make the jump from Windows to Linux as painless as possible.

I recommend you search LQ for threads similar to yours, and/or visit and select a Linux OS from among the top 10 or so on their "most popular" list, and download a LiveCD to burn and try out.

A LiveCD can be booted from CD or DVD drive and you can try it out and play with it a bit, without actually installing it or changing your hard disk.
If you decide you like it, you can usually install it using a built-in installer, or by rebooting the CD and selecting "Install to Hard disk".

Best regards,

smeezekitty 12-30-2009 10:44 PM

Something debian based.

worm5252 12-30-2009 10:45 PM

Hi Terry,
I agree with Sasha. Your question of which distribution is the best usually starts a nice flame war as people like to say what they use is best. I have always been one of those open minded Linux users and I have tried out lots of distributions over the last 9 years I have been using Linux. I started out before Ubuntu existed so I started out on Mandrake Linux, which is now known as Mandriva Linux. To be honest it all depends on what you are looking for and what you want to do with your computer. For standard home use, Internet browsing, office applications, some games etc. I would say try out a variation of Ubuntu, or Mint Linux. Both are good Debian based distributions designed to work out of the box as a Home desktop PC. If you are looking to build a home server to do something like host websites, databases, file server, etc. then I would say try either Debian or CentOS.

You will find a lot of users make suggestions on what they are comfortable with. I say ask for suggestions to find a starting point, search the forums to see what has been recommended in the past, and do lots of research on google to find a distribution that will work for you. There are 1000s of versions of Linux out there and more being developed everyday. With that many options it is hard for someone to say use this, it is what you need.

Start out by making a list of features you are looking for and go from there.

paulsm4 12-30-2009 11:08 PM

Hi, terrychaplin (and gregorian and smeezekitty) -

When it comes to Linux, I completely agree with GrapefruiTgirl and worm5252. Please heed their wise advice.

However, if you were to ask about ice cream...
... I can state categorically, and without hesitation...
"Chocolate is Best" :twocents:

~sHyLoCk~ 12-30-2009 11:16 PM

No one can ever tell you, it's one of those things that you have to find out for yourself.

damgar 12-30-2009 11:26 PM

My favorite is ........j/k

6 out of 10 people will say Ubuntu or Mint. 3 out of 10 will post 10 times to say to use their distro of choice. 1 out of 10 will offer something else. I want to be different so I will say that coming from windows, Mandriva was the easiest for me to get going with. I used 2009.1 which was just recently replaced by 2010.

Ubuntu IS easy to use, but I found it then and still find it a little confusing at times, and actually find Slackware to be less confusing (which is my distro of choice at the moment, which I'll get flamed if I suggest to a newbie, maybe for good reason, maybe not). But I'm a tinkerer, and came to linux with the intention of learning to bend my machine to my whims, even if I had to type!:study:

I don't use Mandriva anymore, but I essentially use it as my model in a lot of ways for how I set up my Slack system because I was just overall impressed with the look and feel of it. I do use Ubuntu still and out of the box most things worked, but nothing has worked out of the box for me the way Mandriva did, whether it be setting up my wireless card on my laptop, or installing proprietary drivers for my video card (you'll find out what I mean in the next few days/weeks).

That is just my opinion and you probably won't hear many people recommend Mandriva, but it's definitely worth burning a live cd and trying it out, as well as Ubuntu and Mint which I will now let you be flooded with recommendations for! :hattip:

Don't forget to go to to read the reviews. It's useful and interesting.

ernie 12-31-2009 01:29 AM

I agree with Sasha and company. The best distribution is the one that works best for you. Selecting a distribution is a very personal (individual) activity. I am a very happy Mandriva Linux user, and I have been since I began using Linux in late 1998. I have tried other distributions, but I always find myself missing some feature ot other included in Mandriva. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that Mandriva is a perfect fit for me, but that does not make it a good fit for you. I do, however hope you will include it in the list of distributions you will try.

