Which Linux distro is right for me?

Cutler Cox November 14, 2012

Hello, I am currently trying out Linux. I have tried Ubuntu and really like it, but I have a dilemma. I want to have the full power of Ubuntu’s directory of programs, but I am unsure of the Unity desktop environment. It seems too flashy and performance hogging.

Is one of the *buntu’s right for me, Linux Mint, or something else?

  1. fallen heart
    April 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

    if u find that flashy content little hogging then u can gor for xfce version of these distributions. i personnaly prefer lm coz its complete out of box

  2. fallen heart
    March 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    go to distrowatch.com and decide which suits you from wide varity of choice.

  3. Anonymous
    February 26, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Install Ubuntu, and then install xfce desktop using

    sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

    Log out of ubuntu and into xfce session or xubuntu. It's much lighter on resources. Now you can try both of them out and see what your like and dislike. Try Lubuntu for even lighter experience.

    sudo apt-get install lxde

  4. Roshin idi
    December 13, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Ubuntu is great but try opensuse

  5. Arun Vishnu
    December 12, 2012 at 12:32 am

    i recommend you to use zorin,to explore viSit website-http://zorin-os.com/

  6. Vishal Srivastava
    December 8, 2012 at 8:51 am

    well, the only sureshot answer to that will come from you when you've tried all OS Linux has to provide. Here is a list to shorten down (or extend) your list of linux distros you must try- http://www.livecdlist.com/. Every linux has its benefits. Like, if you don't like Unity, you can try Mint with Gnome or Kubuntu with KDE. In the end, it'll be your decision and not ours. I personally use many live CDs- Kubuntu is my choice desktop, Backtrack for testing and Tails for secure web.

  7. Ramon Fletcher
    December 8, 2012 at 4:35 am

    It's really a personal choice. Do some research (google it) and find which distro suits your needs. I currently use with bodhi as it is very light on the resources, looks good and I have found the support second to none.

    It does however come with very little software preinstalled, which is a good thing, but for a newbie you will have to install it yourself learn how to install it yourself. Also with any ubuntu distro the ubuntu advice found in the forums will typically work. Hope you enjoy linux

  8. Ramon Fletcher
    December 8, 2012 at 4:27 am
  9. Adriel Tan
    December 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    If you like Ubuntu, but don't like Unity, you could try Mint (runs on Gnome 3) Kubuntu (KDE, though KDE is pretty animation intensive too), or Lubuntu ( LXDE Quite lightweight). There are tons of distros out there, its all up to personal preference...

  10. Rohit Pandey
    December 3, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    linux mint and ubuntu are best in all.....
    red had is best but difficult to use initially......

  11. Muz RC
    November 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

    If you wang go extreme go find for ARC

  12. Timothy Liem
    November 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    install Kubuntu then. right now, I'm using Ubuntu and installed the KDE desktop in my machine.

  13. Abba Jee
    November 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Ah , i guess linux mint has more votes :S s

  14. Eucadio Novelo
    November 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Well I suggest Linux Mint. There is the Mate and Cinnamon desktop environment for Linux Mint and it comes with codecs pre-installed. I use Ubuntu precise but if you don't like Unity you can install other desktop environment. Currently I am using the classic Gnome environment with Cairo dock in Ubuntu Pecise.

  15. atul mahajan
    November 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Linux Mint is a good distro. you should give a try to it

  16. Abba Jee
    November 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    give a try to fedora :) who knows if you prefer it over ubuntu and mint later ?

  17. Gustavo Costa
    November 21, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Linux Mint is very good, but its appearance is very weird, but it supports the repositores and is compatrible with Ubuntu and Debian packages. If you aren't happy with the unity and get used Gnome 2, I recommend you Fuduntu and Kubuntu (KDE-based). The KDE distros are very beautiful than Unity distros and allow you to make what the Mac users make, as you change the folders and file icons to your favourite icons. And OpenSUSE is very elegant.

  18. Insplisity
    November 19, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Linux Mint works superb for me. I've tried many other distros, but this seems the most stable and it supports the most hardware. That's at least my experience.

  19. dragonmouth
    November 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    If you like Ubuntu but not the Unity Desktop, switch to Kubuntu. It is Ubuntu with KDE Desktop. Another very good distribution is SimplyMEPIS. It may not be as bleeding edge as Ubuntu but it is rock stable and has a library of over 33,000 packages. The one problem I find with the *buntu family and its derivatives is that most packages are integrated into the core system and unwanted/unneeded packages cannot be removed. For example, I do not need a language pack for each language and dialect in the world but in the *buntu universe I cannot get rid of them.

