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Which is better for a first time linux user?

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  • Linux
  • Ubuntu
Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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April 5, 2012 12:54:43 AM

I was looking at trying Linux for the heck of it and I was wondering if Mint or Ubuntu is a better version of Linux for a first time Linux user? Thanks for anything that you can tell me.

More about : time linux user

April 5, 2012 3:00:59 AM

I personally never used Linux Mint. And only used Ubuntu for a few days. Which later I deleted since I didn't like it. Burn both OS to cd or make a bootable usb. Try both of them out for a few days and see which one you like better.
a b 5 Linux
April 5, 2012 3:06:41 AM

I would recommend Linux Mint alongside most in the forum.
a b 5 Linux
April 5, 2012 3:20:28 AM

Yeah, Mint has been the general consensus as of late. Ubuntu isn't headed in a direction many of us are too fond of.

I'd suggest installing VirtualBox (or your choice of Virtualization software), and just trying out a few distributions. That way you can try as many as you wish without mucking anything up :) 

Good luck!
April 13, 2012 2:48:46 PM

Ubuntu is all in one like XP, use it
a b 5 Linux
April 13, 2012 3:36:57 PM

vnytech said:
Ubuntu is all in one like XP, use it


Ubuntu is absolutely nothing like XP. Apples to Oranges.
April 13, 2012 6:02:43 PM

ReactOS is more similar to Xp than any thing else.
April 13, 2012 7:39:49 PM

As a first-time user myself, I ended up with Mint and have been thrilled with it.

IMO, they did a great job making it work well out of the box, so that even if you're a total novice, you can still find your way around while you're getting used to it.
a b 5 Linux
April 14, 2012 5:18:07 PM

Listen to the Captain!

@ mu33rto, I agree, if you just want a free alternative to Windows (and aren't willing to learning anything new), that'd be my suggestion. It doesn't have the support that Linux has however.
a b 5 Linux
April 17, 2012 11:32:57 AM

ReactOS is also alpha software, and about as useful as Wine.
April 18, 2012 5:06:33 AM

randomizer said:
ReactOS is also alpha software, and about as useful as Wine.

I have had better success making the app portable before trying to run in wine. Like onenote 2010 I had issue trying to install and running it from the regular installer.
April 18, 2012 10:27:10 PM

Zorin OS 5.2 is pretty simple for beginners, it is based on Ubuntu

P.S. don't "buy" any of their packages (unless you really want to or want to show your support). you can achieve the same results with the free version, they even recommend the free version to start with. wine is already installed on it plus another wine-like program. most of my games played fine cept for a few, but i blame the gpu (hd 5450 on athlon ii x2 220, htpc in the making). as others have stated Mint and Ubuntu are great distros for new users (i have used both and like both very much).
April 20, 2012 12:27:05 AM

It's got to be linux mint (well for me) but your taste might be different, but this is what make linux wonderful, so many to choose from.

Linux mint is easy to use and works out of the box and has great community support forums.

I would try mint 12 Main Edition first, out of the linux mint distros spins.

System requirements:

x86 processor (Linux Mint 64-bit requires a 64-bit processor. Linux Mint 32-bit works on both 32-bit and 64-bit processors).
512 MB RAM (1GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
5 GB of disk space
Graphics card capable of 800×600 resolution
CD/DVD drive or USB port

Mint 12 main edition comes with two default desktops to choose from, once you have install the mint OS, and cinnamon desktop which can be downloaded from the synaptic package manger.

Like the others have said mint and ubuntu are very good linux OS to start with, and get use to using linux.

If linux mint or ubuntu work for you, and once you gets settled with the way they work, and fancy trying another linux distro OS, you can try a different linux OS in virtual box. which you can download from the mint or ubuntu software manager, and install as a program in mint or ubuntu. which lets you try different OS with in mint or ubuntu (with out install or uninstalling all the time)

Cheers Dean
April 23, 2012 5:56:30 PM

I tried both before going with Mint. I prefer the UI of Mint over Ubuntu, and since Mint is based on Ubuntu, online help for Ubuntu will usually apply to Mint.
May 1, 2012 5:44:25 AM


Quick fix just install and go with familiar desktop, Mint

Steep learning curve for strange desktop environment and you need to install 3 things..Ubuntu

More familiar desktop, rock solid and you still need to install 3 things..Debian

Just fun and crazy fast on old equipment Puppy Linux.

