Selecting Distribution

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An individual release of Linux is called a "Distribution". The name of the dotISO file that is released often defines the two major components of a distribution:

  • distributer's name eg "Mint"
  • Desktop Envrionment ("look & feel") eg MATE

That file is then named along the lines "Mint MATE nnn.iso"

Mint MATE is a suggested starting point, that is reliable and straight-forward for general users, but might not suit advanced users. The following site contains a selector for various characteristics of distributions eg laptop v desktop, newer v older hardware, "based on":

The terminology "based on" is usually not included in the file name. It refers to whether the distribution is a boutique, independent collation (not recommended for beginners) or derived from a more widely used distribution. The latter is likely to provide a wider selection of apps, as well as being more stable.