Linux is one of the best OSes available for computers other than Windows and Mac OS. While Windows is the most widely used all over the world, Mac OS is limited to Apple only hardware. On the other hand, Linux supports the most diverse set of machines when it comes to compatibility. Linux supports even the old, not so powerful devices (even those with 256MB of RAM) to bleeding edge configuration PCs. It is also widely used in organizations these days. From PCs, servers, embedded systems, main-frames, supercomputer, cars, Roku devices, etc run on Linux today. Linux is free and much more flexible, thanks to its open source nature. That, in turn, means, the OS works and looks they you want it to. Linux is also much more secure, stable, powerful and relatively worry-free OS.
It’s user base spans to hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. Linux is adopted by educational institutes, home users, and businesses. It is a very stable, virus free, and simple to use but also powerful at the same time.
There are hundreds of Linux based OSes also often termed as distributions. To help you choose a suitable Linux distro for yourself, I’ve rounded up some of the best Linux distros available.
Best Linux Distributions
Love it or hate it but talking about Linux, Ubuntu is perhaps what most users think about. Ubuntu is arguably the most popular and widely used Linux distro today. Thanks to its robust stability, long-term support, huge userbase, and a very supportive community, it is one of the best Linux distros to get started. Ubuntu is an OS designed for everyday use in mind suitable for both, casual as well as advanced users.
It ships with GNOME as the default desktop environment which is a little different than that of Windows or Mac. Some people love it, some not so much but that is entirely a matter of personal taste. If you are worried that Linux is not so easy to use, Ubuntu is the way to go as you need not be hard on the command line to use it.
It is designed for desktops, laptops, hybrids, and even Raspberry Pi. If you’re switching from Windows or Mac, Ubuntu is what you’ll probably want to start with.
Elementary OS is a Ubuntu-based Linux distro so rest assured, it is very stable for everyday use. It provides a very friendly, polished, and simple UI. Folks migrating from Mac would notice a striking similarity in the UI. The UI is very minimalistic and polished. It features some beautiful, and simple default apps such as Noise music player, an email client, calendar, video player, etc. that follow the OS’s aesthetic appeal.
EOS is a solid option for users looking for a Linux distro for everyday use which works well, is stable, and looks amazing. It has the basic set of apps installed out of the box and you can add more according to your usage. As Elementary OS Ubuntu based, it enjoys all the benefits of it with a much more subtle, and polished UI. All of Ubuntu PPAs and external packages and repositories will work just fine with Elementary OS as well, making it a very well-supported distribution available. It is easy on your system’s resources so you can even run it on low-end PCs.
If you are looking for a Linux distro that works just out of the box and is incredibly user-friendly and looks good, Elementary OS is what you should go with.
Linux Mint is another distro that started as an Ubuntu spinoff but it is now a preferred choice over Ubuntu by many. Though based on Ubuntu, it uses either the Cinnamon or MATE desktops instead and users could choose the suitable flavour for themselves. These are more traditional desktop environments with taskbars, pop-up windows, etc. unlike that in Ubuntu.
Linux Mint is elegant and provides a superior computing experience out of the box. It offers long-term support versions as well. It has a set of quite handy system utilities (such as LibreOffice, Pidgin, GIMP, FireFox, etc.) that a casual user will need out of the box. Since Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, all the repositories can be used and it also works just fine on older machines as well.
Debian OS is the oldest Linux distro on this list. Not only that, it is the very base of Ubuntu, in turn, being the base of many other Ubuntu-based Linux distributions. It is perhaps the most stable and widely supported Linux distributions you can find. Since it is such widely used, it enjoys the maximum number of supported packages (more than 51000). Almost any software that exists for Linux based OS will have a .deb package as well making it so well supported.
New versions of this don’t surface as frequently as with other distributions. When they do, however, are extremely stable and thoroughly tested. It is ideal for those who just want a rock solid, stable, and advanced Linux distribution and don’t want regular updates.
Fedora is a Linux distribution backed by RedHat (the biggest Linux kernel contributor). It offers three different flavours, namely Workstation, Server, and Atomic. Fedora Workstation is a reliable, user-friendly, and powerful operating system for your laptop or desktop computer as your daily driver. It only includes open-source software so you’ll have to install any closed source drivers yourself. You’ll get the latest and greatest from the community as the developers also work with other open source projects. That said, you’ll have to upgrade to every second release of Fedora to stay supported on the very least.
These are not the only great Linux distributions out there but are the most popular, and widely supported ones that a user should try as their first Linux OS. You can choose any of the above distributions according to your usage and liking. All are very stable, widely supported, and very user-friendly so you don’t have to truffle around with the command line.