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Old 04-18-2008, 02:21 AM   #1
Azmandius
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Choosing a really productive “Lindows”


Hello,
I am looking for a dummy-proof, very user-friendly, windows-like Linux distribution.
Users that are real beginners even in using windows have to switch to Linux, so I was wondering what is the best distro for a beginner user that comes from Windows Camp, regardless of computer specification requirements.
I actually doubt a “Lindows” like that exist, as most of Linux distros are made by people for people that “feel bad” about Microsoft and Windows, but after all there are many distros, and who knows?
Thanks a lot.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 03:14 AM   #2
b0uncer
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I think you're wrong thinking that "most of Linux distros are made by people for people that “feel bad” about Microsoft and Windows"; or at least I hope you're wrong. It's just that it's not the only operating system on this ball.

Many, if not all of the "major" distributions - those you'll see as the list-tops at sites like DistroWatch - at least try to be the bullet-proof easy-to-use Windows replacements, among a few other things. I'd vote for either Ubuntu or Fedora - if you feel the KDE (3.5 version -- 4.0 is still not usable enough) desktop is more "Windows-stylish" or "easy for Windows-comers", you might just as well switch that to Fedora, or use Kubuntu (Ubuntu's KDE "version"). There are very little differences though; I'd say if the people you're referring to know how to use Windows (to some extent, at least - know what directories or folders are, how they differ from "ordinary" files, how to launch Word from the menu, things like that), they'll learn how to use Linux (provided that you choose a desktop environment that is close enough to what they're used to - practically either Gnome or KDE) in no time. Most things work exactly or very close to how they work in any other OS - you hav ewindows, you can resize them from the corners, close by clicking on the button at the corner, open menus with mouse, ...

Visit DistroWatch and see what they have to offer. Any "big" distribution should do.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 04:49 AM   #3
salasi
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Note that you can configure KDE and Gnome to have a windows-like look to them. While I'm not really convinced that this is a good thing, overall, if the problem is that users freak when they see something unlike windows then this can be a useful step.

Note also that in an "enterprise environment" and some others, users expect to just sit down at their computer and have stuff work; in that case, a lot depends on the quality of the background work done by the IT specialists in preparing the system and the infrastructure - this applies to both Windows and Linux, but you can't expect that just because you have given them Linux, "dumb (l)Users" suddenly become IT mavens.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 05:02 AM   #4
pixellany
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Old saying: "If you try to make something "dummy-proof", you'll always find a dummy that can mess it up." I think the only computer that might have a chance at this ignoble goal would be one in which the OS and all applications were in ROM. It would then be a special-purpose appliance, and not a general-purpose computer.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 09:24 AM   #5
teddyt
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Just a warning: there's no such thing as a drop-in replacement for Windows. If you want to run Windows, there is a monopoly supplier of what you want.

Mint, PCLinuxOS, Mandriva, Ubuntu, and Mepis are all newbie-friendly. However, if you are not willing to put up with some annoyances, read documentation, and post to forums, you will be frustrated and end up putting your tail between your legs and running back to Windows. Not trying to discourage you, just trying to give you full information. Linux is designed to do things correctly, not to provide a $0 Windows clone.

You might be interested in VMWare or Virtualbox. You install one of those programs and then install Linux inside of that. That way you do not mess with your hard drive at all.

Another option is Wubi: http://wubi-installer.org/
The advantage of Wubi is that you get the speed of a hard drive install but do not have to touch your existing Windows partitions. You can uninstall Linux using Add/Remove Programs.

Then there is also andLinux: http://www.andlinux.org/
This allows you to run Ubuntu inside Windows.

Finally, there is always the good old-fashioned live CD. Most of the big name distros offer them. They're the slowest and least configurable option, but the easiest: just put the CD in the drive and turn on the computer.

These options all allow you to try Linux without damaging your current Windows installation.

Last edited by teddyt; 04-18-2008 at 09:25 AM.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 05:27 PM   #6
IsaacKuo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azmandius View Post
I actually doubt a “Lindows” like that exist,
Lindows does exist. However, they were sued by Microsoft and changed the name to "Linspire". It's a commercial product based on Debian with...hmm..."mixed" reviews.

Another commercial product which claims excellent Windows interoperability is Xandros (also Debian based). However, as the interoperability of other distributions of Linux has improved, that's no longer really a selling point for Xandros.

If you don't know what version of Linux to try, just do what everyone else does and try Ubuntu first. It's a fork from Debian, but much more popular especially with newbies.

Quote:
as most of Linux distros are made by people for people that “feel bad” about Microsoft and Windows, but after all there are many distros, and who knows?
No, I don't think there are any Linux distributions which fall under that category.

The people who "feel bad" about Microsoft and Windows are mostly Windows users who have ongoing struggles with their MS Windows computer(s) but feel they have no choice but to put up with it. In contrast, most Linux users aren't frustrated by Microsoft Windows because we don't feel trapped by it. Even those of us who still use Microsoft Windows all the time feel better about MS Windows, because whenever we get too frustrated with it we can just take a break and use Linux for a while instead.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 06:46 PM   #7
ehawk
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A promising future possibility:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReactOS

If you are willing to pay and want it now:

http://www.xandros.com/
 
Old 04-19-2008, 06:04 PM   #8
AceofSpades19
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I think you should read this http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
 
Old 04-21-2008, 02:20 AM   #9
Azmandius
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I must admit, you guy gave a complete information here. No questions anymore.
Thank you all.
 
