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Never tried linux before, have an old laptop how do i install?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by jerahmia gaither, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. jerahmia gaither

    jerahmia gaither New Member

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    I want to take windows off of an all dell latitude E6400 that seems to be stuck in a stupid start up loop and i wanna try taking everything off and installing linux and try it out i am not completely illiterate with computers but i kinda just want to get a step by step maybe the best versions for specific laptops anything helps.


     
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  2. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Hi again Jerahmia. I did a bit of Googling on your laptop, but Dell is quiet famous for offering many options on their systems. Yours seemed most often to have 1 GB or 2 GB of RAM... so can you verify which, or a different amount? If you're not sure, that's okay... we can find out later when you boot up on a Linux media.

    RAM is one of the determining factors as to how well Linux will run, and even which Linux distro to choose. With older computers, it is often good to at least start with some distros that are better suited for lower system requirements... those should seem pretty responsive and relatively quick. There are many good choices available in this category.

    Another question: does your DVD burner work? You will need to download one or more Linux distros (each download is one big .iso file), and you'll need to transfer that .iso file to a DVD or USB flash drive using some special techniques (don't just "copy" the .iso file to a DVD or USB... it won't boot the computer that way, so it won't work). We will describe these techniques to make the bootable media if you've never done this before... its rather simple really. We also highly encourage you to "verify" each .iso file that you download so that you are confident that the downloads are complete and not corrupted in any way. Installing a corrupted operating system can be very unpredictable! The method for "verifying" the download is also rather simple, and we'll go into that further with you too.

    This is my typical recommendation for someone new to Linux: download at least 3 or 4 different distros and burn them to DVD if your drive is working (on your Dell, and also on what you're going to use to prepare the DVD's). There are many more distros than that available, but start with just a few and expand out later if you want, and as you get the hang of installing. A very nice feature of the bootable DVD's is that you do not even have to install them at the very beginning.... you can boot on them and run Linux in "live mode" to check each one out a little. When you decide you tend to favor one over the others, install it first. But having the other DVD's will also let you easily install them as well, so that you can take turns to see how well they really run when installed (they are slower when running in "live mode" on the DVD's).

    There are literally many dozens of distros, and so we really can't guess which ones you might like or prefer... that is a matter of personal tastes. But the ones we will steer you to are some of the most common, and the ones that are usually the best at detecting the hardware on your computer and making it all work with little or no extra effort (your wireless, sound, etc). So these first test versions for you should probably be from the Ubuntu family... maybe Ubuntu itself (or Ubuntu MATE or Lubuntu), or Linux Mint, or Linux Lite, or LXLE... ultimately how much RAM you have will make a difference between some of these. These are all very good, solid distributions.

    OK, last question (I think): is the computer you will use to prepare the Linux media running Windows? And does it have a DVD burner too? If burning DVD's is a problem, you can also probably use a USB flash drive instead.... but It will be erased in this process, and you can only try out one distro at a time. Also, if you try to re-use the USB over and over to try different distros, the USB stick can sometimes get hosed up and may not function correctly.... so you don't want to use an expensive large-capactity USB stick.... small and cheap is better (4 GB or 8 GB is more than enough).

    Enough for now! Others may jump in with other guidance as well.... read them all and soak in what you can. We know that it can be difficult when you're first getting started. We were all there too. So take your time, and ask any questions you have as we go along. Windows will be gone soon! :D

    Cheers
     
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  3. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Well-Known Member

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    @jerahmia gaither - Hi Mate, from DownUnder :p

    Thanks for following Stan's (@atanere 's) advice and starting your own thread, easier for us to deal with your circumstances more specifically :)

    So this was a lappie that your Dad gave you, and if it works, why not try Linux? Good move.

    I suppose you have checked to see if Dad had any personal data stored that needs safeguarding, and likewise for you, if you are going to burn your bridges with Windows and use Linux on it.

    We have any number of experienced Users here, whom can guide you and answer your questions. A Number, such as I are Graduates of TSOHK (The School of Hard Knocks :rolleyes:). So you may get different people at different times, as we are scattered around the world.

    I would be inclined to use Stan's Post #2 as a template, and if you answer his questions, we can go from there.

    If you are broadminded enough for me to "set you homework", I would also suggest the following reading:

    1. DistroWatch - shows new releases of all sorts of Distros (Linux Distributions) found here https://distrowatch.com/ and its Page Hit page here https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=popularity includes the Top 100 and more. The broad rule of thumb is that, if a Distro features in its top 100, or top 50, then it is more likely to have a good support network, documentation &c. Each Linux Distro may have available a choice of one or more
    2. DEs - desktop environments. This is not unlike the visual differences and component differences between say Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 &c. You can read about DEs here https://renewablepcs.wordpress.com/about-linux/kde-gnome-or-xfce/ and some DEs are more resource-hungry than others, so for example, you are unlikely to get a good outcome with the Cinnamon DE on the lappie, but on something beefier, great!
    3. Wikipedia have a good page, but it is also missing a few goodies, you can find it here, and check the table for system requirements - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-weight_Linux_distribution . Amongst those missing, currently is Peach OSI Barebones, which is amongst three I have on my wife's laptop, a Compaq Presario C300 with 60 GB HDD and only 512 MB RAM. Peach is available in a number of forms, and is authored by one Jim Carpenter, whom runs a small family business of it.
    I can give you more if you need it, but if you find the choices already daunting, then you won't be the first, nor the last :D

    In my books, you are the driver behind the wheel that is your computer, so pick one or three or ten (LOL), and then we'll help further.

