Which version of Linux is best?

There’s different distributions for Linux but to keep it simple, let’s just call them different versions. There are over 600 versions of Linux, so which version of Linux is best for beginners and which version of Linux is best to start with.

Which version of Linux is best to start with


It’s not exactly the “beginner-friendly” one, but it’s the oldest and most stable. I focus on Debian in most of my posts on this blog so if you want to use my guides it may be easier to go with Debian. Also, you’re going to love Linux so you may as well start with one you can stick with rather than making the inevitable move to Debian down the line.

If you’re a Windows user missing the classic start menu, Debian’s KDE Plasma desktop might be the ideal alternative:

Linux Mint

Now this really is known as the beginner-friendly disribution, it’s ideal for Windows users that are migrating to Linux due to it’s familiar desktop and you can use it daily without having to go into the dreaded terminal and type in commands which new users are generally reluctant to do.

The reason I didn’t put Linux Mint in first place is because this post is about the BEST versions of Linux to start with, not necessarily the easiest. The truth is, Linux Mint is the easiest to use but even if you make no mistakes, it could get an update that breaks the system at any time and it can’t compete with the almighty stability of Debian.

If you do want it to look and feel similar to Windows, make sure you get Linux Mint Cinnamon (not Mate or Xfce)

elementary OS

It’s ideal for users coming from macOS because it resembles the macOS look and feel. It’s based on Ubuntu which is a well known distribution so you will benefit from a rich user experience. It doesn’t come loaded with a tonne of software (bloatware) so it’s a lightweight distribution that will run smoothly.

Elementary OS
“Elementary OS freya desktop” by OSTechNix is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0. This image is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

A few tips

Distro is short for distribution, you’ll see this a lot.

The distributions aren’t actually versions of Linux, it’s all Linux. Linux is the core operating system, the distributions are installed on Linux and they have different groups behind them like communities or corporations that build them with different structures and features. Then there’s the desktop environments, that’s the look and feel you’re thinking of.

The desktop environment (DE) that looks best in my opinion is KDE Plasma. Xfce is usually the most lightweight and basic desktop environment and Mate is also quite basic. Cinnamon, Gnome and KDE are the best ones.

There are over 600 versions (distributions) so don’t try to look into them all.

Deepin is an easy to use version but it’s from Mainland China and therefore it’s probably best to avoid Deepin.

Ubuntu is easy to use and is well known but was collecting data and is backed by Canonical so it’s not community run and it also ships with bloatware. It’s better to use Linux Mint which is actually based on Ubuntu anyway but it doesn’t have any of these issues and is easier to use.

Debian has been around since 1993, it’s the oldest and most stable Linux distro there is. Old doesn’t mean it’s not modern or that it’s outdated in any way, the latest version which as was released only a month ago (Debian 12.5) is really great.