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Which Distro is Right for Me?


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#1 brigg

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 08:14 PM

Anyone know of a way to determine it, given that the cool pinned topic is out of date, determined to be irrelevant, and no longer useful (good thing I went to the last pages). 

 

I have had it with XP!!!! It has ruined so many days. 

I want to go to Linux and am not sure:

which distro to pick (I heard Bhodi was good)

what is Live and what Isn't

what's a good back up utility to find all data a move it to the spot I want. 

 

Any thoughts are appreciated!


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RAM:  1.00GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 267MHz (4-4-4-12)    -     Motherboard:  Dell Inc. 53 °C     -     Graphics:  Plug and Play Monitor (1280x720@60Hz)
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#2 NickAu

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 08:24 PM

Hi brigg

 

First up can we get the specs to your PC?

 

Brand Desktop or laptop

How much ram

Processor type

Graphics card if any.

Size of your HDD.

 

Once we know that then we can give you a few options.

 

 

I want to go to Linux and am not sure:

Fair call, You can try linux without installing it to hard drive, Eg Live boot from CD or USB.

 

 

which distro to pick (I heard Bhodi was good)

I think there are easier distro's that are more suited to novice users.

 

 

what is Live and what Isn't

Live is not installed, It's booting from ISO.

 

 

what's a good back up utility to find all data a move it to the spot I want.

What OS XP or Linux?



#3 wizardfromoz

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 02:57 AM

Hi brigg and :welcome: to a possible Linux "convert", I suspect you will not be sorry!

If you can provide answers to the questions NickAu has asked, that would be useful, in the first place.

 

 

Anyone know of a way to determine it, given that the cool pinned topic is out of date, determined to be irrelevant, and no longer useful (good thing I went to the last pages).

 

Couldn't agree with you more.

 

Suggest you visit my Topic at

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/548703/new-to-linux-newbies-gurus-not-so-newbies-all-distros-tips-lore/page-15#entry3607445

 

...link is to latest page, but work back if you find it interesting.

 

There will be heaps of discussion there shortly about Linux Distros.

 

Other than that, you could not go past Linux Mint Mate 17, Zorin OS9 (as drop-in replacements for XP) or Ubuntu 14.04 to start with.

 

All of the above are suggestions subject to the questions Nick asked, re system configuration/specs in order to best steer you somewhere.

 

And I can tell you up to 10 or so "lightweight" Distros for old computers or those "modest" in terms of RAM, CPU and HDD storage.

 

Good luck

 

:wizardball: Wizard



#4 heyyou325

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 10:39 AM

I have an old xp computer, switched over to linux just before the end of xp.  Last Dec to be exact.  Tried live disks before that tho.  As a comparison I have 500 gb, dual core 2 gb ram, and 2 ghz processor speed, 32bit.  More info is helpful for determining things tho.  I have been able to use more than 30 different distros (operating systems) all without problems.  Mint is a good one to learn on, as is ubuntu, most ubuntu derivitives would probably work.  The distros are free to download, then you can burn them on a dvd (have to use an iso burner)  or put them on a usb flash drive, that takes unetbootn, or a similar program also.  Free programs.  Set your computer up to boot from usb or cd, ahead of windows, and try some live.  There are directions here, or others can help, it's not hard, at least after you do it.  That will depend on your computer brand and specs too.  I find computers confusing, but not hard.  If you read other threads here you can learn about several distros.                                    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/406036/cheesemakers-linux-corner/page-207

 

This thread here posts about a lot of them when they are new, or put out a new version.  Make sure you get a stable version.  Distrowatch is also good about letting you know a little about different distros, and you can download them from there too.  I personally like Peach, Zorin, Mint, ubuntu (all ubuntu derivitives), and open suse which is not a ubuntu derivitive.  As I said other's have other favorites.  Puppy is good and real light (doesn't use many resources).

   You really should listen to Nick and post at least the bare minimum specs.  He knows a lot more than I do about computers.  But welcome, and have fun with linux.  You can run more than one distro, if you have room, and have a separate partition for protecting your files.  



#5 brigg

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 11:47 AM

Guys, this is so great!! Thanks so much for your responses. 

