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Old 08-25-2013, 04:44 PM   #1
BleedingEyeballs
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Linux Virgin - where to begin


i apologize ahead of time as I have been told that I am extremely long winded at times and my wife constantly tells me I am rambling. that said here is what I am dealing with

my son was given a laptop with no HDD I had one with no OS on it but no copy of any OS so I got the idea to set him up with linux. I have only ever dealt with linux once many years ago while fixing a friends PC. basically what I want to know is where to start he has never used anything but windows and I am trying to find the best distro that with not stress his issues more than necessary. in doing research I have found found several that look promising but since I am linux stupid I do not really know. the distros I have been considering are : Ubuntu, Fuduntu, fedora, linux mint, manjaro, Kanotix , or netrunner. most of the sites Ifound asume the reader knows what they are doing (which ofc I do not) also I am not entirely sure what these are called but I noticed there are a bunch of choices with the likes of GNOME, KDE, XFCE, LXDE or Fluxbox. please advise me as to which are the easiest to learn for a complete newbie.

usually when he is on a pc he games alot so trying to find a setup for him that will give him less issues. any links for info would be great

I thank everyone who takes their valuable time to assist
 
Old 08-25-2013, 05:26 PM   #2
unSpawn
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Welcome to LQ, hope you like it here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BleedingEyeballs View Post
he has never used anything but windows
Be aware Linux was never meant as a free-of-cost, drop-in replacement for Windows: only if he's willing to learn then Linux will be of use to him.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BleedingEyeballs View Post
(..) usually when he is on a pc he games alot
Kind of depends. On-line Flash and Java games should work, some Windows-only games may work in WINE and some just don't. Post a list?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BleedingEyeballs View Post
(..) the distros I have been considering are : Ubuntu, Fuduntu, fedora, linux mint, manjaro, Kanotix , or netrunner. (..) there are a bunch of choices with the likes of GNOME, KDE, XFCE, LXDE or Fluxbox. please advise me as to which are the easiest to learn for a complete newbie.
Expect the first installation not to be the one you'll use forever: it may be destroyed during the learning process, you may choose another distribution later on (or you may even decide to revert back to Windows ;-p) so probably choose something easy to start with like Linux Mint or Ubuntu?
 
Old 08-25-2013, 05:29 PM   #3
yancek
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Quote:
any links for info would be great
The site below has some information on a large number of different Linux distributions as well as links to all of them. Good starting point.

http://distrowatch.com/

Quote:
I noticed there are a bunch of choices with the likes of GNOME, KDE, XFCE, LXDE or Fluxbox.
Those are Desktop environments. On some of the major distributions, you can select one of them which comes with the version. You can also install one of the others on most distributions but one will always be default. Generally, people say that KDE is more familiar to windows users.

Most of the distributions you mention are in the top 10 at the distrowatch site below. PCLinux and Mint with KDE would probably be good choices for someone coming from windows. It is going to be very different to start.

Check the link below for some info on games on Linux. Linux wasn't really created for entertainment and that is a weak point. A lot of games are created specifically for windows and won't run on Linux. You can google for some different sites with more info. Also, it would be a good idea to compare the hardware on your machine with the minimum requirements for whichever distribution you select before downloading and trying it.
 
Old 08-25-2013, 05:30 PM   #4
lobogobo
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Being a newb myself, it took a while before I found a distro I liked. My fav were ubuntu, debian and AntiX. I run some live ( from a usb stick) to see what they were like. I settled on AntiX. Check out http://http://distrowatch.com. It'l help somewhat to explain what each distro is. GNOME, KDE, XFCE, LXDE Fluxbox are the different destops. As far as running games, the more knowledgable guys here may be of help. Also posting info about the laptop will help with the linux selection.

Posted just after you yancek.

Last edited by lobogobo; 08-25-2013 at 05:33 PM.
 
Old 08-25-2013, 05:47 PM   #5
snowpine
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Which operating system do you use? If you are a Windows user then I recommend you spend the $99 (or whatever it costs these days) and give him Windows too. When I was a young person, I would have hated someone telling me I had to use Linux who doesn't actually use Linux themselves. Just some friendly advice.

