I’ve been used Linux for the very first time in my PC was in 2007. My first Linux distribution was Mandriva One 2007. Now, Linux has been 25 years old. There are so many improvement have been reached by its community. There are huge changes and today we could meet Linux in almost every devices, from our personal computer, into our smartphones (yes, Android is a Linux).
Also, talking about Linux desktop, there are bunch of Linux distros exists today –though, based on some statistics, Linux desktop still get very little portion in personal computer market share. There are new Linux distro born, and there are some legendary Linux distro, sadly became unmaintained.
From my personal point of view, I have my own criteria about ‘a perfect’ Linux distro. First and the most important is usability. Second, the speed. And the last criteria is the look and feel. Here are my own, subjective list of ‘The Best Linux Distribution in 2016’ :
1. Ubuntu MATE
Ubuntu MATE is the newest Ubuntu family. It uses MATE desktop, the continuation of the legendary, most used, old GNOME 2 desktop environment. I have not much to say about this Linux distribution. This is the easiest, simplest, yet fast Linux distribution I’ve ever used.
For years, I almost never gave this distribution a serious treat. For long time, I was completely satisfied by GNOME 2 and never dig XFCE desktop deeper. Until there is a little, but very brilian invention in XFCE community called Whisker Menu. Suddenly, I deeply fallen in love with Xubuntu and use it as default distribution in my laptop.
For years, I have sought the fastest but easiest Linux distro and at the end I found Lubuntu. It is the Ubuntu family with LXDE desktop that perfectly fulfill the need of speed and usability. I use it in my old computer and works just perfect.
This Debian based distribution has been the most used Linux distro, based on Distrowatch statistic. But, since the 11.04 version, Ubuntu made a controversial, brave decision to switch its desktop environment, from ‘vanilla’ or pure GNOME into its own desktop environment called Unity Desktop. Since that, lots of fans criticized and abandon this distribution.
Surprisingly, Unity desktop has been better and so much better. As the Ubuntu launched 12.04 (precise pangolin) version, Unity desktop has been slowly well accepted and personally, I love the way Unity desktop works. Though it is not the so fast Linux distribution, I have to say that Ubuntu with Unity desktop is one of the most easy to use, elegant Linux distribution.
5. Debian XFCE
Debian is the living ancestor of bunch of modern Linux distributions. This is the one of the oldest major Linux distribution that still existed until today and still widely adapted. Personally, I love this distribution. This is fast, stable, and has large software repositoy. There are some Debian spin-off, just like Ubuntu, and I love Debian XFCE because it’s so simple, fast, and easy to use.