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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Re: Newbie recommend Distros...

I would definitly recommend either Mandriva or Suse to a newbie as both
distros are easy to learn and are well documented .

Rob V (not verified) - M - , 2020-05-23 09:16.

linux for newbie

i use both SuSe and Mandriva as a newbie.
And i have to say they both suck as linux distros.
i used SuSe v7 and mandriva 10.1.
trying to accomplish simple tasks like connecting to the internet were a PAIN!!!!!!, i can't emphasize that enough.
I never got SUSe online at all and Mandriva would randomlly drop my DSL connection.
Then i got Kubuntu, and what can i say, it's like having my old macintosh back with cost effective hardware. i love Kubuntu!!!
in my humble opinion, it is the best OS for a newbie.
but what do i know ive only used linux for four years, i still think im a newbie.

An - ymous (not verified) - M - , 2020-05-23 09:43.


Distributions like Ubuntu, and others based on Debian still doesn't have graphical
interface for many things that are basics like internet connection.... or for editing
fstab like it does SuSe with Yast. One of the greatest fears from the people coming
from Windows is the Console or Terminal.... also a console is not too intuitive for a

My perosnal option is for Fedora, Mandrake and specially SuSe, for the great YasT

PD: Sorry for my poor english!!!

Rodrigo Salazar Evans (not verified) - Sun, 2020-05-22 18:39.


Hey Rod,
All these distribution have their own "Yast" only call it diffent.
For example Synaptic (with knoppix) or rpmdrake (mandravia) Yast-
advertisement is only a dirty trick from SuSE!Uli from Nuernberg (where SuSEs residence is)

kaotixx (not verified) - M - , 2020-05-23 11:33.

Re : Easy to use

LINSPIRE although highly commercial can be downloaded for free and tried. Keep an eye on your credit card though! I have found no easier distro to use but as I learnt more it became more advantageous to use others like Mandrake or SUse.

TheLinuxMan (not verified) - Sun, 2020-05-22 14:17.

Linux for the new convert

I would not recommend ubuntu, mepis, kubuntu, or Knoppix. Mainly due to the fact that those are usually Live CDs, but also due to the fact that there are often compatability issues. Most packages are designed for the more well-established distributions, and therefore are not going to work seamlessly with ubuntu (and the like) unless one wants to do some tinkering. Yet, I also know that the better distributions that exist (Slackware, Gentoo, Trustix, etc...) are not going to be well for n00b due to their extensive command line need, and lack standard GUI. Thus I will recommend the following:

Linspire - very WindowsXP-like
SuSE - KDE based, very complete in the desktop
Mandriva - KDE based, reknowned for its ease of use

For a n00b, I will also recommend finding a box that is not too old but that is not your primary and installing Linux only on it. The reason: you need to immerse yourself and learn the system. Doing a dual boot you will likely just use windows and never learn Linux. Linux is not going to be as easy as windows, but that is the joy of it. You make Linux your own. You make it work for you. You tell it to do as you see fit. You are in control, but with that control comes the cost of ease.

Dr. Bradvorkian (not verified) - Sun, 2020-05-22 06:38.

Linspire is a rip off

Linspire does seem easy to use, but if you want to install anything, you'll have to pay something like $70 a year to download any Linspire compatible software. You can't use Wine to emulate Windows because Linspire does not support the .tar extention. If you are a noob to Linux, get Xandros 3.0 Deluxe edition. It has Codeweavers CrossOver which is a Wine based Windows emulator, and I must say that it works amazingly well. Mac OS X can't hold a candle to the ease of use to Xandros Deluxe. The only little drawback is that installing drivers for Linksys wireless PCMCIA NICs is tricky (I'm still figuring it out myself).

An - ymous (not verified) - Wed, 2021-03-29 00:07.

SuSE for the newbie masses

I've been a Mandrake (mandriva now?) user ever since my first install. I never tried anything else just becasue I heard that Mandrake was the top-notch desktop Linux distro. Recently, I decided to check out SuSE 9.2 for two reasons. First, my Mandrake 10.0 install was causing some bizzare hiccups that was probably due to a hardware incompatability and second, I wanted to experience a more "mature" or "serious" distro.

To my surprise, SuSE 9.2 is just as easy to use, if not easier, than Mandrake. I love YaST (Yet another System Tool, for those non SuSE'ers). It's beautiful for installing software, and I always thought that was the biggest gap that needed to be bridged if Linux is to compete on the desktop market with Windows.

