I like to recommend MX15- Linux for novices because its stable, and easy to use. MX-15 is based on Debian Jessie Stable and comes preloaded with most all the applications that we use regularly such as, GIMP, Firefox for web browsing, the Thunderbird email client, LibreOffice alternative to MS Office… etc.
The MX-15 installation is very easy, and there is nothing complex in setting up. You can boot the setup from a Live USB or DVD, and MX-15 is UEFI supported. Best of all for new users whom want to try Linux on their Windows PCs without damaging their current Windows Installation, you can run MX-15 as a virtual machine on Virtual Box.
MX-15, code named ‘Fusion’, uses the super lean Xfce desktop environment. Xfce began it’s development in 1996, after a dozen years of development and several major versions, Xfce is completely mouse-driven. Xfce aims to be fast and lightweight, while still being visually appealing and easy to use. You wont find any fancy Window animations in Xfce, but it does support compositing (transparency etc).
You wont find better stability in an operating system than on Debian. Since MX-15 is based on the Debian stable release, MX-15 is quite stable which is great for new users to Linux.
One prominent feature of MX-15 is it automatically enables the Broadcom b43 and b44 wireless adapter drivers at the point of installation. MX-15 has a great setings manager which supports a huge number of settings. You’ll find a pretty nice Apt notifier to let you know when updates are available, and includes a history of all the application installs you’ve made. I also like the MX Tools application which includes the pretty darned cool feature to ‘save System to ISO’. The last feature of note is the ability to turn on system sounds, which is fairly uncommon in Linux distributions.
While MX-15 isn’t quite as visually polished than Linux Mint it’s ideal for new users because of its ease of installation/usage, and it’s solid stability. Check out the MX-15 Linux homepage, or the download page.
As you might know, Microsoft Windows is employing more and more of it’s insidious surveillance technologies in Windows 7,8,10. I highly recommend all users to become familiar with Linux if you want to avoid being spied upon by your operating system, and having that information handed over to the government willfully. One of the best ways to try out and practice Linux without disturbing your current Windows installation, is as a virtual machine in VirtualBox.
Installing MX-15 to on VirtualBox Is pretty simple. You can use this Dead-Simple Guide to Installing a Linux Virtual Machine on Windows or watch the Mint Install Video. It’s pretty much the same as the video but read the Dead Simple guide first, and note the below images. Trust me folks, once you do one of these, it’s simple.