• Free and recommendable Operating Systems •
For the most of the listed Operating Systems you can get so called Live-CDs which could naturally be used by everyone who know how to burn ISO images and to boot up the computer from CD. You can also start a Linux image under Windows thru the programs MobaLiveCD an LiLi which are listed some lines below.
is an often used and popular Ubuntu and Debian respectively, derivative. It works very well, is easy to install, easy to use and it looks really pretty. The start menu (view Screenshots) is nearly the same as the one from openSUSE but you can replace it easily with the splitted or the main menu. When you start the system for the first time after installation you'll see a welcome screen which provides a list of features and a user guide in PDF. Featured Linux Mint Editions: Mate (GNOME 2 based) 32/64-bit, Cinnamon (GNOME 3 based) 32/64-bit, XFCE 32/64-bit), KDE (32/64-bit) and LMDE = Linux Mint Debian (Mate and Cinnamon, Xfce, 32/64-bit). OEM editions (32/64-bit) for computer vendors are also available. Advantage of 64-bit: No RAM limitation which is only important if you have more than 3 GB of RAM and a 64-bit compatible CPU. Otherwise, use the 32-bit edition!
MATE Screenshots: Control Center / Menu Firefox / Network
Cinnamon Screenshots: File Manager / Menu Settings / Menu
Linux Mint has a large community with Wiki, Forum, Blog and local Websites and Forums.
Visit the Linux Mint Homepage!
PCs and Laptops with Linux Mint and the mintBox!
There are more links to Linux pre-installed near the bottom of the page.
Download the ISO image, burn a CD and start working with Xubuntu. AbiWord for text processing, Gnumeric for working with spreadsheets (like LibreOffice presented on my Office related page), an image viewer and GIMP for advanced image editing, a reader for PDF documents, the web browser Firefox, the eMail Client Evolution and some more applications are already integrated. Additional programs like the FTP client FileZilla could be installed from the large online repository thru using the Software Center or Synaptic the Package Manager.
You can use Xubuntu (32/64-bit) on PC's, Notebooks as well as Netbooks.
Xubuntu works with the Xfce Desktop Environment.
Screenshots: Desktop/Menu Apps/Menu
Get a lot of nice Backgrounds, themes and more: xfce-look.org
Visit the Xubuntu Homepage, get and discover your new Operating System!
Linux Mint and Xubuntu are ready for the efficient and everyday use and also recommendable for beginners and people who want to switch from Windows! Cause you get Live-CD/DVD you can test the system first and if you want you can install it after testing enough. Just click on the icon in the upper left corner and you'll be supported with a graphical installation wizard in many languages. If you have a Windows system installed on your machine: Don't worry! You only need enough free space on your hard drive. After the installation process is done, you have to reboot the computer and you can chose (up and down arrow keys) between Linux and Windows.
Check the Ubuntu derivatives page and discover Ubuntu (GNOME Desktop), Kubuntu (K Desktop Environment = KDE), Edubuntu (GNOME, designed for schools and pupils at home) and Ubuntu Studio (Xfce, designed for multi-media editing / creation).
A Server Edition (32/64-bit) is available on the Ubuntu Website.
Until this point I can recommend the featured Operating Systems without any restriction and with clear conscience for installation (also beside existing Windows systems) and for the efficient and everyday use for Linux newbies, cause these OS are really easy to install and to use! Naturally this applies also to Debian which is the base of Ubuntu and many other Linux based OS! Here is a Screenshot I made from Debian.
Systems especially made for kids:
Qimo 4 Kids - (Live-CD) is a derivative of Xubuntu for children ages 3 and up!
DoudouLinux (Live-CD/USB) is based on Debian for Children ages from 2 - 12 years.
Sugar on a Stick (SoaS) - OS for Kids installable on USB flash drives.
Skolelinux - is an educational system for schools and pupils at home which is really easy to install and to use. It's directly based on Debian and works with the K desktop environment (KDE). The network interface is pre-configured so that you can set up a network without advanced knowledge about (Linux) network technology.
Two other systems for pupils: Edubuntu and openSUSE-Edu Li-f-e.
UberStudent - Learning and teaching for students and learning institutions.
From this point on, the systems are more recommendable for advanced users!
easypeasy - A System especially made for Netbooks.
MeeGo - For Netbooks, Tablets, Smartphones, Satnavs, Smart-TVs and more devices.
Fuduntu - Made for Desktops, Laptops and Netbooks.
If you like the Cloud, try Jolicloud and/or peppermint.
KNOPPIX - The first time I used this great Debian based live system from Klaus Knopper was in 2004 and I found it to be very useful. Since ADRIANE started with KNOPPIX 5.3, the distro is also very recommendable to partially sighted and blind users. You can run the Live-CD (Screenshots) also embedded under Windows thru qemu! KNOPPIX works with the pretty looking LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment). It's not only fast, it also eats less memory and CPU than other Environments like KDE and GNOME do!
Vinux - Ubuntu based system for visually impaired people with screen-reader and full-screen magnification. Available as a Live-CD, easy installable to hard disk and USB flash drives.