Conclusion: Mandriva 10.1 or SuSE 9.3

Austin K. (not verified) - Sat, 2020-05-21 22:47.


For Newbie Linspire for sure, followed by Xandros

André (not verified) - Sat, 2020-05-21 20:01.

Mandrake errr Mandriva

Easy to install, the URPM package management is the easiest install tool I've ever found, and unlike Linspire or the other "newbie" distros, it doesn't lock you out of the real linux experience.

An - ymous (not verified) - Sat, 2020-05-21 16:28.

Easiest Linux for a Newbie

Linspire 5.0 becasue it is very stable and has a more windowsish feel they will be accustomed to. It also is the least trouble to load in the way of a Linux distro and can be bought pre-installed from many vendors including walmart.

An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2020-05-20 12:31.

Mandriva 10.2

Another vote for Mandriva... I just recently switched to Linux for good for desktop purposes, and I am very happy with it. Not a total newbie, as I have played with various linux distributions in the past, but most things are pretty easy to configure and install through the Mandrake apps. Installation was a snap. I think it should help you setup the "software media" from the get go for URPMI, because once I found out how to use that, I was extremely happy (although I did have a problem with it breaking perl w/ 10.1 Community)

So far so good.. love it.


r3drum (not verified) - Fri, 2020-05-20 07:31.

Mandriva - of course

Mandriva is the best newbie choice. Easy to install, so rich with apps and programms, wonderful KDE and Mac-like graphical interface - and so secure.
Linspire is not secure, like Win...(admin privileges, I mean).
Openminded, linux counter member #375493

mira (not verified) - Thu, 2020-05-19 19:30.

Mandriva (former Mandrake)

It's the best distribution.
I'm surprised that Mandriva wasn't included in the first place!

An - ymous (not verified) - Thu, 2020-05-19 11:10.

For newbies

Mandriva. Ubuntu isn't so easy as it looks.

Tomi (not verified) - Thu, 2020-05-19 06:15.

Mandriva Linux

I highly recommend Mandriva Linux. My sister is using it for quite some time now and she has no problems with it. I have started with Red Hat when I was still a Linux newbie but have switched to Mandriva (Mandrake back then) because it had newer apps and better support for KDE. Another reason for Mandriva here in Slovenia is that it is now completely translated into our language and we also have a special Slovenian website and forums dedicated to Mandriva. I have recently also installed Mandriva on my cousins computer. This was their first computer and they also had no problem in starting using it.

Jure Repinc (not verified) - Thu, 2020-05-19 03:41.

I'd definitely recommend PCLi

I'd definitely recommend PCLinux (PCLOS). Been using it for several months has a great live cd and when your ready there's a extremely easy to use HD installation procedure, Updates/installs/uninstalls are provided using a program called "Synaptics" and the forums support is AAA+++.

Tempus (not verified) - Tue, 2020-05-17 11:55.


PCLinuxOS I think is perfect. It has a live CD function so people can try it out before installing. It is better-looking than MEPIS and Knoppix. It allows root login unlike (K)Ubuntu which is less confusing. Though it uses RPM, it has APT and Synaptic for managing packages so no broken dependencies. While the software resources for it don't go as deep as Debian, it has what a most users will need. Its Master Control Center also offers an easy graphical way to configure the system that surpasses what the others offer, and the community is one of the most considerate and helpful around.

I also might say in regards to Ubuntu that I think KDE is probably easier on most newbies than Gnome is. I've read all of the arguments for Gnome and they have many great points, but it has been my experience that Windows users are less confused in KDE than Gnome right off the bat.

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2020-05-17 10:44.

PCLinux OS

This OS is a fork of Mandrake offered by Texstar. It initially operates as a LiveCD but can be installed to your harddrive as well. Texstar has really polished this distro that still is only in Beta. Give it a try and you'll probably keep it and pass the cd along to a few friends. All the best of Mandrake made better! And they have a great user forum!

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2020-05-17 08:13.

