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Good advice from a lot of people. I would just like to reiterate something RWallett said: first install Linux on a separate pc (or at least hard drive) if possible. This will give you the confidence to experiment without worrying about affecting your current setup at all.
You are bound to have a few hiccups whatever distro you use but there is endless support on the internet (including this site). I have never yet found a Linux problem I was not able to solve with a little help from other users.
My computer farm:
1) Ubuntu 9.04(KDE4)for daily desktop use: coding, web browsing, mailing, testing and so on.
2) openSUSE 11.1 for local web server: apache, mysql and productivity testing
3) WinXP Pro for case of compability testing
Earlier I use only WinXP and MSDN products. Then at first I started with Ubuntu+KDE, it's more "Windows like" I thing most stable is openSUSE 11.1 - even desktop usage.
I was a beginner not so long ago and if I had 1 single Distro to tell you to get, it would be UBUNTU. IT's the one that has the most slant on making it user-friendly all-round. You're still going to have to use the basic Unix stuff every now and again but it's VERY user-friendly with a great cummunity behind it. Also, if you decide to go with UBUNTU, I advise you to get an program called XCHAT(X Irc Chat). If you go to the #ubuntu channel, the guys there will ANSWER ALL OF YOUR ISSUES FOR YOU!!! No joke. Any question, they'll reply with answers until you've figured it out. On top of that , they're very friendly people unlike a LOT of the chat rooms out there where they slam you for what they call STUPID opinions.
UBUNTU.COM to download. In a couple of days they're about to come out with another version!!! It's 9.10
Any how... good luck.
p.s. Let me know if I can be of any help
There are many distributions but as to which to use would depends on your goal. If you want to know the bare essential of linux, I would suggest Slackware. If you want a windows alternative, I would recommend Ubuntu, Knopix, Debian, Mandriva. But then again Linux is Linux
Distribution: Debian Wheezy x64 3.2.0-3-rt, Fuduntu 2012 testing, The Distro Formerly Known As Mandrake
Originally Posted by skpanda
I am using window XP sp3 now i want to use linux.
For anyone in your position I would recommend Ubuntu - easy installation and setup and a great way to get to know Linux. You could also consider Kubuntu as well - same OS with a different windowing look. Either one would be a good start.
My personal favorites are 1) Debian and 2) Slackware - installing either of these distros would help you learn even more about Linux.
i think fedora will be closest to your windoze experience: same look and feel, clueless installation/update, and just a little bit less resource hog. oh yes, pulseaudio is a bit less irritating than wmp.
Start with one of the big well-Known distros because you'll feel more secure with a lot of documentation, detailed wikis and large communities.
I started 2 years ago with ubuntu...just for 14 days then I found out that Linux Mint is much more comfortable ;-) . In the next weeks and month I went step for step forward to more ambitious distros: pclinuxOS, Mandriva, debian, sidux, mepis, antix, zenwalk, vector, absolute, wolvix... at last I ended at slackware and was fully convinced of the speed, stability and clear system-structure.
In addition I tested nearly more 50 distros,just to get more exprerience about linux...even a test with PC-BSD have I done.
So don't think too long about "what's, the right distro" take a well-known one und just start. It's just the beginning of an exiting journey. Good luck :-)
You could try using VirtualBox. I've used it under Vista and successfully run two Linux systems in less than 1G total ram, less than 512M once Vista had grabbed its share. Don't rely on wireless working (natively) on a laptop, some don't have their WLAN interface powerd on at boot time.
As for distros, even Ubuntu is better than Windoze!
As a windows user for some 20yrs i have been looking for a substitute also, i purchased a small spare hard drive and try as many linux distros as i can, doing this does not effect my windows.
troubles are a plenty if you decide to dual boot with windows, often destroying your windows.
The best i have found so far is the latest Mandriva free Spring and PClinuxOS. Suse,Fedora,Debian,Puppy linux etc are very ordinary and are often awkward to install unless you have a good knowledge of linux.
