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Which is the Best Linux Distro for Students?

Best Linux Distro for Students– Howdy friends. Today, I’ll be telling you about the “Best Linux Distro for Students“. Students require their computer operating system to be highly dependable, fast and have the tech that gives them an edge over others. Then there’s this question of can you really use Linux in schools and colleges where everybody else is using either Windows or macOS. And If yes, which distros are the best for students?

I myself hopped from one distro to another until I found some of the best distros that are highly advantageous for the student lifestyle. In this article, I’ll be focusing on 6 amazing distros that have the least setup hassle as I don’t want students to waste their time on setup. Distros which also have huge repositories of ready to install software and are downright impressive as far as looks are concerned. You do want your friends to say “Woah, what OS is that” when they look at Your PC screen. So, let’s dive in and have a look at the 6 Best Linux Distro for Students in 2019.

Top 6 Best Linux Distro for Students

#6 ELEMENTARY OS

Best Linux Distro for Students
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Starting off, we have Elementary OS on number 6. ‘Elementary OS’ is a Ubuntu-based Linux distro with comes with its own Pantheon desktop environment. The desktop is clean and gorgeous. Elementary OS is a great choice for both Windows users and Mac users, mainly because of its simplicity of use and stability. Elementary’s user interface looks like it’s inspired by Mac OS, but I feel “Elementary OS” is much cleaner. The top panel and even the applications menu is just so minimalistic. In fact, the core of the system itself is so lightweight. There is a very small number of pre-installed applications. Only the absolute bare essentials are included here. All the software you need can be installed from the AppCenter, another great part of Elementary OS. AppCentre has a large set of high-quality applications. Anything you need can be installed with a single click from right here.

Elementary OS provides more apps compared to other Linux distros as it actively supports app developers and provides many tools for them. Here we have a pay what you want a model which is great. Elementary OS brings some of these awesome apps to you and these are not generally available on other Linux distros.

Talking about the user experience, Elementary is sleek and fast. There is no bloatware in the system and you can install the software that you need very easily. There’s pretty much no learning curve involved as everything is straightforward.

Mastering the keyboard shortcuts is going to take your productivity to a whole new level though. The operating system will be supported for 5 years. Elementary is suited for both desktops and laptops. The installation is really easy and takes less than 30 minutes.

The only thing that I didn’t like here is that the proprietary driver installation for NVIDIA GPUs is not as simple as other distros on this list. You need to follow some steps but still can be done in 5 minutes. AMD and Intel integrated drivers are preinstalled. Overall, Elementary OS Juno is an amazing distro for students. It’s minimalistic, fast and looks splendid. What more could you ask for?

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#5 MANJARO

Best Linux Distro for Students
Best Linux Distro for Students | Best Linux distro for beginners | Best Linux distro for Windows users

Yeah, what more could you ask for? Well, you could ask for bleeding-edge technology. Newest software versions before anybody else gets them. A highly flexible system. Not everybody, but some prefer these things over stability. And Manjaro is the best rolling release Linux distro for students. Manjaro is highly flexible. It is an Arch-based Linux distro. But its packages are tested much more thoroughly and updated after confirmed stability. This provides an environment that is both up to date as well as dependable. “Manjaro” is available with all the desktop environments and best of all. You can install and use multiple desktops on the same Manjaro installation. It all works without any issue. Not many distros can boast about this kind of harmony. This probably is because of the package management in Manjaro. Manjaro uses the Pacman package manager which in my opinion is the best package manager. There are no dependency or broken package issues. And trust me those can be a real headache at times.

Manjaro also has access to the Arch User Repositories, which is the biggest software pool and pretty much anything created for Linux, will be available there. This is great for students. You get everything you might need with a few clicks, and it’s all free.

Manjaro makes everything simpler. Settings are simpler, updating, installing and removing software, proprietary driver installation, everything is easy here. Since the newest improvements in packages are available on Manjaro quickly, it does have this kinda polished feel to the experience of using it.

Manjaro is a community-driven project and it is very mature. All the desktop environments are branded with the Manajro feel. The Xfce version of Manjaro is ridiculously fast and runs great on laptops and even older hardware. But if you need something more glittery, I highly recommend the KDE version.

Manjaro is a cutting edge Linux distro with very less maintenance hassle. And on laptops, it has visible performance boost over heavier distros. It is the best Linux distro for beginners.

