cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Which Linux?

Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,430
Thanks: 2,818
Fixes: 225
Registered: 06-04-2007

Which Linux?

My brother brought home a rather old PC from work that used to be used for testing lifts. It is running Vista but by the specs I would say it must be around 8 years old at least. It starts up OK but, unfortunately, no-one can supply a password.

 

Considering it is for my sister-in-law to use just for emails, web browsing and downloading and storing photos from her camera and she has never really used a Windows PC I have suggested to my brother that I may as well install a version of Linux rather than spend money on a Windows disc and key.

 

I have used Linux myself a few times but usually to access a drive that Windows wouldn't see. So my questions are which would be the best version out there to use that will offer the most simplistic set up and be easiest for my SIL to get to grips with? Does it come pre-installed for downloading photos and setting up an email client.

 

Are there any potential issues I should look out for?

Appreciate any advice you can offer.

 

Thanks.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

56 REPLIES
MrSilver
Pro
Posts: 550
Thanks: 88
Fixes: 9
Registered: 05-10-2016

Re: Which Linux?

Well that's almost like asking which religion is right ;-)

Personally I use cantos 7, it's easy to use at install you can say it's a desktop pc and you get mail client, web browser etc installed. It's easy to put other things like gimp for picture editing

You can also get a "live ISO" that you put on a USB drive and just boot from that, so you can test with no install to check it out.

Only thing to watch out for would be any driver incompatibilities.

For a small amount of cash I'd suggest getting a cheap 128gb ssd and ditch the current drive if it's that old. £50 gets you something like https://www.overclockers.co.uk/kingston-120gb-ssdnow-v300-drive-sata-6gb-s-3-2.5-7mm-height-solid-st... and it will be much faster. (May need a adapter if pc isn't data one).

If you are on unlimited download http://isoredirect.centos.org/centos/7/isos/x86_64/CentOS-7-x86_64-Everything-1611.iso and on a pc use something like http://www.isotousb.com/ to make bootable USB drive.

On the pc you may need to go into the bios to let it boot from USB too, failing that write the ISO to a DVD and boot from that!

Let us know if you have any problems.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,768
Thanks: 1,151
Fixes: 63
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Which Linux?

I put Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS on a laptop which originally had Windows XP.

I downloaded a suitable ISO and burnt it to DVD on my main desktop computer, Installation on the laptop from that DVD was straightforward. One can afford to do a trial run, then start again if desired eg want to change partition sizes. Creating a separate partition for /home (user files) keeps them separate from the operating system.

It comes with Thunderbird for email and Firefox for browsing. For photo manipulation GIMP can be installed easily as a package though I haven't tried that.

David
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,430
Thanks: 2,818
Fixes: 225
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Which Linux?

Thanks for the replies.

 

I have seen Ubuntu mentioned on these forums many times so will probably go for that. Earlier this year I bought a 240GB SSD to replace the 60GB SSD in my PC so may be a good idea to fit the unwanted 60GB into the Ubuntu machine to load the OS on and use the existing HDD for data.

 

 

Can Ubuntu be installed from USB as that may be the easiest option?

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

MrSilver
Pro
Posts: 550
Thanks: 88
Fixes: 9
Registered: 05-10-2016

Re: Which Linux?

Ubuntu is good too.

Have a look at https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows

Links to download instruction and USB install instructions.

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Link fixed.

Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,430
Thanks: 2,818
Fixes: 225
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Which Linux?

Thanks for the link. Will have a look shortly.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Statler
Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 2
Registered: 17-04-2016

Re: Which Linux?

Given the age of the machine you might be wise to choose a more lightweight desktop environment than Ubuntu's default Unity; if the machine struggles with Unity I'd suggest you try Ubuntu (or Mint) MATE. 

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,768
Thanks: 1,151
Fixes: 63
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Which Linux?

Another option for the HDD is to use it to back up user data. A major feature of Linux is that you don't have to ask permission from Microsoft if you want to do something that suits you rather that what they allow you to have.

David
DaveyH
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 1,437
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 9
Registered: 15-11-2012

Re: Which Linux?


Mav wrote:

Can Ubuntu be installed from USB as that may be the easiest option?


It's the the best way imo, it also gives you the option of running live with persistence

Burning DVDs is just inconvenient and archaic at this point. Especially with many modern machines not having optical drives

I would recommend using Etcher to burn the ISO, it's clean, simple and cross platform

https://etcher.io

VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,983
Thanks: 265
Fixes: 11
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Which Linux?

The most similar looking to Windows is probably Mint - but it gives you lots of choice in configuring a version to suit your preferences.

Ubuntu is easy to install, either from DVD or USB like all Linuxes but comes with a horrible desktop. (In my personal opinion).

Don't choose a version that is not widely used as you will find it difficult to get support.

Community Veteran
Posts: 4,869
Thanks: 126
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Which Linux?


Mav wrote:

My brother brought home a rather old PC from work that used to be used for testing lifts. It is running Vista but by the specs I would say it must be around 8 years old at least. It starts up OK but, unfortunately, no-one can supply a password.

 

 


I'm not suggesting that Linux is not a better option than Vista but it would probably be possible to remove the Windows password if you wished.

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,773
Thanks: 257
Fixes: 20
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Which Linux?

WRT to the above post, why would he want to use an ancient OS, that is no longer supported on THE NET? That is just asking for issues.
Personally I have been using Mint for over 8 years now. www.linuxmint.com get the Mate version of 18.1.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,169
Thanks: 478
Fixes: 20
Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Which Linux?

Vista will continue to receive updates until 11 April 2017.

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,773
Thanks: 257
Fixes: 20
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Which Linux?

Ok for another 4 months then. Vista was the thing that drove me to Linux in the first place ;-)
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,983
Thanks: 265
Fixes: 11
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Which Linux?

You can trial Linux (at a slow speed) by booting from DVD or USB, without affecting your hard disk.

So you can use your 4 months usefully...