  20. Luca P
    November 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    If you used Windows mainly previously you will feel at home with Linux Mint.
    I just came from Windows 8 and because I didn't like very much Ubuntu I installed first Fedora and then Linux Mint Cinnamon.
    I find it super customizable, and there is always a solution for everything. Great support online too.
    Being based on Ubuntu it accepts all the installation file for that distribution, too.
    And it's uberfast.
    Try it out in live mode via USB stick or CD, and you'll see.

  21. Cutler Cox
    November 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Can mint access ubuntu software? Also, do all *buntu's have the ubuntu software center?

  22. Aswin Kumar Nayakann
    November 15, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Perfomance wise you will feel better in mint.But the only bad thing with linux mint is that it has no good discussion groups.You post some question and you get reply for something else.But ubuntu has good user group.If you want good GUI then you can move on to fedora.

  23. Jim Chambers
    November 15, 2012 at 2:15 am

    If your using a net book try Easy Peasy (Ubuntu - Debian combo)

  24. Sean A
    November 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Well if I were you I would keep Ubuntu if you are really thrilled with it. But to get something less flashy I would go with Gnome 3 UI or for even less flashy you could go Gnome 2. Both of these come packaged together and can be downloaded (for free) from the Ubuntu Software Center. I suggest you Google how to install this. I have done it myself and have had no issues ever and the installation was very easy.

  25. Vishal Mishra
    November 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I think starting with Ubuntu is the best choice as there are many users who are using the same and so you can get help when you get stuck .

    • dragonmouth
      November 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      Any distro in the top 20 on the Distrowatch list has help forums and hundreds of thousands of helpful users one can on for advice.

  26. Douglas Mutay
    November 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I have personaly tested a few version of Ubuntu then finally falled in love with Mint. I have it installed on my USB drive and use it whenever necessary.

  27. Terafall
    November 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm
    • Gustavo Costa
      November 21, 2012 at 12:19 am

      Fuduntu and OpenSuse.

  28. Chew Jian Yue
    November 14, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Mint is a good choice for starters, who just started using linux editions, maybe mostly who just joined linux, from other versions, like Windows.

  29. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    November 14, 2012 at 10:26 am

    If that's what you want, then Mint might be for you. Mint has several variants, try one or two in VM to see which one suits you. Kubuntu, Lubuntu or Xubuntu are also popular.

  30. ha14
    November 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

    it depends on your video card power perhaps this cause performance problem?

  31. Boni Oloff
    November 14, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Try to use the Ubuntu first. The Gazzele System using it because it is the most easy one to used.

  32. Ashish Yadav
    November 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Hi Cutler,

    I also had similar situation as you. I tried Ubuntu with unity but was not satisfied as for performance reason. Having tried lots of options like installing xubuntu-desktop trying to upgrade it to XFCE 4.10 and breaking everything I finally settled on Linux Mint XFCE edition.

    Trust me you won't find it disappointing. I am using it for quite some time, it's sable, had most of audio video codecs pre installed and as it's based on Ubuntu. You also have choice to install loads of useful software without much hassle.

  33. Mart Küng
    November 14, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Ubuntu has several versions with different desktops. Look at Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu. It's near impossible for someone else to tell you if one of them works for you. Simply try them. You don't need to install them all on your computer: use livecd or liveusb or install them to virtualbox (or some other virtualization programm). Using virtualization you can try the full features of an OS as live versions have some limitations and are usually bit slow.

    • chris
      March 3, 2013 at 5:41 am

      just use the wubi installer on Ubuntu's website and try whichever one you want.

  34. Drew Butler
    November 14, 2012 at 7:48 am

    I agree, go with mint but you should check their site to see which version will best complement your hardware. The newest versions are a little more hardware intensive, still great compared to windows. I wouldn't be back on windows currently but the remote server i connect to for work doesn't play well with wine or virtual machines. Anyways welcome to Linux, happy computing

  35. susendeep dutta
    November 14, 2012 at 7:10 am

    If you don't like Ubuntu's graphics,then Linux mint Mate version is good for you.It doesn't have any distracting graphical elements.It's matured and works out of box as it has many preinstalled packages that are ideal for those switching from Windows to Linux.

  36. Anonymous
    November 14, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Choice of Linux distros is a personal one. Everybody has their own opinion of what is "best" for their purposes. I am currently using Ubuntu in a VM for support reasons since I don't care for the Unity interface. My newest machine is currently set up as a dual-boot system with LinuxMint 13 as my primary OS and Win7 on there for gaming. The machine I am currently using will be rebuilt after the first of the year and will be running either FreeBSD or Fedora alongside Backtrack since it will also be my pentesting box.

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