Fact Checked

What is the Most User Friendly Linux® Distribution?

R. Kayne
R. Kayne

Linux® is an open-source operating system (OS) designed to compete with Microsoft Windows® for a share of the ever-growing computer market. Because it is an open-source OS, it has been developed by many different groups into several different incarnations. Some flavors are free, others are not, and some are designed for UNIX® geeks while others are geared towards the average user. Which Linux® distribution (“distro”) is the most user friendly depends on the user's needs, but there are some popular choices.

First up for friendliest distribution is Ubuntu®. This OS comes with a built-in suite of applications including a word processor, spreadsheet program, graphics editor, email client, FireFoxWeb browser, games and more. Ubuntu® is 100% free and the website promises free updates every six months to keep users' systems current. It has a built-in catalog of software applications that are also free and available with the click of a button. To make Ubuntu® even more attractive users can exchange, open and edit many common Window® file formats with friends, such as Word® documents and Windows® music or graphics files.

Ubuntu® is the most friendly distribution for Linux®.
Ubuntu® is the most friendly distribution for Linux®.

Neck-and-neck with Ubuntu® is the Linux® distribution PCLinuxOS™. Aside from matching Ubuntu® in areas previously mentioned, a nice feature of this OS is that it is available as a Live CD, bootable without installation on to the system. When used as a Live CD, user configuration files can be saved to a memory stick. Alternately, it can be installed to the hard drive. Both Ubuntu® and PCLinuxOS™ have familiar point-and-click interfaces with solid reputations for recognizing and installing drivers for most common hardware. Users with advanced graphics cards might find themselves doing a bit of searching online for support.

Linux is an operating system for personal computers.
Linux is an operating system for personal computers.

Despite progress towards friendlier versions of Linux®, one complaint common among inexperienced users is difficulty with installing new software. While different distributions come with programs pre-installed, ability to load new software is of course, key. Users might find this more challenging than what they’re used to.

Other Linux® distributions have aimed to address this issue by providing a special plugin that should allow a user to visit a specific website, click on the desired software package and sit back while the site performs the installation process for the user. Distributions that offer this are not always free, however.

There are many sources for support for people who are curious to try a Linux® distribution package. Ubuntu® and PCLinuxOS™ are both free to download, although there is typically a minimum charge for materials and shipping to try a Live CD. Individuals who have a dial up connection might want to request a CD, as distribution files are quite large.

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Discussion Comments


As a lifelong Windows user I'm familiar with MS pitfalls and stability issues which they also have. So, my question to Linux fans one and all is which of the major distros offer the best opportunity of installing my Brother Printer which if you're familiar with Brother you're also aware they come with large files and a suite of options for any user?

I've been reading posts, watching videos and visiting various websites about two years and yet to learn decisively to a point of forming an opinion which would be my best bet.


OS's and PC's have come a long way since the 70's and I too have used most of them to include Windows in every flavor, messed with Apple, even wrote code for the Amega 2000 back in the 80's.

While Windows is the common, accepted standard due to gamers out there they stepped over the line with their invasive spyware, 50,000 page user agreements (Exaggeration I know, but not by much) and Windows 10 was the final blow for me.

Linux Mint has been my new favorite for a few years now. More and more games are being developed for Linux based systems to include Steam games. Linux is at the forefront of a new revolution, one in which we take back our computers and control over our destiny instead of having junk, trash and useless code bloat shoved down our throats.

Windows patches are typically larger than the original program after just a year or so -- seriously? Linux! De Opresso Libra!


@anon329617: About unwanted apps. There is a whole team voting for programs that are useful. There is one tool for every kind of use in Ubuntu. If you want the alternative, just uninstall the other tool. You are not complaining about powershell, notepad and explorer in windows, are you?


@anon329617: Of course, you can choose the hard way and type "install libre office" and wait for it to be installed, and yes, you have to switch the install for the distros command, e.g. apt-get install but the heck, that's totally easy.

