Which of the following distributions would you recommend to a newbie?

24% (703 votes)
9% (263 votes)
17% (504 votes)
27% (791 votes)
Other (please describe in a comment)
24% (716 votes)
Total votes: 2977
Carlie Fairchild - Tue, 2020-05-10 08:11.

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Mandriva One

Mandriva for it comes in LiveCD/DVD with the most integrated Control Center I can find, and remarquable hardware detection on desktop as well as laptop PCs.

Now, depending of what he needs / likes :
- Mandriva One 2007 vanilla (with his language)
- Mandriva One 2007 Metisse (comes with Metisse WM, which looks pretty cool)
- Mandriva One 2007 Gaming DVD

Of course other distros would be cool as well. Especially Puppy Linux (for small or old PC) which is very fast & easy to use.

I've also given a Gparted liveCD on a business card to a powerfull winblows user to let it start *use* Linux ;)

kozaki (not verified) - Fri, 2021-02-09 08:08.

Gentoo should provide a

Gentoo should provide a linux baptism by fire... This is perfect for a serious introduction to linux. Perhaps if they just want email and web surfing this would be a BAD idea. Then put them on ubuntu.

An - ymous (not verified) - Sat, 2020-06-03 23:28.

Distro for "newbies"

1. Kanotix
2. PCLinuxOS
3. Kubuntu

In the sequence!
...I am "newbie" myself - running Kanotix now.
I know what I am talking about... :)

tami (not verified) - Thu, 2021-04-06 01:30.

Preferred Distro

Kanotix - head and shoulders over the rest, but Puppy for fun, travel and old machines. For anyone new I would certainly suggest a live CD for a while, not a DEMO!, but save the config etc., learn how to boot from the xx.iso file and when confidence is up go for the install - it will carry the existing config over and then you wonder why you waited so long. Kanotix is great for this!

Mike (not verified) - Sun, 2020-05-21 09:33.

Distro for Newbies

I go for Puppy Linux. No need to install - runs in ram - puts a 256k file on Windoze auto to save your settings and connects easy to broadband modem connected to nic.
Very very fast and can run on nearly every machine from old to latest.
Download only about 50k depending on version.
Suggest Puppy 1-0-5 to start with.

Guest (not verified) - Fri, 2021-02-03 18:49.


To none English speaking people I would recommend Ubuntu. Though the LIVE CD is slow and installation is not really easy. But as it comes in a lot of translations I really like it. I myself started with Slax, Zipslack and later VectorLinux, all slackware versions. But this was because I needed a 'light' version for an old laptop. Since DSL has matured and I probably would recommend that (though I don't like the D-word!) for a light system. Though slackware is more easy configurable! I also used Suse on my desktop system, which is cool but in my experience it can be a little hard to get all hardware working.

datajuncti - (not verified) - Tue, 2021-01-24 09:43.

Which of the following distributions would you recommend to a ne


An - ymous (not verified) - Wed, 2020-12-28 05:30.

A distro for a newbe would

A distro for a newbe would have to be Linspire 5.0

An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2020-12-02 21:01.

Linspire Distro

I started my Linux-Journey with Linspire a year ago ( formerly a M$ Win user).
I agree that LOS 5.0 is great, for a small cost, CNR $49 a year w/support.
CNR with out support is $39 a year.
I am also using Kubuntu 5.10, which is FREE and I recommend as a First Linux Distro also. The Software List is large and FREE.

Ichido (not verified) - Fri, 2020-06-02 15:44.

MEPIS is the only real choice

Why on earth would you recommend anything but MEPIS on this list? Only MEPIS comes with java, flash, Acrobat reader...I'm sure your newbies will love having to install those & other things they expect from a command prompt.


Lance W. Haverkamp (not verified) - Wed, 2020-11-30 09:56.

Linux for Newbie

The best in my experience today in Xandros Deluxe 3.0.

Christian Aubry (not verified) - Tue, 2020-11-08 17:30.


I've been using SuSE since just before 6.0. (I think the first version I had was a 5.4 Eval.) I like it. I thinks its a great distro for new users. Everything they might want to install is on the disks. Even in the day of wide spread broadband some people don't have access and not having to rely on downloading things helps.

I'll also suggest Knoppix for those users that want to try without the commitment of a hard drive install.

jacku (not verified) - M - , 2020-10-24 21:30.

Xandros 3

I have been wanting to switch for a long time from windows and finally got around to it by using the free Xandros. Now I'm looking for a new OS because I'd like to get out there and try something more daring now that I've wet my feet.

An - ymous (not verified) - M - , 2020-10-24 19:15.

Which distribution for a newbie?

I recommend SUSE and Fedora, in that order.

An - ymous (not verified) - M - , 2020-10-24 07:56.

Vector Linux 5.0

I guess it all depends on what you consider a newbie.
A newbie to Linux, or a complete newbie to the computer world.
I chose this because of its simplicity to set up and all of its readily available features. I've been happier with its' simplicity, ease of use, and speed more than just about any other distro that I've used.
I really like Gentoo alot, but then again, I wouldn't recommend it for a newbie at all.
Most of the other distro's mentioned were nice, but all in all just didn't compare to VL 5.0 in the end. Nothing special really, just nice.

