Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions
User Name
Linux - Distributions This forum is for Distribution specific questions.
Red Hat, Slackware, Debian, Novell, LFS, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fedora - the list goes on and on... Note: An (*) indicates there is no official participation from that distribution here at LQ.


View Poll Results: What is best Linux for newbies?
Ubuntu 100 60.24%
openSUSE 23 13.86%
Fedora 11 6.63%
Debian 9 5.42%
Mandriva 23 13.86%
Voters: 166. You may not vote on this poll

  Search this Thread
Old 06-30-2008, 08:04 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
Posts: 126

Rep: Reputation: 15
The best Linux for newbies.

What is the best Linux for newbies and experanced users a like?
Old 06-30-2008, 10:06 AM   #2
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 19,192
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 471Reputation: 471Reputation: 471Reputation: 471Reputation: 471
Any one of those would definitely fit the bill. Then again, there are newbies who go straight to Slackware, Gentoo or LFS. So it's all horses for courses, really.
Old 06-30-2008, 02:45 PM   #3
LQ 5k Club
Registered: Jan 2008
Location: Copenhagen, DK
Distribution: pclos2016 CentOS6.9 CentOS7.3 + 50+ other Linux OS, for test only.
Posts: 16,703

Rep: Reputation: 3292Reputation: 3292Reputation: 3292Reputation: 3292Reputation: 3292Reputation: 3292Reputation: 3292Reputation: 3292Reputation: 3292Reputation: 3292Reputation: 3292
I would say "the very easy to install" Slackware to learn Linux.

And PCLinuxOS if you want minimum problems.

Old 06-30-2008, 03:43 PM   #4
Registered: Feb 2008
Location: Monterrey, MX
Distribution: Slackware since 3.4 and love it!!!
Posts: 162

Rep: Reputation: 31
What about slackware; why is not in the poll options?
Old 06-30-2008, 05:28 PM   #5
Senior Member
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Indpls
Distribution: Laptops: Debian Jessie XFCE, NAS: OpenMediaVault 3.0
Posts: 1,355

Rep: Reputation: 70
The option I wanted to choose was not in the poll..

The Search Function.

Old 06-30-2008, 07:22 PM   #6
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Halesowen, West Midlands, UK
Distribution: SuSE 10.0/Mandriva 2006/gentoo
Posts: 87

Rep: Reputation: 15
RE: What is best for Linux Newbies?

I've installed openSUSE for others, even complete PC novices, even one 80+ year old relative who had to be shown the keyboard as he had never used a keyboard of any sort before. He is happily using it for digital camera work, burning CD's and DVD's, word processing and spreadsheets, skype, surfing the web, email, Yahoo IM to his daughter, managing updates and many other jobs, most of which he discovered himself. The only recurring problem was loss of sound which after a while turned out to be a bad on-board sound chip, he ordered a new sound card, I fitted it and he did the mixer settings and we've not had a problem since. Another relative 68+ with just a few months experience of W2K on an old donated P166, uses openSUSE mainly for digital photo work, photo CD's of weddings and birthday parties as well as audio CD's.
If any distro is well setup and the user is willing to learn, the battle is won. I've given up on helping out Windows users, it was always a great waster of my time.
Old 06-30-2008, 09:28 PM   #7
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: canada
Distribution: debian based distros
Posts: 52

Rep: Reputation: 15
This is all sooooo dependent on the person... if you are willing to get your hands dirty and maybe struggle and google, then try red hat 5.0 like i did (joking).
the best way to learn is by doing. find one that sounds good to you and do it.

debian is fun, i find. ubuntu, of course, is debian based with polish and money backing.
slackware takes time and care but can be fun if interested.
gentoo is like slackware with the additional fun of seeing the programs compile in front of you.

just do it, because it's all sooooooo much more fun than windows.

