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Epodx64
September 28th, 2012, 08:41 PM
Ok, so here's the deal my Mom has a Windows XP installation that is just thrashed with viruses and malware and I'm a afraid her bank account and personal information is compromised so I need to do something and it's so bad, that it's hit a point of no return short of a reformatting the system the problem is I don't own any windows installation media (except a Consumer Preview build of Windows 8 which she hates because of the Metro U.I. ) So my question is what would be a decent Linux operating system thats no frills something with Wine installed so she can play Zuma and has a similar GUI as Windows So far I've been leaning toward Kubuntu,Xubuntu,Linux Mint w/ MATE, and a dark horse of Debian 6.0 I need something that’s going to be supported for awhile that’s not bleeding edge and will be stable and just work. I don't mind configuring it or anything so does anyone have a suggestion on what would work for a lifetime Windows user that's below average on a Technical scale.

p.s.
The system is a Dell Dimension 4700 3.00Ghz Pentium 4 HT 1.5 GiBs of Ram 80 Gb HDD Intel Video card.

Polydorus
September 28th, 2012, 09:11 PM
My 75 year old sister dislikes any changes of her computer experience. Have your Mom try out which ever version of Linux most looks like her current XP set up. That will give you a good idea if you will have any success in converting her or not. :-)

robtygart
September 28th, 2012, 09:14 PM
Download them all, then let her try all of them with the live CD.

sostentado
September 28th, 2012, 09:21 PM
I'll give you XUBUNTU. It's easy to customize after installation and fast.

deadflowr
September 28th, 2012, 09:23 PM
I would say install the one you're most comfortable helping her out with.
If you're familiar with Kubuntu, then install Kubuntu. If Xubuntu is more familiar, go with that.
I've found, when installing anything on someone elses PC, they take it that you have proficient knowledge of that system, or program.
I installed Ubuntu 12.04 on my dad's PC, because if he ever needs helps, I'm familiar with the system. I wouldn't install something like bodhi linux or fedora as I'm only somewhat familiar with those. And my help would be limit.

cortman
September 28th, 2012, 09:25 PM
Xubuntu should run very briskly on that hardware and can be configured to look/act similarly to Windows (start menu, etc.)I would definitely recommend Xubuntu or Debian w/ XFCE (but with Debian it'd probably be a bit more work to set up).

mips
September 28th, 2012, 09:47 PM
Ok, so here's the deal my Mom has a Windows XP
p.s.
The system is a Dell Dimension 4700 3.00Ghz Pentium 4 HT 1.5 GiBs of Ram 80 Gb HDD Intel Video card.

Well you could always download a legitimate copy of WinXp or get a cd from Dell seeing you already have a license key. Install MSE/Avast/Avira and a good firewall and she would be good to go with something she knows.

If you want a linux that looks like winxp & has wine & play-on-linux then have a look at Zorin OS which comes in both Gnome & LXDE flavours so it can be lightweigth,
http://zorin-os.com/ based on Ubuntu
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zorin_OS
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=zorin

Which P4 CPU (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Pentium_4_microprocessors) does she have as she could go 64 or 32 bit depending on the cpu?

or you could always just install Xubuntu for her which is really cool & would be my recommendation ;)

Good luck.

mips
September 28th, 2012, 10:09 PM
(but with Debian it'd probably be a bit more work to set up).

He could always use the latest Crunchbang image and add XFCE to it which would be really fast.

1clue
September 28th, 2012, 10:49 PM
My fiancee had a Vista laptop that had a similar problem. I installed xubuntu on it and it works fine.

Do yourself a favor though, find out how much RAM that laptop can use and put it in. It will only be a few bucks and it will make a huge difference. With that age of laptop it probably won't be more than 4g, probably 2g. You're gonna need all of that IMO.

Kubuntu might be a good fit too, it's a bit heavier though.

critin
September 28th, 2012, 11:09 PM
Clean the virus's and malware, it's not that hard. Then download different versions of distros to try live. When she decides make a dual boot. Running windows games on wine isn't necessarily easy, and many won't work. Frustration isn't fun to be around.

