Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Beans
    3

    Question I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    I use a Toshiba Satellite L305 laptop that is several years old. It still has the original Windows Vista OS that came loaded on it. I disliked Vista intensely from the start. I intended to upgrade the OS to Windows 7, but my opinion of Windows 7 is only slightly higher than of Vista. Now comes Windows 8, and even if this laptop were compatible with Windows 8, I don't even want to think about messing with it on this laptop. So I started thinking about Linux. I did a web search for Linux on Toshiba laptops, and I found a page with a long list of Toshiba laptop models including mine, and notes from 2009 from a user about his installation of Ubuntu 8.10, which seemed to go well. Considering that that version of Ubuntu has long since been superseded, and that I have otherwise no experience with any version of Linux, I am asking the community in general for advice about what to do at this point. The question of setting up a dual-boot also arises, but my question regarding that is how much more disk space does that require? As this unit has only a 250-Gb hard disk and I don't know if buying a larger disk is worth it at this point.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Beans
    55

    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    I just installed 12.04 and it required about 4gigs. You should be fine with 250gb. I wonder if you could get the Ubuntu installation to take out your Vista.

    Anyway, I don't know too well how it works on laptops, but I would suggest you get 10.04 which I think is the second last LTS (would be good if one was provided with updates to firefox, openoffice/libreoffice, etc). If you don't like Windows 8 I fail to see how you will like the new Ubuntus (the ones with Unity, 11.10 and after).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Beans
    187

    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    The best thing I like about major linux distros in general is that you can test it before actually installing it on your computer. Just go a head and download an iso of any major distro. Burn that iso to a DVD or a USB and boot from it. When asked, select the Try option and it will start the whole OS from that disk. Check the working of all devices on you computer and if satisfied then install it actually.

    Due to the running of OS from a DVD or USB, you might feel a slowness but that is ok. A computer which can run vista can very easily handle ubuntu.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Peterborough, Uk
    Beans
    630
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    Some important things you need to know right from first base.

    1: iTunes is incompatible. If you have to have it then either duel boot or setup a vm.

    2: Any document created or edited using Libre Office/Open Office will cause you formatting grief within Ms Office. <-- Many people will disagree with this but just as many will agree !!

    3: I'm sure others will add to this list.

    I've laid these out for you right here so you are not disappointed later.

    Also remember..As a N00b you are likely to accidently wipe your windows install when first time attempting a duel boot installation.

    Also.. Here's an old but very apt read, still relevent today.

    Linux is NOT Windows


    If you decide to go ahead with the install you now have your eyes wide open. We're all here to help you with any problems/glitches you may run into.

    Good luck ... & Welcome to the world of Gnu Linux

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Beans
    7,749

    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    Welcome to the forums!

    Here is an easy & fun way to experiment with Ubuntu, without any permanent changes/risks to your existing system: http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/virtualbox

    I recommend that all new users test-drive Ubuntu for a couple of weeks before they commit to a full, permanent install.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Mombasa Kenya
    Beans
    26
    Distro
    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by Swagman View Post
    Some important things you need to know right from first base.

    1: iTunes is incompatible. If you have to have it then either duel boot or setup a vm.

    2: Any document created or edited using Libre Office/Open Office will cause you formatting grief within Ms Office. <-- Many people will disagree with this but just as many will agree !!

    3: I'm sure others will add to this list.

    I've laid these out for you right here so you are not disappointed later.

    Also remember..As a N00b you are likely to accidently wipe your windows install when first time attempting a duel boot installation.

    Also.. Here's an old but very apt read, still relevent today.

    Linux is NOT Windows


    If you decide to go ahead with the install you now have your eyes wide open. We're all here to help you with any problems/glitches you may run into.

    Good luck ... & Welcome to the world of Gnu Linux
    To add on to the list

    4. Power point presentations saved in post Office 2007( read Vista and Windows 7) .pptx format will be a pain to edit and view in Libreoffice/ openOffice Impress. The workaround i have found is fire Windows, and save in XP/2003 office .ppt format, then you can view and edit in LO/OO with ease.

    5. Getting Ms Office 2010 to work in Linux is difficult and will not be perfect, but LO is better anyway.

    6. If you do not like the way the desktop looks like, you can change to another, more to your liking. Not just the wallpaper, but a whole lot more. it feels like a totally new system. In Ubuntu there is Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu ( KDE, LXDE and XFCE respectively) and a host of many others. Just try one after the other. I left Ubuntu out since its the default (Unity)

    Welcome to Linux for Humans.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    19th Hole
    Beans
    1,273
    Distro
    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    Hello MAFinOKC. Another welcome from the community! Firstly, 'bravo' to your foresight in coming here and poking around before charging ahead with an install. If more people approached their installs with your methodical caution, there would be a lot less desperation and fewer cries for help on these forums.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkadeel View Post
    The best thing I like about major linux distros in general is that you can test it before actually installing it on your computer. Just go a head and download an iso of any major distro. Burn that iso to a DVD or a USB and boot from it. When asked, select the Try option and it will start the whole OS from that disk. Check the working of all devices on you computer and if satisfied then install it actually.

