The best Linux distro for newbies and average users is EndeavourOS

You do not hear that EndeavourOS is suitable for newbie users quite too often. The reason is that EnOS is based on Arch that is considered as out of newbie competence.

But let me explain. I am a newbie/average user, and I found many distros’ recommendations very misleading. In a hope to eliminate this situation and help newbie Linux users, I wrote this post with my experience of choosing and using some Linux distros. Of course, this is the only one-person experience, but you can compare my use case with yours, read comments on this post, and choose the best one for you. Nethereless, I believe that EnOS is the best choice for newbie/average users for Linux, so let me continue.

My use case

Browsing, Media consumption (music, movies), Media creation (screen recording, video creation), Office (docs, tables, notes, calendar), Mailing, Messaging (all kinds of messagers), Conferencing (Video, Screen sharing), Learning (English, programming, courses), basic Drawing, basic Coding.

I need all of these to be solid and reliable as I use my laptop for my work. I do not want too much hustle with errors and maintenance.

So I need everything as an average user except gaming. I am not a prominent expert in gaming, so I cannot say if EnOS is suitable for gamers. At least MineTest for my kids is working well.

Before switching to Linux, I was a Windows user. I only wanted to try Linux because of the bloatedness of new Windows distros. Since Windows 8, there have been an increasing amount of preinstalled unremovable apps.

If your use case is similar to mine, I believe it is worth reading further.

My mistakes in choosing the best Linux distro

I did this:

  1. Googled “the best Linux distro for a newbie.”
  2. Watched videos from recommended YouTube channels about Linux.
  3. Answered questions in DistroChooser.

The result was similar in all three sources: Linux Mint, Ubuntu, PopOS, ElementaryOS, ZorinOS, Manjaro.

So, I started with Linux Mint with Cinnamon as it was described as the most familiar in interface solutions for former Windows users and very stable. I didn’t have experience with Linux before, so mostly my experience was enjoyable. To make it enjoyable, I followed one suggestion from Linux YouTubers; I changed my apps in Windows before switching to Linux. For example, I changed MS Office to LibreOffice, Evernote to Joplin, MovAvi to OBS Studio, etc. After using them on my Windows system, using the same apps on Linux was straightforward.

But after using Mint for several months, I started to notice some inconveniences, which I had to solve by reading piles of posts on the Internet. Most suggestions gave me terminal commands, and I wasn’t sure of the consequences of running them. Learning new stuff was very beneficial for my understanding of Linux, but the way of my competence and comfort zone.

For example, my main problem was the CPU temp, as I discovered it was an old Linux kernel issue in Linux Mint. I failed in raising my kernel as high as I needed, so I decided to switch to Ubuntu with GNOME.

I don’t bother you with my Linux journey anymore and go straight to my conclusions. After Mint and Ubuntu, I tried PopOS, ElementaryOS, ZorinOS, Fedora, Manjaro, EndeavourOS.

There are my most common issues with all distros recommended for newbies:

  1. An old Linux kernel and difficulties in switching it. It might bring some hardware compatibility problems. Some distros had errors even on the installation stage due to hardware issues.
  2. Package managers included in these distros don’t have all apps, many included apps are outdated, and many do not have all features. It brings us to the necessity to compile some projects from the source, which is not a newbie-like task.
  3. Inconsistent UI. Some apps are dark, and some are white. To bring consistency to your themes, you should go beyond newbie territory.
  4. Community is scattered. It isn’t easy to find a good answer. For example, there are tons of articles for old Ubuntu versions that are not applicable anymore.

All in all, we will see how EndeavourOS would solve all these issues.

