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Old 04-21-2012, 01:37 AM   #1
iCreate
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What should I know before installing Linux on laptop?


Hey peeps,
I am tired of being infected with malware and read that Linux rarely has viruses. I have general knowledge of computers, and am starting to teach myself (reading online guides and such) more and more about the technical aspects of computers. Linux seems to be the preferred OS for doing more with your computer and such. So, now I want to install it on my laptop. Since its a laptop I want to take caution on how to approach installing it since I have limited knowledge on the subject.

I have a few questions and just seek advice about this process. First, which version is best for nubbies like me? How do I install it? (using flash drive im assuming?) Do I have to code anything once I have it installed? I have other questions just can't remember them atm. Here is all my system info:

------------------
System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 4/21/2012, 01:32:05
Machine name: JUNKPARTITIO-PC
Operating System: Windows Vista™ Home Premium (6.0, Build 6002) Service Pack 2 (6002.vistasp2_gdr.120305-0430)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Hewlett-Packard
System Model: HP G60 Notebook PC
BIOS: Default System BIOS
Processor: Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU T4200 @ 2.00GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.0GHz
Memory: 3002MB RAM
Page File: 1112MB used, 5128MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 7.00.6002.18107 32bit Unicode

More specifically, the model is: HP G60-441US notebook pc.

I am also looking forward to learning more about Linux and meeting peeps on the forum. Any input would be awesome!
 
Old 04-21-2012, 02:07 AM   #2
TommyC7
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Hello there iCreate. Glad to see another member joining us.

The hardware on that machine does seem to be supported by the Linux kernel, so I don't think you'll have a problem installing it. Also, there are many flavors of GNU+Linux distributions, not one, so you're not really looking for a "version" it seems.

There are many ways to install a GNU+Linux distribution. Yes, as you said you can use a flash drive, a CD/DVD will work as well, and you can also install it in various other ways.

Ubuntu off the top of my head (and its various derivatives like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc.) may be okay for new GNU+Linux users. CentOS is also somewhat newbie-friendly too. It comes with a graphical installer that will guide you through it easing the process, and their documentation is great.
 
Old 04-21-2012, 02:12 AM   #3
EricTRA
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Hello and welcome to LinuxQuestions,

Over the years Linux has become a lot easier to install so I wouldn't worry about that. Under normal circumstances, that is if your hardware is completely supported, you shouldn't have any problems installing Linux. I advice you to download a, as you called it, nubbie friendly distro or two and start them from LiveCD/LiveDVD (you can even use an USB drive for it if you prefer). In my opinion best newbie friendly distros are Linux Mint and Ubuntu. Have a look at DistroWatch.com if you want more choices and for download links. The advantage of beginning with a LiveCD is that it doesn't interfere with your current installation on your laptop, you'll know that your hardware is fully supported and working and you'll get a first glance at how it looks. If all works as expected you can even install directly from the Live session which is pretty easy too.

Another important thing you'll need to do is read up on some documentation about Linux to understand the differences between Windows and Linux. These are some good sites:
Linux is not Windows
Linux FAQs for Newbies

Once you get the basics you can start getting to know the inner workings by using and investigating your installed Linux distro and very important, by reading a good starting guide like this one for example:
Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition

Looking forward to your participation in the forums. Have fun with Linux.

Kind regards,

Eric
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 04-21-2012, 05:17 AM   #4
ukiuki
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It is good thing to have in hand different live cds from different distros, try out as many as you can. There are distros set for speed and low footprint memory those will run really fast on your computer here some of them to check out:
Slitaz
Archbang
Tinycore
Lubuntu(new release 12.04 next week)

And if you really want to get into Linux then try out as well the Elder distros:
Debian Debian Live
Redhat Fedora
Slackware

Regards
 
Old 04-21-2012, 12:43 PM   #5
DavidMcCann
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Some of the things you've already been told are wrong. CentOS is not user-friendly and Tinycore is a rather tricky Linux intended for small elderly computers!

You do need to try out more than one distro, because you get a choice of user interface (unlike with Windows) and what suits one person will not suit another. My advice would be to try KDE and Xfce. They are very different, giving you a clear choice, and are more stable than some and easier than others. For KDE, Mepis is well done and very easy to install. For Xfce, SalineOS is the best for a beginner.
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...p/product/1773
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...page/15/sort/7

Read the instructions before installing and you can't go wrong. You need to divide your hard drive into two/three partitions:
1. / for everything except
2. /home for your personal files, so that you can re-install later versions of the distro without affecting them
3. swap if you want to use the hibernate feature
The tool to do this will be in the installer.
 
