Linux distro recommendations?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by 7enderbender, May 1, 2014.

  1. 7enderbender macrumors 6502a


    May 11, 2012
    North East US
    Hi there,

    Kinda weid to ask this in a Mac forum but here it goes: I'm a Windows refuge and starting to be happy and comfortable with Macs (for the most part at least). One of the leftover laptops is now for the kids and instead of hunting down another Win 7 license or dealing with Win 8 (yuck) I installed Ubuntu. I remembered that being quite nice from when I ran it last on one of my machines. Well, it sucks now. Looks and feels primitive, is buggy and some of the software doesn't work the way it should. So that needs to go.

    Any recomendations for something that is easy to use and doesn't look like having menus and user interfaces form 1996?
  2. oldhifi macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2013
  3. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    Elementary OS


    Ubuntu Gnome



    These are my top three picks.

    If you end up liking it, and get used to the ins and outs of Linux, go and install Arch Linux, and never look back.

    ...though I should throw out the disclaimer that I haven't quite gotten to that point yet myself.
  4. deluxeshredder macrumors 6502a

    Nov 30, 2013
  5. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    These are some distros I've used personally. I included PC-BSD too, just because.

    Linux Mint: This is probably the easiest to use Linux distro out there. It's smooth, fast, and has excellent support for hardware. It's what Ubuntu was 5-6 years ago before it became bloated. If someone asks me which distro I recommend for someone new, I recommend Mint.

    Ubuntu: Formerly the easiest to use and best option for beginners. Now it's a bloated, unstable, slow monstrosity (in my opinion). Still has excellent hardware support and access to the same drivers and software that Mint has, due to also being Debian based. It's possible to get an Ubuntu system that's as nice as the old one, but it takes some configuring.

    Lubuntu/Xubuntu: These are stripped down versions of Ubuntu designed for faster performance on old hardware. I like them much better than Ubuntu. They come with LXDE and XFCE desktp environments respectively, which are pretty light and still functional.

    Fedora: Great system based on Red Hat. Fedora releases are not supported for as long as Mint and Ubuntu. It has some good security features built in, such as SELinux. I found it fast and reasonably stable. Hardware support is pretty good and there is plenty of software out there, but maybe not as much as the Mint and Ubuntu.

    Arch Linux: This is my favorite Linux distro. The base system is extremely bare, so you will have to add the software you want. I prefer this, since the result is a system with exactly what you want and nothing you don't. Performance is significantly better than the previous distros. My other laptop is an Asus Vivobook running a custom Arch install. Performance wise, it runs rings around the other distros that were installed on the same laptop. However, it is an involved install that is not for the faint of heart.

    PC-BSD: This is an attempt to make BSD friendly and easy to use for anyone and it does a very good job. It's built off of FreeBSD, so hardware support and software availability will be a bit behind Linux, but will actually work correctly (unlike the sometimes buggy Linux drivers). It's extremely stable. I found it very easy to use and it takes great pains to be that way, while still giving you the functionality of a FreeBSD system.
  6. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    same here: long years using Ubuntu but get tired of Unity and default installations ...

    Last time I installed on 14.04 gnome and that looked actually better. I might switch to that UI.

    But anyway only for my folding boxes as in other requirements I use the server version of Ubuntu which don't have too much of the Amazon and what-else "lenses" installed.

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