An - ymous (not verified) - Sun, 2020-10-23 15:58.

Le Havre Hotels

Le Havre Hotels

An - ymous (not verified) - Wed, 2020-09-21 13:03.


no install required, you just 'dock' it, free software only, openMosix... for a newbie, there's all you need!


Manwell (not verified) - Thu, 2020-09-15 10:29.



An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2020-09-13 11:44.

Mandriva 2005LE

I'll have to vote Mandriva 2005LE. Having attempted to install a few others, this was the easiest to install and so far I have had no issues with using it either.

Stuart (not verified) - Fri, 2020-09-02 08:56.

Xandros 3.0 Deluxe

I needed a simple, safe linux distro that wouldn't come with significant downtime as I learn linux - when the wife want to do someting on the computer, she wants to do it now!!!

I haven't tried the free OCE version of Xandros that can be downloaded but it might be worth a look if you are distro shopping. I've also looked at Ubuntu and like it but wouldn't be that comfortable if I hadn't started with Xandros already.

If you are willing to pay some for the comfort of a nice user manual, corporate support and a pretty polished distro that works out of the box try Xandros. If you don't want to pay try Ubuntu.

Dale (not verified) - M - , 2020-08-29 06:24.

Xandros 3.0 Deluxe!

Xandros 3.0 Deluxe!

An - ymous (not verified) - Sun, 2020-08-28 22:01.

Xandros. The OCE 3.0.2 works

Xandros. The OCE 3.0.2 works like a dream. The forum is active and provides solutions to problems quickly. Even the wireless setup works well and simply. I have tried other distors but this has worked for me and my kids.

An - ymous (not verified) - Sun, 2020-08-21 09:09.

Fedora core 4

1. Fedora core 4 ( so many software for him/ her to choose )
2. Ubuntu ( As i get free cd's )

and last preference to

Salckware ( hahahahahahaha )

Ramchandra (not verified) - Sat, 2020-08-13 01:31.



An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2020-08-12 21:25.



An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2020-08-12 20:08.

i recommend suse , I never us

i recommend suse , I never used linux ,always windows but since I gone to suse dont use windowz, it's very easy and use full.

An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2020-08-12 16:49.


I would reccommend Libranet for newbies because it is debian based and because everything works. There is good documentation, up & running support, & a very helpful forum. The installation is excellent, a huge assortment of apps & desktop GUI's to choose from. The system tool, adminmenu, is unique & makes configuring X a breeze. Upgrading kernels couldn't be much simpler, although LN3 comes with 2.6.11. Xorg is included. Very little to complain about.

Kurt (not verified) - Fri, 2020-08-12 03:00.



An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2020-08-12 01:54.

I have tried all the above di

I have tried all the above distro plus a few other. An eager-to-learn novice with sufficient working experience of Windows might not face many problems in using any of these distros for simple daily tasks, but a complete newbie will always find difficulty with most OSes for that matter. My own distro of choice is Kanotix and I just love it. To a newbie with some windows knowledge, I would recommend both Linspire and Xandros and leave the final choice to the user.

An - ymous (not verified) - Wed, 2020-08-10 21:28.

Which of the following distributions would you recommend to a ne


An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2020-08-09 06:19.

xandros, to a newbie this wou

xandros, to a newbie this would be the easiest to install and use

An - ymous (not verified) - Thu, 2020-08-04 17:41.

I'll second that

Speaking from experience as a recent Window$ convert, Xandros is the way to go. It was very easy to get up and running, and the support forum is very helpful.

BeaMeUp (not verified) - Tue, 2020-08-09 03:54.


Nice & clean distro .

micc1953 (not verified) - Wed, 2020-07-27 12:42.

PCLOS, Mepis, Kanotix

I like the above 3 distros for newbie friendliness, as well as power for the more established user. 'Texstar', Warren, and 'Kano' have put in alot of long hours on these projects and it shows. Thank you to all of you. And thank you to your awsome communities that have contributed so very much as well.

Of note to the newbie might be Kanotix use of Klik that allows one 'klik' installs of much of Debians repositories. Its not completely perfected but it couldn't get any easier for downloading new software.

An - ymous (not verified) - M - , 2020-07-18 15:05.

Newbie distro.

I would recommend SuSE since it installations come with a host of browser plugins and YaST which makes it a breeze to install new software, configure hardware and services.

Venkata Avasarala (not verified) - Sun, 2020-07-10 12:06.

Suse 9.3 Pro

No question Suse 9.3 Pro. Best hardware detection. YaST system tool is the best. Great docs. Great support community.

Mark (not verified) - M - , 2020-07-04 21:18.

Suse 9.3 Pro.

i'vr just installed Suse 9.3 Pro. (a magnificent piece of s/ware) , excellent and easy installation procedures ... but tell me what good is that all when u 'get locked out' of the user graphic mode.

i simply cant have X to get me in ... so after 2 good hrs of sitting here watching the installation process 'movie' .... i'm simply frustrated....

but hey? can u help me?

r - (not verified) - Sat, 2020-08-20 15:50.

graphic mode

type "startX" in the prompt, if that doesn't work try "startKDE"

An - ymous (not verified) - M - , 2020-08-29 00:18.


i'm ron --> tichaonana@excite.com

r - (not verified) - Sat, 2020-08-20 15:51.

