There are many distributions, so many it's impossible to know them all, let alone test them. Anyway, here you'll find no tests. These pages are only my feelings about them.


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Fedora is Red Hat's free Linux OS. I have never liked Red Hat's implementation (I still have a 6.1 box but never really used the system).

Red Hat / Fedora have always been Gnome centric and Fedora currently uses Gnome 3.0. I did not like Gnome Shell in the first versions but it does now have some interresting features - if you install a lot of extension it may become fun. Gnome 3 is good at touchscreens and Fedora will always runthe latest version. Fedora is, of course, all systemd and Gnome and they have very short release cycles (as of this writing at version 27), which may be good for new hardware support but I prefer stability.

Not much more to say here: I've regularely tried every flavour of Red Hat / Fedora and just as regularely ditched it. You mileage may vary, of course...

Mageia Linux

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Mandrake Linux was created as a "KDE Red Hat". I used it back when it was version 8.0, it worked well on my laptop.

To me, Mandrake's story is one of the best examples a Linux story turned bad.

Gaël Duval created Mandake as a Red Hat derivative. His success prompted him to create a commercial company (MandrakeSoft) that later fired him. MandrakeSoft acquired Connectiva and was renamed Mandriva.

They continued to have a crazy approach of Linux software, proposing a free version but nagging to let you purchase their paid version (which contained almost nothing more). SuSE was consequent: they needed money so they sold their product.

In the end Mandriva died and laid out developpers created Mageia. I've tried it once and their were many glitches, so I dropped it. Maybe worth another try?

Devuan Linux

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Devuan is, at least at the time, Debian without systemd.

I'm not so sure about the pro and anti-systemd debate. As a user I run systemd based distributions without problems. However, there is a tendancy of systemd to control everything and introduce dependencies to Gnome (as an example, the keychain only get's unlocked when you login with Gnome).

So I'd rather support an "systemd free" option. Of course, Debian already being not so up-to-date and Devuan hanging behind... Nothing for cutting-edge lovers.And every time I tried Devuan worked somehow no as well as Debian - MX Linux works better for me.

Ubuntu Linux

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I don't like Ubuntu. Why do I mention it here? Because I'm sure people would ask why I forgot it. I did not. I used Ubuntu (10.10) for about a year when KDE 4 drove me away from SuSE and I tried to adapt to Gnome for a while.

Ubuntu is considered a Debian derivative, but it's so much derivated that almost no Ubuntu package can install on Debian. Ubuntu is made with the will of being "easy", "beginner friendly". This means it's makers make the decisions for you, tell you where to go and how to do it. They use sudo much as OS X does. You can get a root account but that's a mess because the sudo behaviour remains. It's interresting to see that many distributions that originaly based on Ubuntu went back to Debian...

However, Ubuntu is still Linux: if you digg and search you can tweak it to behave like a sensible Linux, but why bother? There are so many better distributions to choose from. Most Ubuntu users I know are bad Linux users, because they actually don't understand how their system works, because they did not have to learn. Ubuntu produced stupid Linux users like there are so many stupid Windows or Mac users.

But this is my point of view - feel free to try Ubuntu!

And if you like Ubuntu but hate Ubuntu, take a look at Linux Mint which is an Ubuntu derivative.

Deepin Linux

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Deepin Linux is a chinese distribution, originaly based on Ubuntu, now based on Debian. Deepin proposes an easy to install and easy to manage distribution. They have developped a special GUI (Deepin DE) that, by the way, you can install on other distributions. I'd say it is "Mac like", with an app-store and well presented settings.

After converting my wife from Windows to Mac, Deepin let me convert her to Linux. If you are looking for a "Linux for newbie", I'd suggest trying it.

It's quite graphic based however so not for an older machine. Deepin's DE proposes a MAC-like dock. When you click on the settings icon good looking settings slide open from the right side, all settings are easy to use, changing the system's language is easy as well. I was even able to setup pinyin to type in chinese - a requirement for my wife -better than on the Mac, much better than on Windows (which required a chinese programm that looked like a trojan horse). When my daughter asks for a computer, I'll propose Deepin.

The app store makes it easy to browse and install programms - but you can apt-get install them too, it's Debian under the hood.