Linux - NewbieThis Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question?
If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!
Welcome to LinuxQuestions.org, a friendly and active Linux Community.
You are currently viewing LQ as a guest. By joining our community you will have the ability to post topics, receive our newsletter, use the advanced search, subscribe to threads and access many other special features. Registration is quick, simple and absolutely free. Join our community today!
Note that registered members see fewer ads, and ContentLink is completely disabled once you log in.
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you need to reset your password, click here.
Having a problem logging in? Please visit this page to clear all LQ-related cookies.
Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
Click Here to receive this Complete Guide absolutely free.
Mint is an easy recommendation. If you get the version recommended, DVD's will work, mp3's will work, and most hardware will work. Installation is a point and click affair much like most Windows users are used to.
Another one I personally think is good if you want an extremely full featured desktop (KDE) and have the horsepower to run it (not the best on older hardware), is Chakra.
Fedora is good if you want everything and the kitchen sink default. It's a bit bloated and over the top IMO, but for a beginner to get their feet wet, it's actually pretty darn good.
As much as I'm personally not a fan of it, Mageia is another great choice for the beginner. Uses KDE, but a little lighter than some other KDE choices, and again, everything is point and click.
Mint is very easy to use. Get the Mate or Cinnamon desktop version, and get version 13 rather than the latest: that's the long-term-support version, while 14 and 15 will need replacing at the end of the year.
Another very good one is PCLinuxOS. That has the KDE desktop, which is good if you like eye-candy. The distro doesn't have versions: just run the update tool once a month and you never need to re-install.
I'd get both the live disks and see which I preferred before installing one.
Last tip: read the instructions before installing!
I second DavidMcCann's suggestion to test various distros in Live CD form to pick one you think you will like.
Keep in mind that Live CDs will not run as fast as an actual install, so don't let speed of use distract you.
Whatever you pick, I would suggest sticking with it for at least three months to get the hang of using Linux before you start distro-hopping to something new.
You can also install VirtualBox in your existing Windows machine and install distros as VMs and test them out; that would be more simulation-of-realistic than Live CDs. If you want to try this route, be sure to check the VirtualBox minimum requirements, especially as regards memory.
Me, I started with Slackware, which has an undeserved reputation for being difficult to install (it does not offer to partition your hard drive automatically, but expects you to do it), and I've never regretted it. I have also used Mint and Mageia, of the ones named above, and they are both excellent.
read up there about how to get a Fedora 19 system up and running with full media support. It is so much simpler now then ever before.
In the past it would take HOURS of searching, cursing, and beating your head against the wall to get Fedora, and many other distros for that matter, to play simple things like MP3s or DVDs, etc... I just set 2 laptops up with Fedora 19 over the past few days and I have to say its one of the best distros ive had the pleasure of working with in the past 3 years.