How to use an EneavourOS as a newbie

  1. Choose a desktop environment. I recommend XFCE as the most stable and close to Windows XP theme. EneavourOS community made beautiful wallpapers and themes for XFCE.
  2. Prepare a live USB with EnOS and try all your crucial apps on it before installing anything on your machine. It is a good recommendation with all Linux distros. If you encounter problems with a distro on live USB, you will probably experience them after installation.
  3. Use recommended options on EnOS installer. As you are installing XFCE, you don’t need an Online installation. I prefer to choose the 'btrfs with hibernation option in Disk partition, but it is not unimportant for future usage of OS.
  4. After installing and updating your system, install ‘timeshift’ for snapshots and ‘bauh’ package manager from ‘yay.’ Enable Flatpack, AppImage and Snap as described in Bauh help. Choose the ‘btrfs’ option if you use it.
  5. Go to the EnOS forum (you are here) and choose the best backup strategy for you. The only disadvantage of Arch is the possibility of dependency issues after updates. It is a rare case, but considering the daily basis of updates, it is probable that some updates broke something in your system once in a while. So having timeshift snapshots and backups is necessary.

Now you can install any available for Linux app from Bauh. The combination of pacman, yay, flatpack, appimage and snap gives you many working apps with the latest versions and latest features.

Without problems

Maybe this is only my experience, but I can concentrate on my work better with EndeavourOS than with any other distros. Everything is just working. Preconfigured UI installer of EnOS makes it possible to install and use Arch by newbie users. I didn’t mention installation procedures or settings after installation, but I can assure you that they are more straightforward than Windows.

I forget to mention that it is possible to make a fully working EndeavourOS (or any other Linux distro) installation not only on your hard drive but on your USB stick. In that case, you can use Windows/Mac and Linux altogether and compare them. Installing EnOS on USB is quite simple; you will need 2 USBs: one for live USB one for installing OS. The second one is better to be a fast USB :slight_smile: Boot your PC from live USB and install OS on a second USB.

I hope you enjoy your Linux experience, and I hope that I saved you from the distro choosing problem, which is quite unintuitive when you are a newbie user.

It is welcome to correct any mistakes of this post in the comments section as I am not professional by any means. Thank you for your time and support!


EndeavourOS is very good for newbies, but it’s certainly not for everyone.

It’s not for people who just want things to work and are not interested in learning how their OS works. It’s great for newbies who are curious, interested in how their OS works, not afraid of using the terminal, willing to spend hours reading documentation and forum posts and, most importantly, have a DIY mindset and are willing to break and fix things on their system. This is crucial for having an enjoyable experience with EndeavourOS.

It is probably the best distro for gaming, assuming that what I wrote above is satisfied. PC gaming is already for the technically oriented people, normies typically just use gaming consoles.

Having a backup is certainly a good idea, not because of any “updates breaking something in your system” but because all hardware fails, eventually. So when your hard drive fails, you’ll be very happy you made a backup. Timeshift snapshots, however, are not backup, they are snapshots. Having snapshots is certainly not necessary, most issues with updates can be easily fixed, typically quicker than restoring a snapshot. In fact, I find snapshots to be a waste of space. Also, whenever you restore a snapshot, you miss the opportunity to learn what went wrong, how to fix it, and more importantly, how your OS works.


This opinion is why I decided to write this post. In my experience, it was quite the opposite. In Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora and Manjaro, I spent way more time learning Linux due to the problems I mentioned above. So I think it is a very misleading statement. EnOS requires less time and effort than recommended distros.

That is certainly not true, 'Buntu requires almost no effort from the user and neither does Linux Mint. If your grandma never used a computer in her life, you can install Linux Mint for her, and she’ll be happy with it. Fedora and Manjaro do require some sysadmin knowledge, however.

However, when things break on 'Buntu or Linux Mint, the user is typically not expected to know how to fix that, most often they just reinstall the OS. Troubleshooting these operating systems is quite difficult, because of the added complexity due to OS internals being abstracted away from the user. Arch is much simpler in that regard, if you are willing to fix things yourself.


That prob give you good base + understand how linux function. Maybe now ready for arch base distro or even Arch. :pray: for post + hope you enjoy your Endaevouros journey


While I agree it’s a great distro for some users, I wouldn’t consider it good for folks very new to Linux. I agree with @Kresimir

While some of this can be done via the welcome center - it’s your system to maintain.


Leaving the MS world i went from Kubuntu to Manjaro to EndeavourOS to Arch (and EOS still maintained via arch-chroot), i share your experience.
I had no serious issues with Kubuntu, but it felt sluggish and slow. I had several issues with Manjaro not booting into the DE due to Manjaros concept of dealing with graphics driver updates; as well as an unbootable system caused by faulty mkinitcpio hooks.
EndeavourOS and Arch itself had been just carefree.


