What Linux Distro?

I am somewhat new to the world of Linux, I have used Ubuntu a few yrs back on my main system for a few months due to lack of games (pre Steam OS). I really liked the OS and the system performance, and would of not switched back if it wasn't for the lack of games. Now I found out that I can passthrough the GPU and run a VM of Windows when I feel like gaming with my buddies, really excited for this! Now I am trying to figure out what Linux to use, what Linux has better support for the gpupassthrough? or is it all the same?

I over all liked the look of Unity, but hear the support is ending, and that it's not the best. I stumbled onto Kali, is that good? Or is that mostly for testing security stuff?
Any suggestions?

Thanx in advance, and sorry for so many noob questions.



Its not meant as a daily distro.


Id just stick with Ubuntu, honestly it is the most user friendly distro i've tried and most major software firms who release software to linux develop, and test against ubuntu e.g. netflix and so on.
also personally i really like apt-get, it really makes life easy, where instead of searcing all corners of the web for package-dependency xyz, you simply apt-get install mypackage, and if the depencies aren't met, package wont install, doesn't get easier.
Also steam is mostly all'bout the debian, so that certainly makes life alot easier.
Just grab a LTS release and you're golden for a few years. e.g. 16.04 or so on.
It's just my 5 cents really.

p.s. it should be noted that passthrough is supported by ubuntu, and it is cough easy to setup if you find the right guide.
but honestly you'd be better off just having a windows game server running steam for for "windows only" games. Or just have a VM run your games then stream them to your ubuntu desktop, all the other jazzmatzz with seperate monitors are kind of blown out of proportions, unless you're running "windows only" software like adobe what ever.


Thank you for all the replies.
It makes sense regarding Ubuntu, was mostly worried about the recent news that they are switching to Gnome.
I'll definitely look into streaming the games, I think that would work for the casual gaming that I do once in a while.
For game streaming are you referring to the steam game streaming?

there is sooooo many flavors of ubuntu, xubuntu, lubuntu etc etc. pick your desktop. heck install server version and add which ever desktop you want.
And dont knock gnome, my favorite ubuntu distro is the ubuntu-mate, it really has some nice performance, and a descent desktop to boot.

Oh I didn't mean Gnome was bad (never used it), was just worried about comparability issues. I will definitely look into the flavors though. thank you.

check out ubuntu-mate, try a VM, or what ever, but i wont influence you, the best way to learn and love linux is to find your own flavor :). We all have one :wink:

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Gotcha, Thank you!
That is the main reason I am switching over, to learn. :slight_smile:

I would recommend fedora.
dnf is super simple to use and fedora is on a recent kernel.
if your not a fan of gnome then look at fedora spins.


I use Fedora 25 Workstation, and though I haven't done any pass-through on my own I chose this distro because of Wendell's recommendations, and he's fond of pass-through to VMs so I presume it gets the seal of approval.


Ubuntu was my main OS since 2008 but in march this year I finally made the switch to Fedora 25 and can't recommend it enough, dnf is great and I feel that my system is much more stable now than it was under Ubuntu. Ubuntu was good when I started using it but had a steep decline in recent years and I couldn't trust Ubuntu to be reliable anymore, mostly because of Canonical.



Throw SolusOS to the "gotta try" distro pile. It's not a mature project, but it's improving by leaps and bounds. It also has a nice way of dealing with steam's runtime libraries (to switch between those and the ones that come with the OS)

As many others said, Fedora is a safe bet. I read somewhere that they were going to add some kind of "1-click solution" for VM hardware passthrough on the next version. Might want to ask around about that feature


Ubuntu is easily one of the best distros around. Yes, there are a number of people who will say that it's for n00bs or what have you. These people are basically just hold overs from the Linux community in the early 00's, and just haven't figured out that all of the other elitist jerks moved over to FreeBSD when Ubuntu started making strides in Linux usability.

Ubuntu rolls out updates in a timely manner (despite what you may have heard to the contrary, and if anyone wants to argue it, I will point them in the direction of Red Hat), there is a ton of user friendly documentation available on the net, and the goal behind Ubuntu is usability. They don't always succeed, but it is a core focus, and that is important.

I've been around the block a few times with Linux. I started out with Debian, I migrated to Gentoo (like many n00bs do, and shouldn't), dabbled with Fedora, and eventually landed on Ubuntu. Fedora was nice, I just happened to like apt over yum myself, but Fedora was also pushing the envelope for usability, similar to Ubuntu.

