Opening the windows to Linux world might be a bit weird for newbies in search of freedom from proprietary software and content. Few obvious things with Windows or Mac might not be common with Linux. For example, if you want to connect your printer to your laptop, then you are very sure you can get the job done in a few minutes on Windows but things change when it comes to Linux. Your printer may not work on Linux. Let’s not get into the Linux driver issue as it might wade off beginners to Linux. For newbies, the first most important step is to choose the right hardware or at least get the hardware drivers for Linux.
After the hardware, a big question mark awaits the beginners- which Linux distribution to go for? Unlike Windows, Linux has several faces and users are free to choose their own distribution. Well, at this stage, the freedom might actually confuse beginners, so, to keep the motivation tickling, here are two key points. Firstly, apart from Linux being a free operating system, you can run Linux on any system with the lowest hardware specs. Linux can work fine in a decade old system with 256 MB RAM and Pentium 4 processor or even lower. Secondly, with Linux, you do not necessarily need to worry about virus and malware as system 32 doesn’t exist in Linux and Windows malware simply gets lost!
Here are three most preferred Linux distributions for beginners:
1. Ubuntu 12.10
Canonical has gained a lot of Linux fan following and Ubuntu Linux is one of the most preferred Linux distribution out there. Beginners can choose version 12.10 of Ubuntu operating system. Ubuntu comes with its ‘unity’ user interface and many Linux enthusiasts doesn’t like the new Unity interface, as they feel it gets in the way of easy computing. But we believe that beginners won’t mind that.
2. Linux Mint 14
After Ubuntu, Linux Mint is the second most popular Linux distribution. Linux Mint is also based on Canonical’s Ubuntu and is popular because of its user friendliness. Users would require at least a 32-bit PAE-enabled x86 processor or a 64-bit x86 processor as Linux Mint 64-bit requires a 64-bit processor. Linux Mint 32-bit works on both PAE 32-bit processors and 64-bit processors, 512 MB RAM, 5 GB of disk space, graphics card capable of 800×600 resolution, CD/DVD drive or USB port.
3. Zorin OS 6
While there are existing user friendly distros such as Ubuntu Linux and Linux Mint, there is one lesser known flavour that was specifically designed to make the Windows to Linux switch smooth- in fact, Zorin OS 6, the Ubuntu-based Linux distribution is called as the ‘gateway to Linux for Windows users’.