What Is Your Favourite Linux Distro, And Why?

+1 for Mate.
To me it seems the most perfect balance on resource requirements and user experience.


@kovacslt…It is a no nonsense DE that does everything the way I have become used to, in my use of Windows over the years. This only confirms the best Linux distro, is one that works for the user, not one suggested.

Yes @4dandl4

… we understand that you like it and that’s why you recommend it - but if you look at the heading @KITT asks WHY.

Really :astonished: … some of us still have independent open minds and may not always follow the mainstream flock and are open to trying something based on a suggestion that also gives some insight as to why it may be of interest.
I think that this may be the purpose for the topic:thinking:
ps many distros have a choice for the DE - this is not the question asked. :wink:

That’s exactly the point. If not, any answer would be as informative as the one to Which is your favourite colour?

This is exactly why I have hesitated to answer the question. Do I really have enough experience to judge which one might be the best of perhaps hundreds of distributions? And even if so, what are the criteria for being the best?

So, let me first explain my set of criteria:

My workhorse distribution should be one, I don’t need to switch for the years to come, so it should be well-established and have a numerous community of supporters, good documentation and active and friendly forums.

Ideally, I want it to be unobstructive: Once installed, I basically want to forget about it and not have to deal with it aside from the usual and necessary updates.

I want to be able to configure it to my needs, this means: Aside from the options presented in menus, I’d like to be able to edit configuration files by hand in a text editor.

Installation of additional software should be easy and transparent, meaning that repositories should be well maintained, and I don’t want to rely on appimages and snaps.

The desktop environment should be modern. I don’t want my computer to look like I was still living in the 90s.

Considering all these aspects, I find Kubuntu to be an almost ideal compromise although I don’t like the forums too much and I’ve been using it for several years now for my desktop computer. I always upgraded it from one version to the most modern without any need for a clean installation. I even moved it from one machine to the other, just by switching the hard drives and making some small adjustments.

On my laptop, though, I have recently installed the incredibly beautiful Arch based Garuda Linux which I am starting to like as well. I might give Mint with Cinnamon a try, too.

@Andy2 I have tried Trisquel in a virtual machine with the MATE desktop. It had definitely the quickest installation of everything I have ever tried and no problems with hardware. The performance under stress was excellent. I very much like the idea that it doesn’t rely at all on proprietary blob packages. The only things, I didn’t like was that the installer asked me for my keyboard and after setting it to “German” it still came up as “US American” after rebooting (easy to fix, though) and that the MATE desktop looks very old-fashioned, but I might try another one.

I definitely prefer this “mate”

to the desktop enivronment.


Great reply with a shed-load of WHY. Great photo and tasty too – even the jar has a big greedy smile? Me too Mate – plenty of fibre – Yum! :yum:
Glad you have taken a look at Trisquel – and hope you have a little time to conduct some more interesting tests – also MX… :hugs:
ps could you help (on the other Rosika topic) as @berninghausen is in trouble with image on USB not working and I don’t know how to help - thanks)

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Mine will always be Peppermint OS, which has a very warm place in my heart. I even use my own theming based upon Mark Greaves’s theme here in Linux Mint 20 XFCE edition. I changed the color around in Gimp. Gif below of what happens when left clicking off and back on window. I love the XFCE environment because it’s fast and so customizable.

Hey @clatterfordslim love the gif graphic - a picture says a thousand words; guess your pic doubles up on that…? :ok_hand:
Keep hearing about XFCE but never what it is you think it can do that gnomeMate can’t? :thinking:

I may give it a spin in a VM.

I used to swear that Ubuntu Mate 16.04 was all I ever needed, when that came out nearly five years ago. After two years of using it I was after a gaming Linux Distro and started hopping and yes I know any Linux Distro can play games, but I was after something that Linux hoppers cannot answer properly. Whether it is being comfortable, able to customize easily without it griping, or something that was just perfect at doing everything you chucked at it???

Peppermint OS 7, 8, 8-respin, 9, 9-respin, 10, 10-respin. Okay so Peppermint has a mixture of XFCE, LXDE, Cinnamon, a little bit of Mate chucked into the balance too, but everything I chucked at it, it never griped, crashed, froze or said no to. It kept going and yes I tried other environments, but kept going back to Peppermint.

