Windows 11 Alternative: 9 Best Linux Distros [2021]

I had recently installed Windows 11 on a 7th gen Intel i3 processor.

Yeah! I know my PC is incompatible with Windows next-gen. OS.

However, because of my FOMO, I had to install Windows 11 to end my curiosity.

Now after using it for some time, I’ve finally said goodbye to the Windows OS altogether.

NO.NO.NO, I’m not switching over to the Mac OS.

Instead, I’m heading over to a Linux Distro.

Windows 11 Alternative: 9 Best Linux Distros [2021] 1

There are over 600 Linux distros in active development. So, which ONE?

Well, tbh, it was a difficult choice for me but I somehow managed to sort my choice list into 5 Linux distros.

So, going forward in this post, I’ll share my 9 choices & out of them I’ll pick a Linux distro for my PC. Let’s get started:

Ubuntu

To date, Ubuntu LTS is one of the most popular Linux server distros for PC.

In fact, it’s the very first linux distro I had installed on my PC.

It was released in 2004 & since then it has become a common OS in organizations & certain Laptop PC. By default, it comes with apps such as Libreoffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, and Transmission.

You can even use it to play games such as Sudoku,  chess, Solitare, FreeCell Solitaire, and Mines.

Currently, Ubuntu is running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa as the long-term support version & Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo” as the latest non-LTS version.

Just like any other Linux distribution, you can run windows application on it using the Wine Application. Over the years, it hasn’t changed that much in terms of the user interface.

And as always the sudo command in a Linux OS takes your PC security to the next level. When the security of your PC is intact, you can continue using the LTS version as long as you like.

Furthermore, if you want, you can keep all your information private by using the Policykit application.

Fedora

When I purchased my laptop, it came in with the Fedora OS. However, within a few days, I deleted the OS & installed Windows 10 OS on it.

And now I’ve come to realize that it was a big mistake from my side.

I shouldn’t have installed Windows 10 OS & continued using Fedora OS or some other Linux distros on it.

Fedora OS was released in 2003 & since then it continues to get different releases on PC, servers, & distributed computing. It works with upstream Linux people groups and goes for advancements beyond your imagination.

Fedora OS is built on the programming of Libreoffice & Firefox.

The rendition of Fedora is generally bolstered for 13 months. Today, you no longer have to introduce each rendition of Fedora for the sole purpose of utilizing it. The work area conditions given by Fedora are GNOME, LXDE, MATE, KDE Plasma, and Cinnamon.

It handles the RPM bundles using DNF and if you want, you can add additional stores to the framework. Fedora OS is created on fundamental models of x86-64 and ARM-hfp.

CentOS

The following up is CentOS which is extraordinary compared to other Linux servers for PCs. Its sole purpose is to provide security to your PC. CentOS contains .rpm bundles and yum bundle chief.

It is grown predominantly for receiving open source advancements. CentOS comes with x86-64 engineering. It gives a network-based working framework.

CentOS utilized RHEL code and disposed of Red Hat’s trademarks.

Elementary OS

Elementary OS was first released in 2011 & this year on August 11, 2021, it has rolled out the latest Elementary OS 6 (Odin) update to its users.

Elementary OS isn’t completely free. However, you can get it for as low as $1. It all depends on how much you want to support its developers.

Coming to its features, Elementary OS comes with the following features that are limited to a handful of Linux distros:

  • Picture-in-Picture,
  • Multitasking,
  • Do not disturb.

Zorin OS 16

Zorin OS is a powerful operating system designed to make your computer faster, more secure, and easier to use.

The biggest reason for me to add this Linux distribution to this list is that it’s a combination of Mac & Windows OS. Therefore, already giving it an edge over other Linux distros in this list.

Zorin OS 16 isn’t just about the looks. It’s a practical OS that can be used in over 50 languages. It also comes with pre-loaded assistive technologies.

Therefore, providing a super combination of flexibility, accessibility, compatibility, etc. Zorin OS comes in 3 editions:

  • Zorin OS Lite,
  • Zorin OS Core,
  • Zorin OS Pro.

