Top 5 Best Alternative Linux Distributions for Windows 10 Users

It is quite intriguing how Windows 10 took off shortly after its announcement on the 29 of July 2015 and it is without a doubt that it’s the best Windows ever – which is what a sequel of any operating system should be anyway – unlike those that came before it (I’m looking at you Window 8/8/1).

Microsoft currently boasts of over 200 million devices currently running its flagship operating system, which is a humongous amount if you ask me. Notwithstanding, the market share of Windows 7 still surpasses that of Windows 10.

Also check out the following articles to find out about our top Linux distributions of the year 2015 and 2016.

However, given the success rate of Windows 10 in the short space of time, we’d expect it’s usage share to eventually grow over the next few years to beat Windows 7 – just the same way the latter took over Windows XP.

I like to attribute Windows 10 to “8.1 done right” particularly because it’s more or less a refined form of the latter – with still a lot of improvements under the hood.

Given the entire nature of the Windows operating system as a closed — money/data hoarding platform, it’s mostly fair that people that value their privacy or are otherwise displeased with Windows 10 will look out for the better alternatives while still offering a similar experience akin to what the 10’s GUI offers.

In this article, we’ve picked 5 Linux distributions that will give you the best possible Windows-esque desktop experience on Linux.

1. Zorin OS

Zorin OS is perhaps the most prominent of the bunch and has quite the manpower with a standardized development cycle (one that is similar to Ubuntu LTS and short term releases).

Zorin OS - an Ubuntu-based OS designed for Windows Users

Zorin OS – an Ubuntu-based OS designed for Windows Users

The operating system once installed, will make you feel right at home as it has that generalized Windows look and for a user coming from Windows, you almost will be able to go wherever you’re mostly fond of visiting on your Windows PC.

Ii is noteworthy that Zorin shares the same codebase as Ubuntu and uses a heavily modified DE dubbed Zorin DE and based on Gnome 2.

By default, Zorin OS is meant to look like Windows 7, but you have other options in the look changer which are the Windows XP style and Gnome 2.

Better yet, Zorin comes with Wine (which is an emulator that allows you to run win32 apps in Linux) preinstalled and many other applications that you’ll need for basic tasks.

Check out Zorin OS in action:

Don’t Miss: Zorin OS Installation and Review Guide

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Jesse Afolabi

I am an aspiring Linux Engineer, a tech writer on thedroidreview and tecmint, I also love to dance and you can find me on YouTube - be sure to subscribe.

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41 Responses

  1. dsheman says:

    So I often try many Linux distros in the hopes of finding something that works easily, for a windows user that has used windows since 3.1. Now in the beginning many distros simply did not install. You had to configure hard drive space before it would install and coming from windows this was horrible. Now I try distros in virtualbox and it is alot more simple that is for sure.

    I feel that the single biggest issue with all the Linux distros out there is that it such a pain to install a program. Where in windows its a easy task to double click and select install. So if anyone in the linux world wants to make this mainstream thats what needs to happen.. It is simple enough to find a linux program such as my favorite browser Opera. But next to impossible to install. Where in windows I can download a file and just click on it.

    Well thats me comment.

  2. Brian Carter says:

    I must be doing something wrong! I had Windows 10, and after endless trouble with it, especially after the latest upgrade, I migrated to the latest LinuxMint. I have used Linux for many years, but not in the role of a main system, so I am not exactly “new” to Linux.

    Anyway – I installed Crossover in my LM system and now can run just about all the applications that I ran under Windows. These apps include my Genealogy software. I still have some others to try – but haven’t got round to it yet. The point is that I made the switch with no trouble – of course I had to de-register the apps I had run under Windows and re-register them in LM, but that was no sweat. I am still using all the hardware that I used in Windows.

    My main point is that I have been able to continue with what I did using Windows without any hiccups. Oh, of course everything runs faster now. One final thing, and I know that some Linux “hardliners” may say that I do not need it, I installed ESET internet security for Linux. Just to be on the safe side of course.

  3. Alan says:

    Is there a version of Linux mint suitable for dummies who have been using windows forever. I’m asking this with XP which is an okay version to use offline (via a switchbox).

    Q.2 Why doesn’t Wine work ? Thanks,

    • Will says:

      Mint 18. My grandmother could install and use it pretty much out of the box.

      • Alan says:

        Anyone can use Linux if all they want to do is search for things and watch YouTubes. Some folks don’t demand much from their computer. It’s like, Oh how did you put those arrows into that picture ? Well I used a program (from a disc) called Paperport which just barely runs in XP pro. It was meant for Win 98. Unlike my wife I show my computer no mercy. Sometimes I get in trouble. :-))

  4. Bo says:

    I prefer the newest technology and I think replacing x 11 is important. Who is going to maintain it in the future? IBM, mint users, Oracle etc. I don´t think so. The negativity to Wayland irritates me and I will stick to non x 11 distros.

  5. Joshua says:

    Several years ago I decided to take the advice of people I knew who kept telling me to dump MS and go Linux, I had gotten a CD with Linspire that ran perfectly, except I had no idea what the different names for everything meant.

    They kept telling me to get Ubuntu it’s the top of all. Well, I tried to install it, from a download, actually several, would not work, I contacted the official site and bought the disk, no luck there, I hit the library found the Linux for Dummies book with included disk it wouldn’t install either.

