Vote: is Zorin OS the best distribution for the Framework for first time Linux users?

I am a daily user of ZorinOS and I use MacOS too, if you want a powerful but still simple linux I really recommend ZorinOS, I use it since almost 2 years and I can not be more happy with it, but I do not know how the Framework Laptop works with it, since it din’t launch in my country yet​:sob::switzerland:. Really recommend you install it, as well on the Framework Laptop as on your old unsupported Mac’s.

Either the criticality isn’t clearly communicated in the OP, or there’s a life priority issue.

I’m not a Framework user just yet as I will be purchasing one in the coming 2 months, but I am a relatively new Linux user having started full-time using Linux based OS’s exclusively since around December. For the poll, I answered the “it’s complicated” because anything “can be” easier or harder.

Prior to going full time Linux, I dabbled with Mint, Ubuntu, and Manjaro XFCE. I tried to use Manjaro XFCE full time at one point but couldn’t get past a month of usage and quickly found myself using Windows again.

I think ZorinOS has the best beginner friendly theming set up from the start (of the distributions I used previously). There is a lot of out-of-the box changes from the startup page when you first download the ISO. With this, I was able to make the theme very comfortable to me within the first 5 minutes of having the OS downloaded. Everything is very customizable with GUI’s that are immediately accessible, of which I think are more beneficial for someone who has never used Linux full time.

I think Zorin OS being Ubuntu based is also helpful as my experience with Manjaro XFCE (about a year prior to any mention of Steam Deck) made my time using Linux difficult. Almost all guides are written with Debian/Ubuntu in mind and when something breaks, it is a million times easier to find a solution as a beginner than with non Debian/Ubuntu based Distros. Having said that, I do think the future might entail more Manjaro-oriented, or Arch-oriented solutions as the release of the Steam Deck, and as a result Steam OS, will begin to flood with Stack Overflow questions/solutions. I think in the future if/when Steam Deck/OS becomes more popular, Manjaro KDE will be a strong beginner contender for intro distributions. It’s already seeing an increase in Forum questions and answers, I just don’t think it is on the same scale as Debain/Ubuntu yet.

TLDR; I think what helped me the most with staying on Linux was ease of use Varied Theming out of the box -AND- ease of solution attainment. I think Debian/Ubuntu derivatives are the better introduction for new-to-Linux crowd not because it’s inherently easier or what have you, but because there are years of solutions en masse available on the internet compared to other derivatives like Fedora or Arch. This doesn’t mean those solutions aren’t available, but when you have a very specific problem, you’re more likely to find it for Debian than the others, in my experience. If you can ease that frustration, then I think that will be a better experience and lead to more likely keeping Linux installed rather than falling back on Windows.

If you’re looking for a Linux OS similar to Windows, my solution would be Fedora with the KDE Desktop Environment. It offers a visually similar feel out of the box and is stable and well supported. For a Mac feel, Fedora with XFCE Desktop Environment might work (with some tweaking).

Bonus: For a very Mac-like distribution, check out “hello Linux.”

Everyone has their own opinions so picking one version over another is difficult. You could try reviewing some YouTube videos of people who show different Linux versions and desktops, and using that information, see which one speaks to you.

Good luck!