Linux Mint is the most popular distribution of Linux aimed at regular computer users. It’s based on Ubuntu, another popular and user-friendly Linux distro, and it provides a complete desktop experience right out-of-the-box, with all essential software applications and drivers pre-installed and ready for use without any configuration. Virtually every administrative task can be accomplished using graphical tools, so it’s very easy to avoid using the command line. Of course, just because Linux Mint comes with graphical tools doesn’t mean you have to stick to them. You can explore the ins and outs of Linux Mint at your own pace and step out of your comfort zone only when you feel like it.
Ubuntu is synonymous with Linux on the desktop. Based on Debian, Ubuntu is named after the Southern African philosophy of ubuntu, which literary means “humanity to others.” This admirable philosophy has attracted at least tens of millions of users worldwide since Ubuntu was first released in 2004, who are now part of one of the largest Linux communities in the world. Because Ubuntu has so many users, finding help is easy. Tutorials on everything from system configuration to application installation to hardware troubleshooting are readily available, and both official and unofficial Ubuntu forums are active and friendly.
Based on Ubuntu (notice how most Linux distributions adopt and expand upon existing projects), Elementary OS features a custom user interface called Pantheon. Its goal is to provide a user experience that would feel instantly familiar to macOS users. To accomplish this goal, Elementary OS also contains several custom applications for things like music listening, email, photo and video viewing, text editing, and more. Unlike macOS, Elementary OS is completely free and supported entirely by the community. If you’d like to explore Linux but don’t want to lose the look and feel of macOS, Elementary OS is the right distribution to go with.
Fedora serves as the upstream source of the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution. The chances are that you’ve already heard of Red Hat since it’s the leading enterprise Linux distribution. System administrators familiar with Red Hat are in high demand, and Fedora presents Linux beginners with a fantastic opportunity how to take on Red Hat certifications at an easygoing pace. Besides being a stepping stone to Red Hat, Fedora is also an excellent desktop Linux distribution in its own right, featuring a fine-tuned implementation of the Gnome desktop environment.
Arch Linux has the reputation of being impossible to use without previous Linux experience and extensive knowledge of the command line. What many fail to take into account is that Arch Linux’s documentation is second-to-none. Sometimes, the most effective way how to learn to swim is to jump head-first into deep water. Arch Linux is the deep water, and its documentation ensures that even complete Linux beginners emerged with a working installation of Linux, customized to exactly fit their needs.
Give one of the above a try and also you can use VirtualBox to get started with Linux if you don’t want to jeopardize your primary system. LinuxHint has VirtualBox Linux Tutorials as well.