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Old 07-18-2017, 11:51 PM   #16
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Welcome to LQ.

Since you already have a spare computer, that would appear to be the route to take for a new Linux system, without the complication of virtualization or dual booting.

It would be useful to know the hardware details for this machine (make, model number, RAM, CPU, size of HDD etc).

Please advise.

My advice to a beginner would be to avoid LFS.

By all means, try it later when you have developed more experience of using Linux.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:56 PM   #17
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VBoxes on easily let you try pre-installed distros, as fast as you can download .vdi's

Big welcome. Enjoy!!!
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:21 AM   #18
Registered: Jul 2017
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Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
Initially, I would just use VirtualBox. It's free, full-featured, supported by none other than Oracle Corporation(!), and gives you an easy and perfectly-painless way to load up Linux and start kicking its tires. I would not fool around with "dual booting." To me, it's simply not worth the hassle.

Later on, I'd take (or buy at the Goodwill store or somesuch) an existing machine that you can dedicate to Linux, wipe the sucker clean, and install onto it.
While I agree that Virtualbox is a very good way to try Linux distros out initially, do bear in mind that the age of your hardware will have some bearing on using it.

Many Linux users run their OS of choice on quite elderly equipment, since Linux is a very good way to re-empower and make useful otherwise abandoned hardware. I'm a great believer in doing this, since I don't see the point in adding to the world's landfill problems when things still work.

I run two old relics; a 12 yr-old Compaq Presario desktop PC, and an even older Dell Inspiron lappie (an original 1100 from 2002). It would be a complete waste of time running Virtualbox on here, since the elderly P4 CPU doesn't have virtualization in its instruction sets, and only has SSE2's to boot. (sic)

Paint would dry quicker.

My point being that you need a reasonably powerful CPU with modern instruction sets, and a good amount of fast RAM.....since Virtualbox will 'appropriate' a sizeable chunk of this for its own use when it's addition to a fair chunk of the CPU's resources, too.

Because of the age and capabilities of the equipment in question, this is why I've been running a very lightweight distro called 'Puppy' Linux for the last few years.....ever since XP went EOL, to be exact. It's easy to use, but I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner, since it doesn't have anything like the support that, say, Ubuntu receives from the parent company, Canonical. Puppy is very 'hands-on' (DIY, if you like).....but you definitely learn your way around the system, and learn just exactly what makes it tick!

And, er.....congrats on your first post in ten years! Kudos.


Last edited by Mike_Walsh; 07-19-2017 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 07-20-2017, 02:46 AM   #19
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Smile Thank you all

Originally Posted by glenpaton View Post
My first post:
What Linux is recommended for a Linux newbie?
I've recently retired and have extra time to learn a new OS, and like experimenting with computers and software.
I've always used Windows (now Windows 10) and consider myself fairly competent.
I have a spare PC or could duel boot.
A Linux OS that has auto update and a good Restore feature would be a good start as I suspect I will make many mistakes initially.
Thanks to all those members who replied, very grateful and what a great bunch of people.
Lots to think about.
thanks again.
Old 07-20-2017, 02:58 AM   #20
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For some Win guys, Linux is an some sort of unfriendly thing but the truth is Linux is awesome and you just need to try it.

Quite a few variants to learn Linux; Linux live CD, Virtual Machine using Virtual Box in Windows.

Or run Puppy Linux in USB.

Here's a link for Puppy:

Good luck!

And one more thing, I don't understand people who are scared to try Linux. The Best Things in Life Are Free.
Old 07-21-2017, 09:58 AM   #21
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Some suggest the trial-by-fire method by plonking a newbie in front of Gentoo, Arch Linux, Slackware or Linux From Scratch. If you're a total newb to computers and have the time & patience to learn, those distros are very rewarding.

However, if you're a long-time Windows user like I was, I'd suggest you get your feet wet with something easier like Ubuntu or Mint. Either way, you must be prepared to invest some time into learning and don't be afraid of the command-line. It won't bite...hard

I don't understand people who are scared to try Linux.
Whenever I ask people for an honest reason why they won't use Linux, it always boils down to one of the following:
  1. Fear of change / steep learning curve.
  2. Fear of having to use the command-line.
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Old 07-21-2017, 11:26 AM   #22
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I think it depends on why you want to learn Linux...

for corporate environment that already uses Linux then RedHat/CentOS/Fedora or SuSe/openSUSE, Debian and Ubuntu

if just for fun then pick whatever you want, sample LiveCD's, run in virtualbox etc....

If you really want to learn Linux then you cannot beat Slackware, Salix is also great and can be used as a Slackware lite...

This Wiki will help with transition:

Last edited by ChuangTzu; 07-21-2017 at 11:29 AM. Reason: added LQ link
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:20 AM   #23
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I think it depends entirely on how computer literate you are, how much time you have to invest and how willing you are to learn new things.

Like everyone else has pretty much said, download an ISO and have a play around with it. There is plenty of free Linux tutorials online to get you started with the basics - this PDF got me through the Linux Essentials exam.

I also got into the habit of using the command-line as much as possible. Best way to learn it.

(PDF is Creative Commons license, authored by Linup Front GmbH)
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:34 AM   #24
Registered: Oct 2009
Distribution: Gentoo Linux
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I have found Solus linux very nice. While I am not a complete newbie, I have come back after years of not using Linux and found that I had to choose a beginner's distribution. I have not regretted it. No complicated install procedures. Just install and go. I found it worked out pretty well. On both my current machine and a laptop I have the installation was quick and easy.

On top of that, the os combines rolling release and stability quite good (I have had no crashes since I installed it). You can use Solus for getting used to the basics of Linux.

When you are used to how things work in Linux, you can move on to Gentoo to get really used to the command line. Portage is a lot more useful than eopkg. After running that, building a linux from scratch may be a good learning experience. Best to do that on its own partition. 2gb should be more than enough for that. Along the way you may wish to read the advanced bash scripting guide, to get some grips on the command line.

May I suggest that the lfs is used as a temporary project and to use gentoo for the long term? You'll be grateful you did.

One final note: there's also a distribution called "void linux". I have not installed it, but from what I read it's for those that know what they are doing. More so than gentoo, which provides at least some hand-holding.note: the fact that you know your way around in windows, means nothing in Linux. In Linux land things are entirely different. Regardless whether you're an expert or a newbie in regards to Windows, in Linux you're a newbie.

Last edited by xahodo; 07-24-2017 at 08:04 AM.
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