Which Distro To Replace Windows?

ZzBloopzZ

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Hello,

My goal is to be much more comfortable with Linux. I figured the fastest way to learn is to simply get rid of Windows and install it on my main computer.

I have some experience with Linux/Unix. OmniOS for fileserver duties. Putty numerous times for VMware, CentOS and Debian CLI.

What would you guys recommend for a great Linux distro to learn? It must have a GUI. I do not game at all anymore and have decided to drop Outlook completely and probably will start using Thunderbird as an alternative. It must have great support for VMware Workstation 12, which appears that it works best with Ubuntu, Red Hat and Fedora.

I am reading great feedback on Linux Mint, and it does look attractive since it is based on Ubuntu so should have good app support. Perhaps some other flavor of Ubuntu? The main Ubuntu just seems like too much bloat.

Appreciate any feedback!
 

/dev/null

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What kind of hardware do you have? I've grown to like Ubuntu/Unity but it took quite a while. I still customize it, but even 2d stuff is fast. It is quite polished. Mint is as well.

I find xubuntu/lubuntu run on hardware with little resource but has all sorts of minor issues/error messages so I avoid them.
 

Darakian

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Linux mint cinnamon edition (or any distro with the cinnamon desktop) is probably the easiest to get into when coming from windows.
 

ZzBloopzZ

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What kind of hardware do you have? I've grown to like Ubuntu/Unity but it took quite a while. I still customize it, but even 2d stuff is fast. It is quite polished. Mint is as well.

I find xubuntu/lubuntu run on hardware with little resource but has all sorts of minor issues/error messages so I avoid them.

"Main Rig" in sig.

Thanks!
 

Devilpup

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Mint

I moved to it as my main OS a while back on my laptop. You get used to it pretty quickly coming from Windows.

If you really want to get to know Linux better, drop a couple of other flavors on your box in VM form so you can play with them as needed. You can also live boot to most distros from a USB, so you can browse around and check out the feel of it before you actually install.
 

ManofGod

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Whatever one you want. I would just download a bunch and try them out off a flash drive as a live distro. Whatever one makes you happy, that is all that matters.
 

Vermillion

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Linux Mint or Ubuntu to start and learn things and learn which applications you prefer. Then branch out to other distros for more fine grain control and far better performance compared to bloated distros like Ubuntu.
 
D

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Slackware or Devuan.

Most of the others that are Debian-based are polluted by systemd.
 

jwcalla

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It might be best to pick the one that has the UI you prefer the most by default.
 

jimh425

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There is actually quite a lot of youtube videos about switching from Windows. You should check some of those out. I'd say Ubuntu has the most support. If you do go Ubuntu, install a .04 release.

To just try them out, you probably can install as VMs using VMware Workstation since you appear to have it.
 

flip504

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For most support, I recommend Linux Mint / Ubuntu for Debian base. And for RPM base, CentOS.
 

ZzBloopzZ

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After few days of research off and on I have decided on Fedora.

My personal reasons:

1. It is backed by Red Hat, which has a huge market share in the corporate world. Figured it would make me more marketable and a easier transition if I decide to do Red Hat certs one day.

2. I like the fact that Fedora is trying to implement new cutting edge stuff, which usually make it's way into future releases of Red Hat. Seems it would be more "exciting".

3. It uses SELinux. I just got into Cyber Security and figured it would be good to be more familiar with it.

4. Linus Torvalds uses Fedora on his personal machines.

5. I have read quite a bit of comments from more advanced linux users that Ubuntu is starting to have too much bloat.

Thanks everyone for all your helpful comments!
 

jaffy

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I'll be the weird one here and say Sabayon. But I'm an old school Gentoo geek :cool:
 

rezerekted

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I have Fedora on a USB stick and like it, I used to use Mint but last time I tried it it would only run in compatibility mode so switched to Fedora which had no such issue.
 

Ruoh

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If you're looking to dive deep, and learn, try Arch. It's pretty eye opening to start from scratch at a CLI, and install everything from scratch.
 

B00nie

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For someone straight out from Windows something like Zorin linux will look very familiar. But for anyone more familiar with linux, Zorin OS will start to irritate pretty soon with its tweaked behaviour.

I suggest you try several distros out. It costs you only the time of the download after all. I like many distros. Ubuntu Mate, Fedora... Elementary linux is very pretty and simplistic. Simplicity linux if you want to run 100% in ram and boot from a USB stick.
 

Skripka

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If you're looking to dive deep, and learn, try Arch. It's pretty eye opening to start from scratch at a CLI, and install everything from scratch.

OTOH it does have a learning cliff.

Most Arch (and other CLI-heavy distro users) start from Ubuntu or Mint and then move further to the slimmer/meaner distros.
 