Old 04-21-2012, 01:45 PM   #6
TroN-0074
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No body has mentioned to you but you can split your hard drive and install a GNU-Linux distro and one portion of your drive and keep your Vista installation in the other portion. To do that you will need a partitioning tool, So during the installation you will have to tell the installer to put the new Operating System in the unallocaded space previously created. The installer will format that space so you dont have to.

Or you can choose to use the entery hard drive and the installer will erase everything from your hard drive and will put the new OS in it.

As suggested above in previous posts. Running a live session from the CD, DVD, or USB is a good idea so you can test that the new OS will detect all the components in your Laptop, Wireless and Video Display among other. If one distro is not working correctly in your laptop try another.

If you use your laptop for Media files such as playing Mp3, avi,mkv, Movie DVD, and pictures you will have to install all the media codecs but that is done after installation. Other than Linux Mint I dont think any other distro is deployed with the media codecs already in the ISO file.

Some of the best distros for new Linux users out there are

Linux Mint http://www.linuxmint.com/
Ubuntu www.ubuntu.com
OpenSuSE http://www.opensuse.org/en/
Fedora http://fedoraproject.org/

The reason why I suggest these is because they have a big community behind them for support and they pack lots of application in their ISO file, and because they support a huge among of hardware so chances are they will run fine in your computer.

Good luck to you.

Last edited by TroN-0074; 04-21-2012 at 01:48 PM.
 
Old 04-21-2012, 04:12 PM   #7
floppy_stuttgart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
Some of the things you've already been told are wrong. CentOS is not user-friendly and Tinycore is a rather tricky Linux intended for small elderly computers!

You do need to try out more than one distro, because you get a choice of user interface (unlike with Windows) and what suits one person will not suit another. My advice would be to try KDE and Xfce. They are very different, giving you a clear choice, and are more stable than some and easier than others. For KDE, Mepis is well done and very easy to install. For Xfce, SalineOS is the best for a beginner.
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...p/product/1773
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...page/15/sort/7

Read the instructions before installing and you can't go wrong. You need to divide your hard drive into two/three partitions:
1. / for everything except
2. /home for your personal files, so that you can re-install later versions of the distro without affecting them
3. swap if you want to use the hibernate feature
The tool to do this will be in the installer.
TinyCore for old computers?
I use it because I have a very quick boot with it.
A samsung nc10 netbook and an asus K51AE (what I have as "old" PC).. are not sooo old..;-)
Personally I like the fat free OS (like Archbang or TinyCore):
- < lxde (jwm).. not KDE.. not GNOME..
- gnumeric (similar excel)
- leafpad..
KDE or GNOME or other RAM eating application are making a slave out of your hardware.
But this is a question of philosophy (mine).
 
Old 04-21-2012, 10:34 PM   #8
frankbell
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I second the suggestion to try out Live CDs of several distributions to pick one with an interface you feel comfortable with. Off the top of my head, I would suggest trying Debian, Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, and SalixOS. Any one of those will give you good functionality.

If you really want to learn by doing, go with Slackware. Once you get the hang of it, it's nowhere nearly so difficult as its reputation would have you believe, but it does not hold your hand during installation, mainly because it does not offer to auto-partition the disk for you.

Once you pick one, stick with it for a while, even if you decide you want to try something else--this will give you a chance to get familiar with how Linux works before venturing onward.

If you really are determined to make the switch, resist the temptation to dual boot and just dive right in.
 
Old 04-23-2012, 11:05 PM   #9
iCreate
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First, thanks to everyone for their input! What is a LiveCD? I'm guessing its a CD or DVD that contains many distributions of Linux?
 
Old 04-23-2012, 11:11 PM   #10
TroN-0074
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iCreate View Post
First, thanks to everyone for their input! What is a LiveCD? I'm guessing its a CD or DVD that contains many distributions of Linux?
A live CD is what you use to start a live session with out installing the new OS in the computer.
To create a live CD you just need to burn the ISO file of a distribution in a CD or DVD and nowadays even in a USB drive.

No all the distros offer live CD ISO files but the ones I posted for you in my previous post they all are. So download them and burn them on a CD or DVD.

Once you have choose the one you want to install you keep that CD to use as rescue disk if your installation breaks.

Good luck to you.
 
Old 04-24-2012, 02:47 AM   #11
ukiuki
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You can also use a USB stick and have many live sessions in one USB stick, you can get the multiboot usb creator, the live multiple USB here: http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-mu...t-usb-creator/

Regards
 
  


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