Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 05-23-2012, 02:53 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2012
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Is ubuntu a good starter distro

Hello, im looking for a easy to learn linux
Old 05-23-2012, 03:21 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2011
Location: Michigan USA
Distribution: OpenSUSE 13.2 64bit-Gnome on ASUS U52F
Posts: 1,444

Rep: Reputation: 340Reputation: 340Reputation: 340Reputation: 340
Yes Ubuntu is good, Linux Mint is also good. Fedora is good too and OpenSUSE is also a good one. But to make sure they will run good in your computer make sure you read on their site the minimum requirement, This is assuming you have a old computer. If you have a newer computer they will be fine. Visit their site at the following links

Since they are all free of monetary charge go ahead and download them all, burn them each on a CD and try their live session feature which allows you to test the OS without installing it in your computer. Once you see what you like you can then install the one of your choice.

Good luck and Let us know how you did.
Old 05-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2011
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Distribution: Mint, Debian, Gentoo, Win 2k/XP
Posts: 1,099

Rep: Reputation: 344Reputation: 344Reputation: 344Reputation: 344
Hi there,

Originally Posted by TroN-0074 View Post
Yes Ubuntu is good, Linux Mint is also good. Fedora is good too and OpenSUSE is also a good one.
I agree to Ubuntu and Mint, though I'm not as fond of Ubuntu any more as I used to be two or three years ago..
But is Fedora a good beginner's distro? I've never tried or used it, but I hear very different opinions. I know two people who love Fedora and wouldn't have anything else, but then they're both rather expert users and look back on many years of experience. I know others who strongly advise against Fedora.
And SUSE ... well, if you're into fancy colors and funny things and just wanna say "I'm using Linux, not Windows", you may like it. But I think of all distros, it's the one that is farthest away from a typical Linux distro. I definitely wouldn't want it, but then I'm not a beginner, but rather someone who usually rates the command line more convenient than GUI solutions. ;-)

Originally Posted by TroN-0074 View Post
Since they are all free of monetary charge go ahead and download them all, burn them each on a CD and try their live session feature which allows you to test the OS without installing it in your computer. Once you see what you like you can then install the one of your choice.
Definitely a good advice.

[X] Doc CPU
Old 05-23-2012, 04:41 PM   #4
LQ Addict
Registered: Dec 2011
Location: UK
Distribution: Debian Sid AMD64, Raspbian Wheezy, various VMs
Posts: 7,679

Rep: Reputation: 2373Reputation: 2373Reputation: 2373Reputation: 2373Reputation: 2373Reputation: 2373Reputation: 2373Reputation: 2373Reputation: 2373Reputation: 2373Reputation: 2373
I have three things against Ubtuntu:
1) They decided to use a completely different desktop environment to everyone else.
2) The often seem to "improve" things by bringing on half-tested packages causing the odd hiccup after an upgrade.
3) Some things, like restricted drivers, are "too easy" so if their automagic installer fails you're left puzzling whereas if you installed the "the long way" you may see the step that failed.

If you want a good, easy to use introduction to Linux and the above don't bother you (and I am being a bit picky, for most people there probably aren't problems) then Ubuntu is a good "first Linux".
Personally, as easy to use Linux goes I prefer Mint to Ubuntu, but that's a dislike of Unity and a few other niggles speaking.
The advice to try a few distros is spot on though -- until you've installed a few you won't know which suits you and your system best. You also learn more about what is "Linux" and what is "Ubuntu" when it comes to system maintenance.
This has reminded me I ought to distro hop a bit soon.

Last edited by 273; 05-23-2012 at 04:43 PM.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-23-2012, 04:56 PM   #5
Registered: May 2012
Posts: 426

Rep: Reputation: 53
Linux Mint may be one of the easiest to start with theses days due to the fact that it has all the media codecs, flash and java loaded by default - this is one reason why its so popular. Whatever distro you start with will probably not be your only one you try - we all distro hop until we find the next best experience or end up building our own Linux blend to suit our individual needs.

I would sit down with a pen and paper (remember those old things) and write down what you like and dislike about Windows and what you want from Linux, such as ease of use, applications installed etc. Also ask questions if you're not sure, not matter how stupid you think they might seem. Well you've asked the first quest here and lets see what others have to say...

