Is there such a thing as a perfect Linux or BSD desktop distribution? If so, what features and functionalities would such a distro have for it to have attained that high state – of perfection (on the desktop)? And perfect for what group of users? Geeks or non-geeks? In order to answer these questions, we set out here the most important features we expect a modern Linux or BSD desktop distribution to have.

While we may not all agree on a single perfect desktop distro, we do have an expectation that when we install a distro, we expect certain features or functions to work right out of the box. That is, no digging into a configuration file or files to get certain features to work. Linux and BSD distributions are infinitely configurable, but we do not expect every user to have the time or the experience to know what files to tweak or to RTFM.

Perfection is tough to define, but given what we know about the computing needs of the average, non-geek user, we can reasonably expect a distro to meet certain standards of out-of-the-box usefulness and usability.

So, what are those features we expect that perfect desktop distribution to have?

Here they are:

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33 Responses

  1. Unfort. is gOS dead!

    i would recommend for starters:

    Ubuntu 11.xx (Unity may for some ppl be annoying, tho its easy as an Iphone)

    LinuxMint 12.x very nice usability i tested Gnome edition and must say its easy to handle.

    Mandriva nice too, didn’t have as much time to test is as the other 2 but its very intuitive and nice looking, tho i think i would rather start with the upper 2

    Debian 6.x i am really new to Linux and i tried many Distributions and i liked Debian from the start. Some will say its not user friendly, i must admit its not as user friendly as Ubuntu or LinuxMint but if you know what you need and if you know where to search, its as easy as the other 2 and somehow i liked Debian most, very stable, everything worked (skype, Webcam, drivers, just anything) Ubuntu was a bit tricky for me so i needed a script to get my camera started on Skype, i got the script from youtube.

    I would recommend those 4 to everyone, its just my 5 cents.

  2. Slackware is perfect and don’t have a graphical installer. To be honest, I don’t think that yours pre-requisits are valid to chose a “perfect distro”.

  3. I have had opportunity of using GNU/Linux professionally, including in teaching and providing small business services for more than fifteen years.

    During that time, many distributions have come and gone, but fortunately the better quality, more stable distos have endured, all of which I have thoroughly evaluated and tested.

    One recommendation not often mentioned that is suitable for the person writing seeking Distro for Linux beginner is G/OS – http://www.thinkgos.com – which ran reliably and succesfully on many Netbooks early on, before Microsoft subverted the Linux Netbook market.

    It is Ubuntu LTS based, with Google apps to simplify task like Mail, News, docs, etc. and has been a absolute success on fourty plus PCs on which I have installed it, from 80+ years of age PC first timers to small businesses and schools.

    W. Anderson

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