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#4 LINUX MINT

Best Linux Distro for Students
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Linux Mint is the best productivity-oriented operating system in this world. It is one of the best Linux Distro. ‘Linux Mint’ is very consistent, stable and it is built to provide you space where you can just work. unlike other operating systems, Mint does not boast about shiny new features with every new release. While Ubuntu shifted from GNOME desktop to Unity and then back to GNOME, Linux Mint has stayed the same. Of course, there have been improvements and updates. But the experience of using Mint has always stayed consistent.

“Linux Mint” has a great policy regarding updates. All the package updates are divided into 5 levels and this allows for a much safer update procedure. Your browsers will always be new while the kernel will remain the same. This means less breakage. The stability and consistency are great for students. You have a distraction-free computing environment and there is no maintenance hassle.

Linux Mint uses the Cinnamon desktop. This is one of the biggest reasons Linux Mint is loved by hundreds of thousands of users. Cinnamon desktop, by design, facilitates deep work. The application menu is organized and accessible. It has a fast search. Switching between applications is simple and the operating system stays out of the user’s workflow. The interface layout is something that most people are familiar with. For students working with their groups, this is a plus point.

For your friends unfamiliar with Linux, Linux Mint will be somethings they can navigate around while being amazed by it at the same time. Mint doesn’t capture you with shiny features and whatnot. Rather it’s the simplicity that you’ll love here. All these combined are a great recipe for a distraction-free, super productivity-oriented operating system. You can study, browse, work in a streamlined system. And for students coming from Windows, Linux Mint turns into a home quickly, because of the similar user interface.

There are a good number of preinstalled applications. LibreOffice, Gimp, Firefox browser are all available out of the box. There are also a variety of themes available. So you can customize Mint to Your liking. Install Mint once and you’ll just fall in love with it. Linux Mint is a power-packed operating system for students. It’s one of the best Linux distro for Windows users.

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#3 UBUNTU

Best Linux Distro for Students
Best Linux distro for laptops | Best Linux distro for gaming | Best Linux distro for Windows users

Ubuntu has always been “Linux for human beings”. A simple installation. Fully functional user interface with pretty much no need of using the command line. Add to that, solid stability and a vast number of software available to be installed in a fast, convenient and secure way. That’s how you create the most popular Linux distro. It is one of the best Linux distro for desktop and also the best Linux distro for Windows users. I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that Ubuntu has played the biggest role in putting Linux on people’s computers on a scale that we see today.

Fast forward many years. Ubuntu is still the top choice for anybody wanting to try something other than Windows on their computers. And by try, I don’t only mean as an alternate OS. But as the daily driver. In fact, this is where Ubuntu pioneered.

Ubuntu is based on Debian and therefore is stability focused OS. Its LTS version is supported for 5 years. It has a huge pool of software. Pretty much all the software vendors officially support Ubuntu. This means you are least likely to face any issues with Ubuntu. And if you do face issues, Ubuntu has amazing community support. There is a large pool of resources regarding Ubuntu usage and troubleshooting. Ubuntu evolves with every new iteration. There are upgrades with the UI, workflow, the core, and other stuff. Some people don’t like this. But in my opinion, there can’t be growth without changes. If you stick with LTS versions though, this is not an issue as you’re good for 5 years.

LibreOffice, Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird email, Transmission torrent and many other day to day used applications are pre-installed. Thousands of amazing software are available from the software store.

Ubuntu caters to computer science students especially. It is the best Linux distro for programmers, the best Linux distro for programming and the best Linux distro for developers. The tools and software used in development are updated very regularly and you always get to choose between the stable long-term versions of the newer builds. This was of great convenience to me personally.

Ubuntu is so awesome that 3 other operating systems in this list are based on Ubuntu. And if You’re a Windows user thinking about trying out Linux, give Ubuntu a try. It’ll blow your mind.

Best Linux distro for desktop | Best Linux distro for gaming | Best Linux distro for beginners

#2 MX LINUX

Best Linux distro for gaming | Best Linux distro for programming | Best Linux distro for developers

MX Linux is the prodigal son of Debian, which rose to the number one spot on “Distrowatch” in the last 12 months. ‘MX Linux’ is a power-packed Linux distro, it means business. The operating system is based on the solid Debian base. It is a performance-driven OS and features the Xfce desktop environment with its own redesign.

