When you are looking for the best Linux distro you have tons of options out there. And choosing the best of them for a beginner is a hectic task. For example, when I used Linux for the first time it was a mixed experience. And we don’t want to let the same happen with you. We hope to make using Linux experience great for you from the first time you boot it. So we have created here a list of Best Linux distros for you. Ensuring that you get the best of Linux world and enjoy using Linux from the first boot.
As Linux is huge in terms of distros and the variety it offers it’s really difficult to choose which is the best. As for every single user best Linux distro will be different depending on what he or she wants to do with it. So we have tried to create this list keeping in mind a beginner user who is migrating from Windows or Mac OS. That’s why Linux distributions mentioned in this list are easy to use and even easy to install. We have also kept in mind that Linux Distros are famous for being fast and light on resources. So Linux OS mentioned in this list should be light and easily suitable even for an Older PC of a few years ago.
When creating a list for beginners to the world of Linux the most important thing we kept in mind in User experience. As users migrating from Windows and Mac OS have used simple and easy-to-use UI. Installing apps on Linux for the first time can be a little difficult. That’s why these Linux come pre-installed with some basic apps. And also have a software center to help install most apps without touching the command terminal. Now let’s see the best Linux distro which we think are best for beginners.
1 Elementary OS
Elementary Os is Linux’s answer for users migrating from Mac systems. Just like Zorin OS gives look and feel of Windows 7, Elementary OS gives the look and feel of Mac OS. Elementary OS can surely be called one of the best looking Linux distro available right now. With its latest release Hera, its stability has improved a lot with its features.
This OS has a feature called Picture in Picture mode, and its the only Linux distro to have that feature. This feature opens a selected area of any app into another app. This feature is different than using two apps together as you only see what you select of the other app. There are also various features like parental control, do not disturb.
It also comes pre-installed with basic apps to make your experience great from the first boot. Elementary OS also has an app store that will make installing apps easier for people who are new to the Linux world and don’t want to use the command-line interface. Elementary OS can be downloaded and used for free although we do recommend contributing something to support future updates. Installing Elementary OS is quite easy and can also be easily installed alongside windows in dual boot.
You can download Elementary OS from here.
2 Zorin OS
Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distro that mainly focuses on providing a great user experience from the first boot. It is even touted as “a replacement for Windows and macOS, designed to make your computer faster, more powerful and secure”. It’s pretty straight forward from the first step of installation.
The default appearance of Zorin OS is mostly like Windows 7 with a similar start menu. The look of Zorin OS is modern and simple so users migrating from Windows 7 will be already familiar with it. It even comes with some basic apps preinstalled like Maps, Weather, Photos, and Videos. Zorin OS has a paid version with all the features and a lite version which is free and for low configuration PCs. We have used the free version for the purpose of this post. Not only this Lite version was performing fast on a very low configuration laptop but it also was quite stable.
Zorin also comes preinstalled with an app store as well as Wine. It makes installing apps easy and you can even install some windows apps using Wine. To get all the features you can buy Zorin OS for $39. And if you don’t want to pay you can also install Core or Lite version of Zorin OS which is free. Zorin is also really easy and can even be easily installed alongside Windows. To see how to install Zorin OS alongside Windows click here. Being fast, sleek and easy to use makes a position for Zorin OS in this list of best Linux distro for beginners.
You can download Zorin OS from here.
3 Linux Mint
Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux distros of all time. And when we are creating a list for best Linux distro for beginners Mint always deserves a place in it. Mint is famous for its user-friendliness as everything that a new Linux user needs is by default present in Mint. Linux Mint looks elegant and is easy to use from the first boot. As soon as the installation is about to complete Linux you will get a menu prompting what apps you should launch after installation completes.
Linux Mint also has a software store that helps in the installation of apps without an opening terminal. Apps store in Mint includes most kinds of basic apps and is great for a beginner. Apps store in Mint categorizes apps by their use and is easy to use. Icon themes are also easily changeable in Mint. Even in terms of hardware usage Mint is light which makes Mint suitable even for older computers.
Linux Mint offers easy installation of apps, themes, and icons. This makes it easy configurable which is better for a user shifting to Linux world for the first time. Linux mint comes preinstalled with media codecs which will help in playing media of various types. In addition basic apps like GIMP, VLC are also preinstalled in MInt. Although Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu it’s quite better than Ubuntu for beginners in Linux world.
You can download Linux Mint from here.
Manjaro is the simplified Arch Linux, which is one of the most cutting edge Linux distros out there. It comes with almost all the features of Arch Linux while avoiding the downsides. Unlike Arch Linux, Manjaro is preconfigured that makes it suited for newcomers as well as experienced Linux users. This is not the case with Arch Linux as you will need to set up everything for yourself from the base system. Being Arch Linux based it offers complete control over the modification of any kind very easily.
It can be the best option for those who like to tweak their operating systems according to their needs. Installing Manjaro is quite simple and using Manjaro is easy, even from the first boot. This makes Manjaro in the list of Best Linux distro for beginners. And when you are ready to tweak your OS according to your preference you have complete control.
Manjaro is better Arch Linux as there are fewer chances to break. Manjaro takes time to make sure that software updates are compatible and stable. This increases the reliability of Manjaro making it great for a daily driver OS. You can have a different desktop environment according to your preference as Manjaro officially supports XFCE, KDE and Gnome. As you can choose the desktop environment you can choose how actually you want Manjaro to look and perform. Xfce is lightweight on resources and looks similar to Windows 7. While KDE Plasma is a more modern and flexible desktop environment but requires a higher amount of resources. There are also other community supported desktop environments, thanks to great community support it has.
You can download Manjaro from here.
5 Solus OS
Solus OS is built from scratch for great user experience. Unlike other distros which are based on Ubuntu, Arch its completely build from start. Solus even has its own desktop environment which is called Budgie. Budgie is clean, slick, good-looking, fast and really easy to use. From the first impression, it will look a little inspired by Windows with a similar menu like the start menu in Windows. But the notification panel is really great and is somewhat like Android and notifications can be easily closed when done.
Solus OS comes with a limited number of apps and is pretty similar to Chrome OS. It comes pre-installed with Firefox, VLC, PDF viewer, Archive, etc. Solus OS also has a software center, although apps in the store are limited when compared to other distros. But apps present in this store that are pretty well refined to work in Solus OS. Solus OS also supports a lot of apps from the GNOME apps library. And as Solus OS is a rolling release most apps in the software center should be up to date.
Overall, Solus OS is a great operating system. Its stable, fast and very easy to use making it great for beginners. Budgie desktop environment is new and offers something unique than other Linux distributions. It’s a little similar to using Chromebook, although without spending money on one. The only problem with Solus OS is that being a new distro, the community of Solus OS is small. So you might not find quick support if you get stuck at some problem.
You can download Solus OS from here.
These are the 5 Best Linux Distro for Beginners in 2020
- Elementary OS
- Zorin OS
- Linux Mint
- Solus OS
If you have any suggestions or if you think some other Linux Distro deserves to be on this list, please do mention in comments. As we keep this post regularly updated it might land on this list when next time we update this post(with special credits to you). If you have any other questions you can ask in comments we would love to help you.