What Linux is best for a user trying to learn?

JoshS February 22, 2013
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I’ve been using Windows for a long time and I’ve heard that Linux is a very good operating system. Although not user friendly, I could benefit from having knowledge about it, seeming how a lot of my friends and family have Linux. My question is, what Linux should I use if I want to learn.

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  1. Jeffrey Wilson
    June 8, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Zorin is the best by far it is model after ubuntu l love it go zorin web page and download
    the live cd. If you install it open up a web browser paste this link in it follow the instructions http://www.techdrivein.com/2012/06/25-things-i-did-after-installing-ubuntu.html

  2. dragonmouth
    April 2, 2013 at 12:04 am

    "if I want to learn."

    What exactly do you mean by "learn"?
    Ubuntu and Mint will allow you to run Linux O/S and programs, but they will not teach you about administering the system. To properly learn how to administer the system you need command language and for that you need a distro that allows a "root" signon, such as antiX or Siduction or even Debian.

    You say that a lot of friends and family have Linux. What distro do they recommend? Did you ask them?

  3. Jandré Roux
    March 15, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Everybody will suggest Ubuntu or Kubuntu.

    I started out with OpenSuse, and got it figured out. You need a working www connection, then you go to the forum ask your quesitons and they will help you That is how I did it.

    Come on! Take a big step!

  4. Donald Schultz
    March 14, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I'm new to Linux myself and I am also a tech at a college and still taking classes too. I can tell you that my experience with Ubuntu has been awesome, I love it. I don't have an antivirus on my Linux box but I have spybot antivirus scanner and when I run that it never finds anything except tool bars. Now that I have been using it for about a year now I think that Ubuntu is the best one to learn, if you don't know how to do something Google it and you shall find. Once you play with it for about six months things will become natural and it will seem very simple to operate. Wish you luck my friend and you will love Linux trust me.

  5. Jacob
    March 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Try Linux MInt.Its user friendly.And when you have mastered it, switch to Ubuntu.Ubuntu is one of the most popular general-use distributions with one of the largest selections of software.So even if something goes wrong you will not be the first one to experience it.

  6. dragonmouth
    March 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    For all those recommending Ubuntu, you are forgetting that it now comes with Unity desktop which could be confusing and frustrating to someone trying to learn Linux.

    Fedora has its own issues and could also be a bit confusing to a newbie.

    When making recommendations to somebody unfamiliar with Linux put yourself in his/her place and remember how it was when you first started with Linux. Fedora and Ubuntu may be great distros for those already using Linux but for newbie they may present problems.

    I would recommend Linux Mint or Zorin OS 6.1 as they are the closest to Windows in appearance. They can be downloaded from the DistroWatch site. I use Simply MEPIS which is also quite user-friendly.

  7. Scott Reyes
    March 4, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I would stick with linux mint .... im currently using ubuntu and t just seems to have too many deterents as far as bloaty applications *cough ubuntu one cough*. Plus the interface requires a decent computer, so if you have one like an imac from 2007*squints at apple* then you should opt for somthing less resource intensive. If you really want to, then you can go on distrowatch and read about it more.

  8. Furqana Fathuzzaman
    March 2, 2013 at 2:54 am

    If you want something similar to windows and work everything out of the box, go for linux mint.
    If you want to experience something new, go for Ubuntu.

    Since you're from Windows, then you won't have any problem/tied with "Unity is sucks and different from gnome2" or anything (not that you need to concern yourself with this last sentence anyway)

  9. Benjamin Benkert
    March 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Ubuntu is the easiest to setup. You will understand what you're doing while installing and it comes preloaded with everything you need. It also has great support for most hardware. It also has a great look and feel. I've tried other distros, Ubuntu came with the least hassle on setup and it was more fun. Mint is good too but kinda boring like windows. But they are getting better with each release.

  10. Burning Chrome
    February 28, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Ubuntu :)

  11. Moez bouhlel
    February 26, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    i think it's ubuntu
    there are other dist based on ubuntu like voyager or mint or zorin with some codecs and some app pre-installed even diffrent interface because ubuntu don't come with this codecs for some licences related problems

  12. Nevzat Akkaya
    February 26, 2013 at 11:39 am

    any favor of Linux Mint would do the job, but KDE edition would be better IMO. Once upon a time, there was also Pardus Linux, which was famous with it's user friendliness, now the project seems dead, but a new Pardus project Pardus-Anka is born : http://www.pardus-anka.org/en/download/ You can try that too.

  13. Austin Halsell
    February 25, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Just last year I had pretty much the same question as I wanted to learn a bit about Linux systems as well. I used a VM to try out quite few different distros (LinuxMint, Puppy, Kubuntu, etc.) before I landed on Ubuntu, though I personally prefer Fedora. Both have great and active communities, but Ubuntu had the best install walkthrough that I super needed since I was trying to do a dual boot with a Macbook. I imagine that most distros are easier installing on to non-Apple hardware, just check the distro's forums and support documents to check lists of hardware compatibility. Ubuntu is pretty straight forward and with their Software Center, they make it easier to get compatible, native software, IMO. Happy distro hunting!

