A Basic Guide to Installing Linux For Beginners Part 1: Choosing Your Distribution

So , you've decided to finally make the switch over to Linux? Well, you've come to the right place. This is the first installment of articles that I will be posting over the next few days/weeks, showing you how to go through a Linux install. I'll cover all the basics. Though I will cover how to install Ubuntu in this guide, I'll try to remain general, since the concepts when installing Linux Ubuntu are more or less the same for other Linux Distributions as well.

So, with that out of the way, lets get to it!

You've decided to make the switch, and want to start researching distributions. There are so many different distributions, however, that it is easy for a beginner to become overwhelmed and figure that installing Linux might just be too much of a hassle. Hold in there, Linux Newbro! Installing Linux may just be the best decision you have ever made, in terms of your operating system, that is.

There are Four Main Distributions that are Great for Beginners. I'll list them, and give each a bit of a review. From there, you should be able to discern which one is best for you. You can also check out our 8 Best Linux Distro's of 2014 for a more comprehensive list.


Probably the most popular and well known of all Linux Distributions, Ubuntu is the standard choice for a newbie getting into Linux. Based on Debian, Ubuntu is not only a relatively stable distribution, but it includes a very wide array of applications. It includes a software application "Software Center" that's easy enough to use, but I recommend users also get familiar with the CLI package manager "APT" for Ubuntu. It's simple to use and consists of a few commands which we will go over in the next sections of this guide.

Recommended For: Those who want the standard Linux Experience.



Mint is another standard Linux Distribution. Unlike Ubuntu, however, it offers a more traditional Linux experience than Ubuntu does. It has no fancy "Unity" windows management system, and sticks to the basics. Mint's "Cinnamon" desktop was actually created in response to the changes taking place in the Gnome and Unity windows managers. Many disliked the changes and preferred the traditional desktop, which gave rise to Mint's popularity.

Based on Ubuntu, Mint gets the stability and applications of Ubuntu while offering a traditional Linux experience.

Recommended For: Those who want the Traditional Linux Experience.




Elementary is like Ubuntu's cousin who is overly-obsessed with MacOSX. Elementary is definitely a Mac-like operating system that takes inspiration from MacOSX design  and applies them into a Linux Distribution. It's one of the most well-designed and beautiful Linux Distributions you can get right now. In addition to its design, it is sleek, easy-to-use and based on Ubuntu. Which means you get the design and fluidity of a well-designed distribution plus all of the applications and stability of Ubuntu/Debian.

Recommended For: Those who want a more Mac-like experience.



Zorin, in terms of design, is the opposite of ElementaryOS. It's based on Ubuntu, but it is a Windows-like distribution. Though, it does have a unique feature letting you change the look to cater to Windows, MacOSX, or Gnome windows management suites. Zorin was designed specifically with newcomers in mind, so it will be very easy for anyone coming to Linux to use and get used to, whilst they explore what unique features Linux has to offer. Zorin includes many features and applications specifically catered for new users.

Recommended For: Those who want a Windows-like distribution or one which will hold your hand throughout the Linux experience.


The Next Section will handle the creating a liveCD/USB of the Distribution of your choice. Stay Tuned! :)

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Andrew Plaza

Nerdy Tech fanatic interested in the intricacies of life, technology, and high existence.

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