A Short into to the Best Linux Distros
Linux has always come third whenever a discussion on PC or laptop operating systems arises. It normally placed behind both Windows and Mac, and why is that? A big majority of consumers will tell you that Linux is an OS better suited for programmers and coders. This arises from the perception that Linux is a complex operating system that standard consumers cannot comprehend. That might have been true in the past, but it is not anymore. Developers have been working to improve Linux and make it more appealing to regular consumers. This is why Linux is now developed and made available in different forms or rather “Distros.”
There are dozens of Distros out there with each one of them engineered towards achieving a particular goal. For instance, while some distros are developed with gamers in mind, others are simply made to make the life of a random Linux beginner much easier. Some are developed for the users whose windows experience is frustrated by the resource-intensive software. You can also get some Linux Distro that is even more specific, aiming at improving the performance of e.g., scientific functions.
What’s the best Linux Distro?
Based on the discussion above, it’s fair to say that the best Linux distro will vary depending on your specific needs. Even then, it might still be very difficult to identify the right distro for you, given the huge number of options available. We have tried to make your life easy by preparing this brief review of the best distros based on various factors that the general consumer can relate to. This should save you from having to go through the headache of filtering through the dozens of Linux Distros available out there.
Linux Mint is one of the leading Linus distros competing with Linux Ubuntu. There are many key reasons behind its increasing popularity, but perhaps the main one has to be the fact that it offers so much. First, installing it is pretty easy and can be done through either a blank DVD or USB. Once installed, the OS will give you a variety of software from the, and these include LibreOffice and full multimedia support. This is very crucial, especially to the people who are just switching from Mac or Windows and haven’t invested on any Linux software yet.
Linux Mint is also a favorite to millions of people due to how easy it is to use. The interface is designed to look fresh and modern, but it still retains the classic feel of friendly UI like the classic Windows Vista or Windows 7. This makes navigating around is highly intuitive. At the bottom of the interface are a panel, a menu option and a variety of quick launch icons giving you shortcuts to various functions. The system tray is also conveniently placed for a seamless experience.
From the recent Mint 19, you can get the OS version in different flavors. These come with different desktop designs. These include Cinnamon, Xfce, LMDE, KDE, and MATE. You can try the flavors and settle of any one of them that aligns with your preferences. You can also try and customize the interface and adjust the appearances of the menus and windows. Through a Timeshift, you can also restore your computer to the last proper functional snapshot should you notice that the operating system is misbehaving.
Since Linux Mint is a free open source OS, you can easily get it to your OS, and you can also recommend some of the upgrades that you think will improve the user experience.
Finally, we like the Linux Mint distro due to how safe, stable, and reliable it is. The developers are very conservative with software updates, and hence, it is rare to end up with bugs or other issues that may affect the performance of your laptop or PC. It’s also not very resource intensive, and hence it should work pretty well with most laptops.
- Based on Ubuntu and Debian
- Its free and open source
- Unique update manager
- Requires little maintenance
- Low level of expertise is required to use it
Ubuntu was first released more than a decade ago, and it’s still one of the most popular Linux Distributions. Some reports suggest that it is the most widely used Linux distro, and it is easy to understand why.
Ubuntu comes with several flavors, each of which is designed to offer something unique as far as features, programs, and general desktop environment go. Some of these flavors include the Kubuntu which offers a KDE experience featuring attractive desktop for both office and home use; Lubuntu offering an LXQt experience which is light and super-fast, Ubuntu Kylin that is fine-tuned for the Chinese market; Ubuntu MATE which carries on the legacy of the simple GNOME 2 desktop experience that was discontinued back in 2010; Ubuntu Budgie offering an elegant and customizable desktop and the Ubuntu Studio which is perfectly designed for everyone who’s looking for the full multimedia experience as it supports vast audio, video and graphics functions. From all these options, you surely can’t miss one that is perfect for you. Also, the fact that you can customize most of these flavors means that you can personalize them further to match your needs.
Ubuntu users will also enjoy new versions every six months. The developers also release long term support (LTS) Ubuntu version every year. With these versions, you are guaranteed of constant maintenance updates and water-tight security for five years. For the guys who can’t get this version, the Standard alternative will only give you one year of maintenance updates and security.
- Easy to install and use
- Security and Updates are easy to get with the LTS versions
- It’s not resource-intensive
- Based on Debian
Finally, we have Elementary OS. As the name suggests, this Linux Distro is designed to keep things simple. To that end, the interface is designed to be user-friendly, but all this has been achieved without compromising on performance and beauty. Some people may even argue that it is the most beautiful Linux distro out there. It’s also easy to draw a few similarities between its interface and the macOS.
Other than the fact that the OS is very good-looking and easy to use, you may also love it for how fast it is. If you are tired of the decades it takes for your Windows PC to open applications, then you will really enjoy using Elementary OS. The operating system fires up at lightning speeds, and all applications open just as fast.
Elementary OS also boasts of being one of the most secured operating systems in the market right now. The distro is developed on GNU/Linux, which is indeed a very secure foundation. Their website even goes as far as claiming that the operating system is powered by the software that is also used by the U.S Department of Defense.
Elementary OS users will also enjoy a couple of other features including multitasking view which will keep you organized, Do Not Disturb feature that keeps your desktop free from notifications thus allowing you to focus on the task at hand and a Picture-in-Picture feature that will keep your tabs aside while you work on the other.
Although Elementary OS doesn’t come with as many applications as some of the other Linux distros, it does provide most of the basic applications that you will need to get started. These include Photos, Mail, Epiphany, Camera, Calendar, Video, Music, Calendar, Files, and Code.
- Open source
- The Terminal facilitates customization
- Arrange your interface into a Gird or as categories
- Search view
- Parental controls
- Based on Ubuntu