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Old 04-03-2012, 06:35 AM   #1
phildistro
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Best Distro for (ex) Windows users


What in your opinion is the most user friendly distro for an ex (or soon to be) Windows user?
 
Old 04-03-2012, 06:39 AM   #2
acid_kewpie
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As you're apparently already using it, ubuntu is fine. Stick with that.
 
Old 04-03-2012, 06:55 AM   #3
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One of the user friendly distros, like PCLinuxOS, Mint or Mepis. I think it comes more down to which desktop environment (DE) resembles Windows the most. If you want to have a Windows like interface go for KDE or LXDE (XP and older), Gnome 3 and Unity are more like MacOS X, ... .
It is most likely the best way to just try them out and see which one you like.
 
Old 04-03-2012, 07:01 AM   #4
phildistro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acid_kewpie View Post
As you're apparently already using it, ubuntu is fine. Stick with that.
Well the question was on behalf of my brother who is currently using Windows xp pro on his old panasonic notebook (around 5-6 yrs old). I am also a newcomer to Linux and initially I opted for using Ubuntu 11.04 with the (rightfully IMO) maligned Unity interface, I went with Ubuntu simply because it was the most popular flavour at the time. Now I am using the Ubuntu based Linux Mint 12 distro with gnome interface and quite happy with it. From your comment it seems a Ubuntu based distro is a good choice in any case. Thanks for the feedback.
 
Old 04-03-2012, 07:07 AM   #5
phildistro
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Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
One of the user friendly distros, like PCLinuxOS, Mint or Mepis. I think it comes more down to which desktop environment (DE) resembles Windows the most. If you want to have a Windows like interface go for KDE or LXDE (XP and older), Gnome 3 and Unity are more like MacOS X, ... .
It is most likely the best way to just try them out and see which one you like.
Glad you mentioned Mint as a contender as I am using that - I am a former msoft windows user myself and my brother is now asking me which distro is best for a windows user (he is using windows xp pro). I have only used 2 distros so far ie Ubuntu 11.04 and now Linux Mint 12 (Lisa) so I had only that limited experience to advise from but from the two responses I got so far it seems Ubuntu based distros is not a bad choice after all.
 
Old 04-03-2012, 07:40 AM   #6
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Keep in mind that Mint 12 or Mint 12 KDE may be to heavy for an older notebook. What are the hardware specs of that machine (especially CPU and RAM)?
 
Old 04-03-2012, 07:42 AM   #7
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IMO *buntu 'non-LTS' releases are NOT suitable for a lot of 'I'm not a I.T. expert' windows refugees. The release cycle is too short.

Ubuntu releases are named after the year/month of release. 11.04 is from april 2011. 'LTS' versions are even years, every 2nd year (8.04, 10.04 and 12.04 will be a LTS as well). Normal releases have 18 months of support. LTS versions had 3 years support up to 10.04. Server suport was 5 years, but no windows refugee wants to run a system from a comamnd line.

18 months maximum then you must either upgrade (has been know to cause problems), install a fresh version (probably beyond the 'I'm not an expert' crowd) or use an unsupported version (no secuity updates, repos shut down so you cant get new software easily). Linux mint versions based on *buntu have the same short lifespan problem. Mint 12 is only supported to april 2013.

Just to make life more difficult, 12.04 is supposed to be getting 5 years suport for desktop use, but only the ubuntu (unity) release. Xfce, Lxde KDE and (possiby, havent checked) gnome 3 might end up having a support dropped earlier.

If you do want to run a *buntu, IMO the best way is to install LTS versions, then upgrade to the newer LTS version 3-9months after it is released...giving ubuntu a chance to clean up some of the bugs and upgrade issues. Or use a mint version based on a ubuntu LTS version.

I'd be more likely to setup/recommend mepis, debian or antix over ubuntu or ubuntu based distros, depending on the hardware its going to be installed on and the user.
 