As a newcomer to Linux of abo

As a newcomer to Linux of about 4 months I have had a positive experience with Mandrake. I am trying to migrate from 98 and XP. I installed Fedora 2 no problems but got lost for ages with the installation of peripherals such as USB floppy drive and USB flash drive. I also had some trouble getting online. I got all these issues resolved after about 1 month but felt that I had hit the wall as far as using Linux as a home desktop. I read a bit and decided to try Ubuntu on the same computer but I couldn install it - it kept on stalling trying to install fsdos utils? I gave up and tried Mandrake 10.1. After 3 days I am on line, have the USB devices installed and have been finding my way around the KDE desktop. I like Konqueror and Kmail.

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2020-05-17 05:55.


I would recomend Mandriva. If they were really keen I would advise a silver membership at mandriva.
Unfortuantly all the fedora core projects I have seen sofar are all a bit buggy, and not quite smooth. This is fine as they are a development, and not production platform, but not what a newbie needs with unexplained bits not quite working.

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2020-05-17 01:38.


I have used SUSE, Mandrake, Red Hat, Kanotix, Knoppix, Turbo linux 10f, Sun java desktop, Novell 9.0, linspire 4.5 and now linspire 5.0.
Yast in Suse is very good but for ease of use and best overall support a newbie cant beat Linspire 5.0. I feel the linspire cnr software warehouse teaches you a lot about the various linux packages and 99% of them are tested and work and are easy to install and uninstall.
I have never been able to get a single question answered by Sun, Suse, turbo linux but for that small yearly cnr fee Linspire answers all questions and will help you if you cant get hardware to work right.
I myself switched to linux because windows has too many problems with no support only to find most linux distros have no support. I now use Linspire 5.0 as my only desktop.
I think a newbie will appreciate the enormous support linspire 5.0 can provide. I think using Linspire 5.0 will give the newbie experience and confidence to try out some of the other no support Linux distros.

An - ymous (not verified) - M - , 2020-05-16 22:34.


Newbes need a good installer and hardware detection. I recommend SUSE.

Sam Shazaam (not verified) - M - , 2020-05-16 10:04.

It all depends

I assume that the newbie won't be the one that is doing the install.. or else *buntu would never be considered.

Anyway.. I'd recommend Mandriva, Fedora Core and SuSE, in that order.

Greg (not verified) - Sat, 2020-05-14 18:25.

Newbie Distro

Libranet would be my ,
choice with easy ,
instalation, and strong
user community, and
plenty of room to grow

m - fieth (not verified) - Sat, 2020-05-14 17:20.


I started with UBUNTU and found it to be VERY easy compared to the Fedora Core series and the standard Debian release. The synaptic package manager works GREAT. I used the synaptic manager to upgrade to the KUBUNTU version with no problems at all. If yo use the UBUNTU un-official starter guide, you can easily learn many more things to do with your KUBUNTU/UBUNTU system. Setup was a breeze and I did not have to interact hardly at all with the standard install (recommended). I think even my wife would like to use KUBUNTU, and she hates change when it comes to the computing environment!

Chris W (not verified) - Sat, 2020-05-14 12:41.

SuSE 9.x live and FALL IN LOVE

My first linux was SuSE 9.2 live evaluation DVD. I fell in love with linux straight away. Then I tried knoppix, debian... but still use SuSE at home. And still love it.

chals (not verified) - Fri, 2020-05-13 09:22.


Mandrivalinux es una excelente opcion para los usuarios nuevos :)

An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2020-05-13 06:56.

Fedora Core 3

Fedora Core 3

An - ymous (not verified) - Thu, 2020-05-12 23:43.

I'd suggest Mandriva (though

I'd suggest Mandriva (though I like the old name more) and Fedora Core (VERY easy
to install the plugins for Ffox - and YUM lives up to it's name).

Though I LOVE my FC box, I have to admit that Linux still needs more 'click-n-go' to
bring in the broader public. Though I've found that installing Linux and apps MUCH easier than I anticipated, my experience to-date is that most people don't install Winders themselves, others do it for them. It's all the rest of the apps that they
need that people play with.

Nice and easy pre-installed GUIs for new apps is the way to go, and will encourage
more users.

Patrick (not verified) - Thu, 2020-05-12 22:32.


I suggest Mepis usually. Like Knoppix, it starts as a LiveCD distro, but is much easier for them to figure out when they want to install. Plus, once it is installed, it is a Debian 'flavor' so they can just apt-get what they think they want.