 

I think this: "you could not go past Linux Mint Mate 17," means count not go wrong with....." 

 

Specs on my system from Speccy

Operating System:  Windows XP Professional 32-bit SP3
CPU:  Intel Core Duo T2300E @ 1.66GHz 51 °C
Yonah 65nm Technology
RAM:  1.00GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 267MHz (4-4-4-12)
Motherboard:  Dell Inc. 53 °C
Graphics:  Plug and Play Monitor (1280x720@60Hz)
Plug and Play Monitor (1280x720@60Hz)
Intel Mobile Intel 945GM Express Chipset Family (Dell)
Intel Mobile Intel 945GM Express Chipset Family (Dell)
 
Storage:  74GB SAMSUNG HM080HI (SATA) 36 °C
Optical Drives:  TSSTcorp CDRW/DVD TSL462C
Audio:  SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC
Operating System:  Windows XP Professional 32-bit SP3
Computer type: Portable
Installation Date: 3/20/2009 10:59:18 AM
Serial Number: XJM6Q-BQ8HW-T6DFB-Y934T-YD4YT
Windows Security Center
Firewall Enabled
Antivirus Disabled
Windows Update
AutoUpdate Not configured
.NET Frameworks installed
v3.5 SP1
v3.0 SP2
v2.0 SP2
v1.1 SP1
Internet Explorer
Version 8.0.6001.18702
Java
Java Runtime Environment
Path C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.8.0_25\bin\java.exe
Version 8.0
Update 25
Build 18
Environment Variables
USERPROFILE C:\Documents and Settings\Dell User
SystemRoot C:\WINDOWS
User Variables
TEMP C:\Documents and Settings\Dell User\Local Settings\Temp
TMP C:\Documents and Settings\Dell User\Local Settings\Temp
Machine Variables
ComSpec C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe
FP_NO_HOST_CHECK NO
NUMBER_OF_PROCESSORS 2
OS Windows_NT
Path C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Oracle\Java\javapath
C:\WINDOWS\system32
C:\WINDOWS
C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbem
PATHEXT .COM;.EXE;.BAT;.CMD;.VBS;.VBE;.JS;.JSE;.WSF;.WSH
PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE x86
PROCESSOR_IDENTIFIER x86 Family 6 Model 14 Stepping 8, GenuineIntel
PROCESSOR_LEVEL 6
PROCESSOR_REVISION 0e08
TEMP C:\WINDOWS\TEMP
TMP C:\WINDOWS\TEMP
windir C:\WINDOWS
Battery
AC Line Online
Battery Charge % 100 %
Battery State High
Remaining Battery Time Unknown
Power Profile
Active power scheme Portable/Laptop
Hibernation Disabled
Turn Off Monitor after: (On AC Power) 15 min
Turn Off Monitor after: (On Battery Power) 5 min
Turn Off Hard Disk after: (On AC Power) 30 min
Turn Off Hard Disk after: (On Battery Power) 5 min
Suspend after: (On AC Power) 20 min
Suspend after: (On Battery Power) 5 min
Screen saver Enabled
Uptime
Current Session
Current Time 1/26/2015 10:43:23 AM
Current Uptime 61,896 sec (0 d, 17 h, 11 m, 36 s)
Last Boot Time 1/25/2015 5:31:47 PM

Kansas City Mo area - Central time zone 

Dell D620 Laptop    -   Operating System:  Windows XP Professional 32-bit SP3     -     CPU:  Intel Core Duo T2300E @ 1.66GHz 51 °C     -  Yonah 65nm Technology

RAM:  1.00GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 267MHz (4-4-4-12)    -     Motherboard:  Dell Inc. 53 °C     -     Graphics:  Plug and Play Monitor (1280x720@60Hz)
Storage:  74GB SAMSUNG HM080HI (SATA) 36 °C     -     Optical Drives:  TSSTcorp CDRW/DVD TSL462C     -     Audio:  SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC
PAE Enabled - Installation Date: 3/20/2009     -     Plug and Play Monitor (1280x720@60Hz)     -     Intel Mobile Intel 945GM Express Chipset Family (Dell)
 

#6 cat1092

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 02:44 PM

I believe that Linux Mint 17.1 MATE 32 bit may be a good OS for you, it's one of the common 'drop in' replacements for XP. 

