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Best Linux distros of 2019: for beginners and advanced users

Linux is traditionally associated as being an operating system for coders and programmers, but over the years there have been real attempts to make Linux more attractive to general consumers. This is not least due to general consumer dissatisfaction with Windows security issues or even Apple’s walled garden.

However, Linux comes in many different forms, known as ‘flavors’ or ‘distros’. This is simply because Linux is so incredibly configurable that different forms tend to be developed for different userbase needs or interests.

For example, as mentioned, some have moved toward trying to entice disgruntled Windows users into something more familiar. However, others remain focused on specific environments that may favor programming or scientific applications, or other concerns such as security, resource use, and similar.

Different Linux distros can all work with Linux software and applications, and of course, any cloud-based apps that run through a browser. However, Linux distros come with a variety of different ranges of bundled software. Some might come with a lot of basic applications already pre-installed, while others will have the barest minimum.

And, as mentioned, Linux is very customizable, far beyond what normal Windows or Mac users may be used to. 

Altogether, this is why it helps to have a good idea of what different Linux distros can offer. Do you need a GUI more familiar to Windows? Are you more concerned about privacy? How comfortable are you with typing commands rather than clicking icons? 

All these concerns may determine which Linux distro is best for you, and here we aim to help you with that decision.

The very best Linux distros are tailored to specific types of users. Ubuntu for instance is very easy to use, as it’s designed for newcomers. Arch Linux on the other hand appeals to experienced users who can take advantage of using the Terminal to type commands to perform tasks such as installing apps. This guide focuses on picking out the very best distros overall.

Elementary OS

(Image credit: Elementary OS)

1. Elementary OS

Probably the best looking distro in the world


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