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There are hundreds of Linux distributions, confusing people new to Linux. I'd recommend get Linux Mint Mate edition, 64 bit if you have more than 2 GB of RAM and your hardware is 64 bit capable. Install it, try it out. It is free, you can always try something else if you do not like Mate.
Thank you for the warm welcome and the laughter so early in the morning.
Did not realize this was going to be complicated, on a happy note it has given me laughter seeing the names for these things.
Unfortunately this makes me want to toss my brand new windows 10 computer into the trash. I did not realize when I purchased this computer that it was going to take me into the year 1984. However, since there is no longer the option to live without technology, I must find a way to use something completely different.
Linux Mint Mate edition - is that with or without cinnamon and xfice or whatever else there is. From reading a few posts I understand there will be a learning curve, and I will wean myself off of windows just like I weaned myself off of cigarettes.
What is the quickest, easiest and least painful way to make the change?
Location: Northeastern Michigan, where Carhartt is a Designer Label
Distribution: Slackware 32- & 64-bit Stable
Give some thought to what it is you want to do with your computer; programming, research, creative writing, graphics, browsing the Internet for example.
If you have a 64-bit box, that's just fine. If you have a 32-bit box that's just fine too (you can install 32-bit Linux on a 64-bit box but that's kind of a waste, if you have 64-bit hardware, install 64-bit Linux).
Pretty much all Linux distributions are similar, not identical. Some will hide the internals from you (in the interest of, essentially, an appliance (rather like Windows 10); turn it on, use it, turn it off. Others will let you do whatever you want to after a shallow or steep learning curve. Think about your interests and abilities and what it is that you want to accomplish.
Spend some time at http://distrowatch.com that contains descriptions, reviews and commentary about Linux distributions. It's worth your time to read and think about and, if there is something you don't understand, ask here on LQ.
You should always have reliable backup of files important to you. In particular if you do any reconfiguration of partitions on your hard drive.
You can keep Windows and dual boot. I'm sure there are tutorials on Linux Mint web site. The learning curve is not that steep, installing Linux is easier than installing Windows. Just make sure you read up on software installation before you attempt it. Forget how it was done in Windows.
Linux really has no GUI. There are many Desktop Environments [DE] that run on Linux, MATE is one of them. Beginner-friendly distros like Mint do not force you to the command line. All maintenance and installation can be done via GUI.
Be careful during install, there will be the option to overwrite your whole harddrive with Linux OR to add partitions in free space and use these for Linux. If you make no error there, or some kind of failure happens when changing partitions, then your data will be preserved anyway.
Probably you have a new hardware with the new bootloading technics EFI or UEFI or something, if there are any pitfalls there I don't know, also I don't know how the LinuxMint installer is.
In most distributions you also can install several desktop environments like, Cinneamon, XFCE, Mate. Then you can choose the session type on login. But that's secondary. In the beginning it's maybe nice to find out what you prefer. But they work all and one is sufficient.
Other than that the whole thing of installing Linux is pretty straightforward with the big userfriendly distributions.
What kind of hardware do you possess exactly? But all, even new, hardware normally works anyway.
I also would recommend Linux Mint Mate, as the others have above. And backup your data to an external device before doing anything. It's always better safe than sorry in that regard.
You can find both Linux Mint Mate and Linux Mint Cinnamon here : https://www.linuxmint.com/download.php
Mate and Cinnamon are two desktop environments, GUIs, that are included by default in the appropriately named downloads.
Mint is quite easy for beginners and you will probably be up and running in short order. Before you install you can try the Live option to test how you like the defaults they provide. Those run from the DVD or USB stick and don't actually install until you tell them to. That gives you a chance to test out what they have before taking the plunge. Underneath all the distros are fairly similar and vary, from your perspective, mostly from which desktop environment they've chosen as the default, which applications are pre-installed, and what some of the default settings are. People that know their way around can more or less make any distro look and act like any other. Again, it's just the pre-packaged defaults that defines a distro and you can always adjust them once you discover where or if you need changes.
That is understandable. It was the same way for me when I first started. I equate it to being a English speaker all my life and then I move into a Spanish only area part of the country. Everybody only speaks spanish. So I am left in the dark.
Yep. This really happened. So I had a choice. Either be bitter, crawl into a corner. And. Complain about how nothing is like what I am used to.
Roll up my sleeves. Put on a smile. Dive right in and learn some lingo and what the hell is going on and why.
Now I am comfy living in Hispanic neighborhoods and enjoying the company and cuisine.
Same same with using Gnu/Linux. It just takes a attitude change and a little elbow grease.
Once you learn this stuff. It is yours. Just like another language. You become a better human being because now. You know more than just one thing.
Look at members signatures for links on what can teach you something. I steal Habituals links on the sly when he aint looking.
I also recommend Linux MINT. Realize that you can either live boot it off of a DVD or USB stick or using a virtual machine. This will give you an idea how well it runs on your machine and also to look at it to determine how good or bad the desktop is for you preferences.
Ubuntu is also a great distribution for beginners. Mint and Ubuntu are related too.
If you have windows 10 and it was pre-installed and you want to keep it, read the page at the link below about dual booting using UEFI with windows and Linux. It's an Ubuntu page but everything on it should apply to Mint as Mint is derived from Ubuntu.
Then burning an .iso for (e.g:) dual boot, as far as backups go most would need an microcoughed copy or repair partition in tacked unless like me you will never use it... your important data is a must tho?