 

Unfortunately, 64 bit isn't an option, and if it were, you'd need a RAM increase for best performance. Depending on your use of the computer, you may want to increase RAM to 2GB, for the time being go with what you have & see how it goes. Linux Mint uses much less resources than XP does, so if that OS ran at an 75% acceptable level, Mint should be fine. In the rare event that 17.1 won't run on your computer, you can also try version 13, or another option, more below. 

 

http://ark.intel.com/products/27234/Intel-Core-Duo-Processor-T2300E-2M-Cache-1_66-GHz-667-MHz-FSB

 

While I'm known to be biased towards Linux Mint (& for good reason), there's another option for Linux newbies in Zorin Lite. By default, it looks like Windows 7, but there's a Look Changer to give it different appearances, it's designed for Windows users to adjust to Linux easier. The Lite version only requires 512MB of RAM to run. Zorin is also known as one of the preferred 'drop in' Windows replacements, am letting you know what's out there for you, not pushing it. 

 

http://zorin-os.com/index.html

 

http://zorin-os.com/faq.html

 

Fortunately, you've came to the right place, no matter which distro you decide on, we're more than happy to assist as much as possible.  :)

 

Back in 2009, the deck was stacked against new LInux users, help was harder to find, the dedicated Linux forums had arrogant members & staff, some expected one to 'learn it all' in 2 weeks or less. Too, search engines was of less help than today, and there were other issues, such as printing, that was much difficult to setup than today. Some of which now are plug & play after running a test page (recommended). 

 

Hope that you have a spare Flash drive of 2GB or greater, this will save you from having to go through a few DVD's, by creating a bootable installer. You can run in Live Mode, to try before you install, this will greatly help you to identify any hardware issues before you install & find that something important (like sound or graphics) doesn't work. Though sometimes, these issues (if minor) can be fixed after install. In fact, older computers often needs less configuration than newer ones, where often graphics are a royal pain in the backside to configure on dual graphic systems. For example, a computer with Intel onboard graphics & a discrete nVIDIA card, these can be tricky to work with. 

 

I'm also a Dell fan & owner myself, and when my Linux journey began, it was on older Dell notebooks. with the same mobile chipset you have. You should easily adjust, once you settle on a distro. 

 

Always feel free to ask questions when needed, no matter how small. The only 'dumb' question around here is the one not asked when in need. We all began where you are at this moment. 

 

Good Luck in your new journey! :thumbup2:

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 26 January 2015 - 02:56 PM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#7 heyyou325

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 04:31 PM

As Cat said about running it live.  That is right.  You can also try others live before you try to install.  Once you make your choice, and mint is good, you need to back up all your files before you install.  If you erase xp and reformat (you will need to do that to install, not for live) you will erase everything.  You will hear backup a lot here.  If xp is already gone, you can access your documents and save them on a different usb, or dvd, or card if you have one.  



#8 wizardfromoz

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 05:33 PM

Hi brigg, thanks for posting those specs.

 

If I might suggest, you can include some of those details in your Profile, and/or in a signature - see my Profile and signature as an example.

 

You can get easy access to your specs also, in XP by going to Start-Run (program), type in msinfo and enter, the details will be in Summary in the right-hand pane.

 

Main things we need for many queries is - RAM, CPU, HDD storage and any external storage, Video card/GPU if applicable - all can be gathered from msinfo32.exe results.

 

When you ran your speccy you would have been assigned a unique URL (address) for the output,and you can also put that in your signature as cat1092 has done with his above. In that way, you carry your specs with you wherever you go, and just have to say eg "See my Profile/Signature for details"? Too easy!

 

Another good one to consider in the "lightweight brigade" is PeachOSI BB (Bare Bones). I have just installed it on my wife's laptop with only 512 MB RAM, and it runs acceptably. You can find Peach at their front page here, and their downloads page is here. The one you will be looking for has a download of 1.0 GB, see screenshot below.

 

UOguyDn.png

 

I would endorse, as cat1092 and heyyou25, trying the Live scenario for a bit to find which one you like. When you come to install, sing out if you need help.

