Did I do good, fellow nerds?

Today I was talking with a stranger and I mentioned that I run only Linux. He said that his last experience with Linux was over a decade ago, and he was wondering where he should start. I said, “Well, for noobs…” He said, “Assume I am one.” I suggested Mint and a good place to start. I told him that I was on Mint for about 3 years and that now I’m sold on Manjaro. Do you all think that I made a good suggestion?


Definitely not a bad one. :wink:


Yup, I use Mint 99% of the time. Now did you happen to suggest the Ubuntu base or the Debian base?

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You did good. (Welcome to the forum, btw). Mint has been in our house for years now and it’s rock solid afaik. It’s a good os for transitioning people from windows to linux. (or, in our case, a daily driver)
I would suggest the mentioning of the different bases and their specifics, for a later date. Once they’re good and well underway and start asking the question: “Well, what now?”, you can start with more detailed options and operations, imho.

Yes, Mint is one of several good starter distros.

My Mom deserves a trophy for biggest noob in the universe, and she’s been using Mint for several years now. Basically, nothing but the simplest would be simple enough for her…

Perhaps ElementaryOS might also qualify as super simple, for those who come from a MacOS background (whereas Mint seeks to be very familiar to people from a Windows background).

I’ve also found from experience that a super noob should be walked through the “Settings” upon first boot, in case they possibly want to not make the screen ever lock, not ever ask for a password at boot time, etc. (and the consequences should be explained for those security-unwise choices). Like don’t expect the super-noob to have the courage to even so much as open the Settings, let alone adjust them.

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My first choice would be Mint w/ Cinnamon. I would put as a runner-up PopOS, but GNOME? I just can’t! Easing the transition, something close to a Windows desktop is what is needed. My computer is not a tablet with touch, GNOME just doesn’t get it.

Depends where you’re coming from I guess, Gnome feels familiar when you used mac OS for years :man_shrugging:t2:
Elementary OS is often targeted for noobs but even if indeed they have a lot of good features for that, the absence from their store of popular apps make things more convoluted for noobs. I think it’s not just about interface but also how easy it will be for the new user to fell at home using his usual apps

I think it was a fine decision. The out-of-box experience of Mint is broadly palatable. It isn’t my first choice but I struggle at what to even suggest to anyone if I am not willing to hand-hold them through the process. I have largely suggested Kubuntu to people too. I find that any of the Ubuntu family seems to have a great unattended, out-of-box experience. Of course… my personal distribution of choice is openSUSE Tumbleweed… but probably not the best new user to Linux experience. :smiley:

EndeavourOS Cinnamon is what I’m on now. Love it so far. Came from Fedora Cinnamon.