Ubuntu is not bloated, It has one program for each usage and it fits on a CD.

Re the command lines: You fail at the command line if you type all the lines.

Also, there is no need to touch the command line, but on the other hand, it's the main plus linux and osx have over the command lines are using huge paths, You develop carpal tunnel syndrome just typing an enormous command line on an ever larger path.


@poster 49: Linux is an operating system and many others are based on it, like Android. As such, Linux is a skeleton from which the applications hang.

What you probably mean, and I have to agree with you on that, that it is very difficult to install and remove apps and that is something that many if not all distros neglect.

A point in case is Ubuntu where, if you uninstall an unwanted app, who at Ubuntu decides that I want such a program in any case?

Anyway my feeling is that Ubuntu is as bloated as windows, but not as stable. Linux in the early 90's was miles ahead of MS and probably still is, but if I compare the stability and ease of operation of W7, then none of the many distros I tried can compete any more.


I'm not sure what planet the poster of post 49 is on, but linux is not "user unfriendly" at all, especially not in recent years. In addition, what are you talking about "Lack of hardware support"? Linux has the greatest hardware support! It was the first OS to support countless things, including USB 3.0.


It's really sad that Linux is so user unfriendly after the many years it's been out, not to mention the lack of hardware support.


@anon6397: You can run some of windows based sw through wine api translator (google wine).

Linux does not stand a chance of success. Linux stood a chance of success and it won. It dominates server and embedded systems market and with onset of cloud computing its usage will only continue to grow. That said, linux gui desktop apps mostly stink.


Why are some people saying Windows has substandard software? Windows has the highest standard of software. That's what employed developers are paid to create. Another thing, no ordinary user wants to mess around with command windows. Until linux is 100 percent point and click, just like Windows, it will *never* become mainstream.

Also, Linux seriously lacks quality games -- the thing that made Windows so popular. Wine is definitely not a solution in its current state since Windows software runs with half its performance when compared to a native Windows install. The other major problem is lack of standards and especially, any consideration for backward compatibility, where frequent upgrading of the OS is done with a high risk of breaking installed applications or some aspect of the OS that currently works.


I've used Ubuntu for years, and every update fails for one reason or another, usually grub gets remove. Also Linux software may be free, but there's been nothing new for 10 years. Linux is not a viable alternative to Windows or Apple os on the desktop.


Linux is for servers. Linux has had its day in the consumer market 3 or 4 years ago when it managed to get on netbooks and briefly on Dell pcs. Poor driver support and forums where geeks instruct noobs to type in line upon line of command put paid to Linux' attempts to go mainstream.

As for the argument that Linux has loads of free software - what a shame none of it has been developed for more than 10 years. Sorry Linux has had it's day and it screwed up.


I'm using the Jolicloud OS and it's doing great! Rescued a crashed netbook with it. Installed super easily and my mobile broadband stick worked instantly after installing, just had to right click on the two disconnected looking cord things and go to enable mobile broadband connection. You don't even have to download any software to get the broadband working. I'd recommend giving it a try.


I've tried several Linux distros over the years and am not happy with any of them when compared to microsoft. I suggest you run Ubuntu 10 inside windows so that you can easily uninstall when you find, to your disappointment, that it will not run all the accessories you may have (try connecting a USB to serial converter, you will have no end of trouble getting it to work!) XP, Vista (when properly installed is fast enough, 1min 45sec boot time) and seven are still ahead of Linux incompatibility.

The best OS for compatibility in my view and experience is XP (linux, vista and 7 have issues with some accessories and programs). Also check your peripherals to make sure what system, 32 or 64 bit you should install. If in doubt use 32, this goes for microsoft and linux.


