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Suggestion for which linux to choose


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#1 Hareen

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 10:56 PM

Hi, all elders in the Linux section.

 

I just temporarily acquired a secondary system (Dell E 6320 Refurbished) for use temporarily. ( for a minimum of 2 months I hope.)

 

I want to install Linux on the system. I already went through the first pinned topic in this section.

It suggested me going Ubuntu.

 

But I am looking for suggestions from the experienced users.

These are the things I have:

 

 

Linux knowledge: Almost nil/ noob

 

Willing to learn: yes

 

System's Main purpose: As of now surfing the net, work emails, minor gaming (if there is gaming in Linux), Reading, watching videos and movies (major file extensions mp4, mkv, aac, mp3, etc.)

 

System config : 

 

Processor: Intel Core i5-2520M 2.5Ghz Processor
RAM: 4GB
Memory: 250GB Hard Drive, DVDRW
13.3'' Display with Integrated Graphics & HD Audio

 

Full specs list here : 

https://www.cnet.com/products/dell-latitude-e6320-13-3-core-i5-2520m-windows-7-pro-2-gb-ram-320-gb-hdd-series/specs/

 

 

So what do you suggest? I personally liked Mint and disliked Ubuntu some 8 years ago. I have tried Fedora and 2 or 3 minor flavors. All from pen drive only ( LIve CD method or something), I have never tried Puppy Linux though.

 

I know I will have VLC & Firefox in Linux for the things I am planning.
Which audio player do you suggest for listening to podcasts and general music? 

 

Which distro would be best for the above configuration? 
What are your opinions on dual-booting ( Windows - 10 & the suggested Linux)? Or should I go with plain Linux?

The device is known for BIOS issues so I am asking.
Thanks in advance for the help.


Edited by Hareen, 08 November 2017 - 11:11 PM.


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#2 MadmanRB

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 12:04 AM

As usual my suggestion is linux mint 18 Cinnamon edition 64bit.

The hardware should work fine with it and cinnamon is very good at emulating the windows desktop.

The only limiter is the hard drive, windows is a space hog so go full linux is my suggestion here.


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#3 Rocky Bennett

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 06:52 AM

I agree 100% with Madman. The transition from Windows to Linux is sometimes disorienting, but Linux Mint Cinnamon has a very familar feel to it which makes the transition much easier.

 

 

https://linuxmint.com/


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#4 heyyou325

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 02:09 PM

 I think putting different ones on a couple of thumb drives, or even dvd's (you can't reuse them) and trying them out first might work best for you.  Distrowatch has a lot of information on the different distros.  Mint is excellent and has sort of a windows feel, so does zorin, and quite a few others. I'm drawing a blank now, you also need to find a desktop that works for you.  Personally I hate unity, but like xfce or lxde, the lightweight ones. The important part is finding one that fits you.  Later on, trying new ones can be fun, but leave things set up for the one.   There are plenty of helpful people here, and they can help you with setups and other questions.  Also, the cheesemaker thread is full of good info,


Edited by heyyou325, 09 November 2017 - 02:15 PM.


#5 Gary R

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 12:56 PM

Which distro is best for you, will depend on what you want to do with it.

 

To illustrate what I mean, see ... http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/specific-purpose-pc-use-linux-os/

 

(I do not necessarily agree with the choices in that article, however it does make my point)

 

For a Linux beginner, who probably wants something that's not too dissimilar to Windows, I'm like Rocky and Madman, and I'd recommend Mint Cinammon, so long as you're not wanting to run it on old "limited capability" hardware, in which case there are more appropriate choices you can make.


Edited by Gary R, 10 November 2017 - 01:00 PM.


#6 rp88

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 01:36 PM

Ubuntu is good, pretty similar to windows in terms of the main interface unless you start digging into details. Linux mint is also a nice choice (and my personal preference). Both of them use very similar underlying code and most things compatible with one work on the other, also both are distros for which loads of questions and answers are readily available online.

VLC works pretty well as an audio player, but most of the distros designed for "normal" (web browsing, office tasks, running general programs, some gaming, media viewing...) use also include a lighter weight audio player built in.