Scrimm (not verified) - Thu, 2020-05-12 11:20.

for the newbies

I use slack. is not so dificult. is good to learn Linux.
For newbies, Mandriva (Mandrake) is a good choice. Debian is good choice too. For first impressions, in a live CD, Slax and Knopix are very useful.

but I continue prefering slack... 8)

One thing important is that today we have dozens of good options. choose yours! thanks!

Cesar Marinho (not verified) - Wed, 2020-05-11 20:06.


I use Slackware, too. It works very well, and it is really not as difficult as many folks say. Give it a try.

An - ymous (not verified) - M - , 2020-07-04 14:59.

Best distro for a newbie

SuSE. It's what I learned on and it has been a quite painless experience.

An - ymous (not verified) - Wed, 2020-05-11 17:19.

Debian or Knoppix

I would install Debian for them first, if they wanted what ever they are using now erased. If not, then Knoppix.

Bob Roberts - (not verified) - Wed, 2020-05-11 13:27.

i would like to recommend to

i would like to recommend to the new ones on linux , mandrake , mandrake was my first linux experience and it was really easy for me to learn on it.

now im using suse cause i think its more stable but i miss mandrake :(

RafaelSorto (not verified) - Wed, 2020-05-11 13:18.



Rafael, If you think Suse is more stable.. give the new Mandriva LE 2005 a new shot it's very stable.

and hey with the Move Live CD you can check it out and still keep your beloved Suse..


Silly, I use it because it's LINUX That's why :)

OldToker (not verified) - Wed, 2020-06-01 02:29.

recommendation to a new user

I'd recommend the Xandros flavour of Linux.

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2020-05-10 23:29.

Kubuntu for a newbie

I first started with XandrOS, everything was very easy to do
then I move to linspire. But soon I move back to XandOs... i didn't like that thing you have to pay for the same thing you can find for free in Xandros OC. So i move back. After a month I move to Kubuntu... why?? Just cause i thought I was smart enough to use it. But first 2 days was a pain in my _ _ s. I didn't have all thelib installed or the c++ things to install software that the packeges manager can handle. But one time i solved that everythig goes right. I learned more in 3 days with Kubuntu than with Xandros in a month.

Victor (not verified) - Tue, 2020-05-10 20:00.

I agree.

Kubuntu is nice, and very pretty. I haven't used it as a base install, but I've got the kubuntu packages installed. Looks great for macdinkers who want something bling (http://kde-look.org) and this magazine seems to primarily support it. I'd recommend regular ubuntu (gnome) to windows users who like their interface to be humble, and have all the buttons they need in the right places. Either way, with something built on Debian installing new software is a breeze. You'll enjoy this.

Nick (not verified) - Fri, 2020-05-27 01:46.

Newbie Linux Recommendation

Go with Linspire 5.0, when you're feeling smarter and a little cocky, try Mepis.

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2020-05-10 16:23.

fedora core or arc linux

ok thats it

george (not verified) - Tue, 2020-05-10 12:19.

Fedora Core 4

Linus Torvalds favorite is SuSE. So I tried SuSE 9.1 and it was O.K., but it just doesn't feel right. Fedora feels more comfortable, and it gets better every 6 months. Highly developed, easy to update, clearly stated GUI.

I would probably recommend newbies cutting teeth on Fedora Core 4, before breaking their nuts on SuSE or Knoppix.

Mandriva (formerly Mandrake) is a "mid-carder" for life, maybe start with them also. They closely resemble Fedora Core.

BlackNinjaVirus (not verified) - Tue, 2020-05-10 22:15.

Maybe I'll give Mandriva 2005 a try.

People are telling me that I should give Mandriva 2005 a try. It seems to me my Linksys WPC54G card will be supported on this platform.

I guess Mandrake/Connectiva was always good on hardware detection and compatibility.

So if you have to split your "twig and berries" (or if you're a girl "mushroom cakes") on something other than a fence or handrail - give Mandriva a try.

Tell your friends...

Later my Ninjas.

BlackNinjaVirus (not verified) - Wed, 2020-05-25 23:45.

Many easy distros

I don't know how many of you noticed, but the opinions on which distribution (commonly called distro) is best for beginners, but the simple fact is that these days, many of the distros are sufficiently easy for a large number of would be installers. To be honest, only those systems that are incapable of setting up disk partitions themselves (if they need them) are too daunting for the beginner. Live CDs circumvent that problem, so for me, I think the easiest way to get a newbie in is to boot up their usual system, download a Live CD distribution, burn a CD in ISO 9660 format (which a number of easy to use CD burning software packages can do), then plop the CD into the bootable CD drive and reboot the system.

