WHAT LINUX IS
Linux is an open source operating system with no copyright restrictions and with source code that is accessible and editable by users themselves. It is currently one of the most widely used alternatives to Windows, especially in the server environment.
Some less experienced users may be wondering, but what is an operating system?
An operating system is that set of utilities and software necessary for the proper functioning of our devices and make them functional for their purposes.
WHAT ARE DISTROS
Linux, unlike Windows, does not have a “latest version” but is divided into distributions (also called distros). Each distro has a different name, a different predisposition, and a different set of software and applications within it from each other.
Some well-known distos are: Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Lubuntu, Fedora, etc.
A distro encapsulates a set of packages (which can be drivers, applications, etc.) of the Linux operating system, as to install the latter it is mandatory to choose which packages/applications to use. In order to carry out this operation, two solutions are possible:
1 – Manually install each individual package/library, but this is a very complex operation, suitable only for experienced users (it is still done by those who want to fully customize their distros);
2 – Using a distro, which already encloses a set of predefined packages.
It can be seen that the simplest solution is the second one, which is suitable for most users and particularly suitable for those approaching Linux for the first time.
WHICH DISTRO IS BEST TO CHOOSE
Every distro is different, there are distributions made specifically to be able to run systems even several years old, distributions in which the GUI has a style similar to macOS or another that has a style more similar to Windows systems (comparing the GUIs of Ubuntu and Mint can give you an idea of what I am saying), distributions in which the GUI is not provided at all and instructions are given from the command line (server-side distributions are a good example of what we are saying), and many others.
If you are in doubt about which distro to choose, this site can help you:
Here you can find the collection of distros, their popularity and a detailed description for each one.