If you were setting up a computer for your mother, which linux distro would you use?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by HURST, Oct 20, 2008.

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  1. HURST

    HURST Registered Member

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    She knows nothing about computers. She checks her e-mail, her bank account and creates Word documents. That's it.

    I think it should be KDE becuase it's closer to Win GUI than Gnome.

    I've thought of Kubuntu, since I've used before it so if anything goes wrong I might solve it better/faster.

    But what do you think about other distros like OpenSuse, or PCLINUXOS, Sabayon?
    I know they are all great choices and with some differences, almost the same: linux is linux after all.
    But if it was your mother, what would you choose?

    BTW, the computer is old and slow, living it's last days, so I'm looking for a light distro (And I have no interest in investing in more hardware for a computer that's about to be replaced in a few months anyways).
     
  2. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    i would reccomend mandriva 2009.
    very easy to use distro you can install KDE 4 or GNome. in mandriva 2009 the kde4 theme looks pretty much the same as XP.
    i sergest you test it first but i dont think you can find a better distro for someone who hasnt used a computer much.

    what spec are we talking about? mandriva says 256mb ram minimum. btw Gnome is more newbie friendly.
     
  3. timcan

    timcan Registered Member

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  4. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    I'd have to go with ubuntu, its easy to use, has good support for older hardware and has a massive user support base to help solve any issues you may have. While kubuntu looks windowish the menu system is a little different, i actually find the standard gnome desktop easier to use, it offers more functionality and supports more programs.
    If i was after something that looks a lot like windows then the new mandriva 2009 is great so is linux mint which is based on ubuntu.
    It not hard to play around with them to make them look a bit more familiar.
     

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  5. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    Re: If you were setting up a computer for your mother, which linux distro would you u

    gOS 3
     
  6. Arup

    Arup Guest

    Re: If you were setting up a computer for your mother, which linux distro would you u

    OzOs.......Mepis.
     
  7. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    Good choices mentioned, although for old hardware, I'd go with xubuntu...
    Mrk
     
  8. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    How much ram, CPU, and so on.
     
  9. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    If "she knows nothing", why does it matter that she has a GUI that is closer to Win (and also why do you think its closer to Windows?) ?

    I would choose LinuxMint, which is what I have put on my Wife's Asus EEE (and my own laptop). Better configured out of the box than Ubuntu; and by better I mean just a bit more logical and easier to use, eg Mintupdate categories and only allows updates that have been tested to be safe to installed by default.

    What spec is the hardware, Mint runs real quick on my p3 866 laptop with 512mb ram (370mb in use with Firefox, pidgin and open office running) ?
     
  10. HURST

    HURST Registered Member

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    Well I said "she knows nothing" but she knows something... she has used XP for the everyday tasks mentioned above for a few years now... So i'd like to make things as close a possible to what she is used to.

    I consider KDE closer to Win because of the placement of the taskbar, and the "start menu".


    Regarding Hardware, I have no idea of the specs, since it's not my computer and I barely ever use it. I do know it´s a 4 year old celeron. In a few hours I´ll have more details.
     
  11. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    OK, I kinda guessed you were gonna say that :)

    It is easy to setup gnome to have a taskbar at the bottom and a menu in the position of the start menu.

    Which Email/browser does she use, my wife had no problem changing from XP to LinuxMint, partly because the menu was in the same position as XP and used Firefox and Thunderbird on XP and now on Mint.
     
  12. Riverrun

    Riverrun Registered Member

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    Ubuntu is hard to beat. Maybe I'm lucky, but, Wireless, Mouse, Screen Resolution, External HD, SD Card, Thumbdrive, Speakers, Camera & Microphone all work out of the box.
    The GUI is intutiative and easy to use.

    I've tried a number of Distros & BSD and though I really liked one or two, PCLOS springs to mind, none work as well as Ubuntu.

    Mind you, I'll be giving PCLOS 2009 a spin when the final comes out and if my mother were still alive this is the Distro that I would put on her computer.
     
  13. Mr2cents

    Mr2cents Registered Member

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    Being a newbie myself. Here's the ones I would recommend to a new person.

