Is there a Linux distro with extensive GUI interface

Is there a Linux distro that greatly makes use of a GUI interface (as is the case with Windows) so that there is no need to be familair with the many linux commands?

The best you can get is Ubuntu for that matter. However, it’s usually the case that you have to do a lot in the command line interface, except you are doing only very basic stuff, like browsing the internet and checking e-mails. If you want to do anything that is slightly advanced, you usually have to resort to the terminal.

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Ubuntu, Linux Mint, most of the major distros can easily be used without the shell-stuff.
But knowing at least some of the commands greatly enhances the experience, in my opinion. :slight_smile:

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I would recommend Mint or PCLinuxOS PClinuxOS even discourages using the terminal.

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Everybody finds the Terminal daunting when they first use Linux. I was and many others jumped into the Terminal head first and borked our whole system, especially as when I first started with Linux way back when Cavemen were still making square stone wheels. We had Synaptic package Manager, which has been at the heart of every Debian and Debian based Distro. Though of late Ubuntu does not come shipped with it out of the box, for some reason? Ever since in my reckoning, Martin Wimpress who made Ubuntu Mate. In his Mate Boutique, where you can install apps from, quoted under the installation part of Synaptic for stating For Advanced Users only or words to that affect. Synaptic Package Manager is a Terminal Gui without the need of commands, meaning you find the app you want using the search bar activate the install click apply and off it goes. When opening Synaptic you put your password in, saving time doing so as you would when using the command line.

I think that Linux these days, especially Ubuntu has way too many ways of installing stuff, everyone is recommending Snaps or Flatpaks and I don’t want to go down that road of me mentioning how much I hate both of these, as that would be time consuming and this paragraph has gone on too long anyway. All I am saying, is there is help out there for Terminal commands, or easier ways of installing stuff. Flatpaks and Snaps are way too big in size, plus they either do not open or work properly. To try out different apps without actually committing to installing them, try out AppImages, they are like EXE files on Windows, meaning the program is there already in one single Image ready to be used, without the commitment of fully installing them.

Linux mint

Looks and feels like Windows (only much better)

Ok some colours are different but once you get over that and stop thinking Microsoft word but libre office … Google chrome is so close you woukd never know

Best thing it’s free, as are most of the useful tools no need to pay for more

Think the difference between Windows 7 and 10, yes it changed but no big steps. But better still no Windows 8 errors, no blue screens, no virus,

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Hi @MikeSA ,
Solus Linux with Budgie desktop has the most extensive GUI that I have experienced, but I admit I have not tried Mint.
Solus has a really well designed graphic package manager.

It is worthwhile learning to use Linux command line, but you should learn it in stages, and not attempt anything as superuser until you have experience.

Neville

Hi all,
Linux Mint with Cinnamon desktop is very similar to Windows and very user-friendly. For more sophisticated GUI I would recommend a Linus distro with KDE desktop like OpenSuse.

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The following distros are designed for people moving from Windows to Linux and do not require command line knowledge: Linux Mint, Q4OS, Zorin OS, PCLinuxOS, Linux Lite. They will be ready to use immediately after installation and you will be able to install most of the software you need using GUI Software Installation Center (each distro may have a different name for it). I can no longer recommend Ubuntu, because it is getting full of bloatware and SNAPs. As you get more experience, you can use Synaptic Package Manager on Debian based distros, which lets you install and remove software without using any commands. Of course, it never hurts to know some basic commands and basic Linux principles, so you can customize your system according to your own preferences.

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@Akito ,
I find that sometimes a GUI interface is not the best tool for the job and may even lead to a messed up system. One example is configuring network interfaces. There are too many GUI tools available for settig up networking and they conflict. For example if NetworkManager is controlling an interface and one attempts to change its settings with a GUI tool, the result is unpredictable.
Neville

That is the curse of building up an entire operatings system based on freely & voluntarily contributed open source components, which usually target more than a single distribution.

