Beginner Moving from Windows to Linux

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Deleted member 103141

I am a beginning Linux user with intermediate knowledge of some hardware and software. I used DOS during the 1980s then Windows. For programming, I learned Pascal and taught myself C and made small programs using them. I probably gained a basic understanding of Linux systems and similar by customizing a Buffalo NAS following online instructions and setting up an RPi for torrents and pi-hole. I'm also in charge of maintaining the PCs of the family, with users having varying knowledge, from knowing nothing about system tray warnings to being able to use graphic and video editing software, but most not knowing what to do if problems take place.

Given that, I decided to install some OS flavors of Linux (so far, Elementary, Endless, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Zorin, Linuxfx, and Makululinux) in virtualboxes to try them out, and so far I've managed to figure out any peculiarities in each one. My goal is to choose one to replace Windows for all future machines, that will allow me to configure it with the least difficulty and make it run like the present systems used, and basically to receive the least complaints from family members. It should probably have the ff. qualities:

- fast load and shutdown times, and long-term support (does that leave out flavors with very few users?);

- run what few Windows software that can't be replaced (like MS Cinemania and SizeMe) and have free apps that are good, if not better, than paid ones like MS Office;

- run many Windows (hopefully, some new ones, too, and multiplayer games like World of Tanks and shooters) and DOS games;

- customization of the UI so that it resembles the current ones, which is Win 10 that's made to look like Win 7 using Open Shell;

- can install features found in other OSes (like the offline encyclopedia found in Endless OS);

- configuration that has more GUI options instead of using the command line;

- apps that make it easier to do any maintenance and recovery, like apps that monitor CPU and GPU temperature and drive conditions and warn users if something goes wrong, and free software that can do automatic, scheduled, and set-and-forget incremental, differential, and full backups to external hard drives, etc., with bare metal restore features so that the same system can be used in a new PC if necessary;

and so on. And if there are any paid software for any of these features, hopefully they won't be too expensive.

My understanding is that several of these flavors are based on Ubuntu, Debian, etc.

What do you suggest? I searched online and found out that Ubuntu and Linux Mint are the most popular. Meanwhile, Linuxfx resembles Windows, Endless looks great for home education and has lots of apps for offline use, etc.


My first reaction to your post is this (I'm not being snarky here I just want you to be clear). You can pretty much do the same things (install the same apps, configure desktop managers, etc ,etc) in ALL distros. The difference is what each distro installs and how they are configured BY DEFAULT. It's a fundamental point to understand about Linux.
For instance, I may install Linux distro 'bigcheese' and 'bigcheese' may install with a KDE desktop configured a certain way (themes, window appearnce, etc.). I'll be able to adjust the parameters of those attributes to some extent. Or, I could install GNOME and use it as a desktop manager. I don't have to install 'littlecheese' distro to get GNOME, I can just install GNOME in 'bigcheese', configure it to be used at startup, and adjust its look and feel as I wish.
So for you, I think what you need to do is to research whether LINUX provides the features that you've listed above, then pick the distro you like that provides as many of them as possible by default.



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Welcome to

You are 38 years old, you were born in 1982. You used DOS in the eighties, then Windows.


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  1. fast load and shutdown times, and long-term support: Fast load times and shutdown times isn't distribution dependent but depends on how fast your hardware is. Do you mean long term support as in that you keep getting security updates for 5,10 years? Or you just don't want to do major upgrades every 6 months?
  2. A lot of games you can run through either Steam/proton or Lutris: World of Tanks, there are plenty of shooters you just need to check if they are compatible using the two platforms I mentioned before(Also there are quite of a few multiplayer online games that don't work under Linux because of the AnitCheat Software):
    1. Lutris
    2. Steam/Proton
  3. Customization of UI: You can customize your interface however you like. Take this Window10 theme for example.
  4. can install features found in other OSes: No idea you are going to have to be more specific, but you are not going to find the same software available under Windows as under a GNU/Linux distro. As @Nelson Muntz mentioned GNU/Linux is not Windows.
  5. configuration that has more GUI options instead of using the command line: This is can be done on all distributions. For Configurations which are done by the gui can alse be done by the command-line. However if you are going to be want to run GNU/Linux you will eventually want to learn some command-line basics which will help you become more efficient with the GNU/Linux tools.
  6. apps that make it easier to do any maintenance and recovery: Yes there are back and restore tools available. These are just a few there are more available, take your pick
I wouldn't go for Linuxfx I've read that some people had bad experiences with that distro. Also if you are looking for a distribution that looks exactly, runs exactly like Windows you aren't going to find it because GNU/Linux and Windows are totally different operating systems who both work very differently. I would go for an LTS version of Mint or Ubuntu they got one of the largest user bases, or you could go for a rolling release distribution such as Manjaro. It all kind of depends how you answer first question on the list. Hope that helps!
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Nobody can get away from the command line in Linux and become a real Linux user, IMHO. But check this YouTube video out, for starters --

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