Listener question: Best Distro For Thinkpad A475?

[Note: I get a TON of email questions and some of them I’m simply not equipped to answer. So I’d love to put these out there for the community’s best advice, and I’ll point the listeners at our forum. Thanks!]

Hi Jason, I am not really computer savvy, but one thing I do know is that I do not like Windows 10, I know nothing about Linux neither do the local computer shops know or are not interested, so my questions are which is the best Linux for my Lenovo notebook A475 with full had display, I want rid of windows totally and have Linux, advice please?



I find the ‘which is the best Linux distro’ questions hard, because it’s personal preference…

I would think that you’d want to point to him to something *buntu - simply because it’s the least non-linux savvy that you’ll find. I’m partial to Ubuntu-Mate, because it looks sharp, is easy to use Tweak to change the desktop layouts, and the Software Boutique is a great resource for probably 90% of the apps most users will want to have running on their computer day 1.


Good idea forwarding questions forum-side.

I definitely second @ChristopherM, the only thing that got me off Windows 7 was Linux Mint with the MATE desktop which is very similar to Ubuntu MATE.

(amazingly) I was able to just sit down and do work. There was always some weird catch with other DEs like I was working against the grain but MATE felt like home.

Ubuntu/Mint tend to have a lot of things pre-installed too including MATE extensions so you can get familiar with things you might like if you later decide to move to a distro that starts you off plain like Debian.

Best of luck!

Thanks Chris! Honestly the question is more geared toward compatibility than personal distro preference, I think.

I replied to Paul so I’ll stick the response here. Please keep yours coming, especially if you’re aware of any “gotchas” or tips for this model Thinkpad. Thanks!

Hey Paul! I don’t have much experience with Thinkpads, but my best advice would be to start with a popular Linux distribution like Ubuntu (or Kubuntu, which uses the KDE desktop – especially if you like how Windows looks in general), burn the ISO to a USB stick using something like Rufus or Etcher, then boot your ThinkPad using the “Live” or “Try” option.

This will run Ubuntu “live” right from the USB stick, and you’ll get a good sense of how it looks and what hardware is properly detected. I’m willing to bet that everything works great out of the box, as ThinkPads historically have solid Linux compatibility.

This is just a starting point, though. There are a lot of Linux distributions to play with, and I recommend Ubuntu simply because it has such a large community and long history. If you run into a problem, there’s a very high chance your question has been answered somewhere!

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That is the reason why a lot of distros probably should run without problems on that A475.

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I put my vote in for any version of Manjaro