Ubuntu Restricted Extras, JDK7 (Java) and DVD codecs are the 3 things by the way.
The first 2 are from the Ubuntu software centre, the DVD stuff is one line entered into a terminal.

sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

Have fun
May 1, 2012 4:30:26 PM

Mint or Ubuntu doesnt make much difference. I'd recommend Ubuntu personally. the linux kernel itself has the drivers for devices so it will be the same with either. the 2 main differences are that mint comes with flash and media codecs while in Ubuntu you have to install them separately. I believe now during the install you just click a button to install the media codecs (ie to play mp3s and dvds) in ubuntu so its easy to do as well. The other difference is that Ubuntu uses their own unity interface which is similar to Gnome3 shell, and Mint has their own interface called cinnamon which has the traditional start button on the lower left corner like in previous versions of WIndows. Even MS got rid of the start button in Win8.
May 1, 2012 7:21:31 PM

nhasian said:
Mint or Ubuntu doesnt make much difference. I'd recommend Ubuntu personally. the linux kernel itself has the drivers for devices so it will be the same with either. the 2 main differences are that mint comes with flash and media codecs while in Ubuntu you have to install them separately. I believe now during the install you just click a button to install the media codecs (ie to play mp3s and dvds) in ubuntu so its easy to do as well. The other difference is that Ubuntu uses their own unity interface which is similar to Gnome3 shell, and Mint has their own interface called cinnamon which has the traditional start button on the lower left corner like in previous versions of WIndows. Even MS got rid of the start button in Win8.


I personally would disagree with suggesting Ubuntu to a Linux newbie. My reasoning being is I think Unity/G3 is a big jolt from the familiar Win7 layout. Mint's Cinnamon is more "like what you've seen before" I guess it would depend on what the person's "learning tolerance" is.

I'll grant Unity/G3 looks slick and tempting, but IME it's awful to actually USE.
a b 5 Linux
May 1, 2012 10:43:01 PM

Unity is a better starting point for former OSX users though. It's much less of a change than moving to Cinnamon or Win 7.
May 2, 2012 5:17:58 AM

If you spent the first 12 years of your life being beaten with a rock and a belt and someone asked you what you liked better, rocks or belts...

Short answer..... Mint for a first time user will be easier to use, you don't have to install stuff to make it work.

Ubuntu for a first time user is not as easy to use, you will have to install 3 things before you can play flash games, java content and movies. This takes 10 minutes tops, even if you have to look everything up on Google.

You will "Distro hop", when you are happy with what you have you will be lured to other Linux Distributions, you will learn to install stuff, run a terminal and cd to directories.
Eventually you will find a game that you must have, you will spend a week trying to get it to work....you will probably fail.

Unity is a pain in the --- to use but once you understand everything is just a bit deeper and it's still there (by command line or Symantic) it's OK to use. I think Unity was designed to keep Grandma from clicking on pretty things like Gparted, She sees the web browser or Bingo shortcut in the taskbar and that's as far as she goes.

a b 5 Linux
May 2, 2012 11:21:03 AM

Unity is Metro for the FOSS world. It's going to be pushed onto phones, tablets and TV's, as demonstrated at the last CES. Quite why designers don't see that different form factors have different input methods and use case scenarios and design accordingly I don't know.
May 30, 2013 7:36:56 PM

Why biznazis **push** grotesque Metroesque UIs? Because they HATE the independence & power usrland accidentally got with clean, classical UIs ... we lusrs were not **supposed** to be so enabled. We were supposed to NEED them; the explosion of computer function during the 1990s ended up in a HW/SW riot of liberty! DSL put a spike thru their vampirish control-freak hearts.

How $$$.grubbing byte-nazis hate independent usrland! Now these monopoly power-monkeys want to take-it-back and make the computer un-usable except by their grace. Think so ...?

audiovoodoo said:
Unity is Metro for the FOSS world. It's going to be pushed onto phones, tablets and TV's, as demonstrated at the last CES. Quite why designers don't see that different form factors have different input methods and use case scenarios and design accordingly I don't know.


