New to Linux coming from windows 10

My older dell laptop finally gave up, windows is refusing to boot but all diagnostics tests are saying it’s fine. It’s been slow for a while now so this is just the bump I needed to make the jump to Linux.

I know this is the manjaro forum so it’ll be a biased answer but here’s my question:
I’m looking at Mint, Elementary OS, and Manjaro. I want a system that will work, I don’t need anything fancy.

I like the thought of rolling updates but I also really like how “pretty” elementary is and it seems like everything I read says Mint is great for beginners.

So as a new user who isn’t very technical, what would you recommend.


backup your data
start slow… openbox, xfce, kde…
see which one suits you best, the you can add to that, and even make it look like pretty elementaryOS

This isnt exactly what this forum is for… so maybe someone will come by with some tisk tisk at you … but since you are new I’ll give a quick response:

I think you should make sure your data is secure (backups or whatever) … then get to learning linux. Personally I find elementary much too locked down and particular to fit that bill for a beginner, and for the same reasons cant stand it from a moderate-advanced level either.
Remember - one of the hallmarks of linux and open source is that you can do whatever you want. Running KDE NEON but want it to look like macos? Trust me, its been done, and can be done again with a handful of clicks
Back to distros mentioned … I like mint. Most people like mint. Not my preferred system … but close enough to ‘normal’ linux to not ‘teach you dumb’.
Manjaro will offer a wider range of accessible software without needing to jump through hoops … but its also a slightly different paradigm. We are Arch based… and the others you mentioned are Debian/Ubuntu based. This will make more sense to you later.
There will be no one answer. Its what it is for you.
If you are willing to get your hands dirty a bit, I might suggest manjaro.
If you really just want a taste of what the majority of mainstream debian/ubuntu linux is like [and maybe a bit more hand holding … ] Mint is a fine first choice.
Again, no one can really call that for you though. I think you will find after some amount of testing that you have started to form your own opinions and likes/dislikes.
Until then - you are the weary traveler :slight_smile:


Before jumping do a lot of reading of both the Documentation and the user forums of the Distros you are planning on checking out.

Take note of which Distros are fixed or Rolling Releases. Learn the difference.

Since you are starting out I will advise you to begin with Distros that have decent sized and friendly to new users forums.

And of course as others pointed out, please backup your data first.

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first of all, welcome to the World of linux! As this is a first step along the way, the great thing is you don’t need to install them on your hard drive to give them a test drive on your pc, as most “live boot” when put on a usb stick and that’ll let you test drive before you decide on the one you wish to install (and also lets you check everything is working fine like sound, wi-fi, bluetooth etc). Just to add one possibly to your list - if you like the look of elementary, then deepin is also pretty beautiful too - manjaro have a version to download with that environment. But it is worth test driving live boot usb’s for quite a while to get a good feel for things and what just clicks for you, but as previously stated, do that backup and keep in a safe place (just in case you get to urge to click install when you’ve live booted). Enjoy.

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You can always download the .iso files for each and load them onto a DVD or USB drive and test them out yourself. Each have advantages and disadvantages.

Mint is popular and has a few different environments to try. Since you said your hardware is older, you might want to try Xfce (my personal favorite) or MATE Mint. It’s similar to Windows in many ways, but there are quite a few differences.

Elementary has more in common with Mac than Windows, but I have little problems navigating it. If you just want something that works and don’t want to tinker with appearance and you’re okay with default programs, it’s a good choice. If you like to tinker or want more software available, it might not be the best choice.

Manjaro is somewhat similar to Windows, but there are also a lot of differences. Personally, I like the rolling release. The Manjaro software repos are great and you have access to the AUR, though that does come with risks (not unlike downloading random programs off the web and running them on your Windows machine…). You may need to be willing to tinker with your system if an update breaks something, but the chances are pretty small that’ll happen. The community is friendly and there are lots of desktop environments to choose from.

It’s hard to say definitively what someone will or won’t like. You may just have to try a few distributions and see which one you like the best. Everyone has individual needs and preferences, so at best we can give broad overviews.


There is no right answer here.

As a total beginner to Linux the big advantage something like Ubuntu or Mint has is a massive user community and lots of available information.

