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Old 07-09-2014, 10:46 AM   #1
benitez9rh
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Linux-What is it, Versions, difference between them,How to install


Hi everyone.
I'm new in this forum and I wish to format my windows based vaio laptop and make a partition and install linux os in that one partition.

I'm a rookie in this so treat me like one. I don't know anything about it and I want to get this done to get my head around linux os and learn how to use and make the best out of it.

I possess a sony vaio core i5 4Gb DDR3 RAM laptop.

Can you explain to me the several versions of linux and suggest the best one to install on my laptop and how to do it??

I've read something on the web about mint, cinnamon 2.0, ubuntu but I don't really know what they mean or the difference between each one.
As I said, I'm a rookie so explain this like I'm slow..

Cheers!
 
Old 07-09-2014, 10:56 AM   #2
NGIB
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You have enough hardware to run any distro you want and you're capable of running a 64 bit system. The difference between the distros is twofold - the base they come from and the desktop environment. There are a number of bases - Slackware, Debian, Arch, Gentoo, etc. The main difference in them is the package management system which controls how you add/delete software from the system. The desktop environment is what you see when logged on - the menus, icons, screen layout, and mode of operation.

What all (or most) of us have done is to download various distros, write them to CD/DVD (or USB stick) and try them out in live mode. When you find one you like, you can then install it to the hard drive.

We all have our favorites, and this forum is heavily slanted towards Slackware, so you'll get a zillion different opinions.

I really recommend testing a bunch of them in live mode as they are all different in look, feel, and operation. A very good place to start is Linux Mint and I prefer the Xfce version as it is fast and trouble free and will look familiar to you coming from Windows...

Last edited by NGIB; 07-09-2014 at 10:58 AM.
 
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:01 AM   #3
benitez9rh
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Thanks NGIB.

I understood most of what you said. Although, as I said, this is fairly new to me. I have my laptop (windows) to format and install windows. My main goal is to get my head around linux and learn how to use it. Basically what I mean to do is (after formating and installing windows as a base OS) installing linux in a VM and start it out (browsing, document usage and so on). for first time usage, I'll just stick with slackware as you suggested and then I'll go from there.

My main questions are:

How do I install a VM?
What version of LINUX should I install in my VM and how do I do it?
What do I have to do to start?

Cheers.
 
Old 07-09-2014, 11:11 AM   #4
NGIB
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I'm a neophyte when it comes to running anything in a VM - never saw the need as I tend to pop in a spare hard drive in one of my notebooks to experiment. I didn't recommend Slackware, I said this forum leans heavily towards Slackware, I personally use Debian based systems and Mint is a good generic starting point. Slackware is a fine system but For starting out there are simpler alternatives.

I'm sure someone will be along shortly that is well versed in VMs. My suggestion is to run the live systems from a bootable USB stick to get a feel for them - some you will dislike immediately and then you move on. Get Windows loaded so you have a way to make bootable USB sticks and then begin the journey...

Last edited by NGIB; 07-09-2014 at 11:13 AM.
 
Old 07-09-2014, 12:09 PM   #5
DavidMcCann
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I've never used a VM, but I've noticed that (lazy) reviewers who do have often found that a few distros don't behave quite as expected! As for a good beginner's distro, I'd suggest Mint, PCLinuxOS, or Salix
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...p/product/3024
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...p?product=2998
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...page/15/sort/7
 
Old 07-09-2014, 12:41 PM   #6
SandsOfArrakis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benitez9rh View Post
Thanks NGIB.

I understood most of what you said. Although, as I said, this is fairly new to me. I have my laptop (windows) to format and install windows. My main goal is to get my head around linux and learn how to use it. Basically what I mean to do is (after formating and installing windows as a base OS) installing linux in a VM and start it out (browsing, document usage and so on). for first time usage, I'll just stick with slackware as you suggested and then I'll go from there.

My main questions are:

How do I install a VM?
What version of LINUX should I install in my VM and how do I do it?
What do I have to do to start?

Cheers.
To install a VM you need VM software like VMWare or Virtualbox. I use the last one to run Windows inside Linux. But there is also installer for Windows, which allows Windows to host another OS (like Linux). https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads is where you can download it

When you start Virtualbox you have the option to create a new virtual machine (VM). Here you select which OS you wish to install (like Linux 64-bit), and you get to set up stuff like hard disk size for the VM, amount of RAM you wish to allocate to it. Amount of CPU cores etc. It's pretty straightforward. It also asks where to start the system from. This can be a live DVD of a distribution.

I'm personally a big fan of Linux Mint for several reasons. Being a Windows veteran myself, I find it very easy to use. It comes with support for nearly everything right out of the box (mp3 support, adobe flash etc). And it runs nicely. But as I said, that's my personal opinion. On http://www.linuxmint.com/ you can see a few previews of the different versions of Mint. I'm running on Cinnamon here.

If you should decide later on to create a dual boot between Windows and Linux, then you can make your Windows partition smaller to make room for Linux. Linux will install a bootloader from which you can choose to either boot Linux or Windows. The Windows bootloader doesn't recognize Linux sadly...

If you have more questions, feel free to ask them. I'm not as knowledgable about some of the darker corners of the OS, but the normal user part I do know. That's what I use my laptop for. Pretty much what you are looking for, is what I'm using mine for

Good luck and welcome to LQ
 
Old 07-09-2014, 12:49 PM   #7
gor0
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http://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/

http://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/swit...eday/index.php

 
Old 07-09-2014, 12:50 PM   #8
JeremyBoden
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If you want to just give Mint, Ubuntu etc a trial run you don't need to run it in a VM.
Just boot from the appropriate DVD and you can run (at a slow speed) Linux.