Even though the 1st two editions are completely free to install, you must pay $39 to install Zorin OS-Pro & get access to some exclusive features such as:

  • Premium desktop layouts (macOS, Windows 11 & Classic, and Ubuntu).
  • Advanced productivity software
  • Pro-Lite edition for old PCs
  • A professional-grade creative suite of apps.

Linux Mint

Linux Mint is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that offers all of the simplicity of Ubuntu. I guess that’s probably why Linux Mint has become so popular among users. One of the most exemplary aspects of the distro is that it provides dozens of applications to its users online. Not just that, It’s also an excellent addition for those who are looking for different operating systems, such as Windows or Mac.

However, before you install Linux Mint on your device, make sure you’re following the minimum system requirements:

  • 512MB RAM, but I would recommend you to install it on a PC with at least 1 GB RAM,
  • The minimum storage space required is 9GB & 20 GB is recommended.
  • Recommended graphics card – 1024×768
  • Your device must have a USB port.

Talking about the advantages of using Linux Mint, you can get the most out of it as it supports a broader range of media formats. That’s why it becomes easier for you to play music files and movies and make it much more accessible. Additionally, when installing Linux Mint, you get to choose between three options in its desktop environment.

Once installed, you can configure it in a snap of your fingers.

On Mint, configuring the windows and menus can be done in a snap. Cinnamon is presently and highly popular among users of Mint’s three distinct flavors. If you’re looking out for just a minimal version, I recommend you only go for MATE or Xfce instead.

Mint packed features include the fact that they make it simple to restore a computer. For example, the quality of “Timeshift” makes it easy for you to recover from the last working snapshot. Furthermore, when using Linux mint, every desktop environment lets you personalize the operating system as per your requirement.

As Linux Mint is based on the Ubuntu OS, I don’t think any other distro can compete with its user-friendliness.

Therefore, I would say it’s an excellent choice for novices and expert Linux users. Also, it provides elegance, usefulness, and stability in one package while also providing ease of use right at your fingertips.

Every day, the user base of Linux OS is increasing, and Mint is no exception. Today, it is one of the fastest-growing Linux distributions. I don’t think there’s anything better than Mint if you’re looking to learn more about the Linux OS as a user.

Mint, which is based in Ubuntu, has become extremely popular. It’s also an excellent choice for people moving from the pathetic Windows 10 or latest Windows 11 experience.

Mint distro is especially beneficial to those making the switch from Windows because it offers a similar desktop environment. Another significant benefit of using this OS distro is pre-installed with all the software you need to get the best Linux experience.

Debian

In terms of popularity, Debian is, without a doubt, one of the best distros on this list. Popular Linux distribution Ubuntu is based on this distro. Debian OS isn’t just a typical Linux OS that any newbie can use on the game. This was made to target a specific audience of servers and desktops.

However, before you install Debian on your device, make sure you’re following the minimum system requirements:

  • Minimum 512 MB RAM and recommended 1 GB RAM needed.
  • In addition, your PC should have at least 10 GB of HDD to install Debian OS.
  • At 1GHz Pentium 4 processor
  • Installation Media – USB

Apart from its popularity as servers & desktops, there’s no stopping in the popularity of Debian OS among developers & coders. The biggest reason for this is that it’s completely open-source.

That’s why I believe Debian is currently known as one of the most acceptable choices in the development world.

Furthermore, Debian OS provides stability that can offer peace of mind to the developers who face a hard time in developing. Before you install this OS, I would again like to remind you it’s particularly suited for Linux users who have previous expertise. If you’re a newbie, I recommend you stick with Ubuntu, Zorin OS, or other popular ubuntu-based distros.

Debian is a Linux distribution that has been under continuous development since 1991. Debian’s stability, security, and popularity have made it one of the most popular Linux distributions on the market.

Debian offers several advantages over other Linux distributions. First, it’s one of the most reliable Linux OS in terms of Security.

Do you know WHY?