Ruoh

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OTOH it does have a learning cliff.

Most Arch (and other CLI-heavy distro users) start from Ubuntu or Mint and then move further to the slimmer/meaner distros.

True. But, I try to dissuade people from starting out on Ubuntu. I don't want them saying "So this is Linux", and promptly reinstalling Windows.
 

B00nie

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True. But, I try to dissuade people from starting out on Ubuntu. I don't want them saying "So this is Linux", and promptly reinstalling Windows.

So you prefer them saying 'I can't get this to work at all' and promptly reinstalling Windows? :D
 

Skripka

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So you prefer them saying 'I can't get this to work at all' and promptly reinstalling Windows? :D

If you can make mac&cheese you can make Arch run. All you need to do is get over CLI-phobia. That being said reading the install guide and working from it take a long while the first time.
 

B00nie

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If you can make mac&cheese you can make Arch run. All you need to do is get over CLI-phobia. That being said reading the install guide and working from it take a long while the first time.

Exactly. Anyone coming from windows expects a ready-to-run package with most things working from the go. I would never recommend Arch to anyone unless they've been tooling around with other distros first.
 

Vermillion

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Exactly. Anyone coming from windows expects a ready-to-run package with most things working from the go. I would never recommend Arch to anyone unless they've been tooling around with other distros first.

Agreed. I always point people inquiring about Linux to Ubuntu based distros or Mint. After that one of three things happens.

1. They go back to Windows.
2. They stay with whatever Ubuntu version they chose.
3. They want to learn more and have a more streamlined Linux.

When it's number 3 that's when I point them towards Arch. I always tell them to install it first in a virtual machine. Learn the install and what it takes before diving head first. After that most install Arch just fine and love everything about it.
 

Anarchist4000

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What about https://antergos.com/ which is based on Arch and comes with a desktop GUI?
Arch does use a desktop, it's just up to the user to figure out which desktop environment that is. I haven't explicitly tried, but you could probably put nearly all of them on an Arch box. The big difference between the distributions will be the package managers and repositories. Arch is like having a new major version each month. It will change to frequently for a new user to get comfortable.

If you're new to linux I'd recommend sticking with the more popular distributions to get the hang of things for 6 months. You will find more support if you run into any issues. Coming from Windows; Mint, Kubuntu(KDE), and Fedora(KDE) are probably your best options. Figuring out how to navigate the desktop environment isn't where the learning curve will be with linux.

I moved my main desktop to linux roughly 2 years ago. Prior to that most linux use was through a terminal with servers and clusters. Most of which I wasn't an admin, which limits your ability to learn stuff. I did about a year on Ubuntu, then Kubuntu for 6 months, then Arch as major components are updated more frequently. While not impossible, I'd recommend using one of the point distributions before trying Arch. Then definitely try setting up Arch through a VM before hosing your main box. I think Arch is working on some optional install scripts for major flavors, so that might change things.

If you want bleeding edge use Arch. If you just need a desktop the point releases are probably better.
 

rezerekted

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I'm not new to Linux, just haven't used it a lot. My first use of Linux was in 2000 or 2001 on Mandrake. I actually bought two versions of Mandrake from the store but switched to Ubunto later on and then Mint. Tonight I booted to Simplicity and ElementaryOS. Simplicity is based on Puppy and didn't realize that until I booted to it. ElementaryOS is slick and it would be a good choice for noobs if it wasn't for the Minerva web browser. Has no flash installed and does not play HTML5 out of the box either. Pretty sure I will probably install Fedora to my HDD now.


Thanks
 

Vermillion

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Arch does use a desktop, it's just up to the user to figure out which desktop environment that is. I haven't explicitly tried, but you could probably put nearly all of them on an Arch box. The big difference between the distributions will be the package managers and repositories. Arch is like having a new major version each month. It will change to frequently for a new user to get comfortable.

If you're new to linux I'd recommend sticking with the more popular distributions to get the hang of things for 6 months. You will find more support if you run into any issues. Coming from Windows; Mint, Kubuntu(KDE), and Fedora(KDE) are probably your best options. Figuring out how to navigate the desktop environment isn't where the learning curve will be with linux.

I moved my main desktop to linux roughly 2 years ago. Prior to that most linux use was through a terminal with servers and clusters. Most of which I wasn't an admin, which limits your ability to learn stuff. I did about a year on Ubuntu, then Kubuntu for 6 months, then Arch as major components are updated more frequently. While not impossible, I'd recommend using one of the point distributions before trying Arch. Then definitely try setting up Arch through a VM before hosing your main box. I think Arch is working on some optional install scripts for major flavors, so that might change things.

If you want bleeding edge use Arch. If you just need a desktop the point releases are probably better.

