Best Simple Linux Distro (Stub Only)



At some time or other, many computer users think about trying Linux as an operating system instead of Windows. Of those who try it out, probably less than 1% stay with it in the long term. One reason is that, in the past, Linux was strictly an enthusiasts' OS and made no concession to ordinary PC users. However, things are changing, and there are now Linux 'distros' (short for 'distributions', each distribution comes with versions or variations of packages built on top of the linux kernel) that cater for those who just want a work tool or home computer for the usual browsing and file management, and have no time to change their way of life to suit a new OS.

We think it's time to look at some 'basic'-style distros, Linux versions that can be used successfully by people new to Linux who don't want to get under the hood. There are also a couple of other factors that are relevant here:

  • Community Support: The quality of forum support and advice available is an important factor. Some Linux user forums are noted for their suitability for newcomers with little knowledge and some aren't.

  • Live USB or CD: This is a Linux USB or CD that can be run as a trial OS before installing it, to see if you like the idea. It is handy and saves finding out too late you don't like the distro anyway. But note, you need a decent amount of RAM to do this; it won't work well (or at all) with 256 MB of memory as found on old machines.


Rated Products

This article is a stub only. The candidates under consideration for this review are:

Tiny Core Linux
Linux Mint
Ulimate Linux


Related Products and Links

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One linux issue that drives distractable people around the bend is non-removeable/non-auto-hiding GUI toolbars/panels. Either that or screenshots show them and never mention that they're hide-able.
Can anyone point me to a distro that allows EMPTY desktop screens? Thx!

Can only speak from my own hands on experience but the previous (and IMO better) version of Elementary (Luna) when configured using these custom options will hide both the Plank launcher and the Super Wing-panel.
Super Wing-panel does not work with the latest release (Freya) but Luna is an LTS anyway so plenty of life left yet. MC - Site Manager.

Microlinux - "... Once MLED is installed, even Joe Sixpack or his french counterpart Madame Michu can use it without even giving it a thought ...":
Heya! I'll be your new editor for this article. I'm new to editing for Gizmo's but have been using this site constantly ever since I found it! :) I'll look into any suggestions but remember its the Best SIMPLE Linux Distro not the BEST Linux Distro. For more in depth discussion on this topic I started this forum post: Otherwise continue to give me suggestions with little blurbs about the distro, and feedback (once I get something up), I love feedback! :)

I have tried many, many distros and fround that Linux Mint to be the easiest distro to use:

- Simple, graphical installer that can automatically install Linux Mint "along side" your Windows operating system thus giving you the choice to start either when you turn on your PC. (Read: you will not trash your Windows system.)

- Great desktop that is quite similar to the Windows desktop.

- It automatically installs LibreOffice which can read & write files in the MS Office format.

- Installs many other excellent "Windows equivalent" software applications.

- Updates the whole system with on click. It tells you when you need to do an update.

- No more virus etc problems.

- According to "", Linux Mint has been the most downloaded distro for the last 2 years; try it and you will see why.

- It just works!


Linux Mint is definitely on my list. I'm gonna go on a spree of burning install CDs today, and that's definitely a distro I'm going for.