Dual booting is a bit tricky and can cause problems where each OS (and windows is more likely to be guilty of this but linux can too) messes up the other whenever it updates. Might be betetr to avoid if you can.

Mint (MATE is my preference for the desktop environment) can be very similar to windows, there are some articles where people set it up to look just like XP to anyone who is just sing the basic features, ubuntu isn't so different though some things are in different corners from the usual windows layout.

Edited by rp88, 10 November 2017 - 01:36 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#7 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 03:19 PM

Although, like my avatar says, I'm a Puppy 'nut', I'll still agree with the others, and recommend Linux Mint. It's the firm favourite of everyone else here for sheer ease-of use.....and although Puppy is great fun (and these days, pretty easy to use OOTB), it's still not one I'd recommend for a complete beginner. Too many little 'quirks' for comfort, and a definite requirement for the 'get-your-hands-dirty' approach; it certainly helps to have some prior 'mainstream' Linux experience under your belt before you tackle it.

 

(It is good for 'tinkerers', though...)

 

I myself spent at least a year 'distro-hopping' (though mostly with Ubuntu), before deciding that Puppy was the one for me. (That was after I don't know how many years running just every version of Windows you could name...) And now I spend time re-packaging software for Puppy, and coming up with ideas and solutions to known problems.....plus a few completely off-the-top-of-my-head ones.

 

All good fun..!

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 10 November 2017 - 05:29 PM.

If the information given has helped you, please remember to say 'Thanks!'

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#8 ChirunoIceFairy

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 04:33 PM

Can vouch for Mint myself if you are a complete beginner. My personal preference would say that you should use the Xfce edition but honestly, you should look into the different desktop environments available and choose one you like out of the supported ones by Mint. I've used it before and was generally a good experience, better than Ubuntu as it strips out some of the proprietary stuff (allegedly I've heard Ubuntu spies on its users to an extent in the main distribution - not sure about derivatives or other flavours I don't think they're affected), is still very easy to use... etc.

 

Happy to see you're willing to learn too, we'll help you out best we can :)



#9 The-Toolman

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 05:17 PM

I have to agree Linux Mint is the best place to start and I also use it.

 

Another good choice for a start would be Peppermint 8 as it has an easy user interface and an excellent forum.

 

https://peppermintos.com/

 

https://forum.peppermintos.com/

 

My 2 cents.  :)


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#10 pcpunk

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 05:45 PM

If you like this forum Cinnamon may be best to get help quick as it seems many here run Cinnamon. 

 

I feel when starting out with Linux I could not find the software I was looking for, and Scrolling through the Menu constantly.  I did not know that I could Customize the Menu in Mint Mate at the time.  Now I know that I can put all my Favorites in the Mate Menu and make it as big as I want, so no more scrolling to find my favorite software.  You cannot do this as far as I know in Cinnamon, although Cinnamon is a little more of a flashy desktop then Mate, though Mate, or any other distro can be customized as much as you like. 

Mint Mate Link

Pick the Mirror closest to you for the download.


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#11 cat1092

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 05:23 AM

Another vote for Linux Mint (MATE), of which I've used for over 8.5 years with few issues. :)

 

Regardless of choice, going with a mainstream distro means more support over those that are little known, there's likely thousands of Linux distros. There's a few that could be great if the distro maintainer didn't dump their responsibility on the Linux community as a whole (Peach OSI being a prime example). Instead of having an open forum, every post is censored, then approved (or not) after editing days or weeks later, prefers to make his money from selling T-Shirts & other merchandise. No telling where Peach OSI (an Xfce based distro) could be sitting in the rankings if openly supported. In fact, the distro is so jam packed, one wouldn't know until digging around that it's Xfce based. 

