HP Notebook 15 which Linux for me?

Livid

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Hello,
Please help me to switch to Linux.I am a complete dummy and do not know where to find information on the HP Notebook 15 laptop I have. If possible I do not want to use windows any more. I have windows 8 which i dislike immensely.The browser I use most often is Google Chrome. I know very little about Linux and computers. I do not know which Linux works with HP Notebook 15, the computer I had to buy in 2014. Thank you for your patience.
 


atanere

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Hello,
Please help me to switch to Linux.I am a complete dummy and do not know where to find information on the HP Notebook 15 laptop I have. If possible I do not want to use windows any more. I have windows 8 which i dislike immensely.The browser I use most often is Google Chrome. I know very little about Linux and computers. I do not know which Linux works with HP Notebook 15, the computer I had to buy in 2014. Thank you for your patience.
Hi @Livid, and welcome! It is certainly possible to get rid of Windows and replace it completely with Linux, and we'll be glad to help you through that. But there are a number of steps to take along the way. The first thing will be to save everything on your computer that you need to keep... photos, documents, etc. Replacing Windows means totally erasing the entire hard drive, and we don't want you to lose anything that is important to you.

Also, we want to make sure that you have some method (phone, or another computer) that you can come back to us if something goes wrong and your notebook won't boot at all. Things happen sometimes, and we also don't want you stranded out there without a computer and no means to ask for help. If something does go wrong, we can help get you through that too as long as we can reach you.

Since you don't know much about Linux yet, we actually want you to keep Windows for just a little while longer so we can help you find which Linux will be good for you. We will guide you to 2 or 3 different version of Linux (more, if you want) and have you install them to a DVD or a USB flash drive. By installing Linux to the DVD or USB, you can actually try it out first on your notebook and see how it looks, and make sure that it is working with your hardware (screen, sound, wireless, etc). Then, when you're ready, we will also use the DVD/USB to install Linux and erase Windows.

Be patient, take it kind of slowly, and ask if anything confuses you along the way. We can't respond immediately due to jobs, living in different countries (or different continents), etc... but there are several very active users who will help you along.

So, are you ready to begin? Have you looked at any Linux distros yet? Or have any special expectations of what you want Linux to do for you?

Cheers
 

Livid

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thanks. i am ready and will be patient.

what is a USB flash drive? i have a USB memory stick. is it that?

what is a distro?

i want to be able to access my DNA tests, use Ancestral Quest for geneology, family tree, look at youtube and dailymotion, make word and excel documents (using wps office 2016 since i do not have office 2013), download photos from my Samsung smartphone and camera, use facebook and twitter, paint or an equivalent,. email, track email, play cds and watch dvds, surf on the internet and print, Avast and Malware Bytes i think that covers what i use ( just like most people i believe).

is there anything that cannot be done if you have Linus instead of windows?
 

atanere

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thanks. i am ready and will be patient.

what is a USB flash drive? i have a USB memory stick. is it that?

what is a distro?

i want to be able to access my DNA tests, use Ancestral Quest for geneology, family tree, look at youtube and dailymotion, make word and excel documents (using wps office 2016 since i do not have office 2013), download photos from my Samsung smartphone and camera, use facebook and twitter, paint or an equivalent,. email, track email, play cds and watch dvds, surf on the internet and print, Avast and Malware Bytes i think that covers what i use ( just like most people i believe).

is there anything that cannot be done if you have Linus instead of windows?
OK, great start! Yes, a flash drive is the same as a memory stick. You may want to get some spares as they are fairly cheap these days (you don't need huge capacity for Linux).

A "distro" is short for "distribution" which is what each Linux is called. I sometimes say "Linux version" but that isn't technically correct unless I mean what Linux kernel version. The kernel is the heart of of any operating system, and Linux distributions use a Linux kernel. There are about 300 active Linux distributions, but you don't need to learn about or try that many! :D A few trials is usually enough to get someone started, and there are several that are the most popular for new users.

You won't need Avast or Malware Bytes with Linux. The likelihood of getting a virus is next to zero, and the probability of even getting malware is very low too. Keeping safe from those things is something to discuss further as we go though.... because first, we have to find out if the next thing is a deal-breaker for you....

Watching DVD's, online videos, Facebook, WPS Office, a Paint-like program.... all of that will be fine on Linux. The big one that could be trouble is Ancestral Quest because they do not provide a version of their software for Linux. It is possible that we can make it work in Linux, but it may not work. And by "accessing your DNA tests".... that depends on how you do that. I can log into Ancestry.com with any web browser to see my DNA info there, and if that is all you mean then it is not an issue. But we'll need to know more about how you access those tests in order to know if Linux will work or not.

