Linux has many many flavors, but I’m fond of Mint, specifically using Cinnamon for my window manager. I have been using Mint Cinnamon as my main work OS since 2013. Prior to that I had used Ubuntu, but some of their recent UI changes were difficult to deal with.
Mint Cinnamon offers a nice clean interface, incredible customization options, and it just makes sense to me. It has the elegance of Windows XP without the fluff of newer Windows versions or the odd inconsistencies of MacOS and OS X. I find Macs difficult to use and their lack of customization options frustrating. Windows works well enough, but some of the tools I like just work better on Linux. So Linux is my primary operating system. I believe in it so much, I’m a monthly sponsor.
That said, I don’t recommend Linux for everyone. In fact, I don’t recommend it for most people. You can use Linux (whether Mint or another “distro”) for any day-to-day computer tasks like email, web browsing, document creation, etc. but since it is different than a Mac or Windows PC, there’s a learning curve. For me, though, there’s nothing better out there. I have full control of my system and can change any part of it to suit my needs and even my whims.
That said, if I’m being completely honest, some software does work better on Windows, for instance. (An example would me my home document scanner really needs its native OCR software and Adobe Acrobat to function well.) So I keep a virtualized Windows 7 environment for my scanner, and run it within Linux.
The neat thing about Mint is you can be “Linux curious” and boot it on your existing machine via USB stick (instructions on their site) and not have to install a thing or change a single file on your hard drive. It’s definitely worth a look.
The latest version of Linux Mint is 19, and I’ve got it working great on all of my machines. There is one annoyance: elevated users don’t have a red prompt any more. Fortunately, that links to the solution.
- Get it here: https://linuxmint.com