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

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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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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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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.
 

danallenhtn

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Best Balance of Excellence in Various Areas of Excellence
Debian reminds me of the world's best bicycle tires for road bikes. You can pick the best tire for racing, or the tire most able to resist puncture, or the tire with the best grip, or the tire that will last the longest, but you cannot have a tire that is top in all those categories, because the features that make the best in one category works against the other. A lightweight racing tire is not going to give the longest wear or be best at resisting puncture. The tire with the best grip does not wear for long. And yet, there is a universally-recognized overall best at balancing these qualities, performing so close to the top in all these categories that for most people most of the time, this one tire is the best tire to use. That tire is the Grand Prix series by Continental, the same company that make Continental tires for automobiles.

Debian is like the Grand Prix tires from Continental. Every Linux distro has a great distinction making it worth the effort to produce. Among Linux distros, you will find a simplest, a most advanced, a best adapted to certain values and purposes, and you will find Debian, not top in any one of these various reasons for various distros, but near enough the top the chances of finding yourself wanting for another distro when using Debian is low.

Highest Quality Bar None
Exception: there is one area where Debian is unparalleled: quality/reliability/error-free performance. In other words, if something is working incorrectly in your computer system, with all its hardware, applications and operating system components, chances of the problem being within Debian are nearer zero than any other software. This is why Debian frequently is noted for its quality. Software quality is hard to measure, but we know it when we see it. The main way we see it in Debian is that Debian does not do the wrong thing. It always works the way it is supposed to. Many high quality software development practices contribute to Debian's quality. Studying how Debian produces this result a good way to learn how to make your own software better. The most important thing to know is wherever Debian is doing something for your system, you can rely on that part of your system working correctly.

I think Debian is one of the greatest things humans have ever done, and it's gaining following and strength. The fact it does this without being the latest appeals to me a lot. I see it as a sign of being rooted in value that matters.

Radio controlled cars come out with new technology all time. Not long ago, a 10-year old car won a world championship race. It beat all the more technologically advanced cars. Or did it? Were the newer cars really more advanced? I don't know, but when it comes to racing all I care is about getting to the finish line first.

There has never been a feature I needed available in some other distro that was not in Debian.

If I had to pick a word to describe Debian..

best

To the best of my knowledge, Debian is the best. Nothing is better except in narrow ways not of interest to me.

I would be thrilled to discover I am mistaken, there is something even better.
 
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