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syncBQ 11-19-2012 02:40 PM

your feedback is needed :)
 
Hi guys,

I am trying to install a linux distro to my father who doesn't know English at all on an a core2duo at 2ghz pc with 2gb ram with eth/sound/video integrated.

He will gonna use it as his main desktop: browse web, use skype, listen to music and watching movies. The linux distro should be friendly enough for a beginner (even if my father is running linux for the past 3-4 years he is still a beginner as he refuses to learn it :).

He started with Ubuntu (which he liked), a LTS version (forgot the version) until it stopped working due to him trying to upgrade it. When I reinstall it we ended up with unity and at that time he didn't like it.

Now is running openSuse , 12 I think; installed last year and he complaining his computer is very slow :).

Now I do not have any idea what distro to install. What do you guys recommend me?
In the last resort I can even install a slackware or debian and call him to power-up his pc in order to remotely upgrade it but that is the last option.

Best Regards,
Mike

goossen 11-19-2012 04:03 PM

I don't know what language UI are you looking for; but according to my experience the best "beginner's" distros are Pinguy OS and Linux Mint.

I worked several years on from Win to Linux conversions and the mentioned distros proved to be the most trouble free for the end users users (and therefore for support guys). Rated by easiness to use, frequency of crashes/stop working, user friendliness and good use of hardware resources.

syncBQ 11-20-2012 03:43 AM

Really appreciate your input goossen. Thanks!

I'll use both and let him decide which he likes more.

On the UI, I think gnome and kde are very well translated in many languages but, I just checked xfce and I was very pleased to see that it too is very well translated.

Thanks again for your input.

--Mike

jv2112 11-20-2012 09:04 PM

Manjaro has a nice Lxde and Xfce versions and is focussed on a trouble free User experience. This may help with the performance concern.

TForsman 11-21-2012 01:57 AM

If he liked old Gnome2, i think Foresight Linux is the only dist today that actually use gnome2 and has updated applications.
Like Firefox 16.0.2, Chromium 23, skype 4.1.0.20, kernel 3.2.34 and so on.

Got gnome2, xfce (latest), lxde (latest) to install afterwards. Gnome2 and xfce iso are available.

syncBQ 11-21-2012 05:49 AM

@jv2112: thanks for your input about Manjaro

@TForsman: thank you too for pointing out about Foresight Linux. Oh, and welcome to LQ (as I see it's your first post :).


I'll have a busy weekend installing all those distros :). Thanks guys. Really appreciate your posts.

--Mike

EDIT
I have tested Manjaro and Foresight Linux in VirtualBox

My conclusion so far:
1. Manjaro LXDE edition
- rolling distro (based on arch) that means never install it again. The only concern is if developers will push some packages that damage the system.
- user graphical interface for pacman. Using it to update the system and install XFCE.
- good localization.
- for anyone reading this post: iso is a live cd that has an icon that will install the system the same as is/was in ubuntu. installer is text mode. this is not a problem as I will install the system but a beginner on its own maybe will need some help or read some docs. anyway installation is easy, stright forwarding.
- clean and fast

2. Foresight Linux XFCE edition
- rolling distro based on rPath
- booting the cd presented me with a graphical install that reminded me of old Red Hat :)
- easy stright forwarding installation. for a first time begginer maybe he/she need to read some docs before attempting this.
- after install I was amazed to see that even the "dmesg" output from the begining is localized.
- old version of packets after install.
- conary is the install tool but used only from shell. after installation of 119 pachets everything was ok.
- clean and fast


Conclusion after experimenting with those 2 distro:
If I am to choose one that will be Manjaro because of the graphical update tool. My father as I explained is a beginner: if he will want to update the distro it will be very hard for him from a command line that he doesn't understand.

I still need to run Pinguy OS and Mint. Pinguy OS website was down yesterday and coudn't take the iso images. Mint I'm leaving it last.

k3lt01 11-21-2012 11:59 AM

If you want it to be familiar just install Ubuntu 10.04 with backports enabled, Debian 6 (Squeeze) with bakports enabled, Debian 7 (Wheezy which is current in testing freeze) with MATE (Romanian is 96% translated). That will be familiar and you can get the GUIs to install and update with no command line required.

syncBQ 11-21-2012 02:48 PM

Hi k3lt01,

I considered Debian in my 1st post but left it as last resort thinking that my father can run into some situation which will require my intervention. I'm trying to make my life easy also :).

But now, after reading your post, you put me into think: what can go wrong? Debian is easy to use once it's installed and configured. I can replace wheezy with testing in source.list and run it like this for a long time. He will be overwhelmed by updates but this can be considered minor concern. Hmm, for sure my father will try to update by himself and not knowing what he is doing so I can disregard the unattended update aspect and I can put wajig to run in cron for example. Kernel and bootloader updates may be problematic but from what I know in Debian, user doesn't need to do anything special right?

What is your opinion about "what can go wrong" ?

Thank you very much for opening my mind :).

Best Regards,
Mike

k3lt01 11-21-2012 04:33 PM

I'd actually leave it pointing to wheezy instead of testing. Wheezy is in freeze now and that means once it becomes stable you will have an absolutely rock solid system. If you really want to keep things up to date (Banshee, Iceweasel, etc) then put Debian backports into the sources.list as well.

Whats my opinion of what can go wrong? If you stick with testing then alot can go wrong. For a short time I used LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) which was based on Debian Testing. Many LMDE fanboys said it was the most stable thing they had ever used, I warned them that Squeeze was in freeze at that time and after it become stable there would be a flood of updates come through and many systems would break. I was, to put it politely, told I was a fear monger. Some guy installed LMDE on all the PCs in a nursing home and said he was confident everything would be ok. About 6 months after Wheezy become Testing Linux Mint changed how they updated LMDE. Instead of letting users update via Debian repositories as Debian released updates Linux Mint released update packs containing only Linux Mint approved updates. They did this because there were a few LMDE users who couldn't handle the transition from a testing freeze to a testing update flood.

syncBQ 11-21-2012 05:31 PM

You have a point here. Thanks for sharing your story.

When I said what can go wrong I was thinking from my father point of view: can a beginner using the system normally (not hacking his own OS) have any problems if everything is installed and configured? I'm thinking NO, but I welcome any input.

TForsman 11-21-2012 05:37 PM

If it's always ends up with you that helps your father all the time, then dig little deeper into foresight sometime :)

clone the system from 2 computers or keep a backup of all applications:
http://www.foresightlinux.se/wiki-en...eral_computers

Same file contains all applications you installed after a pure installation. You can easily open the file and delete the lines of applications to get rid of the program and the dependencies from it.

just my 5 cents :)

---------- Post added 11-22-12 at 12:37 AM ----------

If it's always ends up with you that helps your father all the time, then dig little deeper into foresight sometime :)

clone the system from 2 computers or keep a backup of all applications:
http://www.foresightlinux.se/wiki-en...eral_computers

Same file contains all applications you installed after a pure installation. You can easily open the file and delete the lines of applications to get rid of the program and the dependencies from it.

just my 5 cents :)

k3lt01 11-21-2012 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by syncBQ (Post 4834379)
You have a point here. Thanks for sharing your story.

When I said what can go wrong I was thinking from my father point of view: can a beginner using the system normally (not hacking his own OS) have any problems if everything is installed and configured? I'm thinking NO, but I welcome any input.

This is just my personal opinion but I'm pretty confident Wheezy is nearly beginner proof as long as the beginner doesn't go playing with things after it is set up.


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