Top 12 Best Linux Distros for Beginners in 2018

The very existence of several Linux distributions is an advantage over Windows and MacOS. There’s always something for everyone. For instance, if you have a low-end system, you can find a light-weight Linux distro or if you want something to resemble the look of MacOS, you’ve got another Linux distro for it as well.

However, from over a hundred distros for Linux operating system available out there, which Linux distribution would be an appropriate choice for you? That’s when the confusion starts. When you are staring with Linux, it becomes quite confusing to choose the best Linux distribution for beginners, because there are many options out there.

It really depends on what your purpose is and how new you are to the Linux universe. In either case, the list of Linux distros available would definitely make you scratch your head before taking a decision.

Top 12 Best Linux Distros for Beginners in 2018

Fret not, we’ve put together a list of best Linux distros – addressing the different type of users. Starting from the best Linux distros for beginners, we’ll provide you a list of best light-weight Linux distros for old systems.

Further, we’ll also cover the best Linux distros for gamers, and also help you choose the best Linux distro if you are privacy buff. And finally, we’ll wrap up with best Linux distros for programmers and hackers.

So are you ready to explore the various Linux distros of 2018 and finally choose the perfect Linux distro for your needs? Let’s dive into it.

Best Linux Distro For Beginners

If you are beginner starting out with Linux operating system, choosing a Linux distro can be tough. Here is our top pick for the best Linux distros for beginners.

1. Ubuntu

ubuntu - Best Linux Distros for Beginners

Overview:

  • It is one of the most popular Linux distribution.
  • It is super easy to learn and use Ubuntu.
  • Comes with essential pre-installed software.
  • Long-term support for software updates (5-Years)

Do you wonder why Ubuntu comes pre-installed in the majority of laptops running a Linux distro? Well, you’ve got the answer – because it is one of the most user-friendly Linux distros out there.

Ubuntu would be my ultimate recommendation to every beginner wanting to switch to Linux permanently or just want to try out the Linux desktop experience. It comes bundled with all the essential software programs that you’ll need for all the basic tasks. You don’t have to install any drivers. It supports the latest and greatest hardware. In addition to its ease of use and compatibility, you will receive 5 years of regular software patches. For a different desktop environment, you can try out several flavors of Ubuntu available.

Even if you’re a power Linux user, Ubuntu still offers everything you’d need at your disposal. You can download the ISO file from their official website,

2. Linux Mint

linux mint - Best Linux Distros for Beginners

Overview:

If you want a Window-ish desktop experience while being a user-friendly Linux distro, Linux Mint should be perfect. It provides an elegant and smooth desktop experience without the hassle of installing essential software programs (which comes baked in) and also the drivers/codecs.

Usually, a new version of Linux Mint arrives after a month of Ubuntu’s major release. You can download the ISO with the option for various desktop environments from their official download page.

3. Elementary OS

elementary os - Best Linux Distros for Beginners

Overview:

  • A unique desktop experience as a replacement for macOS and Windows
  • Minimal bundled software and light-weight.

Elementary OS is a preferred choice for users who want a minimal desktop experience as a replacement for Windows and MacOS. It is one of the most beautiful Linux distribution available.

Similar to our above recommendations, it is easy to use and comes bundled with essential software programs. Head to their official webpage to download the ISO.

4. Zorin OS

zorin OS - Best Linux Distros for Beginners

Overview:

  • A desktop replacement for macOS and Windows
  • Easy-to-use while offering several advanced features.
  • Your security and privacy is the top priority.

Zorin OS isn’t a very popular Linux distro. But, it is a user-friendly Linux distro with advanced security and a couple of unique features. It comes bundled with all the essential software programs you will ever need out of the box.

It offers two different editions:

  • Zorin Ultimate – which is a paid Linux distro with some advanced capabilities baked in along with priority support.
  • Zorin Core – which is a ripped off edition with the basic features.

You can compare the editions and download them on their official website.

Best Light-weight Distro For Old Systems

Sometimes all you need is a light-weight Linux distro because many Linux distros require more system resources and if you have a system with fewer resources, that can be overwhelming. So here is a list of best light-weight distros for Linux.

1. Tiny Core

tiny core os - Best Light Weight Linux Distros - Small Linux Distros

Tiny Core is the most basic Linux OS for your vintage PC. It just needs a Pentium II processor and 64 MB of RAM to operate. I’m quite certain that you must have a PC laying around with much more better specifications. So, the complete OS will easily reside in the RAM and would function quickly.

It does let you do the basic things – while also enhancing the OS by adding more applications via the Terminal. And, all that in just about 16 MB of size. Yes, it’s that small! Try it out!