I tried good few windows (95, 2000, xp, xp professional, vista, 7) and Linux Distributions like: Ubuntu 9.10, 10.04LTS, 10.10 Fedora 9, Fedora 13 and then Linux mint9. But what is my experiences are:


1. Linux is way too fast, very strong Boot Management, secure and good performance.

2. I found Linux never failed to system boot or kill the system totally.

3. I don't need restart my machine, whatever I do.

4. Computer never slows down. It doesn't matter whatever you do or how long you are running your machine.

And many more.


1) If you're using Nokia PC Suits, windows is only choice. You can't run in Linux o/s.

2) Good quality sound or video softwares run in windows (sometimes).

3) More compatible using any file format.

Still, I want to say, if you want to use any faster or reliable o/s system try Ubuntu Linux. Any good Windows then Windows 7.


MS and Apple are spending billions a year for their system while linux with its billions of flavors is the product of a bunch of people working individually, each with his own opinion and taste, with no central supervision from a software architect who designs and follows the development of the software. It is like a huge organism without a head, a central command.

The command lines are using huge paths, you develop carpal tunnel syndrome just typing an enormous command line on an ever larger path. Aunt Jenny will find an MS or Apple product friendlier than any Linux flavor ever! Any employee would find MS and Apple much friendlier and easy to use. Linux is OK for enterprise servers, switches, applications.


First, I love Linux. I will not use Windows unless I have to. I have delved fairly deep into some more nitty gritty distros such as Arch and Gentoo, but I prefer Linux Mint because it does take care of more of the configuration that I often just don't have time to mess with anymore.

That said, for the average person used to Windows, any stumbling blocks in Linux (wifi cards aren't detected, software installation, etc.) are too difficult to troubleshoot or they simply don't want to figure it out. Their computers are supposed to work for them, not the other way around.

Basically I find Linux to be wonderful. If someone who knows what they are doing sets the computer up for someone who doesn't, that's great, but a complete newbie could be in way over their heads. (My girlfriend furrows her brows when I talk about partitioning hard drives).

Many folks have gotten used to 'computers' being 'Windows' and they 'already learned that and don't want to learn again!'. 'What is a package manager? Why can't I go to the website and D/L setup.exe like normal?'

Blah, blah, blah. I will use Linux and continue to set it up for family and friends. One day it will get there for the average user.


Wine does not run 90 percent of anything. Linux is Linux. Try it out and see for yourself. There are damn good reasons it is, and always will be less than 3 percent of the desktop market share. Also, the unbeatable Nix servers are steadily losing ground to MS in that market too. Why? Easier, more supported, more stable and less training needed to manage it. We just switched to a windows server due to impervious Linux being infected and I have to say I have never been happier to admin this freaking network. Linux needs to get over itself so it can hit puberty. Linux is not perfect, it is not the way the light or sandwich. That being said, for noobs, I'd say PCLinuxOS followed by Mint.


Just installed Linux Mint (Julia) this weekend and absolutely love it. Installed in in addition to Windows Vista - just to be on the safe side. Now, that I've actually used Linux, I don't even want to mess with Windows anymore. Linux is so much more stable, no restarts required after software installations, and it's very user friendly.

Even my husband, who is less computer literate than I am, likes Linux Mint. It definitely does not take a scientist to install and run Linux Mint successfully. Oh, and the tutorials are very, very helpful with detailed instructions. If I can help it, I will never run Windows ever again.


I find that windows is the most buggiest and crash prone OS I have ever used. I use Linux Mint and it detects all my hardware and software is a breeze to install. Never have to reboot after installing programs (like you do in windows). Yes, Windows 7 is nice but it's a huge memory hog.


Pinguy, out of the box and easy to go!


you said it right my friend. i am interested in Linux an tried puppy first and then ubuntu. ubuntu install great. i wanted to install cinnilerra and vlc media players into it. o man no idea where to start. i tried all the help in the web no way. i tried from terminal typing everything i found in the help but no going. is there anyone who can help me step by step. also some geek who can help me with till i am familiar and become in the know how on Linux.