So, I understand if Ancestral Quest will be a deal-breaker for you. That is one of the drawbacks that sometimes keeps people tied to Windows forever. There is other genealogy software that can run in Linux, but it is a question of whether you're willing to switch to other software. Sometimes importing/exporting .gedcom files doesn't work properly and data can be lost, and no one wants that either.

Another possibility is that you can split your hard drive into two partitions, and keep running Windows in one partition, and then install Linux in the other partition. However, this can be quite tricky for a new user too... and if there is a problem along the way you could potentially (worst case) make your Windows unusable or delete it by accident. This does not let you escape from Windows though... which is what you first indicated you want to do.

One more possibility: There is a program called VirtualBox (https://www.virtualbox.org) that you can install on Windows, and then when you run VirtualBox, you can install a full blown Linux distro as a "virtual machine". This will not harm your Windows and it gives a pretty good method for using and learning Linux. You need a fair amount of RAM because this is like running two full operating systems at the same time.... I'm not sure how much exactly, but probably at least 4 GB.

With the dual-boot or virtual machine options, you could then test out Linux to see if Ancestral Quest can be made to work, or not. But making it work can be a complicated process too, so I'm not sure if you're ready to jump into that kind of project yet.

OK, so where do you think you're at now?
 

Livid

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Thanks. I have over one Mb in Ancestral Quest for i started tree-making in 1965 or 1966 (years before I started using a computer) If I can import that into a free Linux-compatible geneological program and go on from there that is fine. I would prefer to skip windows. Here is why. All my files created with office 2007 were changed to office 2013 when i opened a file sent me created with office 2013 but since i do not have office 2013 all functions including adding data, copying and pasting have been removed. when i opened them from office 2007, 9 months work is missing. hence the name i chose. if i make new files with office 2007 there is no Help and when i create a formula the same way as beföre i get an error message "wrong values" and am urged to buy a later version of office. it took me days to get the problems solved. wps office is great but i have to learn formulae, how to insert them and how to do what in excel is Fill (down the whole column. i shall for i dislike what has been done.

My DNA kit is with LivingDNA. I have made my results public on the internet.and posted my autosomal raw data to GEDcomGenetics. LivingDNA keeps me updated per email.

i pressed Download VirtualBox but was taken to a page for "binaries" with no download button. how do i do the download? is there some link i should press? where in my computer can i see how much RAM is available?

now i shall check my files because there are several i have not got round to deleting.
 

atanere

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Yes, MS Office is a pain, and the "x files" (.docx, .xlsx, etc) only made matters worse. Besides WPS, there is another free office suite called LibreOffice that is very popular and can work with MS format files (at least to some degree). LibreOffice is usually included with the bigger Linux distros, but you can also get if for Windows if you want to see if it will work any better for you.

On the VirtualBox download page, the "binaries" are files that will run as-is. In the Linux world, although not often, you can sometimes find things that you have to compile from source code! Don't let that freak you out... it's very rare. So the download you want it is to click the one that says, "Windows hosts". In the virtual computer world, your Windows will be the "host system" and Linux will be the "virtual machine" (VM).

Once VirtualBox is installed, you will need to pick one (or two or three) Linux distros and download a big file that has a .iso extension. The entire distro is in that file, and it has to be burned in a special way to DVD or USB.... and it will erase anything on the USB, which is why I suggested to have a few spares to use for this. If DVD is better for you, that's okay too. I think there may be a way to load the .iso directly into VirtualBox... but I'm unfamiliar with that. You might Google for how that could be done, or maybe someone else will jump in with info. It's always a good idea to verify the "checksum" of your downloaded .iso file.... this ensures that you got a good clean download without errors. We'll cover that a bit more start to download.

It sounds like your DNA info only needs to be accessed from a web browser (Chrome, Firefox, or whatever)... and you need email to get your updates. Unless you think of something different or special, Linux can do browsers and email.

RAM: I'm a bit rusty with Windows... I think you open your start menu, and right-click on Computer, then Properties. It should shows you what version of Windows, whether it is activated, and how much RAM. If not, we'll dig deeper.

