It’s a no-brainer that there’s a Linux distribution for every user — regardless of what they prefer or what they want to do.
Starting out with Linux? You can go with the Linux distributions for beginners. Switching from Windows? You have Windows-like Linux distributions. Have an old computer? You can use lightweight Linux distros.
In this list, I’m going to focus only on the most beautiful Linux distros out there.
Top 12 Most Beautiful Linux Distributions
Wait! Is there a thing called a beautiful Linux distribution? Is it not redundant considering the fact that you can customize the looks of any distribution and make it look better with themes and icons?
You are right about that. But here, we focus on the distributions that look great without any tweaks and customization effort from the user’s end. These distros provide a seamless, pleasant desktop experience right out of the box.
Note: The list is in no particular order of ranking.
1. Zorin OS
Undoubtedly, Zorin OS is an aesthetically pleasing Linux distro that manages to provide a good user experience—even with its lite edition.
You can try either the full version or the lite edition (with Xfce desktop). The UI is tailored for Windows and macOS users to get used to. While based on Ubuntu, it provides a great user experience with what it has to offer.
The paid edition (or the pro version) includes different types of layouts. So, if you want access to those along with a curated collection of wallpapers, you should opt for the pro edition and support the Zorin OS team financially.
You might want to go through the features of Zorin OS 16 (the latest version available) to explore more about it.
CutefishOS is a fairly new Linux distribution and is still in its beta phase at the time of updating this article.
However, it approaches the user interface with utmost care and simplicity, making it one of the good-looking Linux distributions out there. Our first look at CutefishOS made us realize that it could also topple Deepin as one of the most attractive distros.
You should not use this for your production-ready desktop. It is currently meant for testing and if you are looking for an adventure, you can try it out.
Deepin is yet another beautiful Linux distro originally based on Debian’s stable branch. The animations (look and feel) could be too overwhelming for some — but it looks pretty.
It features Deepin Desktop Environment that involves a mix of essential features for the best user experience possible. It may not exactly resemble the UI of any other distribution, but it’s effortless to get used to. Deepin Linux includes a variety of pre-installed tools that blends in with the desktop environment and should be useful.
My personal attention would go to the control center and the color scheme. If you do not trust the distribution, but want to access the desktop environment, you can try UbuntuDDE as well.
4. Feren OS
Feren OS is an Ubuntu-based distro that features KDE desktop. It presents a clean and functional user interface.
It does not have numerous things going on, but if you want a simple, and unique KDE experience, Feren OS can be a good-looking choice.
Pop!_OS manages to offer a great UI on top of Ubuntu while offering a near-vanialla GNOME experience.
It also happens to be my personal favorite, which I utilize as my primary desktop OS. Pop!_OS isn’t flashy—nor involves any fancy animations. However, they’ve managed to get things right by having a perfect combo of icon/themes—while polishing the user experience from a technical perspective.
With the introduction of their new COSMIC desktop environment, this can potentially improve.
I want to avoid initiating an Ubuntu vs Pop OS debate, but if you’re used to Ubuntu, Pop!_OS can be a great alternative for potentially better user experience.
6. Manjaro Linux
Manjaro Linux is an Arch-based Linux distribution. While installing Arch Linux is a slightly complicated job, Manjaro provides an easier and smoother Arch experience.
It offers a variety of desktop environment editions to choose from while downloading. No matter what you choose, you still get enough options to customize the look and feel or the layout.
To me, it looks quite fantastic for an Arch-based distribution that works out of the box – you can give it a try!
7. Garuda Linux
Yet another Arch-based distribution in the list. This is fairly new but it offers an impressive experience out of the box.
It offers both KDE and GNOME desktop environment editions along with a variety of spins with different tiling window managers out of the box.
You can go through our Garuda review article or watch the video above to know more about it.
8. KDE Neon
KDE Neon is for the users who want a simplified approach to the design language but still get a great user experience.
It is an interesting Linux distro which is based on Ubuntu and focuses on providing the latest KDE packages. You may not find it the most suitable desktop OS, but if you want the latest and greatest from KDE, there’s no other alternative to KDE Neon.
Unlike Kubuntu or other KDE-based distributions, you don’t have to wait for months to get the new KDE software.
You get a lot of customization options built-in with the KDE desktop—so feel free to try it out!
9. elementary OS
elementary OS is one of the most beautiful Linux distros out there. It leans on a macOS-ish look while providing a great user experience for Linux users. If you’re already comfortable with macOS — you will have no problem using the elementary OS.
Also, elementary OS is based on Ubuntu – so you can easily find plenty of applications to get things done.
Not just limited to the look and feel – but the elementary OS is always hard at work to introduce meaningful changes. So, you can expect the user experience to improve with every update you get.
10. Nitrux OS
Nitrux OS is a unique take on a Linux distribution which is based on Debian. It was initially based on Ubuntu, but Nitrux ditched Ubuntu base.
It focuses on providing a good user experience to the users who are looking for a unique design language with a fresh take on a Linux distro. It uses Nomad desktop which is based on KDE.
Nitrux encourages using of AppImage for applications. But you can also use Arch Linux’s pacman package manager in Nitrux. Awesome, isn’t it?
Even if it’s not the perfect OS for everyone, it sure looks pretty and good enough for most of the basic tasks. You can also know more about it when you read our interview with Nitrux’s founder.
11. Linux Mint
Linux Mint has been making progress to improve its user interface and the overall look/feel with rounded corners.
The classic themes are available, but the updated themes/icons look great out of the box. While it may not be as attractive compared to some other options in this list, it is a decent choice in terms of simplicity and modern desktop experience.
Furthermore, Linux Mint does a few things better than Ubuntu, which might make it a solid desktop OS for your use-case.
12. Solus Budgie
Want a Linux distro that’s not based on Arch/Ubuntu? Solus with its original Budgie desktop should give you a refreshing user experience.
It takes queues from various other desktop environment and provides a clean/comfortable user interface. You can also find other desktop editions, but the Budgie desktop edition should stand out among others.
Honorable Mention: eXtern OS (Discontinued)
If you wanted to try an experimental Linux distro, extern OS was probably going to be beautiful.
However, I’m uncertain if they want to continue the development considering the website is under maintenance for a while.
As of now, you cannot access the ISO for it. The project aimed to give a futuristic user interface with, and the concept/screenshots for it looked promising. But, the developer has probably abandoned the project, with no recent activity.
Now, as the saying goes, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. So this list of beautiful Linux distributions is from my point of view. Feel free to disagree (politely of course) and mention your favorites.