It’s because every package installed on this OS is thoroughly tested before rolling out to its users. Likewise, each of the applications is thoroughly tested before being released. Then, every 2-3 years, new versions are released, and the vibrant community is always ready to address any issues that might arise.

Apart from that, since Debian has been available for quite some time among developers, it is one of the most stable distributions. In addition, the powerful distro includes a large number of program suites. As a result, users can change packages if the default configuration does not suit them. Furthermore, Debian’s most significant benefit is that it is free and open-source.

Manjaro

Manjaro is a Linux distribution that is designed for developers. Manjaro is built with novices in mind, like Arch. It’s one of the most user-friendly distributions out there as it pays attention to gaming.

However, before you install Manjaro on your device, make sure you’re following the minimum system requirements:

  • Your PC should have at least 1 GB RAM to experience smooth working.
  • At least 1 GHz Processor
  • Before installing this OS, make sure at least 30 GB of free space is available on the hard disk.
  • At least 1 USB Drive port is available.
  • Make sure you’ve got a fast and stable Internet Connection

A variety of pre-installed GUIs are included in the user experience. Manjaro distribution is one of the main reasons why more gamers use this Linux over others. Many players have shied away from using this Linux OS ten years ago because it was unfamiliar and didn’t have many games available for download on the Linux platform.

Nevertheless, today with more and more distributions, the same users can get a game-friendly user experience.

TBH, things have changed dramatically.

The latest version of Manjaro, known as a gaming operating system, is already catching the eye of gamers. Steam is already installed on Manjaro and offers extensive hardware support.

Manjaro’s most considerable edge over this Linux distribution is its user-friendliness. In fact, with the help of a hardware detection tool, it’s being enhanced further.

When installed, it comes with pre-installed graphics drivers for AMD and Nvidia GPUs, making it even easier to use. Finally, on Manjaro, it is simple to change between Linux kernels.

Arch-based Manjaro has a large following and hopes to double it to make gaming more enjoyable and straightforward on Manjaro.

Kali Linux

Every Linux or non-Linux user knows that Linux is a popular hacking platform, and Kali Linux reigns supreme in this area. I believe ethical hacking is one of the most common reasons people choose to use Linux over Windows & Mac OS. In addition, Kali Linux is frequently associated with hacking because it is linked with each operating system.

Over the years, I haven’t seen any Linux distro taking over the place of Kali Linux in the ethical hacking world. When installed, you can find several valuable tools that may be used to hack computer systems ethically. Wireless assaults, stress testing, exploration tools, vulnerability analysis, and other devices are classified in different verticals.

However, before you install Kali Linux on your device, make sure you’re following the minimum system requirements:

  • Your PC should have at least 20 GB of free disk space
  • It works well with RAM 1 GB ram for i386 and amd64 architectures.
  • Your PC should come with USB boot support.

Once installed, you can obtain most of its packages directly from the Debian repository. Earlier, updates in previous versions were not handled with confidence. It has collaborated with Offensive Security to ensure that all updates are delivered securely in the newest version.

Kali Linux is a Linux distribution that has many great features. One of the essential benefits of Kali Linux is that you can install it on various platforms, including Chromebooks, Raspberry Pi boards, and BeagleBone devices. Also, you can use it on Android phones with the installation of Kali NeHunter.

Kali Linux has long been free to download and use, and it is multilingual. In addition, it includes 600 penetration and security testing tools that are highly configurable as per your requirement.

It is the most popular distribution for penetration testing throughout the hacking world. It’s the most convenient for ethical hackers since it has a maximum number of hacking tools you would find on a Linux OS. It is not only a sophisticated penetration testing platform, but it also offers a learning opportunity for young ethical hackers.

Final Verdict

After watching the overview videos of these 5 Linux distributions on Safeshare.

I’ve finally come to a conclusion. I’ve picked ZORIN OS 16 over the other 5 options.

I was really confused between Elementary OS and Zorin OS. But in the end, I based my decision on picking Zorin OS is its user interface and the Jelly Mode.

That’s all for now.

What do you think of my decision of picking Zorin OS over the other 4 Linux distros?

Do share your honest thoughts in the comments section given below.