Opinions vary about this, and opinions vary about which Live CD to use. I do find a number of them very easy to use, but I happen to like SimplyMEPIS as a nice Live CD, simply because you can use the system from Live CD at the same time you are installing it to your hard drive (if you so desire). The selection of applications it chooses is good. Only reason not to use it would be if you have hardware problems with it.

Mind you, I'm not stuck on this distro or any other distro. My personal favorite distro is Libranet, which I frequently test, review, and recommend to others. I don't really consider it a beginner distro, but a reasonably intelligent person ought to have no difficulty installing it. People who are afraid of technical jargon might be fearful of it, though. It looks and feels the most like a stock Debian distribution (which it is, under the covers) of any system out there. That's actually good. It is stable, flexible, reasonably easy to install, but VERY easy to maintain. It's my every day system.

However, that's just me, To each their own. The GREAT NEWS is that you have THE CHOICE! I think at least twenty different distributions rank up there as VERY EASY to install, and only a few distributions I've recently used would be in the "avoid them" category.

I recently tried an Alpha release of a new and upcoming distribution called SymphonyOS. As it stands, it is VERY early in the development cycle, however, it is well worth tracking. For the inquisitive, I highly recommend it. SymphonyOS uses Debian packages, the fvwm window manager and the Rox file manager. At first glance, that wouldn't seem very user friendly at all, but take a look. It's highly customized and is attempting to invent a new desktop metaphor. Not sure what the end result will be, but the early releases look extremely good, so I repeat, it's well worth tracking.

Brian Masinick (not verified) - Wed, 2020-05-25 15:51.

Suse Linux 9.3 is very well

Suse Linux 9.3 is very well

An - ymous (not verified) - Thu, 2020-06-02 01:08.

Linux for newbies

Hmmm....I know people who have used Windows for over a decade and still know very little about it. Basically, they want to do some internet surfing, emails, view pictures/movies, chat and possibly some "real" computer work like word processing or perhaps a spreadsheet - scary stuff. When they have finished they just turn it off and forget about it. Basically it's like a microwave or a fidge, it just should do its job and that's about it.

Updating, security updates, firewalls, yada yada - what's this stuff..too hard.

Most people want a gui to point and click and that's about it - it's a tool for doing work and having fun.

Linux is getting extremely user friendly - most distro's are extremely similar but may handle package management/dependancies differently. A matter most non techies would'nt care about. One word here - automatic updates.

Most Linux distro are good to "learn" on nowdays, as long as there is no or not too many config files to manually edit. However, this sort of method has become or is becoming antiquated.

Linux distros are probably chosen for their level of gekey-ness. The harder the distro the more geeky. It's a matter of how much time you have to spare or waste, depending on how you view this.

At the end of the day, they all pretty much have the same software. Openoffice, a file manager, a gui - mostly KDE or GNOME. Once you set them up, they all basically do the same thing.

Pick a distro and stay with it long enough so that you get use to it. Switching and jumping distros in an attempt to find the perfect one is nuts. THERE IS NO PERFECT DISTRO. They all have the Linux Kernel and once again - similar software.

Attempting to stay with the latest and greatest software can see you fiddle with your system constantly. Upgrading every six months is not uncommon. I've well and truely got over this obsession and now tend to stick with a so called "outdated" and extremely rock solid desktop setup Debian/Sarge.

Do yourself a favour download the "outdated" MEPIS 3.3.1 and point apt-get sources to Sarge - gaurantee it wont miss a beat, gaurantee you'll have heaps of free time to see the outside world and get some sun ;). In fact, it will make Windows XP look exciting with all its security problems and so forth. You'll have this system that will just work for years and years.

Now, if you're into SERIOUS gaming-and I mean VERY SERIOUS. Linux may not quite be there for you...yet.

Take care

An - ymous (not verified) - M - , 2021-02-20 22:58.

Yoper of course: 1. Simple

Yoper of course:
1. Simple to set up
2. No grub loader, no hassle to boot together with NT platforms using lilo
3. Easy to configure
4. Runs fast, installs fast, you can screw up 5 times and still be finished faster than if you tried to install Fedora

An - ymous (not verified) - Sun, 2020-10-01 20:55.