Kevin Price

This has been posted in other forums, but I thought it might be helpful.

I have worked in the field of IT for over thirty years and have seen the complete evolution of Microsoft and Apple. Supporting Windows clients and Apple clients to a lesser degree have provided me with much income for decades! I have played with Linux/BSD since the mid 90s and since 2003 have delved in deeper.

I find there is a certain arrogance both in the Linux and the BSD communities. Many wonder why more Microsoft users don't convert to Linux. Microsoft users typically are not true users of the OS. They only know that if they point and click, then something happens (good or bad)! If we ever expect "Linux for the masses", we must come down off our trees and truly realize this. Over the last two years I took it upon myself to find the best distro out there for the "masses".

I have installed scores of distros and had many friends, colleagues, and coworkers test drive them. Their skills ranged from "point and click" to experienced IT professionals. From all this evaluation I reached one conclusion. For 90 percent of users, if we want a "Linux for the masses", we have to build a distro which installs very easily, with everything working out of the box (including codecs, flash, jre, etc.), easy to configure and use, stable, user friendly rich software repositories, simple clean interface with beautiful "eye candy" (see MacOSX), and friendly, non geeky support.

Considering all this, I believe we have still "missed the boat". KDE looks a little like Windows but is clumsy, and what's with all the "K"s? Gnome is clean, simple and sensible, but not at all the style of Windows.

So which distros would I recommend for a brave Microsoft user to try and convince them to take the leap?

1. Linux Mint (Gnome) *best by far!

2. Ubuntu *easy to configure

3. PCLinuxOS (Gnome) *trouble with some browser plugins, etc.

4. Puppy (just for fun) *Woof! Woof!

5. PC-BSD (just for BSD bragging rights) *"Hey, I use UNIX!"

6. All the rest of them want real challenges. "hey, I'm a geek!"

So like what was said in another blog, "please don't get your panties in a bunch." Just my opinion.


I think user friendliness is partially dependent on which OS you are used too. The only way to see which is more user friendly is to have two people who have never used computers before try them.


I have tried several Linux versions by installing them alongside my Windows 7 on my netbook using virtual clone drive. I tried Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Linux Mint and jolicloud. But none of them even recognized my wireless broadband connection, wifi except for Jolicloud, which recognized it right away, and linux mint after a long struggle to update the drivers using my wired connection.

The most annoying thing for me was having to log in with a username and password every time i started my computer,installed programs or did anything on my computer. Jolicloud let me auto log in so I did not have to log in every time I re booted my computer but i did have to enter a password to do anything else. Then there was the software problem.

In Jolicloud most of the web browsers in the packages did not even work. The Arora browser, Midori browser and Epiphany browser and other web browsers did not work, although the chat messengers Meebo and others, did but I can get the same ones on Windows.

On Linux mint the software was working better but Ubuntu, kubuntu and Xubuntu did not work at all because i could not connect to the Internet on wireless broadband only on wired broadband and even then I could not use anything properly.

Also, although you are supposed to be able to install software from the Internet as well as from the software packages. I could not only from the packages and even then a lot did not work.

But fortunately because I did not do a complete install i was able to uninstall all of the Linux software and get all of my hard drive space and now I just have windows 7 only. But if i had been stupid enough to go for a full install then I would have been permanently stuck with Linux a software that is not user friendly and will never be as good as Windows and does not even work properly the way an operating system should work.

So my advice is never get rid of of windows and never replace your operating system with Linux. You will be making a big mistake because there are too many hassles and problems with this software. Stay with Windows,even if you only have Windows 95 or windows XP. You are better off with windows. Andrea B.


well it's quite simple: Linux is for professionals. I had deployed and managed hundred of servers on Linux and Windows platforms. Linux is way ahead of windows with more robust, secure, stable system - one which i can always trust. no system crashes, no blue screen of death, better security and even better online support from community.

