Linux for beginners

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Krusty, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    And after you gain some experience you might switch to Manjaro. It's a rolling distro - meaning that you always have the newest packages (which prevents that you run into problems like the one @Krusty had with an outdated Firejail). Once installed, you'll never have to reinstall it again. And no release upgrades every few months. It's an Arch Linux derivative but installation and usage is much more user-frieindly.

    I hasten to add that a rolling distro is theoretically less stable than a non-rolling distro. Manjaro has an unstable branch which is basically Arch Linux, a testing branch in which bugs (if found) are fixed, and a stable branch which is even more polished. With that stable branch you get the Arch packages about 2 weeks later or so (security updates are added rather fast, though). It's a distro which has been working very reliably for me.
     
  2. Gringo95

    Gringo95 Registered Member

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    Users with a specific need for a ton of software (mostly work related) will already know which distro is likely to suit them best. Otherwise, for general home use, something that comes in basic form with an easy ability to add more software has to be an optimum choice.

    My main PC is running Q4OS 3.6 KDE5 Centaurus. This is billed as a ‘testing’ release but if you research the history it’s still likely to be more stable than your average rolling release and for me it’s been flawless.

    Screenshots here.

    https://i.imgur.com/LMzTIJm.png
    https://i.imgur.com/QqJWvAV.jpg

    Be advised they also ship a version with the Trinity desktop but this is unlikely to be suitable based on what you’ve said here already.

    Like most distros you can try this out as a live session (even install the windows 10 icon pack and window borders :D) before making a commitment. At install you can choose one of the ‘ready made’ software bundle options or opt for the basic system and then add stuff yourself which is simple and straightforward.

    https://q4os.org/

    https://sourceforge.net/projects/q4os/files/testing/

    There’s a recent review of the TDE version here.

    https://www.linuxinsider.com/story/Q4OS-and-TDE-A-Juicy-Little-Linux-Secret-85951.html

    Apart from Q4OS I would also try the dedicated ‘Windows lookalike’ Makulu LinDoz. Again make sure you download the right version and not ‘Core’ or ‘Flash’.

    http://www.makululinux.com/wp/lindoz/
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  3. Gringo95

    Gringo95 Registered Member

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    ‘Prettiest’ is a matter of personal choice and sometimes bad choice which is why Kim Kardashian has so many followers :D.

    Anything Xfce capable of running Compiz & Emerald will create something special.

    Out of the box, Deepin comes close but is too restricted with what you can do with it afterwards.

    Overall IMO Nitrux wins hands down but unfortunately this is a conceited vanity project with a complicated ‘deployment’ method that re-invents the wheel for a car only 2% of the computing population want to drive anyway. Pointless.
     
  4. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    And I can only add that Cinnamon is supposed to be prettier than Mate. When I tried Cinnamon on this low-spec machine it was rather sluggish, but that I think was 18.3, so things may have improved since then. My machine does run better on Mate than it did with Windows, so it I guess it depends on your hardware.

    Haven't tried the others but provided you aren't using a limited data plan, you can download any ISO's you like and burn them to a disk, then boot to them and try 'em and see what looks good and works on your machine. Disks will always be slower than an installed OS. Some can even be installed on a flash drive!

    You can even install multiple OS's on your machine, including Windows, and boot to which ever OS suites you at the time, but that's over my pay grade. Others here can help you with that if desired.

    Edit: This might help with a Mint decision - https://linuxmint-installation-guide.readthedocs.io/en/latest/choose.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  5. fblais

    fblais Registered Member

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    Today's Cinnamon is much faster, but there is still much work to do.
    It's a beautiful desktop, my favorite by far, but on a daily basis, I use XFCE instead.
     
  6. paulderdash

    paulderdash Registered Member

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    Thanks all for your suggestions and advice.
     
  7. ABaird3

    ABaird3 Registered Member

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    Which version of Linux would you guys suggest for an older, but not past it, laptop. A relative of mine has a 2015 i3 Asus laptop, and as the appointed tech support, I'm tired of the feature updates (and other updates that force long restarts) that take forever to install, and the whole process is cumbersome and slows the machine down, so I'm thinking of switching the machine to Linux (It's currently Win 10). It's really only used to access the net, using Chrome. The OS has to be reasonably pain free to maintain, basic requirements, but it would be nice if it looked good. So it only needs to be basic, but nice looking, light enough to startup quick, easy maintenance, run smoothly.

    I'm well out of the loop, the last Linux I installed was LinuxLite about 7 years ago. I appreciate any suggestions or recommendations.
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    ABaird3,

    Microsoft Windows has feature updates every 6 months and updates once or twice per month.
    Linux has feature updates every 6 months and updates every few days.

    It would be a pity to remove Win10 as you might want to look at it again. I suggest having both OS...

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/threads/linux-mint-19-1.415435/page-2#post-2821328

    Try Linux Mint Cinnamon.
     