    Due to the running of OS from a DVD or USB, you might feel a slowness but that is ok. A computer which can run vista can very easily handle ubuntu.
    +1 to pkadeel. This is by far the best way to start. Most of all, make sure that you can surf and ping a site like google.com, esp wirelessly. This will mean that your wireless card is supported. Actually, the biggest general issue with Linux installs is the graphics card, but an incompatibility there would be self-evident: the desktop won't start up.

    Once you feel that you are ready to install, make sure you read this link first:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/GraphicalInstall

    It's really quite easy. I feel that it's easier than a Windows install, but opinions differ.

    Here's the important stuff, though:

    1. Before doing anything BACK UP all of your data to an outside drive/DVD/USB stick. Then check the data to make sure it is good. This is far and away the most important step. If this is done, disaster is averted and any misstep is limited to being an inconvenience at most.
    2. If you want to dual boot, then it is best to create/modify your partitions properly beforehand. This way, at the point where the installation asks you how you want to install, you can select "something else" and customize your installation in a more controlled fashion (see point 3 below). Alternatively, you can simply choose the "install Ubuntu alongside" option and the installer will use a default partitioning scheme that is perfectly serviceable.
    3. This step is optional. It is more complicated and you may wish to forego it at this point until you are more familiar with partitioning, Linux file structures, etc: I used to recommend a separate /home partition, but have since modified my recommendation based on advice from @oldfred. If you want to preserve your data so that future installs do not wipe it out, then it is advisable to create a separate partition for data. Provided that you select "something else" during the install process, you will be given a chance to tell the operating system where to mount this partition. I would mount it at /home/data but others are happy with /mnt/data or /media/data.
    4. What follows is just general advice and preferences. The above measures assume that you want to set Ubuntu up as an independent operating system that runs outside of Windows--a true dual boot. There is also an alternate way to install Ubuntu, called WUBI, that runs it from within Windows. I strongly discourage this method, but that is just my opinion. Others are better placed to advise you on the WUBI method, as I have never used it.

    Happy install! Hope you enjoy Linuxing.

    Edit: Wow. In the time it took me to write my post, you received tons of good advice from others. All good stuff. Esp listen to @oldfred
    Last edited by DuckHook; December 8th, 2012 at 08:10 PM. Reason: Advice superceded

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Beans
    3

    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    Thanks to everyone for their helpful suggestions! So far I have looked at Ubuntu 12.10, Xubuntu 12.10, and the latest version(s) of Mint and have downloaded their ISO files for burning to disc. I see also that Ubuntu provides a Windows installer (wubi.exe) that if I am not mistaken sets up a dual-boot option at start-up. There are numerous posts on how to manage dual-booting of Windows Vista or 7 and Ubuntu. I have two reasons for being reluctant to go that way: 1) The computer in question is a Toshiba laptop with a 250-Gb hard drive and I'm already closely monitoring disk usage so as to keep the disk at about its current state of being 60-70% full. Partitioning the disk for two OS's and the ramifications thereof are something I'd like to avoid. 2) I am gravitating toward Linux because I want to get away from Vista, which I've disliked intensely since the beginning. Wouldn't running a Windows virtual machine or emulator under Ubuntu be a better way to go? Apparently the program Wine does that. I've appreciated all the good advice so far and am hoping for some guidance in this.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tennessee, USA
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    Wubi doesn't actually create a real dual boot, it simply installs Ubuntu as a program inside of Windows, so it is actually still on the same partition as Windows, as a file. The main problem with trying to use VBox is you won't have very good 3d acceleration. If you're only using basic programs and not any games or other 3d intensive applications you should be fine. The only problem with Wine is that there is overhead in converting the Windows system commands to Linux system commands, which means programs will run somewhat slower (Although usually not noticably) also, only some programs work with it. Check http://appdb.winehq.org/ to see if the programs you can't live without and can't find a suitable replacement for work in Wine.
    Help me out! Go make a dropbox account from this link to get me more space! https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTU2ODUyNDY5 (You get the bonus space too!)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Germany
    Beans
    461
    Distro
    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    Hi, and welcome to the forums. I found myself in a similar situation in 2008. I badly wanted to get away from Windows and had no knowledge of linux at that time. My then 4 years old Sony Viao was running XP and I installed Ubuntu 8.04. My laptop is now 8 years old and I upgraded to all f the Ubuntu versions as they came out right up to 12.04 with Unity. All version ran out of the box. My Sony has a 1,6 Ghz. single core chip and 2 GB of Ram. I am now running Xubuntu because I am not a big fan of the Unity Desktop in the latest Ubuntu versions. I find Xubuntu faster and the desktop more to my liking.
    Linux is great. There is a slight learning curve but their are many people on the forum ready to help should problems occur.
    Never liked dual booting myself but it depends if you need windows as well. I cannot imagine why (unless you are a gamer and some games are not available under Linux?)
    I do everything that I need with Linux and have never looked back.
    Do not know about your machine but Linux runs practically on anything.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •