This is the first post written from a Raspberry Pi. We can have a good working desktop that runs on a single board computer.
I tested a few Linux distros, including different desktop environments. I am usually stick to a very few distros: Pi Os, Ubuntu and Manjaro. Pi Os and Ubuntu are based on Debian. Manjaro is based on Arch. After all, these are the 2 main Linux platforms on the planet.
These distros have the official supports. You can find a lot of other Linux distro out there but be careful. Those are built personally by a person or two. They might stop their support anytime.
It is better to stick on the platforms that have good support, and a good number of users where you can find solutions in case you have any difficulties.
If you are like me who wants to have a working desktop environment on the Raspberry Pi, this post is for you.
Let me start my recommendations:
Raspberry Pi Os
There are a lot of reasons that make me recommend it for you. This distribution is maintained by the Pi Foundation. There are many users and it is very easy to ask for help from the community.
The downside of it is that it is not well developed for providing you a good experience on the desktop. The graphic interface is not really attractive and to some people it is missing a lot of features.
Moreover, Pi Os 64-bit is still in beta version.
If you want to use it for daily desktop, I would recommend you start from the lite image (without desktop), then install a desktop environment at your choice such as Xfce, Mate, or Budgie.
Here what you need:
People find Ubuntu Mate work the best for Raspberry Pi. It is more responsive, not much overload, no unwanted stuff etc.
You can have video hardware acceleration in Chromium and Firefox as well.
If you a Gnome fan, there’s also official image of Ubuntu Desktop for the Raspberry Pi 4.
If you are a fan of Arch Linux and want to have similar platform on the Raspberry Pi, Manjaro is your only choice of Arch Linux on the Pi.
You can choose KDE or Xfce version. I would recommend you to choose Xfce because if its lightweight which is perfect for a single board computer like Raspberry Pi.
Let me know if you need any help to install those Linux Distribution on the Raspberry Pi.