What OS would you give your Gran'ma?

You guys have known how to find the best of the best out there.

Some have also stated NOT to install Garuda (or Arch-based) on their wife or grand-mother computer from their personal experience.

So I’d like to ask this community: what would you personally install for your gran’ma or for a non-tech-savvy friend?

For context, someone said he’ll buy a computer and wants me to teach him. I said I’d ditch Windows and put Linux on it.


If you want something similar to Windows but not Windows, ZorinOS is your best option

If you’re just looking for a fairly intuitive Linux experience and don’t care about the Windows-like appearance and out-of-box support for Windows apps, try out Linux Mint or PopOS

I’m a great-grand father. 72 years old.

I run Arch, btw.

I’ll bet your grandma could teach you a thing or two.

!@#$%^ young whippersnapper!


Maybe about world war 2 but not Linux :joy:

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Honestly there’s a lot of options for someone older and less technical. Zorin is good, Mint is good, MX is good. And one I bet most of you don’t know is Tuxedo. Better version of Mint imo and they make laptops with their distro on too. Worth a try

Whether its windows or linux, I bet my Grandma will still call me for help. Why not just leave her with Garuda :drooling_face:, probably with the breeze theme set


Because you don’t put Arch on a grandmas computer or you’re gonna be over daily when something breaks

I mean, we probably have to wait until plasma 7 for that., or I just give her XFCE — that thing stable as hell

You don’t appear to have a very high opinion of Arch for someone who runs a distribution based-on and highly-aligned with it. Why? Have you fallen for that old, inaccuracy that “Arch is unstable & breaks frequently” baloney? It doesn’t. The many distributions based on Arch would not exist if that major distribution did not exist or its packages frequently “broke.”

Besides that, it is an insult to all of the Arch maintainers, packagers, testers, developers, forum staff, volunteers, and everyone else aligned with the very distribution that makes Garuda possible. And by extension, you insult the people that make Garuda itself.

I’m one of the people that works behind the scenes with a team of other volunteers in Arch Linux to ensure the packages you run every day are properly tested and do what they are supposed to do. Do we iron-out all the bugs in thousands of frequently updated packages? Oh, hell no. Not possible–you’ve experienced yourself how rapidly things can change! But nearly all of them, yeah, before they hit the stable repositories.

What we need is more volunteer involvement and fewer whiners. I’d be happy to help you sign-up. :smiley:

I do not speak for Arch or Garuda, only myself.


I personally love chaos. Install gentoo or LFS on their laptop. :slightly_smiling_face:


I told everybody, search for a better teacher. I can’t good explain.
For browsing/working in the WWW, use a tablet. I can help you to install Tracker Control from F-Droid and you are fine.

A former friend, whose dead PC (M$) I had resurrected (also M$, not Linux), switched to the bitten fruit. He no longer wanted to be dependent on me :smiley: .
Well, my help was free :rofl: .

Never stop a traveler.



“It depends” is always kind of an annoying answer to get, but it is important to consider what sort of computers the person likes or has experience using, and try to set them up with something that isn’t shocking or hard to figure out. Some DEs are Windows-alike, some are Mac-alike, etc.

I think Gnome is very approachable for someone new to Linux because it kind of presents like a smartphone in a lot of ways. Using a smartphone is somewhat familiar to most folks, even “gran’ma”.

Arguably the DE is a more crucial choice than the distro, but if you are shooting for a distro where the person doesn’t need to drop to the command line and applications are easy to install, etc I would say don’t overlook Fedora. It is very much a “just works” distro these days, and has more up-to-date apps and a more recent kernel than some of its frozen pool peers. I have Fedora 39 Gnome on a laptop at home for my wife to use. Every once in a while I’ll sign in and get it updated, but even that you can do in the GUI if you want to. Other than the updates I basically never need to do anything with it.

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These may be the two best answers. My wife, also (duh) a great-grandparent, has used her tablet & smartphone exclusive of her desktop computer for at least the past 4 years. No desktop computer use whatsoever.

Tablets are easy to read, navigate, yada, yada. My wife uses a flexible extension arm on hers.



Not the OP, but for me, Arch has been a great experience overall, but I do somewhat agree that it isn’t for your average grandma. The problem isnt bugs so much as constant migrations that can leave your system in a half functional state. Garuda is the only reason I use Arch, because of garuda-update which does most of the stuff for me and mostly dodge the problem. Still, its not friendly enough for grandma.

For instance, last year pipewire was still in 0.X. If an update got released, any app that used audio would stop working until I rebooted my machine. Some packages I use (like discord) require frequent update or they stop working. These two things together meant that I had to update every two weeks, and it would break everything down to the reboot button because KDE had a sound theme for that action. My only option was to reboot via command line. Turns out the problem was due to a bad migration with wireplumber which left my system in a wonky state and the script that restarted the service after an update wasn’t running.

With the switch to KDE6 requiring me yet again to do a fresh install because I can’t track down some plasma issues probably caused by a bad migration, it’s clearly not a one time thing either. I could spend hours tracking down the problem, but I already don’t have that time for myself.

And, like you said, with the amount of package combination and frequent updates, we’re bound to have migration issues. So yeah… Not a bug per say, but not the kind of stuff I wish on my grandma either.

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Well, it depends on your point of view. :slight_smile:

My imaginary daughter could already be a grandma and be well prepared for everything thanks to me. :smiley:
My grandma’s, on the other hand, haven’t lived for decades and have never heard of computers.

Apart from age, it also depends on the will and understanding of the person who wants to buy a PC.

These discussions are as entertaining as they are useless. :slight_smile:

Do blonde women kiss better than brunettes?
Which shoes suit me better, the blue ones or the red ones?

There are no general answers to general questions.


Well this one deserves it,s own topic :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:



Can get back on topic.

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This is probably even 50% true, and describes exactly your alleged problem.
All the answers here are 50% correct because the problem has not been precisely defined.

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I think the answers are good. I’ll take the top recommendations and flip a coin.

And take the brunette.

Oh right I’m married. She’s Mayan brunette.

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