Many people complain about how Windows does this, Windows does that and everything is crap, and so on. However, one thing such proprietary systems do right is consistency. Well, perhaps Windows 10 is not the best example for consistency (they are gradually replacing legacy advanced settings with “new” settings, that are most of the time less featureful). Still, even then Windows 10 is a million times more consistent than any Linux distribution I know of. Linux operating systems are based on different software from different people with different design decisions, goals, philosophies and methods.
That’s why you get sometimes 10 different tools to do one specific task. One fits a majority of users, another one fits another group of people, who have different goals & wishes, and so on.

The Linux distributions who are trying to tackle this are the ones who try to make (at least) their own GUI for other tools, or, in the best case scenario, make entire new, distribution specific tools, including GUIs, that match the distribution they are working on.
In theory, this could easily solve the issues pointed out above, however in practice it (in my opinion) never has worked out. The reason for that is the stone-old dilemma:
Not enough resources (not enough money), not enough dedicated developers, not enough time.

If there would be a team of 500 developers working full-time(!) professionally(!) on a LInux based distribution for 2 or 3 years, lead by a software architect with at least 20 years experience in Linux and Linux OS development, then this would be the next big thing, everyone would use. Simply, because it would not only be open source, i.e. have all the benefits of your usual Linux, but it would also be very consistent, usable and filled with GUIs which are most helpful.
(Of course, this presumes the software architect in charge knows his stuff and isn’t one of those Linux elitists since the 90’s, who think that GUIs are stupid and computers should always be as complicated as possible to use.)

Long story short, the reason why GUIs suck in the way you describe is not because they are GUIs, but because of inconsistency due to how things work in the FOSS world, as described above.
The inconsistency of course also applies to GUI-less programs, however it’s much easier for a programmer to program a good GUI-less program than it is to do that PLUS add a meaningful, consistent GUI for the most used distributions out there.
Most GUI programs that I have seen scream at me “my creator never had any design lectures, my design is horrible, GET ME OUT OF HERE, HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP!!!”…

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@Akito
That is a really solid insight into the issue. Thank you.

It would seem that what Windows users looking at Linux really want is consistency and they think (mistakenly) a gui is the way to get it. No amount of your apologetics is going to help. We need to help promote those distros that at least making some effort to integrate a collection of diverse packages. Who are they? Can we name them?

Neville

I’m a Windows 10 user, but have a second computer on which I installed Linux Mint Cinnamon seven months ago. That second PC was an older Windows 7 machine that was just sitting around collecting dust. Installation was easy and the OS recognized all my hardware.

I have not once had to use the terminal window. I learned years ago on DOS so the command line does not scare me, but I just have not felt the need to use it on Linux Mint.

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@Akito
There is one Linux based system which has almost perfect consistency, a good gui with touch screen , and no command line at all and no superuser. It is called Android. If that is what users want by all means let them use it, but it lacks variety and is simply boring.
Neville

Android is oversimplified and inconvenient to use OS. It may be OK for making phone calls or as a TV Box, but Android to Linux is like Subcompact Car to a Luxury Tourist Bus. And the bugs all the time, like “Unfortunately Application X Stopped”. Free Android apps are overloaded with annoying ads. On top of that Android is developed by Google = Tracking Spyware.

I doubt that Windows 10 is “million times more consistent than any Linux distribution”, but it certainly is very consistent in reporting everything user does to Microsoft, using your PC and Internet connection to deliver updates to other users, running unnecessary services and software, installing Microsoft and computer manufacturer’s bloatware - impossible to remove without using hacks, etc. To put it simply: 1. Microsoft Windows has full control over the user (unless hacks are used to remove certain software responsible for it). 2. The user has full control of the Linux system.