2. Puppy Linux

puppy linux - Best Light Weight Linux Distros - Small Linux Distros

Yet another insanely light-weight Linux distro – Puppy Linux. Although, not as small as the Tiny Core but still being around 300 MB is indeed impressive. It requires you to have a minimum of 64 MB RAM and a processor of at least 500 Hz clock speed. It is a quite popular compact Linux distro for older systems – it does have a good compatibility with a variety of hardware.

3. Bodhi Linux

bodhi linux - Best Light Weight Linux Distros - Small Linux Distros

Bodhi is a light-weight Linux distribution built on top of Ubuntu’s LTS release. It comes with a “Moksha” desktop – which has been inspired by the Enlightenment 17 desktop. Unlike the first two Linux distros mentioned above, you get a good UI along with a lower hardware requirement.

It requires a minimum of 256 MB of RAM and a processor with 500 MHZ clock speed.

Best Linux Distro For Gamers

Raise your hands if you are a gamer because there is nothing more pleasant experience than playing games. Here is a list of best Linux distros for gamers.

1. SteamOS

steam OS - Best Linux Distros for Gamers

SteamOS, without a doubt, is the most popular Linux distribution for Gamers. However, you should be cautious that SteamOS – unlike other distros – does not support a wide variety of hardware configurations. So, if you are building a system just for Steam OS, you should go through Steam’s official installation instructions.

Of course, the OS will ship with the Steam client where you can purchase/download games to play.

Best Linux Distro For Privacy

Are you a privacy buff looking for the best Linux distro? Let’s take a look at the best Linux distro for privacy.

1. Tails

tails OS - Best Linux Distros for Privacy - Best Linux Distros for Beginners

It is a live operating system which forces your Internet connection through the Tor network. It helps you preserve your privacy and anonymity. Maybe you need unrestricted access to a web page or simply do not want anyone to track your Internet behavior, in that case, Tails can prove to be one of the best Linux distributions around.

The best cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails, and messages – all built right into the OS. Head to its official site to try it out.

Best Linux Distro For Programmers

If you want, you can utilize Ubuntu as well – which is perfectly fine for programmers. In either case, you can try these distributions:

1. openSUSE

open suse - Best Linux Distros for Programmers - Best Linux Distros for Beginners

openSUSE is a popular choice among professionals working as sysadmins and developers across the world. Heck, you even get a parody version of “Uptown Funk” for openSUSE – something to cheer you up!

openSUSE may not be a viable option for a beginner – but once you are comfortable using Linux, you should go ahead and download openSUSE’s latest release.

2. Fedora

fedora - Best Linux Distros for Programmers - Best Linux Distros for Beginners

Fedora is not a great choice for casual desktop users. I would recommend you to install it for your workstation or server – where you (as a developer) get the complete control of the infrastructure and services with ease. It comes packed in with the latest data center technologies. You can choose any of the flavor available from the official website.

Best Linux Distro For Hackers

By hacking, you must be thinking about the dark world but we at TechReviewPro don’t endorse or promote hacking or any illegal activities. The below mentioned best Linux distros are for ethical hacking students and penetration testing.

1. Kali Linux

kali linux - Best Linux Distros for Hackers - Best Linux Distros for Beginners

Kali Linux is one of the best Linux distros and is the most popular distro for ethical hacking or penetration testing. It is based on Debian and comes bundled with a lot of penetration testing tools that will make your testing easy, while also having the tools up-to-date.

If you want to be an ethical hacker, it should be your best bet. Hands down the most advanced distribution for someone who wants to explore hacking and penetration testing. It might be focused OS for a specific group of people, but it supports a variety of hardware configurations. You will not have a problem with that.

Also Read: Fedora Vs Ubuntu – Differences Between Fedora and Ubuntu

Wrapping Up

For obvious reasons, there are tons more Linux distros available on the Internet. And, every distro available is good for some specific purpose. Among them, the ones we listed are the best you should try.

In addition to this, if you are curious to try new Linux distros, you should follow DistroWatch to keep an eye out for a variety of distributions.

Which Linux distro do you happen to use? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Related Resources:

  1. Best Linux Screen Recorder
  2. Best Linux Media Player
  3. Linux PDF Editors
  4. Linux Task Managers

Meet Author

Ankush Das

Ankush Das a.k.a. CEO_&[email protected](.in), is a very energetic person who always puts up an evil smile to counter any obstacle in his way. This dude is highly unpredictable and in fact, you can’t know what’s coming from him… be it his articles, generating an aura, or his personality. Here, he mostly covers stuff on the most popular mobile operating system (Android).

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