I just purchased a MSI Bravo 15 Ryzen 7 4800H 15.6" A4DDR-212IN 16GB laptop. In terms of RAM requirements, is there a big difference between full Ubuntu Gnome and Ubuntu Xfce? Or just a small difference? I’m not a power user or gamer or video editor or heavy VM user. Just an average user.
Both will be very fine with 16GB.
@BertN45 Cool. Thanks! Does Debian have the largest collection of compatible apps? Or is the AUR larger?
Ubuntu with GNOME is the heaviest of all the Ubuntu options but its not really heavy at all if you compare it to Windows. Its more like which is vying for the lightest. LXQt and KDE Plasma are lighter than Xfce these days too but again the difference is minimal.
The specs of your laptop means that you can run any of them without worrying about resource usage.
the package availability of a distro is complicated. the AUR likely has a larger amount but the AUR is also just a bunch of random packages, anyone can submit something to the AUR and the Arch Devs themselves recommend not using the AUR . . . which is very weird situation because then that makes it worth asking why it even exists if they recommend avoiding it.
You said you are an average user not a power user so I think Arch base might even backfire because tinkering is kind of a requirement for anything based on Arch.
With all of that said, thanks to Flatpaks, Snaps and AppImages . . . it doesn’t really matter which distro family you use because you can just use the software from the universal formats a lot of the time. For example, I use Fedora these days and I havent ran into a single issue where I couldnt use something that Ubuntu or Arch could, I don’t think software availability is a factor for choosing anymore.
On this hardware you can run anything. That means choice, lot of it. The specs are just perfect for any DE, too.
Debian and respectively Ubuntu has the biggest official repos available but as Michael said, software availability is no longer a factor in choosing a distribution.
Thanks. All your replies are helping me make an informed decision.