Also, I cannot recommend Gnome Shell enough. It's one of those things, you either use it for a day or so and it becomes ingrained into your workflow, or you use it for a day or so and it just never sticks. I cannot imagine going back to the "tried and true" (more like tired and true) start menu/task bar combo.


Use ubuntu, you'll get to a point where you are bored with it. When you hit that point choose something new.

If you have any other concerns you'll find an answer here I bet.




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Thanx for all the great info everyone!
I am torn between Ubuntu and Fedora, may just get vms of both and go from there.
I don't need anything fancy, just need something simple to learn since I am a noob.

This is a very good point, and I totally agree with it. Unless for people with a fixed limited workflow or people doing work on vintage tech, a GUI should just evolve with time. I used to be the biggest Gnome fan, because of the efficiency, up until Wayland. RedHat has not invested in Gnome as it should have done, they've pushed through Wayland because they thought everyone would just take it like systemd, one huge argument and then everyone likes it. That's not the case though, there have been nothing but complaints on Gnome Shell since Wayland became default, because people on the workfloor, non-IT people, who used to get along with Gnome Shell very well, suddenly had their workflow come to a standstill, because there are just too little options. RedHat does not understand that IT support staff has to be able to solve problems on the workflow from all sides, if someone needs to hook up a printer, you don't go to the management console on your dedicated admin machine, and you don't ssh into it and you don't use any mobile app to do the same, but you open a terminal and take care of it in two seconds right there right now. Or you do it through the management console. You have to be able to get at everything from all sides, because people work like that. RedHat of course wants to sell their management software and wants to impose their specific protocols because that's where they get money from, but it's very Microsoft-like strategy, not very workfloor-orientated at all. SuSE does that a lot better than RedHat. That's why I switched from RHEL to SuSE a few years ago, that and similar policies.

Ubuntu Core is certainly very decent. The Ubuntu Community Flavours and the many Ubuntu derivatives are the living proof of that. The worst implementation amongst the wellknown Ubuntu Core based distros was actually Ubuntu Unity, not that it was bad per se, but it was never streamlined like other DE's, there was a lack of consistency, and the dicking around with the menus and stuff were the wrong interpretation of OSX. Gnome Shell did a much better interpretation of OSX, surpassed it in so many ways. OSX is now old though, so is Gnome Shell. There is newer and better around now. It needs to evolve. For Windows, updating nothing but the GUI look over the same old shit has worked for two decades. Users who are not IT pros, only get to work with the GUI. That's why you can't take functionality away, that's why you can't keep rising the system requirements. KDE has made the same mistakes Gnome Shell is making now, with KDE4. They also kept it alive for way too long. But then they understood, and they made KDE Plasma 5, and that's not only the DE with the most functionality and the most customizability (it's perfectly possible to make it look and behave like Unity or Gnome or anything else), but it's also the full featured graphical DE with the lowest system requirements, as a full blown full functionality KDE Plasma 5 will clock in at under half a Gig of RAM, and will be snappy and smooth. Gnome should have to do something like that, a total redesign of gtk, but RedHat has completely different priorities, and they don't care about anything else than to have a technical system that only authorised support contractors can service, and to not supply a universal management tool of any kind for free. SuSE has Yast, Mageia/Rosa have their versions of Mandrake Control Center, even MS has standard GUI config tools... RedHat has other visions, they want to sell the RHEL Management Console, and cut that functionality from the client machines. Canonical did the same with Ubuntu. It did also work for them like it works for RedHat.


As far as vitualization and gpu passtrough is concerned,
that should basiclly be possible on pretty much any modern distribution really.
I think a couple of decent choices have been mentioned allready above,
like Fedora or Open Suse, but also Ubuntu itself or one of its more known derivatives.

As far as DE´s are concerned i do agree allot with @zoltan on that one.
KDE plasma by far is the most customizable and future rich DE there is really.
With allot of development behind it.
A Gnome based desktop that has allot of potential to get close to KDE plasma,
to me is Cinnamon pretty much.

Ubuntu/Fedora for a new user?

Would recommend Linux Mint or Manjaro depending on use-case

Linux Mint for overall newbie. Manjaro for bleeding edge, noob/user friendly distrobution

Both top 3 of the last 30 days on hit-ranking according to distrowatch.

Source: http://distrowatch.com/