You're right about Arch using them all. It can and does. Get bored of Gnome? Install XFCE or KDE or just build your own with Openbox or whatever else you want.

Absolutely love my Arch install. Gave Fedora a try a week ago on a spare HDD. It crashed while running updates and didn't work properly after that. While it was working though it was nice. It was still slower then my Arch install though.

When it comes to Arch or Gentoo nothing can ever beat the speed because they're so bare minimum by default. Plus after you get them setup there's very little bloat (if any) unlike Ubuntu and it's derivatives.
 

ZzBloopzZ

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I'm not new to Linux, just haven't used it a lot. My first use of Linux was in 2000 or 2001 on Mandrake. I actually bought two versions of Mandrake from the store but switched to Ubunto later on and then Mint. Tonight I booted to Simplicity and ElementaryOS. Simplicity is based on Puppy and didn't realize that until I booted to it. ElementaryOS is slick and it would be a good choice for noobs if it wasn't for the Minerva web browser. Has no flash installed and does not play HTML5 out of the box either. Pretty sure I will probably install Fedora to my HDD now.


Thanks

Ha! I also started on Mandrake long ago. I sitll havn't jumped ship to Fedora due travel and now started a new job next week but goal is to switch over sometime in the next month or so. I am excited!
 

rezerekted

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Grrr! There is a bug in Fedora 23 where after you install it and boot to it the system freezes after you enter the password. They have a fix for it now but I went and installed Elementary OS instead which has no such issue. Elementary is a very light weight OS and based on Ubuntu, it runs really well here and has a slick GUI, similar to Fedora but program dock is at bottom of screen, they don't install much software out of the box either so you pick and choose most of what you want from their software center. I'll stick with this for now.
 

bman212121

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It also looks more like Windows than Unity. If they're one of those Win8 fans I guess Ubuntu would be good. lol

Not at all. I really like Windows 8 but unity is terrible. Gnome 3 is closer to Windows 8 than unity is. I actually didn't mine Gnome 3, but it was difficult to have because it never had proper window management on my system. (I couldn't get "dualview" so applications would try to span two screens, among other things)

@Jaffy: I believe I started with Sabayon as a base for my Gentoo system. I picked it up after using VLOS many years ago and noticing how much faster the system was than some of the other distros at the time. Over time I worked on converting it over to a Gentoo base but I think I spent more time fixing the system than using it. Portage is great at figuring out package dependencies, and if you actually needed to compile a program you had pretty good faith it would actually work. The problem for me is they are very slow with updates so you have to continually unmask packages if you wanted anything new. Since they didn't care for gnome 3 it was very easy to back yourself into a corner trying to get everything unmasked so you could use it. When it worked it was great but I was always fearful for updating it because I knew it was going to take a significant amount of time and work to get the system back up.


@ZzBloopzZ: I also started with Mandrake 8.1. Had to do some other tasks on Redhat 7, but have been messing with Linux ever since. You won't see me run it for my main systems as it still won't do what I need. That said, I'd agree with half of the people in this thread and say that running Mint with Cinnamon seems to offer one of the best experiences. There are built in functions to allow you to quickly switch to the real graphics drivers, has support for flash out of the box, has a sane package manager which functions very well. (Probably not a big deal for any distro these days) You don't have to drop to the terminal unless you want to, because there are programs to handle network configuration and VPNs graphically.

My biggest gripes with the GUI still is they really need to steal the right click, run as admin from Windows, and come up with a better way to create icons that isn't so convoluted. Windows context menus are so much better. (Not to mention the new snazzy admin menu on the start button)

I'll be interested in hearing your experience with Fedora, I don't think I've installed it since somewhere around version 6. Wasn't really my cup of tea at the time.
 

berky

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I installed ubuntu on my desktop that I use more for server purposes than desktop. However I also installed Ubuntu for my wife on her laptop. she uses it just fine and I rest easy knowing I can most likely fix any problems that come up because it's what I'm most familiar with.

as you've done already, I usually just tell people to pick whatever works for their needs.
 

rezerekted

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That ElementaryOS I decided to go with is based on Ubuntu but uses Gnome and the desktop GUI is called Pantheon. It is very slick and easy to use.
 

BulletDust

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I've recently switched to Ubuntu Mate 15.10. I must say, I really prefer GNOME 2 over Unity, and Mate doesn't seem as dumbed down as the regular Ubuntu flavors.
 

leezard

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I've recently switched to Ubuntu Mate 15.10. I must say, I really prefer GNOME 2 over Unity, and Mate doesn't seem as dumbed down as the regular Ubuntu flavors.

Thats what I use on my "work" PC (same PC as my windows PC, i just use a HDD power switch to power on different OS drives)
 
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