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Hi, thanks for dropping in ! If you're having the devil of a time finding the right downloadable distro, installer, iso-decrypter, and transmogrifiers to simply install some version of Linux on your machine, this is probably the place for you, especially if we're talking an older machine already infected with Winblows, or maybe you want the dual-boot option.

To save newbies and past users from the stress and strain of finding and installing the right Linux distribution(s) and install procedure(s) for their machine, especially older machines.

Linux LQ is a wonderful enterprise, a lighthouse in the evil darkness of a fallen Microsux world, and I found many of the people there to be absolutely awesome in terms of their knowledge, skills, and willingness to help. However, it has matured to the point that it is mostly Greek, addressing subjects in Greek, that will only intimidate and discourage a newcomer or acolyte, who will sometimes feel in over their heads even in the "Newbies" forum.
This blog is for those people.
Posts entailing cryptic console commands, inscrutable acronyms, in-depth analyses and/or references to nebulous high-level aspects of Linux will be relegated to the forums for more experienced users. This will probably remain the smallest blog on LQ, and deliberately so, as I will pare and prune mercilessly. The objective here is to present a concise, focused outline of the (current) basic initial approach to getting Linux onboard, and I will attempt to keep it that way.
Linux, in some form and version, is THE operating system. Let us help you get onboard in short order.
----------------- DAN
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Hello, and welcome !

Posted 09-02-2016 at 04:54 AM by danrevell
Updated 10-13-2016 at 11:48 AM by danrevell

Why am I here, and who's responsible for this mess?
this post's B/J (Buzzwords and Jargon) :
"distro" -- distribution; a new or different release of some Linux OS.
"OS" ------ Operating System, the foundational code (usually pre-installed) that runs your
machine's hardware AND software. Ex: Winblows, MacOS, Linux....
"RAM" ------ Random Access Memory, separate from your hard drive's "memory"; much less storage
space but much faster access and processing.

At this moment, LQ cites 1,934 blogs comprised of 6,439 entries.
Don't misunderstand; LinuxQuestions is the center jewel in mankind's crowning achievement -Linux-, and I have found many of the people there to be somewhat awesome in terms of their expertise, communications skills, and readiness to help... but the vast majority of that information targets some pretty advanced issues for a newcomer.
If, like me, you are disinclined to wade through LQ's impressive mountain of Q&A just to find out how to install the best version of Linux for your machine on your machine, then you may have lucked out. This is the place.

How many versions/distributions of Linux are there, and why/how should I choose one?
At this time lists pages for over 130 versions of Linux just on their "distros" pull-down menu, and YahooAnswers "best answer" is that establishing the precise number of distros out there is practically impossible. Most of us just need ONE; but which one?
The answer to that hinges on three considerations: 1) the distro's integrity, 2) your machine's capabilities, and 3) your personal preferences.

1) It shouldn't come as a shock that all Linux distro's are NOT created equal. Some are
minimal in scope, providing little flexibility, expansion potential, and/or user control.
Some are just not as well-produced as others, having bugs or quirks that undermine their
overall quality, and the community or enterprise producing and maintaining the distro just
aren't up-to-par with mainstream distros. Some are slanted towards specific user-types.
2) Some of us are reluctant to part with older machines which are still functioning
perfectly... except for the fact that much of modern computer "technology" is aimed at
making our machine obsolete, so that we will go out and buy a new one.
Our emotions are actually correct in this case, most of the time; that old machine will do
everything we have always used it to do, it just needs a smaller, updated OS to circumvent
the mainstream-marketers attempts to convince us that it's obsolete. An OS like LINUX.
3) You're one of THOSE people. You want this, you want that, you don't like the way
that particular desktop looks, you want to be able to make all your icons out of
pictures of the kids/grandkids... hey, that's okay; after all, it is YOUR
computer, and if your personal preferences weigh in higher on the priority scale
than reliability and functionality, that is your right. (Yes, I'm being a little
sarcastic here, but not as much as you think; I, too, have preferences, and I AM,
after all, the one who listed this as the third priority.)