Which distros: These are just guesses for you to begin with. They are very active and widely used, and they are very popular for beginners. Since you are leaning to a Virtual Machine type install, I would suggest the latest Ubuntu instead of the "long term version". A virtual machine is something that you can easily delete and replace... and "long term" would be more recommended if you were ready to delete Windows and go Linux only. Linux Mint has several different desktop version, and you might prefer one over another.... but you won't really know until you start testing them out. So, these two is where I'd suggest for you to download:

Ubuntu: https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/contribute/?version=17.10&architecture=amd64

Linux Mint: http://mirrors.kernel.org/linuxmint/stable/18.2/linuxmint-18.2-mate-64bit.iso

With that, I'm probably out for the rest of the day today. Maybe someone else will jump in if you ask further questions and I don't get back. After you download the .iso files, we will want you to verify those "checksums" though.

Cheers
 

Livid

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thanks.i am unsure if i have any dvds to put files on. anyway how do i "burn" the discs my brother gave me just over a year ago? i have never done that. on them it says dvd+r 120 min video. underneath it reads (with a good magnifying glass) extended play 240 mins and under that it says 4.7 gb data. on the left hand side it says philips 1-8x. on the right hand side it says rw and under that dvd + r. can i use that?
have just downloaded Virtualbox. do i download a Linux distro or a lso file? where do i find a distro and a lso filo? can you give me a link to my computer? and then save it to the dvd?

do i have to "burn" everything all at once or can i pause and then continue? if i make a mistake can i erase it and redo it?
 

Livid

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thanks.i am unsure if i have any dvds to put files on. anyway how do i "burn" the discs my brother gave me just over a year ago? i have never done that. on them it says dvd+r 120 min video. underneath it reads (with a good magnifying glass) extended play 240 mins and under that it says 4.7 gb data. on the left hand side it says philips 1-8x. on the right hand side it says rw and under that dvd + r. can i use that?
have just downloaded Virtualbox. do i download a Linux distro or a lso file? where do i find a distro and a lso filo? can you give me a link to my computer? and then save it to the dvd?

do i have to "burn" everything all at once or can i pause and then continue? if i make a mistake can i erase it and redo it?
 

Livid

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just found my computer properties. i have windows 8.1. the processor is AMD E2-3800 APU with RADEON (TM) HD Graphics ...1.30 GHz. RAM 8GB (7.45 can be used). 64 bit operative system x64 based processor.

time to sleep.
 

atanere

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I think we can install a Linux .iso in VirtualBox without burning a DVD. Let me check further... back soon.
 

atanere

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Not as soon as I thought! I'm realizing that I'm quite rusty using VirtualBox, but after some issues of my own (with Linux) I decided to install in on Windows 7 instead.

You said you downloaded VirtualBox already, but you didn't say yet that you installed it. When you do, it will prompt you several times during the installation to also install some options that are available and recommended... things such as USB support, networking and wireless networking.... you should allow it to install these options.

You can install the Linux .iso file directly into VirtualBox without a DVD or USB, so that is an extra step we don't need right now. If you decide to erase Windows later and put Linux on the hard drive by itself, then you will need to create a Linux DVD or USB at that time.

In post #6 above, I gave you links to the .iso files for Ubuntu and Linux Mint. If you right-click on each of those links, you can choose "save as" or "save content as" (something like that) to begin the download. I usually wait for one download to finish before beginning another one. These are both big files and may take awhile to finish, depending on your network speed.

Let me know when you have them downloaded. The next step after that will be to "verify" that your download was complete and the file was not corrupted. I'll steer you to a Windows program that will help you with this "verify" operation, so don't worry about other instructions you may see on the Ubuntu about how to do this. Their instructions are complicated, and I think I can make this step easier for you.

Looking forward, I am hopeful now that Ancestral Quest may run in Linux... but that is far from a guarantee. Let me know what version you are using. Even if it does run, it may have some quirks... maybe that can be tolerated, and maybe not. But that is still many steps away right now. First thing is to try to get Linux running and not destroy your Windows install.

Cheers
 

Livid

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thanks. this week i was suddenly struck down by flu or very bad cold with fever and shakes. plus constipation due to the medicine i have to take for incontinence plus further stress to add to all the other inescapable joys of seventydom. enough on that. during my slow recovery i found that my family tree is PAF not AQ but also Ancestral Quest 12.1 can be used with Linux. when this computer tells me to "click"on something i just click on it so probably it should have said "click and open" to install Virtual Box. and you are right it is only downloaded not installed. the problem is my computer lacks 236 of the necessary 683GB. can i have it on something called D: Recovery? No idea what that is. the uninstalled downloaded version of Virtual Box is 5.2
shall try to find control panel and see which large program files i can delete otherwise.
if i succeed in switching to Linux i shall keep as far away from windows as possible. the only reason i need it is in case something goes wrong with Linux.
 

Livid

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i uninstalled viber, it was 297 GB so now i have installed the downloaded Virtual Box. what next?
 