Old 04-03-2012, 08:03 AM   #8
acid_kewpie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
IMO *buntu 'non-LTS' releases are NOT suitable for a lot of 'I'm not a I.T. expert' windows refugees. The release cycle is too short.

Ubuntu releases are named after the year/month of release. 11.04 is from april 2011. 'LTS' versions are even years, every 2nd year (8.04, 10.04 and 12.04 will be a LTS as well). Normal releases have 18 months of support. LTS versions had 3 years support up to 10.04. Server suport was 5 years, but no windows refugee wants to run a system from a comamnd line.

18 months maximum then you must either upgrade (has been know to cause problems), install a fresh version (probably beyond the 'I'm not an expert' crowd) or use an unsupported version (no secuity updates, repos shut down so you cant get new software easily). Linux mint versions based on *buntu have the same short lifespan problem. Mint 12 is only supported to april 2013.

Just to make life more difficult, 12.04 is supposed to be getting 5 years suport for desktop use, but only the ubuntu (unity) release. Xfce, Lxde KDE and (possiby, havent checked) gnome 3 might end up having a support dropped earlier.

If you do want to run a *buntu, IMO the best way is to install LTS versions, then upgrade to the newer LTS version 3-9months after it is released...giving ubuntu a chance to clean up some of the bugs and upgrade issues. Or use a mint version based on a ubuntu LTS version.

I'd be more likely to setup/recommend mepis, debian or antix over ubuntu or ubuntu based distros, depending on the hardware its going to be installed on and the user.
My take on this, is that whilst it's a valid discussion, many new users benefit significantly from NOT having this discussion brought to them and just getting on with it.
 
Old 04-03-2012, 08:10 AM   #9
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Hi,

what about somewhere mentioned Zorin OS ("It is based on Ubuntu").

Best regards.
 
Old 04-03-2012, 08:42 AM   #10
acid_kewpie
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Quote:
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Hi,

what about somewhere mentioned Zorin OS ("It is based on Ubuntu").

Best regards.
I think that's a really bad thing to suggest to a new user. death by irrelevant choice.
 
Old 04-03-2012, 09:05 AM   #11
phildistro
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Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
Keep in mind that Mint 12 or Mint 12 KDE may be to heavy for an older notebook. What are the hardware specs of that machine (especially CPU and RAM)?
It has 2gb ram and an intel dual core processor not sure of exact model but it is pre the "i" series.
 
Old 04-03-2012, 09:10 AM   #12
phildistro
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Originally Posted by lithos View Post
Hi,

what about somewhere mentioned Zorin OS ("It is based on Ubuntu").

Best regards.
Not heard of that distro before now - I might test drive that myself but for my brother I am now inclined to recomend Mint(Lisa) which I use myself as it is ubuntu based and others seem to think it is a pretty good choice.
 
Old 04-03-2012, 09:25 AM   #13
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phildistro View Post
It has 2gb ram and an intel dual core processor not sure of exact model but it is pre the "i" series.
Sufficient for running any distro with any desktop environment, so Linux Mint may be your best choice, especially since you are using it, too, so it is easier for you to help.
 
Old 04-03-2012, 09:26 AM   #14
phildistro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lithos View Post
Hi,

what about somewhere mentioned Zorin OS ("It is based on Ubuntu").

Best regards.
Just had a look at the zorin website and took the quick tour - was v. impressed - am now considering trying it for my brother because of it's ability to mimic the windows interface and the clear help instructions provided. Will try out a live version myself first to see if it works as promised then will give it a go with my brother who is very "unsavvy" with IT gernerally so the more of a no-brainer it is the better for him
 
Old 04-03-2012, 09:29 AM   #15
phildistro
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Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
Sufficient for running any distro with any desktop environment, so Linux Mint may be your best choice, especially since you are using it, too, so it is easier for you to help.
Yes it is now a toss up between linux mint and the new zorin distro which another user just told me about. Thanks for your and others help feedback - it has been very helpful
 
  


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