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Old 08-31-2006, 09:54 AM   #1
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Ken looking for advice

Hi, I am Ken Griffiths and I believe the time has finally come for Bill to hit my waste basket. I am a complete novice when it comes to operating systems installation and so I am hoping for some kind advice.
Most Linux ads. say that installation is easy and I have downloaded Windows versions of Open Office, Thunderbird and Firefox and they seem fine, Xplorer2 lite doesnít do Linux, so I will need a File Manager. Also Photo processing, Broadband, my Epson C70 printer, Dell flat panel monitor and MS wireless keyboard and optical mouse.
Question 1; is installation as easy as every ad says and, also important, does a package come with an uninstaller to leave my machine as was, if needed?
Question 2; thereís a ton of Linux flavours out there. Are any better than others i.e. lean, mean, quick and not too technical.
Finally, I had a rush of blood to the brain cell and bought Xandros from thelinuxshop on line for £3.50! This is so cheap I now think that something funny may be going on. Can it be a really old version and clonky, or something and is it worth trying, see uninstall question in question 1.
Thatís it for now; any response will be appreciated.

Old 08-31-2006, 09:58 AM   #2
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
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Welcome to LQ

Installation is, indeed, a piece of cake - some are "easier" than others and, as your experience grows, you will cut down on the list of hard to install distros.

For info and advice on "which distro", see this thread.

Good luck!
Old 08-31-2006, 10:30 AM   #3
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in Linux Newbie and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.

By the way, most Linux media is very cheap because the cd images (iso files) are just downloaded from the internet and burnt to disc.
Old 08-31-2006, 11:57 AM   #4
Registered: Oct 2003
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There are plenty of file browsers/managers for Linux. I use a popular one called nautilus.

I don't do much photo processing, so I don't know. Google is your friend here.

Some printers have Linux drivers from the manufacturer, others work with Linux because they are postscript capable. Look for specifications at Failing that, it's back to Google for you. The flat panel will almost certainly work. I've got a wireless, optical USB mouse that worked just fine right out of the box. As for your keyboard, try it.

1. Well, I think it's much easier than installing Windows. What's more, lots of software gets installed at the same time. With Windows, after you've finished installing the O/S, you still have a gazillion install/reboot cycles ahead as you patch the security holes and install software. With Linux (well, Fedora Core, anyway) all I have to do is click a few times to download and install updates. Unless you update your kernel, there is no need to reboot, and that single reboot is optional--it can wait until later.

As far as uninstalling, Linux goes to its own partition on the hard drive, so it's not like a program that gets erased from disk when it's uninstalled. To get rid of it, you go back to your partitioning software (fdisk, Ranish partition manager, Partition Magic, etc.) and delete the partition. The chances are you also installed a boot loader such as Grub or Lilo when you installed Linux, so you'll have to replace this boot manager on the master boot record (MBR) of your hard drive.

2. The eternal question: What's the best distro? The better question: What's the best distro for me? There are hundreds of threads in this forum on these very topics. Also click on "Distro Reviews" in the upper right corner of this web page.

£3.50!?! You could have downloaded it and burned the CDs yourself for the cost of the CD blanks. Over here in the States, retailers almost give away spindles of CDs to get you to shop at their stores. A nickel each is common--what's that, two or three pence? When you pay real money for a Linux boxed set, be sure to see how long the support lasts and whether it's by phone or email or whatever. Support is what you pay for. The Linux is free. Pretty cool, huh?
Old 09-01-2006, 05:49 AM   #5
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Hi - many thanks to XavierP, Reddazz and (in particular)tnandy of Tennessee. I have a little silver Xandros disk winking at me as I type. I'll use a mate's spare PC to see what's on there, get a partition manager, grit my teeth and do it.
To tnandy, everything is cheaper everywhere else compared to the UK, try our rail system sometime!

Old 09-01-2006, 06:11 AM   #6
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Gimp is your extremely powerful graphics program.

As far as installation that really depends. I don't want to sugar coat things for you, you may have soem minor problems. Some people hit their first snag and tend to be done with it, because they just can't be arsed to deal with their computer on any kind of level other than web browsing and sending/recieving mail. That's fine, and actually if we had stores installing linux on peoples computers instead of Windows most people probably wouldn't even know the difference. Installation is different in Linux, and so people consider it difficult, because let's face it change is difficult. A lot of people hate Microsoft in theory, but it's like being married, eventually you just become numb:P Sometimes you can install Linux and everything works right out of the box, sometimes it seems as if you run into an endless string of dependency errors and updates oh my. The point of this is not to scare you (as there are plenty of people here that know a lot more about Linux than I do, and most if not all are here to help) just to warn you, that it might not be all sugar plum fairies dancing on your processor. Depending on your modem/network setup, your internet will most likely work AS your are installing, allowing you to install most current packages over the internet. I know we have pretty good support for Epson printers. There are only about 10000 file managers out there for linux (usually the problem is which one to use).

There is so much choice in an Linux installation and I think can confuse people. If you've got two programs that do the same thing, you're more than welcome to try them both out, and see which one you like, or just take a dive and pick the one that eanie meanie takes you to :P

For the easiest transition from Windows to a new GUI I would recomment KDE (which is a full gui environment), but if you want to try something a little more advanced and want something that's going to be lean and mean and allow your system resources to be utilized by other things then you could try a simple windows manager like fluxbox. Linux is almost infinitely customizable, unlike our second cousing twice removed Windows.

Old 09-03-2006, 11:26 AM   #7
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Many thanks for the message from the real world; I really want to get this show on the road. Some time back MS Help solved my problem of a complete hard disk data wipe out from an Outlook Express update of theirs by going away until I hung the phone up.
The current plan is to install a 2nd hard disk and play with Xandros (plus another)on that, hopefully without too many probs. If I need to, I'll be back - then we'll see if the Linux philosophy is infectious.
Old 09-03-2006, 11:38 AM   #8
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Starting out with a LiveCD to see how well your hardware is detected is a good idea. As far as installation, it is pretty easy as long as you don't run into any hardware issues.

But, if you do run into any problems simply post them in the appropriate LQ forum and there are plenty of people happy to help you through them.


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