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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.
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paldo is still active (10+ years) and independently developed, but now as a rolling release. It was one of the early Gnome 3 and systemd adopters and is still largely vanilla, with a few customized install metapackages.
The package manager hasn't changed a bit - still command line only and slow, but it works fine with the basic upkg-install/remove/upgrade commands for packages from the online repository. If one dabbles in building packages from source it means manually configuring scripts for dependencies, though, and isn't really worth the time except for the fun of it.
Fortunately, the packages repo is sufficient for a gnome-based system and has been consistently maintained for years; it's one of the best features of the distro - kudos to the developer for reliable, bleeding-edge package updates on a roughly weekly basis.
Not only installable from a CD, now there are pendrive installation images.
Can be used live from pendrives or SD(HC) cards.
Some network/wifi adapters not supported because the manufacturers won't release the code; need to check first to avoid disappointment.
You may find your favourite program is not available, but there are suitable alternatives.
You will need to know the basics of how unix works to get the best from the system. Full documentation is available to be read by the user, when needed, & there is a comprehensive FAQ.
All in all, a very good O/S.
I not only recommend Linux Mint, but I am actively promoting it. My (sort-of paying) hobby is acquiring, restoring and reselling older computers; both laptops and desktops. I set them up with Mint - the amd64 version if possible, but the i686 version works very well too. Most people don't care what OS is on there, they just want to use their Facebook account.
I have set up appx 20 computers in the last 6 months and have never had a single person complain that Win---s is not installed. I have three towers, two notebooks and a netbook on my home network. I do all the updates and maintenance, but really, the time needed is insignificant.
I started evaluating Linux (as a replacement for Win7) in 2011 with the OpenSuse distro and have also tried Gentoo and Redhat. Mint seems to be the overall winner; although the others were certainly very good.
I could go on all night singing praises, but you get the idea...
Back to the salt mines for me.
Overall, each of the spins are great to use. I'd recommend using either KDE or MATE if you are just getting started. Cinnamon is also excellent.
Still, there is no master distribution which has all of the popular desktops installed once. PC-BSD, whatever it's advantages or disadvantages, allows you to choose one or as many as close to a dozen different desktops at once during the initial install.
Currently, I'm running mint 17.1 on a HP all in one T23. I removed and gave away the original hard drive and substituted a SSD instead. I also put in the maximum amount of RAM (16 gigs) but left the CPU alone...
... for now!!
It's excellent and linux sees all the hardware on the computer itself. You may or may not have to use a wired USB keyboard or mouse. I haven't tested the ones included in the box.
Debian is a fine distribution with a long heritage in the Linux world. It speaks well to it that so many forks depend upon it. As others have mentioned above, its forums are plagued with arrogant, rather unpleasant folks - not a majority by any means, but significant enough to be insulting not only to newbies, but to experienced developers and users of other distros, Ubuntu and Mint being prime targets.
It is an operating system, not a religion. I hope that perspective will remain with yet another fork, Devuan, on the horizon.
I have been using AntiX for a couple of years now, & it has made my life easy not having to search for any extras, which I had to do when running plain Debian.
Being lightweight, it is a good distro to bring your old machine back to life with modern software.
(A good replacement for that old XP machine.)
This review is based on the MATE version (64-bit), I stopped using KDE a few years ago, KDE is PCLinuxOS's more 'native' DE. I should also mention I have prior PCLinuxOS experience, it was years ago but not much has changed, which is actually a good thing, too many people are constantly changing too much these days.
I switched over to it from Debian 7.8 Xfce because of systemd coming to Debian in 8.0 Jessie (I wanted out before the poop hits the fan). I'm finding PCLinuxOS to be more stable and reliable than Debian, I ran Debian 'stable' (Wheezy) and was getting GUI bugs, etc, one would expect that in 'testing' or 'Sid', NOT stable. If you do switch over to PCLinuxOS, you may find a few of your legacy favourite apps are missing in the repo (a lot of old junk has been deprecated), but there's no shortage of apps and programs for a fully functional desktop/workstation (PCLinuxOS has DVDStyler for example, Wheezy does not). I get the impression Bill, aka Texstar likes to maintain 'cream of the crop' apps and not waste his time on little used, old novelty apps, I can't say I blame him. As mentioned in the 'Cons', I'm a little sad I had to tear down my dual SSD Raid 0 (Debian does have fakeraid support, but it's no 'walk in the park' to get it working), I disconnected one of the SSDs (a spare in case the working SSD fails, I don't completely trust SSDs yet). This is not really a huge issue, one SSD is twice the speed (r/w up to 550MB/s compared to 280MB/s) of my old 4 HDD Raid 0. I knocked off 1 point for no PCLinuxOS fakeraid installation support, otherwise, it's definitely a '10'.
A couple of notes:
You can uninstall PulseAudio with the package 'task-pulseaudio-remove', it works great, Alsa is fine afterwards. I also uninstalled 'qt-update-notifier' (a system-tray update notifier), it was a little annoying and not really all that functional (this 'tool' is probably more at home in the KDE version), I manually check for updates at least once a day anyway.
I had to manually enable cpufreq in PCLinuxOS Control Center/System/Manage system services, I have an 8 core monster of a CPU, I didn't want it running at full speed all the time, it scales down to 1.4GHz when idle now, I have no idea why it wasn't 'on' by default post installation, CPU scaling was automatically working when I tested the very same PCLinuxOS disk 'live'.
I have an AMD based system, it's crucial to pass iommu=soft to the kernel, live or installed, on my system anyway, if yours has the IOMMU option in your BIOS (disabled by default), you may need to do the same. This 'fix' also enabled my VIA chip controlled USB 3.0, this is a kernel level common issue across many distros, it's NOT an issue specific to PCLinuxOS.
Be careful with the installer, if you have multiple drives, read what it wants to do carefully, most of the time it wants to resize a Windows partition and create a new Linux install partition on the same drive. I had to 'tell' it to use a completely empty SSD pre-formatted to MSDOS/NTFS.
Install the 'elementary' icon set from the repo, you'll like it, it's pretty. I'm using the BlueMenta theme and BlackMate window borders (System/Preferences/Appearance).
There is a PCLinuxOS Xfce 'community edition', but I chose MATE version because it's 'officially supported' (just a personal preference, I'm getting more lazy as time goes by, lol) and it's NOT KDE.
The learning curve is very low with PCLinuxOS, I did way more learning and researching fixes and tweaks when I used Windows (on and off up to 2010), I would even dare to say, IMO, PCLinuxOS and Mint are tied for best Windows refugee distros.
Thanks for reading my review.
See my sig for machine specs.