funny that you mention that, as that was just what I downloaded last nite, and found it working perfectly this AM.
After John VV's comment:
-- if you want an EXPERIMENTAL operating system, one that might FORCE you to have to fix it and REALLY LEARN THINGS !!!!!
install Fedora 19
but fedora uses the newest of the new , and as a result YOU WILL !!! have to hack most programs to get them to build on fedora
but YOU WILL LEARN -- trial by FIRE
---and my discovery that it was a Fedora system that I was already using (and used to), I decided to go that route.
The appliance that had been provided in the course actually included some additions (ristretto image viewer, audio,etc) and I don't know if such things would be available in usual distros, so I wanted to stick with that, and VirtualBox had been one of original options recommended in the course (with slower
being the only disadvantage).
Anyway, immediate problem clearly solved. If I ever an interest beyond simply learning C, then I may look into many of the other suggestions in this thread.
Thanks again to all for your time & attention.