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Old 01-11-2012, 05:05 PM   #1
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Question OLD Ubuntu CD best install for totally new learner?

Hello. I am sick and tired of Windows costing me money or becoming unusable. I want a basic set up that will run Open Office (love it) and firefox (also love it) and so far have loved avast as well, so much so that I am unaware if there is anything newer or better. So I'm trying to switch to a linux based platform but have no idea where to start. I could read all the info out there but frankly don't have the time so I am hoping I can get some suggestions. I would also be interested in why you suggest a particular platform.

I am on a laptop and have no idea how to find out my computer's particulars or I would post them. Currently running XP and hating it...again.

Thank you!
Old 01-11-2012, 05:24 PM   #2
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To get the infos we need about your laptop just right-click on your My Computer-icon and choose Preferences (or was it Properties? Long time since I used an english XP). It will show up a dialog which should show you which processor and how much RAM you have.
Please post that information.

To your question: You will be able to use Firefox and Open/Libre Office on nearly any distribution.
Recommending one without knowledge about your hardware is very difficult, so please post those specs.
Old 01-11-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forums, here is a nice comparison of the Top 10 Linux distros:
Old 01-13-2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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With modern laptops everything usually works just from the installation. However, you need to think how to split your disk to find space for Linux. I do not recommend removing Windows completely at the moment and you still have your data there.
Old 01-13-2012, 06:49 PM   #5
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If you do go to the web site there should be a list of maybe 40 or so on the right. Almost every one of them has what is called a live cd. You make a cd from the download and you can boot to it. That way you get an idea of sorts as to how much works and what you see.

I'd suggest something made for laptops. Might try fubuntu or peppermint just to see.
Old 01-13-2012, 07:10 PM   #6
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to find out computer specs on windows,use the systeminfo command in the command prompt program,
or go to acessories>run and type dxdiag.
a better way of getting specs is the awesome program;speccy,which gives a easy to see GUI but highly detailed information-ranging from each part to what temperature they are running at,it is made by the same guys who developed the popular crapcleaner [now known as ccleaner]-

in own view for linux newbies,it is best to start with a ready to run package; such as linux mint,mandriva,ubuntu or openSuSE,as they all have no fuss visualy pleasing instalations,and are for most people ready to go once the usual settings are personalised.
-the only problem though,if this computer is as old as am thinking,if it had originaly came with XP- it will struggle with these user friendly but bloatware focused distros,ubuntu is probably the least bloated
and from the beginning can be downloaded with any of the major desktop environments so xubuntu may be the best fitting here.

although its a great way for everyone from beginners to experts to learn about linux,dont install it through a virtual machine unless have got significant memory and processing available as the VM shares it between the host and guest operating systems in use.
a dual or single boot with linux is the best option for better performance.

linux has a lot more open source native programs [graphical/GUI and command line based] available to it than windows will probably ever have,including some built from open office so once are sorted with a linux distro,dont forget to check out here,sourceforge or google for ideas,or look through the package manager [such as synaptic].
Old 01-13-2012, 10:37 PM   #7
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Try Puppy Linux. It's made to run off a CD on older hardware. You can run it in memory (1/2 GB will do it) and save data files on your hard drive; that makes it really fast. Once you get comfortable with Linux in general you might want to try Linux Mint rather than Ubuntu, but the tutorials are probably better & more comprehensive on the Ubuntu site (most are applicable). Next you'll want to learn about dual booting and that's a little more advanced...look for tutorials like You'll have to learn about partitioning and such, but it's worth it.
Old 01-14-2012, 12:19 PM   #8
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You need to start with something that has a simple installer and is user friendly. Depending on the size of your computer's memory, you might like to try

Ubuntu: needs 1GB and the user (Unity) interface is more like a tablet than XP
OpenSUSE: needs 768MB and the GUI (KDE) is a bit Windows 7-ish (or so I'm told)
Linux Mint Gnome version: needs 512MB
Linux Mint Xfce version: needs 512MB and more XP-ish
WattOS: a reworked Ubuntu with the LXDE desktop than runs in 192MB
Old 01-14-2012, 02:55 PM   #9
Wim Sturkenboom
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I would not use an old Ubuntu version; you need a version that is still supported (either 10.04 or something less than 1.5 years old).
Old 01-14-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
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I'd just download Knoppix or Kanotix, burn to CD, and take it from there.
Old 01-27-2012, 05:28 PM   #11
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found comp info: thanks!

Wow, what a great response! Thank you all so much! Here are some specs I found thanks to your guidance:

Toshiba TECRA A2
Intel pentium M 1.5GHz
Page file: 605 MB used, 552 MB available (no idea what page file is)

I am reading some of the links suggested too.


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