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@Deby,
Yes user control is a key concept , distinguishing Linux and BSD from the others.
There is another related issue. Linux and BSD can be configured in a whole spectrum of different ways, to do different jobs. Windows has home user and server varieties, no other choice. Not sure what we call this, maybe adaptability. It is not just the variety of distros, you can take one distro and make it into many different things. Control is part of it.
Neville

Precisely this Windows bashing is why Linux remains after all these years unpopular among non-techy end-user desktop users and still has shitty GUI, which just does not face user experience reality. Instead of learning the good things from the “bad” and “evil”, most Linux users just bash Windows and others for no reason but to make them seem worse, instead of cleaning up their own ground and making the Linux experience better and perhaps at some point comparable to the big two opponents. Then, you wouldn’t need to bash Windows so much, because it would be more obvious that Linux wouldn’t be that bad.
Sure, Windows collects information on mass etc. but it’s insane to question the consistency of UX vs. how it looks on Linux distributions. Compared to Windows, the UX on pretty much all end-user GUI Linux distributions is an utter mess, where nobody knows what the right way to do something is. Everyone just invents their own way, where most ways are just more inefficient or worse than the best way for a certain distribution. For example, if you are using a distribution with GNOME, you probably shouldn’t use the network manager designed for LXQt. And so on. However, as half the shit is broken on Linux, you often have to fuck around with the command line to get even the simplest things done. (I remember the time when I wanted to set up my six monitors on Linux… HELL ON EARTH! – In Windows it’s just a question of plug & play. :thinking:)

That said, I see strong improvements in small parts of the Linux world. I must admit, KDE is doing a HUGE job to improve UX. KDE is truly the hero and should get a LInux Nobel price for piece or whatever. It’s one of the extremely few Linux forces, that actually gets their ass up and does something about how shitty the UX on Linux generally is.
Bravo to KDE. The team behind KDE needs to be thanked and every Linux user who still bashes Windows without looking at how shitty the end-user UX is on GUI Linux should shut up and follow what KDE is doing. Getting your ass up and making Linux less shitty.


I have seen some people here who seriously mentioned, that you would be able to use Linux without the CLI. This is the point where I partly gave up on even particiapting in the discussion as a whole. It is simply not true. If you want to do anything beyond opening a browser and reading e-mails, you are always forced to use the CLI. There is no way around it. You always have to face the ugly terminal, every time you need to do anything that is even just slightly more advanced than just opening a browser and reading e-mails. This is coming from someone who works with CLI stuff every second day and knows how to use it, very well. However, it becomes extremely annoying when I want to chill out and I still have to do some CLI shit, where every step in the way could potentially break my system, just to get some pretty simple stuff done.

Because of all that, I, for now, only see hope in KDE. KDE could be the one and only hero that saves the Linux world. KDE is the reason why I will still try out Linux GUI stuff and will try to make it work with my setup, somehow. However, even that won’t be so easy, because I won’t let my distribution decide what hardware to get. NVIDIA has still much less support on Linux and is way more problematic, than AMD cards. Still, I won’t let myself be dictated by a software distribution what 1000 bucks hardware I should get.

If it weren’t for KDE, I wouldn’t even try to use GUI Linux, anymore. I would stick with my CLI Linux, without any GUI and that’s it. Windows, even in its current state and with Windows 11 at the open door, is still a million times more consistent than any GUI Linux distribution.

P.S.:
It’s simply not worth it to lose what feels like half your lifetime to get stuff fixed on GUI Linux, when you could just use a more invasive solution, that actually gets shit done the way you want and need it.

I just noticed this now. This is so ironic.

Almost everything you set up on GUI Linux is pretty much a hack. The difference is, that hacks are considered “normal” and “welcome” on Linux and therefore, they are not seen as “hacks” when in reality they are hacks. So, such a sentence coming from someone bashing Windows in favour of Linux is just ridiculous.

Last week i bought a chain saw with a twisted handle. Perhaps i wasn’t careful, but by accident it chopped one of my arm off, then i thought to myself “gosh, this is POWERFUL!”. This seems to be the fashionable mode of thinking among the unixers or unixer-to-be, who would equate power and flexibility with rawness and complexity; disciplined by repeated accidents. Such a tool would first chop off the user’s brain, molding a mass of brainless imbeciles and microcephalic charlatans the likes of Larry Wall and Linus Torvald jolly asses.
—Xah Lee

To everyone who complains how “bad” Windows is and how much it does bad.
Well, you must admit, there is no way to break your entire operating system by installing Steam on Windows!
But, oh wonder, in Linux it’s actually possible to break your entire main operating system for good, just by installing a seemingly harmless gaming client, which does nothing but load games for you.