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Old 11-03-2014, 06:45 AM   #1
trailmeister
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my first step: downloading a 'distro': is a flash drive required?


The things I've read so far regarding getting started with Linux have seemed vague & over my head so I came here for some basic answers. I come from having spent 2 years on Windows98 and maybe 12 years on WindowsXP. I'd like to try the Linux distro known as Deepin, and if that's too foreign, I'll try Zorin. The Deepin download page (http://wiki.linuxdeepin.com/index.ph...Install_Deepin) says I need a blank DVD or a USB flash drive. Is that truly necessary? I don't necessarily want to run Linux 'live' from a DVD or flash drive. Can't Linux be set up to run automatically from my hard drive like Windows? Is there a very basic tutorial or video demonstrating how one boots into Linux? I just spent 10 mins beginning an online Linux tutorial at linuxsurvival.com which started to teach me the 12 most basic Linux instructions (e.g., "ls") and it reminded me of the DOS class I never completed back in the Dark Ages. I don't want to spend my time on the computer doing primitive things like listing directories, I want to visit websites with a good browser and handle my e-mail. The Deepin download page warned, "Please download from source address for the right Deepin mirror and test the MD5 value after downloaded. System may not be stable or installed due to wrong MD5 value." I don't know which is the right mirror and I don't know what MD5 value is or how to test for it. I built my own computer but I'm no engineer or IT specialist. Am I in the right place? Can someone point me in the correct direction and say here, read this tutorial or watch this video, it's all you need to get started with Linux.
 
Old 11-03-2014, 10:31 AM   #2
DavidMcCann
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I'd avoid using Deepin. You can run it in English, like any distro, but most of the other users will be Chinese speakers. Zorin is pretty good, though.

The MD5 is a checksum that enables you to make sure that your download didn't get corrupted. If you look on-line, you can get a free Windows program to check it. Whether you need to really depends on the reliability of your internet. I've downloaded hundreds of distro and never had a problem, but that's in the heart of London.

The next step is to unpack the .iso file you downloaded onto a DVD or USB stick. Then you can boot from that and run the installer program. If you choses to use USB, that's another program you need to get for Windows — unetbootin, that creates a bootable USB. Once it's installed on the hard drive, you reboot normally.

You really don't need the worry about things like ls. Your distro will come with a perfectly good file manager and other "housekeeping tools"! Because the command line is so much more powerful than the one in DOS or Windows, hard-core usres tend to use it a lot, but the ordinary user seldom needs it.

If you go to http://www.zorin-os.com/ you can see a brief guide to programs and an installation guide. For the question of how to partition your hard drive to create space for Linux, this tells you all you need to know (an a bit you don't, but you can skip that}
http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/gparted.html

Last edited by DavidMcCann; 11-03-2014 at 10:32 AM.
 
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:58 PM   #3
trailmeister
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Ok I downloaded Zorin. And I found winMD5 on the internet and downloaded it as well. Checked the integrity of the Zorin .iso file and it's 100% good. I've also downloaded ImgBurn in preparation for burning Zorin to DVD. Now off to the store to purchase a DVD-RW disk. I haven't burned a disk in 12 years; wish me well. The Dedoimedo tutorial on GParted is well-written and makes sense so far. The Zorin installation instructions at the zorin-os.com website tells me that the Live DVD will put an Install icon on my desktop if you choose to install Zorin onto my computer, and later I will be prompted to make a new partition. I'm guessing that means GParted was bundled into my Zorin download. Can I use MD5 to check the Zorin .iso file a second time, after I've burned it to disk?

Thanks for your excellent instruction. That's pretty cool I'm just north of S.Francisco, being helped by someone in London.

Cheers

(I may have add'l questions over the next several days)

-trailmeister
 
Old 11-03-2014, 04:35 PM   #4
syg00
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As in most things Linux, there are a bunch of options for partitioning - Zorin may include gparted or something else. You shouldn't need to care, you'll get a GUI-ified interface regardless.
As for MD5 on the burnt image, no it won't work (directly). It can be done, but you'll be heading back into the Dark Ages again ...
 
Old 11-03-2014, 05:24 PM   #5
Uncle Jaque
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Unhappy Warning Linux Users; Some Intelligence Required!

I have been trying for years to figure out how to install LINUX from a download.

At first all I got was a CD full of "Tarball" files, which I had no idea what to do with, and no installation *.exe which left me stumped.
after dozens of failed attempts I resigned myself to the realization that I was too stupid to use Linux and had to put up with Windows.

Over the years I kept trying, but never overcame the knucklehead barrier.

Last month I heard about this "Live CD" deal, so figured I'd give that a whirl. Stayed up an entire night watching you tube tutorials, downloading *.iso files, installation files for the USB drives (none of which worked) and burning the isos to disks.

One thing I learned is that DVD or CD-RWs don't work for some reason. Once I put the *.iso s on them they could not be erased or re used, would not boot, and are only good for use as deer repellant ornaments on my apple trees. I ruined about 7 CDs and DVDs to no avail - more often than not my computer would not even recognize them. my apple trees are going to be well festooned with dead disks this winter.

Somebody asked if I had copied the files to disk or "burned an image".

Whaaaa????

Obviously I'm too stupid to do that, so ordered a couple of bootable disks on line; an Ubantu 32 bit for the old XP box and a Linux Mint 64 bit for the W-7 laptop. They said the Ubantu was good for older computers, a few of which I've got lying around.

When I fired up the old box with the DVD viola; it booted up to Ubantu... now to figure out how to set it up and use it.

At least with a dual boot (if I do decide to install it) I can always fall back to XP if I become totally flummoxed... which is entirely possible.