 

Immediately following an install, you should enable your firewall, see my Post here as a reference. It is at #4 on the first and only page. Timeshift and Aptik, mentioned there, are also good tools, can't confirm yet how they run on 1GB RAM, but you can give them a try.

 

Cheers and enjoy

 

:wizardball: Wiz

 

Edited fixed typo


Edited by wizardfromoz, 26 January 2015 - 05:35 PM.


#9 heyyou325

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:03 PM

If your computer doesn't start with an iso  of the distro on a usbdrive, or dvd, check the bios under boot.  You will need cd and usb over windows.  As soon as your computer starts to boot, the very first writing, start tapping, different computers are different,  f10 , f8, f2, anybody know any others?  You will get your bios up that way.  Tap the arrows til boot is highlighted, and you can set which opens when.  Tap the directional arrows up or down to highlight what you want, and with my machines, f6 moves it up, and f7 moves it down.  I don't mean to insult you, but I don't know how much you know.  When I started I couldn't do that.  Good luck.  Plenty of help here.



#10 wizardfromoz

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 07:10 PM

Esc key for some old laptops, F12 for my desktop.

 

:wizardball: Wiz



#11 cat1092

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 12:40 AM

F12 shows the boot menu for Dell computers, or at least all of those I've owned, one required to be pressing it repeatedly as it was being powered up. Often it would be hit or miss, and would need to reboot & try again, I believe it was due to the PS/2 keyboard, using a standard USB one wouldn't allow access. 

 

Some makes uses a different key for this. The MSI notebook that I have uses an odd key in Delete (Del) for the same option to be shown. The rest, to include a Toshiba & older IBM, F12. 

 

Though I've setup all of my computers to see the optical drive first, then USB device, and default HDD third. Moved the floppy and Network boot options to the bottom, having never used either option. That way, no need to press keys. It was the one with the buggy keyboard that prompted me to begin configuring these options on all. 

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 27 January 2015 - 12:42 AM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#12 wizardfromoz

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 02:04 AM

brigg, hi.

 

If you Google up eg "linux alternative to ms outlook"

 

you'll find, on my pc about 6 or 7 entries down the page, http://alternativeto.net/software/microsoft-office-outlook/ . You'll find Thunderbird listed there, as Cat has advised. But others as well, just look for the mention of Linux in the headers.

 

AlternativeTo is a good site for bookmarking/favourites, both whilst still on XP, and after, perhaps embracing Linux. You may think, "Can I take this with me?", and chances are, you will find a LInux version of it, or else a viable alternative.

 

Mozilla's Firefox browser and Thunderbird Email client are good examples. Thunderbird has just celebrated its 10th birthday, and I have been with them since the beginning, using them through Windows XP, Vista and 7, after leaving my (beloved) Outlook Express, for which inclusion and support dwindled and ceased under Windows.

 

Firefox also for 10 years, over Internet Explorer, and its security holes big enough to drive a Mac truck through. So when I found Linux, I thought I had come home.

 

Firefox 35 and Thunderbird 31 require 200 MB each, and 512 MB RAM. Mozilla have alternatives, similar, with IceWeasel browser, and its email partner, IceDove. I've used IceWeasel, quite good, don't know the specs, and have yet to try IceDove.

 

Office Suites? For MS Office, we have Open Office and Libre Office to name two. Once again, I have used Open Office for at least ten years, through those three Windows versions, and then, into Linux with Ubuntu. LibreOffice forked from Open Office a few years ago - philosophical and political differences between the Devs (developers). Both of them can read MS Office docs easily, and save as, with perhaps a few formatting nuances that can't be avoided, because of the proprietary code Microsoft use with their product.

 

PhotoShop - try Gimp, even before leaving Windows. The list goes on and on and on.

 

With Linux, the world is indeed your oyster, and inside a certain number of those oysters, you will find a pearl.

 

Good luck, and enjoy

 

:wizardball: Wiz



#13 NickAu

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 02:15 AM

 

Immediately following an install, you should enable your firewall, see my Post here as a reference.

Rather than directing the OP to another thread for a simple terminal command why not just give the command in your post?

 

 

Open terminal and type or copy paste

sudo ufw enable

This will start your firewall and create a script that starts it each time you boot your PC.

