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Old 05-18-2016, 12:01 PM   #1
gideon0110
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Is there a linux that can be used as a Win 10 replacement??


Disclaimer: I am NOT a tech or computer science expert. I am a construction manager. This may be an ignorant question and if it is, I apologize in advance.

I have read through several boards here, (mainly the wiki and the distros) and I am just lost. Sadly, I thought there were might be two or three types of linux I would have to sort out. Yeah, I had no idea how much effort and creativity there was out there..

I do not know the command syntax and I do not have the knowledge base to discern between all the flavors of linux. I do not need to run much really.
I web surf, watch a lot of YouTube, import massive amounts of pics from my phone/tablet, play DVD's, listen to music and use Open Office.

If anyone cares I am looking to install linux on an Acer Aspire E-15 laptop. i5-2.3ghz, 6gb RAM and Intel 520HD integrated graphics.
 
Old 05-18-2016, 06:04 PM   #2
smallpond
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There is no replacement for Win 10. I'm afraid that with Linux you cannot get spyware and ads installed by default. All of the activities you are looking at will work fine and you can get assistance with any problems at this website. I'll leave it to others to suggest which distro to install; as there are many.
 
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:10 PM   #3
Habitual
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http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=reactos
https://linuxmint.com/release.php?id=26

Last edited by Habitual; 05-18-2016 at 07:00 PM.
 
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:37 PM   #4
CJ Chitwood
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Welcome!

Answering this in a brief post is not so easy. I guess the best way is to ask, "where are you finding you have difficulty?" and we could move on from there. Do you think you'd be able to download an ISO and burn it to CD/DVD or perhaps use a windows ISO to USB utility to make a thumbdrive bootable? If so, I'd start there, getting any random distribution (most I think would recommend trying Ubuntu, Knoppix, Fedora Live, or really anything with "Live" in the description) and booting it. See if you can "figure out" the interface and go from there. It's hard to get a feel for it without actually doing it.

It CAN be that simple... But I'm something of a book writer. I'll type some thoughts up and if nobody else chimes in first I'll put them out for ya.
 
Old 05-18-2016, 06:56 PM   #5
timl
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Hi Gideon,

a useful introduction is via a live distro (as related by CJ in post #4). This gives you the ability to download a distro, copy it to a USB drive and then run the distro on your laptop without installing. You get to see what you are up against without the danger of getting in too deep. A couple of "newbie friendly" distros are Ubuntu and Linux Mint (which derives itself from Ubuntu). I have attached links to the relevant download sites here:

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

https://linuxmint.com/download.php

These links may leave you even more perplexed but feel free to ask as many questions as you like.

Cheers
 
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:20 PM   #6
CJ Chitwood
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I'm incapable of being as concise as timl there... that's a very good, brief, yet helpful post.

You said you thought there were only a few types of Linux and found out that there are thousands... well, for the most part, THERE REALLY ARE only a few types. I'll get flamed for that perhaps, but seriously, E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G came from Slackware, Debian, or Red Hat in some way or another, as evidenced by the GNU/Linux Timeline. It's not been updated in a couple of years but it still shows my point very well. In fact, it all started with a base kernel written by LinuxLinus Torvalds of Finland, so really, there's only one "Linux" and everything else is a derivative.

Anyway, if you keep in mind the source distros you can basically guess how things will go down with respect to things like package management and system installation (not that you would know these things -- they come from experience). Take the time to install one system, and if it doesn't do what you need or want, try another, then another, and eventually the similarities become... well, numbing in a way. I've wanted to find a new distro for some time but lately they all seem the same to me, with the same desktop environments, the same window managers, the same buggy PDF reader set for default (with a perfectly functional one available for easy download). Debian based distributions will likely use one package manager, while Red Hat based ones use another... They'll either use SysV or they won't, they'll use polkit or they won't... Subtle and not-so subtle differences that I never cared about as an end-user of home equipment. Just make sure I've got a firewall (it's built-in) and I'm good.

