The popularity of GNU/Linux is increasing exponentially, probably due to a lot of benefits such as Full control, openly available Source Code (Usually open source softwares are licensed under GPL, Apache.. ), zero or less cost, etc; Despite of that, common users gets afraid of Linux distributions (There are some obvious reasons for that – one of the most common reason is ‘Command Line’, they want fancy GUI where everything can be done in few clicks), but the fact is that – GNU/Linux is very simple. It’s Fun, but only when you know about it and learning curve might be an issue in that case.
If you have been using Windows (XP, Vista or 7) from years (or just few months) and want to try something new i.e a Linux based operating system or if you are beginner computer user and interested in learning new stuffs, then you’ve come to the right place. In this post I’ll explain about about top 2 Linux distro – select one depending on your choice.
Ubuntu – The best Linux distro for novice users
Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution for desktop users. It is a free and open source operating system based on GNU/Linux. You can choose any suitable desktop environment e.g Gnome, Unity, KDE, Xfce etc depending on your need and hardware specifications. Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) is the latest stable release available now, while it’s successor – vs 11.10 is coming in Oct, 2011 (probably with Gnome 3, The Next Generation Desktop Experience).
Why Ubuntu is recommended to beginners ?
- it’s very easy to use and administrate. (As compare to other Linux based OS)
- Ubuntu Software Center makes the software installation/Management much easier
- a vast collection of free and open source applications are available
- a lot of online community, blogs and forums are available to help you, in any problem/bugs
- it’s secure from viruses and *wares
- Learning curve is not so steep (as you expect from a Linux based os)
- it’s Fun!
Download and install Ubuntu 11.04
Best Linux distribution for Beginners (from Windows background) : Linux Mint
Linux Mint is very similar to Ubuntu but it has better hardware compatibility. It is also based on Debian and has many versions depending on the Desktop such as Gnome or KDE. Linux Mint has windows like interface (In fact you can also customize the Gnome in Ubuntu, to look like Windows 7 or Vista), so it’s more suitable for those who have migrated from Windows to Linux. It has also all the features listed above, and the most important point is simplicity. Linux Mint 11 is the latest version available for download.
Download Linux Mint (Installation procedure is similar to Ubuntu)