If you are curious about learning Linux for yourself then my recommendation is to read about the Top 10 distributions and pick one that sounds appealing: http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major

I personally use and recommend Linux Mint.

Once you are familiar with Linux yourself then maybe you can consider switching your whole family over?
 
Old 08-25-2013, 08:11 PM   #6
CrackerPunk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BleedingEyeballs View Post
my son was given a laptop with no HDD I had one with no OS on it but no copy of any OS so I got the idea to set him up with linux.
I suggest you ask him first if he wants to use linux. Otherwise, I'm with snowpine, get him windows because it is what he knows most and he is a gamer.

If you still want try linux on him, Mint 15 Mate and PClinuxOS KDE should resemble a windows like environment.

Good luck

Last edited by CrackerPunk; 08-26-2013 at 12:45 PM.
 
Old 08-26-2013, 12:39 PM   #7
Nbiser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BleedingEyeballs View Post
i apologize ahead of time as I have been told that I am extremely long winded at times and my wife constantly tells me I am rambling. that said here is what I am dealing with

my son was given a laptop with no HDD I had one with no OS on it but no copy of any OS so I got the idea to set him up with linux. I have only ever dealt with linux once many years ago while fixing a friends PC. basically what I want to know is where to start he has never used anything but windows and I am trying to find the best distro that with not stress his issues more than necessary. in doing research I have found found several that look promising but since I am linux stupid I do not really know. the distros I have been considering are : Ubuntu, Fuduntu, fedora, linux mint, manjaro, Kanotix , or netrunner. most of the sites Ifound asume the reader knows what they are doing (which ofc I do not) also I am not entirely sure what these are called but I noticed there are a bunch of choices with the likes of GNOME, KDE, XFCE, LXDE or Fluxbox. please advise me as to which are the easiest to learn for a complete newbie.

usually when he is on a pc he games alot so trying to find a setup for him that will give him less issues. any links for info would be great

I thank everyone who takes their valuable time to assist
Welcome to LQ!

First off, we need to know what games he plays, as that will be very important in determining what kind of linux distro to get. A list would help us out a lot!

Right now I would recommend Linux mint or Ubuntu because they are easy to learn and use. Linux mint KDE is the closest resemblance to Windows, while it is easier to install programs on Ubuntu.

Cheers,
Nbiser
 
Old 08-26-2013, 12:47 PM   #8
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BleedingEyeballs View Post
...but I noticed there are a bunch of choices with the likes of GNOME, KDE, XFCE, LXDE or Fluxbox. please advise me as to which are the easiest to learn for a complete newbie.
These are the Graphical User Interfaces, and unlike windows, where you get whatever interface MS is pushing at this time, you can install several, so you could install, say, Gnome and KDE, and select every time that you log in which you will use for that session (so, from that p-o-v, it isn't a biggie, because if you don't like the look 'n feel of the first one that you try, you can try another, provided the distro also makes your second choice available)
Of your list, Gnome and KDE are the 'biggies' (market share and installed sized); you can certainly make a case for them, if you have enough ram. If you don't, XFCE or LXDE might be a better choice, as they are lighter. Fluxbox, I find a bit odder and possibly more out of you comfort zone, as would be Enlightenment (although strong on the eye-candy for such a lightweight system).

If you can decide on a GUI, that makes things easier (makes it easier to focus on one or two distros), but, if you can't, you can't (and then you might as well go for a 'do everything' kind of distro that offers a wide choice of GUI).

At this point, I ought to mention something like a live CD (/DVD). If you've got plenty of net bandwidth, you could just pull down two or three live CDs from the 'net and try the system from a CD/DVD and see how it feels. Run from a CD it will be slower, of course, but you should get a decent idea of whether you could live with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BleedingEyeballs View Post
the distros I have been considering are : Ubuntu, Fuduntu, fedora, linux mint, manjaro, Kanotix , or netrunner.
Not a bad list! I don't know how you got that far, but something there should work for you. I'd drop Fedora for the moment as it tends to be a bit bleeding edge for a relative newbie, manjaro is a (relatively) recent fork, and you might find its a bit '...and the next release will fix that...' for you. Netrunner might work well, but I must admit to have never tried it (but it is based on Kubuntu, which itself is 'KDE Ubuntu', so that should be ok, if kde turns out to be your thing...it is probably only a bit of fiddling around with repos if kde isn't your thing, but that might be too much, too soon).

