What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

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linuxviolin
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by linuxviolin »

exploder wrote:Nearly every distribution is simply point and click, they are all pretty user friendly these days.
Hmm, not sure about this. E.g. ask to a newbie, novice, to install and use something like Slackware or my intimate enemy Arch. I'm not sure he/she sees them like "user friendly", "easy", "simply point and clic", "intuitive", "easiest"... :roll:

There are several like Mint, Mageia... Mageia is a quite good example of "user friendly". As said a reviewer of Mageia 1:
I only noticed after reboot that I have not done anything in terminal mode, except for command dmesg and attempt to compile driver. Is it user-friendliness? Yes, as I understand this word.
I'm less sure about PCLinuxOS... As a reviewer said:
But as with SimplyMEPIS 11.0, because I had to type GRUB commands to get it to work correctly in the live session, I can't recommend this to total newbies to Linux, at least based on my own experiences. Plus, even the positive part of the experience was marred by that lone KDE Plasma crash, which I am not used to seeing much anymore. I would recommend this more to slightly more experienced Linux users who aren't afraid to tinker and troubleshoot.
Robin wrote:Most intuitive IMO, and having the simplest interface that is easiest for folks who are used to Windows IMO are the Xfce distros.
I don't think so. The "most intuitive" and "easiest" desktop for someone coming from Windows is undoubtedly KDE, as I have already explained elsewhere in the forum. By the way, this seems quite obvious.
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by Robin »

In Reply to:
The "most intuitive" and "easiest" desktop for someone coming from Windows is undoubtedly KDE, as I have already explained elsewhere in the forum. By the way, this seems quite obvious.
I tried both when I was new to Linux, coming from XP. I found KDE slow and konfusing. All those applikations with funny names and overlapping functions, and a very busy, cluttered menu of more konfusing options. I left KDE completely bewildered by it. It's pretty and looks kinda sorta "Windowsy," but that - for me - is where it's similarity with Windows XP ends.

I won't make a blanket statement that Xfce is best for newbies. Only that it was easiest for this newbie, and that by komparison, this newbie found KDE a cluttered, bewildering jungle of konfusion.

In fairness, it isn't right to assert that any particular DE is "most newbie friendly," since there are so many variables between how a DE is implemented on any particular distro, and variables among newbies as well.

Speaking only for myself, I could never recommend KDE for a newbie.
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by linuxviolin »

Robin wrote:I tried both when I was new to Linux, coming from XP. I found KDE slow and konfusing. All those applikations with funny names and overlapping functions, and a very busy, cluttered menu of more konfusing options. I left KDE completely bewildered by it. It's pretty and looks kinda sorta "Windowsy," but that - for me - is where it's similarity with Windows XP ends.

I won't make a blanket statement that Xfce is best for newbies. Only that it was easiest for this newbie, and that by komparison, this newbie found KDE a cluttered, bewildering jungle of konfusion.

In fairness, it isn't right to assert that any particular DE is "most newbie friendly," since there are so many variables between how a DE is implemented on any particular distro, and variables among newbies as well.

Speaking only for myself, I could never recommend KDE for a newbie.
:D I totally understand your experience and good for you if XFCE is the desktop you prefer. However, for other, I guess you are wrong. It's precisely because it's pretty and looks like Windows it is the best for newbies. As I said elsewhere, KDE4 is currently the closest to Windows in terms of ergonomics and intuitive use, and it’s very much improved in 4.6. With a folder view desktop, KDE4 should require an almost zero-learning curve to anyone who has previously used any version of Windows.

The name of the apps have no importance as for instance a new user who makes the jump into the unknown, I mean the Linux world, expects to, knows he/she'll find new things, new apps, new names etc

But you can disagree... :wink: :mrgreen:
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by Dr.m0x »

I started with gnome and it made sense straight away. Four years later I'm still using gnome. Not sure about gnome 3 yet but 2.3 is very user friendly.

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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by lmintnewb »

Agree with what exploder posted. Most of the ones I've tried have been point/click in nature and designed to be user friendly/self explanatory. At least nothing a tad of googling wouldn't help a person figure out. Helps to know your way around google, that's for sure ... imo.

Hard question to answer. Much of nix seems to be personal preference. Good thing though ... You can try a bunch and see which you like for yourself. If I were going to vote for summin Minty. Would say Mint 9 ... with either the default gnome desktop or install xfce afterwards and test drive em both.