Someone may end up buying a new machine with windows on it if she's not happy. Clean it or find an official cd from a friend or ebay Install anti-virus, anti-malware and set them to run and update automatically. Then you take the responsibility to regularly clean and maintain it.

boydrice
September 28th, 2012, 11:15 PM
Seems like you want a LTS equivalent distro. If you don't think she would like Ubuntu 12.04 then I would look at Debian stable or a RHEL clone like CentOS, Scientific, PUIAS, etc. That way once you have it all set to the users liking there isn't much upkeep.

neu5eeCh
September 28th, 2012, 11:24 PM
Deadflowr's advice is best, I think. Install the DE you yourself are most comfortable and familiar with.

If that's not an issue, then I would recommend Xubuntu. I've done a number of installations for former Windows users and they all seem to prefer Xubuntu/XFCE. Unity is still buggy (in small and aggravating ways) and no former Windows user, in my own experience, has liked the absence of a text menu (the mobile iconization) in Unity or Gnome Shell. KDE can be problematic and slow on older hardware accustomed to running XP. It's also way, way, way more firepower than the average XP user needs. LXDE/Lubuntu might be superb if she's not the kind to tweak and doesn't care about bling.

Mikeb85
September 29th, 2012, 02:33 AM
Xubuntu, Kubuntu, or openSUSE KDE.

forrestcupp
September 29th, 2012, 02:47 AM
I would say install the one you're most comfortable helping her out with.
Good point. You're going to be tech support, so you should go with what you're familiar with.

But if you can handle any of them, I'd go with Kubuntu, since KDE would be pretty familiar to XP users.

Linuxratty
September 29th, 2012, 04:51 AM
Then download different versions of distros to try live. When she decides make a dual boot. .

I think this is best. She goes OL with Linux and plays games with Windows.

kio_http
September 29th, 2012, 05:20 AM
Dual boot Kubuntu with XP and I don't think its default looks are a problem if you pin / add on menu the important applications like web browser.

Let her use chrome or chromium though.

See the link in my signature for making Kubuntu really fast on that hardware.

PhilGil
September 29th, 2012, 05:40 AM
It's not much of a challenge to set up a Linux system to look/feel like Win XP - one panel on the bottom then the following (left to right): menu, minimize all windows, a couple of app launchers (if desired), window list, notification area, volume control (if not in the notification area). Gnome 2, MATE, Gnome Classic or XFCE as a DE, no compositing. One workspace.


Unfamiliar program names can be frustrating to new users. I usually make desktop launchers for commonly used programs and give them names that would be familiar to a Windows user: Internet for Firefox, Word for LO Writer, Email for Thunderbird etc...


You may run into a problem with the Intel graphics drivers on that particular machine. I had a Dell GX280 with similar specs and could never get beyond a black screen of death using the onboard graphics. I finally gave up and popped in a used ATI graphics card from Ebay – I think it was around $10.


I can highly recommend Debian 6.0 with the Gnome 2 desktop for that machine, it ran fine on my GX280 with 1GB of RAM. However, if you'll be doing long-distance support you should install a distro and desktop environment you are familiar with.

drawkcab
September 29th, 2012, 08:07 AM
Definitely check out Linux Mint Debian Edition with xfce. It's orders of magnitude lighter and quicker than xubuntu and it's a rolling release.

The only drawback is that since it is based on Debian it is sometimes finicky with periphrerals, especially printers.

I like to install a proper dock with xfce.

I think that on your hardware it's going to chug with gnome shell, unity or kde.

Another option would be Zorin which is very windowsish.

Lars Noodén
September 29th, 2012, 08:25 AM
Another +1 for Xubuntu

If you want you can also try out the others by installing the meta packages ubuntu-desktop, lubuntu-desktop, and so on. Then when you have chosen one, you can clean off the others. For Xubuntu, follow these, but there are instructions for any desktop:
http://psychocats.net/ubuntu/purexubuntu

Epodx64
September 29th, 2012, 01:58 PM
Well thanks for all the advice I've had her try out Zorin OS (didn't like it) she surprisingly liked Ubuntu with Unity quite alot she hasn't committed to it but it was her favorite out of (Zorin,Kubuntu,Xubuntu,Linux Mint w/ Mate) really with cleaning up her Windows XP installation I've been down that road to many times to count over the last 10 years I install great Antivirus software (such as Avast!) and always set up a firewall but she renders any protection I put on the computer by blatantly disregarding warnings that executing this program is unsafe and will probably cause extensive damage and nullify your security she clicks any link from any website she'll open executable's from email from people she doesn't know she freely installs ActiveX updates from suspect websites no... I'm not doing to Windows clean up just to have it destroyed within days anymore (she's had her bank account info hijacked twice nonetheless) no matter what I do to lock down her system its so easily circumvented when you take no precautions as to what your doing so it's pretty much Linux or she can use the XP machine till its completely crippled which shouldn't be too long.

neu5eeCh
September 29th, 2012, 02:04 PM
...she surprisingly liked Ubuntu with Unity quite alot...