Linspire easiest for newbie

I'm new to Linux and can say from personal experience Linspire was the easiest I found. Although I liked different things from different products, Linspire just worked and I understood what to do and the questions asked.

Mepis is 2nd of the ones you listed for newbies like me. I think you technical people would be okay with anything, but I'm not technical and there's a big difference and a lot of technical information and basic usage challenges to overcome with the others. (I didn't find this to be the case with Linspire)

Nancy (not verified) - Sat, 2020-07-02 07:40.

Linux distro for a newbie

Linspire 5.0

Peter Morris (not verified) - Sat, 2020-06-18 15:41.

Many things to consider...

I am relatively new and still learning Linux, and by now very rarely indeed need Windows for anything. I've tried many distributions. In my almost one year's experience:
- Xandros was the first I managed to install and use - and wow this made me happy! It made me decide for Linux, but I quickly moved on, wanting more resources - for free.
- Before that I had tried a few Knoppix children - looked nice but when I tried to install to HD they asked things I didn't know how to answer. Best one was Kalango 2.0 (a Brazilian distro), it did install nicely, but when I got version 3.0 and tried to update it messed all up and didn't work anymore.
- Then I installed MEPIS... It's last year's version, didn't update it to last version yet, but I LOVE IT. It was easy to install, fun to use, very flexible - easy to add new packages and to update existing ones. It's the main distro I use.
- My tactics to experiment without being afraid of losing anything is to have a separate Home partition with all my data (I use that even with Windows, recommend to everybody), AND to have another distro in another separate partition. If I mess with something, I boot the other one and find out from it how to correct my system. This is making me more adept at administering my own system - sooooo different from Windows, where you never know where and how to mend basic things.
- In this other partition I installed Ubuntu - very easy too, very beautiful, for some tasks I prefer it. I have KDE on the Mepis distro, and Gnome on Ubuntu, as this helps me to get to know the differences and the bells and whistles of each one. Choice of packages is more limited in Ubuntu (as I'm a newbie I didn't try to add repositories that might crash with packages native to the distro). When Hoary version substituted Warty I updated all of it FROM WITHIN UBUNTU according to the very clear and simple instructions on their forums and everything worked perfectly, I was amazed! No need to download another large iso file or to ask for new CDs! Just like a regular package update. So nice!
- All things considered, I think it all depends on the person being labelled "the newbie". Is she(he) curious and eager to know new things, or shy with computers and just want to write a few documents and access the web and e-mail? Is he(she) an English speaking person? (Ubuntu installs beautifully in Portuguese and many other languages) The beauty of Linux is that you have choice, many choices - and maybe there are many different kinds of newbies. I, for myself, would never want a distro that tries to mimic Windows - I always hated the logic of Microsoft programs, the confused menus, the way they try to impose things on you. My almost forgotten install of Windows XP has only alternative, free and open source programs carefully chosen in it. And then I discovered I could choose LINUX!

Toumae (not verified) - Wed, 2020-06-15 22:42.


BlackCat 6.2 live forever! I know it!

Derek (not verified) - M - , 2020-07-25 18:44.

Newbie recommendation

Let me first say that I am one of these “newbies

Gary (not verified) - Wed, 2020-06-15 20:33.

Like you, XP is my primary

Like you, XP is my primary os, though I'm beginning to switch over to Linux. I would still need to use windows, as there a lot of apps that I need. However, over the past 3 months, I've tried the following live cds:
1) knoppix 4.0.2. very good though slow and bloated. It can automatically create a swap file if the puter has under 128meg of ram.
2) BeatriX.
3) DSL
4) Feather Linux
5) Slax (a great mini distro)
6) Puppy (another great mini distro)
7) Myah (a good distro)
8) Ubuntu (pretty good)
I haven't tried Mepis as yet. I will though, as a lot of linux users recomment Mepis.

sandgroper (not verified) - Thu, 2021-03-16 08:52.

Linspire 5.0

No hay dudas que es Linspire 5.0

An - ymous (not verified) - Wed, 2020-06-15 10:59.

Newbie Linux?

Linspire Five-0 is the most easy to use Linux operating system out there. How come it's not one of the options? If you’re a newbie, it's a no-brainer that you should be using Linspire.

Will (not verified) - Wed, 2020-06-15 10:55.

Linspire 5.0

Where's Linspire?????

Picard (not verified) - Wed, 2020-06-15 10:42.

Another vote for Linspire Five-0

Linspire is well known to be focused on ease of use (file format compatibility, plug-and-play hardware, how-to tutorials, consistent UI, super-easy to install software and updates with the CNR Service, etc.). All good "check-off" items for desktop Linux newbies.


Kevin La Rue (not verified) - Wed, 2020-06-15 10:29.

Why isn't Linspire on this li

Why isn't Linspire on this list? Is this a geek linux desktop choice only?

An - ymous (not verified) - Wed, 2020-06-15 10:14.