    I seriously tried as many possibilities as I could find and no luck on any of them, and yet that Linspire V1 worked like a charm from the CD.

    Now I’m being forced into W10 and it sucks, did the FREE upgrade, which ended up with me buying a new W7 disk to reinstall everything, wasted days into weeks, even bought a new HP laptop and W10 was the worst ever, still is, slower than my old Commodore Vic 20 nothing but one long line of problems after another, Shame on HP, Best Buy and MS. and who knows who else.

    I know that MS writes lousy code, gets it half way debugged then sends it out so million ends up working for FREE for MS as debuggers or flaw finders, Hey name me one version of Windows that worked right on V1.

    You can’t because they were all flawed and none of them worked right until several major service packs later. 95 XP Vista all failures out of the box. But W10 is the worst ever, which is an understatement.

    Why should we work for free for Gates because he can’t hire people that know what they are doing, that know how to write good code? Billy G promises W10 is the last version ever, that we will just keep getting updates until the end of time.

    That scares me, plus it is 100% invasive, and you can’t opt out of their data collection, what else are they collecting and how many back doors does the Government have? Way too many is the only answer.

    I would wager, with good odds, that IF someone wrote a Linux version that was really a Linux for dummies point and click that from 60% to 95% of Windows users would migrate in short time.

    Which means if you charged just a single Dollar for a copy you would become an instant Multi- Billionaire. The Forced migration to W10 is MS cutting their own throat, they just don’t know it. And FYI even if you don’t want it ever, Gates already notified the world you are getting anyway in some future update to W7 or what ever you use.

    Meaning you have no choice, except move to something completely different, and Linux is maybe a great choice, but until it creates a version W users could understand right up front it won’t happen.

    For example you see the word kernel a lot, outside the loop nobody has a clue what that means or refers to, took me a long time to find that out.

    Everything in the Linux word is like a foreign language, like Ancient Greek or Sumerian to a Win user. And they don’t want to take the time months if not years to learn that language.

    Plus who is going to teach them? The Billions of them all around the world. You? Just now I searched Best linux version for Dummies that use Windows, Got lots of returns, but each talked about versions with different names, some names were this you know like that other one, I have no idea at all what those names mean.

    They give no clue, to me a Fedora is type of Hat, What the hell is a Distro, sounds like Disco and I never did that, ever, never will either. And what does this mean? Is Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” The Ubuntu Killer? See what I’m talking about? I have zero idea what any of that means.

    • Alan says:

      Absolutely right Joshua” I would wager, with good odds, that IF someone wrote a Linux version that was really a Linux for dummies point and click that from 60% to 95% of Windows users would migrate in short time.”

      I know I would. Yes a Fedora is a hat and I remember Disco :-)) You failed to mention the other Disco’s like Gnomes, Trollesk, Marajuano, Dion (and the Belmonts) and of course BSD. I guess the D stands for Disco or Distro and the BS, well we all know what that is.

      Just turn on the news. Lots of BS there. In any case there are too many versions. They may as well reintroduce GW Basic and make you play with code all day. The most successful people in the world don’t have time to play with code. They’re making money.

  6. Franco says:

    For me Linux is not a perfect choice, as a designer I need my corel draw and photoshop, but Linux just don’t support that, for graphic designers Linux is not worth..

  7. don says:

    I’m a late starter to LINUX. In fact I’m late across the board. I would love to learn all about LINUX and open source. However at this moment I am financially adrift. Please some advice or help. I never forget a nicety and when the shoe is on the other foot as it inevitably will be, my gratitude is abundant’ Let my LINUX enlightenment begin

    • Jaime Espinola says:

      Don’t know what Linux distribution you have chosen but there are plenty of resources online for learning Linux. Be they videos on youtube or ebooks you can easily download for free. You just have to search for them.

      Though today my Linux distribution of choice is Arch-Linux, if you have yet chosen a Linux distribution I highly recommend just starting off with standard Ubuntu.

      Welcome to the Linux libre and opensource community.

  8. Miha says:

    Hello! What about the wifi driver for certain equipments? I have a Lenovo V310 -15ISK; didn’t manage to make wifi work, despite hard efforts. Any ideas? Thank you.

    • Jesse says:

      Hi Moan, sorry for getting back to you so Late. Goto settings, additional drivers and hopefully, you’ll find your Wi-Fi’s driver there. If that doesn’t work however, you can try updating your Linux kernel to the latest.. Hopefully it’d have your wireless driver

  9. Gary R Munford says:

    Chapeau Linux could have made this list easy. It’s fedora based, and like Mint, comes ready to run right out of the box. I call it the Mint of the Fedora world. I run both Mint and Chapeau on my computers, and love them both.

  10. Snakeskin Shedding says:

    I’m one of those windows users all of my computer life; a necessary utility for instant interaction on a global level. Would remain loyal to one service utility if not taken advantage of and my personal stuff is not used abused and charged for.

    Looking for new OS which is stable easy to use capable of awesome graphics to keep me smiling. Directed to this website Jesse and sitting here trying to add to my learning curve in search for new OS.

    Admire Jesse for getting out there and having a go so why not help him to research all the info? It is after all to our advantage. I am no professional computer expert; but I am tired of consistent monthly bills for the same old apps! Wish List: working stable secure OS paid for 1 x for a computer Life. So will sit listen and observe to your words of wisdom people – just so you know I am here hoping. Snakeskin-Shedding

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