Question It's 2021 - Your Distro of Choice and Why?

Randi Poling

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Feb 19, 2014
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Hey Everyone! I am looking to go back to dual booting Linux with Windows (Or Windows with Linux, however you look at it), and I haven't done so since Windows Vista/XP and Ubuntu 8.04 or something.

Ive been considering one of the variations of Ubuntu, but also have looked at Fedora, Suse, Mint, and Debian (Along with Manjaro and Pop!). I dont plan to play games on Linux, just email, web browsing, and learning python and network security (Wanting to use Linux when studying or doing Coursera stuff to keep me FROM playing games). What do you all like or dislike about a certain distro that makes you use it or avoid it?

Toss your suggestions at me and maybe someone else out there with the same question will find their answer here too!
 

QwerkyPengwen

Splendid
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I would say this:
If not interested in getting super technical with customized setup and wanting something that works out of the box while giving you some of that good old fashioned terminal goodness, mainline Ubuntu is for you.

It comes pre loaded with some good drivers and software, has a fairly modern and intuitive UI, has a nice and easy to use app store for getting programs and such, and is overall a fairly well rounded option for that simple desktop OS feel (especially if you're used to how Windows 10 just does everything for you and works out of the box like it does)

If you want a good kernal base that is fairly widespread and used by most distros, debian is great. But would require a little bit of setup out of the box for some extra drivers and software using terminal commands (doesn't really offer an app store the same way Ubuntu does)

If you want to get a little fancy with it for flavor, Manjaro is pretty interesting (also using debian base I believe) and is a bit more pre configured out of the box than a basic debian setup.

But overall, if you really just want to have Linux simply for privacy and the ability to start doing some things you can only do in Linux, but have a standard, simple, and easy to use out of the box OS for your daily use, then the main variant of Ubuntu is for you.

When it comes to the other distros that use a different kernal it really all comes down to what has features and support for things you absolutely need and are not initially meant for the average user and more for the intermediate to hardcore Linux users that want to get their hands dirty with it out of the box.

(For a truly manual no hand holding do it and figure it out yourself experience, you can try Arch Linux. Literally once installed all you get is a terminal and you gotta install a desktop environment yourself as well as any and all programs and custom drivers manually truly building it up yourself to your exact liking and specifications)
 
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Randi Poling

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Feb 19, 2014
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I would say this:
If not interested in getting super technical with customized setup and wanting something that works out of the box while giving you some of that good old fashioned terminal goodness, mainline Ubuntu is for you.

.....................
Awesome, I was thinking of going with the old reliable Ubuntu, but I have heard/seen complaints about how its been slightly filled with Amazon stuff which makes me wonder if Amazon has their hand in it and what not. (Im fairly certain its to just fund their development like "Oh hey, we will give you monies if you put links to our store in your OS.)

I might poke at Debian too then. My friend back in high school back in 06 and on "The Screen Savers" were all hyping Suse, any experience with that? Or is it like an in-between for Ubuntu and Debian like Manjaro?
 

frank-in

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Apr 16, 2019
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All distros have pros and cons. I actually suggest Mint or MX Linux to new Linux users because they seem very simple and almost complete to me.
 

Randi Poling

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Since most of modern Linux distros offers a live ISO image, I suggest you spend some time trying them out before installing.

Most of the difference is about update scheme and the look of desktop/menus.
Valid points... I feel most of the “Mainstream” distorts are all of the same kernel and all. But each just have their own paint job for the UI.
 

huss987

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I've tried a few, on and off. I stick with Ubuntu 18.04 atm due to the research I conduct in my lab, and some software that has a bit better support on Ubuntu. However, I have been meaning to try OpenSUSE. I triple boot Manjaro, Ubuntu and W10, however, haven't gotten around to removing Manjaro. It was nice, however, I found KDE a bit too buggy for my liking. Felt unfinished.

However, as other posters mentioned, just download a couple and go through them, you will definitely hop through a couple distros before you settle on one you enjoy. You can even install multiple distros on one USB to live boot, see easy2boot, or a few other usb toolkits.
 
Feb 10, 2021
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New users, the standard rec would be Ubuntu or Mint. They both work well out of the box and have the largest support communities. For common desktops, they would be the place to start.
 

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