SERIOUSLY, debian just works. ubuntu same(ish). slackware is awesome when you have some time (which i unfortunately do not). i went from redhat 5.0 to mandrake (now mandriva). then went to debian and have not looked back from the debian based distros.
ahhh, gentoo. my drunken friend. gentoo, i hope, will recover from it's pub crawl through self-destruction and is now back on course. yes, yes, my friend: i will come see you again some time.
Old 06-30-2008, 11:46 PM   #8
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Calif, USA
Distribution: PCLINUXOS
Posts: 2,876

Rep: Reputation: 88
Originally Posted by caa1980 View Post
What is the best Linux for newbies and experanced users a like?
For new users it's the version they got working first, for experienced users it's the version they are using now.
Old 07-01-2008, 03:24 AM   #9
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2006
Posts: 14

Rep: Reputation: 0
OpenSUSE and Mandriva.
Old 07-01-2008, 07:10 AM   #10
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2006
Posts: 4

Rep: Reputation: 0
Any would do. In fact there is nothing much to choose from when you install mandriva/redhat clones or suse. Some hardware may not work but again some hardware still does not work on vista as well.

As for slackware, I really doubt that it can be called a distribution in the real sense. There are zero management tools provided
Old 07-01-2008, 07:26 AM   #11
Registered: May 2006
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Distribution: Fedora 6-17 x64 / Ubuntu 10.x x64
Posts: 95

Rep: Reputation: 16
Unhappy Why?

Originally Posted by caa1980 View Post
What is the best Linux for newbies and experanced users a like?
I think the details of the real question are missing : Why do you want to know?
Old 07-01-2008, 07:31 AM   #12
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2006
Posts: 3

Rep: Reputation: 0
Ubuntu or Try Linux "live" CDs / DVDs

Generally speaking, Ubuntu Linux is an excellent "overall" Linux distro.

It has a very simple installation and provides support for a lot of computer hardware.

You can learn more about Ubuntu Linux - free - at:

If you need to do Linux administration, then there are lots of Linux distros you can use - because the GNU Linux commands are virtually identical in all Linux distros.

You can get Linux commands training - free - at:

And there are over 50 free Linux training articles at:

See you there!

Clyde Boom,
The Easy Linux Training Guy
Old 07-01-2008, 07:42 AM   #13
Registered: Mar 2008
Location: Malta
Distribution: Slackware and Debian
Posts: 517

Rep: Reputation: 108Reputation: 108
As for slackware, I really doubt that it can be called a distribution in the real sense. There are zero management tools provided
This myth is what got me interested in Slack in the first place. The more you get to read and use Slack, the more you realise how much it is really just a myth.
Having said that I would not really recommend Slackware to newbies. As a present to myself I installed OpenSUSE on my last birthday, and I must say I was impressed how easier it was, and it just worked out of the box. I uninstalled it with a broken heart. So my advise is to kick start with SUSE and move to Slackware when you think you can take a bit more of a challenge.
Another point is that OpenSUSE seems to be everyone's second best distro. So there must be something good about it. My vote goes to the smiling gecko.

Last edited by ChrisAbela; 07-01-2008 at 07:44 AM.
Old 07-01-2008, 08:02 AM   #14
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Central United States
Posts: 6

Rep: Reputation: 0
My vote would be for PCLinuxOS

As many user of PC's running (WINDOWS) really don't understand much of that system either.

If you think I am wrong .. Ask a user of Windows to explain to you dialog box , right click and directories and sub-directories.

You will most likely get a LOOK resembling DEER CAUGHT IN THE HEAD LIGHTS!
Old 07-01-2008, 11:27 AM   #15
Registered: Sep 2005
Distribution: debian, linux from scratch
Posts: 159

Rep: Reputation: 35
I suggest getting a book about Linux.
That's how I learned. I bought a book including a distro.
The book described how to install and how to edit settings and how to use the commandline.
I guess that's the best way to start with linux.
That is if you really want to know how linux works inside out and want to be able to use the commandline properly.

However, if you are just looking for stability and reliability and using it as a simple desktop I suggest one of the above except Debian. I personally think Debian is less user friendly and more trouble.


commands, linux, linux+, training, ubuntu

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
BEST Linux for newbies? Delmarc Linux - Newbie 25 11-24-2006 04:50 AM
best linux for newbies? rlee923 General 3 01-24-2006 11:45 AM
newbies linux?? J4FF4 Linux - Distributions 5 11-19-2004 06:18 AM
Linux for newbies wldkos Linux - Newbie 23 11-30-2003 05:07 PM
Newbies and Linux bosewicht Linux - Newbie 13 08-29-2003 11:30 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:07 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration