How to make a newbie friendly open source distro

See the only reason I’m using Ubuntu is because it’s got the most hardware support out of all of them so far, at least that’s my opinion of it… I’ve become a big fan of rolling release distros like Arch just because of the fact that there’s more up to date packages available for them. And with the arch install script, complexity is no longer a limiting factor for someone who’s just starting out.

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I believe you are reading too much into this, sure some products, like MS Office, may go to the cloud, but the desktop pc will survive.

Hardcore gamers? I doubt it!!!


Hardware support? Ubuntu uses the same driver support for the hardware your PC has, the same as any other Linux.

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I wondered about that.
Any good rolling release distro like Gentoo, Arch, Void, Solus should have all the uptodate drivers and firmware.
How could Ubuntu be more uptodate than a rolling release?
Or does Ubuntu configure things better? There is not much configuring with drivers or firmware?
Its a mystery why people feel Ubuntu works best. Do they really mean it is just easy to install and manage?
Maybe they mean it has a heap of audio and video stuff… I can understand prople wanting that to work.

They don’t care for the very old cards, but they do for the recent pieces, even for Linux.


Can you tell me, what has Ubuntu, which Debian testing (the core of Ubuntu) doesn’t offer? (Except a corporation at the back of it, and deeply integrated hard-to-remove snaps).

It might have some better audio and video stuff configured.
It might just be easy.

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And some of the old machines, like mine, are not really worth the money too update too even Linux standards. If one, like myself, is in need, of one of the old machines, then restore it to Windows and never put it online.

I don’t use Arch, never really tried, but…
If I had to drop Debian, my goto distro would be Arch.
It has that exhaustive documentation, which I think no other distro offers.
Docs of Arch helped me a lot to solve config issues on my Debian systems.
So if not Debian, then Arch.
There’s no “else” nor “elif” :smiley: At least for me :wink:

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Gentoo is also well documented and is more stable than Arch will ever be!!!

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The experiment started, targeted the business sector.
Gamers get ready for the next round!

I’ve whined on here about my mixer not supporting Linux … Arch had a hard time with it, Ubuntu doesn’t.

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Yeah, I thought so, its these music types that think Ubuntu
is superior. It probably is well configured for that.

I LOATHE the term “content creator” (plonking a video on TikTok is not being creative) - but - for people doing this kinda thing, audio, video, graphics - there’s Ubuntu Studio… It used to be XFCE based, but now uses KDE Plasma… I may check it out again one of these days…

SteamDeck runs Arch BTW :smiley:

I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft does move everyone into the cloud, and your device is just a thin client - like an MS version of a Chromebook, an “Edge Book”… and Windows 11 will be the last one… Oracle have already publically stated, that there will be no Solaris 12… just point releases on 11… Apple did OS X (MacOS 10) from around 1999/2000 up until only a couple years ago (and now seems to update major release yearly)…


Microsoft said Windows 10 would be the last release too. Just saying.

Solaris isn’t a consumer oriented thing though. I get it.

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Distrowatch does a good job of catagorizing the distributions. When searching things can get a bit tangled, because newbies might end up with questions like “what does init system mean?” or “What is meant with release model?” They do not provide documentation on the items on which choices need to be made and simply assume somebody already knows all the relevant information.

Now, for somebody who’s been around Linux for a while this isn’t much of a problem, but a total newbie will get lost wondering what all the options even mean.

For a total newbie I’d suggest Linux Mint, not Ubuntu. Perhaps they can lobby with a philanthropy project of some billionaire and see whether they would support Linux Mint long-term by pumping enough funds in it so they can actually afford to start paying more developers, hold a nice bag of money in front of some technical writers for documentation, and invest in marketing.

It’s not that the Linux landscape is so fragmented, it’s simply that nobody knows it even exists. Those digital illiterates who do know of its existence think it’s “difficult” and “complicated” or “you have to enter complicated commands to get stuff done”. None of which needs to be true these days.

Yes, if you go with Gentoo, you will have a lot to do on the CLI, same goes with Arch and Void. However, there are many distributions which are on par with WIndows and MacOS in regards of how easy they are to use. I use Linux Mint, and have used KDE neon, and Solus in the past. To be honest, I find them easier to use than Windows.

However, there are things which could most certainly use improvement. Particularly regarding integration with “the cloud”. When I open google drive in my file manager, LibreOffice, for example, does not notice the computer’s connection to google drive. This is one of the biggest issues which needs fixing before Linux is ready for prime-time: consistency of behavior.

Mr. Average doesn’t want to configure his google account over and over again. He wants to configure it once in a central, obvious location and not have to worry about it anymore.

There are several such issues which need addressing. It’s issues like these that can seriously alter the desktop landscape if they’re dealt with correctly.

These issues are not just inside Linux. In fact the issues inside Linux are minor.
Doing a Linux install is a major hurdle for new users.
Either Mint or MX are probably the easiest installs available, but no-one has found a way to avoid the disk partitioning step, and that is a major hurdle.
Windows deals with this by simply taking the whole disk. If we had a newbie distro that only offered the whole disk option, that would be on a par with Windows. Its a cheat’s way of making a simple install, but if you want to compete with Windows it is needed.

A lot of the issues with Linux come from offering users every possible option. Mature users might enjoy that, but for new users it has to be simplified.


Hi @nevj,
I agree with you: there should be two installation options: a basic one, like the Windows installation, and the other should be the installation that currently exists.
In my opinion, one of the great things about installing Linux is that you can install it the way you want.
I understand that it is very difficult for a user who has never worked with Linux to perform a distro installation, I had and still have problems with some installations, but it is a huge freedom to be able to have control of the OS installation.
I think I could no longer do without this “freedom” to install the OS as I want.


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Hi @Tech_JA
There sort of is, but in most installers they are muddled.
We could easily fix that by making newbie-install a totally separate install script… just a few questions about locale, names, etc, then grab the whole disk and copy linux onto it.
Just Like Win. Deadly, but reliably deadly.

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This is not quit true, my friend. I hardly ever install Windows and use the entire disk. I will start the Windows install the same way I start a Linux install, by booting the PC with gparted, creating the partitions, ntfs for Windows, and swap and the partitions for Linux, if in dual boot with Linux. If one uses multiple Windows on the same disk, like XP and Vista, then the older Windows platform must be installed first. Windows is also in need of being installed on the first “partition” on the drive, either dos or gpt, and Windows cannot be installed to a extended partition.
Sure you can just plop the Windows install CD in and it will do what it does best, install Windows and the same thing holds true for Linux. The big difference is not the install, but it is the write difference between ntfs and ext4, find a format that both Windows and Linux can read and write too and the install of both Windows and Linux can be simplified.

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I know , you can setup a partition, and leave some of the disk uncommitted. I should phrase things more carefully.

What Win (and some nasty linuxes) does is takeover the bootloader, and, as you say , demand certain partitions.

All that is too much for a new user. They need to put in a USB drive, press one button, and have a running Linux system.
Win install, used simply (not your method) almost achieves this.
Just about all it asks the user for is name and location.
That is what Linux needs for newbies.
It does not have it. Installers ask too many difficult questions.

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