Choosing a distro for newbie

T

Talon

Guest
Hi everyone,

Please, forgive my apparent ignorance; I am totally new to Linux.

A brief history: I am completely disenchanted with Microsoft in
general and Windows in particular, since it (or they) have
crashed 2 of my computers in Win XP. I am not interested
in debating the merits or demerits of Windows or
Microsoft.

As a result I am moving completely away from Windows and
Microsoft and towards Linux. Alas, however, I am utterly
ignorant vis-a-vis Linux, and I need to ask a question
if I may:

(1) Given the foregoing stated lack of competence, which Linux
distribution would be best to utilize, ie, which would offer the
smallest learning curve for now. I have just ordered Linux Mint 11
on DVD from Linux on-disk.com, but I have no qualms about
ordering something else also if this is too advanced for me.

Thanks, in advance, for any suggestions.
 


K

Kerms

Guest
You don't have to order disks, you can make them yourself. There's always some type of digital distribution method, direct, torrent, or some unheard-of-yet-brilliant method for downloading.

For Linux Mint, download the iso via http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

As for the list on the page:
They are all desktop environments; the look and feel (mainly the feel) of the GUI.
->MATE is a GNOME 2 fork. Since a whole lot of people hate GNOME 3 (can be compared to the Metro UI), a GNOME 2 fork was made. GNOME2/MATE gives similar UI like Windows has.
->Never heard of the Cinnamon interface--get someone else to help you with that.
-> KDE is a rich and really customizable interface, and full of eye-candy (I can't say anything else beyond this, sorry).
->XFCE is similar to GNOME 2 in terms of feel, however it's slightly less customizable than GNOME 2. This is a path that GNOME run-away'ers come to.

Since you stated you don't want a learning curve, I recommend to get the MATE or XFCE interface.

Secondly, from what I heard, Linux Mint is a easy-to-use distro; I don't think it'll be hard to learn.
 
T

Talon

Guest
Kerms,


Thank you very much for your input. At the very least you have clarified some of the
terminology for me.

Talon
 
E

ehansen

Guest
->MATE is a GNOME 2 fork. Since a whole lot of people hate GNOME 3 (can be compared to the Metro UI), a GNOME 2 fork was made. GNOME2/MATE gives similar UI like Windows has.
How do you figure Gnome2 = Windows-like UI? It looks more Mac than Windows. KDE is the Windows version of Linux.

As for Cinnamon, I've heard good stories on it. I've never used it personally but it can be worth the investigation if you're looking for something sleek. I know Rob here used to use it a lot earlier this year.
 
K

Kerms

Guest
How do you figure Gnome2 = Windows-like UI? It looks more Mac than Windows. KDE is the Windows version of Linux.
Before Ubuntu had its `Macintosh' movement (pre 10.04), Ubuntu was THE go-to linux OS for Windows users who were trying out linux (and didn't want much of a learning curve.). Not only because Ubuntu was simple, the GNOME2 interface held a distinctly familiar feeling to Windows, than KDE 3 at the time.
 
I

icebirdro

Guest
Linux Mint will be just fine for you, but if you have the curiosity to try another distro for begginers you could try Ubuntu.

P.S. As someone said above: KDE=Windows GUI, gnome2=unique
 
T

Talon

Guest
Sergiu (and all who so kindly responded),

Please, forgive the tardiness of this reply; it is my first opportunity to respond.

Each of you has added to my rather paltry grasp of Linux, and I am deeply indebted. I have
decided to go with Linux Mint on one of my machines and, as you suggested, Ubuntu on the
other. I intuit that this will afford me the latitude to branch out more slowly as I acquire a
better understanding of Linux.

My interest in a relatively shallow learning curve was not intended to convey a measure of
laziness or apathy with respect to Linux, only a need to get something up and running out
of the box as quickly as possible as a solid substitute for my departure from Windows.

Again, I very much appreciate all suggestions and input.

Thank you!
 
A

animaguy

Guest
I agree with icebirdro.

Linux Mint is a great distro that will introduce you to Ubuntu based libux. Mint is stable with only a few minor bugs depending on the desktop you choose. I recommend xfce for starters.

If you get adventurous you can try LMDE which is Debian based.

You can try Ubuntu or Debian.

You can try Fedora or CentOS which use yum as opposed to apt-get.

And if you are really motivated you can go to Gentoo or Arch Linux.
 
T

Talon

Guest
Again an apology; since both my computers have crashed in Windows,
I am borrowing a friends laptop post herein.

I now have a box that is exclusively dedicated to Linux Mint 11, but
there is a rub (at least for me); I have a modem from Alltel (Verizon)
but to use it, it must be installed. I have copied the installation file
(an EXE file to the download folder of Linux) but it will not execute
it and install the modem so I can get on the internet.

Since I cant get on the internet, I cannot access the intro or
tutorial on Linux.

Is there a solution to this problem?

Again, thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.

Talon
 

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