A stock Gnome distro suggestion request and a few questions

Hi, guys!

I recently bought a new HP Envy 13 which came with Licensed Win11. I just set it up and i guess now is the time to set a fresh Linux OS alongside with the Win. I have some knowledge, but I could use your help.

  1. Please suggest to me a distro which has as much as possible of the following (I list them starting from those of highest priority to lower):
  • Relatively easy installation and operation
  • Stock Gnome (I hate skins and themes)
  • Good knowledge base and community
    The perfect case scenario would be Ubuntu with Stock Gnome.
  1. Please tell me the most elegant way to have Win and Linux on the same machine. I have some experience with GRUB, but when i decide to go back all-in on Windows, i always mess the full removal of Linux and i end up reinstalling Windows and all its software.

I dont use any special software or some files out of the ordinary, so i guess the app store wouldnt be that big of a problem.

Thank you.

The biggest problem with a duel Windows Linux setup is when you want to upgrade to a new release of Windows. You have to do a fresh Windows install and that tends to interfere with grub.
To avoid this the simplest setup is to have a two disk machine, with Windows with its own bootloader on one disk, and Linux with grub on the other disk. You can choose which disk to boot from using the bios options.

Debian with Gnome is almost as good as Ubuntu with Gnome.
Also Solus with Budgie (which is gnome based) is quite simple and attractive.


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I’ll second Neville’s recommendation for a second hard drive–much simpler. I’ll add for your consideration the newest Mint (20.3, I think) in the Cinnamon version. It’s about as straightforward, attractive, and trouble-free as distros get. I’d also suggest trying each distro first. The easiest way is to use Ventoy to load them all on one USB stick. Ubuntu will issue 22.04 in late April, so a month would give you time to look around. Distrowatch is a pretty good source for comparisons.

Best of luck!

I agree with Bill, Mint is a good simple choice.

Fedora 35, Gnome 4.x, so far, so good… three hours in - no dramas…

Be much happier if those lazy sods at Symless would hurry up and support Wayland, like they said it was on their radar in 2014!!! Eight years ago! Sorely tempted to switch over to barrier, reckon they’ll have Wayland support before Symless…

Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Zorin in that order.
Most strongly recommend separate HDD’s for OS installs using hot swap rack setup.
Duel boot systems on single HDD is a ticking time bomb.

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Doesn’t really matter as to which Linux, not a whole lot of difference in any of the distros. If Linux
can be installed on second drive with Windows on the boot drive, then install and use EasyBCD to
find and boot grub2. Use Nano to edit “etc/default/grub” by adding “GRUB_DISABLE_OS_PROBER=true” .

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I do not understand rack setup. Can i add a rack to a Desktop PC or do I need a case with a rack design?

I have a multiboot system with 2HDD’s. I can get some protection by putting grub on both disks, each controlled by a different OS. Then if one grub config fails I can boot from the other disc. A rack with hot swap would be better.


I use a four slot hot swap rack ( SATSASBP425 4-bay mobile rack backplane for 2.5in SATA/SAS drives) that fits in the 5.25" drive bay of my desktop system. It’s filled with laptop HDD’s.

Thank you Terry. I shall look into that. Good solution.