Linux has not been an option for the average user for many years. Despite the stability it presented as an operating system, it required the user enough knowledge to adapt it to his system. Over time, as well as the huge community that supports it, all of this has changed. Today’s distributions are now quite friendly, the interface will not trouble even the novice users, and users will find programs for every job they wants to perform.
In this article we will just make a reference to the most popular and more complete Linux distributions available. They are suitable for every user, without requiring specialized knowledge and are an ideal way to get to know Linux. In the column about Linux, we will go into several articles, devoting time to each of these distributions, features and programs you can use. Later, we will go further, with reference to specialized distributions, programs from the large Open Source community list, and procedures that will give new purpose to equipment that you no longer use.
To install each distribution we used, the famous from previous article, Netbook Toshiba Satellite NB10T-A-103 – 11.6″ from 2014. The reason is simple. The device is ultra-low, with an Intel Celeron N2810 2.00GHz, 2GB – DDR3 SDRAM – 1600MHz, and a 11.6 ” touch screen, and it costs less than 100 € (used costs around 70 €). It came with Windows 8.1 installed and the upgrade to Windows 10 made it so slow that it no longer has any use.We have followed the procedure described in the article “Create Bootable Live Persistent Linux USB”. This time, however, we did not specify a size in the Persistent file, and after the test, through each distribution we pressed its Install on the hard disk.
We will follow articles for both, Dual Boot installation and installing only one Linux distribution, removing Windows from our system.
The most widespread distribution, and probably the most suitable for those who want a first contact with Linux. Available from Canonical, Debian-based, and with the easy-to-use Gnome, an interface that will not trouble your transition from Windows. It comes with a variety of installed programs like Firefox, Thunderbird Mail Client, VLC Player, Telegram, Libre Office. Also through SnapStore you will find hundreds of programs available for each task at the touch of a button.
In our test the little Toshiba took life. We did not encounter any problems with the installation, all the hardware was recognized without any problems, and the Touch Screen worked flawlessly. Here we note that there are several distributions based on Ubuntu. They are called Flavors, they follow the core updates of the official distribution, but they differ in several places. In later articles we will analyze them more extensively, but for the moment we will make a simple reference.
Lubuntu -Probably the lightest official version of Ubuntu. It is capable of giving life to several old systems and works perfectly. It comes with the LXQt environment, and its applications aim at using as little system resources as possible.
Xubuntu – Another lightweight distribution, this time with the Xfce environment. It is also ideal for low-end systems.
Kubuntu – Fairly light and fast distribution ideal even for the most “weak” machines. It comes with the KDE Plasma environment and offers a complete suite of applications.
Ubuntu Budgie – A very simple but extremely functional distribution. The Budgie environment that comes in is offered for customization, is extremely easy to use and fast enough.
Probably being biased, but I will give a special place in the Ubuntu Mate distribution. If a distribution competes with the original Ubuntu, for me it is no other than the classic distribution with the Mate environment. Try out the distributions and tell me your point of view.
Based on Ubuntu and Debian, with an amazing Software Manager, and with Cinnamon Desktop as Default, it quickly became the leader in user preferences. A very elegant, fast and complete distribution. In addition to Cinnamon you will find versions with Mate and Xfce desktop environments, for those who prefer a lighter interface. Another version, LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition), is available, in an attempt to unleash from Ubuntu architecture. According to the description of this distribution, it is an attempt of the team to develop Linux Mint, as if there was no Ubuntu. The LMDE version may not be suitable for beginners.
I did not have to use the Toshiba this time, as I have already installed Linux Mint on various systems I use daily. It is my first choice and I highly recommend it.
It was a pleasant surprise for me because I had never used it before. With Yast’s help, both for installation and customization, everything works flawlessly, without any extra effort. It will fully satisfy newcomers, but it is certainly interesting for more experienced users with different orientations.
There is not much to say about Debian, since you know that many distributions rely on it, a sample of the stability it offers. The community that supports it is so great that you can hardly talk about numbers. It can be installed on any system without any problems depending on the Desktop environment you choose. Just visit Debian Distros and choose among Cinnamon, Gnome, Mate, KDE, Lxde, or Xfce.
An excellent distribution supported by Red Hat. It comes with the Gnome Desktop, but depending on your system you can choose one of the Fedora Spins.
A unique and very interesting distribution that comes with its own desktop environment, the DDE (Deepin Desktop Environment). It will certainly make it easy for users who are used to the MacOS environment.
Another distribution based on Ubuntu. Speed and simplicity are its main features and is definitely a great solution for both Windows and MacOS users. Black spot the price of the Ultimate version. The reference to donation during Download would be enough and within the GNU/Linux and Open Source philosophy as well.
Another distribution that tries to bring the aesthetics of MacOS. A distribution aimed at beginners, fast enough and lightweight. It comes with the basic programs installed, but AppCenter offers solutions for every additional program you will need. It is light enough to be installed in low power systems and deserves your attention.
There are certainly a number of distributions that I have not yet mentioned. We will gradually try to present even more generic distributions as well as several distributions that specialize in specific tasks such as Games, Studio, Security, and more. At the same time, we will publish guides to help beginners get to know Linux better. Until then, we expect your own impressions, queries as well as proposals for distributions that we have not yet reported.