Oh, and welcome
Old 05-23-2012, 05:23 PM   #6
Registered: Sep 2009
Location: Central New York
Distribution: RPM Distros,Mostly Mandrake Forks;Drake Tools/Utilities all the way!GO MAGEIA!!!
Posts: 978

Rep: Reputation: 53
Ubuntu is a solid Distro and...

it is angled (biased) towards being a cross over O.S from M.S. IMO. You can even install Ubuntu on your M.S partition if you want. I think Fedora Represents Linux for being Linux in a Moderate way, not too much GUI but enough you don't have to use CLI for the most part. It's easy to install and has a short life cycle which is probably a positive after you are accustomed to Linux. Fedora is usually decent every Version. If you want to put it on and leave it for two years with updates available you want a Debian (Ubuntu) based Distro.I think the Mandrake forks Mandriva/Mageia are the best Distros for a beginner but their forums are nothing Like Ubuntu's. I have had great Mandrake Fork installs and terrible ones FYI. I personally don't think that Suse is what they make it out to be. The installer is confusing , the interface is bloated but it' seems to a solid performer. Its the Volvo of Distros. I have had all of this Distros installed and this is my opinion based on these particular instances. All of the Distros are different for a reason because the founders had their own unique approach to Linux.
Old 05-24-2012, 02:53 AM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2003
Posts: 3

Rep: Reputation: 0
Having used Linux since before Ubuntu even existed, I'm perplexed by it's popularity - It's just another Debian clone after all, but I guess when you're backed by a millionaire who understands how to manipulate the media, the hype sticks after a while. I remember having a run in with a Ubuntu fanatic who claimed the thousands of questions on Ubuntu forums proved it's greatness! Surely that proves the exact opposite, that lot's of people are having problems with it.

Anyway back to the question, yes it is a good starter I guess, mostly because of the 'wubi' option which allows you to install on a Windows partition thus removing the initial pitfalls of actually installing a Linux for a newcomer to the OS. Linux Mint (an Ubuntu clone) has 'mint4win' and is a better option IMO because the default 'mate' desktop is much lighter and more familiar to Windows users than Ubuntu's quite hideous (to me) desktop.

PClinuxOS used to be the one I recommended for beginners, but with parent company Mandriva having problems, it's future is not looking good but it's worth trying

Another to consider is Puppy Linux, a unique distro meant for older PC's but is really well laid out and explains things superbly. It is unique among 'live' CD's because the CD is not locked and you can eject it while using it to burn CD's play CD's/DVD's etc. It's also designed NOT to be installed but user settings can be kept on a flash drive or even directly to a Windows partition. If your PC/laptop is not ultra modern, you should try it before the others. It will happily run on a single core machine with 512 MB RAM
Old 05-24-2012, 03:29 AM   #8
LQ 5k Club
Registered: Dec 2008
Location: Tamil Nadu, India
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 8,578
Blog Entries: 31

Rep: Reputation: 1208Reputation: 1208Reputation: 1208Reputation: 1208Reputation: 1208Reputation: 1208Reputation: 1208Reputation: 1208Reputation: 1208
I can only advise about the distros I have used significantly -- Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy, Slackware from 13.0 to 13.37 and Debian 6 Squeeze.

I was new to Linux but had the advantage of experience as a UNIX server systems administrator, actively until 2001.

It was easy enough to learn to use Ubuntu Hardy's Gnome desktop but there were a frustrating number of things that did not work correctly and it was difficult to investigate them -- documentation was patchy, reverse-engineering was very difficult and the user community was great at posting task-orientated screen shots but weak at describing the underlying technical architecture.

At the level of Linux itself, GNU utilities etc., mostly accessed via the command prompt, I was later to learn that Ubuntu was not very different from other distros, albeit less stable.

Having turned from Windows to Linux partly in search of stability, Ubuntu was not what I wanted so, a year later I started looking for a better suited distro. I did not feel very adept with Linux so was looking for something stable and easy. I knew about Slackware but felt it would be unnecessarily difficult. After investigating several distros and with some encouragement from the Slackers here, I chose Slackware 13.0. One of the factors in that decision was the helpfulness and quality of threads in the LQ Slackware forum -- an excellent learning resource.

Years as a UNIX sysadmin probably eased the Slackware learning curve. The great thing about Slackware for a learner was that it is, as far as practicable, built from standard components with minimal customisation. That means that the standard documentation applies to Slackware so many Internet pages were relevant for learning.

Having learned the essentials of Slackware, it was easy to apply that understanding to other distros as shown when I briefly ran CentOS 5 servers and then Debian 6 Squeeze servers.

Last edited by catkin; 05-24-2012 at 03:31 AM.
Old 05-24-2012, 03:45 AM   #9
Registered: May 2012
Location: Kolkata, India
Distribution: Ubuntu, OpenSUSE
Posts: 91
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Thumbs up Ubuntu is the best

Yes....Ubuntu is the best for beginners as it is the distributor which is very very very easy to install unlike other user friendly distributors like Fedora and OpenSUSE...
Old 05-24-2012, 06:30 AM   #10
Registered: Aug 2011
Location: Chennai,India
Distribution: Redhat,Centos,Ubuntu,Dedian
Posts: 558
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
U can go with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and Centos 6.2.Its easy to Lean, fast and powerful, Ubuntu Server delivers services reliably, predictably and economically. It is the perfect base on which to build your instance .
Old 05-24-2012, 06:39 AM   #11
Senior Member
Registered: Mar 2011
Location: Brisneyland
Distribution: Debian, aptosid
Posts: 3,753

Rep: Reputation: 935Reputation: 935Reputation: 935Reputation: 935Reputation: 935Reputation: 935Reputation: 935Reputation: 935
I'm overly biased to have a valid opinion about ubuntu.