    1. LinuxMint - comes in gnome, kde, Xfce and fluxbox editions. You can find it Here. Ready to go right out of the box. Multimedia ready. I also like the layout. Easy to navigate around. I don't run wireless. However, I've saw on the mint forums people that have said it's the best or one of the best at picking up wireless cards. Or whatever their called.LOL.

    2. Mandriva one 2009 edition (kde or gnome) Like mint, everything is detected out of the box. Multimedia ready. Easy to navigate around Cons: I believe mandriva wants 512 mb of memory , but 1 gig is recommended. I would put it in a tie with mint for first place if it wasn't for the memory requirements. You can find it Here

    3. Mepis- The Rodney Dangerfield of linux distros. It just doesn't get any respect. :) Like mint and mandriva. It just works right out of the box or download. Multimedia ready. Nice layout. Easy to navigate. You can find it Here. They also have a huge forum. You can find it Here Well, all 3 I've mentioned have good forum support.

    Those would be my top 3 choices. Your opinions may vary.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  14. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    acually its 256mb min and 512 reccomended. but everyone makes mistakes.
     
  15. Mr2cents

    Mr2cents Registered Member

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    Hi Lodore. I stand corrected. It is 256mb min and 512 recommended. Found system requirements Here
     
  16. Trespasser

    Trespasser Registered Member

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    Is she going to be on dial up? If so, then you're out of luck in Linux. At least the last time I checked anything conexant was not supported (that's assuming she has a conexant modem).
     
  17. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

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    I would get any distro I was comfortable with accessing, administrating, and configuring via the command line. I would then spend a day installing and getting every single thing up and running and configured in person. Then, i would enable ssh access for me to configure and update the computer remotely. Then I could do all the administration remotely and ensure it continually runs smoothly with all the proper updates. As a matter of fact, I do this already with arch linux, but it is truly a matter of preference from what environment you are comfortable with working only from the command line.

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
  18. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Hi HURST,

    the best solution would be to download 5-6 distros live-cds (the others already recommended the novice friendly ones) and let your mother choose the one she feels more comfortable with. ;)

    Panagiotis
     
  19. Mr2cents

    Mr2cents Registered Member

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    Okay, I was thinking about "mandriva Powerpack." I thought that I had saw on Mandrivas site 512mb required 1 gig recommended. I was getting powerpack mixed up with mandriva one. Mandriva one, the one I was recommending does indeed require 256mb with 512mb recommended.

    Mandriva powerpack is not free. It's system requirements are 512mb but 1 gig recommended. My bad. Here's the link. Here
     
  20. Mr2cents

    Mr2cents Registered Member

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    Hi Pandlouk. That's a good idea. After all, she will be the one using it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  21. HURST

    HURST Registered Member

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    I like Pandlouk's idea. I thought about it before asking, but I don't really feel like distrohopping ATM. But, eventually, I guess I'll have to do it. There an old saying here in my country "The lazy ones work twice".

    Anyways, for those who asked:

    Computer specs:
    Intel Celeron 2.4 GHz
    256 MB RAM


    Browser: Firefox
    Email: no email client, just webmail
    Office Software: MS Office 2003

    Internet connection: PPPoE on a USB DSL modem.
     
  22. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Hmm, if it only has 256 ram you will have to do the demonstration on your pc; most live-cds need 512 to run correctly.

    Panagiotis
     
  23. HURST

    HURST Registered Member

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    Ok, doing the liveCD demo tomorrow on my computer.
    Downloading Mint, Mepis, gOS and xubuntu...
     
  24. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    Hopefully this is a valid test, anyway i created a virtual machine with 256mb ram and attempted to install various livecd's in it.
    Everyone i tested appeared to boot up fine and let me initiate the install sequence.

    Kubuntu 8.04.1
    Mandriva One 2009
    Linux Mint 5
    Ubuntu 8.10
    openSUSE 11
    gOS 3 (i love the enlightenment desktop but this distro is still in beta and is a little flakey in certain areas)

    So it looks like you should be able to run ubuntu, SUSE or mandriva at least.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  25. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    If you used real CDs or DVDs to run the test, then it is valid.
    But if you used ISOs is not, since the "reading" from the cd takes advantage of the hard disk speed.
    They will run on 256mb but they will be so slow (when running from the live cds)... that HURSTs mother will not even consider to try them. ;)
     
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