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Old 05-14-2015, 09:40 PM   #31
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I got Windows back up and running and am trying out a HDD test program.
At first, I thought this was normal until I started the test on my second identical drive which produces almost a straight line near the top.
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:01 AM   #32
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I'd recommend getting a mix of live CDs like from ubuntu and fedora and as many others as you can find. Just boot up with the cd and give it a shot. And make sure to try both gnome and KDE. These are the two most common desktop environments, basically they are the graphical interface and give the operating system its look and feel. My preference here is KDE.
The Cheesy Animation Factory -3D Home Interior Design
Old 05-15-2015, 06:38 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by cj133 View Post
So what distros does everyone like and how do you recommend to install it e.g. separate swap partition, where to put home etc?
That's a tricky question. Everyone has his/her own favorite distro and will therefore recommend it.

As for partitioning, that's another question that eventually comes down to personal preference and what you plan on doing with the computer. If you plan on trying several distros, then a separate /home will be very helpful, because all of your data can be shared between the distros.
Swap is also a very debatable topic. Windows uses a paging file saved somewhere on the C: drive as its "swap" space. While I'm fairly certain that Linux can do that, usually you set aside a separate partition for swap. If you plan on hibernating the computer, then your swap needs to be at least as big as your RAM. But if you don't want hibernation, then I'd suggest not using swap (or having very little) because I doubt that you'll ever go over the 12GB of RAM that you have installed.

I still don't follow exactly what home is?
/home is similar to "C:/Documents and Settings" (or "C:/Users" on newer versions) on Windows. It's where all of your data goes, it's where all of your user-level configuration goes (eg, preferences for programs, bookmarks, etc), and the only directory that you (as a normal user) can write to.
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:46 AM   #34
Registered: Jul 2004
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/home is where your files (those associated with your login live). So you get all rights to /home and all sub directories under it that you may create.

As to where /home is, let me try to add my explanation. Its got to do with the file system and mounting.
  • Linux makes available all mounted disks and partitions.
  • (The naming scheme for disks and partitions is standardized - as mentioned earlier)
  • .
  • When you mount a disk (and partition) you associate a file system with it. Like / or /usr or /home.
  • (The command is something like mount device directory)
  • (So planning the layout (which directory goes on which disk) is important).
  • (You usually do this once at install time where you will be given a choice).
  • (The entries to regulate are stored in the fstab file under /etc directory).
  • .
  • In windows, every file would be identified by driveletter:\directory\subdirectory and so on
  • (The "subst" command in dos may give you an idea of whats happening in linux-in the sense that data on a drive appears to be elsewhere and so the actual drive letter (disk and partition in linux) isn't important at run time)
  • .
  • While all sub-directories are usually available under the mounted file system, you can spin off a sub-sub-directory to another hard disk.
  • FOR EXAMPLE If my /home is like mounted at /sda2 and I wanted my old archived data (say /home/archive) to be on a slower disk - say sda4, all I need to do is to add another mount entry as mount /sda4 /home/xxx; copy all data from /home/archive to /home/xxx and edit the fstab entry to remount (umount and mount) /sda4 as mount /sda4 /home/archive.
  • Visualize it like dragging and dropping the archive sub directory (and all its contents).

I hope you see how your /home (which may be on /sda2/yourName is different from my /home which may be on /sda2/myName. When a new user is created an entire profile is created, the specific user's /home reference is stored along with the basic logon information to render correctly and distinctly without disturbing another users' file structure or data.

Last edited by AnanthaP; 05-18-2015 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:51 PM   #35
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Thank you for responding.
I think I get what home is now.