I will say that if you are beginner, I wouldnt be using any gnome 2.X desktop like ubuntu found with 10.04. Gnome 2.X is discontinued as far as the gnome foundation goes, and getting used to a desktop enviroment that is already dead in many ways doesnt seem to be that good an idea....just look at how many x-ubuntu users have run off to Mint, mostly because Mint has MATE (gnome 2.X fork).

If you do go for ubuntu, IMO its better use one of the variants with desktop enviroments that are still supported and easy to use with other distros (KDE 4-kubuntu, Lxde-lubuntu, Xfce-xubuntu...maybe even E17-bodhi though E17 can be a pain to setup on many distros and isnt the defualt desktop on many distros at all).
Old 05-24-2012, 07:00 AM   #12
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Germany
Distribution: Whatever fits the task best
Posts: 17,148
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4885Reputation: 4885Reputation: 4885Reputation: 4885Reputation: 4885Reputation: 4885Reputation: 4885Reputation: 4885Reputation: 4885Reputation: 4885Reputation: 4885
Originally Posted by jim06 View Post
Hello, im looking for a easy to learn linux
Depends totally what you want to learn. If you just want to use the GUI it is more dependent on which distribution has the best and most GUI configuration tools. Ubuntu is good in that, also Mandriva/Mageia and openSuse.
If you want to learn the command-line and the inner workings you can do that with any distro. I personally would advise against Ubuntu (and its derivatives) and also Puppy Linux and Fedora, because they do many things in their own "special" way.
The distros I would recommend for that would the older all purpose distros, like Debian/openSuse for a lower learning curve and Slackware/Arch/Gentoo for a steeper learning curve.

To be really able to recommend anything to you we need to know what exactly you are wanting to learn.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-24-2012, 09:57 AM   #13
Registered: Mar 2007
Location: Spain
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 202

Rep: Reputation: 36
I would have eagerly recommended Ubuntu a few distros ago, but lately they are relasing versions wich are not well tested and fail. That can be a real problem for someone entering to the world of Linux, so, if you ask me about later versions specially those without unity I would recommend to start there. I wouldn't recommend you to install version 12.04 if you have a nvidia graphics card, there are a lot of problems with that.
Old 05-24-2012, 10:40 AM   #14
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2012
Posts: 5

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I'm still new to Linux and I started with Ubuntu because those people I know personally who use Linux are using Ubuntu, and naturally that's what they suggested.

It's true it's quite easy to install, especially on newer machines. I think this is one of the main reasons why Ubuntu users/fans stick to it; because they want a system to be up and running in no time.

But if you have the time and the curiosity people here have suggested a few other distros to try and choose from. When Ubuntu 12.04 came out I wasn't keen on using Unity, that's why now I'm using Fedora 16 (wasn't too keen on Gnome Shell, too, so now I'm running Mate).

Anyway, whatever distro you choose (if you want to install and use it right away), especially if it's Ubuntu or Mint, please make sure you get comfortable in using the command line -- this is a really valuable skill and will make your Linux life easier and more fun.

So that when you "move on" to better distros you won't be intimidated by the command line. (Heh, don't worry, the "moving on" bit is a joke :P)

Welcome to Linux
Old 05-24-2012, 09:07 PM   #15
LQ Guru
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Ubuntu MATE, Mageia, and whatever VMs I happen to be playing with
Posts: 18,994
Blog Entries: 28

Rep: Reputation: 6072Reputation: 6072Reputation: 6072Reputation: 6072Reputation: 6072Reputation: 6072Reputation: 6072Reputation: 6072Reputation: 6072Reputation: 6072Reputation: 6072
I started with Slackware.

There's more of a learning curve when you get started--Slackware expects you to RTFM and doesn't hold your hand, plus it does not offer to partition your HDD for you, but it has large and supportive community, many of whom are here on LQ--but, if you can learn on a different computer from the one you depend on day to day, Slack is a darn good teacher.

Once you understand Slackware, no other distro will ever intimidate you.


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
LXer: DoudouLinux: A Starter Distro Where Baby Linux Gurus are Born LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 04-12-2012 12:31 AM
Gdesklet Iconbar : creating new starter in starter bar impossible, permission denied cloudmilk Linux - Desktop 1 03-09-2010 12:54 PM
[SOLVED] Is there a startup manager like codestuff starter for ubuntu Karma? Araxa Linux - Software 1 02-02-2010 01:25 AM
Any suggestions for a good starter book for linux-n00b? chrisbhall Linux - Newbie 9 10-06-2004 11:04 PM
What useful [to a pleb] program would be a good starter to download and learn to comp Frybyte Linux - Software 5 05-18-2004 07:32 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:52 AM.

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
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration