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Hello, another newbie here. I've looked at the "similar threads" section, but am aware things change regularly, so am asking that question again. We're not geeks at all, just self employed musicians who want a Non Microsoft system to run our office, social stuff, "Mozart" & "Abc" music notation, and graphics type things. Not games. And hopefully live in a virus-free environment!
We don't plan to re-write Linux, we're hoping for an "out of the box" type thing, in the same way we happily drive the car without knowing how it all works.
We're already using Mozilla for emails and web, happy to use Open Office, but fairly bewildered by the choice of Distros for the Linux system.
One friend says "Mint", another says it won't run all we want. One says "Ubuntu", or "Xubuntu", another says Ubuntu's a pain to learn now they've made it more complex. I read the advice to try a few before settling, but want something we can reasonably succeed at rather than getting discouraged early on.
Because the computer needs a rebuild, we're planning on ditching Windows at the same time to save money, so won't have that to fall back on.
Any help more than gratefully received! Thanks.
Location: Through Death's Door on Washington Island, Wisconsin in Lake Michigan
A newbie too here, on Fedora for a week Saturday past after Windozing for thirty years. Make sure your hardware and its drivers are supported. My latpop is about five years old, and when I bought it I specified the builder's certified linux box parts but with that Other System for the productivity I needed.
Thanks for all these very helpful replies. The day job means I'll not get time to follow through for a day or two, but you've instantly given me useful pointers, and more homework too!
TO be honest I'm really impressed by how fast you got back - I was thinking that by later in the week there might be something to look at
I hadn't heard of Crossover - this looks interesting. I'd heard of something called "Wine" which I gather can help Mozart, though can't pretend to understand how it does it. Like I said, once a computer works, I'm inclined to let it get on with it by itself.
As a long time fedora user and using different Linux operating systems for 99.99% of my computer usage since 2004
I would NOT recommend fedora for " running a office" or a "new to Linux person"
it has only a 13 month life span
and you really DO need to do a new clean reinstall every 6 months
fedora releases a new version every 6 months
one that is often so new that a lot of programs will not yet work on it
-- not without hacking source code .
Basically it is a Research and Development" testing distro
if you do want to learn how to hack source and a operating system
and learn the in's and outs of a computer operating system
and LIKE to fix things when they do not work
then fedora ? might? be a good choice
A lot of people like Linux Mint 14 as a " "new to Linux" OS
They do try to make things very easy for new users
for a "office" the non free "SUSE Enterprise Linux Desktop (SELD) 11" is a good choice
but it is not free
"OpenSUSE 12.2" -- FREE but only 18 months of support and NOT the years of support like "SELD 11"
But opensuse dose offer a lot of options
and it rather good for new linux users
Mint would be a good choice, as they try to make their layout as friendly and familiar as possible to users coming from Windows. I have it on one machine and rather like it, though Slackware is my primary distro for getting things done and Debian is my second favorite.
There are many good choices out there. One thing you could to is pick your favorite candidates, burn the Live CD versions, and boot to the different versions to see which one seems most attractive to you for a first extended date with Linux.
Then, after you make a choice, stick with it for several months. If you ultimately decide to try something else, that will give you a chance to get a feel for how Linux works before venturing onward.
Distribution: OpenSUSE 13.2 64bit-Gnome on ASUS U52F
Yeah. Opensuse might be a good choice here, luckily for them the 12.3 release is just two days away and I would probably suggest the KDE edition for them.
Sure Linux Mint is meant to be for new users. I have never used Mint at all but I heard when a new version is released the only way to upgrade is doing a fresh install, I find that to be an inconvenience.
Same goes for Fedora, and being honest and with all my respect to the community of developers I don't even consider Fedora to be a serious distro, I think is more of an experiment not meant to be use in real world scenarios but only good for testing.
So I stick with my suggestion of OpenSuse either 12.2 or 12.3. Opensuse was made from the beginning to be use in the enterprise environment, so it is good for offices and home users, YasT made things easier for people with little experience and their repositories have software for lot of things. With Opensuse remember to install the Codecs for media files after installation you can do a google search to find them. http://www.opensuse.org/en/
If you would preffer a Debian base distro and since some of your friends already suggested you Ubuntu I would say go with Ubuntu Studio. Remember upgrade your applications during installation and also install the Codecs for media files during installation http://ubuntustudio.org/
You want a distro that's easy to learn and aimed at professional users rather than home users. Unlike Windows and OS X, you get to choose a user interface and that is often the make-or-break feature.
OpenSUSE is the basis for the commercial SUSE Enterprise Linux. The quality is good, but the GUI (KDE desktop) does demand a reasonably modern computer (not as greedy as Windows 8, though). It has new versions in alternate years.
Debian Stable (new version coming out this year) is very reliable and has a huge collection of software. The installation demands some care (reading the instructions is always a good idea) but you only have to do it once. The GUI is the Gnome desktop, pleasant and flexible, and not so demanding as KDE — it will keep that old P4, 512MB machine running. It too comes out in alternate years.
CentOS, which I use, is an enterprise Linux (a free version of the famous Red Hat) but not perhaps the best place to start, as the software repository is very small.
As someone who uses both sets of systems fairly intensively for many years, I can offer insight into trying to transition from one to the other. First, ignore the advice of hardcore users and fanboys who have an agenda to promote with their choice distro. You need a stable, well-supported distribution that will not have a steep learning curve. Mint with the MATE desktop would be a good choice. Ubuntu with KDE (Kubuntu) would also be a good choice. There are also specialized versions of Ubuntu aimed at music and graphic production, but with Linux you can load any software you want any time, so I'm not really a fan of specialized versions. If you're lookig for just plain ease of use, a large user base, quick updates and plenty of support, then you really can't go wrong with one of the Ubuntu derivatives like Mint or Kubuntu. You mention running Windows software though. While it MAY be possible to run these programs under Wine, it would be better to learn a native Linux program and not have to worry about whether it will work or not. Wine is not a catch-all solution for running Windows software, far from it. Most recent stuff just doesn't work. Programs like MuseScore and Rosegarden may or may not do what you need...you'll have to experiment.
Bear in mind that Linux is not Windows, and a lot of things are going to be different. The file system tree is different, there are no drive letters, and it may take some getting used to.
Last edited by guyonearth; 03-12-2013 at 02:04 PM.
Thanks - that's useful and clear, and food for thought too! I'm already finding Opensource programs which do most of what I want and say they'll work on Linux. Apparently Mozart, for music writing, runs fine with WINE... not that I yet have a clue how to work it, install it, but that'll be the another stage!