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Old 12-17-2008, 09:19 PM   #1
hucphin
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What is the easiest distribution for a Windows user right now?


I am writing to all fellow Linux users about a problem I have. My best friend's mother's computer went down, and she is unable to get Windows XP up. Over Christmas Break, I am going back home to fix her computer, which needs a fresh install of Windows XP.

I thought that this would be an excellent time to swap over the whole family to Linux. The problem with the family is that they are not tech savvy. They just want a computer that will run, without tweaking it, without having driver problems, hooking up their iPods, hooking up their printers just works, just like it does in Windows.

Although I have not written many posts, I would like to think that I am familiar with Linux. I have been running Linux for ~5 years now, and I am very comfortable with administering, shells, scripts, commands, etc. I am also graduating in May with a Major in C.S., so I better be able to handle a computer running Unix/Linux!!!

I am running one of my computers on Slackware 12.1, another one has Fedora Core 10. Slackware is definitely too technical for them, and Fedora Core 10 has a lot of issues right now. KDE 4 is unstable, and the Security Policies are a pain to have to manage. All in all, I do not like Fedora Core 10 for them. Right now I am thinking Fedora Core 9 would be good for them, but I was wondering if there is an easier distribution to introduce them to.

So my question is this. For someone who has no knowledge of Linux, and just wants to use a computer for E-mail, pictures, movies, music, Internet, etc., what is the best distribution to introduce them to?

I have only tried Fedora Core, CentOS, RHEL, SLES, OpenSUSE, and Slackware, but I know that there are about a thousand different distributions out there. So, I wanted to ask, what would you suggest that I introduce this family to?
 
Old 12-17-2008, 09:30 PM   #2
pixellany
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I infer from this that you will be the systems admin. If that's true, then YOU need to pick what you think you will have the easiest time maintaining.

For the list of tasks, I would assume that anything in the top ten at Distrowatch would be fine.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 03:50 AM   #3
tothemax6
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Perhaps you should check out "Linux Mint". It looks very windows-ey. Its based on ubuntu, which was evil to set up (well at least it was for me), but after that it does all the stuff you are looking for and works quite well. However, Mint alleges to be much easier to setup, and well check it out for yourself.

RM
 
Old 12-18-2008, 04:04 AM   #4
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hucphin View Post
I have only tried Fedora Core, CentOS, RHEL, SLES, OpenSUSE, and Slackware, but I know that there are about a thousand different distributions out there. So, I wanted to ask, what would you suggest that I introduce this family to?
If you exclude special purpose distros (firewalls, pen testing,...) I make it closer to 200, but its still too many to try every one yourself...

For non-techies, I'd give the *buntus a go; I'd expect kubuntu to be slightly more popular than ubuntu itself, but I could be wrong about that. Nothing to stop you installing *buntu with KDE, Gnome and XFCE available and letting them choose themselves.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 11:43 AM   #5
DavidMcCann
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I'm probably disqualified from commenting, as I've never had a computer running Windows, but I've often thought that the Linux distros that try to mimic the look and feel of Windows are not really a good idea. Sooner or later, something will come up that is not like Windows, causing the user to say "Help! Why's it doing *that*?" If you have something that looks different from the start, they will be psychologically prepared for a new experience. Just tell them it's much easier than learning how to use a new DVD-recorder, as I discovered this week!
 
Old 12-18-2008, 12:23 PM   #6
ceantuco
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I will try installing Ubuntu first. It seems the easiest Distro out there for ex windows users. I use OpenSuse and I find it pretty simple.
Good Luck!

I've been trying to convince my mom and sis to switch to Linux but just the fear of the unknown scares them!
good luck!
 
Old 12-18-2008, 12:24 PM   #7
ceantuco
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or let them try the "new" W$ndow$ Mojave! (JOKE) lol
 
Old 12-18-2008, 12:52 PM   #8
DJOtaku
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Moved my wife's aunt to ubuntu. She doesn't know anything about computers and kept getting viruses on her XP machine. Every time I went to visit I had to clean ti up. I got sick of it and installed Ubuntu. All she does is use the internet and that works perfectly fine - she hasn't had any problems. Other possible choices include Mandriva, with its very nice looking control panel, and Linux Mint. Xandros is also very Windows-like, but I've never used it personally.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 01:53 PM   #9
chalearun
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I think You should go with "ubuntu"
 
Old 12-18-2008, 02:00 PM   #10
beachboy2
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Double post!

Last edited by beachboy2; 12-18-2008 at 02:04 PM.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 02:02 PM   #11
beachboy2
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hucphin,

If you are going to be the Systems Admin, I would recommend using a distro which uses Synaptic Package manager. It is the best PM in the business, IMO.

For ease of installation it could be a close thing between Ubuntu 8.10 and Mepis 8 beta (the final version is out very soon but you can use the beta and upgrade easily).

If you choose Ubuntu 8.10 you will probably need to add several items from “10 Things” here:

http://www.dailygyan.com/2008/11/10-...mediately.html

Both distros are simple to use. Mepis may have a slight edge.
Both are available as Live CDs so you can do trial runs first without actually installing them.

http://www.linux.com/feature/153431

http://www.deviceguru.com/mepis-linux-80-nears-release/
 
Old 12-18-2008, 02:12 PM   #12
j.todd
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PCLinuxOS is good for newbies.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 03:42 PM   #13
bdox
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Hi! I'd recommend Mandriva 2009 or 2008.1 if you think KDE4.1 is too buggy (i thing a "windows-user" won't even "see" the problems KDE4.1 has, they just don't go that "deep" One important thing: when installing chose "standard" and not the default "high" security level...
 
Old 12-18-2008, 04:01 PM   #14
skuzye
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Smile what did you mean by "deep"

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdox View Post
Hi! I'd recommend Mandriva 2009 or 2008.1 if you think KDE4.1 is too buggy (i thing a "windows-user" won't even "see" the problems KDE4.1 has, they just don't go that "deep" One important thing: when installing chose "standard" and not the default "high" security level...
What did you mean by "deep" ? I'm just curious.. :P
 
Old 12-18-2008, 05:02 PM   #15
bdox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skuzye View Post
What did you mean by "deep" ? I'm just curious.. :P
for example, i've had some problems with some keyboard shortcuts in KDE4.1 (Mandriva 2009), or with problems saving my sessions (only 'empty session' and 'last session' work) also many nice things konqueror (and the hole KDE3.5) had and now does not, but a new user won't miss them, will they if they come from IE?
I think KDE4 is really great, it just need some time to get 3.5-functional.
did i satisfy your curiosity?
 
  


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