The Linux kernel spawned an entire family of operating systems known as Linux distributions. There are almost a thousand (or maybe more) distros that you can install on your computer for free.
But when it comes to ease of use and beginner friendliness, Ubuntu is the name that comes up the most. Why is this so? And why do people recommend Ubuntu as the first distro for Linux beginners? Let’s find out.
1. Easy to set up and use
Many users wonder if there is a way to test the operating system before installing it on their computer. With Ubuntu, this is indeed the case. All you have to do is create a bootable USB drive and boot the live operating system. For beginners, it’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the environment before deciding to install the operating system.
Installation complexity is one reason why Arch Linux or Gentoo are not recommended for Linux newcomers, as both have command-based installation rather than graphical installation. Ubuntu easily counteracts this by offering an intuitive graphical installer to users. Except for the partitioning part, everything else about the installation is easy to understand and deal with, even for beginners.
The GNOME desktop may seem foreign to you at first, but after a few days of constant use, you’ll start to feel at home with the GNOME dock. Activity Preview will improve your workflow and make you more productive without you even knowing it.
2. Ubuntu is a stable operating system
You may have heard that if you’re using Linux, you need to know how to manually fix things and use the command line. This is certainly not the case with Ubuntu. Stability is the main reason why Ubuntu is the first choice operating system for beginners.
Once you are done with the installation process, all you have to do is keep the packages updated on your system, and nothing else. Since packages are tested before inclusion in official repositories, you can rest assured that your system won’t crash when you install new software.
Ubuntu is stable enough to run on servers, where availability and performance are the top priority.
New cast updates are also released on a schedule. You can expect LTS (long term support) versions of Ubuntu to be released every two years, while interim updates are released every six months. This ensures that your system is always up to date with the latest packages while maintaining the stability it promises.
3. Ubuntu requires little maintenance
Unlike Arch Linux and other distros following the do-it-yourself philosophy, you don’t have to spend time configuring, reconfiguring, and fixing errors on Ubuntu. You can sit back and get on with your work while Ubuntu handles all the behind-the-scenes maintenance tasks.
Ubuntu has a simple settings menu and desktop navigation. Want to change the look of the desktop? There is a section for that in the settings. Need to change font color or size? You know exactly where to find it.
When you use Ubuntu, you can be sure that you don’t have to wade through endless areas of settings just to change your pointer size, like you have to in Windows. With its properly categorized settings and a navigable desktop, Ubuntu takes the overhead away and makes computing much easier for newcomers.
4. Ubuntu has better driver support
Of all the Linux distributions, Ubuntu has by far the best driver support for all types of hardware, including printers, which are generally difficult to configure regardless of the operating system you are using. You can expect your keyboard and mouse to work right away, without installing third-party drivers or typing commands you don’t even know in the terminal.
Hardware issues are the main reason one might revert to Windows or macOS after trying Linux. Ubuntu relieves you of this problem by providing default hardware drivers. You can even play games if you want on Ubuntu, as it comes with open-source and proprietary Nvidia GPU drivers.
While still not better than Windows, gaming on Linux is constantly improving and reaching new limits that no one expected.
5. Ubuntu has a pre-installed GUI software store
For some users, package management can be a game-changing feature when using Linux. If you want to use Linux as your occasional operating system, you wouldn’t want to spend hours with the command line just to install a new web browser.
Ubuntu addresses this by providing a pre-installed graphics software store, known as the Ubuntu Software Center. For those who aren’t fans of the Linux terminal and don’t plan on being one in the near future, there’s an easy way to install your favorite apps.
6. Many proprietary apps only support Ubuntu
Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions, and many companies develop and test proprietary software for it. Two of the biggest examples to support this are Steam and Nvidia.
the Steam Help Page indicates that Steam for Linux is only supported on the most recent version of Ubuntu. While you can still install Steam and play native Linux games on other distros, don’t be denied when you encounter an error or two.
By default, Ubuntu ships with the new open-source Nvidia drivers, but you can install the official closed-source drivers developed by Nvidia if you wish.
7. You can choose between different Ubuntu flavors
Windows has only one desktop. Ubuntu (and Linux in general) proves to be better than Windows in terms of customization. Linux has not just one but dozens of desktops to choose from.
Don’t like the dock or the look of GNOME? You can switch to cinnamon. Want precise control over every aspect of your desktop? KDE Plasma is there for you. Even if you have a computer with low specs, you can easily get a more vivid desktop experience with XFCE, a lightweight desktop environment that doesn’t bog down your system with its animations.
If you don’t want to install new desktops, Ubuntu offers three different versions that you can download. Ubuntu by default comes with a custom GNOME desktop, while Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu come with KDE Plasma, XFCE and LXDE desktops respectively. You can install the one you like and enjoy your favorite desktop from the first start.
8. It’s easy to get help online
Linux distributions are well known for their extensive documentation, and Ubuntu is no exception. His detailed documentation combined with the community support you can find at Ask Ubuntu forum will make error troubleshooting much easier.
Although most of the time you don’t need help unless you’re deliberately trying to break your system, it’s always better to have something to fall back on when errors occur.
Are you ready to install Ubuntu on your PC?
Believe it or not, Ubuntu remains the most popular choice for newcomers switching to Linux. If you plan to install Ubuntu on your computer, consider testing the environment first using its live boot feature.
Ubuntu is not the only operating system that offers such stability and outstanding performance. Several Ubuntu-based Linux distributions are also available in the market, and the competition between them is neck and neck given the solid foundation that each distribution is built on.
Like Debian and Arch, Ubuntu also serves as the foundation for a host of Linux distributions, all of which focus on user stability and security.
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