So then..... which version/distro should I go with? Which one will most likely run efficaciously on my machine, meet my computing needs, and suit my personal preferences?
Again, you may have lucked out.
At the moment I write this, I have a request in to the Magnificent Six, a half-dozen people on LQ who impressed me with their knowledge, ability to communicate that knowledge with focus and clarity, and their courteous, timely responses to my own plaintive cries whilst engaged in the quest for a simple, straightforward way to get Linux on my machine. I go now to check for their responses to this issue and their recommendations for the subject at hand. Let's see what THEY have to say.
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  1. Old Comment
    Here's a fine example of what I'm all about here; hope this doesn't get me bashed by one of the moderators. Hey, guys/gals, I LOVE LINUX, it's the INSANITY I'm grinding my axe against!

    Opening page of LQ; first thing I notice is a prominently-placed ad for an Introduction to Linux handbook, "FREE", "download <here>".... maybe the sort of panacea I'm trying to create here?
    Enter my email? What if I don't have one, or it's a morass of spam and old mssgs I still haven't reviewed, or I just don't want to have it sent to my email, I want to DOWNLOAD IT, LIKE YOU SAID??!?
    Ah, no biggy, just my email addy... okay, here....
    ................................. click .....................
    "Enter your" Name, address, age, sex, location, family history, type of work, personal data of your first three white children, browsing habits and criminal activities for which you were never caught or convicted........ HEY !!! IT SAID "FREE DOWNLOAD" !!!! My TIME is not FREE, THIS IS NOT a DOWNLOAD it's a demand for personal information, and I have already wasted the time you should have taken to DOWNLOAD this FREE DOWNLOAD !!! DAMMIT !!!!! ---- kill page.

    Some of you younger folks are probably thinking I'm bonkers and/or off my meds and/or just beefing and grousing... but the world wasn't always like this, and it wasn't always acceptable or expectable for someone to advertise something just to suck you in and waste your time getting your personal data. It falls roughly under the category of "switch-and-bait", and we actually passed laws against this sort of behaviour years ago, not that THAT seems to matter much any more.
    And that's a large part of why old folks are so cranky. WE didn't make subterfuge and scamming the modus operandi, but we sat idly by and let it happen, and now WE are paying for it, same as you younger folk... only we remember when it just wasn't tolerated, let alone the norm.
    Posted 09-02-2016 at 09:23 PM by danrevell danrevell is offline
  2. Old Comment
    SUCCESS # 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanx to Yancek, one of the Magnificent 6, I have Ubuntu 12.4.1 onboard and running!!! I am typing this from the browser that came with it (FireFox, unexpectedly voted Users' Choice #1 on LQ just this week, I personally don't use anything else) !!!!!! The site he cited - lost the url, see previous post, I onlyremember it's the "12.4.1" wubi at the bottom of the page -- actually did what it said it would. The wubi downloaded and installed Ubuntu with one click, which is exactly what this blog is about.

    Tan mile mahagut to Yancek, who gets a $50 gift card of his choice and my undying gratitude. Yancek, where do I send that?

    * Ubuntu, for you even-newbier-than-me newbies, is probably the traditional #1 choice of free Linux distros among those living in their mum's basement or just vying for a Guiness entry as "Biggest Cheapskate". It's rather old, like me, and it was my first intrtroduction to the world of Linux, somewhere around Y2K. I loved it then and I love it now.
    Now to be honest, this new install is noticeably sluggish, but it IS the initial boot from a triple-option boot menu, and i AM on an old Pentium D 3Ghz.... 18 Gigabytes sounds to me like an unconscionably LARGE OS for an old machine with an 80-gig harddrive, but I'm betting it warms up and flies next boot, and even moreso when I pare down the Winblows partition and toss the Puppy out. (Linux Puppy is a novelty OS, so tiny that it loaded itself into my ONE Gig of RAM on this machine and flew like a scalded ape. It worked first-time for me, and though the install process may get a little unnerving you might want to try it, while you're struggling to get full-blown Linux onboard. Browser, wordprocessor, spreadsheets, apps and manager, more.... very impressive for 478 Megabytes.)
    Will advise on further experience with Ubuntu 12.4.1, wubi'd flawlessly from.... (see previous post for url)
    Posted 09-02-2016 at 11:28 PM by danrevell danrevell is offline
    Updated 09-30-2016 at 01:34 AM by danrevell (technical adjustment)


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