  14. Omar Quazi
    February 24, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Of course this is totally up to you, most linux users are bias since there is a lot of Linux Variants..You can start with Ubuntu, or Mint Linux! Mint is more nice in a way (bias, told you). Ubuntu is a resource hog...But once you know how to use a linux try this site: susestudio.com then register and you can build your OWN Linux! Here just in case you want to test my Linux Appliance: http://susestudio.com/a/gmuXgb/promethium

  15. Aman Ujjwal
    February 24, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    i think fedora is a good option but shld be run using a boot dvd of fedora

  16. Junil Maharjan
    February 24, 2013 at 4:39 am

    ubuntu or linux mint which are good and user-friendly.

  17. Rick Johnson
    February 24, 2013 at 3:15 am

    Linux Mint XFC provides the best user experience that most closely mimics the windows environment.

  18. prashanth singh rathore
    February 23, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    UBUNTU is the best u should use Linux because it as an openSource OS

    to know what is an open source check out this

    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/what-is-open-source-software-makeuseof-explains/

  19. Jitendra Adhikari
    February 23, 2013 at 11:05 am

    You can try using Ubuntu Linux. Its an excellent distro. Dowload the Live CD iso, write it to a disc and boot from it and try out. If you like it you can install it on your hard drive. Please visit http://www.ubuntu.com/

  20. susendeep dutta
    February 23, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Linux Mint is much familiar to a person coming from Windows.So,Linux Mint would be better for you to start learning Linux.

    Another opinion could be that you could try out the Linux distro that your friends are using,assuming they are not different.So,if you use that one and anytime get in doubt,you can get help from them too besides Makeuseof.com.

  21. Tanmay Mohan
    February 23, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Try Ubuntu or fedora !!

  22. EdmarJohn SanDiego
    February 23, 2013 at 6:56 am

    as of posting this im using my linux mint laptop. in my opinion it is the best for first time users because of its GUI

  23. Jesse Manalansan
    February 23, 2013 at 6:28 am

    You can start trying Ubuntu, then try other Linux distros that suits you.

  24. JC
    February 23, 2013 at 5:16 am

    Should you have a second hard drive in your pc, and your bios can be configured to boot from that hard drive through boot selection menu - install whatever flavor of Linux you choose to that second hard drive. Using two SEPERATE hard drives avoids any issues with dual-booting and keeps your windows configuration untouched.

    However, you could also try a "Live DVD" by downloading an ".iso" file burning that to DVD/CD and booting from that. Easier, but slower than a hard disk install, and any changes made to the configuraion MUST be saved to disk before shutdown otherwise they're lost.

    I've tried Puppy, Mint, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, and Damn Small Linux (DSL), but Mint is the most like Windows. Play with the Live DVDs for a while then decide what variant you want. There is a (sometimes steep) learning curve, so look for similar things as you would in Windows. And remember Google can be a very good friend.

    I went from Windows XP to Linux Mint Version8 three years ago and while I had some major issues I have never seriously wanted to change back to Windows.

    Most of all, enjoy the difference.

  25. Rama moorthy
    February 23, 2013 at 2:55 am

    I have some linux distributions on my server .. please take a look if you want http://dl.filedelivery.net/Linux/

  26. Robert Simms
    February 23, 2013 at 2:55 am

    Ubuntu is very easy. I personally use a distribution called Pinguy ( http://pinguyos.com/ ). It is based on Ubuntu, but has added all the applications and multimedia drivers you'd need.

  27. Rama moorthy
    February 23, 2013 at 2:53 am

    If you are using Dirty os for a long while , then its the time to leave (if you are programmer or developer or anything related to Computers/Technolgy) .. or you are just want more fun while computing ,stick with Windows ..
    Who told Linux is not User friendly ..! I feel Linux is better than windows ,in most of the facts including User friendly ..
    and for your question , I suggest you try two or three linux distributions (prefer Ubuntu) like Ubuntu, fedora , debian ,freebsd .. and pick one of your choice .

    create partitions in your HD and then install along inside of windows(available in ubuntu) ..

  28. James Ezell
    February 23, 2013 at 2:37 am

    If you just want something to use out of the box then I would go Ubuntu.

  29. Rajaa Chowdhury
    February 23, 2013 at 2:35 am

    I would suggest you to make a new partition in your HDD and install Ubuntu Linux using the Windows Installer. Then you will get dual boot with Windows and you can simply uninstall it by add/remove programs. I learnt Linux a bit on it and found it pretty user friendly too. The windows installer path is http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/windows-installer

  30. Jacob Davis
    February 22, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I must second Bruce... LinuxMint is much simpler to grasp for a beginner.

  31. Bruce Epper
    February 22, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    LinuxMint appears to be the easiest for those making the transition from Windows to Linux, but everybody's got their opinion. As far as user-friendliness, in many respects Linux is a lot chummier than Windows and, in my personal view, moving to LinuxMint has a much smaller learning curve than moving to Windows 8.

    • Prashant Mirjankar
      February 25, 2013 at 8:41 am

      Thanks for your advice.....
      I'll definitely give it as try

  32. Adam Campbell
    February 22, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Hey JoshS,

    I would use Ubuntu if I were just starting to use Linux, others distros (sorry if I offend someone) I have tried have had minor glitches etc. So bottom line try Ubuntu, now I would not use a recent version of Ubuntu with a slower machine as the OS has become somewhat bloated. You should really dig around and find which distro feels right for you. Here is a good place to start:
    http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/best-linux-distributions

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