Linux forum

General discussion

Which Linux distribution do you recommend I try?

by eranet / May 6, 2013 5:25 PM PDT

Hi all,

Hopefully posting this in the right section of the forum! I have slightly-old Compaq laptop with Windows Vista on it, and I've tried Windows 8 and it's just awful and unintuitive to use on a laptop. I don't think you can remove the Windows 8 Start screen, so I've had a serious look at some Linux distribution I could try instead. Anyone have any personal favourites you would recommend? I'm looking at Linux Mint but there are so many to choose from I thought it'd be easier to ask and see what others recommend.


Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Which Linux distribution do you recommend I try?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Which Linux distribution do you recommend I try?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
I use Zorin OS 6
by itsdigger / May 6, 2013 7:54 PM PDT
Collapse -
by smithjan1 / June 4, 2013 6:11 PM PDT
In reply to: I use Zorin OS 6


I highly recommend Q4OS .. this is Windows like desktop Happy Really Windows like :))

Collapse -
That review stalls and doesn't finish
by itsdigger / May 6, 2013 8:06 PM PDT
Collapse -
There are only a few worth considering for normal people
by 3rdalbum / May 6, 2013 9:45 PM PDT

I use Ubuntu. Since 2005 it's been the only distro I've used; I simply haven't found the need to go elsewhere. The Unity user interface it uses is pretty good, but very different to Windows Vista. It's actually a little bit more like Windows 7, I guess. Ubuntu is still by far the most popular distro especially when you include those based on Ubuntu; as a result nearly any proprietary program for Linux can be installed just fine on Ubuntu, and the support forums are large.

Linux Mint is okay too (underneath, it's actually Ubuntu as well) but I find the user interface a bit old-school. It's more for people who used to use Gnome 2 and can't tolerate using anything a bit different. Anything that runs on Ubuntu will run on Linux Mint

Fedora is fairly popular, but it may take a bit more work to get codecs installed. It caters a little more for the Linux power user (which you are not - Linux is totally different to Windows) and I find it a little more boring recently.

Mageia is popular too, I don't know much about it though. It's a bit of an upstart.

Short answer, you can't really go wrong if you start with Ubuntu or Mint. When you know a bit more about Linux you might want to try other distros, but then you might not! It's all down to personal preference, but I think Ubuntu or Mint are great places to start.

Collapse -
The new Ubuntu version
by pyrrhus55 / May 11, 2013 10:30 AM PDT

Is simply outstanding. On the computer I tested it on. It was fast, both the graphics card functionality and the speed of the system was increased.
I use all the major systems. Apple, Microsoft & Ubuntu . I've tried the other Linux distributions like Mint & Suse. In Linux , Ubuntu remains my favorite.

Collapse -
On install
by pyrrhus55 / May 11, 2013 10:42 AM PDT
In reply to: The new Ubuntu version

The PC I loaded it on was a old cyberpowerpc notebook . It replaced XP. Install works far better it you have cable internet connection to the PC. From experience, I've learned the wireless drivers are loaded later in updating the machine. I even have old Dells running this operating system flawlessly.

Collapse -
by gkrizna / May 20, 2013 8:20 PM PDT
Collapse -
Ubuntu 13.04 is now faster and more efficiently
by discountsoftware / June 22, 2013 7:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Ubuntu

South African company Canonical has officially unveiled a new release of its famous distro Ubuntu Linux 13.04. Ubuntu 13.04 is now faster and more efficiently by adapting to smartphones.

Thanks to intensive work on the adaptation to the new Ubuntu platform form factors, including smartphones and tablets, the desktop version of Ubuntu 13.04 has also become much more efficient in terms of energy consumption, the load on working memory and speed of loading. Learn more here

Collapse -
My advice on trying Linux
by James Denison / May 22, 2013 7:30 AM PDT

Is not to go whole hog onto the hard drive at first. Load Oracle's free VM software and try it first in there. Next step if you like it, is to see how it operates direct with the computer hardware and that's easiest done by loading to a thumbdrive. You can get slow speed thumbdrives 5-10 MB/s for $10-12 for a 16GB and triple that if you want fast and get a Sandisk Extreme Flash Drive in a reader which can handle it's 70-100 MB/s speed on a USB 3 port. A Virtual Manager like Oracle's VMWare runs interfere with the hardware. Using a $10 thumbdrive for a few days to insure the particular distro you like works well "out of the ISO" with your computer can save you a lot of time and effort and disappointment if you were removing windows, or putting it at jeopardy by doing a hard drive install without knowing for sure first.

When you get to a hard drive install, if you are going to divide a windows partition to carve out one or two for the Linux distro (/ for root + a swap file/partition), be sure to chkdsk the windows, then Defragment, to make sure windows data is at the front of the partition. Always carve off room at the back or right side in Gparted or Kparted or whatever partition manager you use, to avoid messing up windows MBR and boot process.

If you don't care about the Windows and already cleared the hard drive, then by all means, have as much fun and frustration as you can, lol.

Collapse -
not totally in agreement here,
by itsdigger / May 22, 2013 8:32 AM PDT

I do agree with James that maybe you shouldn't just go and split you're hard drive right away but, running in a Virtual Machine or Box really isn't that great as you don't get to use the OS completely and it's real jerky and laggy, for instance , your always tying to find the cursor .I say either run it from a live cd or load it to a thumb drive but VM doesn't really hack it. ..Digger

Collapse -
by James Denison / May 23, 2013 1:12 PM PDT

However, a VM can be made more tolerable if connected to a router between the computer and internet, which allows file sharing between host and guest system. If wanted, one can (hopefully temporarily) share out one or all the hard drives into the VM that way, which allows fairly quick file access between host and guest, but defeats the security feature of using a VM.

Collapse -
eranet -- it's been over a month since you posted.
by nbahn / June 8, 2013 1:10 PM PDT

One inquiring mind wants to know -- which flavor did you pick? Happy

Collapse -
I choose Ubuntu
by discountsoftware / June 22, 2013 8:59 PM PDT
Why Ubuntu?

Which distribution to choose - it's a private matter. I am for all the time exploring the OS Linux has tried most of the popular distributions, but in the end settled on Ubuntu!

Yes, because Ubuntu has a number of advantages over similar operating systems based on Linux-kernel. Here are the main ones:

- Ubuntu is focused on the end user with the primary and secondary level technical competencies;
- Easy to install and to use;
- Broad community support Ubuntu (this community brings together programmers from around the world who do not even know each other and communicate only through correspondence. Users testing the free programs communicate directly with the developers, which in turn allows you to quickly find and correct errors that occur).
Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


Free trip to the Grand Prix

Don't miss your chance to win a trip to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco for you and a plus-one.