Some notes on Linux - Opensource and the whole GNU :)
I prefer XFCE because it is highly configurable for the resources used. It is fairly intuitive as well. So gage you hardware needs - how much ram you have - how old your hardware is, do you have a broadcom wifi card -
some distros will require you to get proprietary drivers and media codecs.
Now for distro choices:
Less muss and fuss: Mint, Ubuntu Studio, Korora. Light weight champs - Bodhi, Q4os, Peppermint, AntiX, LXLE. Fast: Xubuntu, Manjaro, Bodhi, Korora-XFCE, Swag Arch.
Notable: Bodhi legacy 32bit is a flat out homerun booting up at 70megs. Mageia is just cool in many subtle ways - but more experience is required.
There are studio versions for artists - Ubuntu Studio, Sparky Multimedia, Fedora. Recent testing - light and fast Bionic Dog - a Puppy that could go mainstream in a big way if
they release it with compatible boot config. Korora 26 XFCE with E21 - looking awesome! Latest testing: Sparky minimal GUI. In 32 bit this distro is
a head to head competitor to Bodhi Legacy and in the class of insane low ram over head - awesome.