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vbj4 02-10-2010 02:48 PM

Not sure what distro to use for my mom
My mom's birthday is on friday. Her computer is older 1.8ghz athlon 512 megs of ram. She is currently running WIN98SE. I was going to get her xp home to install but I would like to get something more fun for her then lame $100 software.

I have used linux before a long time ago, Im not sure what version it was. I'm looking for something that looks just like windows. All she does is email, office.

If it is easy to use can run firefox, and open office Im happy
can you help me please?

snowpine 02-10-2010 02:58 PM

I would recommend Linux Mint or Puppy... they are two of the easier distros for Windows converts. But be prepared to answer a lot of questions. :)

MTK358 02-10-2010 02:59 PM

Any one of the more popular distros like Ubuntu and Fedora should do fine.

Of course no distro looks EXACTLY line Windows. It it possible to get it very close, though.

thorkelljarl 02-10-2010 03:00 PM

You have many choices...

The system is powerful enough to accept either the KDE or the Gnome Desktop. You might try out both of them by downloading and burning a couple of linux live-cds.

Try Ubuntu and Mint for Gnome, and openSuse 11.2 and PCLinuxOS for two versions of KDE. The colors and backgrounds, size of the typeface, etc. that will be displayed are easily changed, thus Ubuntu does not need to be brown, nor SUSE strangely yellow-green.

Remember to burn the downloaded file as an image file and to change the system BIOS to boot from the CD-ROM.

pixellany 02-10-2010 03:03 PM

If you are not up to speed on Linux, I would think twice about giving a Linux system as a gift. What will you do when mom calls and says it's not working?

Any distro will run Firefox and OpenOffice.

vbj4 02-10-2010 03:05 PM

It doesn't have to be a perfect clone or anything. I just want her to be able to click Start or whatever and Internet Icon taddaa internet.

I have done lots of OS installs before its just been awhile.

I just remember that once I did get linux up and running it was stable and easy to use. I had it on some office computers for quite sometime.

Do they all have the same driver support for hardware. I built the computer out of my old stuff so I think its common stuff. Nvidia graphics card, 3com networking, probably an asus or gigabyte board.

If she has problems....
Ideally I will make her a restore disc that will reformat and reinstall just like new. She calls me all the time anyways its ok =)

The more stable the better though. She won't be installing that much anyways. Internet add ons, movie players etc...

O yea and I will still get her a present too, just something more fun than software.

pixellany 02-10-2010 03:10 PM


Do they all have the same driver support for hardware.
If there is a Linux driver for your hardware, then any distro should have it. The only issue is that some will not offer proprietary apps, drivers, etc.

Check the mfg website also--Linux support is becoming more common.

vbj4 02-10-2010 03:18 PM

whats the difference between gnome and kde. For some reason I think I used kde in the past.

vbj4 02-10-2010 03:25 PM

I know everyone hates double posters. You guys have answered enough of my questions or I have figured it out. Just wanted to say thanks. I will try the suse ubuntu live discs. Worst case she gets stuck with 98se for another week or 2.

Thank you

PunksUndead 02-10-2010 04:12 PM

It looks like you already made your choice but, as a suggestion.. on older machines I actually like to use the XFCE desktop instead of Gnome or KDE. It's more light weight and feels snappier on older equipment. If you would like to check out a distro with XFCE try

jefro 02-10-2010 04:50 PM

Try her out on a few live cd's and see if she likes it. People pick the disto. Some people just like the "looks" of them.

orangesky 02-10-2010 04:52 PM

Ubunutu, you can get gnomenu, remove the top bar, replace the bottom bar with gnomenu applet and choose XP/vista. Then for appearance download the "redmond" style menus and the "atlanta" style window bars. It's not pixel for pixel the same but a windows user will know what's going on.

MTK358 02-10-2010 05:06 PM

I still wonder why so many people that switch to Linux want it to look like Windows. What much does the color of the title bar change?

jefro 02-10-2010 06:12 PM

OPPS. I guess it was solved.

Mr-Bisquit 02-10-2010 06:13 PM

Try a simple distro such as kubuntu.
When you get to installing, be sure that you have another computer hooked up and follow the instructions.
Computer A- mom's computer.
B your computer.

Once you have picked your distro, come back here and ask for guidance on installing.

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