How to choose the right desktop Linux distribution

Computer monitor with Linux codec.

Fatos Bytyqi / StackCommerce

Linux is a powerful, flexible, secure and reliable platform that can serve any purpose you need. From server to desktop, The Internet of things For containers, embedded systems, and more… Linux can be anything you want it to be.

You may not even realize how prevalent the open source operating system is. It is literally everywhere.

but one area Linux desktop Didn’t make much progress in the desktop. This is not because it is not a viable option, as it is largely the case. I’ve been using Linux as my primary desktop operating system for decades and have never had a problem. It works beautifully and gives me stability and flexibility that no other operating system provides.

However, why did Linux have such a problem getting more than one number market share on the desktop?

also: Even Linus Torvalds sometimes has computer problems

One of the reasons for this is choice. For users who are already familiar with Linux, the choice is a big selling point because it means that there are many options to choose from (in almost every interface).

There are thousands of distros to choose from, all offering different desktop environments, package managers, and different levels of eye candy. However, for those who are not already familiar with Linux, the many options can be problematic.

Where do you start? With so many options, it can be nearly impossible to know where to start your search. For this reason, I wanted to give my best advice on choosing a Linux distro, so you don’t have to wade through an ocean of options to decide which one is best for you.

So, without further ado, let’s deal with it.

But before we do that, I want you to understand where I’m coming from on this. I won’t delve into the intricacies of Linux.

Those taking their first steps with a new operating system don’t need to know configuration systems (like systemd), security layers (like SELinux), display managers (like LightDM), audio servers (like PipeWire), or a bootloader (like GUB).

New users simply need to know how to choose which will help them get used to the new operating system easily. They want to be able to be productive without having to dive too deeply into anything.

also: How to Install Ubuntu Linux (It’s Easy!)

All about the desktop

I’m going to soften the words here. The single most important choice you will make on your journey with Linux is the desktop environment you choose. Although there are not as many desktop environments as distros, there are still quite a few, such as GNOME, KDE Plasma, Pantheon, Budgie, Xfce, Cinnamon, Mate, Enlightenment, Deepin Desktop, LXDE, i3, LXQt, Sugar , and much more. But not all of these desktop environments are the right choice for a new user.

For those who have never used Linux, there are only a few desktop environments to consider, namely:

  • gnome
  • KDE Plasma
  • cinnamon
  • Companion
  • Xfce

From the list above, I don’t recommend Xfce, simply because it can be a bit confusing for the average user. Although Xfce is a very easy-to-use desktop environment, there are a lot of configuration options available, which can quickly become intimidating. And while I use a GNOME-based desktop as my go-to (which comes via Pop!_OS), I don’t recommend a GNOME desktop to those who have never used Linux just because it’s an important departure from what they’re used to.

This leaves KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, and Yerba mate. Of these three, the KDE Plasma is one of the most elegant desktop yet offers quite a few bells and whistles that can get in your way.

We now turn to Cinnamon and Mate, which I recommend using Cinnamon for two reasons: It is the default desktop for linux mint (hint, hint) This desktop development is always very active.

also: These two Linux desktops are the simplest options for new users

Abundant package managers

For the most part, package managers tend to be somewhat similar. For example, to install a program on Ubuntu from the command line, the command might look like this:

sudo apt-get install Firefox -y.msi

On Fedora, this command would look like this:

sudo dnf Install Firefox -y

However, on an Arch based distribution, this command would be:

sudo pacman -S Firefox

You may be asking yourself, “Why are you talking about the command line in a post directed to new users?” good point. The thing is, most Linux distros come with a GUI interface for their package managers. For example, GNOME-based desktops have GNOME and KDE Plasma Discover. Arch Linux-based distributions You have a pamak. For this reason, most new users should not have any problem installing apps. Instead of running commands, they simply have to open the App Store, search and install.

It really is that simple. However, out of all the available package managers, I would insistently tell new users to stick with a distribution that uses either apt or dnf , which means either Ubuntu-based or Distributions based on Fedora.

At this point we’re looking at Ubuntu or Fedora-type distributions that use the Cinnamon desktop. Our selection has been narrowed down to two different distributions:

For any user new to Linux, I would not hesitate to recommend any of these distros.

However, I also ask you to consider the following:

  • Do you prefer a more modern and simple desktop that just works out of the box? If yes, go with ubuntu desktop.
  • If you want a more elegant desktop operating system that still works similar to the one you’re used to and has the same usability and reliability as Ubuntu, go to Kubuntu.
  • If you want a desktop distro that focuses more on stability but doesn’t release updates as often as other distros, consider this Debian (which defaults to the GNOME desktop and uses the appropriate package manager).
  • If you are looking for a more efficient workflow for a desktop operating system, but something that still maintains a high level of usability, then go with Pop! _OS (which is currently based on the GNOME desktop and uses the appropriate option. Collection Manager).

The fact of the matter is, Linux has options that can meet (and exceed) any need. Whether you want to stick with something familiar, try something completely different, or find a happy compromise, you can’t go wrong with the open source operating system.

Leave a Comment