Author Topic: Linux Distros best for beginners  (Read 519 times)

Offline bobf

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2017, 01:45:33 am »
I want to advance a vote for elementaryOS. It's very Mac, for all those expatriates, and I think it just gets on with stuff. What you need is there, though you'll forgive an old CLI guy for not really knowing about GUI update tools. Mike advanced it in the day because it did wifi that most other stuff still wasn't doing.

Offline cod3poet

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2017, 07:49:06 am »
I love how no one has stated the obvious answer. Ubuntu, it has the widest hardware support and most of all the most active support forums the most documentation. The most built in documentation, the easiest install process, the cleanest end user friendly interface. It has familiar applications. The update process is straight forward (and notifies instead of having to search for "how do I update my computer") It has GUI package management and a store like interface for finding new software. It supports gaming via Steam. It has paid support and tons of funding in the back end. And most importantly LTS and staying power.

Linux is great but it's only as good as the community. Gentoo imploded it seems because it was too geeky and they RTFM'd themselves into a corner. Debian is a great foundation but took many many many attempts at tossing a gui on it before it became a full fledged desktop OS.

Also plug and play device support for speakers, headsets printers scanners. The ability to watch movies and listen to music out of the box. And to use newer services like spotify are kind of a must now it seems. Plus after looking at all the folks I know who have "tried" linux, vs those who still USE linux 90% of the people who stuck it out did so with Ubuntu.

I am personally not a fan, but then again I haven't been a regular plain old Computer "user" since 1997.
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Offline buster

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2017, 09:14:20 am »
When Ubuntu went to Unity, many went to alternatives to get an old style desktop. Hence Ubuntu Mate. Same good stuff underneath.

Offline fox

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2017, 10:01:37 am »
There is nothing difficult about operating Unity on Ubuntu. I certainly had no trouble adapting to it, though I have never been a Windows user. If you're a millennial (which I am not), it might actually be easier to adapt to than Mate because you would be used to using a smartphone interface.
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Offline cod3poet

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2017, 10:50:29 am »
Anything is easier than this I am sure. If you want windows-like stick with windows. Keep to your strengths if you are looking for an alternative then some changes to how things work need to be made. Want a better Apple? just stick with apple and wait for them to improve. Distro hopping leads to frustration and burnout. Unless like most of us here you have that itch in your brain.

I <3 virtualization for that exact fact. I no loner need 4012+ desktops and laptops and hours of setup I can run 16+ virtual machines on my laptop and test all the things.

Even still from an adoption standpoint and clearly defined and sensible setup then Ubuntu (insert flavour of the week here) is best. Not so bleeding edge that it's scary and sharp and twitchy. And not so old that it provides no benefit over sticking it out with Tried and true Win7. 10 is starting to scare people.
Arch, Centos, Ubuntu. In that order. (maybe 10/2016)
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Offline buster

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2017, 11:42:50 am »
'There is nothing difficult about operating Unity on Ubuntu.'

Not really for us. I agree Mike. But I spend time coaching people who have gone from XP to Win7 and think of that as what a computer looks like. And they are very  comfortable with it. I would put them into a win7 look-alike. Young people with tablets were comfortable with win8 (a much maligned system) and Unity.

Depends on their computer moxie and general adaptability. By the way, almost anyone can find their way through win7, even if they despise the look.

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2017, 01:05:12 pm »
I love how no one has stated the obvious answer.

That's probably because I mentioned up front that I already had it on the list of good distros for beginners in my initial post.

Granted that it does depend on your experience with computers in general but I think anybody can adapt to the Unity paradigm with some effort. I'd still put Ubuntu MATE and elementary ahead of it because more people are used to the Win7 or Mac look. Microsoft is dropping support for Vista in April or May, I believe so there may be some people looking for alternatives.

If people have money to burn, I have no problem recommending Macs to novice or beginning computer users. I'd never recommend Windows to them because of the malware out there. The interface is great to use in Windows 7 and it's alright in Windows 10 despite the silly tiles. But there is too much bad stuff out there waiting to infect their Windows box and novice (and often intermediate) users seem to have no problem finding it. If they're experienced enough to protect themselves from malware, I'd say to try Linux if they applications they use can be found in Linux. For this reason, I often promote cross-platform software like Chrome, VLC Player, Filezilla, LibreOffice, Spotify, Skype as it makes things easier when people want to transition.

Good point about Spotify, Brian. And a lot of other add-ons from various Internet services support Ubuntu (or Ubuntu-based distros with compatible desktops) out of the box, like Private Internet Access though that's probably beyond the beginner stage to think about it.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2017, 01:06:17 pm »
I want to advance a vote for elementaryOS. It's very Mac, for all those expatriates, and I think it just gets on with stuff. What you need is there, though you'll forgive an old CLI guy for not really knowing about GUI update tools. Mike advanced it in the day because it did wifi that most other stuff still wasn't doing.

I forgot about how it supported some wireless when other distros didn't.  Thanks for reminding me of this, Bob.
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Offline buster

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2017, 05:12:03 pm »
"If people have money to burn, I have no problem recommending Macs to novice or beginning computer users."

My non-computer type friends use Apple, more I think for cult reasons than computer reasons. But they find it easy.

Offline buster

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2017, 10:27:03 am »
A DistroWatch review suggested Mageia would be a good beginner's distro: "Mageia is a solid distribution, easy to install and pleasant to use. I definitely think it should be recommended for novice Linux users more than it is. "

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2017, 02:49:14 pm »
I was considering Mageia and openSUSE, both because of their special control centre/setup software. OpenSUSE can make the updating process seem pretty complicated when you're doing stuff like installing codecs though. Nothing that would bother us guys but might scare beginners. Mageia might be a good pick. I'll take another look at it. Thanks.
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Offline fox

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2017, 04:16:03 pm »
I agree with Jason about openSUSE. I think it's an excellent distro (especially the LEAP version). Although it isn't hard at all to install or operate, some of the steps for installing codecs and other apps, even using the openSUSE build service, take more sophistication than most beginners would have. As for elementary OS, Bob is right that one of its particular advantages specific to being Ubuntu-based is that even the Broadcom wifi works right out of the box. I'm not sure about Mint, but most Ubuntu-based distros require either a temporary connection to ethernet or a separate download and install of the correct Broadcom driver to get it working. So this is a big advantage for elementary OS, and it should be listed in the "good for beginners" group.
Ubuntu 17.04 and 17.10 on 2011 iMac
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2017, 04:41:08 pm »
Here's the page thus far.

http://plugintolinux.ca/ and then click on "Beginner Linux Distros" on the menu at the top.

I will take into consideration your further suggestions and probably at Mageia to the list. I don't want the list to be too big so it's easy for beginners to pick something. I plan on keeping it as a page I update every 6 or 12 months in case there are big changes to the scene.

Comments are the text are appreciated. I thought about making this a wiki but I don't know if anybody would be open to being an occasional contributor/editor to it.
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Offline bobf

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2017, 02:12:26 am »
The Beginner's page looks good, Jason.

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Linux Distros best for beginners
« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2017, 03:02:29 am »
The Beginner's page looks good, Jason.

Thank you, sir.
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