Even though that hasn't been my experience, I'm glad to hear that. I'd like to see Unity be a success, especially with disillusioned Windows users.

stalkingwolf
September 29th, 2012, 04:49 PM
both avira and avg have antivirus that can be installed to either thumb drive or disk . ive used both. The computer my wife has we got for 75 dollars because it was so loaded it wouldnt boot. after removing 225 virus and malware it worked fine.

I suggest Zorin 5.2 it has a windows look DE and is nice.

deadflowr
September 29th, 2012, 05:59 PM
Somehow, it doesn't surprise me that she would like unity. It's simple design makes it easy for someone new to learn basic uses.
It's radical enough to let someone know that the system they're on is not going to be like the system they're used to.
I personally use unity, but I don't love it or hate it, I do ,however, find it to be the most interesting desktop interface.

Polydorus
September 29th, 2012, 07:49 PM
I'm not doing to Windows clean up just to have it destroyed within days anymore (she's had her bank account info hijacked twice nonetheless) no matter what I do to lock down her system its so easily circumvented when you take no precautions as to what your doing so it's pretty much Linux or she can use the XP machine till its completely crippled which shouldn't be too long.

Maybe it's time for Mom to go back to manual banking?

critin
September 29th, 2012, 08:37 PM
Somehow, it doesn't surprise me that she would like unity. It's simple design makes it easy for someone new to learn basic uses.
It's radical enough to let someone know that the system they're on is not going to be like the system they're used to.
I personally use unity, but I don't love it or hate it, I do ,however, find it to be the most interesting desktop interface.

I agree.

Zorin looks a lot like XP, but only on the outside. I tried it, liked it a bit, found it boring.

But, going with ubuntu 12.04 might be the thing. New users won't have all the prejudice or bias of change-- 'this is going backwards!' With no experience of gnome 2, unity works just fine.

mamamia88
September 29th, 2012, 09:05 PM
Depending on the computer I'll vote for xubuntu. Or whatever distro you feel most comfortable setting up.

deadflowr
September 29th, 2012, 09:14 PM
I agree.

Zorin looks a lot like XP, but only on the outside. I tried it, liked it a bit, found it boring.

But, going with ubuntu 12.04 might be the thing. New users won't have all the prejudice or bias of change-- 'this is going backwards!' With no experience of gnome 2, unity works just fine.

I think the one thing that really surprises me about unity, is that for all the complaints, no one has seriously forked the source code and completely redesigned the interface, adding all the bells and whistles they scream are needed(wanted). Unity-Rotate was about the only real effort in that regard. I don't code, I don't ever plan on coding, so I have no complaints(aside from just simply egregiously bad code; ie, blatantly obvious security holes) about how others who do, design their projects.

Old_Grey_Wolf
September 29th, 2012, 09:36 PM
...she surprisingly liked Ubuntu with Unity quite alot she hasn't committed to it but it was her favorite...

Nice that you found something she likes. The launcher isn't that much different from having icons on the desktop for the programs you use all the time.

I would add what she uses and remove what she doesn't use on the launcher.

forrestcupp
September 30th, 2012, 02:53 AM
I think the one thing that really surprises me about unity, is that for all the complaints, no one has seriously forked the source code and completely redesigned the interface, adding all the bells and whistles they scream are needed(wanted).
You might as well just create a whole new DE if you're going to do that.

Epodx64
September 30th, 2012, 04:38 AM
Somehow, it doesn't surprise me that she would like unity. It's simple design makes it easy for someone new to learn basic uses.
It's radical enough to let someone know that the system they're on is not going to be like the system they're used to.
I personally use unity, but I don't love it or hate it, I do ,however, find it to be the most interesting desktop interface.

