Choosing any of these suggested operating systems below will provide better privacy and security than Windows or macOS.
Green indicates that a particular operating system is new/transitioning user friendly. All recommendations are free and open source.
||Independent Linux distro that aims to keep everything simple and lightweight. The main focus is user-centric, as opposed to user-friendliness. This OS defines simplicity as without unnecessary additions or modifications and aims to provide software that fits this definition.|
||Unix-like Linux distribution. It’s a very mature, reliable and stable operating system. It has widespread support for different hardware – including IoT devices. Tons of available packages with a strong commitment to supporting free software. Better suited for users already comfortable in a Linux environment.|
||A Linux distro sponsored by Red Hat. It aims to be more of a platform versus just another distribution. It has many different desktop environments and flavorful tools. Features a strong commitment to supporting free software and unrestricted innovation. While this operating system is relatively user-friendly, it’s better suited for people interested in coding.|
||Modern and easy-to-use operating system that works straight out of the box with full multimedia support. Based on the uBuntu (and alternatively, Debian) environment, but further simplified and lends itself more to privacy. If you’re migrating from Windows, then Mint’s desktop environment is about as close you can get to a Windows-like feel.|
||Sleek and convenient user interface that’s optimized for workflow and easy navigation. Features software libraries from Ubuntu and Flatpak. Takes a favorable stand on end-user (your) privacy, using minimal operating system and hardware data for updates. Very new user-friendly.|
||A security-oriented operating system which uses Xen-based virtualization. Features strong isolation of different pieces of software and the ability to run multiple operating systems at the same time. Can run most linux-based drivers and software.|
||A Live OS that focuses on anonymity on top of user privacy. Tails can boot from a DVD, USB drive, or SD Card on just about any computer without leaving a trace. All network connections, including regular browser traffic, are routed through the TOR network.|