Am I still too stupid to be a Linux user?

Stay tuned...
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:13 PM   #6
yancek
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Quote:
Can't Linux be set up to run automatically from my hard drive like Windows?
That's what you will be doing with the iso you downloaded after you burn it to the DVD. Someone had to install windows to the drive, it's just that most windows users buy a computer with it pre-installed by the manufacturer. You can purchase a computer with Linux pre-installed but there are ove 500 distributions of Linux and only a few available this way. You learn more installing yourself.

Is the computer you are using as old as xp? If it is, you should probably check the minimum hardware requirements for Zorin. Also, are you planning to install Zorin as the only operating system or are you planning to keep xp? If the latter, make sure you select a Manual option which I believe on Zorin is called "Something Else". If you want only Zorin, the option to select is Erase disk and install.

Last edited by yancek; 11-03-2014 at 06:18 PM.
 
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:41 PM   #7
sgosnell
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It's usually easier to use a flash drive instead of a CD/DVD, but either will work. You can reuse the flash drive if you like. Many modern computers don't even have optical drives, they're becoming obsolete. It's a snap to use netbootin to prepare the flash drive, and it runs on Windows or Linux. Just some info for when you decide to try another distro. Not if, but when. Not many users can resist trying out one of the other distros, and it can be fun to see how they operate and try the different user interfaces. Having a live drive with the installer on it makes it easy to try the distro without doing a full install. But it's all your choice, and the blessing, and the curse, of Linux is that there are so many choices. There is something for everyone, but the number of choices can be overwhelming. Have fun learning Linux, and remember that you have years invested in learning Windows, so don't expect to be proficient with Linux overnight. It takes some time and effort, like anything else worthwhile.
 
Old 11-03-2014, 09:11 PM   #8
jross
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What are the computer's specs? If it is an XP machine, Zorin will probably be too much for it.
 
Old 11-04-2014, 10:26 AM   #9
DavidMcCann
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Oops, I forgot to mention hardware requirements! Thanks, jross and yancek.

I didn't keep statistics the last time I tested Zorin, but the 32-bit version should run in 1GB OK, since the similar Arios did.
 
Old 11-04-2014, 02:03 PM   #10
trailmeister
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my computer's specs

Quote:
Originally Posted by jross View Post
What are the computer's specs? If it is an XP machine, Zorin will probably be too much for it.
I'm using a home PC built around an ASUS P5Q Pro motherboard (circa 2008?) running a 3 GHz dual-core chip and maxed out with 8 GB RAM. My OS is WindowsXP. I have two optical drives: a DVD-ROM (NEC DV-5800A from circa 2001) and a burner (SONY DVD-RW DRU-510A from circa 2003-04).
 
Old 11-04-2014, 02:11 PM   #11
trailmeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Jaque View Post

Somebody asked if I had copied the files to disk or "burned an image".

Whaaaa????

Am I still too stupid to be a Linux user?
I'm glad you mentioned this, Uncle Jaque, I would have simply copied the files to disk.

Someone should mention how to 'burn an image'. Step by step, because we're, like, newbies.

I have an IQ of 135 ('gifted'). Doesn't count for much with computers because I'm uninformed. I suspect you're in the same boat as I.

Thanks for your post.
 
Old 11-04-2014, 02:24 PM   #12
trailmeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
It's usually easier to use a flash drive instead of a CD/DVD, but either will work. You can reuse the flash drive if you like.
I'd like to try the flash drive thing, it looks elegant. This would be new technology for me. I researched flash drives for half an hour and was overwhelmed. Someone could save me a lot of time and false steps by telling me specifically what to buy. I'd like something reasonably fast yet reliable, preferably with a metal keychain hole (won't break), 64GB should be about right. I'm willing to pay a few dollars more for a device which won't suddenly crap out for no reason. Suggestions?
 
Old 11-04-2014, 03:09 PM   #13
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailmeister View Post
I'm glad you mentioned this, Uncle Jaque, I would have simply copied the files to disk.

Someone should mention how to 'burn an image'. Step by step, because we're, like, newbies.
It's impossible to give a step by step guide because it depends entirely on what software you're using to burn the CD/DVD.

I typically use ImgBurn when I'm on Windows, which includes an option right on the first page to "write an image file to a disc". Most other CD/DVD burning software have similar options as well.
 
Old 11-04-2014, 03:57 PM   #14
yancek
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You can download a windows version of the unetbootin software to your xp and use the simple instructions on their page to create a bootable flash drive:

http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

Or you can use the universal usb installer at pendrivelinux which is windows software

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/univers...easy-as-1-2-3/

There are an awful lot of companies selling flash drive. Kingston, Lexar, Toshiba, Verbatim come readily to mind but there are many others and they are sold in many locations and certainly not limited to computer stores. Based on your profile location, you should have a lot of options. If you know of a local computer store which sells a variety, ask them.
 
Old 11-05-2014, 08:33 AM   #15
sgosnell
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USB flash drives are commodities. Just buy one, it should work fine. I just bought a USB3 version, and I like it, especially the transfer speed. But if you don't have a USB3 port, it's not worth the extra cost. Just get any USB drive from anywhere, whatever size you prefer, and it should work. To use it for installation, you don't need 64GB. 4GB should be fine, that should hold any installation media comfortably. If you plan to do the full install to a flash drive, then you certainly need bigger, and bigger is readily available, but for just doing the installation, the same size as a DVD will be plenty. Since you have WindowsXP, I suggest unetbootin. It will let you pick the distro you want, download it, burn it to the drive, and give you a boot-ready installation drive. No muss, no fuss.
 
  


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