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Comment Re:More complete answer... (Score 1) 510

Okay, this is a serious questions and all us who know the power and importance of Linux should be give more complete answers. I see a few hear but none that feels complete so I'll give it a go:

For pure ease overall I would second the anonymous posting for Linux Mint. It is overall the easiest to use for a newbies. The reason being that it has the best software package wizard/interface of the any distro I've seen to date. Runs virtually the entire Ubuntu spectrum, doesn't have odd experiments that we sometimes see in Ubuntu. I tend to prefer Mate (it's a bit older and uses fewer resources) but people wanting a more "slick" look will prefer Cinnamon. This is what you want if you are a pure desktop user. Especially for gaming. Plus Ubuntu has been caught doing desktop search data "deals" with Amazon (you can turn it off but it's not easy to find) so if privacy is a big concern, Linux Mint has to the best of my knowledge never given/sold data to Amazon. (see this link: One thing I should point out, the Linux Mint team was until recently a bit laid back on security leading to their website being hacked. They are more diligent now but just something to bear in mind. But Linux mint is in my opinion the best distro for Windows Die hard users to look at to make the switch. (you have TONS of games from and for you gamers..) I'm not suggesting Ubuntu simply because Mint is more usable and when Ubuntu starting quietly selling user data to Amazon (they may not be doing it now, but once bitten), I felt they betrayed the community as they did not announce it openly but started doing it quietly and made the "off switch" as tricky to find as MS does with changing the default extension save option in MS Word/Excel.

That said, if you want similar ease but want to be able to do moderately easy admin style tweaking with a wide community help base, you use Mint Debian which uses a pure Debian file directory/location layout (Ubuntu and Linux Mint are Debian BASED but have a few tweaks/customizations that don't entirely match pure Debian specs but are compatible with the vast majority of Debian Linux packages/software).

once your are comfortable you can tweak the User interface to look like whatever you want. But...if you want a more Mac look/feel out of the box I'd suggest ElementaryOS.

ElementaryOs has the slickest look out of the box and while it says "for Windows users" I feel it's even easier for MacOS users making a switch. However, it is less mature which is probably why the packages are fewer and to expand that you need some knowledge a beginner would probably not have and the community base is significantly smaller (newer so this is to be expected.)

If you want a more server set of functions and flexibility, I'd suggest using Debian ( and set the login mode to Gnome Classic. It will disorient MS windows users at first but the transition is still easy and I've had office use it with no real complaints (just that it looks different but staff figured it out quite fast). The advantage that Debian has is it's a true server level OS (even with GUI) and the being the base of more "user friendly" distro has a HUGE community base that can get you through almost anything. I may be digressing a little but it's important to distinguish what you are using Linux for. others will say CentOS but for Windows users I'd say the Debian package system is more like what MS windows users are accustomed to as opposed to the RedHat package system which will feel more alien to MS windows users. Lots of business big wigs will say go RedHat based (CentOS, paid RedHat or Oracle Linux) and for some business solutions with specific business needs it is in some cases the only way to go. If you ever decide to uas a RedHat Packaged based distro, I'd suggest ScientificLinux used by the academic community. https://www.scientificlinux.or... My experience suggest there updates are a tad more stable than CentOS in a free Redhat based distro. I find Debian is in general more stable on updates than CentOS but they may take longer to get.

Distros like Gento, Slackware are purely for people comfortable with Linux SERVER (would not recommend as a desktop OS) and understand the concept of compiling software and/or packages from scratch. They can be configured for blazing fast performance but no beginner will be comfortable working with either of these.

For those suggesting OpenSUSE, the user interface for this is moderately good but...they User interface is so tied to configuration settings/files that if you are tweaking (upon advancing ability/comfort level) any settings, your community guides will fail because the UI configuration files override the existing config files in the proper place. Drove my Net admin nuts so we had to get out of our testing lab. OpenSuse in my opinion is only good if you never plan to customize the OS ever. OpenSuse in many respect breaks a number of standards for the sake of the UI which I think is not a great idea.

As you get more comfortable you may want to explore BSD distros, especially if you are a Mac lover.

Hope that helps on a potentially tricky topic.

thank you ! this is the answer i was looking for and most likely many others who are getting tired of bring the product rather than the user.
I downloaded mint mate last night and partitioned my spare hd to install it on tonight. I've tried ubuntu but found it lacking .. something.. hoping mint will be the one to get me out of windows before 7 is completely ruined.

Submission + - Fed-up with windows and mac shananigans

joseph Kramer writes: i've been lurking here for years and seen many recommendations for a linux flavor that works. what i'm really looking for is linux that works without constant under-the-hood tweaking(ala early win flavors,3.1, 95/98).
Does such an OS exist? I'm familiar with mac since tiger and windows since it was just another dos program.
(for the record i am not a IT tech), i just need something to work with the mechanical equipment it controls.
any recommendations?

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