 

This is one reason why sticking with mainstream is best, those at the top wants to stay there & for that to happen requires lots of time & effort. The founder of Linux Mint, Clement Lefebvre, is also the lead developer & always there when needed. Of course, many here can assist with many issues, I find the Linux Community here to be more helpful than that of the distro. Note that some 'dedicated' Linux forums are harsh towards newbies (example, mention dual booting with Windows to 'wean in' will expose members to all sorts of abuse), while we're not, the same rules that applies across the entire Bleeping Computer forum applies here as well. :)

 

While learning to run Linux may seem to be hard at first, with a little time, becomes second nature. One of the best things are that no 3rd party security is needed, other than with Linux Mint (or any distro built upon Ubuntu), the ufw Firewall needs to be enabled as soon as install is finished, after rebooting & before updating. To do this, open the Terminal, usually a small black icon on the Panel (same as Taskbar on Windows) & type in or copy/paste the below code in bold, press Enter & then type your password. Note that for your security, you won't see the password while being typed in, not so much as movement, then press Enter once more. If the password isn't correct, you'll be prompted to input the correct one. 

 

sudo ufw enable

 

If successful, you'll then see that the ufw Firewall is activated & enabled at startup in the Terminal, your best security. Speaking of the Terminal, it's your most powerful assistant at getting work done, once you get used to things. :)

 

Touching base on security, while no OS is bulletproof, for now, Linux is as close as it comes due to low market share. Although we're now climbing in the charts at a faster pace, now at over 3% on desktops, eventually crafty Malware distributors will try and nab us as well. Yet still, we'd have to provide the password for any action, so if the password is asked of out of the blue, don't give it. Plus don't engage with opening known spam emails on Linux, thinking there'll be no harm in doing so. The same rules of responsible computing that applies to any other OS also does with a Linux one.

 

In closing, will leave you with a decade old Linux guide, yet still holds a lot of truth today, which helped me get through some rough times in the early days. :)

 

http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

 

Good Luck in your Linux journey, someday you'll be an 'elder' also. :thumbsup:

 

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#12 rp88

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 02:56 PM

Linux (providing you stick to common distros with a GUI and with the main tools built-in) isn't too hard to learn, rather the trickiest bit is picking up the courage to try. That first step of booting your PC in a way you never have before (from a CD or USB where most users just have an OS pre-installed and boot from the hard-drive) is a little bit scary, but once you're logged in the common distros are very similar to windows (xp/7) with just the odd subtle change to the GUI, in many ways infact linux can be ready to use quicker from a fresh install than windows can. The harder bit with linux is learning what the equivalents are for all the things you took for granted in windows (for example task manager, you can set up keyboard shortcuts so ctrl+alt+del will open the "mate-system-monitor" but before you do that this same key combination will shut the PC down), almost everything you did with windows you'll be able to do in linux quite easily but you'll take a while of suddenly realising you need to do something yu used to do on windows and not knowing the linux way to get to it.
Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#13 Hareen

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 12:09 AM

Thank you, everyone, for your replies.
Was away looking after sister's engagement function. Now that I am back.
 
For now, I will be going at Linux Mint for a while for full installation. I already ran it live. Will switch to others experimenting on each for a fortnight.
 
@MadmanRB
 
You suggested cinnamon." Linux mint 18 Cinnamon edition 64bit." to be precise. But are you referring the latest 18.2 Sonya or the 18 Sarah??
I have downloaded the Sarah version(as of now) live on it.
 
@Rocky Bennet
 
Yes, the interface is very near to Windows. So hoping the transition to be easier.
 
@heyyou325
 
Yup, I am planning to go live using USB on my windows PC first. Then installing perhaps on the secondary laptop.
 
Also "cheesemaker thread" where is this?
 
@Gary R
 
Gone through the link, found some names and purposes interesting. Though I am not interested in anything illegal, except maybe torrents and sites :P.
 
@rp88
 
I will go through the MATE variant soon. LEt me learn how to walk in Linux before attempting in running and swimming :P.
 
@Mike_Walsh
 
You gave me a surprise in this matter as a fact :P
 
You being a puppy 'nut' as you said. I actually looked a specific puppy to try on from you.
But as you said I will stay spend some time with Mint, then go for some puppy which you will suggest.
 
@ChirunolceFairy
 
Afce edition will be tried soon. So I have got 3 Mint flavours to try. As I am on Cinnamon now I will get to Xfce soon. Every suggestion is a help and guide.
 
