Five Great Free Open Source Operating Systems

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Trying a new operating system on your computer can be a fun way to explore your machine’s potential. The following are five of the best open source operating systems available.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is one of the most popular open source operating systems. Maintained by Canonical, it’s a powerhouse with plenty of options for software. Even a beginner can soon get underway with games, web surfing and office tasks. A launcher makes it a snap to get your preferred apps ready to go. Also, the cloud service provided lets you store what you want at no extra cost.

Although it helps to pick up command line tasks, novices don’t have to be intimidated thanks to a user-friendly desktop. One downside frequently mentioned is that this operating system can seem slow due to its size. Older machines and netbooks may be better served by slimmer choices.

Linux Mint

For users who want an operating system that’s both simple to use and easy on the eyes, turn to Linux Mint. It’s based on Ubuntu and Debian, another well-established distribution. This great heritage shows in the way the operating system allows you to do what you need while providing a stable environment. Users who want to watch videos, listen to their favorite music and hang out on their social networks will find Linux Mint attractive to use. While it’s great for novices, power users who want to delve into the command line and work on a deeper level may want a different operating system.

Joli OS

Another operating system that can get beginners up and away fast is Joli OS. Based on HTML5, it makes installing the software you want as familiar as installing an app on iPhone or Android. It has an emphasis on cloud use, but you can work with it offline, too. Apps like Skype, Spotify and Dropbox are among the 1,500 available. If you prefer Firefox or Chrome to the Chromium web browser, switching isn’t hard. If you’re running a netbook or an older PC, this is a solid way to switch to cloud computing. However, people with newer PCs and bigger laptops may want more software choices.

Xubuntu

Xubuntu is an excellent choice for older machines or for those who prefer streamlined choices for more current machines. It’s based on Ubuntu, but it comes with the Xfce desktop instead. Look for the popular Firefox web browser and the word processor Abiword to get started with productive tasks right away. As an added perk, a new version comes out every six months. Finding additional software is just a matter of visiting the Software Center.

Zorin OS

For users migrating from Windows, the look and feel of Zorin OS might be reassuring. A look changer lets users select desktops that resemble Windows 7, Vista or even XP. The lightweight operating system means you won’t experience the slowdowns of Windows, though. There’s an easy way to manage different web browsers in case you need to switch for different tasks. Still need to use Windows programs? The WINE program should be able to help you. Some users may need to download additional drivers or software to get their wireless network or printer going, though.

For those seeking a change of pace, these five great open source operating systems can be a terrific resource.

This article was contributed by Sheldon Armstrong, a techie who keeps up with the latest technology and gadgets in the market. He recommends the use of a Kensington Bluetooth keyboard for your tablet due to its great design and functionality. Make sure to check out their website at kensington.com for more information about their great products.

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