Linux operating system is an essential for learners and for the future programmers who were focusing on cloud,Python,Dart,web and opensource programming.
Most of us start with Windows OS, so we are familiar with desktop environment. A sudden migration to the Linux is not a viable option.
Linux comes in different flavors for different purposes. Some of them are built for development, some of them are for Desktop usage. RedHat and Debian are the earlier form of Linux Distribution .
Most of the Modern Linux OS have featured desktop environment. In Linux we have many desktop environment like KDE,GNOME and the latest Plasma desktops.
Developers focus on the command line tools rather than the GUI features. For beginners minimal OS is OK.
One of the easiest and coolest one is Linux Mint. It is minimal Linux distribution with Sinnamon Desktop. It is not heavily packed with tools, but has all the essentials Terminal, Office Package etc.
Linux Arch is another minimal Linux, distribution which is cool. But the installation and configuration becomes messy part of it.
And No:1 option is Ubuntu, it is a distribution for every one. Full featured working horse for developer and friendly desktop for your computing needs.
The Linux distribution I had tried very first tine is Knoppix. Which is yours ?
So how do we use Linux safely on your computer. Since your about to learn try Live CD or install using a Virtual Box.
Learn how to setup a virtual box.