If you are a long time user of Windows or Mac and want to try Linux, there is a high chance that your first distro will be either Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Fedora since these distros are very popular. However, there are some other distros that are more suitable for beginners in my opinion. All of these distros work out of the box, come with a very friendly, easy-to-use desktop and are super easy to install and very well-supported.
In my opinion, Zorin OS is the best distro for Windows users who want to try Linux the first time. The default desktop of Zorin OS looks very similar to the Windows 7 desktop. It has a tool called “Zorin look changer” that can be used to switch to Windows XP, MacOS, Gnome 2 ... desktop. Like Windows, Zorin OS has many different editions, the Core version is totally free but you will have to pay some bucks to get the Premium versions.
Since Zorin OS is based on Ubuntu, its performance and hardware compatibility are just as good as Ubuntu.
Zorin OS homepage: www.zorin-os.com
Pear OS can be considered as the Zorin OS for Mac users. Pear OS is based on Ubuntu and has the look of Mac OS. Pear OS uses Docky to emulate the famous Dock of Mac OS; a LaunchPad that behaves quite like the LaunchPad of MacOS; the theme and icon set of Pear OS are also an imitation of MacOS. In short, if you are a Mac user, Pear OS will be the best distro for you to start your Linux journey.
Pear OS homepage: www.pearlinux.fr
Like Linux Mint, Pear OS and Zorin OS, Pinguy is another Ubuntu-based distribution. However, the main difference that Pinguy offers is that Pinguy come with a lot of pre-installed applications (the ISO image of Pinguy OS is around 1.7 GB, which is pretty big). Since installing applications in Linux is quite different from that in Windows, Pinguy is the best choice for those who want a Linux distro that just works out of the box and meet all the necessary needs without any additional installation.
Pinguy OS homepage: www.pinguyos.com
SolusOS is a new name in the Linux world but its popularity has been constantly increasing. The uniqueness of SolusOS is the desktop environment. When many other distros are switching to Gnome 3 after Gnome 2 is no longer developed, SolusOS still uses Gnome 2 (in the first release) and tries to bring back the Gnome 2 experience within Gnome 3 ( in SolusOS 2). And in my opinion, the Gnome 2 desktop is more beginner friendly than its Gnome 3 counterpart. Another good news is that although SolusOS 2 will use Gnome 3, it is still much less hardware-taxing than the default Gnome 3 desktop. Since SolusOS is based on Debian (like Ubuntu), you can expect SolusOS to be very stable and hardware-compatible.
SolusOS homepage: www.solusos.com