As far games and music, etc are concerned, one can choose windows. I mostly work with Red Hat Enterprise 5.


I used Ubuntu and I did not find it very user friendly.

If you just want a distro for purpose of listening to your mp3 music and watching movies, this distro is not for you! Being a newbie I could never get the mp3 files to work and I do not want a 100 step technical explanation on how to do so.

Use SimplyMEPIS. It is the best distro. My mp3s work out of the box without having to install any miscellaneous stuff.


I have been using this amazing Linux OSes for the last six years. It is indeed fantastic OS. But because I have to install and use some sophisticated software, such as marine loading and stability and also navigation software, I am having big scale hard times.

Like many of you indicated, unfortunately and somehow 99 percent of software is "still" manufactured for windows OS only. The problem starts at this point.

In my very humble opinion, if this gorgeous Wine application is improved so as to let us Linux lovers use, run, and install the softwares, I am very sure it will be a revolution in the computer world and I am very sure that the number of Linux users will explode million times than it is today. It may be hard, but I know it is not impossible.

Dear Linux programmers and developers, I am very grateful to you for your precious time you are spending for us and letting us enjoy this wonderful OS, please fix this problem and I will stop switching between Linux and windows.

And thus, windows monopoly will be a history in my very humble opinion. Thanks.


I have been a windows user all my life, and in order to switch over to linux I had to go through many distros to find the one which gives the best "out of the box" experience. I tried ubuntu, kubuntu, fedora, centos and rat had.

i have been at it since the start of this year, and all of the above OS fell short on something and i was about to give up on linux until i tried mandriva. it probably has the best support for my hardware.

It's hard to connect to a USB evdo modem but mandriva got me connected to the internet in a matter of minutes, I am a happy linux user now, bye bye windows.


i have used win 98,xp,ME,(oh no, not vista) and 7. nothing comes near Linux. i love ubuntu. and those people who go to the terminal to install the program, use the linux program center. yes, gaming is tough but that is because the game developers wouldn't port their games to linux. Doom3 runs perfect.

hardware detection failing: did your hardware come with a linux driver cd? again, blame the hardware seller

more open source? go show you support and then you get more open sources.

I am using ubuntu 10.04 and i don't have a single problem in my pc. and i am a newbie, mind you.


I have been dabbling with linux for a while now. I think I started fooling around with Fedora 3 and now it is at 13. I really learned a lot about the system and it has helped me tremendously with learning Ubuntu and Mint.

At this point, I can support linux as easily as I USED to support Windows. In my opinion, Mint is a very good OS. I have also enjoyed other os's for their strengths, such as Mandriva, and xandros. Try them out, see for yourself and use the program Xchat to find many individuals willing to help you with the problems you may face.

As always, just be polite to them because they are doing this support as a favor and are not paid. Have fun and learn to use your brain for gain.


I cut my teeth on MS-DOS. I have used every incarnation of Windows. I started learning Linux a few years ago and I have tried lots of distributions. My experience has been disappointing thus far. The OS is a disorganized gaggle of code that's just packed with bugs and conflicts.

MS takes a lot of crap but one thing I can tell you is this: I have been able to get a Windows based PC to do damn near anything I want it to. As much as I wanted it to be a fun and exciting alternative to Windows, Linux has turned out to be a big hassle no matter what distro I install.

Until someone really takes a hold of Linux and refines it, it will never be a truly competitive OS. It may be fun for the tinkerer but it's a nightmare for the average user. Maybe the creators of Linux like it that way.

Anyone who claims that Linux is superior to Windows is simply fooling themselves. Windows trashes it in every category. Why anyone would want to spend three hours trying to get Ubuntu just to play a video or fight OpenSUSE to get on the internet is beyond me. I'd rather spend my time actually using the PC than trying to get it to do simple tasks.

The best Linux I've seen is Mint. It still has all the pitfalls of Ubuntu lurking in the background, though. Still, I think they are headed in the right direction. Linux is just not ready for primetime yet. That's all.