Other than that, the best advice is to try them out and decide which you prefer.

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Now if you have any questions on terminology, we might be able to help with that.

My own windows refugee story: I tried Ubuntu for about 2 weeks before going on to Mint/Cinnamon for a couple of years. Mint doesn’t need a lot of fiddling to keep it going. I’ve since sampled several distros, before landing here.

There are a lot of Linux distros, each with something different to offer. Settle on one, get comfortable with it and then explore the others. The key is the (forum) support and (online) documentation.

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If you are willing to learn and read the Wiki, then Manjaro is pretty newbie-friendly too. There are many of us on the forum were once users of Ubuntu-based distros. You can search for their stories on the forum.

You can decide yourself after reading those experiences. I’ve heard ‘Solus’ is yet another polished and user-friendly rolling-released distro. There is a video about comparison between Manjaro and Solus on YouTube.


Having journeyed through Mint, SolydK, Neptune, and now being on Manjaro, I can definitely say that Manjaro runs the best and has the best community and clear instructions.


Do you want to be more technical, do you want to learn and understand, or do you just want your OS to work with as little input as possible?

This distinction is pretty important.

MX Linux if you just want an OS that works.

Once you become comfortable it is common for users to start experimenting with other distros … distro hopping.

I started with Mint but got bored with it quickly, frustrated with the whole PPA system … the result was distro hopping until I found Manjaro. Haven’t hopped since.

Why Manjaro?


I ended up using Manjaro due to no need to mess with PPAs, the ease of keeping up to date with current software, and of course the very friendly Forum. This is among other reasons as well but those are the main reasons I quickly moved over to this Distro.


I can only describe my circumstances and why I chose Manjaro. I had a Windows 7 Laptop, an Acer 7550. I added RAM to get it up to 8GB’s and replaced the hard drive with an 500 GB SSD. Yeah, luckily I haven’t ■■■■■■■■ it up, yet! Anyway…

I have tried a lot of different Linux Distributions. We call this, Distro-Hopping. The nice thing about Linux Distros is you can pretty much figure out quickly what will and won’t work for you. I originally started with Ubuntu, because…well, isn’t that where just about everybody starts when they come from Windows? You’ve done some homework. You see what appeals to you, and you’re probably seeing what doesn’t work for you in terms of appearance and general concepts of usability.

All that junk being said, what I found was that Manjaro with the Xfce environment not only worked without any issues, but I could make it look nice, too. If you like the looks of Elementary, you can make just about any desktop environment (DE) look like Elementary, Mac, Windows or something completely different. What you need to do is find a distribution that understands your equipment so you don’t have to jump in blindly trying to figure things out. That’s why a lot of people choose an Ubuntu variant to begin with.

What I’ve found from all of my testing is that Arch (or, in the case of Manjaro; Arch-Like distributions) run much better on my machine, and is much more stable. I find Manjaro is consistently the most solid and non-freezing/crashing distribution for my machine. Your experience might differ. I also find that the Xfce DE is solid and doesn’t give me fits trying to get it working with my needs. It’s also reasonably light on computer resources like RAM and CPU usage. I love KDE’s look and options, but I have the hardest time getting it to do what I want it to do. That’s why I picked Xfce after trying Gnome, KDE, Pantheon, Deepin (which is just friggin’ beautiful!) Budgie and OpenBox/i3. This is what matters the most: What works for you and your machine, and what will you continue to like days, months and hopefully years down the road.

Dang, that was long winded, wasn’t it?


Install & run whatever you want to learn. That’s the freedom Linux offers.

I would suggest Slackware, which is what my old mentor forced me into as a primera vista. Do that, and you’ll never need to apologize to anyone.



Oh so thats how you got the way you are? Hah.

How long must one run slackware before they get their “No Apologies” pass ?


My old mentor was a mutherfucker! (Why isn’t that blanked?) :wink:

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Someone forgot the front wild card. :wink:


Sadistic … unless of course there is a safeword agreed to beforehand.


All Linux distributions are customizable! Try all desktop environments, and pick which one suits you! If you like elementary, try KDE with latte dock, or gnome with dash to dock. Possiblities on any DE are endless :slight_smile:!


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