#! CrunchBang Linux - works with the lightweight Openbox Window Manager. You can get Live-CD images (32/64-bit) with option for hard-drive installation. It's not recommendable to new Linux users who want a stable environment for daily usage. Nevertheless, AbiWord and Gnumeric (featured like Libre Office on my Office related page), GIMP (Graphic), Evince (PDF), Chromium (Web Browser) and more programs are included. Test it if you want and decide yourself!
Zorin OS - is described as The gateway to Linux for Windows users.
WinBuilder - is a program for creating Windows based Live-Systems for system maintenance and data-recovery, which can be created in conjunction with an original version (CD/DVD) of a Windows OS. OEM / System Builder versions will work too but Recovery versions won't. With WinBuilder you can directly select a project like LiveXP (Screenshots) or a Win7PE which will be downloaded by WinBuilder. Then you can add software apps of your choice, create and burn the ISO-Image.
LiLi USB Creator - A Windows program which let you create a bootable Live system like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Knoppix and openSUSE for your USB thumb drives, in a very easy and convenient way. LiLi USB Creator does support various languages and you can boot up your desired Linux OS from CD or USB flash drive embedded under Windows thru emulation.
LiveUSB Install - The same as LiLi for Linux and Windows without emulation.
SARDU - The same as LiLi but only for Windows and you can create a multi-system ISO for burning to CD or DVD and you can write it directly to an external hard-drive or pen-drive. FreeDOS, TestDisk and PhotoRec, Memtest86+ and some more tools are already integrated. Download your desired Antivirus Rescue Disks and Linux systems, create Windows PE like UBCD4Win and Windows Recovery Disks and start them thru the SARDU boot menu after inserting and booting your new multi-boot CD/DVD or USB flash drive.
MobaLiveCD - A Tool for Windows to test LiveCD Images (screenshot).
BartPE and UBCD4Win (Live-CDs) will help you to save your important data if your Windows OS crashed or to recover a forgotten admin password. You have to download the program Pe Builder to build the ISO images, you can't download a ready to use image! Benefit: You can enable, disable, download and include additional plug-ins or build your own plug-ins.
I shot some screenshots, get an impression!
BartPe: Set1 Set2 Set3 Set4
UBCD4Win: Set1 Set2 Set3 Set4
UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD) for Linux.
SystemRescueCD - is what the name promise, a Linux Live-CD which you can use to repair your systems and recover sensitive data. You can chose between several boot options for 32/64-bit, load into RAM and more. Furthermore you can install the system to your USB-Stick (installing Guide). Newbies should take LessLinux which is easier to use and more comfortable!
Trinity Rescue Kit - Like SystemRescueCD but yet easier as LessLinux.
LessLinux Search & Rescue is also a good Live-CD for repairing Windows and other OS, recovering data and also for replacing your current but broken OS for some hours or days. LessLinux was built with Xfce and therefore you can work with AbiWord, Gnumeric, Thunderbird and Evince, Firefox and Xfburn. The virus scanner ClamAV is integrated for scanning your files before recovering them to an external device such as an USB flash card or pendrive.
Redo Backup & Recovery - The Name says it all.
is very small (30 MB ISO-Image) and will load (like LessLinux) completely in your computers memory if there is enough RAM available. After SliTaz has fully loaded, remove the Live-CD and you can use the device e.g. for burning a data or audio disk. You can install SliTaz also on USB flash drives.
aptosid - is a replacement of sidux. You can get this Debian based Distribution as a Live-CD and DVD with option for hard-drive installation (KDE or Xfce, 32/64-bit). aptosid KDE exists in lite (German and English) and full (more than 15 languages).
Mac-on-Stick - Run it on Mac OS and Mac OS X, Linux and Windows.
Ubuntu CE, Sabily and Ubuntu Buddhist Remix - are Ubuntu based systems especially customized for Christians, Muslims and Buddhists.
FreeDOS - is a DOS (Disk Operating System) compatible operating system but it's free (unlike MS-DOS). :) Here is a list of DOS commands if you don't remember all commands. Read a detailed review with informations about graphical User Interfaces on the site of my friend Dmitri Rabounski.
BasicLinux and blueflops - are minimalistic operating systems which fits on two floppy diks. The system will run completely from RAM after loading from the two floppies. So, if you have no hard disk and no cd drive but a floppy drive, you can use them to work with your computer.
As you can see, there are various and very good Operating Systems which you can download and use free of charge. Why buy expensive ones??? Visit Distrowatch and Wikipedia, I'm sure you will find a system which fits your needs if I presented not the right one for you.
Find over 300 LiveCD Systems for Desktop, Server, Science, Security, Forensic, Development, Education and more: LiveCD List
Vendors where you can buy computers with Linux OS pre-installed:
Computers and Laptops: ThinkPenguin
Laptops, PDAs and Mobile Phones: TuxMobil
Desktops and Laptops: LXer
Vendors that sell computers with Debian pre-installed.