As an I.T. professional, though, I kinda have to care about them for my work equipment to maintain security while also bringing ease of administration.

There's really no need to learn the "command syntax" for most purposes unless you want to become more familiar or perhaps more efficiently perform certain specific tasks (like changing system policy to allow all end users to manage their own WiFi connections). Recent distributions with graphical interfaces make most, if not all, day to day operations trivial. You'll probably be best served by a recent popular distro like OpenSuSE (what I'm using now), PCLinuxOS (what I have on my home machines), Fedora (what I have on my work desktop machine), Zorin (what I recommended to my father for its Windows-XP look and feel)...

That's a lot of suggestions and even then it's only the tip of the iceberg. Timl reminded me of Mint, which I've tried, and liked at first until either I updated or installed something and broke it all... I've also tried Sabayon, Vector, Arch, Mandriva... I've tried so many distros I can't even remember half of them. BUT, that's how I get a feel for things sometimes.

One of the more popular distributions is Ubuntu. It by default uses a GUI called Unity that resembles the touchscreen interfaces of Windows 8 and just about any smartphone. It has fairly easy setup and true to Linux form there are a million and one derivatives of it already, most with "untu" ending their names.

One of my favorite distros so far is PCLinuxOS. Its package management is quite similar to Debian, but with more recent software, and just about any software you'd want. I use it for web browsing, youtube (although slightly glitchy on my hardware), music... I've even authored a slideshow DVD with custom menus and backgrounds for a school function with it, as well as digital video editing, audio editing. Reads PDFs just fine (some distros default to glitchy readers but this one's fine). Day to day, it does well for me.

I'm using openSuSE on my work laptop to type this. So far, I'm loving it. It has its quirks, but that's what Google is for, and so far I've gotten just about all of them handled. The only thing left is to see if there's a way to enable some kind of palm-detect for the touchpad because my palms keep tapping it when I type, moving the text to wherever I happened to park my cursor last.

I think the best way to learn it is dive right in, ESPECIALLY if you have a spare [or virtual] machine you can install onto without worry of fouling anything up. Install a distro with all the options like desktop environments, and just USE them. See how they're alike, see how they're different. Most of the differences are subtle.

As to desktop environments:
LXDE is my environment of choice right now. Classic app menu look and feel with desktop icons, file management, etc.
XFCE is a close second. Can, but doesn't have to, have a desktop, and the look and feel is usually similar to Mac OS X.
IceWM is a very minimalist environment, with classic app menu look but very light on resources (read: it looks like Windows 95 would have if it existed in 1989)

Unity is the immersive-interactive touchy-feely that all the kiddies love. Not my thing but to each his own.
Cinnamon, Mate are basically imitations (visually) of classic GNOME, a more business-y app-menu-with-desktop that for want of better word "competes" with KDE.
GNOME is a kind of in-between of ... I dunno, Windows 8 and an iPhone?
KDE is probably one of the most popular non-Unity-flavored environments, and is very configurable with respect to look and feel, but like many others is a classic app-menu look with desktop icons.

Wow, I type too much. Hope this helps, and like timl said, ask all the questions you want. It's why we're here!

Last edited by CJ Chitwood; 05-19-2016 at 03:31 PM.
 
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:50 PM   #7
yancek
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A good source of information is the distrowatch site at the link below. Scroll down on the right side of the page and you will see a section called "Page Hit Ranking" which gives a list of the more commonly used Linux distributions with links to the respective sites where you can get more information on them.

http://distrowatch.com

The suggestion above to try various Linux distribution is good. Try them out using a flash drive. If you don't like the first, try another. You can download the unetbootin software on your windows machine and use it to create a bootable flash drive.

https://unetbootin.github.io

Quote:
I do not know the command syntax
Most of the major Linux distributions are GUI centric and for the most part you will not need to use a terminal. When you do, the ability to read/write is all that is necessary. Using a terminal is generally done by more experienced users because a task is almost always done faster this way.
 