Also, jmo ... Sometimes a big consideration can be what's right for someones hardware too. As long as you have a system with more or less modern specs. Should be good to go with most anything nix. Tons of nix out there that will get along great on oldish/low spec boxes too. I should definitely know that by now. Light weight nix, has become my personal fetish ... sighs.
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by AlbertP »

I have the same experience with KDE as Robin. I like KWin and Plasma but don't really care about it; I'd like a desktop where I can find every program I want instead of having to lookup what all those K names mean.
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by KBD47 »

For me, as a fairly new linux user, the best distro/easiest distro is the one that completely works out of the box on my hardware and does not require tweaking, especially does not require use of the console. On my desktop--which is about 5 years old--it was Mepis and Linux Mint 11. On my netbook it has been Fuduntu, Pinguy Mini, Joli OS, and Linux Mint 9. 9 especially as I can run it as a persistent live usb which I'm enjoying right now. I'm thinking either Mint or Joli OS for my mother as she can barely run Windows and I fear she will soon kill her computer with a virus. It all depends, easiest can be for the hardware, or matched to the skills of the user. "Best" for the user and hardware might be a better question.
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

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I'm thinking either Mint or Joli OS for my mother as she can barely run Windows and I fear she will soon kill her computer with a virus.
although not unheard of Linex Virus’s are extremely rare so i would not worry about it, a more likely scenario would be her accidentally deleting programs, you can minimise this by being the administrator [with your own sudo password], and setting her up on a user account with limited access

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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by KBD47 »

Sorry, I should have made the post more clear--my mom is running Windows XP and I fear she will get a virus as she doesn't know what she is doing with that system. I'm hoping Joli OS or Mint will be a safer, easier system for her to stay out of trouble with.
Thanks!
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by blueXrider »

Hard to say anymore with all the different distros. My choices are Mint and Pinguy.
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by keithp »

I've done quite a lot of trying various installations, and in my opinion:

1) Linux Mint9 XFCE
2) Linux Mint9 Gnome (Mint10 and 11 are out because they are not LTS.)
3) Mepis
4) PCLinuxOS KDE
5) Mageia

Cheers.

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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by Elisa »

LINUX MINT of course ! :mrgreen: For newbies - it's a certain choice! 8)
Mint 9 gnome, xfce, kde => +1
IMHO, Mempis sux but rather try LMDE if you feel yourself a bit more skilled.

If you feel yourself almost as a guru, try Debian (Squeeze) :P
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by asymmetros »

Okay, apart from Mint :roll:

Debian Stable is extremely user friendly -once the initial setup is done. Then, the distro is faste, stable as expected and requests from the user only security updates. Also, a huge repository of programs is in his/hers disposal.
The setup of course will be easier for a new user if eg he has a desktop and looking only for ethernet connection.
Crunchnang or Mepis are not so difficult either -in fact, they both have firmwares and drivers pre-installed, (and an easy to get live-cd). That 's why you can call them easier than Debian.

Salix is another option. "Clean", fast and well organized system.

Distros with gnome3 or unity are not userfriendly according to my point of view. I cannot call "user friendly" anything that dictates you how to use your desktop and organize your work.
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by fraxinus_63 »

Apart from this distro ...

... PCLinuxOS is very very easy in most respects - especially with there being just one repository for users to worry about. Also the quality is very high indeed.

However, you do need to keep an eye on the forum for announcements, as occasionally users need to do something slightly "out of the ordinary" to go on receiving updates smoothly. (For example, at present they are moving over to RPM 4.8.x, which requires users to run an apt upgrade package.) Rolling distros are complex animals!
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by sunewbie »

Mint is cool. what about Pinguy OS??

but for newbie, ubuntu is the first one to be tried. After you see the presentation of 11.10 (take a tour) on Ubuntu website, Most of them will be tempted to give it a try.

only after you begin to have your view as time goes by, mint is the first obvious replacement. Now there is new one on the block. Pinguy OS.
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

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Robin wrote:In Reply to:
The "most intuitive" and "easiest" desktop for someone coming from Windows is undoubtedly KDE, as I have already explained elsewhere in the forum. By the way, this seems quite obvious.
I tried both when I was new to Linux, coming from XP. I found KDE slow and konfusing. All those applikations with funny names and overlapping functions, and a very busy, cluttered menu of more konfusing options. I left KDE completely bewildered by it. It's pretty and looks kinda sorta "Windowsy," but that - for me - is where it's similarity with Windows XP ends.

I won't make a blanket statement that Xfce is best for newbies. Only that it was easiest for this newbie, and that by komparison, this newbie found KDE a cluttered, bewildering jungle of konfusion.

In fairness, it isn't right to assert that any particular DE is "most newbie friendly," since there are so many variables between how a DE is implemented on any particular distro, and variables among newbies as well.

Speaking only for myself, I could never recommend KDE for a newbie.
I kompletely agree with Robin.