It will not touch anything on your hard disk.
It's a good idea to do this so that you can check out graphics and internet connectivity anyway.
 
Old 07-09-2014, 01:33 PM   #9
NGIB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
If you want to just give Mint, Ubuntu etc a trial run you don't need to run it in a VM.
Just boot from the appropriate DVD and you can run (at a slow speed) Linux.

It will not touch anything on your hard disk.
It's a good idea to do this so that you can check out graphics and internet connectivity anyway.
Which is what I suggested, run a bunch of distros in live mode and you'll know pretty quickly which ones need a longer look...
 
Old 07-10-2014, 03:57 AM   #10
benitez9rh
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NGIB, JeremyBoden, gor0, SandsOfArrakis. Thanks so much for your replies, they've been very helpful. One of the reasons I wanted to do this is alos because i must suck at downloading and running properly antivirus software or I visit web sites that have loads of virus and I keep getting them so I figured that using Linux to specially browse the web would help me keeping me away from trouble. In that sense, and also because I want to enjoy Linux in it's full, I'll probably opt for the dual boot. Make partitions on my hard drive, one for windows to run my games and stuff like that and another partition for me to start using Linux to browse the web (which is safer because most virus and malware are writen for Windows), writing documents and get my head around it.

By the way, which software is it use in Linux to substitute the MS Office?
 
Old 07-10-2014, 04:54 AM   #11
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benitez9rh View Post

By the way, which software is it use in Linux to substitute the MS Office?
The most likely packages to do what you want are OpenOffice or LibreOffice. These are similar packages and most distributions are going for LibreOffice these days (they came from a common source and have diverged somewhat, but they are still similar enough that either will probably do what you want).

They are not exact imitations of MS Office, but the way that office packages work is mostly 'commoditised' and I can't see much difficulty in doing stand alone work with any of these packages. If there is a difficulty, it is probably with interoperability with other packages (ie, working with documents that originate in MS Office in LibreOffice; it 'mostly works', but isn't perfect, but the working with MS Office files in other versions of MS Office on other machines isn't perfect, either).

There are some other possible packages, but they aren't as common and usually aren't as complete (but may you use less resources, which shouldn't be an issue for you).

Quote:
Originally Posted by benitez9rh View Post
... i must suck at downloading and running properly antivirus software or I visit web sites that have loads of virus and I keep getting them so I figured that using Linux to specially browse the web would help me keeping me away from trouble.
Err, up to a point. Windows viruses don't affect Linux, that's true, but there is other malware that can (not very common, but it is out there).

There is no computer operating system that can totally protect you against the effects of stupidity, if you choose to be as stupid as you can be, so part of this is not behaving stupidly (eg, with phishing e-mails).

Quote:
Originally Posted by benitez9rh View Post
In that sense, and also because I want to enjoy Linux in it's full, I'll probably opt for the dual boot. Make partitions on my hard drive, one for windows to run my games and stuff like that and another partition for me to start using Linux to browse the web (which is safer because most virus and malware are writen for Windows), writing documents and get my head around it.
Dual boot is a good idea; using a Live CD/DVD is a quicker way to have a look at distro to see whether it is the kind of thing that you wish to pursue further. The whole process is made easier if you can select one, or a small number, of graphical user interfaces that you are interested in. More 'windows refugees' seem to like KDE than Gnome (possibly depending on whether you wanted 'something like windows, but that works' or whether you wanted 'something as unlike windows as possible, because I've had it up to here with windows'), but there are other options.

KDE and Gnome tend to be the 'biggies' both in terms of the largest code base and the biggest collection of configuration options and add ons and widgets of one sort or another.

I'd say that XFCE is good, too. LXDE is simpler and often recommended for low resource machines, but is probably that simplicity makes it easier to get up and running with, in the first instance. But it is entirely a matter of taste - someone else may have entirely different preferences.

Note that you can have several graphical user interfaces installed on one distro and select between them at log in time. Actually, you don't even need any GUI, if you don't want. It is another layer that runs on top of Linux and, technically, you could run any of a more than a dozen different GUIs on top of any distribution, it is just that, at the moment, you are probably better sticking with whatever the distro makes easy. No point in making this more difficult than it need be at the start.
 
Old 07-10-2014, 08:42 AM   #12
SandsOfArrakis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benitez9rh View Post
NGIB, JeremyBoden, gor0, SandsOfArrakis. Thanks so much for your replies, they've been very helpful. One of the reasons I wanted to do this is alos because i must suck at downloading and running properly antivirus software or I visit web sites that have loads of virus and I keep getting them so I figured that using Linux to specially browse the web would help me keeping me away from trouble. In that sense, and also because I want to enjoy Linux in it's full, I'll probably opt for the dual boot. Make partitions on my hard drive, one for windows to run my games and stuff like that and another partition for me to start using Linux to browse the web (which is safer because most virus and malware are writen for Windows), writing documents and get my head around it.

By the way, which software is it use in Linux to substitute the MS Office?
Well the best defense against virusses and malware is... Yourself In general don't visit shady sites, and you should be quite ok. Same for e-mail. On the rare occasion I get a spam e-mail. I delete it immediately. Linux itself doesn't really require anti-virus protection. However, it will pass on those pesky Windows virusses. So if you receive an infected mail with a Windows virus in it, and forward it to another. Your computer may be fine because you're using Linux. But if the recipient is using Windows, then he/she will recieve the virus.

When it comes to MS Office alternatives, LibreOffice comes to mind. It's installed with Mint by default. And back when using Debian Linux, it came with that as well. It's a good Office suite, and completely free. Should you wish to check it out before installing Linux. Then you can. It is also available for Mac and Windows.
 
  


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