[RESPONDED] Which linux for (linux) beginners

Hi, as there are so many different Linux versions out there (why oh why :sweat_smile:) could you suggest which one would be good for a newbie coming from windows?

I mainly want to use it for the average internet stuff (browsing /emails/ documents ect.) My main wishlist includes a (more) safer experience /more privacy and less vulnerabilities for viruses/hacker without losing much of the user friendly handling.

As I’m totaly new to Linux I would still prefer a user friendly version.

Foremost: which versions are working with framework “out of the box”

Looking forward to your comments.

I would say try different Live USBs to make up your mind before installing it on your laptop.

Here are some distros I recommend to first timers:

  1. PopOS!
  2. Fedora
  3. Ubuntu

They are popular enough to get support easily. PopOS is not as popular but has a company behind it and I can personally say they are very responsive, as well as their community. It’s based on Ubuntu, so if you search for help and you come across a guide for Ubuntu, it may very well also work for PopOS.

As for the 3 in general, I love that their default desktop environment is nothing like Windows or MacOS so it doesn’t lull you into a false sense of familarity, but remains easy to discover how to use on your own. Just try each of the three (use Ventoy so you can have all three on a single USB flash drive) and decide which one you like before you install.

There are some distros that looks familiar to WIndows. The problem with these is that I find they’re more of a hindrance to learning a new paradigm because of it’s cosmetic similarity to Windows - if you understand what I mean. It’s like you’ll keep trying to find how to do things the “Windows” way because it looks a lot like it.

Like learning a new language. Your native language may not translate well to a new langauge you’re trying to learn. If you can’t unlearn your native sentence structure, you may unintentionally try to fit the new language words in your native structure and it just… isn’t right. Think how Chinese or Japanese speakers when they are new to English. They may get the words right (or close, but different tense, etc) but say them in the wrong order.

I like to start beginners with something that’s close to stock Gnome. It’s easy and simple to discover how to use on your own without much fumbling, and doesn’t anything like Windows so it doesn’t lull you into a false sense of familiarity. It’s also not exactly like MacOS either. Definitely it’s own thing as well as a unique workflow.

PopOS adds their own tiling app and other extras unique to their distro out of the box, but as with any Linux distro, you can make any distro look/use/act like any other distro if you have the knowledge.

But then again, some people learn differently, so if you want to try these other distros that kinda give you a sense of cosmetic familarity, here are some that you may want to try:

  1. ZorinOS
  2. Linux Mint
  3. Elementry OS
  4. Deepin Linux
  5. Solus

I’ve only tried Zorin, Mint, and Elemetry, but not the last two. This was while I was also trying to find a distro to call home.

In case you’re wondering, I settled into Fedora 39. I do own a System 76 laptop that still has PopOS.

As for working out of the box in a FW laptop, I see a lot of people using Fedora and Ubuntu with very little issue if any.

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For AMD FW13 - Fedora 39 Workstation.


Ubuntu would be my first choice for beginners. One piece of advice I can give you is that you ought to become very familiar with the CLI (Command Line Interface) aka Terminal. The real power of Linux is in the terminal and if you really want to learn the environment, that is the best place. GUI’s are pretty much the same, albeit a few aesthetic differences here and there, but functionally not much different one from the next. Packages (software) are usually what sets them all apart.

Go ham and have fun! Once you become familiar with Terminal, then experiment with others until you find a DE (Desktop Environment) / Linux flavor that suits your needs.

If you like to experiment with cyber-sec stuff, Kali Linux is the choice for that. If you’re a developer, Fedora is a pretty good beginning choice. There is also PopOS which is Ubuntu based but designed by an entirely different company called System76 (they also make Linux laptops/desktops). From there you can go Debian or Arch (if you really want a challenge).

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In its current state, I found Fedora 39 easiest to get started with on my AMD FW13 - it worked well out of the box, while Ubuntu/Kubuntu 22.04 had to go through a lot more setup steps (see the “finishing setup” guides for details, https://github.com/FrameworkComputer/linux-docs/blob/main/Fedora39-amd-fw13.md vs https://github.com/FrameworkComputer/linux-docs/blob/main/ubuntu-22.04-amd-fw13.md). You might also consider one of the different Fedora “spins” with a different desktop environment - for instance, the “KDE spin” has a more Windows-like UI that may be easier to get used to, but it’s a lot more powerful/configurable than Windows once you want to get deeper into tinkering.

