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linuxHow to install the best Linux distributions

Getting started with Linux can be a complex task, especially for people who have never used this popular open source operating system. And with almost 300 active distributions (Linux users call them "distros") it can be quite hard to pick one that will provide a nice experience for people who are used to Windows and/or macOS computers, for example. Without further ado, these are the best Linux distributions of the moment.

1. Elementary OS. According to its makers, Elementary OS is the fast, open, privacy-respecting replacement for Windows and macOS. This Linux distro is really fast, and its apps remember where you left off, allowing you to resume activity right away. And since it is open source, each of its components can be easily reviewed by anyone. Your data privacy and security, as far as the OS is concerned, are thus guaranteed.

People who want to stay productive all day long will appreciate Elementary OS' "do not disturb" mode, which will stop all notifications for a specified period of time. And the applications that can be downloaded for free or purchased for a modest fee in the app store are simple, useful and very well built.

2. Linux Mint is another popular, user-friendly distro. It provides full multimedia support out of the boxes, and this is something that can't be said about too many Linux distributions. Being based on Ubuntu, it provides access to tens of thousands of different packages. To give you an idea, Elementary OS has under 200 apps in the store at the moment.

Mint is a community-driven project. Users send feature requests, and developers are quick to implement the ones that get most votes. There are three different Mint desktop environments at the moment, with Cinnamon being the most popular of them. Fortunately, you can test them all by booting your PC using the live CDs that can be downloaded from the site, and then install the favorite one.

3. Ubuntu has been one of the leading Linux distributions, and it looks like things won't change in the near future. It runs on desktops, just like the other Linux distros, but it can also run in the cloud, on tiny Internet of Things devices, and more. And since it doesn't need too many CPU and memory resources, it runs fine on underpowered PCs as well.

Its makers release two standard Ubuntu versions per year, and LTS (long term support) versions every two years. This means that projects which are created using an Ubuntu LTS version will benefit from at least five years of security updates.

4. CentOS is derived from Red Hat Linux and was built with servers in mind. However, advanced desktop users can install any Red Hat Linux package on CentOS, because they are fully compatible with this distro.

CentOS is a community-supported distribution that is actively developed by a small team of developers. The team plans to expand its functionality in the near future, with the goal of making it useful for cloud providers, hosting applications, complex data processing, and more.

5. Arch Linux aims to be another user-friendly distribution, but it's one that doesn't include too many features by default. However, it provides a lot of flexibility for advanced users, who can download and install the desired packages using the terminal. People who prefer to work with a user-friendly interface can download Antergos, which is based on Arch Linux, but uses the Gnome 3 desktop environment.