Long time I was user of XP Pro and familiar with it as good as professional administrator. So it's not a problem for me to manually clean its system registry or find and kill rootkit, setup hardware drivers or fine tune performance, etc. But now I am happy with SuSE on my desktop and Ubuntu NetBook Remix on my ThinkPad.

Yes I know XP well enough to make it a working OS but I see no reason to use such knowledge if I can install Ubuntu in 30 minutes with no need to spend half of day setting up drivers, firewall, antivirus, office and much more. Just install and here it is - a ready to work OS. Microsoft products in comparison to latest linux distribution looks like a parody to OS: it eats system resources by itself.

One of my old boxes have 1.4GHz Athlon, 256Mb RAM, 32Mb GeForce2 MX2 and I can hardly imagine Vista or Seven on it. XP works so-so. But recent Ubuntu works on it better than old XP and gives to user latest version of software with decent GUI!


Linux Mint 8 KDE 64 is what I have been running for quite some time now on this hp dv2000T laptop. It is indeed built on the ubuntu platform but out performs it in just about every aspect imaginable. The last time I used ubuntu i had to download media codecs! what? Mint comes with almost every codec there is out there, openoffice, gimp, and the Mint Menu! Which all in itself is noteworthy.

Linux Mint also has several community editions such as fluxbox, kde, gnome, and many others. I would highly recommend using it over any other variety of Linux due to its stunning looks, simplicity of use, and overall performance. Cheers.


I have been using Mandriva Linux for quite a long time and haven't used windows since I don't know when.

I use Google earth on it, no problem. I use the Open Office and Gimp quite a bit. Firefox Mozilla is the web browser and there is no problem.

Haven't had any virus problems yet, knock on wood. I use a Wine program to run some window applications if I need to. You can load Mandriva on as a dual boot for windows, too.

The good thing is it is free to download and there are updates if you need them. I have tried Ubuntu and it seems to be about the same as Mandriva for performance. All you can do is try it. If you don't like it, at least you tried.


Linux is user unfriendly and doesn't have enough open source software? Lol

As a long term user of Windows and a Linux newbIE can assure you that distros such as Ubuntu and Sabayon are not only as user friendly as Windows with many more configuration options, but come set up with far more programs installed.

As for drivers being hard to find, well I've yet to find any hardware on my pc Linux doesn't support.


Ubuntu is nice but limited! Real stuff is done in windows (windows 7 in particular). Java support exists in both OS but you never can do programming in Delphi in Linux. As for games and driver support, windows wins again! wine is so buggy!


PCLinux is indeed, very slick out of the box. But if you do have a problem, forget it. The "support" forums are populated by script kiddies who don't know anything in depth, and have (apparently) no ability to read and comprehend a simple question.

They've learned how to do a few things, so they think they are experts, but they have no fundamental understanding. They are also highly offended if you point out that "edit your config.sys" is not an appropriate answer for someone who posts with a video problem and lets us know he's a complete newbie.

For some reason, it's okay to give a completely useless answer like that, but it's not okay to point out why it's completely useless.

On the other hand, the Mint forums seem to be populated by adults who actually know what they are doing.


how could you write ubuntu does not have a live cd? and how can you forget for windows to linux to mention linux mint. the worthy son of ubuntu (also with live cd).

sir i question your knowledge based on the question of usability, especially when it comes to new ones coming off Windows.

Yes, it is a known fact that is not really a top level gamers system, i.e.. new games etc., but as a secure, productive environment for all tasks excluding some it is not hard or to be feared.

To play games or some special for windows software you can always dual boot. This is simple enough and you have the best of both worlds,

plus it is a learning experience.

And for almost all you can do with Windows, there's a linux counterpart. Granted you will have to learn and adapt a lot but remember when you started with Windows. Think about it.

And, almost all distros have live cd, not as infrared above just one.