I installed KDE on Ubuntu 10.04. On first site, I was very impressed with eye candy. But after some time, I moved back to gnome. Now I do not like KDE and it's endless list of (k)apps :)

Even for a newbie and an end user, Gnome2 is better. Only difference between classic XP menu and Gnome2 is that Gnome further splits apps e.g. office, sound, system tools, etc. After you know the names of programs, there is no need of start menu. Just use a keyboard launcher like Gnome-do or launchy or synapse. Infact people are not aware of keyboard launcher for windows like launchy and executor. Once I started using them, I do not need a start menu. I searched for windows equivalent of Gnome-do after finding gnome-do very useful (quite opposite - generally newbies try to find win equivalent for Linux ;) ) In executor. Just configure 'J' for Jetaudio. Win+space and type J --> Enter. That's it !!!

When you are trying an entirely new OS, then you should be ready to learn something new. No two OS work in the same way. Did Apple think about making their iMAC look like Windoz

Steve Jobs did not believe in giving his users, what they want. He gave them what the users have never thought off !!! One Step ahead !!!

And people accept his innovation with a :)

After the much debated Gnome3 phenomenon, X F C E is the one which is lighter than Gnome 2 and similar to gnome2.
KDE and Gnome forums are almost barren. Most active one is XFCE.

Rather than trying to keep increasing memory intensive features and optimizing a DE for Touch screen, it should focus on making it more simple and flexible than more cluttered.
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

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+sunewbie, IMHO, you've been just trolling about KDE :roll:

For win$ users KDE is good start (as well as gnome) but KDE is a beteer entrance especially for winnie$...
If you have enough powerfull PC, start with KDE.
For later trolling :roll:, of course try other distros as well.
It's worth to test other distros to make a picture aka to know how other desktops work, to know their behavior, conditions etc. etc.

And when you become a real Linux geek, you won't troll anymore and won't need any GUI either 8)
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by Elisa »

Robin wrote:I tried both when I was new to Linux, coming from XP. I found KDE slow and konfusing. All those applikations with funny names and overlapping functions, and a very busy, cluttered menu of more konfusing options. I left KDE completely bewildered by it. It's pretty and looks kinda sorta "Windowsy," but that - for me - is where it's similarity with Windows XP ends.

I won't make a blanket statement that Xfce is best for newbies. Only that it was easiest for this newbie, and that by komparison, this newbie found KDE a cluttered, bewildering jungle of konfusion.

In fairness, it isn't right to assert that any particular DE is "most newbie friendly," since there are so many variables between how a DE is implemented on any particular distro, and variables among newbies as well.

Speaking only for myself, I could never recommend KDE for a newbie.
That you found KDE confusing it doesn't mean at all that KDE is confusing (for others).

After my longer experiences with some "also called" Linux users, I do think, if a (l)user is speaking about confusing, it's mostly "thanks" his bad attitude or not trying to understand deeply why any desktop works that way as it works... :|

And why I do recommend a newbie (with a better than lame computer) the KDE to start as the first desktop?
The most general attitude of most humans is an attraction.
If a new user is sticked or attracted with a cool design, it's certainly acceptable that user will be sticked also with learning how "that thing" works...

If the user isn't sticked even with a cool design and even more when he will get to trouble (something doesn't work), it's a little and quick way to say: ...damn it ! and the user run away, probably back to win$... :roll:
Even more, KDE has almost all apps which could a newbie need to use. Also SkoleLinux (a linux distro used for schools and therefore for children, Robin) use mostly KDE, but it's possible to use gnome as well.

All the time I am speaking about attraction, sticking with cool design and this way "force" or hold the newbie or a child with - to be interested in it, to be interested how things work etc.

I am sure KDE crew has done good work and KDE has its place on the desktops' world ;)
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by linuxviolin »

Elisa wrote:For win$ users KDE is good start (as well as gnome) but KDE is a beteer entrance especially for winnie$...
Yes, you're right. When you are in KDE you can think of being in Windows, almost... By the way, this is also why some people don't like it.
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Re: What is the most userfriendly Linux distro ?

Post by sunewbie »

Elisa wrote:+sunewbie, IMHO, you've been just trolling about KDE :roll:

For win$ users KDE is good start (as well as gnome) but KDE is a beteer entrance especially for winnie$...
If you have enough powerfull PC, start with KDE.
For later trolling :roll:, of course try other distros as well.
It's worth to test other distros to make a picture aka to know how other desktops work, to know their behavior, conditions etc. etc.

And when you become a real Linux geek, you won't troll anymore and won't need any GUI either 8)
Pardon my ignorance, but I fail to understand where did I Troll. I am an end user. Just gave my opinion. If KDE suits newbies, than go for it no issues, no offense. :)

When I installed Ubuntu 9.1, I did not find it difficult to adjust to classic gnome2 interface. I did not need to refer to any documentation got gnome. As Linux is altogether a new OS, so I was mentally prepared for a change. Just simple search and some tweak like auto-mount drives on startup, etc.
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