The desktop is very light and there are no animations or transitions. This makes MX very suitable for older desktops and laptops. If you have any old PCs which are begging for a new life, MX is the best way forward. Older hardware won’t struggle much with “MX Linux” as the OS itself demands very low resources. Even in all the other departments, it delivers an impressive experience. I mean, it is on top of 99 other Linux distros on Distrowatch.

Out of the box, the desktop is configured nicely, except for the panel, which is vertical. You can make it horizontal easily. There’s a neat widget on the screen. Using an app called MX tweaks, you can change a lot of stuff here and personalize the desktop. MX Tweaks allows you to play around with even the smallest of details. You get a good number of preinstalled, useful applications. All the essentials and some less known but cools apps are available here.

MX also includes some MX branded applications which help in maintaining the OS. These MX apps simplify some of the advanced as well as day to day tasks. There’s a kernel manager, boot repair tool which can be very useful if you have multiple operating systems on your computer. Even connecting MX to an iPhone is made easy with iDevice mounter.

MX is based on Debian stable, but it allows software installation from the Debian backports too. So, you get access to newer versions of software if you need them. You can choose between Debian stable packages or backports packages per-application basis. This is the kind of freedom that you won’t get on any other Linux distro.

OS installation, the proprietary Nvidia driver installation, everything is as simple as it gets. MX Linux is a streamlined system that provides a powerful desktop for students. There’s also freedom and Debian stability. For older hardware, MX is the perfect OS.

Best Linux distro for programmers | Best Linux distro for programming | Best Linux distro for developers

#1 ZORIN OS

Best Linux distro for gaming | Best Linux distro for programmers | Best Linux distro for developers

On the number one spot, we have Zorin OS. It is the Best Linux Distro on our list. Zorin is the most underrated Linux distro. “Zorin OS” is built for everybody. Usability is the number one factor that puts Zorin in a different league. The desktop looks clean and superior. The layout is familiar to everybody. Windows users especially will love this. The layout here is of windows 7, but everything is more polished. The panel, the menu the icons are all so modern. But that’s not all. Using Zorin Appearance, you can try other desktop layouts if Win 7 is not something you prefer.

We have the MacOS kind of look here, which again, looks far more polished than the original thing. If you have a touch-enabled display, this layout is fully optimized for touch with larger icons and a fully functional touch-based workflow.

The theme looks really good on the eye. There’s a touch of minimalism and material design. The icon pack is pure eye candy. “Zorin OS” absolutely kills it in the looks department. If you carry your laptop to college, Zorin is going to get you a lot of style rep. Zorin values refined the user experience. So the developers have put in a lot of effort to facilitate some great new features.

You can easily pair your android phone with Your computer using an app called Zorin Connect. You can use text messaging on your computer, control media playback from your phone, even remote control your PC with your phone. All this, without any setup hassle.

Zorin 15, the current release, is based on the long-term support version of Ubuntu. So, it’ll be supported for 5 years. The OS is very stable and comes with all essentials installed out of the box. The software can be downloaded from the software store. All the .deb packages and the PPAs of Ubuntu are 100 percent compatible with Zorin OS.

Zorin OS has a very detailed setup guide on their website which helps you get started with the OS quickly. In recent years, gaming has picked up the pace on Linux. Zorin capitalizes on the recent advancements with Proton to provide a richer gaming experience both quality and quantity-wise. It is one of the best Linux distro for gaming. You can play a number of windows exclusive games on Linux now with Steam’s proton. Zorin help section lays out simple steps to get started with it, which of course can be used on all the other Linux distros too.

Zorin OS has multiple editions. There’s a lite version based on Xfce, that runs pretty smoothly on hardware that has rather modest specs. Then there’s Zorin education which is optimized for students. It comes with much educational software bundled. We have a core version which is the default-free offering for desktops and laptops. Finally, there’s the ultimate version. It costs 49 dollars and is absolutely worth it. It comes with so much more exciting stuff out of the box. There are more desktop layouts. A set of curated Linux apps are installed by default. These apps enhance the computing experience by far.

There are around 20 games on the ultimate iso. You also get enhanced customer support with Zorin ultimate. These 49 dollars will have you covered for the next 5 years, so that’s a great investment.

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So, these were the Best Linux Distro for Students in 2019. If you know other best OS for Students, do comment below.

About Deepak Thakur

Hi, I am Deepak Thakur and I am a Software Engineer with a keen interest in latest and upcoming technologies.

2 comments

  1. Linux is always a good choice for developers. Especially, all Linux versions are on demand on their place. I recommend Ubuntu and Mint.

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