Check out my new website that helps you choose a Linux distribution

Help Choosing A Linux OS


Looks a bit like it’s made in the 90’s but all in all it’s a fine and I guess pretty helpful website. :smiley:

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I checked the website, but it looks like this:
I’ve dropped the image below:

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I’m pretty sure you have to lose the “Security” category for the “Everyday Usage” category to work. Additionally, a distribution is generally considered less secure, when it uses more unecessary, especially proprietary, software. So using “Security” in conjunction with “Proprietary Codecs Support” probably won’t work.

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I have just tried it and it also gave me zero results. Then I had a second look and I found a number of issues with the setup and design:

First of all: The hard yes/no criteria do not reflect real people’s needs. Needs and wants always live in a continuum.
Many questions already require knowledge that e.g. a new user would not have:
“Proprietary codecs support” is one of them. To be honest: I don’t know if I need it. Whenever I install a Linux version, the installer asks me whether I want it and I always click “yes” (unless I do it at work, where stability and security are my main concerns) because I want my usage to be as hassle free as possible.

Another question would be “for old computers”. Does this mean “32 bit version available” or “lower hardware specs”? The latter could also mean: “Suitable for Single Board Computers”.

What are “Creative Users”? Authors, digital artists, sound engineers, video makers (all have different needs) or people creative enough to find their way around cliffs?
What is “Detail oriented”? I haven’t got a clue.
There is also no way of weighting the different criteria.

I like the whole idea and I think, it is a great idea to set up a database with a lot of distributions because, honestly, I have no knowledge at all about most of them. However, I reckon, the guiding process still has some potential for improving.

How to gently lead a person:


Your arguments also apply well to the search on Distro Watch.


Okay, I searched the same way as you said:
Stable: Yes
Proprietary Codecs support: Yes
Everyday Usage: Yes, and others as No.

I got the results:

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To tag a slackware based distribution (Absolute) as “for the newbie” is what I’d call a bold choice.

To give “Picasa” as an example for photo editing apps (in PCLinux) is also a strange idea, given the fact that this wonderful program disappeared many (8+) years ago.


I feel old; I thought it still exists, but just haven’t heard of it, recently. :laughing:


Thanks so much! I completely forgot the section in the css for phones. I will do that today, I think.

Thanks so much for taking the time to help me.

I’ve racked my brain, and for the life of me, I can’t think of another three words to describe Proprietary Codecs Support.

As for the hard Yes,No questions, maybe it would be better with radio buttons instead.

I think I like Creative Users the way it is. Distros claiming to be for Creative Users have software for all of the things you mentioned.

Detailed Oriented could be made better with Control the Look and Feel Granular. What do you think?

You said: There is also no way of weighting the different criteria. I don’t think I understand. Each criteria can stand on it’s own.


Thanks to all of you for the constructive criticism. I have tons to do now.

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My dear, let me just think a bit aloud… random ramblings.

Regarding the hard yes/know, I’d rather use something fuzzy:


As for weights:

Everybody wants stability, security and privacy, but the question is: How much and how important each aspect is. And again: Is a new user able to make such a choice?

Wouldn’t it be better to first ask basic questions and then go on based on previous answers?

Regarding the weights and questions again, on an abstract level you have an n-dimensional metric space where the distributions x1, … , xn live and you have the potential user y with her needs and wishes in the same space. What you now have, is a minimization problem: You want to find the distribution xi with the least distance to y.

Say, we have the security dimension. We need to assign a value to each distribution.

Say: PCLinux 0.1, Ubuntu 0.3, Mint 0.4, OpenSuse 0.5, Kali 0.8

Then we have the creativity dimension, say

Kali 0, OpenSuse 0.7, PCLinux 0.7, Ubuntu 0.8, Mint 0.8

Our hypothetical user wants to feel secure (0.75) and loves to create viral pictures (1.0).

Which is the best for her?
I still think, we need to know how important each aspect is to her in order to define the appropriate metric.

All in all, I reckon, the biggest challenge is to set up the database properly and keeping it up to date.


Nice try Cane.
But the screen is too large.

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I find this a bit discouraging:



Weights, as I understand them, would take a lot of thought as I would have to have table column in the database for each item AND it’s weight and when displaying the weight, I would have to label the weight with an item. I’m not sure how I would do that. I would have to think about it for a couple of days.

As for the fuzzy yes/no creation, I think I will change the yes/no to a radio button selection instead. Much more compact.

I also have to set the CSS for small, medium, and large screens which will take me a few days to tweak it just right.

I will change the CSS for small, medium, and large screens in the next few days. I have other things I need to do as well. When, they and other things that prop up, I will get to them one by one and when I think I’m done, I will post here my 2.0 version.

I’m sorry that you feel discouraged. I didn’t think too much about that situation which if you think about it will happen more times than times with a result. How could I handle it better?

"our Category Selection Yielded Zero Results.
Your Picks Of Categories:Games, Stable, Everyday Usage, AntiSurveilance, AntiCensorship, For The Newbie…Go Back And Try Selecting Fewer Categories, Or A Different Combination Of Categories.
May I suggest a more hierarchical approach in you algorithm.

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I don’t understand. Please explain what you mean as a hierarchical approach? Show all OSes with at least one category in the picks of categories? Or show a category and list all the ones with that category? Or show ALL the combinations of the picks of categories that have results?