I hope this helps.
Something that took me 2 years to work out: linux is free. Yep we all know that but it means you can feel free to experiment and if it goes wrong just reinstall from scratch. Experimenting is how you learn. With w$ the risk of breaking your OS is unacceptable so you tend to stay on the known paths.
If you want to try out all sorts of software, get yourself a distro with "dynamic package management". Google it to find out how this is different from w$. Basically, the applications (programs in W$ speak) are held in a public database (repository in Linux speak) and you can pick them up and drop them at will,no cd's, no product keys, no hunting around for dodgy freeware. Then, say, you want a money manager- just find the package handler on your Linux system, type in money and pick what you want from the menu.
Debian, Ubuntu, Redhat, and others, have this. There are dozens of distros but I think this is essential for someone new to Linux.
It has to be easy to install. I personally think Ubuntu ticks all the boxes for a Linux beginner, as the website will just talk you through. With modern hardware and no special requirements you should be Ok. All distros can go in with an existing W$ system, but Ubuntu among others makes this easy. It will only work if you either have an extra hd, as has been suggested, or if you defrag. your drive and reduce the size of the w$ partition- this is hazardous so check it out and back up data first. Don't do it unless you have a w$ restore disk. I personally do this (i.e. dual boot) so I can use w$ as little as possible and keep it pristine for when something won't work on Linux.
When you do install, try to find out how to set up your "home" folder (my documents in w$) on a separate partition. Not essential but then you really will be able to replace your whole OS without losing data, email, bookmarks,etc. Sorry to repeat but like others posting here I really believe experimenting is the key. Good luck!
I have been using Linux since January 2008, I started with Fedora - because of its association with RedHat I assumed it was the best. I decided that it was much better than Windows for several reasons, but found that after installing a new version I always had to fiddle with something (I have a list of 7 issues), perhaps even having to go to the command prompt, this wasn't a lot better than Windows. I decided to switch to Mandriva/Gnome (2009.1) this year and everything worked straight away without any fiddling! I'm an ordinary sort of user who just wants an operating system that works - I don't need any sophisticated services from it and I am not interested in experimenting with it. I use my computer for the Internet (including radio and YouTube), for storing photographs and for processing sound files from VHS and vinyl onto DVDs and CDs. If you are an ordinary sort of user like me I would recommend Mandriva.
If you're really new in linux,you could consider to use Ubuntu. Fedora and Mandrake are also good IMO.
The 1st time I installed and tried linux was Fedora. Then, I started to use Redhat-based distros, like Mandrake (i used it about 8 months) and CentOS. I tried Slackware, CentOS and Gentoo but it didn't last too long in my hard drive.
Then, one of my coworkers,which works for an ISP,invited me to see his datacenter. At the time, i didn't know Linux too much.
Almost 70% of all their servers are Debian-based. I started to take a look on it and I was pretty impressed how easy it is compared to Redhat,specially the apt-get command!
I previously made firewalls and web servers w/ Redhat, but Debian is much more quick to configure and 'get the things done'. My firewall is debian-based and it has a 503 day uptime!!
Ubuntu is a debian-based OS much more designed to the "newbie". I mean, @ school we use Ubuntu.
If you have a good computer, you can virtualise a Linux distro, instead of screwing your hard drive.
I am using window XP sp3 now i want to use linux.
also i had never use linux at all in my life
Now i want to learn step by step to use linux
can any one please guide me.My only work is networking
I would suggest give any of the popular distributions like Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE or Debian a try and decide for yourself. You can download the binary and burn it on a dvd/cd and then try the LiveCD version. The LiveCD version runs linux from the CD and gives you an opportunity to try before installing it. Each distro comes with GNOME desktop and KDE desktop. Both are nice and well supported. Its really depends on your personal taste. If you would like to know the look and feel of GNOME and KDE try searching for their screenshots on the internet.