I do have one suggestion. Rather than wasting a bunch of disks to test various distributions (bad news for the landfill), you may want to install a Virtual Machine program, then use the Live CD .iso image files (as if they were disk drives) to install each distribution in the virtual machine. I use Virtual Box here to test other distributions, and I even tested Win7RC.

After you get the VM software installed, and a VM environment configured (VirtuaalBox has a wizard to help with this), you can download Live CD image files for the distributions you want to try, then boot the VM from the iso image file as if the file were a disk drive. This way, you get to try out all the distributions you want until you find one you like, and you do not have to waste any disks in the process. In fact, you do not even have to install any of the distributions in the VM, unless you find one you think you like, and want to investigate it more closely.

However you choose to proceed, take your time. Donīt be in a hurry. Have a little fun with it. After all, choosing a distribution is a bit like shopping, with the difference that you do not have to spend any money (unless you choose to financially support the distribution of your choice). The process can be tedious, or fun - it all depends on your approach.


craigevil 12-31-2009 02:49 AM


Originally Posted by paulsm4 (Post 3809544)
Hi, terrychaplin (and gregorian and smeezekitty) -

When it comes to Linux, I completely agree with GrapefruiTgirl and worm5252. Please heed their wise advice.

However, if you were to ask about ice cream...
... I can state categorically, and without hesitation...
"Chocolate is Best" :twocents:

No its Strawberry or Cherry Garcia. :)

As for the OP "best" is whatever works best for you. Try a few livecds, install a distro then play with it for a couple of weeks. Other than package management there really isn't that big a difference, they all use the Linux kernel. Other than that its nothing more than the desktop and eyecandy that they come with by default.

paulsm4 01-01-2010 07:57 PM

craigevil -

I completely forgot about Cherry Garcia! Thank you ;-)

terrychaplin -

If you're still there, please heed GrapefruiTgirl's and worm5252's Most Excellent advice. And please post back what you find!

Your .. PSM

lupusarcanus 01-01-2010 09:06 PM

I'd have to say probably GNU/Linux ;)

All Linux "Operating Systems" are essentially the same. Only the Desktop Environments (the graphical part of the OS you are probably familiar with), the package manager (if any) [how you install programs - {all are same with different looks and commands, save for popularity and repository size}], and pre-installed programs, and the installer.

Aside from those, all Linux "OS'es", rather say: distributions, are the same.

Also, your question and title is a common misuse of "OS," this better applies to a situation talking about, for example, "Windows vs. Mac OS X vs. Linux", not just Linux itself. Using that term in Linux is like calling a Ford F-150 and a Ford Escape a Honda. It's just incorrect. Linux, when you are referring to its many re-package-ments, is most often said as a "distribution," or "distro," for short.

As to your assumed question with that explanation:

GNOME is made for idio... - ahem... new Windows-familiar users :) Fedora and Ubuntu use GNOME by default. KDE is popular, and comes in a large variety of distros. These are easly changed from one to another; it really doesn't matter.

.deb package managers are the most widely used (subject to what you are installing of course) Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian, and all Debian offspring use this. .rpms are great as well, and are available in Fedora.

Graphical installers come in many distros: Ubuntu, Fedora, Slackware, Sabayon, Linux Mint, Debian are ones I've tried, all with graphical installers. (Slackware is debatable)

Almost all distros come with a variety of pre-installed stuff, this doesn't matter.

Ubuntu (the distro I use) is typically regarded as the easiest to use (see above), but is definitely not the only easy to use distribution. Look at Fedora, or openSUSE, or Linux Mint as near perfect alternatives. Slackware is harder to use but is very well the most popular distro on [LQ].

It is also recommended that you use, a powerful search engine, to find potential answers to your questions. If you are a conspiracy theorist, also try or

d_atharva 10-21-2010 11:09 AM

Hey !!!
What do you think about Zorin OS ?
It's also good......

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