There are so many Linux Distributions that I can’t try all of them out one by one. But if you ask which ones look best, I would recommend the 4 of them that have most beautiful desktop appearance.
You can customize your Linux with various themes, extensions, and even open-source scripts to get a good-looking layout. However, it can not be easy for beginners to set things up and keep them updated. So, a ready to use system with an elegant UI is always a good choice.
1. Zorin OS
First, I’d recommend Zorin OS. It’s a fast, elegant, and stable Linux distribution based on the popular Ubuntu LTS (long-term support).
The OS uses GNOME desktop with custom theme and extensions to provide a MS Windows user friendly layout. It also has optional task-bar & start menu layout options through the built-in ‘Zorin Appearance‘ utility. And, it supports both light and dark mode with 6 accent colors, and has a cool rounded floating panel via the ‘Panel Intelli-hide’ tarkbar settings.
Thanks to Ubuntu, it’s easy to get the latest NVIDIA drivers, tons of software packages, as well as community support.
The only downside so far is that it’s based on the previous Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, while the current Ubuntu 22.04 LTS has been released for almost half an year.
To get the OS, go to link below, then grab the core edition for free, or pro edition that costs $39.
2, 3: Deepin / Ubuntu DDE
In my own opinion, Deepin is the most beautiful Linux Distribution compare to all others in 2022.
It’s a free open-source operating system developed by Wuhan Deepin Technology Co., Ltd, a commercial company from China. And, it features its own DDE desktop environment as well as core applications.
Deepin previous depends on Ubuntu, but now Debian. And, it plans to be an independent Linux for the next Deepin 23 release.
The OS supports fashion mode to have a floating taskbar with rounded corners and efficient mode for classic Windows style taskbar. Along with blurred task-bar, start menu, and notification panel which look really good. All these desktop effects and rounded app corners etc are powered by ‘Kwin’ window manager.
Besides that, it supports most recent popular designs, such as light/dark mode, accent colors, panel in any screen edges, and more.
Also, Deepin has Crossover, the polished and commercial version of Wine, in system repository for running Windows only applications on Linux. For users from or doing business in China, it has also many popular social applications, such as QQ, WeChat, in app store.
For those who are sticking to Ubuntu, UbuntuDDE is available as a remix flavor of Ubuntu system with the beautiful DDE desktop environment, which is developed by another group of contributors.
Sadly, both Deepin or UbuntuDDE run badly in virtual machine (e.g., VirtualBox) perhaps due to crash of Kwin. Blur effect and rounded borders are always not loading correctly.
In my case Deepin requires at least 60 GB during installation, while most other Linux asks for 20 GB disk space. And, it has really poor performance on my low end laptop (i5 5200u + nvidia 940m + 4GB RAM with HDD) which meets the requirements according to its website description.
4. Cutefish OS
Prefer macOS desktop appearance? You’ll like Cutefish OS.
It’s an elegant, beautiful and easy-to-use Linux system which has 2 editions: one is based on Debian and another based on Ubuntu.
However, Cutefish OS is still in Beta stage at the moment. And, the development is slowing down. It uses Ubuntu 21.10 and Ubuntu 21.04 package base, but they’ve already reached end of life!
Some part of the desktop components (e.g., login screen date & time, user’s folder names) are in Chinese language and not configurable. And, there’s no office suite out-of-the-box, though it can be installed by running a
apt command in terminal.
The most important is that I’m not sure if Cutefish is still in development, though the OS looks really great!
In short, there introduced 4 good-looking Linux Distributions. In my opinion, Deepin Linux and Ubuntu DDE are the most beautiful ones, but they have poor performance in old hardware and virtual machines.
Zorin OS is a stable, faster while keeping elegant. While, Cutefish OS looks really good with macOS style layout, but it’s still in beta and the development is quite slow and could even be stopped.