When looking for a suitable Linux distribution, students consider many factors, including user-friendliness, stability, customization, and availability of pre-installed applications, which can help them in their usage.
I will recommend 8 Linux distributions for students in this article, so let's get started!
1. Linux Mint
Linux Mint is a Linux distribution based on Debian and Ubuntu. It is one of the most recommended distributions for learners, offering a straightforward and elegant interface that is intuitive and easy for beginners.
It offers 3 desktop environments for download: Cinnamon, MATE, and XFCE. All versions come with a software manager that categorizes applications, making it easy for users to find the applications they need.
The user interface is similar to Windows XP or Windows 7, making it an ideal choice for those from a Windows environment.
Another feature that makes Mint Linux an ideal choice for students is bundling various free and open-source applications that learners may need out of the box. These include the LibreOffice Suite, Mozilla Firefox browser, VLC media player, GIMP, and many more.
2. Zorin Linux
Zorin OS is another ideal Linux distribution for students that replaces macOS and Windows. It is designed to provide a smooth user experience for beginners and students while ensuring their privacy and excellent performance.
Like Linux, Zorin provides a Windows-like user-friendly UI, so you don't have to struggle to figure out how to get started.
Zorin offers many customization options with the Zorin Appearance App, allowing you to adjust the desktop layout to your liking. For example, you can customize your desktop to look like Windows 11, macOS, or any other format you prefer.
Out of the box, learners also get basic applications such as the LibreOffice suite, Mozilla Firefox, and Thunderbird email client.
Another reason students should consider using Zorin is its excellent performance and speed, which helps to increase their productivity. Additionally, Zorin Lite Edition is designed for older PCs, so students can breathe new life into their old PCs and save money while learning Linux.
3. Academix GNU
AcademiX GNU is a Debian-based Linux distribution developed specifically for educational purposes, built on Debian Stretch and Buster; it comes with free programs suitable for all levels of education, from elementary to high school and college.
Academix GNU provides an installation utility for various mathematics, biology, chemistry, geography, statistics, robotics, and programming applications. All applications come with virtual interactive laboratories.
A special section for teachers or instructors allows them to plan articles for students and publish them online, and most educational programs or applications are licensed under the GNU GPL or BSD licenses. The distribution can be installed on a PC or run as live media.
UberMix is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution explicitly built to meet the needs of learners by simplifying their learning process with an ideal combination of pre-installed applications for learning and creativity purposes, all of which can be installed with a simple click of a mouse button.
In addition, UberMix offers multiple IDEs, allowing you to write code in your preferred code editor flexibly. Ubermix is easy to install, and you can quickly deploy it in educational institutions without too much trouble.
5. Elementary OS
In addition to its sleek and elegant appearance, Elementary OS is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, designed to help learners transition easily to the Linux environment.
Elementary OS is considered a perfect alternative to macOS and Windows, with an intuitive and easy-to-use UI that allows users to launch applications from the top left corner or the dock at the bottom of the screen.
Image Out of the box, you can get many daily use applications such as a music player, photo manager, email client, text editor, and more.
Elementary also offers an App Center application store, where you can get free and paid applications, each carefully reviewed and developed by developers to ensure a safe and privacy-respecting experience.
Ubuntu needs almost no introduction as it is one of the most popular and widely used Linux distributions, with other distributions mentioned above and many others based on it. Inspired by Debian, Ubuntu has a reliable LTS release cycle, which receives features and updates at fixed intervals.
One of the highlights of Ubuntu is its desktop, which comes with the GNOME desktop environment by default. The setting is beginner-friendly, and intuitive, and requires minimal navigation.
Ubuntu also comes pre-installed with productivity applications such as the LibreOffice suite, VLC media player, Firefox web browser, document viewer, scanner, and many other productivity applications, making it easy for learners to get started.
In addition, Ubuntu provides GNOME Software, a graphical front-end for managing packages that take over the Ubuntu Software Center. The Software Center offers an easier way for students who are not yet confident working on the command line to manage packages.
Ubuntu also offers extensive online community support, providing solutions for common technical problems that learners may encounter from time to time.
7. Manjaro Linux
Arch Linux is usually considered intimidating, especially for beginners and learners, as it requires intermediate to advanced command line work to set up everything from scratch. This is where Manjaro Linux comes in.
Based on ArchLinux, Manjaro Linux is a desktop-oriented Linux distribution that focuses on user-friendliness, providing learners with a smooth Arch Linux experience. It offers a range of desktop environments to choose from, including GNOME, Budgie, Cinnamon, and MATE.
In addition, it provides extensive customization options, allowing learners to customize almost anything from themes and widgets to panels and icons.
OpenSUSE is another excellent choice for learners. It has two versions:
- TumbleWeed, a rolling-release version
- Leap, a more stable version suitable for students
One of the highlights of OpenSUSE is the existence of Yast (Yet Another Setup Tool), a frontend setup and configuration tool that can perform many tasks, including hardware configuration, firewall and network management, enabling and disabling system services, software updates, package management, and more.
OpenSUSE also provides a plethora of out-of-the-box applications, such as office tools, multimedia applications, browsers, and games, to name a few, for learners to use while learning the ropes.