If transferring from Windows, then you probably have a fair bit of computer experience and most versions of Linux are easy enough to start with. Examples have already been mentioned, i.e. Mint, Ubuntu etc. but after a while you need something that is going to challenge you and give you the option to experiment. That is why I have gone over to Fedora Linux, running Xfce as a desktop manager. I find that it’s a very good version to configure and experiment with. Tbh, if you can google, you can find most problems with Linux and the appropriate answer. I am currently running Fedora 28 64bit with Xfce. When Fedora 29 comes out in a couple of months, I will upgrade my machines accordingly…
I’ve just started using LMDE 3, and love it. Not sure why it doesn’t get mentioned more often? I’m a beginner and I think its awesome. It has encouraged me to come here to read more and help understand. I am glad I have made the leap, the support seems great and communities like It’s FOSS seem really helpful. Linux Mint is best distro for a beginner.
I’ve gone back and forth between Ubuntu based distros and Manjaro. I find Manjaro has better (newer) hardware support (I run a Ryzen CPU) and overall looks better, although that is clearly very subjective. Technically I’m not very proficient with linux; if my system doesn’t boot I’m screwed. This has worried me with using and Arch based distro, but so far so good.
My vote would be the Cinnamon version of Linux Mint. I go to other distros and most are pretty buggy, even Ubuntu. I always end up reinstalling Mint.
As mentioned before i vote also for linuxmint, but if you want to learn linux then go for:
Linux Mint is how I got my feet wet. Simple to install, easy to setup and use. Great for beginners.
But for a lazy person like me, it’s Xubuntu.
I’d say Ubuntu any day! Very good support and development. I have tried other distros but still find Ubuntu the best. Generally works out of the box. Lots of help and support. You’re never alone!
First I started with Ubuntu, but now I prefer Xubuntu.
After some experiences, Linux Mint would also be a very good choice…
A subjective and moot topic.
Take your average Windies user, they are brainwashed into NOT touching their computer/laptop, that is the preserve of your M$ (qualified GODlike) technician. The majority of my friends, acquaintances or alleged Windies powerusers do not know how to access their BIOS, let alone install from a CD or USB stick.
Now we’re asking them to install an OS, onto their cherished PC or dam, that’s an expensive piece of Hardware and want me to do what…! Lets be honest, what were you feeling when you made that first step. Confused. Lost. Anything but this.
Of all my converts, even where I have sourced a lappy and installed Linux for them, they all want their mummy and cry for that comfortable blank of privacy, keystroke snooping and advertising id. Believing they are lost in the noise.
Until Linux establishes its own niche in the computer market and leaves behind the perceived image of being nothing more than an experimental hobbyists or the unclean (lepers) as both local computer shops view me and people of my ilk.
The majority of the top 50 OS would be suitable for a novice, with the exception of Gentoo, Arch and Debian. As these three are not user-freindly for novices, let alone semi-experienced Linux users.
Installing Linux for the first time was a great time of learning. The first time it was a dual-boot and it later led to things getting a little out of hand. I multi booted 8-10 OS’s on an older computer. I was having the time of my life and learning a ton at the same time! I wouldn’t want to erase or change that as I’d be cheating myself out of a great experience.
Ditto with my own learning curve. Though multi-booting 5 OS’es on the same PC was more than enough for me, lol
I started with Fedora, out of curiosity, but when I found Mint Cinnamon, I knew I was “home”. LOVE it! I’ve been using it for 2-3 yrs, now, I think. I found replacements for most everything I used in Windows, except graphic software for making cards, etc., and there’s a dirth of security software…i.e. anti-virus (Norton, McAfee, AVG, etc.).
not sure i know from best, but my first extended experience (i had previously created ubuntu and mint rescue cd’s) was with ubuntu mate. it seemed familiar and functional enough to be inviting and easy to use
so what do you consider an extreme challenge? I’m ready for that… Any Arch based distro comes with challenges. Name the distro that will put me in a mental hospital and I’m jumping in!
This may help your quest:
Gentoo Linux will definitely put you to work. Especially since you have to build your own kernel. It’s challenging but very well documented. Good luck.
I installed Zorin OS on my mother-in-law’s computer, then it died, and she bought another computer AND Windows came with it, BUT she wanted me to put Zorin OS back on it, so I did. She loves it. She’s 75 years old.
I’d also recommend Ubuntu especially 18.04 because of it’s versatility.