• We did not send an email asking for donations - please read this post.

Linux Laptop/Distro Advice

Andriko

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2022
Messages
42
Reaction score
20
Credits
405
Hi all,

I am getting a new laptop and want to (finally) make the switch to Linux but need a little advice.

Some of the software I use only runs on Windows, and so I will need the laptop to do both Linux and Win 10. Is dual booting the best way to go, and is it easy to do? Alternativley, can I run Linux from an external SSD instead (as a permanent desktop)?

I am thinking about getting (a refurbed) Lenovo ThinkPad T450, Core i5-5300U, 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD, and for the external SSD a Netac ZSLIM 250GB. Do you think that would do the job?

Finally, can anyone recommend a good distro? I'd like something simple with inbuilt security and privacy, that has a Windows type UI (I don't mind the UI to be honest, as long as it isn't anything like Mac).
There are a lot of options and I don't really know where to start. Kodachi, maybe?

Thanks,

A
 


Brickwizard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
3,170
Reaction score
2,058
Credits
23,599
Welcome to the forums, some people have problems loading Linux to Lenovo desktops, But we have members who swear by them, It just takes a little time to set some of them up.
We do not like to recommend a particular distro as at the end of the day, the best Linux distribution for you is the one that you feel most comfortable with, so try running a few "live" from a pen-drive to see what you like best,
If you are not sure how to set up your new Linux see.. https://linux-tips.us/how-do-i-install-linux-a-general-guide/
and when I comes installing, choose install alongside windows
 
Last edited:
OP
A

Andriko

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2022
Messages
42
Reaction score
20
Credits
405
Thanks for the help.

Regarding installing to an external SSD, is that more or less the same as suggested in the article, and what type of SSD would be best - the idea is to run it as a persistent desktop, but without having to do a partition on the laptop itself which I am reluctant to do.

EDIT: Can you also recommend a pen drive to burn the installer on? Your link to the article suggests one which is high quality and less than 16GB - all the ones I am finding seem to be quite a bit bigger!

Thanks,

A
 
Last edited:

Brickwizard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
3,170
Reaction score
2,058
Credits
23,599
is that more or less the same as suggested in the article,
Yes but when you get to the installation step the partition manager will ask what you want to do, at this point select the SSD from the drop-down box and choose use whole disc
you can use a bigger Pen-drive but as long as it is either a 4, 8 or 16 GB they seem to work a bit better, when I say good quality I mean a good brand [personally I have 3 I use, a PNY, a Toshiba and an old Kingstone, the Toshiba and PNY are both usb3]

Scandisk are also good https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Ultra-Flair-Flash-Drive/dp/B015CH1GTO?refinements=p_89:PNY|SanDisk
 

kc1di

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
1,294
Reaction score
1,084
Credits
9,296
Hello @Andriko ,
Welcome the forum. I have a T450 and it works great with Linux no Problems here at all. If it were me I wouldn't dual boot but would set up a window Virtual Machine with virtualbox or similar. That way you won't have to reboot the machine every time you want to run the windows program. JMO though. Good luck with which ever way you choose. Which specific Windows programs do you need?
 
OP
A

Andriko

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2022
Messages
42
Reaction score
20
Credits
405
Hello @Andriko ,
Welcome the forum. I have a T450 and it works great with Linux no Problems here at all. If it were me I wouldn't dual boot but would set up a window Virtual Machine with virtualbox or similar. That way you won't have to reboot the machine every time you want to run the windows program. JMO though. Good luck with which ever way you choose. Which specific Windows programs do you need?

Thanks Kc. It's FinalDraft, and there isn't really an alternative (Industry standard etc etc.) and I think as this is my first run around on linux, I'd rather keep the Windows OS as is for now anyway. Rebooting doesn't bother me too much, so I can manage with that for now.
 
OP
A

Andriko

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2022
Messages
42
Reaction score
20
Credits
405
Yes, there are a few alternatives to FinalDraft, however for screenwriting none of them cut it professionally, and I suspect there are a few other programs that I will need to get that are windows only also - it's just the way it is otherwise I'd go full Linux.
 

wizardfromoz

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
Messages
7,836
Reaction score
6,666
Credits
29,051
OP
A

Andriko

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2022
Messages
42
Reaction score
20
Credits
405
Thanks, Chris.

Windowsfx looks great, maybe a bit too windows for me though! Part of the Linux appeal to me is that, ultimatley, I might be able to set up a desktop interface that's just weird. But now I know it's there I want to ask everybody why they haven't ditched windows already!

I have already had a go at the Distrochooser, and it seems to think Mint or Suse is the way to go for me, and I believe Mint is a fairly popular option for beginners, so I might start there and see how I go.
EDIT: Though I've just read about KDE Neon which makes it sound very appealing too...
 
Last edited:

kc1di

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
1,294
Reaction score
1,084
Credits
9,296
Thanks, Chris.

Windowsfx looks great, maybe a bit too windows for me though! Part of the Linux appeal to me is that, ultimatley, I might be able to set up a desktop interface that's just weird. But now I know it's there I want to ask everybody why they haven't ditched windows already!

I have already had a go at the Distrochooser, and it seems to think Mint or Suse is the way to go for me, and I believe Mint is a fairly popular option for beginners, so I might start there and see how I go.
EDIT: Though I've just read about KDE Neon which makes it sound very appealing too...
I would say if you want to use KDE which I'm using on my T450 at the moment. Go with Kubuntu or MX-KDE. They are both very stable. I'm using the Kubuntu 22.04 Daily build at the moment and so far have had no problems with it. But would not recommend that route to a new users as 22.04 won't be final until April. And they are bound to break things before that time.

Mint is a good choice for the fact it's very stable and the Cinnamon desktop is a traditional desktop like KDE but based on a GTK instead of QT libraries. OpenSuse offers a very stable OS and KDE is available. But it can be confusing to some degree to the new user. It almost provides too many options. Best way to determine the suitability for your purposes may be to download several live distros and run them live for a few days see which one seem to meet your needs and is able to use the hardware you have. Good luck and happy computing.
 
OP
A

Andriko

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2022
Messages
42
Reaction score
20
Credits
405
I would say if you want to use KDE which I'm using on my T450 at the moment. Go with Kubuntu or MX-KDE. They are both very stable. I'm using the Kubuntu 22.04 Daily build at the moment and so far have had no problems with it. But would not recommend that route to a new users as 22.04 won't be final until April. And they are bound to break things before that time.

Mint is a good choice for the fact it's very stable and the Cinnamon desktop is a traditional desktop like KDE but based on a GTK instead of QT libraries. OpenSuse offers a very stable OS and KDE is available. But it can be confusing to some degree to the new user. It almost provides too many options. Best way to determine the suitability for your purposes may be to download several live distros and run them live for a few days see which one seem to meet your needs and is able to use the hardware you have. Good luck and happy computing.


Thanks for the further advice, kc!
It seems to be a choice between Mint and KDE Neon/Kubuntu for me, so I will try them both live for a bit and see how I go.

Thanks for all the help.
 
$100 Digital Ocean Credit
Get a free VM to test out Linux!

Linux.org Hosting Donations
Consider making a donation

Members online


Top