@The-Toolman
 
I am not exactly sure about peppermint though. The reason of mine is too childish though. Its bit pinkish in colour. :P .
I will try a live version though.
Are there many flavours of peppermint? If yes which version and flavour do you suggest? Seeing you have got two systems running on peppermint.
 
@pcpunk
 
Looking I have got some strong MATE following as well. This will be the next flavour I will be trying for though.
 
@cat1092
 
I hope the firewall option you provided works for all the flavours. I will be trying MATE by the next fortnight. I have also printed your Linux guide for ready reference :D
 
@rp88
 
I am well accustomed to booting the devices from USB at least from a decade :P
I will keep in mind regarding the shortcuts. Being a major windows user my hand automatically goes to Ctrl+alt+del whenever there is an issue.


#14 cat1092

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 06:05 AM

Hareen, if you desire to perform an in-place upgrade to Linux Mint 18.2, it's much easier than say Windows & never once have I had troubles updating, although I always allow 2-3 weeks pass for any minor bugs to be worked out. Depending on CPU power, RAM amount, whether you have a HDD or SSD installed and finally, ISP speed, the upgrade can take as little as 5 to 20 minutes, with less than 10 being the norm for me. :)

 

The control for upgrade is actually in the Update Manager, if my memory serves correct, click the View tab & 18.2 will be offered. Note that unlike Windows, there's not a bunch of garbage left behind, Linux does an excellent job of tidying behind itself. In fact, so well that fragmentation is a non-issue, therefore no need to defrag. 

 

One more piece of advice, do not run cleaners on your OS, examples are BleachBit & Computer Janitor, these can hose your OS in a split second. While there are a few temp files left behind, doesn't amount to a lot, and likely needed by one or more processes. The best way to keep your system clean is by clearing the browser cache at least weekly (more so if running a SSD), the system will take care of the rest. :)

 

While depending on setup, there may need to be minor tweaks made, usually nothing major at first, learn your way around & over time, you'll gain the skills you need not only for yourself, also to assist others who desires to make the leap as support for Windows 7 & 8.1 winds down & doesn't want to go with the ever buggy Windows 10 releases. The only reason why I run Windows are to assist others, can live w/out the problems, lots less maintenance with Linux compared to Windows (can't speak for Mac & Chromebook users). Although both of the latter mentioned are somewhat related to the Linux family, Chromebook OS's closer than Mac, although neither at this time are as secure, both has had their share of rounds of infections. 

 

Take a peek in the security section, in particular in the 'Am I Infected' line, and see just how many Linux users are standing. My guess would be zero normally, however every now & then some thinks their OS may be infected when there's other issues to be addressed instead. Hopefully you've enabled the ufw Firewall as shown in my post above, and to take things a step further, read the manual of your router, if lost can be found online. Log in as instructed, using a computer connected by an Ethernet cable, and change name of network if default, all default passwords, to include Administrator, disable remote Administration & UP&P & enable the NAT Firewall if not already done. Security begins with the network connection, not that of the computer, although the ufw Firewall helps a lot, especially when in public. 

 

Speaking of security & patching the OS, note that instead of one huge update per month, we may have a few small ones per week. Many are security related, and unlike waiting 3-4 weeks to be shipped, if a threat or backdoor is identified, the distros puts their differences to the side & releases a fix, usually within 24-72 hours after the issue was discovered.

 

Whenever you have a question, no matter how slight or large, feel free to create a new Topic at any time as necessary, we're here for you & if we don't have the answer, will do our best to find it. That's a common rookie mistake, not asking for assistance when needed the most, then turns around & bad mouths Linux when there was likely an easy solution. Yes there's a learning curve, yet it can be overcame by hanging in there and not being too shy (or too proud) to ask for a helping hand when needed the most. Every last one of us has been where you are at this very moment & likewise, none of us knows it all, that's why we solve issues as a community. :)

 

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#15 ChirunoIceFairy

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 08:15 AM

Quick note, MacOS is based on BSD not Linux and is actually has a stronger POSIX compliance than the Linux kernel.






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