I would watch a review of a Linux OS on YouTube and love the look of it, try it out for myself on a separate hard drive, but end up deleting it after a week or so of using it, because Peppermint was on my mind and maybe getting myself into a comparing mind state, where I would question why they had done a certain thing that way round, when all they had to do was such and such. Then back to my beloved Peppermint I would go. For me personally Peppermint will always be in my heart as being the best Linux OS and community I have ever known.

Mark Greaves passed away at the beginning of 2020 and that tore a gaping hole in everyone’s heart. Mark was the writer of Peppermint OS 6 to Peppermint 10 respin. It was his determination of moving heaven and Earth to help people, that got me and countless others on the Peppermint Forums to be the same. We never met Mark in person, but chatting with him through the Forums we all got to know him in our own way.

Since then and the move over to Ubuntu 20.04, for myself I had to move on it was a heartbreaking decision, so moved onto Peppermint’s Cousin Linux Mint. Peppermint was slowly moving toward XFCE, as even though it was a mixture LXDE, XFCE, Nemo as it’s file manager.

This is why I use XFCE because I can have more running on my Desktop as in setup the panels to hide when maximized windows are open, be able to change the font and look in the clock making it easier to read as I’m getting old eyesight is fading, make web apps without using a dedicated program to do so. Make Panels totally invisible as if they are hanging there, Zoom in pushing Alt+spinning the mouse wheel forward and back to normal view. Use Nemo file manager instead of Thunar, use my own Smooth theme which is GTK2 without those horrible Undershoot lines, that you get in Linux Mint themes, they look like this - - - - - - - - - - - Because I have been so used to perfection in Peppermint, although many would argue that it wasn’t? I need to feel comfortable and know that every time I use my computer that it isn’t going to gripe on me. Hence why I have my Mint OS setup this way and not only that it looks cool :rofl:

In Ubuntu Mate I could not set it up this way round. Mate’s panels only have hide only, not intelligently hide when a window is maximized. Panels also cannot be made to be completely invisible. My understanding of Linux and what Linux Distro to go for, depends on the end user, what are you wanting to use it for? Below is a Gif of my clock with it’s different font in the time and the date, also my top panel with all the launchers I use.


Well @clatterfordslim Mark yet another excellent gif movie – great effort – as is your write-up. Thanks so much for attempting to answer why other than I like it. I think you are the first person to write so well on this Distro-DE. As you may have guessed you and I have completely different tastes – which is cool. You have fulfilled your destiny by going over to the Dark Side…!
I too love my Trisquel with which you can hit the ground running so fast and snappy – being very productive without touching, let alone tweaking, a single thing so not using extra resource for just standing still.
Not being a tweaker my desktop is starkly uncluttered and aesthetically pleasing just as Trisquel’s devs proposed as best. Not being a tweaker and with some trepidation I investigated your claims. I knew where to find tweaking tools in the logical menu > preferences > look and feel > Appearance. It only took this 70 year old a few seconds from there to find the panel’s transparency slider to render the panel background invisible as can be seen – see the invisibility – Wow – put your reading glasses on – Ah; that’s better… :nerd_face:

However it’s the first general tab that controls……

More than enough for most people including OAPs like me. Hope all noted the very sharp and clear date and time in the panel? Could not see the date in your picture! The blue DE graphic on the right hides all open windows when clicked. Needless to say there are loads of (customizable) keyboard short-cuts to do whatever.
Moving on to text; if one has the need to alter something…. Perhaps the ultimate in fine tuning where you can even micro adjust the text rendering by Smoothing, Hinting and Subpixel Colour Ordering. This may well help people with difficulty reading screens even though standard out of the box settings are superb.

As an add-on to Trisquel’s gnomeMate perfection for XFCE die-hards there is an option to…
You can either select the ‘xfce4’ metapackage in the Synaptic package manager, or use the following command in a terminal:
$ sudo apt-get install xfce4

So there you have it in a (large) nutshell :chipmunk: – both DE environments are customisable to the same degree but perhaps more so with Trisquel as you can run either DEs choosing which one to use at login. Check out DistroWatch’s review of Trisquel 9.0 and Rosika’s Topic – advice-for-os-needed here on it’sFOSS. :ok_hand:
As a footnote you can open several apps plus watching a video in a browser with Trisquel; using less resource than ubuntu standing at idle without a single application being loaded let alone running. :astonished::flushed:

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Ubuntu Mate

I chose it because I wanted to use both 32 and 64 bit computers, which I now have done.

