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Old 03-04-2014, 04:18 PM   #1
Norbert Dentressangle
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Just Starting Out... Which Distro Would You Recommend?


Hello, I'm almost new to Linux. A little history: I tried Ubuntu a couple of years ago but had to ditch it because video on You tube and the suchlike had choppy playback, which drove me nuts. I played around with it a bit, until it crashed my computer, forcing me back to Windows.

After my last Windows 7 machine bit the dust, I went out and bought a used Sony Xperia Tipo (which is about the cheapest phone Sony makes), which ran on Android. Well... I instantly fell in love. It's not a fast device but it does (nearly) everything I want to do these days. I gave up using computers for creative tasks and for basic communication, note keeping and entertainment, I find Android just works. I haven't touched a desktop or laptop system since last August, my little phone being my only connection to the internet.

The time has come though, where my girlfriend and I both need a larger scale system for graphics, office work and multimedia. My girlfriend had a used Sony Vaio dual core laptop, but when the hard drive failed, we realised she does not possess a licence for Windows 7 for it. So we're stuck. I got her a new hard drive but I suggested we use this opportunity to have another try at Linux, rather than throwing more money at an operating system we both, frankly, hate.

Now I've heard that it is possible to install Android on a laptop computer with good results. Our household currently has no means, whatsoever, of downloading and burning an OS disc, so I've asked for assistance from my local computer store, who has agreed to carry out the installation.

The big question is, which distro should we go for? I've been thinking about Linux Mint. As said, Ubuntu just couldn't offer decent video playback. Would Mint offer better performance? Or would we be better off going for Android instead?

I'm aware that Android has its limitations but one thing you can say about it is, it just works without any larking about with complicated commands, as with Linux. I'd really like to get back on board with Linux though and teach myself how to use it properly. I just want to know if it's going to be worth the effort.

Thanks for reading and I sincerely look forward to your replies!
 
Old 03-04-2014, 04:42 PM   #2
snowpine
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Welcome!

First important thing to understand is that Adobe Flash is not "open source software" i.e. it is not part of the "Linux ecosystem." Flash is a proprietary, closed-source software, provided "as is" by the Adobe Corporation, and it is the same in every Linux distribution (Ubuntu's Flash = Fedora's Flash = Slackware's Flash = Mint's Flash). So if you are having difficulty with Flash, then the friendly people at Adobe are the only ones who can help you---Linux developers have no access to the source code to make improvements/modifications.

Second is my actual recommendation: I use and recommend Linux Mint.

Third, if you are in the market for new hardware, have you considered something like a Chromebook?
 
Old 03-04-2014, 04:55 PM   #3
Norbert Dentressangle
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Hi there, Snowpine and thanks for your reply.

Firstly, may I just ask your main reason for preferring MINT?

Yes, I did purchase a tablet last summer. The make was Versus. This is actually how I first became aquainted with Android but unfortunately this device failed from the moment I had it and I still haven't got around to sending it back to the manufacturer. Long story, which involves moving house (I can't actually find it at the moment. It's packed deep in a packing crate somewhere!)

It's really a case of wanting to make best use of the laptop PC. We don't have much money at present and are unable to afford any new hardware. So Linux, being free, seems like the obvious choice.
 
Old 03-04-2014, 04:58 PM   #4
Norbert Dentressangle
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For some reason video seems to play seamlessly on Android. I recently discovered that Flash is no longer being used, but had been replaced by HTML 5/ MP4. Is this true? If so, does Linux handle that?
 
Old 03-04-2014, 05:48 PM   #5
TroN-0074
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Hi Norbert Dentressangle.
I think what you are doing is the right thing. I mean installing Linux in a computer in which windows has failed is a good idea.
I dont want to put words in the mouth of snowpine but I will assume the suggestion of Linux Mint would be because the distro already comes with all the components you would need for use your computer right after installation.

Linux Mint comes with all the codecs needed for media files to play, like MP3s, AVI, Mp4 and flash video files play out of the box.
If you download Linux Mint they offer different graphical interface. A dual core Sony with two GB of RAM should handle all the graphical interfaces there however Cinnamon is a popular one with Mint fans.

Link to Linux Mint -------------> http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

The distro I use for all purposes is OpenSUSE 13.1 with the Gnome graphical interfaces and it does everything I need However for OpenSUSE you need to manually install the codecs required for media files and in some cases some drivers too. But that doesnt make it less than any other distro out there.

Link to OpenSUSE----------------> http://www.opensuse.org/en/

You can also try Ubuntu 13.10 is the latest at the moment but in April the new release is coming out. And with this release they are also releasing an OS for Phones and Tablets. check it out too

Link to Ubuntu ----------------> http://www.ubuntu.com/


If you decide to install whichever distro you want and need some help setting it up just come back to the forum with more questions.

Good luck
 
Old 03-04-2014, 06:08 PM   #6
Norbert Dentressangle
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Thank you. I think we'll give Mint a try. I really don't want to have to spend days installing software, if Mint comes with all we need. When I first tried Ubuntu, it took a week just to get the basic OS working. It was a nightmare. This time, I am paying to have it installed, as I couldn't bear to go through all that again. Besides, I simply don't have the time these days.

Last edited by Norbert Dentressangle; 03-04-2014 at 06:09 PM.
 
Old 03-04-2014, 06:35 PM   #7
TroN-0074
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All you need to do is boot from the Disk. Beside the person installing get to create the user account. I dont know if you want somebody else creating an account for you. You might be alright but there are some desicion during installation that better if you make them instead of another person.

