In the interest of starting a flame war (hehe), what is your favorite Linux distro for newbies?

I haven't thought about this in years, but just thought I'd see what Linux people think in 2023.

Always a nod to distrowatch to see what the current favs are. On my desk I keep bootable USBs with Ubuntu, Puppy and TAILS.

I don't run Linux often but have worked with it since Slackware 0.11 (don't drop that box of 3.5 inch floppies!)

Checking Distrowatch and the only one in the top 5 that I recognize is Mint. Fedora, Ubuntu, and Debian are all lower down nowadays. Who woulda thunk. I guess I'm a dinosaur here?

I used to use RedHat 4 back in the day. Then 5, then 7.

commented: Redhat memory. Bought Redhat stock as it opened for trading. You know what happened next. +17
commented: Ha, I must a dinosaur too. My last RedHat was 7.3, then I went to Gentoo, then Ubuntu and finally sitting on Pop_OS. +1

I've tried several distros on an old computer over the years - ubuntu, kbuntu, SUSE, etc. I gave up on all of them. With Windows, my recovery plan is simple

C: OS and apps
D: everything else (date, images, etc).

If I get into serious trouble I just restore a C image from my D:\images folder (or offline media in a pinch). I was never able to get a similar system set up on linux. And every time I ran into a problem in linux, every answer I got assumed I had knowledge or tools that I did not have.

To be honest, I haven’t distro hopped since Linux distros started moving from the venerable Gnome 2, to the frankly horrific Gnome 3. And have never really paid any attention to what’s happening on

During my last big distro-hop I tried lots of different distros. I ended up using Arch for a few years, with suckless.orgs dwm (tiling window manager) which I fell in love with. Before eventually settling down with Debian (installed via the minimal net installer, so I could avoid Gnome 3) and manually installed X11 and my beloved dwm.
And I’ve stuck with the Debian/dwm combo ever since.

So I have very little first-hand experience with more recent Linux distros.

A couple of months ago, I installed POPOS on my girlfriends nephew’s PC. He was frustrated with Windows and decided he wanted to switch to Linux, after seeing Linux running on my laptop.

POPOS’s setup was an absolute doddle. And being a Ubuntu based, Debian family distro, maintenance is a doddle too.

He got the hang of things pretty quickly after a short guided tour/tutorial from myself.

Also, after installing Steam on there for him (along with Discord and Spotify) - he was extremely happy to discover that ALL of the games in his Steam library were playable in Linux (at least, they were after enabling ‘Steam Play’).

And he has since claimed that most of his games seem to perform better on Linux than they ever did on Windows. So that’s a glowing endorsement from a happy Linux noob!

So from personal experience, POPOS seems like a pretty good candidate for newer users.

And from spending a lot of time at, Mint always seems to be a perennial newbie choice.
MX Linux is another really popular one.

Garuda and Manjaro are distros whose names seem to crop up quite a lot in newbie posts too. Which seems odd, as they’re both Arch based distros. And Arch is not usually considered to be particularly noob friendly. Especially if installed ‘the Arch way’! Ha ha!

commented: doddle? +15

I haven't distro-hopped in a while, but I am using Pop_OS! (Ubuntu based). It's not that user friendly but good enough, you can do most things through a UI and updates are somewhat smooth.

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