 

 

Firefox 35 and Thunderbird 31 require 200 MB each, and 512 MB RAM. Mozilla have alternatives, similar, with IceWeasel browser, and its email partner, IceDove. I've used IceWeasel, quite good, don't know the specs, and have yet to try IceDove.

 

 

In 2006, a branding issue developed when Mike Connor, representing the Mozilla Corporation, requested that the Debian Project comply with Mozilla standards for use of the Thunderbird trademark when redistributing the Thunderbird software.[1][2] At issue were modifications not approved by the Mozilla Foundation, when the name for the software remained the same.

The Debian Project subsequently rebranded the Mozilla Firefox program,[3] and other software released by Mozilla, so that Debian could distribute modified software without being bound by the trademark requirements that the Mozilla Foundation had invoked. The new names established by Debian were Iceweasel for Mozilla Firefox, Icedove for Mozilla Thunderbird, and Iceape for SeaMonkey. These changes were implemented in the subsequent version of Debian (Etch). In July 2007, Iceowl, a rebranded version of Mozilla Sunbird, was added to the unstable branch of Debian.[4]


Edited by NickAu, 27 January 2015 - 02:23 AM.


#14 wizardfromoz

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 03:26 AM

 

 

Immediately following an install, you should enable your firewall, see my Post here as a reference.

Rather than directing the OP to another thread for a simple terminal command why not just give the command in your post?

 


 

 

Quite simple, really.

 

The Post referred to also includes the information about Aptik and Timeshift. Timeshift, as I recall, was not mentioned within these walls prior to my explaining it last 17th September, in New to Linux... you had been using Aptik,and then looked at Timeshift and its btrfs capability.

 

I also mentioned, in the Post referred to,

 

 

This will set up your Firewall for now and the future

 

that is equivalent to your saying

 

 

This will start your firewall and create a script that starts it each time you boot your PC.

 

 

...is it not?

 

Certainly, the OP (Original Poster aka Topic Starter) has 450 posts under her belt, and is no stranger to navigating her way around this wonderful site of ours.

 

My reference to see my post here is no different to saying eg "See my Tutorial here", which you invoke from time to time. Am I missing something here, or is there a point to your comments?

 

Thanks, though, for the tip about the Debian branding issues, I have learned something - hope you can too.

 

Enjoy

 

:wizardball: Wiz

 

BTW - when the OP picks a Linux flavour she likes, and is going to install, she can expect hopefully some helpful input from us on install issues, integrity checks (SHAsum &c), best download site, &c. I certainly hope we can work in unison with her, to promote Linux, and I am sure you do too.



#15 cat1092

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 03:26 AM

Firefox will use a bit of RAM, but nowhere near as much as Google Chrome, especially if several tabs are open. 

 

 

 

Firefox 35 and Thunderbird 31 require 200 MB each,

 

Don't know about Thunderbird, because I've never used the service, preferring to use browser based for the most part. Though I do need to setup Thunderbird as a Linux Mail client, just being honest, have never stuck with any Mail client. Not that I like or dislike these options, just that I've been so used to getting my email from the browser for so long, and one other issue, not all Mail clients will work with Free accounts, such as FastMail (formerly OperaMail), EarthLink WebMail (my Free ISP's option), and there was another, may have been AOL or Yahoo (free). 

 

I suppose for these services to work with clients, they want one to pay for the service, then the Mail clients will work with these. Really, AOL & Yahoo are for registering for free software, especially Yahoo, as I know I'm going to get spammed like mad be giving out my email address for some of these offerings, regardless of what their 'privacy policy' states. 

 

For many things, I use GMail, which as far away from Microsoft as one can get, and they give the same 15GiB of storage. 

 

Like other Linux users, I find LibreOffice more than enough for my meager Office needs, and it's considered by many to be a drop in replacement for MS Office. However there are couple of issues, many home users may never notice these. The cool thing about LibreOffice is that it's included with many Linux distros. 

 

The key thing is finding a Linux distro that one can learn easily, and add things as one goes. Though it's important to setup the email client (Thunderbird) prior to making the switch, because that's how the app is designed. Here is another tutorial that I found & there are likely others. 

 

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/switching-thunderbird

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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