As a linux user since 1998... starting out on redhat and debian linux originally.. I remember quite fondly the times when nearly everything linux was all command line based. While there was the usual irritations of trying to get games to run or trying to setup wine back then, I cant help but notice how far Linux has evolved.
Modern Linux releases can best be described as fully functional desktop environments with some more suitable than others based on a users defined needs. For example Ubuntu Studio is quite fantastic for all things creative... Puppy Linux is a very resource friendly OS for older hardware and genuinely brings that old Pentium you have in the garage back to life and allows it to serve some purpose again.
I guess the linux community or should I say linux enthusiasts can boast now that Linux comes in nearly 100 different flavors, 'not unlike the smorgasbord of food in Vegas casinos, there are almost as many linux distros as there are chicken recipes...
On the one hand this goes to show how genuinely effective open source is, on the other hand it makes it awfully difficult identifying what linux best works for you.
So this got me thinking 'not without several hours of web browsing looking at different distros' trying to find which is the best all purpose linux desktop for users who like to do stuff and things with their pc's and maybe have a bit of eye candy too..
For me it narrowed down too 2 particular distributions Linux Mint based on Ubuntu, and Manjaro 'which I think now is based on Arch not ubuntu core'. Why did I pick these two distros and why do I think these are the two new users should play with if their starting out on Linux.
First Linux Mint:
* Extremely Familiar Environment if you can use windows xp, 7 or 10 you will like how mint looks feels and works.
* Shares same software library as most popular ubuntu releases therefore has a metric f*** tonne of software available for free from video image editing, to programming and everything in between.
* Plays nice with both legacy machines and new machines, fairly good compatibility with parts which have been available over the past decade at least, most drivers easy to install also.
* I found sometimes on openshot or kdenlive particular icons or functions on Mint would not work as well if at all as they did on Ubuntu 'by canonical' I am not sure if this was a system error on my part or a software development issue or what. I generally expected the experience to be the same on both.
Ok so this is a distro that I have only recently been playing with but have been doing a fair bit of research on. So far here is what I like.
Performs better than most Ubuntu versions, ubuntu recently has been targeted for putting in bloatware... yes in certain cases uhm Unity! ubuntu has slightly less efficiency in the desktop environment when running fully fledged awesomeness on screen... A task that manjaro seems to handle quite well without the bloat side effects,
Manjaro Pantheon, er 'drool' 'drool' um do you even Mac bruh... ok so all jokes aside pantheon desktop which runs off Manjaro linux is simply a dream UI, it looks and feels amazing and there are other projects around this also that may impress even the most stubborn of Max OS users. Linux distros have come a long way as far as eye candy and function is concerned, but there are certainly some that stand out and this is one of them!
Pacman commands easier to use than -apt, this ones really for those who like command-line efficiency... I will let you all figure it out by playing with it.
* hmm well there have been reported issues with driver support for Manjaro distros
Anyway I would enjoy seeing your thoughts on Linux distros, which do you like or hate and why..