  9. sbwhiteman

    sbwhiteman Registered Member

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    ABaird3,

    I would second Brian's suggestion of Linux Mint Cinnamon. I have several customers in similar circumstances who I've moved from Windows to Mint and they all love it.

    However, I also agree that getting rid of Windows shouldn't be done lightly -- although you could always reinstall it. You need to be sure they'll never need a Windows program that's unavailable on Linux. You'd also want to test all the hardware in a live session to be sure it's all supported.

    However, having dual-booted many machines over the years, I'm sad to say I can't really recommend it. When you install Linux, Windows doesn't know about it. So it's quite common that a major update will break the GRUB menu. (Do a Google search on "windows 10 update broke grub" and you'll see what I mean.) If you know how you can usually get it back, but it's a pain. Also, although it's rarer, I've even had a Windows update wipe my Linux partition.

    So I suggest thinking carefully about Windows or Linux and then picking one.
     
  10. guest

    guest Guest

    If you dont need hardcore gaming, MS Office or Photoshop, no reason to stay on Windows
     
  11. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I don't use my PCs for any of that, but I see absolutely no good reason to switch to Linux, when Windows works so well.
     
  12. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    No reason at all. If I couldn't have found a laptop preinstalled with Linux I'd have just bought one with Windows and replaced it with Ubuntu. The real trick is making sure the hardware is Linux compatible. Not sure about Asus laptops but they do manufacture Chromebooks so there's a good chance an Asus laptop would play well with Linux.
     
  13. sbwhiteman

    sbwhiteman Registered Member

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    guest, those are important ones, but there are others. Off the top of my head, Quicken, Quickbooks, and LogMeIn come to mind, and with a little research I could come up with more. (I know there are always alternatives, but if someone truly needs one of them they're usually out of luck. Wine is generally disappointing and running in a VM takes a lot of horsepower for satisfactory results.)
     
  14. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

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    Anyone wanting to test a Linux distro on their hardware can do so without the need to install it to harddrive. Using a utility like Rufus, you can create a bootable USB drive that runs the distro completely in RAM. You can even set persistence so you can retain changes made between live sessions. I'm typing this now on a 16GB stick running MX-18.2 with persistence. I've installed and configured:

    • Chrome stable browser w/theme and extensions
    • Added theme and extensions to Firefox
    • firejail
    • DeadBeef
    • appearance, windows manager and Windows manager tweaks
    • enabled UFW (firewall)
    • codecs
    • wifi auto-connect to my home router
    I essentially have all the benefits of running off the harddrive without it touching it at all. The distro runs incredibly fast as well. If it doesn't work on your hardware, you simply move on. There will be zero impact on your harddrive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  15. ABaird3

    ABaird3 Registered Member

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    I was looking at Linux Mint, as it looks most like Windows, i.e. the task bar at the bottom, bottom left start menu. Manjaro aswell, or Ubunto, but it would be better to look like Windows layout.

    I know Linux updates too, but the laptop isn't used a lot, and it it feels like every Win update comes around quick, and she complains about having to wait ages for it to load with updates installing. Yesterday I had it installing October update and after 5 hours it was at 84%, I was annoyed, especially as another big update is just around the corner, with features that will never get touched. Linux must be simpler and more user friendly, especially as it's only used to launch a browser.
     
  16. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Linux updates are usually little and often. No need for a monthly Bork Tuesday. A lot of the time it isn't even necessary to reboot. If I don't use my laptop for a couple of days I just run the Software Updater as soon as I boot up.

    up.jpg
    Updating on Linux, in my experience, isn't the anxiety producing tedious rigmarole that it is on Windows.
     
  17. summerheat

    summerheat Registered Member

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    I'm afraid that's a misconception. Looking like Windows is not really dependent on which distro you're using but rather which desktop environment. There are plenty of them, like KDE, Gnome, Xfce, Mate, Cinnamon etc. They are available for most distros. For someone coming from Windows, KDE is probably the most familiar DE.
     
  18. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    ... Sigh. My Update Manager is playing up again. Now unless I use the default mirrors, which are half a world away, the Update Manager spits errors.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
  19. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Doesn't Mint have a Software Updater?
     
  20. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    Yeah, it's called Update Manager but you have to pick your Software Sources.
     
  21. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Sounds complicated. This is why I stick with Ubuntu. :)
     
  22. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    Nar, not complicated at all. You select the closest mirror so that updates are downloaded quicker. Well, that's how it is supposed to work anyway. I've found a couple of closer mirrors that are working, but I don't know why the ones I were using before stops working.
     
  23. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    Sometimes, mirrors go down: Ubuntu has a GUI you can access via Software & Updates. In the Ubuntu Software tab, you have the option to search for the fastest server (for you at the time you check) or to change servers.

    ksnip_20190430-093319.png
     
  24. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Updating isn't usually a long process on Ubuntu in my experience (unlike the Windows rigmarole). Occasionally there are glitches but I just try again later and usually the updates download then.
     
  25. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Oh right, thanks. Looks complicated lol.
     
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