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Best Linux for Users of other Operating systems.


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#1 Richardf77

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 11:29 AM

Been a Windows user for years an am a fan of Android on tablets. Which Linux builds are the most comparable and therefore the best choice for users accustomed to those systems? I am considering a switch to Linux for some of my computing and wouk like some advice.

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#2 DeimosChaos

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 11:37 AM

Linux Mint is a pretty popular choice among long time Windows users. I personally use Ubuntu which is also a really popular distro, just looks a bit different from Linux Mint, and might not be as easy to pick up (though it isn't hard at all).


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#3 Richardf77

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 12:42 PM

I quite like Ubuntu I think it has a more Android feel to it than other Linux distrOS. I have also tried Mint, Mandriva Kubuntu and OPENSUSE, The only one I an not keen on is the last named. The rest are good to use, with practice.

As I said above I am looking for an alternative to windows, particularly ten as I am unsure of its compatibility with my PC, after some big problems.

#4 mremski

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 01:15 PM

Create a list of applications that you normally use under Windows, see if they have equivalents on Linux.  Browsers are simple, email clients are easy to find, even Office-like programs (Google Docs also works for this).  Specialty apps may be harder to come by (photo/video editing, music, etc).

Ubuntu was conceived to be "a Linux distribution that your grandparents can use".  Maybe not to install, but you could drop off a computer preloaded with it and they could be sending email to all their friends quickly.

 

Keep in mind that on most Linux distributions you can easily change the way the screen looks and works;  way beyond Windows customizations (google "linux window managers" for a plethora of information), so you can make it look like you want it to.

 

Some distributions have the "update early and often", similar to the way Windows updates.  Good for security issues, pain for other stuff.


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#5 MadmanRB

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 01:54 PM

Linux Mint is the distro I recommend for beginners, its simple, easy to use and is good for long time windows users.

http://www.linuxmint.com/

 

There are others to consider but if one doesnt want to get their hands dirty on learning how to install codecs then mint is a great option.


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#6 wizardfromoz

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 03:34 AM

Hi Richardf77

 

Try Zorin on a live CD/USB basis to get the feel of it. It has options for a WinXP and Win7 look and feel that might help.

 

Ubuntu Mate will give you the best of a Linux Mint Mate and Ubuntu combo, you might find it a good marriage of two good concepts.

 

I am test-driving Mageia 5 currently, RPM-based as opposed to Debian - a big learning curve, but looks good so far.

 

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#7 Richardf77

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 03:37 AM

Linux Mint is the distro I recommend for beginners, its simple, easy to use and is good for long time windows users.

http://www.linuxmint.com/

 

There are others to consider but if one doesnt want to get their hands dirty on learning how to install codecs then mint is a great option.

I was going to ask about that. Which distros are the easiest to install and run 'out of the box' so to speak. Which others are good for beginners as a windows replacement?



#8 brainout

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 04:06 AM

Richardf77, I'm a new user of Linux and a Windows junkie.  I use Linux primarily to husband my Windows, for Linux will do well what Windows will not, and vice versa.  Most of what Windows does badly, relates to machine maintenance like backup, copy, move, DVD writing.  Linux is much faster, and it offers cloning, which means to make a bootable replica of your hard drive on a stick or external hard drive.  Linux Knoppix and Clonezilla (the former I can't download via GUI and the latter is requires you use Windows Method B in the step here).

 

I only install Linux to external drives (steps here).  Far easier to use and safer, so that the Windows machines remain untouched.

 

There are many other things Linux does better, but which ones to reference for you, I'm not sure.  If you want a kind of turnkey, full-boat Linux, then there are only two I know of to recommend:  PCLinuxOS, and Linux Mint 17.1 .  The 'KDE' desktop (interface) is most like Windows.  You'll need DOSbox to run any 16-bit installers and Wine to run Windows programs, some of which won't work.  But I can run MS Office 2003 in either of those Linux versions, and some of the Windows programs run natively through a right-click use of Wine.