Oddly I had less problems with eos than in mint what concerns kernel upgrades back when I was trying the Ubuntu based distros.

I think many of the things said above make sense and maybe true if the hardware works or is simple and have no driver problem.

Major issues I see for newbies who are way over their head are: 1) Nvidia and hybrid cards, 2) outdated hardware with too low specs, 3) some type of self built PC with motherboard or graphics card issues or both, 4) high dpi screen and app scaling.

Then the mistake is to post some kind of screenshots and hope we can fix it fast else new user Smith will switch back to Manjaro or Ubuntu. I mean everyone is welcome to this forum, but we have more and more of these posts and these are irritating to me, perhaps with time will also to other regular users.

Newbies and intermediate users may much more enjoy the journey if they are open minded to learning, patient with forum members and post useful system infos for solving problems mentioned above. Just on top there is a button help>log tool or even the live USB of eos has a nice welcome app or even one in the bottom panel that can be clicked to create a proper syslog and infos.

Anyhow, welcome new users :grin:


Thats a nice summary!

I like to rephrase the point as

“The best Linux distro for newbies and average users, willing to put time/ effort, is EndeavourOS”

Sad to hear :slightly_frowning_face:

I made a better distro chooser. Its still in beta, but it works fairly well right now →
(there’s no cookies, tracking, analytics or advertisement)


The best Linux distro ever!


@flyingcakes I was under the impression that it will suggest different distros on the basis of my selection each time. 3 tries later i saw the source and knew … eos full fills all those criterias :wink:

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I agree with most what are saying although i don’t use bauh. I also don’t like snaps, appimages or flatpak. If i had to choose one it would be flatpak but i stick mainly with yay and the AUR. I don’t need any of the other ones you listed as the AUR has everything i would need. So i use pacman and yay but i also have pamac installed for some convenience.


I am also very new to Linux world as I had entered here this month only. But till now my experience is very good, whatever the task I used to perform on Windows 10.

I had not ran into any troubles so far after the initial trouble of HDD, which was solved by help of experienced members here.

As Linux is very new for me, hence, I don’t know anything about it. But after coming to EndeavourOS, my curosity is significantly ↑sed as this is new experience for me hence, learning new things atrracts my mind.

Due to which I am currently exploring various codes by searching here and there in free time.
Also I want to mention that, after learning to install the software, updating system, checking packages,etc all via terminal, I can say that it is not troublesome as one expects, rather it improves the workflow by providing only necessary information in place of space consuming GUIs.
Though only thing which I found little odd is that I need to manually search the name of packages in , which is new experience for me. I think I can accommodate myself with this in coming times.

So, I also think EndeavourOS is best Linux Distribution for everyone as there is no upper bound in sharpening the usage skills.


That is only true in certain use cases. If it works for you, it is simple. But when it doesn’t work, it can often be more work to troubleshoot. So, sure, if you want a platform to a limited number of common applications on common hardware, it will probably be painless. It is when you need more than that things start to get challenging.


That’s entirely true, but also entirely misses the point. Just try giving grandma Arch, or even Fedora.


I would also like to add that the AUR is beneficial to newbies. Software found in the AUR that you can install through one click/command can be a real pain on other distros. I first started with zorin years ago and it had a nice friendly UI, but installing some software requires you to get it yourself from github and etc as the software centre is quite empty. It is kind of why I’ve given manjaro to total noobs/non-computer people just because they can install any software graphically with pamac.

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Yeah, but it’s generally a bad idea to do so.

Using an AUR helper without any understanding of the Arch Linux Package Management and PKGBUILD is quite risky and newbies underestimate that. Of course, AUR helpers are very useful, but I think one should be comfortable without an AUR helper in order to use an AUR helper properly.


Arch is bleeding edge, first to get new packages, constantly rolling, requires management to keep running efficiently, and often experiences bugs (and patches) before they had a chance to reach the 'Buntus, Debians and Mints of the world.