Old 04-21-2008, 03:30 AM   #10
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
Old saying: "If you try to make something "dummy-proof", you'll always find a dummy that can mess it up."
I prefer the version "I made it idiot proof, and then they invented a better idiot", but its a point well made.

Quote:
I think the only computer that might have a chance at this ignoble goal would be one in which the OS and all applications were in ROM. It would then be a special-purpose appliance, and not a general-purpose computer.
If you are prepared to use a client-server approach (thin clients on the desktop, with a server doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes) you can, amongst other things, lock things down so that users don't get too much opportunity to mess things up. (But don't try to do this at home, unless you have appropriate experince.)

The trouble is that any attempt to deprive the users of configuration options, deprives the users of configuration options. They then are unsatisfied (I would be) that they can't get the system configured how they want. On the other hand, the IT department tends to be happy because they don't have to spend all their time sorting out stuff that users have screwed up.

You pays your money and you takes your choice. or, in the case of some suppliers "You pays your money and you get shafted". Well, until the new version comes out and then you have to pay again to get shafted in a different way.

(Must remember to turn off my bad attitude some time.)

Quote:
Mint, PCLinuxOS, Mandriva, Ubuntu, and Mepis are all newbie-friendly. However, if you are not willing to put up with some annoyances, read documentation, and post to forums, you will be frustrated and end up putting your tail between your legs and running back to Windows. Not trying to discourage you, just trying to give you full information. Linux is designed to do things correctly, not to provide a $0 Windows clone.
I couldn't agree more with that; I could add a couple of distros to the list of ones that might be good for a new user, depending on what IT support you have, but that paragraph is a great one paragraph summary.

The Guis for linux have got a lot better over the last 5+ years, and in some respects a user can sit down at a linux system and maybe even not realise at first. But that's not the real game; the real game is to have a system which is good in its own terms, not be some kind of functional copy of Windows, or Mac for that matter.
 
Old 04-22-2008, 03:07 AM   #11
IndyGunFreak
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YMMV of course, but I have to 2nd everything in teddyt's post.

Also, just personal experience, every distribution that I've tried, that tried to mimic Windows, done so with great success. It was glitchy, slow, and generally crash prone.

IGF
 
Old 05-10-2008, 02:13 AM   #12
optic64
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I switch my mom to Ubuntu she like it. I told her to report any problems and comments to me.
So far she only reported the following

1) The internet is faster and computer overall (Was the goal she didn't want to spend money for a new one yet)
2) Scanner button to scan straight to the computer don't work. (She said she could live with it)
3) X Sane was intimidating with all its abilities but she caught on(I ask her teach me)
4) She couldn't resize pictures at 1st by right clicking on them thanks to linuxquestions.org I found forms for picture resizing and some website and created a resizing right click menu option for her.


Unresolved problems (I should get some forms posted for help for these)
Power Website builder slows down and freeze her computer (its a necessary tool i hate it but don't have time to code a web page she don't have time to learn html & css, I think its a java based tool)
Web page looks funny in Firefox and worse on Ubuntu and Firefox. (she needs it to view her web page I blame the power builder but it don't matter I just need to fix it.)

Why the switch
She needs to be productive and so do I.
I can remote into it and fix it. (remote into her box once to add a feature)

She has no prior knowledge of computers she just wants to email, run a small website, and search the internet.

I would say know the user, make sure all their toys work well or livable with the distro you pick. Find good support and be good support. VM's give a new way of support I run Slackware with Ubuntu in a VM to help be supportive to Ubuntu question.

No more reloads because of spyware.
No more money being wasted on fake av.

Let the user decide if they like it
For my moms computer is the 1st step am going to keep converting people over.
Being a tech I want to extend my knowledge on computers and not being a spyware janitor.
 
Old 05-10-2008, 08:25 PM   #13
lectraplayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post

No, I don't think there are any Linux distributions which fall under that category.

The people who "feel bad" about Microsoft and Windows are mostly Windows users who have ongoing struggles with their MS Windows computer(s) but feel they have no choice but to put up with it. In contrast, most Linux users aren't frustrated by Microsoft Windows because we don't feel trapped by it. Even those of us who still use Microsoft Windows all the time feel better about MS Windows, because whenever we get too frustrated with it we can just take a break and use Linux for a while instead.
Actually there is one--Mac OS X
 
Old 05-11-2008, 12:56 PM   #14
jumico
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If they're new to windows then it shouldn't need to be windows like. For someone never exposed to an os, windows ui isn't actually better then ones on linux.
 
Old 05-11-2008, 04:52 PM   #15
lectraplayer
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While opinions differ radically on what UI is best (which actually is a major advantage for Linux, you can have nearly any UI you want from the radically simple to the extremely complex with all the bells and whistles and ultimate customization), I personally like KDE better than any other I've come across. Fluxbox is also a favorite of mine.
 
  


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