Here are the steps for the installation with pictures and everything http://www.wikihow.com/Install-Linux-Mint

Your computer might already be set up to boot from disk so start from step 4

Enjoy.

Last edited by TroN-0074; 03-04-2014 at 06:38 PM.
 
Old 03-04-2014, 07:00 PM   #8
Ryanms3030
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbert Dentressangle View Post
Thank you. I think we'll give Mint a try. I really don't want to have to spend days installing software, if Mint comes with all we need. When I first tried Ubuntu, it took a week just to get the basic OS working. It was a nightmare. This time, I am paying to have it installed, as I couldn't bear to go through all that again. Besides, I simply don't have the time these days.
I've been using linux on my desktop/laptops for over 5 years (but I still consider myself a newb). I started with Ubuntu and I remember struggling back then. Now, I think the installers and live cd/usb versions have matured a little and most are very easy to install. I would try Mint as was recommended and try to install it yourself first. It is very user friendly and there is a great community here to ask questions as they arise.
 
Old 03-04-2014, 08:11 PM   #9
EDDY1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbert Dentressangle View Post
Thank you. I think we'll give Mint a try. I really don't want to have to spend days installing software, if Mint comes with all we need. When I first tried Ubuntu, it took a week just to get the basic OS working. It was a nightmare. This time, I am paying to have it installed, as I couldn't bear to go through all that again. Besides, I simply don't have the time these days.
You can download the iso at any Starbucks ,Local library etc.
Also if you're paying to have it installed they can actually the person that you're paying to install should have the resoures & knowledge to download, install & get everything up & running.
 
Old 03-04-2014, 11:20 PM   #10
rokytnji
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How to ask such a question

Boot a Live cd or dvd and post

Code:
 $ grep flags /proc/cpuinfo 
flags		: fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm xsave lahf_lm dtherm
flags		: fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm xsave lahf_lm dtherm
Code:
$ sudo dmidecode --type memory
[sudo] password for harry: 
# dmidecode 2.11
SMBIOS 2.5 present.

Handle 0x000E, DMI type 16, 15 bytes
Physical Memory Array
	Location: System Board Or Motherboard
	Use: System Memory
	Error Correction Type: None
	Maximum Capacity: 4 GB
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Number Of Devices: 2

Handle 0x000F, DMI type 17, 27 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x000E
	Error Information Handle: No Error
	Total Width: 64 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: 2048 MB
	Form Factor: SODIMM
	Set: 1
	Locator: M1
	Bank Locator: Bank 0
	Type: DDR2
	Type Detail: Synchronous
	Speed: 800 MHz
	Manufacturer: Mfg 0
	Serial Number: 1234-B0
	Asset Tag: Not Specified
	Part Number: SODIMM000

Handle 0x0010, DMI type 17, 27 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x000E
	Error Information Handle: No Error
	Total Width: 64 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: 2048 MB
	Form Factor: SODIMM
	Set: 1
	Locator: M2
	Bank Locator: Bank 1
	Type: DDR2
	Type Detail: Synchronous
	Speed: 800 MHz
	Manufacturer: Mfg 1
	Serial Number: 1234-B1
	Asset Tag: Not Specified
	Part Number: SODIMM001
Code:
 $ uname -p
x86_64
Grab your machine info from http://kmuto.jp/debian/hcl/

Examle my Amrel submission

Code:
System:    Host: Biker Kernel: 3.2.2-antix-486-smp i686 (32 bit)
           Desktop: LXDE (Openbox 3.5.0) Distro: antiX-core-686-a1 20 June 2010
Machine:   System: Intel product: Montara Family of Chipsets
           Mobo: Phoenix model: RT786EX version: 41118 Bios: Phoenix version: MGM-ALL1.86C.1009.D.0604271130 date: 04/27/06
CPU:       Single core Intel Pentium M (-UP-) cache: 2048 KB flags: (sse sse2) clocked at 1594.948 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device X.Org: 1.11.2.902 driver: intel Resolution: 1024x768@60.0hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel 852GM/855GM x86/MMX/SSE2 GLX Version: 1.3 Mesa 7.11.2
Audio:     Card: Intel 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Audio Controller driver: snd_intel8x0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: 1.0.24
Network:   Card-1: Atheros AR5212/AR5213 Wireless Network Adapter driver: ath5k
           IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Realtek RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ driver: 8139too
           IF: eth1 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 30.0GB (33.2% used) 1: /dev/sda IC25N030ATCS04 30.0GB
Partition: ID: / size: 17G used: 5.7G (35%) fs: ext3 ID: swap-1 size: 0.58GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 37.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 91 Uptime: 1 min Memory: 65.4/492.9MB Client: Shell inxi: 1.7.28
So it pays to give as much detail as possible to get the best informed answer in a thread like this.
 
Old 03-05-2014, 12:53 AM   #11
grail
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This may or may not help

http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/

It is by no way definitive but can give a general guide
 
Old 03-06-2014, 04:13 AM   #12
Norbert Dentressangle
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Thank you for the answers, people. I have decided to go with Mint, after all. It's being set up by someone who knows what they are doing, initially,as we speak,to avoid us having to deal with teething problems at the user end. My girlfriend has no knowledge of Linux but we're agreed that it's my responsibility where it comesto maintenance and software updating. I'm happy to take the learning curve. As well as learning something new, it will be interesting to see how Mint measures up to the requirements of a non-involved user, whose chief interest is in its immediate usefulness and could care less about what's under the bonnet.

Hopefully we get the machine back, ready to roll, on Saturday. All that remains is to suck it and see...!
 
  


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