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  1. #11

    My vote for a newbie - and we were all newbies once - would be Linux Mint, Kubuntu, or Xubuntu. The Linux Mint default visual desktop environment "Cinnamon", the Kubuntu visual desktop environment "KDE", and the Xubuntu visual desktop environment "XFCE" are close enough to the Microsoft Windows pre-Windows 8 desktop environments that new users coming from a Windows background will be instantly at ease (they all have a menu of programs that's roughly similar to the Windows Start Menu, they all have the icons for minimize, maximize, and close an application in the upper right corner of each window, they all have something similar to the Windows taskbar that lists your running programs at the bottom or top of the screen).

    Ubuntu's Unity visual desktop, is just different enough from pre-Windows 8 desktops, and different enough from Cinnamon and KDE and XFCE, to be annoying. Still, if you're patient it's not hard to learn it.

    Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, and Kubuntu are all offshoots of the Linux distribution Debian. If you want to play outside the Debian family, other good options that are newbie-friendly are OpenSUSE, PCLinuxOS (although that's 32-bit only, so if you have a newer computer with more than 4GB of RAM it's not a good choice), Mageia, and Fedora.

  2. #12
    For an introduction I would recommend: Ubuntu, Mint, Zorin, or Sabayon for Linux. If you want to try something completely different, give PC-BSD a go. PC-BSD is a FreeBSD based desktop OS (pretty much FreeBSD + graphical install + a different package manager). Very user friendly. Let us know what you choose, and enjoy your journey! This site is awesome for help along the way. =)

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