Which form of Linux Operating to choose for my 7 year old Gateway Desktop?
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Hi Eveyone, I am NEW(bie) to Linux but have heard nothing but great praise about it as opposed to Windows. I have a 7 year old Gateway Desktop with 512 mb RAM and 80 Gb hard drive, an Intel Pentium 4 processor. What would be a suitable Linux OS for me to use (and to get to know how to use) what if any AV/ASpyware products would work with it. I have heard about Red Hat and IP COP. I am a security conscious user and do a LOT of internet browsing. Thanks!
What speed CPU is in the computer? I've run Linux on a 750MHz and 1GHz. Pentium III CPU but it's relatively slow with KDE. You should probably stick to a GNOME based distro or a simpler window manager like XFCE if the computer is slower than 1GHz.
I think that 512MB of RAM should work fine. I run KDE with that, and a smaller window manager will be even better.
Two of the easiest distros to get up and running are Ubuntu and Mint. I encourage you to get very familiar with at least one distro to start with, and then try some others afterward. No matter what distro you use, locate the documentation and WIKI on the web site and do a bit of reading. If you get stuck that is the first place to look for answers. LinuxQuestions is also a good place for help, but many questions are answered in the FAQ or WIKI for the distro.
If you're even considering Slackware (that I use) read the Slackbook or at least refer to it while installing Slackware. With Slackware you will have to type in some commands and understand some Linux concepts before you can install the OS. The advantage to Slackware is that you learn more about Linux. The disadvantage is that it takes longer to have everything up and running when you're new to Linux. If you attempt Slackware and find it too difficult you can certainly switch to a different distro. The Slackbook is a good introduction to Linux even if you don't plan to install Slackware.
The hardware in your computer will make a big difference in terms of how well Linux will work. A lot of hardware is supported by Linux but there are some things that aren't. Software modems (winmodems) by Conexant, or unusual wireless cards/chips are examples. Some "fake hardware" RAID controllers by Promise are not well supported. Linux software RAID is a better choice if you're not going to run multiple operating systems from the RAID array.
Getting a graphics driver working with 3D acceleration can sometimes be challenging. You can often download a Linux driver from the nVidia or ATI/AMD web site with additional Linux features.
People get quite passionate about distros. The best one for you depends on what you want from the distro. You may find that you use different ones on different computers, or change distros after you learn more about Linux.
Two of the easiest distros to get up and running are Ubuntu and Mint.
A newbie soliciting preference and follow this line of guide will quickly prosper in his exploration. Assuming a technical background at minimal the first aim of the migrant is to get a feel and familiarity at HOW GNU/Linux can become easily and equally useful to his productivity, under this criterion Ubuntu and Mint have already made their point.
Consider these two important points:
a) Support for driver modules are wider in Ubuntu & Mint and are mostly automated, minimizing the headache for hunting, installing, configuring to make the hardware work.
b) Mint supports proprietary codecs which others including slackware does not automatically include (although I have not noted Slackware 13 whether this thing has changed) but there is always a SlackBuild available for separate download then compile and install. The simplicity of Mint's Gnome or Xfce DEs can greatly help a migrating newbie to learn and familiarize GNU/Linux at a pace.
Mint is based in Ubuntu and Ubuntu is a child of Debian we know that. But Mint is able to inherit and manipulate the excellent points of the two and introduces additional improvements to facilitate ease of use and usability, let alone her elegance, juicy, and mouth watering themes and wallpapers. I don't currently use Mint anymore after getting matured in the more challenging and rock stable Slackware, but Mint for me is an express way toward learning Gnu/Linux as Operating System.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by malekmustaq; 12-27-2009 at 12:42 AM.
