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Thread: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

  1. #11
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    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

  2. #12
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    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by Bashing-om View Post
    Your laptop has a celeron processor and I doubt "pae" enabled, thus ubuntu will not run. However lubuntu will scream on your lappie. As others advise boot up the install disk -> "try" mode ( be advised may have to edit the kernel boot line with acpi_osi="linux parameter) and play with lubuntu, see if you like it and all devices work.
    'buntu (all flavours) 12.10 will not run, but 12.04 is still on the 3.2.x kernel and will run. I would advise beginners to use 12.04 in any case due to the long term support. Good call on Lubuntu. IMO the better choice for people coming from Windows because the environment is very similar.

  3. #13
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    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by Bashing-om View Post
    I am unaware of any windows aps that an alternative is not available in 'buntu
    Not to contradict, but unfortunately, there are many Windows apps that have no (or insufficient) alternative in the Linux world. In the business world that I came from, there are no real alternatives to:

    1. AutoCAD
    2. MS Project
    3. Industry-specific accounting suitable for dozens of concurrent users
    4. High-level industry-specific CRM

    I don't know about other industries, but the same can probably be said elsewhere. Now, I agree that these are not typical casual desktop-user apps, but the problem is that if even one of these are critical to the user, then Windows is still indispensable and must somehow be accommodated. Personally, I do so using a virtual machine. Others dual boot.

    Therefore, I rarely recommend that a new user simply dump Windows entirely. Problem is that, like it or not, Windows is the predominant desktop OS in the world and there are applications that are written only for it. It needs to be kept around--like the crazy uncle in the attic maybe--but for most people, we don't know what we might need it for.

  4. #14
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    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    Just thought i'd comment - i registered just to make this post. I was a M$ zombie for many many...many years until I started getting into Android (Via my smart phone). I have a desk top Running Win 7 64 - ultimate and I have a Toshiba L355D-S7901 - Dual core AMD on Win Vista 32. so since my wife mainly uses the desktop the lappie was left to me and my evil machinations.

    needless to say with minimal research I dual booted Ubuntu 12 - love it! I have no clue how to do stuff but worked out of the box . I've have to Dl a wireless card driver, Video card driver and flash and learned to install. I will say its a steeeeep learning curve but you wont learn if you dont try. I will say, had i researched a little more i might have chosen Mint instead. but im an all in type of guy so here i am.

  5. #15
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    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    According to Monsieur Belarc (une blague, une blague), this laptop has an Intel Pentium processor and according to what I read, PAE is enabled on the 32-bit versions of Vista.

  6. #16
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    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.

  7. #17
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    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!)

  8. #18
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: I'm totally inexperienced with Linux

    If I'm interpreting your user name correctly, we're both in zip area 731xx. Not too many of us using Linux here in Thunder country, but I believe there's a user group...

    Welcome to the fun! I recommend Xubuntu; I've used it for five years now and it's done all that I could want. I'm not a gamer so I can't say much about game performance, though. I do run virtual machines loaded with WinXP to support my Windows-using customers, and ran "wubi" for a while on a laptop that didn't want to accept a native install. Never tried WINE.

    You'll find these forums quite helpful!
    --
    Jim Kyle in Oklahoma, USA
    Linux Counter #259718
    Howto mark thread: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UnansweredPo.../SolvedThreads

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