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Good Linux Product

BenG
Grafter
Posts: 202
Registered: 22-08-2007

Good Linux Product

Hi I have a laptop that come with windows vista , but was thinking of having a go at Linux, What will be the best one for me as I am only starting out with linux
I had a look on the net but there seems to be loads of Linux os's you can download but I am not sure on the best one.
any help be good thanks,
31 REPLIES
jkerr82508
Grafter
Posts: 62
Thanks: 1
Registered: 25-06-2007

Re: Good Linux Product

This page gives a reasonably objective summary of some linux distributions:
http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major
Of those I would say the easiest for someone new to linux are (in no particular order)  Mint, Ubuntu, Suse, PCLinuxOS and Mageia. Every linux user will have a different opinion as to which is best.
Jim
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,341
Thanks: 481
Fixes: 44
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Good Linux Product

I'd suggest looking at Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Have a read of this http://lifehacker.com/5993297/ubuntu-vs-mint-which-linux-distro-is-better-for-beginners.
Download the live CD's and try them for yourself, you can run from the CD without installing. Check that all your hardware is supported e.g wireless and see which you prefer...
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 288
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Good Linux Product

I would try Ubuntu, once installed, first run the updater and then install the gnome desktop.
By doing that, you can choose (and therefore experiment) with which desktop environment you prefer (selectable at start up) - Unity or Gnome, as they are significantly different in the way they work, but each have their merits.
I would also recommend starting with version 12.04, as that is a LTS (Long Time Support) version, which is stable and relatively debugged compared with version 13.04 which is due to be released on 25th April.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,614
Thanks: 209
Fixes: 15
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Good Linux Product

It really depends on what you feel comfortable with. Ubuntu with its unity interface it like win 8 metro. Mint offers a choice of more standard interfaces, Mate is the classic desktop (which I use), Cinnamon is a more modern one, KDE is all bells and whistles (desktop applets side bars like vista etc).
As MrW said download a few live cd's and try them out, use a usb stick if you have one (2Gb or bigger recommend but remember it will be wiped) or use a reformattable DVD to test them.  All it costs to use a Linux distro is the media and time.
If you decide to use on, choose whether you want to keep vista or delete it before you start. If you want to keep it you will need about 10Gb of free disk space to install the Linux distro of choice on it. Defrag it from inside vista before you start if doing a dual boot, leave it if not.
Make sure to back up any data you want to keep elsewhere in either case.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 288
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Good Linux Product

[quote=Hairy Biker]All it costs to use a Linux distro is the media and time
That amused me !
I recently installed Ubuntu on a fresh but slowish Pentium-4 PC, configured RAID-0 disk partitions, selected and installed all the desktop applications, made a cup of tea, done the hundreds of post install updates, installed gnome desktop, rebooted and actually using the fully loaded machine IN LESS TIME THAN WINDOWS TAKES TO RUN A MONTHLY WINDOWS UPDATE !
Every time I have to update someone else's Windows machine, it reminds me of how bad and slow computers used to be  Roll eyes
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 2
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Good Linux Product

I use Vista on my laptop but dual boot with Ubuntu for anything that requires "playing" with.
I.e. Software radio, video editing, video transcoding, CCTV stuff etc
I only really use Windows now for browsing and messing about in.
I've got 3 computers here that run Windows (1 x Vista and 2 x Win7 for the wife and kiddie) and the other 10 machines run exclusively on Ubuntu.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,614
Thanks: 209
Fixes: 15
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Good Linux Product

Quote from: picbits
I only really use Windows now for browsing and messing about in.

That is just wrong, using a M$ machine for browsing , what you want malware on it  Wink
I have 1 laptop running LMDE mate on 24/7 as my "server", this pc running LM Mate, my EEE running LM 10, an old IBM laptop doing not a lot, and a pc with XP on it PURELY for flashing android toys - not connected to the net - if android flash tools were released for Linux I would remove that pc totally.
As to time I meant time to use/learn it, as opposed to the time it takes to install (<15 min for LM) but yep I can have a bare-metal PC up and useable in no time, compared to the day + needed to install an M$ OS/s/w/patches/fixes etc.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 2
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Good Linux Product

I use Ubuntu Server 12.04 on my HP ML110 G7 (E3-1220 / 8 Gb Ram / 6Tb storage). This runs 5 DVB-T tuners for my home entertainment system but also currently hosts four virtual machines which cope with my email/web, firewall for the stepson, file and media server and ironically a Windows XP machine for development purposes. It also acts as a CCTV server.
I also have two Acer Revo which boot into XBMC via TFTP over the network. They are currently booting over wireless access points which takes some time but testing them over the gigabit network shows they boot up in around 30 seconds from cold. I'm also planning on using these as webcam servers for CCTV.
I then have another two Raspberry Pi's which I'm playing about with as media centers.
The workshop machine is a triple core, triple screen AMD with 12Gb RAM which boots into Ubuntu 12.04. Two screens are used for Ubuntu while the third is used for a virtual machine running Windows 7
Another workshop machine (E-machines ER1402)  runs Ubuntu 12.04 and is used as a remote Rsync machine for one of my clients as well as a frontend for playing music while I work.
The first thing I do when I get a new machine with Windows on is to install Linux as a dual boot - that way, when Wndows spits it's dummy out, I can still access the data on the machine  Grin
I'm not quite at the stage yet where I can totally stop using Microsoft products but I find for the "install and forget" stuff like CCTV and PVR, it all goes onto Linux machines.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,614
Thanks: 209
Fixes: 15
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Good Linux Product

Quote from: purleigh
I would try Ubuntu, once installed, first run the updater and then install the gnome desktop.
By doing that, you can choose (and therefore experiment) with which desktop environment you prefer (selectable at start up)

I think that for a new user this maybe a bit overwhelming. Just finding the way to install a new desktop and then configuring it is a bit high for a new user to start with. For us it is easy but for a new guy to Linux, easier to get a distro that is based on the desktop you want to start with, that way there is less bloat as well. The OP didn't post the spec of the l/t but since it runs vista it must be a reasonable spec, so most desktops will work fine (3D accel etc).
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 288
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Good Linux Product

I think that is a bit over dramatic !
Going to the "Software Centre", finding the "Gnome Desktop" and hitting [Install] ,  isn't going to be a huge challenge !
Knowing where to look on the login screen for choosing which desktop you want to run this time, is only slightly trickier !
BenG
Grafter
Posts: 202
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Good Linux Product

Thanks for the rplays I am going to try one of the LiveCDs as suguested to get an idea
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 288
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Good Linux Product

Let us know how you get on, and if you come across any questions just ask (or Google).  Smiley
One of the joys of Linux that Windows and Apple owners don't appreciate, is that if you discover a problem and ask for help, then very frequently you will be pointed at a helpful tutorial on how to solve your issue.  Sometimes you get to discuss the issue with the people who wrote that part of the OS or application.  I had an issue a while back regarding how Ubuntu's Evolution email client handled a particular eBay message, I got to talk to people in Brazil and other distant places, explained my issue, and they rewrote that bit of code and that is now included in the official released version.
Enjoy !  Cool
BenG
Grafter
Posts: 202
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Good Linux Product

Yep I let you know how I get on
DaveyH
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 1,320
Thanks: 192
Fixes: 7
Registered: 15-11-2012

Re: Good Linux Product

Googling <insert your chosen distro> tips + tricks is usually a good place to start for those new to Linux...