First off, I want to apologise. I did write loads here but when I submitted it for moderation, the bulk of the message wasn't posted for some reason - only the title question. Thanks to those that did reply and I'll try again hopefully with better results.
Hi - my name is Gavin and although not a complete Linux newbie having tried several distros in the past, Ubuntu, Zorin, Peppermint, plus a few others, I want to ask questions as if I'd never installed a distro before and start from scratch.
Before I start getting into what I want, I have to be honest to you in that I live with a condition called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that directly affects my everyday life including how I use technology. I lead a very simple life, stream films online (films are my big passion), watch tv shows from the States, read film magazines, and have a very basic mobile phone which I use every few months just to check for voicemails.
I am comfortable with what little I have but my goal is to one day own a device/use a linux distro just for access to the internet and nothing else.
I currently share a laptop with my mother which we both paid halves for. We have Windows 7, and use the Chrome Browser with which I have installed an app called Zenmate which allows me to overcome blocking restrictions - this is very useful because 99 of the time, I use one particular film streaming website that can't be accessed without it (Primewire.ag).
The desktop is minimal, black background with no icons, no notifications showing and all I do is the updates, security essentials then straight onto the web - nothing else. I don't really like the desktop environment, but the laptop really belongings more to my mum than me, so Windows 7 doesn't bother me because of that fact.
I must of taken back to the shops at least 3 tablets, and 9 or 10 laptops in the past few years to get a refund because I couldn't cope with the various distros I tried and felt happier just sharing with my mum. I didn't buy one then return one straightaway - it was more like trying a device out for a week or so, get frustrated, the OCD gets worse, returned the product for a refund, then use my mum's laptop, then getting something new 4 or 5 weeks later. I think the reason I have done this is because I don't actually need another laptop in the house but my compulsion sometimes takes over strongly. Last week I took back an Asus Chromebook to PCWorld after walking out of the store and realising I didn't actually need it.
So you can see I am caught between a rock and a hard place. I want my own device just for watching movies, but at the same time enjoy just having one laptop around. My 'dream' is to find a Linux distro that can boot directly to the Chrome browser. I understand that I do need an underlying os otherwise how would I access the internet and would want an os that does all the security updates in the background, while just providing me with what I need. An analogy would be something like: I want one scoop of chocolate ice cream in a cone, and the ice cream man says I can give you that but it comes with 2 scoops of strawberry and you have to eat those before you get to the chocolate. Basically, I have personally have no use for operating systems, just the internet.
When I first heard about Chromebooks, I got very very excited - wow, a boot straight to the Chrome browser, but then I realised that there was a desktop with icons that can't be removed, and that the Chrome os browser included a section on 'touchpad settings' with a little slider - there is something about sliders and volume/ brightness controls that sets off my OCD. I don't know if Chromium OS is set up differently than Chrome OS as I've never tried it but I know that it, along with other distros can be put onto Chromebooks
I have heard some distros have something called Web Kiosks which locks down the browser to the laptop and you see nothing else. Is that something you think I could look into? Or do you know of a Linux distro in which the user decides what they want on it rather than being forced to live with stuff that isn't needed? There was a distro called Webian which was just the browser, but I don't think it's being developed anymore. Unfortunately, it did't use the Chrome browser (it used it's own browser) and so Zenmate can't be installed on it.
So really to sum it up, I am looking for something that fits my lifestyle, simple, preferably no desktop, and just works the way I want it to work.
I enjoy looking at Linux distros, use Distrowatch to keep up with the latest developments, but above all, one day would like my 'dream version'!
Any thoughts or advice would be really appreciated from this community as I do want to use Linux eventually.
Many thanks in advance,