Mate is the first Linux I ever installed. I like it much more than Windows, once I have it configured, but it takes quite a bit of effort to configure to my liking.

I like the configurability of the panels.

I like the control of the keyboard - I put the CTRL key to the left of ‘A’ so that I can use a WordStar editor.

I don’t have any experience with any other flavor, so I don’t know what to mention as a unique feature.

Tried them all except CentOS. Settled on Ubuntu. Can’t go wrong with it.

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LMDE4 Cinnamon here. Wife and I used LM Mate from 2012 until March of 2020 and were very happy. Before that we used Ubuntu since our original jump to Linux in 2007.
As you can see, we’re not ‘jumpers’, when we find something we like, we stay with it. Oh, we’re retired now and we just browse, email, Zoom, etc.

WOW - @pradipsagdeo Now that is impressive… :lying_face:

… using well over 270 distros, I’m so impressed by your Mammoth Tusk Er, Sorry, Task :elephant: :wink:… What did you think of Bodhi, BSD, Tails and Qubes?

LOL :joy: Guess you have not :eyes: looked at the hundreds of problems with that bloated ubuntu here at it’sFOSS forum and the many other Linux sites :grimacing::roll_eyes: raison d’être
Then you have never investigated the back :door:door mega security issue associated with SNAP :scream: . :confounded:. Oh Dear :sleeping: :sleeping: :sleeping: Nap time…

I’m with you on this one. I really like Linux Mint. I been using Cinnamon now for a little over 2 1/2 years. I like it b/c it does what I want and is easy to maintain. Because of all the Distro hype, I have installed and tested several Linux. Some of them were, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Zorin, MX, Puppy, Manjaro, LM Xfce, LM Mate, and a couple others.

I had 2 requirements carried over from Win 10 being Truecrypt and Western Digital encrypted disk support. I found support for both of them on the forums.

@Akito said it somewhere in one of his posts that all the Distro do basically the same thing. It is software to run your PC.

Come to think of it we could have a similar conversation about a car. What brand, model is best and why. But all cars do the same thing. They get you from point A to point B regardless of the cost or features they have. I like the Honda Accord. :grinning:


Hi old timer and Happy New Year Wishes to you.
As I said earlier this kinda sends old timers like me comatose :sleeping: :sleeping: :sleeping:. never mind the new generations. I guess….

…says it all. Honka Accord :woozy_face: Gah – I know each to their own or just follow the herd, but just how bland and boring can life get…? There is a whole universe of wonder, excitement to explore – to this end regarding just vehicle choice….

…… here I am in the Scorpion :scorpion: trike which sure enough has a mega sting in the tail. Not satisfied with this mega powerful fun :crazy_face: machine I got the factory to install my invention (1990’s) of using active suspension to make it tilt into corners.
GM-Opel-Vauxhall have been trying to get their new all electric car, the Corsa-E to me so that I can play with it for a couple of days. It has been cancelled twice now at the eleventh hour due to Covid-19 restrictions – drat…! Still - something interesting to look forward to…

Just discovered EndeavourOS 2020.04.11 - light - highly responsive and the system was quick to boot and you guessed it NOT mainstream normality. Ah time for a nap again :sleeping: :sleeping: :sleeping:


Thanks @Andy2 and a Happy Healthy New Year to you too and all my pals here on the forum.

I give this forum credit for my smooth cross over from Windows. It’s been with the help of many members both active and some in-active here on this forum answering questions asked a 100 times before that helped me the most. A grateful “Thank You” to all.


My favorite is PCLinuxOS. It works out of the box, lt is a rolling distro, rock solid and simply works.
Most of the time the latest software like LibreOffice Firefox etc.
There is no perfect distro, but so far this is the best that I found.
I am using Linux for 7 years now, and this is the distro I am using for the longest now

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Hey @oulik.jan Jan thanks so very much - your fist sentence got me hooked so had to take a :eyes: look :eye:
Yes right up my street - the only independent distro described as “So cool ice cubes are jealous“


I am using the Mate edition, a matter of taste I think. The KDE edition is impressive, but I prefer the Mate edition.

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