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:30 PM   #8
DavidMcCann
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I always say that for the average person getting the right GUI is vital. Two distros with different GUIs can look as if they are different operating systems! Look at the offerings here: http://www.renewablepcs.com/about-li...-gnome-or-xfce

Good distros, which will do all the things you require, listed by GUI are
Mate: Mint, PCLinuxOS
Cinnamon: Mint
Gnome: Ubuntu
Unity: Ubuntu (no-one else actually does Unity)
KDE: PCLinuxOS, OpenSUSE
Xfce: Salix, Manjaro

One reason why Mint gets recommended is the very good documentation
https://linuxmint.com/documentation.php
Salix does a good guide
http://guide.salixos.org/
while the others tend to be complex (OpenSUSE) or leave you rummaging around in a wiki.

Remember that they all have live installers, so you can try them out before installing just in case you have a "Not on my computer you don't!" reaction. And you don't need to be a command-line expert these days: all these distros have graphical tools for configuration.

Finally, an overview of some of the software available
http://linuxappfinder.com
 
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:26 PM   #9
lazydog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Chitwood View Post
In fact, it all started with a base kernel written by Linux Torvalds of Finland,
His name is Linus Torvalds
 
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:27 PM   #10
CJ Chitwood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazydog View Post
His name is Linus Torvalds
You are correct. Linus. I have no clue how that messed up unless it was my phone's autocorrect muscle memory...

Last edited by CJ Chitwood; 05-19-2016 at 03:29 PM.
 
Old 05-19-2016, 03:57 PM   #11
cwizardone
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Distrowatch.com has been mentioned and they do provide some history of the major and/or popular Linux distributions.

https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major

Linux Mint and Zorin are popular as they are easy to install and use.
The KDE desktop is a favorite of former ms-windows users for the same reason, easy to use. It is also much more configurable than the ms-windows desktop and comes with many excellent applications built-in.
I prefer Slackware64 as it lets you have complete control of your computer.
Many of the Linux distributions have a forum here on Linuxquestions, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting help if you have questions.
Welcome to the world of Open Source Software.

Last edited by cwizardone; 05-19-2016 at 04:02 PM.
 
Old 05-19-2016, 06:57 PM   #12
arranskye
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Hi Welcome I use ubuntu 14.04lts mostly everything just works out of the box. My grandchildren both of whom had "used" a windows laptop a little bit They were 6 & 8 years old at the time.

When they visited me i spent about 10 minutes showing them and they have used Ubuntu ever since now 8 & 10 years old. Thats how easy it is. It really is almost self explanatory. With 30000 apps to choose from there is sure to be something to suit your needs. Open software Centre, choose your app click install. Thats it. job done.

If you have a reasonable broadband speed you can download 2/3 distros. FREE burn to dvd disk as iso verify and try without installing. This does not impact your existing system in any way.

Just remember "trying" using the dvd will be slower than an installed system. Go for it. Nothing to lose, much to gain and lots of people here to help. Zorin has a windows like desktop.

Good luck.
 
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:50 PM   #13
jefro
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"I web surf, watch a lot of YouTube, import massive amounts of pics from my phone/tablet, play DVD's, listen to music and use Open Office. "

You can do all that with many of the major distros. You can do that right now with a free virtual machine and use it to test out a number choices. Start at www.distrowatch.com
 
Old 05-19-2016, 08:56 PM   #14
CJ Chitwood
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Free virtual machine?

You mean like VirtualBox, or is there a free vm hosting service?

Last edited by CJ Chitwood; 05-19-2016 at 08:59 PM.
 
Old 05-19-2016, 10:10 PM   #15
jefro
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There are a few program for a VM on Windows. Virtualbox is one of the programs to consider. In a long way around you could use a hosting. If you want to play with Opensuse then you can do it in www.Susestudio.com

I say to use it just for testing and trying out mostly. At some point you can choose to move on with linux or some other choice.

Last edited by jefro; 05-19-2016 at 10:11 PM.
 
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