She's finally committed to changing to Ubuntu 12.04.1 Full time I'll get to do the install (yeaaah) tomorrow she can't get enough of Unity loves the Dash search feature and absolutely loves having Firefox LibreOffice etc... on the launcher loves the free software mostly the games like Frozen Bubble but what I'm most stoked about since i'll disable all the testing and backport repositories I'll run her down on how to update the system when It says too and how to move her favorites to the side launcher then finally I shouldn't have to work on that computer again for hopefully the next 3-5 years I've seriously spent countless hours repairing that same XP install with the same virus/malware Thank you Ubuntu.

deadflowr
September 30th, 2012, 05:16 AM
She's finally committed to changing to Ubuntu 12.04.1 Full time I'll get to do the install (yeaaah) tomorrow she can't get enough of Unity loves the Dash search feature and absolutely loves having Firefox LibreOffice etc... on the launcher loves the free software mostly the games like Frozen Bubble but what I'm most stoked about since i'll disable all the testing and backport repositories I'll run her down on how to update the system when It says too and how to move her favorites to the side launcher then finally I shouldn't have to work on that f#*kin computer again for hopefully the next 3-5 years I've seriously spent countless hours repairing that same XP install with the same virus/malware Thank you Ubuntu.


Good luck with the install. Hopefully all goes well.

Epodx64
September 30th, 2012, 08:11 PM
Good luck with the install. Hopefully all goes well.

Thanks it went perfect use to be my old computer and never had any problems with Linux installs on it. I honestly feel slightly liberated that I won't have to spend hours in from of that retched horrible machine anymore seriously, Thank You Ubuntu for making my hectic life just a little more easier today. :popcorn:

Old_Grey_Wolf
September 30th, 2012, 09:10 PM
...then finally I shouldn't have to work on that f#*kin computer again for hopefully the next 3-5 years I've seriously spent countless hours repairing that same XP install with the same virus/malware...

Been there, done that. :)

I used to repair my daughters and her ex-husbands XP computer all the time. When she got divorced, she and my grandchildren moved in with me. I took some old desktop computers I was going to recycle, and pieced together 3 working computers for my grandchildren to use. The computers I built used Ubuntu. No more malware!

It is now several years later. My daughter has repaired her credit after the divorce, gotten a degree, gotten a good job, and is buying my grandchildren laptops. Wouldn't you guess, they run Microsoft Windows.

I went for years without having to remove malware from their computers; however, that has changed; although, Microsoft Windows 7 seems to be less vulnerable. It doesn't matter what I do to protect the computer from malware. They just ignore the antivirus and firewall warnings. They click OK to everything it seems.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

:lolflag:

markMDW
September 30th, 2012, 09:22 PM
My vote on that machine would be Ubuntu 12.04 with Unity. If this were last year I would have recommended Xubuntu. I'd guess that Ubuntu is as fast as Xubuntu nowadays. Another person suggested that the systems that try to mimic Windows would lead to frustration as the user learns that things really don't work the same. With Unity the user knows from the beginning that the pc is going to work with vast differences. The good news is that its fun to learn and use and fairly simple. The frustrated folks aren't the ones that can't figure out how to do their email or surf the web, but rather the power users who can't customize their programs and desktops to behave exactly the way they had it before.

Change is good; Unity is better.

1clue
October 1st, 2012, 03:46 PM
Congratulations on a happy mom.

I'm SO glad my fiancee doesn't like Unity. She seems to hate it as much as I do.

For names of apps being different, I just solved it in a simple way with Xubuntu. Everything she uses, I put a shortcut to it on the desktop. Facebook, Pandora her email (web-based) and Libre Office for the few things she does with that, and that's about 90% of what she does. She's savvy enough now to launch the web browser too.

She will also click any link from anywhere. I wonder if there's a way to change all links so they read "hand over my bank account to these bozos". She would probably still do it.

mips
October 1st, 2012, 05:13 PM
For names of apps being different, I just solved it in a simple way with Xubuntu. Everything she uses, I put a shortcut to it on the desktop. Facebook, Pandora her email (web-based) and Libre Office for the few things she does with that, and that's about 90% of what she does. She's savvy enough now to launch the web browser too.


A panel with launchers also works well for that.

litiform
October 12th, 2012, 09:26 PM
I don't think you can beat Ubuntu for what you describe.