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I’ll echo some other comments here that Ubuntu would likely be a good place to start for a beginner. Other suggestions might be Linux Mint, Pop OS, Fedora.

You could try one out, see if it meets your needs and if not, there are lots of other variations of linux out there which is wonderful.

Good luck and happy distro hunting!

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I’m loving the stability of Fedora and the effectiveness in utilizing the desktop screen, but UI for beginners still has to go with Ubuntu. :slight_smile:


Fedora…Fedora…Fedora…all jokes aside…Fedora. Works out of the box, easy to install, and Framework is well tested with it. Hell there is even a Framework on the landing page for Fedora Workstation. There are many other reasons to use it, including it being the most secure by default.

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Check out distrosea.com. You can try some of the suggestions just in your browser, explore their GUI and general setup.

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I personally use BSD-style distributions like Arch/Gentoo/Slackware, but I recommend Debian to newbies, and you can tell I prefer distros closer to upstream than their derivatives.

Ubuntu and Fedora will theoretically receive the best support from Framework according to their site - Framework | Linux Compatibility on the Framework Laptop

I say go with Ubuntu LTS. In my experience, you get the most amount of relevant hits in a search engine when querying errors encountered in that distro. And you will doing a lot of Googling (or Binging if you’re of that persuasion).

Fedora Linux. You can see Fedora is listed as one of the Linux versions on the Framework’s Linux compatibility page. And as a desktop environment (you can select how GUI looks like on Linux), you may want to use GNOME or KDE that may give you a similar experience like Windows. Fedora Linux provides the GNOME in the default downloaded installer, and KDE spin installer too.

If you have general questions about Fedora, you can ask questions on Ask Fedora on the Fedora project’s forum. You can check the Framework forum’s Fedora thread [Fedora 39] on the Framework Laptop too.


If coming from Windows - try KDE. If coming from Mac OS - go for Gnome (which is as much opinionated too :smiley: - if you don’t like that - maybe try some other Gnome-based DMs like Cinnamon or Mate or fallback to KDE again). Other than that, if you’re on latest CPUs, for best experience use very recent distro version and kernel, since drivers and support are baked in the kernel (latest 6.6 kernels also sport better task scheduler). I won’t comment on easier to use distro, as most of them are relatively easy, with some exceptions like Slackware, Arch and similar.

While Arch was for a long time considered only for advanced users and hard to install, the addition of the Calamares graphical installer, and redistros like EndeavourOS have flattened the learning curve for Arch significantly. Additionally, the Arch Wiki is some of the best documentation available for common issues, hardware quirks, etc.

So, with that, I would recommend giving EndeavourOS a try.


The documentation is definitely what caused me to initially try it, I don’t know of a lot of distros that do it that well. However even with arch-install or other even more guided methods I am still not sure I’d recommend it to an absolute beginner.

Endeavour might work though, still though popos or fedora (or hell even ubuntu XD) are probably safer options.

EndeavourOS really does make Archlinux accessible to a complete noob, without doing too much beyond the install. The community is really engaged, and if you need some help figuring out what the Archwiki is telling you to do it is a great place to learn.

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It does kinda look like what manjaro used to be just without the bi-weekly major fuck up XD.

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Half the community at EndeavourOS is the old Manjaro community. I left Manjaro when they did Jonathon dirty, along with probably 75% of the community. Another bunch of Manjaro Old Hats landed on Garuda.

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I ended up moving to just plain arch but that’s definitely not something I’d recommend to a beginner.

I used to use Ubuntu/Mint in my early linux days, but I was constantly frustrated by random features not working or something breaking after an update. Or having to wait for a new packahe version or hunt down some custom PPAs…

That’s one of the reasons I chose it initially. Followed by the fact you basically build your own custom setup. And really learn the ins and outs of it, so if something breaks you usually know where. Plus, since it’s a rolling release distro, you get the new software versions in a timely manner

That might not be for everyone, though, so I second the endeavorOS option.

Also, KDE, while looking similar to windows in the default setup, is highly customizable and adds a lot of productivity features I’m missing on windows.

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