As you already may know, Windows is not the only available OS. But it still is the most popular by far for desktop users. Windows, MacOS, and Linux are the three leading desktop Operating Systems. Windows comes at a price unless you want to use them with some fundamental limitations. The only officially supported Windows flavors are Windows 10 and 11. The second option is MacOS, which is only formally available on Apple devices. That makes it almost useless to non-Apple users. The third option is Linux distros. Most of them are free, and some are more than enough for the average user. That makes them almost a perfect choice for the user who can’t afford one of the other options or even wants to try something different. But there are some caveats, unfortunately. A wide variety of software programs and games are not Linux-compatible.
Although there are some workarounds and the popular WINE, these options are far from perfect for unlocking their full potential. But if you don’t care about these limitations or seek something specific or different, there are many Linux flavors to choose from. The present article will reveal some of the most exciting distros out there. You can always try them as LiveCDs/USBs or as in Virtual Machines. The choice is yours.
1. Linux Mint
For a good reason, Linux Mint is one of the most popular distros. It is reliable, easy to use, and stable. It is a perfect option for beginners. Mint Mate is the best flavor to try if you have a low-spec or an older device.
Based on Ubuntu, Lubuntu is a more lightweight version of the latter. It is a perfect option for beginners along with Mint. If you are a Ubuntu fan seeking something less “bloated,” Lubuntu is the distro tailored to your needs.
3. Arch Linux
Arch Linux is one of the best distros and one of my favorites. If you are familiar with Linux and want to try the real Linux experience, then Arch is for you. It is not recommended for beginners, though.
One of the best and most stable Linux distros. It is recommended for users who seek an easy-to-use OS that offers options that might not be available to other distros, like built-in GPU support.
5. Tiny Core Linux
If you have a rather too-old device that initially came with, e.g., Windows XP or an earlier version, and you still want to use it safely for daily Internet tasks, TCL is the best option. Maybe, and the only available. Although it works well with older devices, it is far from perfect. It isn’t the most stable distro and sometimes is rather irresponsive. Still, it is a good option for older devices you don’t want to render unusable.
6. Kali Linux
Kali Linux (ex Backtrack Linux) is not a distro for everyone. It is focused on Cyber Security and Ethical Hacking aspects. If you want to try your hacking skills and you want a complete set of tools available in one distro, then Kali Linux is what you are looking for. If you use an older device, you should choose a lighter Kali version that is officially available. Parrot OS is an excellent alternative to Kali if you want to try something else. Still, Kali Linux is the most popular option.
7. TAILS OS
The Amnesic Incognito Live System (TAILS) is an OS for users seeking the best privacy option. It uses only TOR Network to route all your connection activity, unlike TOR Browser, which hides only your browsing activity. It is designed to run as a LiveCD/USB only, although a persistent storage option exists. Still, the latter is not recommended for your maximum privacy. It is a relatively easy way to anonymously surf the net, even the Dark/Deep Web, but you should still be very cautious. Although TAILS does its best, the user is the most crucial part. Enjoy responsibly.
These are seven of the best Linux distros you should try, each chosen for its available features and user’s needs. The list is far from perfect, and many more or even better options are waiting for you to discover out there. I try to include the ones which are adequate for the broader audience, in my opinion. If you belong to one of the categories these distros refer to, these options got you covered. Still, doing your research and testing to find the best flavor for you is advised. You can also suggest your favorite distros in the comment section. May the OS be with you!