To everyone who has made their recommendations: Thanks Again! I am currently running UBUNTU; started out with version 9.04, then was immediately informed through the update manager of the latest 9.10 release which I subsequently downloaded and installed and am now running!(Sure is a lot to download!).But I was wondering if I could try MINT as a "Live CD" in the same computer, and if I find that I like it would I be able to install it alongside UBUNTU, making it a Dual Boot system. When I installed UBUNTU, I let it install as the ONLY system with NO other partitions. Would MINT be capable of Partitioning the drive into a Dual boot Confiuguration, WITHOUT disturbing UBUNTU? ALSO, as I become more familiar with the ins and outs of linux, I am DEFINITELY going to try SLACKWARE, since I always like a challenge. (Must be the Machinist/Mechanic in me!). Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!
As I was JUST typing my reply, you happened to be typing yours also0! Just to let you know, I did do research on my own after posting the ORIGINAL thread, and "HIT" upon MINT as my second choice for the EXACT same reasons you just mentioned! We must be thinking along the same lines of attack. Start with the more familiar and then progress to the more difficult. ( The same as starting out as a machinist or mechanic.)...Mikey007
But I was wondering if I could try MINT as a "Live CD" in the same computer, and if I find that I like it would I be able to install it alongside UBUNTU, making it a Dual Boot system.
Yes, very much capable. The nice thing with Mint like Ubuntu it installs with a Grub and grub is very flexible for that purpose. It would be a good preparation to read this Grub Tutorial first if you are planning a dual boot so that you will do it straight and easy.
Would MINT be capable of Partitioning the drive into a Dual boot Confiuguration, WITHOUT disturbing UBUNTU?
Yes because Mint LiveCD is equipped with a very good gParted GUI to control, slice or fomat any portion of your hard drive. I have even elsewhere advised once to a newbie to burn a Mint LiveCD first and use it as a Tool for installing other distros that do not offer the same advantage. Here is a link for Mint LiveCD. You can use it as a disk tool before you install anything.
ALSO, as I become more familiar with the ins and outs of linux, I am DEFINITELY going to try SLACKWARE, since I always like a challenge.
A very good attitude. Slackware complete-install DVD is available here. If you need a plain CD that site also offers a series of separate CD installers.
Hope it helps.
Last edited by malekmustaq; 12-27-2009 at 01:06 AM.
I have definitely found that after starting with Ubuntu and Mandriva (and getting a handle on the power of linux/gnu) I had the confidence in not only myself, but the platform to move on to Slackware where I've found that I learn 10 times as much in a third of the time. I've REALLY come to love Slackware although, for now at least, I still have a definite use for Ubuntu and a real affinity for Mandriva even if I use Slack 95 percent of the time. It's SO much faster than anything else I've tried, that for a resource limited machine, it's definitely something to keep in mind.
Use LiveCD's for general feel for a distribution, but better option is to run a virtual machine like Sun's VirtualBox and run all interesting distributions in side and get a real feel. Of course, that is not possible on the slower machine, but you might have a frend or relative that be willing to help.
Pixellany has good reason to offer that opinion. Slackware, no matter how you praise it, cannot be easier than any of the top-ten in the distrowatch.com. Maybe you had a fine experience as a slacker-newbie, maybe you have an exceptional adaptability or IQ, or maybe you did not engaged Slackware those days into serious app and networking works, or finally, maybe you are not a computing newbie at all, one who has extensive computing experience before getting into linux. There are a lot of things to do after installation to make Slackware comfortably suited to our taste and be useful to our purpose, unlike ubuntu or suse, and these things must need be first honestly declared to a newbie in any form of language or warning.
Most of the migrants from M$ Windows are "click this click that" advance users, but Slackware to be fully exploited is a terminal workhorse. Most migrants cannot be happy at being dead dropped at run level 3 the first boot from fresh installation. So don't be surprised, pixellany is always a devoted watchman-reminder when this kind of thread erupts in LQ.
And please let us avoid pointed language and minimize debates.
Thank you for the time.
Very well written
My personal opinion is that Ubuntu broke the migration barrier by making it easier for those who do not have any experience with Linux (esp taking care of the hardware related issues that crop up while installing Linux). It will be easier to adapt something new if the newbie can relate the new system to the one they are used to.