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Old 01-07-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
jbrew
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Question Family Friendly Linux Version


What will be a good one for me and my 10 year old to use? Looking to start out with a GUI, but also using command line. My child is interested in learning how a computer works, aside from just pointing and clicking.
 
Old 01-07-2012, 03:12 PM   #2
corp769
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Hello,

I personally recommend Ubuntu, but the final decision is up to you. I do, however, highly suggest that you head over to distrowatch.com and check out all of the available distros.

Cheers,

Josh
 
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:34 PM   #3
jbrew
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Thank You, will look over there.
 
Old 01-07-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
corp769
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No problem, and thanks for the rep!

Cheers,

Josh
 
Old 01-07-2012, 03:36 PM   #5
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrew View Post
What will be a good one for me and my 10 year old to use?
So far, that's anything that beginner-friendly...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrew View Post
Looking to start out with a GUI, but also using command line.
Almost anything that I can think of allows you to use the command line (good idea, by the way), so it really doesn't narrow things down much.

Simple use of bash commands and scripting (Bash scripts and, eg, Python) are a good place to get going, but they really still don't eliminate any mainstream distros. So all of the usual suspects (Ubuntus, Mint, Mepis...) are valid choices.

I'm sure someone will come along and suggest one of the 'harder' distros (Slackware, maybe Gentoo, Arch), but I think that is trying to run before you can walk. It may be that something like Slackware has a fundamental simplicity that allows you to understand it more easily than distros with more 'frilly bits', and that may well be a valid place to go after your initial experience, but it really sounds to me as if a little time on the 'nursery slopes' will time be well spent.
 
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:43 PM   #6
nonamedotc
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This link would give you some idea (page is the one referred to by the poster above) ...
http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major
 
Old 01-07-2012, 04:49 PM   #7
jbrew
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Just downloaded Ubuntu to my pendrive. Thanks. Certain I will be back asking more questions. Getting ready to load it up and try it out.
 
Old 01-07-2012, 06:29 PM   #8
k3lt01
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I'd recommend Debian (DebianLive is available to try before you install). Ubuntu, Mint and about 300 other distros are based on Debian so it must be a good solid foundation.
 
Old 01-07-2012, 07:51 PM   #9
btmiller
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I'd suggest trying a few different distros until you find one that suits your needs. Start with some of the DistroWatch recommended distros and play around a bit. Remember, the nice thing about Linux is that you can explore different ways of doing things.
 
Old 01-08-2012, 03:54 AM   #10
mdlinuxwolf
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I'd go with Mint. My nephew really loves it. You can put the terminal icon right on the desktop so that the command line is there too. PC-BSD is friendly, but its UNIX not Linux. Mepis is also excellent and has great hardware compatibility, but it is missing the multimedia codecs. These can be added after it is installed.

If the youngster wants something safer, why not try Fedora? The goal should be to install it with an encrypted partition using the GUI and then to find add and install the multimedia repositories with their codecs. The project requires a little bit more then point / click, but isn't so hard that the kid can't do it.

I'd avoid anything like Gentoo, Debian, Free BSD or the like. These are for servers and serious computer programmers only. Usability should be paramount.
 
Old 01-08-2012, 04:31 AM   #11
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdlinuxwolf View Post
I'd avoid anything like Gentoo, Debian, Free BSD or the like. These are for servers and serious computer programmers only. Usability should be paramount.
I disagree with this Debian is NOT just for servers nor for serious computer programmers only. Debian has more to offer than most distros simply because it has been around for so long, its success as a stable environment is because the Debian developers work extremely hard to make it rock solid. Finding things like codecs is not difficult nor is it time consuming. Adding educational material for children is also easy. I'd suggest the myth that some Distros are for serious use only should be proven by those that make such comments, and not using 2,3 or more year old quotes and links instead back it up with current information based on current releases.
 
Old 01-08-2012, 09:42 AM   #12
johnsfine
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Choosing a desktop (KDE, Gnome, etc.) may be as important as choosing a distribution.

At home we use Mepis (distribution) with KDE 3 desktop. I think KDE 3 is more beginner friendly than other Linux desktops (unfortunately including newer versions of KDE).

One important desktop feature for any multi user home Linux is an easy "switch user" option on the start button. Obsolete versions of Mepis, such as I use, have that. Sorry I'm not sure which current Linux distributions/desktops have that.

With that feature you can suspend your logged in session with whatever programs you have open, while you let some other member of the family use the computer. Obsolete Mepis also lets you log in GUI as root, which is occasionally useful for system maintenance tasks. I never read email or web sites logged in as root (because of security concerns) so sometimes it is helpful to use the option within "switch user" that doesn't lock the other session, so I can be logged in as myself reading web pages about a system management task while also logged as root performing that task, with a hot key to switch back and forth between the two sessions.
 
Old 01-08-2012, 01:41 PM   #13
jbrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
Choosing a desktop (KDE, Gnome, etc.) may be as important as choosing a distribution.
What are the main differences between the different desktops? Also my wife uses this computer and has no desire to switch, where as I am tired of Vista and all its quirks(i.e. CD not working all the time, SD reader works when it wants) and I would like to break away from Microsoft altogether.
 
Old 01-08-2012, 02:02 PM   #14
snowpine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrew View Post
What are the main differences between the different desktops? Also my wife uses this computer and has no desire to switch, where as I am tired of Vista and all its quirks(i.e. CD not working all the time, SD reader works when it wants) and I would like to break away from Microsoft altogether.
The "desktop environment" is the user interface or "skin."

Just google "Gnome vs KDE" if you want a comparison of the 2 most popular. Xfce and LXDE are #3 and #4.
 
Old 01-08-2012, 02:49 PM   #15
autophil
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I started with Ubuntu but I only started to learn how things work when I started to use Slackware. Then I never looked back. I wouldnt exactly call it Family Friendly, but itll teach you a thing or two.
 
  


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