Linux can run games. it just takes knowing how to use it, and no, it's not user friendly, it's intelligent friendly. Not for someone who likes being a Windows tool and letting the computer be smarter than the user and do everything for you. Linux is for those who want virtually no limits to what they can do with their computer and for those who want customization, stability and security.

now don't take it as i hate windows because i like each os for its strong points such as yes, a windows pc will run games much better any day but i just wish people weren't so lazy as to say i don't want to learn it so i'll stay with windows.

My children will be brought up with a linux Desktop at home and they will have to learn windows in school, but that shouldn't be hard for them.


I have used Win98, XP, and Vista and am moderately computer savvy. I hate Vista -- it's slow and I swear it fights me!

I loved XP, but my new system came with Vista (2gb mem, Core 2 Duo and still is slowish with Vista). Anyway, I loaded Ubuntu as a dual boot on the PC. It installed easy, found the drivers, hit the internet with no problems but it will not play prerecorded DVDs.

I've been to several sites and hit the terminal command and tried various options. The player now just goes into an infinite loop. I have pretty much given up on it. I may try Linux Mint. It's supposed to be more user friendly and play DVDs without problems. But I agree Linux seems to be aimed at programmers and not the average user. Who has time to learn all those terminal machine commands?


I Love Linux Mint is the better Ubuntu Version!


Linux is user unfriendly period. It doesn't matter what distro you have. You have to be an IT professional to just get the thing halfway working. I am a former IT professional who probably going back to school for it (I am a glutton for punishment.)

Windows does have substandard software but that substandard software works and doesn't require the average end user to jump through a 1001 hoops to install it. Ill always have one hard drive dedicated to Windows so I can get stuff done and one HDD for linux. It's no harm, no foul for my linux install. I can just reinstall.


I am using ubuntu on my laptop. some things look nice but it racks me off when i try to install programs like google earth just to get it to work is a task in itself. For example, I go to the terminal (what the heck is a terminal)? and then you're supposed to enter some code to get your program to run. What a load of tosh. Why can't it be just a simple install like you do on windows? I'm thinking of going back to windows 7. best ever. Ubuntu is not at all user friendly, apart from a few things, but when it comes to installing games or software, it stinks. phil


my sister's six month old HP with Windows Vista runs like she's had it for years. I already had to re-install windows on it once because it took so long to perform simple tasks. two months later its just about as bad as before.

take your spare time for a few days and install and configure some kind of linux distribution. once it's up and running you will not have problems.


I am an average user. I sometimes do my office work on my laptop and the edited excel and word files haven't complained yet on my office windows machine. After getting vista I had a lot to complain as vista hogs memory. Ubuntu does not, and there was something about a blue screen which I can't remember. never mind, I have been using ubuntu too long now.


Linux is not user friendly. Behind the nice desktops lurks an OS that depends on you entering loads of arcane code into a console when it won’t detect some of your hardware (which it won’t). You can get help on the many forums – unless you mention you want this mess off your computer. It’s free for good reason, no-one would pay for this. Avoid.


For the average user, Linux wins. All they need is browser (firefox), document editor (openoffice), maybe an email manager (I don't use one), burning software, music manager. Also if you're running a server or processor intensive program (especially in the sciences), Linux is the best.

For a power user, Windows has the software edge. Can you game on Linux? Sure it's better on Windows. How about driver support for hardware? Windows wins again. Desktop/Theme customization? Windows doesn't make it easy but it has the largest community and the most options. Music or video conversion? AcidPro? Photoshop? (actually google is working on that)


I don't like linux because wine is so buggy. If only they had more open source software written for linux!


The whole point of Linux is to get away from Windows and the sub-standard software written for it!


I am new to Linux. Are there any of these Linux OS's that will run Windows programs? With the proliferation of Windows programs around, that would be the kind of Linux that might stand a chance of success.


ubuntu also comes as a live CD.

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