I'm going to be a Newbie, and distrohop. . . help!

i would give linux from scratch a chance ! :slight_smile:

if you want try frugalware :slight_smile:

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MX KDE I can get on board with. I don’t personally love apt, but as long as there’s zero snap usage, I’ll give this a +1 for other.

Anything Ubuntu based is a hard no. So, KDE neon and EnOS is out due to terminal usage.

I also started with Linux Mint. I would have to use the LMDE which isn’t really up to par yet comparatively, and the only option is CInnamon last time I checked. I will take a quick look again at LMDE later to see if I can add it to my “other” category. But for now, it’s a tentative.

+2 for MX, Mint is Ubuntu based.

+3 for MX KDE.

As noted, I’ll look at LMDE. Zorin has Ubuntu roots, it’s a no go.

It’s a hard no. I won’t even recommend Manjaro anymore because of how hard they push snaps and by including them by default. Otherwise, this would have been easy, and I would have suggested Manjaro (other than their update schedule). I will not under any circumstances promote anything Ubuntu based period. Unless they cut ties flat out with Microsoft, get rid of WSL, and remove all proprietary snap store stuff, it’s just a friendlier face of Windows. If someone wants to make that decision themselves, they are more than welcome to. Just like I think anyone is entitled to do whatever drugs they want or whatever. Everyone is entitled to their choices, and consequences. But I won’t help them.

So far polling is tied at 3.

3 openSUSE
0 Fedora

Tentatively LMDE. I’ll look into that more.


I think you might give Mint a bit more consideration - I understand one of their differentiators is snap avoidance - Ubuntu-based or not.

I would still think that MX is the way to go, though - with an LTS kernel to make sure!


I chose ‘other’ as I began with Mint Cinnamon, and a beginner can get to know the basics in a similar-looking environment to Windows. That’s Ubuntu-based, which I’d now avoid like the plague also, so maybe LMDE, although I haven’t tried that myself.

I’d then advise a beginner to aim for EndeavourOS/Mate or Cinnamon after that, depending on their usage … Mate for gamers and people who want to run a lighter system, and Cinnamon particularly if someone isn’t gaming (experienced issues with games not running on that, even when I recently tried out Cinnamon DE again, but Mate runs everything fine). Great setups for those coming over to Linux for privacy and non-bloat, also.

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I work with people like this quite frequently and I think both Fedora and Opensuse are terrible options for this type of user. Honestly, I don’t MX Linux is any better. Those are all distros for people who like Linux or want to learn. They all have a learning curve that is too much for the “I see my computer as a tool to accomplish a task and don’t want to learn about it” crowd.

They also all will require terminal usage to run long-term.

I would give you two alternatives which I have had success with.

For most people in this group, I recommend Solus with Budgie. I ran Solus for a year on my long-term test laptop and I only had to use the terminal one time. I don’t entirely remember why I had to use the terminal but it had to do with some major transition on the Solus side. It was clearly documented on the website and it just needed to be copied/pasted.

For those who are truly low-tech and can’t figure out how to use their existing Windows system, I recommend EndlessOS. It is very simple and almost unbreakable. It also allows almost no customization at all.

The truth is, I don’t really love either of those distros for my personal use. Solus is a bit too limiting for me and EndlessOS is 100% not for me in every way. But for those users, they are great, the go through a simple setup wizard and then everything “just works”.


Interesting note regarding Linux Mint:


Disabled Snap Store in Linux Mint 20

Following the decision made by Canonical to replace parts of APT with Snap and have the Ubuntu Store install itself without users knowledge or consent, the Snap Store is forbidden to be installed by APT in Linux Mint 20.


I would go LDM4 Linux Mint Debian Cinnamon version. Older Kernel slower release schedule. Cinnamon desktop hardly ever gives a problem. Easy to use, almost like Windows layout so familiar, easy to use and maintain. They don’t really even need to use the terminal much. If they do it’s pretty simple. But they have all the tools built in to do updates. Install it, set it, up and forget it!

What problems were you having?

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And then such users will fail because of these upgrades. A little bit they have to deal with the new operating system. Otherwise, they are always dependent on basic help and may have to pay for it.