 

PCLinuxOS stuffs nearly every Linux program made, into itself;  it is a good four times bigger than your average Linux OS for that reason;  idea is to be a total bundle, kinda like a pizza with 'everything'.  So you want to get into its forum and ask questions, as you'll have many.  But it's got the slickest interface I've ever seen, once you read the provided documentation.

 

Mint is much leaner, the US version includes the codecs and most of the basic programs you'll need, plus it has some splendid customization much like XP.

 

Pretty much all Linux distros now ape the Start Menu, so you generally click in the lower left corner to call up what looks like some version of a start menu.

 

I've yet to learn the terminal, it's like DOS but more helpful.

 

The two big Linux cons are the filesystem which is annoying (names are not at all intuitive), and the horrific permissions, which is far worse than Vista.  Linux folk are constantly telling you how great it is, but a Windows person sees it as unnecessary time loss and paranoia.  I really hate that.  One day I'll figure out how to defeat the permissions, because the paranoia is so great, even if you're ROOT(=super administrator), you can't override anything without constant passwords.  Until then, my use of Linux remains somewhat limited.

 

There are no central Godmode/gpedit.msc/control center tools in Linux either, so far as I know.  You have to guess or use the terminal.  Someone here will correct me if I'm wrong (and it's always a pleasure to be corrected).

 

That being said, I don't want to live without Linux.  Windows canNOT live without it.


Edited by brainout, 01 October 2015 - 04:20 AM.

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#9 pcpunk

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 04:53 PM

I vote Linux Mint Mate 17.1 Rebecca (MATE) (64-bit) if you have a 64bit system.  Here is the page with all the Mint 17.1 distro's:

http://www.linuxmint.com/release.php?id=23

 

You want something a little more fun IMO, I personally use KDE and love it!

 

Or Ubuntu: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

 

Really, these two distro's will have the most Support for you all over the web, Mint or Ubuntu.

 

Download, Burn Image to DVD, Boot from it, and tell us what you think?  If you need help booting from the dvd just say so.  It appears that you have done this before, just make sure you an't running and installing an old OS.  Burn a new DVD of a new up-to-date system.


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#10 paul88ks

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 03:26 AM

I recommend  Linux Mite Mate for beginners as it is very intuitive- 17.2 I also like Ubuntu MATE which is on my laptop. both are easy to use and easy to get up and running!



#11 Richardf77

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 11:05 AM

Thanks for replies. Yes I have tried a few linux distributions, all through bootable dvds, which are good as a try out but not easy to use for long term use. Before I attempt any full installation I need to be sure I have picked the right one!

I have been thinking. I have an old but functional HDD - formerly a laptop drive but now in an enclosure as an external drive. Could I install one or more Linux distros onto it and run them on my PC? The HDD is partitioned and has recently been formatted.

Any advice welcome.

#12 pcpunk

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 11:54 AM

Yes you can, but I will let someone with more experience help you.  And, Dual Booting is pretty simple once you got a system that is working.  In fact you could install more if they are compatible.  This way you can really give them a go, then maybe delete one when you find the one you like.  Or keep em all around to play with.


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#13 paul88ks

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 10:45 PM

yes Richard, you can! i am doing exactly what you are talking about with an old laptop drive that i put in a USB enclosure.It is basically the same install procedure, except that the laptop drive on my computer shows up as sdc-as i have two other drives installed sda-and sdb- if you only have one drive installed it will show up as sdb- anything further you need to know just ask - I've done lots of multibooting which I learned here from the good people at BC! Paul



#14 Richardf77

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 03:16 AM

Does the spare drive have to be installed to the PC in any way. I was hoping to create a bootable but removable drive (USB ideally). If I can't do this then I probably won't be able to do it and will have to look again at dual booting the PC itself.

#15 paul88ks

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 01:09 AM

Yes - you can boot with a USB removable drive - you will have to use a program called Unetbootin to make your USB bootable.Also your BIOS must allow you to boot from a USBdrive. Personally,I have never used this method,but many people on the site do this.So - you might start a new topic more specific to your issue.I am sure you will find all the help you need.The only reason I haven't done it is that I tend to misplace things- HAHA! like USB drives among others. I am 60 and a little forgetful! Anyway- i think that is your best option! Paul






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