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atanere

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thanks. this week i was suddenly struck down by flu or very bad cold with fever and shakes. plus constipation due to the medicine i have to take for incontinence plus further stress to add to all the other inescapable joys of seventydom. enough on that. during my slow recovery i found that my family tree is PAF not AQ but also Ancestral Quest 12.1 can be used with Linux. when this computer tells me to "click"on something i just click on it so probably it should have said "click and open" to install Virtual Box. and you are right it is only downloaded not installed. the problem is my computer lacks 236 of the necessary 683GB. can i have it on something called D: Recovery? No idea what that is. the uninstalled downloaded version of Virtual Box is 5.2
shall try to find control panel and see which large program files i can delete otherwise.
if i succeed in switching to Linux i shall keep as far away from windows as possible. the only reason i need it is in case something goes wrong with Linux.
Hi again, and welcome back. Hope you're feeling better!

I see online that PAF is no longer supported (for quite awhile now). They recommend that you switch to another program, and Ancestral Quest and Roots Magic were both recommended. We seem to both have found that AQ can run in Linux, but let me again say... it may or may not run well. Roots Magic can also run in Linux, and I use that myself right now, but it has some "quirks" too. These programs are not made for Linux! They may both have issues known and unknown that we may have to deal with. But that is later in your journey... the first thing is to get Linux going in your VirtualBox. More in a moment....
 

atanere

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i uninstalled viber, it was 297 GB so now i have installed the downloaded Virtual Box. what next?
I mentioned in post #12 above that when you installed VirtualBox, it will prompt you to install several other helper applications (for USB and networking support). Did you let it install those options?

If you installed all the extras, then your next step is to pick a version of Linux to install "inside" of VirtualBox. You can install many (each takes up about 10 GB) but lets just start with one so you get used to the process. If you don't yet have a preference, let's begin with Linux Mint because that's what I'm using, and it's a great Linux for all new users.

Right-click on this link below and choose "Save as" or "Save link as" or "Save target as" ... and note where you store it. Your "Downloads" folder would be a great place.
http://mirrors.kernel.org/linuxmint/stable/18.2/linuxmint-18.2-mate-64bit.iso
This is a big file to download, over 1 GB, and after you have completed it, the next step will be to verify that it downloaded completely without errors. For that, I'll have you go get another small program to test it We'll do that in the next round. I have found that it is best to take long detailed instructions and break them down into smaller chunks... so let's just get this part done right now. Recapping....

1. Be sure you downloaded the VirtualBox helper apps. If not, let me know and we'll do over the VirtualBox install.

2. Download the Linux Mint .iso file as described above. Note where you stored this large file.

Cheers
 

Livid

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doing as you said. it is downloading now and will open when download finished. think i have cystitis. excruciating pain and no sedatives. sitting on the toilet most of the day, have eaten 2 potatoes, 1 plum. 1 orange and drunk 1 liter sweetened water+juice from 2 lemons plus 0.25 liters of water mixed with laxative. dare not eat or drink more .shall email my neighbour and ask him to drive me to some hospital's "Acute Service"
 

Livid

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I mentioned in post #12 above that when you installed VirtualBox, it will prompt you to install several other helper applications (for USB and networking support). Did you let it install those options?

If you installed all the extras, then your next step is to pick a version of Linux to install "inside" of VirtualBox. You can install many (each takes up about 10 GB) but lets just start with one so you get used to the process. If you don't yet have a preference, let's begin with Linux Mint because that's what I'm using, and it's a great Linux for all new users.

Right-click on this link below and choose "Save as" or "Save link as" or "Save target as" ... and note where you store it. Your "Downloads" folder would be a great place.
http://mirrors.kernel.org/linuxmint/stable/18.2/linuxmint-18.2-mate-64bit.iso
This is a big file to download, over 1 GB, and after you have completed it, the next step will be to verify that it downloaded completely without errors. For that, I'll have you go get another small program to test it We'll do that in the next round. I have found that it is best to take long detailed instructions and break them down into smaller chunks... so let's just get this part done right now. Recapping....

1. Be sure you downloaded the VirtualBox helper apps. If not, let me know and we'll do over the VirtualBox install.

2. Download the Linux Mint .iso file as described above. Note where you stored this large file.

Cheers
 

Livid

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ate 2 small tomatoes too. discovered that i got Error notice that i must wait at least 30 secs before doing this. do not know when notice arrived. suppose this means opening the file.
 

Livid

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asked to choose a hard disk for the New mirtual machine.. tried to cvhoose existing C. that opened explorer. could not download. do not know what to do now. must trry to sleep now.
 


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