May 31, 2013 7:00:19 AM

Hate to be so narrow.. but anyone who didn't say Linux Mint as the best New User OS is wrong :p 

Seriously it's very close to the windows design, many PAIN in the necks like Flash / office / Java / ect.. are already installed (albeit may be out of date, but the updater does the work for you...)

The reason LM is the best is because it comes with these preinstalled... the most difficult thing for a new user to do is install a OS and the first thing you have to do is Jump into a Terminal to type out Code to get things working. With Linux Mint you install and then go watch your favorite youtube video or whatever you crazy kids do now adays...

Keep in Mind with Linux Mint many Ubuntu Articles for Fixes or troubleshooting will work just the same on Linux Mint. (LM is based on UBUNTU, although they are making their own way in the world as well).

Once you got 3 months under your belt and feel comfortable install Virtualbox and use it to try out other Distro's of Linux through this Virtual Machine..

VM"s run faster & smoother then USB Bootup's and gives you a better feel for it.. Also you can run it INSIDE of your OS so no rebooting junk just to try out a OS.. you can have multipel OS"s running at once with Virtual Machines..


I suggest once you get your feet wet with Linux Mint then try out Other Smashing Distros like:
Fedora (Based off Red Hat Unix server) this is the cutting edge Distro lots of eye candy and supports latest & greatest
Ubuntu - Linux Mint's based on Ubuntu you should feel at home and try out their Unity bar for faster access to Apps
OpenSuse - another great Distroy that is similar to Linux Mint

Some Terms

KDE - means it has a windows "Style" Start menu at the bottom left Hand corner
Gnome - Means it uses the Traditional Top left Corner Menu you find in Classic Linux OS"s
LXDE - Version of a OS means it's men't to run on slower/older machines for better performance you miss some of the fancy of the normal versions.

When you install Linux Mint, Once you log in you will shortly after get a notification that you have updates (like ANY OS lol) please install these first to get started updates are ALWAYS important :) 

Enjoy!
May 31, 2013 7:59:56 AM

Excellent accurate summary.

c911darkwolf said:
Hate to be so narrow.. but anyone who didn't say Linux Mint as the best New User OS is wrong :p 

Seriously it's very close to the windows design, many PAIN in the necks like Flash / office / Java / ect.. are already installed (albeit may be out of date, but the updater does the work for you...)

The reason LM is the best is because it comes with these preinstalled... the most difficult thing for a new user to do is install a OS and the first thing you have to do is Jump into a Terminal to type out Code to get things working. With Linux Mint you install and then go watch your favorite youtube video or whatever you crazy kids do now adays...

Keep in Mind with Linux Mint many Ubuntu Articles for Fixes or troubleshooting will work just the same on Linux Mint. (LM is based on UBUNTU, although they are making their own way in the world as well).

Once you got 3 months under your belt and feel comfortable install Virtualbox and use it to try out other Distro's of Linux through this Virtual Machine..

VM"s run faster & smoother then USB Bootup's and gives you a better feel for it.. Also you can run it INSIDE of your OS so no rebooting junk just to try out a OS.. you can have multipel OS"s running at once with Virtual Machines..


I suggest once you get your feet wet with Linux Mint then try out Other Smashing Distros like:
Fedora (Based off Red Hat Unix server) this is the cutting edge Distro lots of eye candy and supports latest & greatest
Ubuntu - Linux Mint's based on Ubuntu you should feel at home and try out their Unity bar for faster access to Apps
OpenSuse - another great Distroy that is similar to Linux Mint

Some Terms

KDE - means it has a windows "Style" Start menu at the bottom left Hand corner
Gnome - Means it uses the Traditional Top left Corner Menu you find in Classic Linux OS"s
LXDE - Version of a OS means it's men't to run on slower/older machines for better performance you miss some of the fancy of the normal versions.

When you install Linux Mint, Once you log in you will shortly after get a notification that you have updates (like ANY OS lol) please install these first to get started updates are ALWAYS important :) 

Enjoy!


a b 5 Linux
June 1, 2013 10:19:40 PM

You do realise this is a one year old thread, nss000?
!