Kanotix (KDE, LXDE) ought to be ok too, but again Not one that I've tried. It is based on debian (rather than being based on Ubuntu, which is, in turn, based on Debian). It could be argued that there are minor pluses and minuses either way, but how well everything works for you is probably a bigger factor than the exact genealogy. (Although, there will be a little bit of a 'family resemblance' with any of these debian based distros.)

...If it comes down to Ubuntu vs Mint, I'd take Mint, as Ubuntu's recent machinations have tended to put a number of user's noses slightly out of joint and who have found a more peaceful resting place with Mint. Of course, it you don't have to live through the change, maybe it doesn't mean anything to you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BleedingEyeballs View Post
usually when he is on a pc he games alot so trying to find a setup for him that will give him less issues. any links for info would be great
Here's the big problem (as it seems to me): Looking back, if my father had turned round to me and said that I would only be allowed to play some of them, I would have been, err, out of my comfort zone. So, I suspect that its either, all of the games still run (perhaps unlikely, if there are quite a few), or you get the Linux.
 
Old 08-26-2013, 03:20 PM   #9
TroN-0074
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Go with linuxmint or ubuntu (if the computer has the power needed for ubuntu) from these two perhaps linuxmint is the most user friendly.
The graphical user interface is there because you get the choose the gui tha works best for you base on the graphic chip in you computer. KDE, Gnome, Unity, require a good amount of memory and video card. LXDE, Xfce, Fluxbox and others are know as light weight graphical interface.
So download Linuxmint burng the iso onto a dvd and boot the computer from it. Have fun

And goid kuck to you
 
Old 08-26-2013, 06:35 PM   #10
arranskye
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hi, I am a newbie myself having been using Linux for only about 9 months. I had used windows from my first pc in 1998 till Dec last year. When I initially started running Ubuntu from the live DVD the difference I found was that Ubuntu was easier to use, faster, more fun, and more, more more of everything that is better than windows.

I had a few minor issues, that the generous people on various linux/ubuntu forums helped me resolve. I am still in awe of this brilliant OS and the ease with which many everyday tasks can be accomplished as well as the the things it can do. D/L a little apt from the software centre today " record my desktop", automatically takes a video of your desktop while you work. Awesome.

Yes there is much to learn using the terminal "under the hood" But for 99% of the time your son can enjoy it just as it is. The learning experience could possibly enhance his games and who knows he may even become more interested in learning Linux than playing games.

I have played around with 7/8 live distro's and liked them all except knoppix. for the average home user the vast majority are easy to use. go for it. good luck

being a silver surfer I wish I was 20 years younger just to have more time left to learn linux.

Cheers margaret
 
Old 09-04-2013, 07:03 AM   #11
multiplicis
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Quote:
Please advise me as to which are the easiest to learn for a complete newbie.
I think that the easiest distro for a newbie is Netrunner.

Homepage:
http://www.netrunner-os.com/features/

Last edited by multiplicis; 09-04-2013 at 07:10 AM.
 
Old 09-04-2013, 01:02 PM   #12
DavidMcCann
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When I hear "given a laptop with no hard drive" I wonder how old it is! The crucial thing is the memory — do you know how much it has? — but even old hardware can fox some distros: neither of my computers will boot Ubuntu, for example. If you have less than 1GB, that will affect you choice.

If he's chiefly interested in games, he might be better off with Windows. There are things available for Linux
http://www.linuxgames.com/
http://www.penguspy.com/
and a lot of Windows titles can be run in Linux with Wine
http://appdb.winehq.org/
http://www.playonlinux.com/en/

Mint, PCLinuxOS, and Solus are all good, with the default desktops of Mate, KDE, and Gnome. Solus installs Wine and PlayOnLinux by default.

If it's a small computer, Solus and Linux Lite will be happy with 512MB and ZevenOS will work in 256MB.
 
  


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