Which Linux Distribution is most User-Friendly?

Linux Distribution
What is Linux?

Linux is a Unix-like operating system that was created in the early 1990s by Linus Torvalds. It is an operating system that has been increasing in both functionality and in popularity since its creation. Linux is the most popular operating system for servers and has been seeing an increasing amount of use in business and corporate environments. The home market for Linux has primarily been relegated to those who like to tinker with their computers and individuals who use it for programming. In recent years, Linux has been an increasingly popular choice for other home users and, along with its rise in popularity, it has become much more user friendly.

What Linux Distributions Are Available?

Some of the most popular Linux distributions have been listed below. Some are much less user friendly than others.

  • Debian Debian is a very popular Linux distribution that has been used as both a standalone distribution and as the basis for other Linux distributions. It has one of the largest software repositories of any of the Linux distributions. The repository contains over 37,000 software packages including both free and non-free software programs.
  • Fedora Fedora is one of the oldest distributions of Linux. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, has stated that he personally uses Fedora on all of his machines. One of the hallmarks of Fedora is that it is focused on innovation and its development is often hand in hand with some of the most cutting edge developmental groups.
  • Mint Mint is a popular Debian derived Linux distribution with a focus on being both lightweight and elegant. It includes full multimedia support as well as coming standard with many programs including Libre Office. It has a number of available desktop environments including KDE, MATE, and Cinnamon.
  • Ubuntu Ubuntu is, by far, the most popular Linux distribution. Ubuntu is a Debian based operating system that has versions for both server use and personal use. It is one of the most easy to use and easy to set up Linux distributions available. Users are encouraged to use free software that is available and to improve upon it if possible. Ubuntu is based on the philosophy of the same name which is "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".
  • Gentoo Gentoo is a popular Linux distribution in which the Portage package management system is used. All source code is compiled locally on the users individual machine based on that users preferences. Gentoo is extremely adaptable and highly customizable which is both a benefit to users and slightly intimidating to those who do not have programming experience or experience with hardware and software configuration.
  • Mageia Mageia is a relatively new Linux distribution that was originally released in 2011. It has been steadily increasing in popularity due to ease of use. Mageia comes with either KDE or Gnome as the desktop environment.
  • Arch Linux Arch Linux is a popular distribution with a focus on minimalism, elegance, and understanding of the operating system and some of its core functionality. Arch Linux, though popular among many programmers, is not the most user friendly distribution for those new to either programming or Linux in general. Just getting the operating system set up and running takes a bit of effort. Those who put in that effort, however, are rewarded with a rich user experience and an intense amount of functionality.


Ubuntu is usually the recommended distribution for new users. It is easily the most user friendly of the available Linux distributions. Formerly it employed the use of either the KDE or the Gnome desktop system. Now Ubuntu has shifted to Unity for its desktop environment. Each individual will probably have a distribution that is their own personal favorite or one that is perfectly suited to them. With that being said, Ubuntu is a good place to start for most new users because of its ease of use and its friendly and easy to learn interface.

Buy on Amazon : A book by computer scientist Daniel L. Morrill based on Tuning and Customizing a Linux System

Related topics

Is Linux a Viable Operating System for Home Use?
Are there Downsides of Open Source Software?
What are the Benefits of Open Source Software?
What Open Source Alternatives are there for Popular Software Suits?

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice