How to answer "What distro should I use"

After a week of frustration and progress, I would like to officially declare as open.

I’m not 100% where I want to be, but the hard part is done and the rest is just a little time consuming (making more JSON files for distros, taking screenshots and importing them).

Please tell me what you think, and feel free to Contribute if you know webdev.

What’s implemented:

  • Multiple distributions
  • A “Tried it, it wasn’t for me” button
  • Links to the download page, the Linux Delta Page, the DistroTest page, and the DistroWatch page
  • A hand-written description of the distribution

Next to implement:

  • A couple more questions to really hone down what the user wants
  • Screenshots of the distributions
  • A way to make sure to handle Linux Delta not having the distro
  • Icons for the buttons (made, just need better CSS skills)
  • More distros (more than just Ubuntu based)
  • Better logic

If you know webdev or want to add distros or images to the pool, helping out would be a really easy way to get points for hacktober.


I got Pop OS on the the first try, which has been my daily driver for the last 6 months. Well played!

How many distros total are in the mix here?

Currently 5, with 4 on the way.

Right now it’s:

  1. Pop!_OS
  2. Kubuntu
  3. elementaryOS
  4. Linux Mint
  5. ZorinOS

Xubuntu and Ubuntu have been made, but not added to the rotation yet and then Solus & Manjaro will be added probably tomorrow.

Also, out of curiosity, how did you answer?

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Don’t Care, Browsing the Internet, A Little is Fine, Once it’s been tested, I’ve used it a bit.

I tried it and think it’s a really good idea for beginners to try out. I’m guessing that’s why it didn’t choose Debian for me :slight_smile:

I think it asks sensible questions in a logical order, not too many to be overwhelming; I like that it gives alternatives, though beginners might not know enough about the recommendations initially to reject the first one suggested, so maybe a link to each of the suggestions straight-off could be useful?

I also like that it links to Linux Delta!

Gotcha, thanks! I don’t keep logs because of privacy (and also I don’t think I could put any together anyway)

@ak2020 - Yeah, Debian is in the works, but not quite yet. My main goal was being just like you said: sensible questions that aren’t overwhelming, aimed towards new(er) users. Thanks for the feedback!


I like where this is going, I ran through it and got Linux Mint which was the first distro that finally me off Windows.

If you’re looking for suggestions i’d get rid of the jquery and bootstrap libraries, they’re pretty massive for a simple experience.

I think you only have to replace $.getJSON with an AJAX request and use JSON.parse() on the return. I’ll give you the code if you like.

As for CSS if you need to do something fancy you can use CSS Grid which is baked into HTML 5 but you shouldn’t need it unless you’re adding a lot more.

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Thank you for the feedback. I’m fairly certain I’m not using any bootstrap anyway (most of the CSS is my own), so I could probably get away with something smaller as a framework like Bulma. I’m open to other suggestions, too.

Do you want to put that AJAX request together and put it in a PR? I’m currently working on adding more distros to the pool.

As the site is so simple by design I personally wouldn’t use any framework.

Will do on the AJAX as soon as i’m free. :slight_smile:

Well, I’m planning to expand a little bit, and it would be nice to not have to recreate the wheel where I don’t have to.

Awesome, thank you!

I have one major requirement robustness! That is why I use Ubuntu already for 11 years, sometimes I use Xubuntu or Ubuntu Mate. So Ryzen desktop Ubuntu 19.04 and 8 years old i5 laptop Ubuntu Mate 19.10.

The “best distro for me” refuse to mention any of my favorites. It is typically based on distro hopper’s preferences and maybe even using distro watch in the advises.

Robustness is slightly hidden in the “How quickly do you want new software” question (which I suppose would be better phrased as “software updates” as opposed to “new software”, but I digress).

The next update will have Ubuntu Mate, Xubuntu, and Ubuntu as options, as well as Debian.

I would also argue that because all of the current options are based on Ubuntu they definitely are currently just as robust as your favorites. :slightly_smiling_face:

An update: Fedora, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and Manjaro have now been added as results.

Still to come:

  • Debian
  • EndeavourOS
  • openSUSE Leap
  • CentOS
  • Solus
  • Ubuntu Mint
  • Ubuntu Budgie
  • Zorin Ultimate

Other features are in the works as well. The algorithm is being almost completely reworked and I’m thinking about adding a sidebar with 2-3 other distros that would fit because of the user’s responses.

What would help me most if you have time and one of these distros, make a new user named “me”, log into the default environment, take a screenshot of the desktop, the settings window, and the start menu/dashboard, and then end it over in a Github PR

An opening video showing off the desktops would be helpful too, but I can make that a little bit later

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Not all members of the Ubuntu family are equally robust, I would not use Kubuntu, too much built-in complexity. I’m a strong fan of KISS. I keep the latest versions of Linux Mint and Peppermint in a Virtual Machine since 1-2 years and yes, they are good quality too.
For 25 years Air Traffic Controllers were my users, so I inherited their justified obsession with respect to reliability, robustness and instantaneous response times. So for me Ubuntu on ZFS running from L1ARC (memory cache) with hit rates of 93% :slight_smile: So the system disk IO does not run from disk, not from SSD cache, but in my case for 93% from memory.

There is a new update on the site. Changelog:

  • Rewritten information importer (thanks to @Ulfnic)
  • 10 new distros
  • Completely rewritten algorithm
  • Even more newbie-friendly instructions in special cases (multiple distros)

@BertN45 Would you mind trying again and seeing if the algorithm passes your standards?


A pleasure Rider, look forward to helping out in future.

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Tried this again - it’s definitely improving as it did suggest Debian to me this time, as second option, though repeatedly pressing the button requesting an alternative seems to eventually loop through fewer options, excluding Debian. Thanks for the good work so far, everyone working on this :slight_smile:

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Well, the “Not for Me” button is for “I’ve tried this distro in the past and I didn’t like it,” but if people are using it to see what other distros are being recommended I can retool it (the customer is always right, after all).

Because of the use-case I have it take the current distro completely out of the running until one is left, explaining why you got the loop of fewer options

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I think the work you’re doing on this is very worthwhile. Wish I knew enough about all of the distros from your options to be able to help more, potentially, with the algorithm, but from the coding side of it I’ll certainly be curious to have a browse as it’s all open :slight_smile: Thanks again - I hope I’m not coming across as critical. I think it would be great for the community have a tool like this :slight_smile:

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Not at all, I’m finding all of the feedback I’ve been given very valuable.

Thank you for the kind words :slight_smile:

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