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So, I've been wanting to install a Linux operating system on my laptop, but I'm unsure which to pick. I have never installed Linux before, personally. I've always used windows. As a new programmer, I've come to appreciate Linux.

Every time I seem to settle on a choice, someone would tell me "That one has lousy hardware support", "This one rarely adds features", or "That one is a resource hog". So, I really need some feedback on which Linux distribution is best for me.

My university currently uses Fedora for us programmers to use. I rather enjoy the design of it, but I've heard of an alternative called Korora that is based off Fedora. But I'm having trouble distinguishing differences between all of the distributions (Ubuntu, Fedora, Korora, mint, etc).

1) Which Linux distribution should I use, from someone who comes from windows 10?

2) Which applications should I be installing?

  • Security? I've always used Kaspersky on windows, does Linux have or require such an application?
  • Driver support? Do I need to install separate applications for that, or does Linux handle that?

3) Finally, are there any tips or advice I should take after I install Linux?

  • Coming from Windows, Mint is a very good distro; it feels very Windows-like. A Google search of your topic will produce many results. – user312883 Oct 30 '18 at 19:17
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    The only way to know for sure is to try them for yourself. Any input will be entirely opinion-based. – Nasir Riley Oct 30 '18 at 19:20
  • You should rather watch out what not to use: there are a few distros that are praised for their configurability, yet this could be frustrating for first-time users. Having a large user base is of advantage, as then it's more likely to find answers to your problems on the internet. I'd suggest you visit distrowatch.com , check out the first 10 or so places in page hit ranking and read the descriptions. It might narrow it down for you and the main branches are represented there. – Fiximan Oct 30 '18 at 20:02
  • This is really good advice. It makes sense that a larger user-base & activity would be better overall when it comes to the stability of the software. Thanks for the 2 links! I really like the distrowatch.com link. Thanks a lot! Also, for clarification, I have used mint once before. I had installed it as a usb, self contained OS. But, as I mentioned, I find it difficult to distinguish the differences between all the distributions of Linux. If anyone has anymore resources links, more is always appreciated. – Sappharite Oct 31 '18 at 18:25

The best advice is usually: Use whatever you can get help with in person. I.e. if you have friends running some distribution start with that (almost no matter how obscure it is), if you're going to rely on the internet for help choose something that is widely used. That being said: I use Debian and would probably recommend friends try ubuntu. It's a derivative, so a lot of my knowledge can be used, and we use it for our servers at work, so I also know some of the differences, and it's very widely used.

I've never heard of Kodora, but Fedora is probably a good choice, especially if you know some of the administrators at your university.

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  • I would put it between CentOS for RH flavours and Ubuntu for a Debian flavour. Fedora too bleeding edge for a beginner. +1 – Rui F Ribeiro Oct 30 '18 at 19:37
  • @RuiFRibeiro I would hate to recommend CentOS on desktop. It was designed to be a server OS. Fedora works fine for me. – Neil Chowdhury Oct 31 '18 at 0:01

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