I'm downloading Mint 17.1 as we speak as it looks kinda nice.
Old 05-15-2015, 04:13 PM   #36
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there are many considerations when choosing a distro
the 2 basic lines are Debian & RedHat
while debian is a community based distro, ubuntu not so much. I wasn't able to find anything Debian based, community driven, user friendly distro.
I like Mageia which is community based & user friendly on the RedHat line. continuity mageia<mandriva<mandrake back to the early days of linux. new versions come out yearly, moving to a new version without a clean install is no problem
Mageia Control Center [drak tools] has most any tool you might need, with a GUI...
Old 05-15-2015, 09:02 PM   #37
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Mageia is a good choice for new users. I started on Mandrake back in 2002. You should have an easier time getting started with Linux now then I did when I started using it.
Old 05-16-2015, 01:59 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by cj133 View Post
Maybe I'm thinking of OSX regarding no extensions?

I would assume if I put an SSD in and have two partitions, this would end up sda1 and sda2 and my 1TB with 1 partition would be sdb1? Or do they start at 0?
Do USB drives and optical drives show up as "sd**" ?
This is made easy if you run up the GUI GParted prog which allows you to see the sizes, mount names etc.

Re wireless devices - disagree with previous poster - I use lots of different wireless devices for work and have virtually no problems. Trying the same devices on friends' Win systems is a different kettle of fish.

In terms of distros, we used Fedora for many years but have finally moved away to the Debian family. IMHO Unity is truly horrible but I am currently running Mint with Mate and it's very usable.

Tip - NEVER go back to Windoze. I've been using Linux 100% of the time for about 10 years - did a bit of to-and-fro with legacy apps for the first couple of years and now never look back (except with a smug satisfied face !).
Old 05-17-2015, 04:43 AM   #39
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12GB Gskill Ripjaws ram
Holly shit!

12 GB ram!? Well, if you are unsure about how smooth can be you transition to a full linux user you don't need to install anything on hdd with that amount of ram! Go live! Use any livedvd iso image or usb stick to run a live linux session!

Is not a joke, with that amount of ram you can do a lot of normal linux user work, including gaming, without any need to reboot, FOR MONTHS! Yeah, you eyes is ok and you read correctly, i done that personally with a very good live distro: Sabayon Linux

Very good to work in prolonged linux live session with almost full usability, i mean in linux you can really upgrade you video drivers in a live session without a need to reboot! Any software upgrade or new install is very smooth in rolling based linux distros like sabayon linux and entropy package manager is very good

If you were still afraid about going to command line for a good use of entropy package management infrastructure and gentoo world you can try Ubuntu family pathway, tested in live session for usual new software installs and causal work or games but not so extensive like my monster live session uptime in Sabayon Linux ( was an aprox. 40 days marathon with usual upgrades and special test for things like live graphic drives updates to see if i can to that )

Unfortunately i can't recommend recent Sabayon Linux version for a final install to hdd because Anaconda installer, used by Sabayon Linux, is really buggy and very unreliable especially for a new linux recruit. For a successful install you need strong linux karma, but fortunately any ubuntu is just good for that.

Because for windows to linux transition kde is the best smoot path for a quick relearning of some os handling jujus kubuntu is a good alternative for a trouble free full hdd install

If you are still interested i can write more about small things that can enable you to test any decent linux distro in live sessions for as much uptime as you want

For example in an live session ubuntu use open source drivers, good for stability but not so good for serious gaming instead sabayon linux is between the few linux distro to use special haiku power to enable that from very beginning so you can use you graphic card power at full potential

But Sabayon Linux iso can't be convinced to boot from an usb stick who use grub as the boot manager, tested personally with multiple versions, and that means you need to pull the dd weapon to do that and now you will use an 8GB usb stick as an 2 GB hdd already 100 used and to recover the lost GB you need another dd shot who will kill the written iso image! In contrast any *buntu family iso is dead simple to setup to be grub friendly and that means an multi distro linux live usb stick with enough free space who can be used by that linux live session to save you work, documents, musics and even movies!

And so on!

So, in short, with so much ram first try a live linux session and see how much you can resist in the linux world. If after some prolonged time you do not give up then is time for a real full hdd linux install

Last edited by totedati; 05-17-2015 at 04:47 AM.
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