Or they buy a ChromeBook.

Well, there are very few main distributions, but it feels like countless others are based on them. If the selected “based on” dies, you can replace it relatively easily (the beginner will have to read or ask for it). More important for such users is the DE - and most useful is a plain classic one w/o gimmicks. It (with the selected theme) should also not appear to be just another Windows.

I would just go for it and put them on EndeavourOS Cinnamon. :slightly_smiling_face:
I have done it with a non Linux user.

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If it has to be Arch-based I’d say Manjaro would be better suited for a noob.

Agree re Manjaro is probably the most newbie friendly of the Arch bunch, but I would never recommend anything Arch to a noob. Even Manjaro’s team, at least all the years I was active on the forum and used it, never recommended it for newbies. Arch’s structure, rolling-releases, etc., is more prone to things breaking and needing a solution (problem-solving.) Besides, a part of Manjaro’s updating requires constant monitoring of the forum to check for possible issues, and many times the ‘newbies’ would ignore this, hence all the help issues on the forum.

Maybe. But if there’s one thing unanimously that almost everyone tells me they hate more than anything about using their computer - it’s updates. So I was really hoping for a snapshot distro. No other complaint is more common to hear for me.

Their Debian edition interests me, but the last time I looked at it, they said it wasn’t really ready for the mainstream. Linux Mint Cinnamon was in fact my first real distro - I tried Ubuntu and hated unity.

I actually really like Solus and the only real reason I didn’t include it was because it’s a rolling distro. I may over look that in this one case though. I completely agree with you on it as a beginner distro.

I’ve never tried endless, but it feels more boutique than something I can count on for the next 10 years.

I’d rather it not be rolling. Plus when they can’t print and their bluetooth mouse doesn’t work, they’ll be frustrated.

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If Linux Mint Debian Edition is something you think would be appropriate, then go with SolydXK. Arjen Balfoort left the Mint project to start it, and it’s a fantastic distro.

I have my original installation from 2013 still running. It’s been upgraded in place with every change of Debian stable, from the Testing that it was originally based on, to Jessie, to Stretch, to Buster. In fact it was my daily driver for 6 years straight (finally replaced by Arch within the last year). Never a hiccup.


I’m biased. I started with openSUSE. It very easy to get into, offers Zypper and YaST - great support community and good overall package support (especially the pacman repo). If they are tech savy and want something that doesn’t hold your hand as much but is friendly and intuitive, openSUSE. I’ve never used Fedora personally.

LinuxMint would be my goto goto for those who aren’t necessarily tech savy, as it just works so flawlessly out of the box. Printer/Wifi setup automatically, just polished and a great first experience for many users.

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I guess it really depends on the user. I put a total noob who never even heard of Linux on Mint Cinnamon first. Then Manjaro and then Antergos. Then switched to Arch from Antergos. Now On EndeavourOS too. Also uses MX and Windows 10. Do they know much? No! Do they have any problems? Sometimes. Overall all of these distros are less problems then Windows 10 which they also have. This is going on 5 years now. Have i had to fix things? Yes a couple of times but minor because they just don’t know. Mostly they update always from the terminal and they have been shown the basics using pacman, yay and pamac. These types of users aren’t installing things usually and just want a functioning computer. If they want to know something they ask. If it’s too complicated then i would have to do it.

EndeavourOS is pretty reliable. :wink:


What do you mean by this? You realise that WSL can be used to install whatever Linux distribution you want, including Arch.

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Yeah, but static distros get lots of updates too. They just don’t get major version updgrades. They still get all the minor version updates. My Fedora workstation has updates almost every day.


I would rule Fedora out due to its horrible Anaconda installer. I got lost there more than once. MX Linux KDE looks a little bit cobbled together, so I would really opt for openSUSE Leap.

Linux Mint is pretty much the only distro that treats snapd rightly! :heart_eyes:

This is what I typically recommend to newbies who want a fully working system and do not want to fuss with it too much. It is what 'Buntu could/should have been if not for the corporate :cow::poop:

They also have a great forum: https://forums.linuxmint.com/