EOS definitely isn’t for luddite oriented Linux noobs; Arch / EOS is not set and forget and definitely not idiot proof.

Sure, the install is easy and it works great; until it doesn’t.

Brand spanking new kernels always contain regressions, and often break other stuff until patched by an early point release (ie nvidia drivers, virtualbox, btrfs, etc).

Not having the basic knowledge to troubleshoot and fix relatively simple stuff like this will doom the Linux noob, and potentially turn them off Linux entirely.

If the problem is with the current package base then their goto fix of re-installing won’t work either. Find a workaround and wait for a patch is often what is required.

On the other hand, those familiar with tech but unfamiliar with Linux and willing to learn … EOS is the perfect distro. Supportive community and a ton of learning material in the Arch Wiki.

Perfect building blocks for setting up your own OS, tailored to exactly what you need.


@flyingcakes I see what you did there! No matter what answers are given, it always points to a certain Linux distro :wink:

@Katie as others have pointed out, I think your experiences with other distros before you tried EndeavourOS gave you more understandings of Linux than I think you may give yourself credit for. Using all those other distros first gave you enough knowledge to be very competent, more so than that of a typical Linux newcomer who wouldn’t possess such knowledge at first.

(note: i’m strictly talking in reference to optimus support in the following below)

I’ve been using Linux for some years, but I always picked a distro that pretty much did everything for me. Once I decided to move from Solus to EndeavourOS, the process was not easy, nor as simple as I was accustomed to (though to be fair that was kind of the point in my desire to learn more), so because I have a hybrid graphics card setup in my laptop, which is less than ideal for most cases, I needed to know exactly what I was doing and what I wanted done.

In the past, graphics-wise, distros held my hand with my graphics setup. PopOS would set it all up for me. In the past, Solus would set it all up for me after running their DoFlicky installer once (it installs nvidia drivers and 32bit libraries for graphics/games). But for EndeavourOS, a lot of manual intervention is required to get properly setup. I have multiple options to choose from, which all require proper understanding, otherwise I’m going to end up booting into a blackscreen which is worst case scenario.

The reason I’m on EndeavourOS now is 1.) the EndeavourOS wiki helped me figure out what Nvidia/Optimus path I wanted to take 2.) this forum and its many users helped me troubleshoot a few issues early on 3.) my desire to run an Arch-based distro was 100% committed to what I wanted 4.) I was willing to spend the time to learn and the patience to grow my understanding of using Linux.

This is all just an example from my own experience and a long way of saying, I didn’t have it easy, but I was committed to making it work. There was some failures along the way, but eventually I got it all working, mostly all thanks to the EndeavourOS devs/contributors putting together a solid wiki here and to a bunch of various users here that have an itch to solve any problem they see :wink:


I don`t think so. At least not with Mint. Maybe it is that you need a PC which is not so lousy like mine. I just have my 4GB Ram and in Mint this seems not be enough. My Wifi was not recognized from Mint but in EOS and Arco no problem. You have a problem… people are helpful but they give you often solutions which will surely work on Mint 17 - the OS they still work by themselves. It seems there was very big difference between Mint 20 and its ancestors… when the minties can’t help they tell you to read Ubuntu wiki,
when you comeback telling them what you tried without success, there will be at least 20 users answer you: " WHAT you used SUDO? You re a Newbie! Newbies are NOT supposed to use Sudo. Newbie NEVER USE SUDO! How dare you! You are newbie behave like a newbie! Press the Power ON and watch Hypnotix!

Off course there are lots of helpwilling very nice persons in Mint forums but as Newbie you often has to figure out your troubles by your own. And yes I agree with Katie Mint is not THE Beginner Distro in my eyes. Maybe there is not much who leads in problems but when, you get lost in hundreds and thousends of not working solutions.

And for my granny who never thought windows was something else than the transparent stuff which hold the cold outside in Winter and inside in summer. If she had to learn something new, she learned something new, for her it had been not more difficult to learn EOS then Mint, she never would have compared what was nearer to windows. Windows you have to clean 1 to 3 times a week… to great the sun :sun_with_face:

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