    I'm off to download Linux Lite and try it ... it has a good rep, gets a good rap, and I still have not tried it ... yet!

    Cheers and

    Avagudweegend

    Chris Turner
    wizardfromoz
     
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  4. jerahmia gaither

    jerahmia gaither New Member

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    UPDATE: so late response but i had a little bit of difficulties and reading and deciding which to choose so i decided to go with unbuntu and i got it installed and i cant wait to dive in. i will post any questions or problems i run into on this thread or some of my cool developing projects i have in mind thank you so much for the feedback ubuntu1.jpg ubuntu2.jpg
     
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  5. Condobloke

    Condobloke Active Member

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    Ultra Cool !!!! :)
     
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  6. Condobloke

    Condobloke Active Member

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    Enable your firewall

    sudo ufw enable

    read the blurb HERE

    keep it simple....there is no need for multiple firewall rules etc etc etc
     
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  7. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Well-Known Member

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  8. jerahmia gaither

    jerahmia gaither New Member

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    yeah i have tb externals :)
     
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  9. Condobloke

    Condobloke Active Member

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    Click on menu and type in ... Timeshift



    you will be asked/prompted for your password.....type it in....(you will see NO response on the screen)...hit enter after typing it and Timeshift will open



    Click on Settings



    If you have more than one hard drive connected they will show here



    select the one you wish to save your backup to....then click on close.


    You will now be back at the main window of Timeshift



    Click on Create



    Timeshift will simply start making a snapshot of your system as it is right now. It will save that snapshot to the spot you chose.

    Then......you can take a slow walk through the settings and decide how often you want timeshift to do this......just as an example....and bear in mind this approach suits me.....I choose to do what is shown in the screenshot below......

    [​IMG]

    Timeshift


    Timeshift is designed to protect system files and settings. It is NOT a backup tool and is not meant to protect user data. Entire contents of users' home directories are excluded by default. This has two advantages:

    • You don't need to worry about your documents getting overwritten when you restore a previous snapshot to recover the system.
    • Your music and video collection in your home directory will not waste space on the backup device.
    wizardfromoz's Tutorial on Timeshift
     
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  10. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    All right Jerahmia... well done! There's a lot for you to learn now, but jump in and have fun as you do it. Ubuntu is a great choice for beginners (and experts too) so hopefully everything works and you don't have much trouble getting started.

    Welcome to the world of Linux! :cool::D

    Cheers
     
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  11. jerahmia gaither

    jerahmia gaither New Member

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    yeah i am kinda having trouble and my question might seem confusing, but its it that with ubuntu everytime i start up my computer it will go to the bios menu with theoptions default, instsll ubuntu,, check memoery, etc. is there a way to where once i install it everytime i turn it on it will just go to the ubuntu version i installed lasted or am i doing something wrong in the installation process, i was having confusion over the superuser, nonsuperuser issue. will timeshift just save my my install so when the system restart it will just sign in from where i last left off?
     
  12. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Well-Known Member

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    Hi jerahmia, I have to run off for maybe an hour, but

    1.is it the case that you have not yet installed Ubuntu, but are currently just using the "Live USB" or "Live DVD" option with a view to install?

    2. Is this the only OS going onto the computer, or are you hoping to dual-boot with Windows or other?

    Back before too long

    Wizard
     
  13. jerahmia gaither

    jerahmia gaither New Member

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    ok i think i was just dual booting it and not installing it
     
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  14. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that looks like it :), we were getting ahead of ourselves a little with the congrats, but you can have them anyway, as you have a Live medium ready to install :p

    OK, so you said in your OP (Original Poster is you, also Original Post is your first post) that Windows on your Dad's old unit, a Dell Latitude E6400, was caught in a startup loop. So with what we know, I have a few questions, if you could answer them, I or someone else can run with the ball.

    1. Did you download the furry little fellow - Ubuntu 16.04 'Xenial Xerus' - using the Dell, or some other computer?
    2. If you take a look at Montana Ed's thread here https://www.linux.org/threads/need-help-installing-linux-from-iso-file.16436/ you will be following a similar course. Stan's (@atanere 's) post at #3 is very relevant, to verify the iso you downloaded, so you could start with the bit

    ... and download and use the checksum utility on Windows to verify your Ubuntu.

    3. Did you opt for USB stick (pen drive &c) or DVD?

    I'll be back soon and we can look at superuser status, and short answer to the following is "Yes"

    ... When the install is completed, Ubuntu will boot up every time.

    Cheers

    Wizard
     
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  15. jerahmia gaither

    jerahmia gaither New Member

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    hey thank you and everyone for you input and help i think i have it pretty much dialed in now screen1.png
     
  16. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Well-Known Member

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    So what was it I said earlier, when I thought you had it installed?

    I think I would say now, "You have nailed, it laddie! (well, you're young compared to me, lol) - well done :D"

    Nice wallpaper, too.

    So even before you have something appear to tell you you have a lot of updates (big one for the first one, with 16.04 being nearly 2 years since release), remember what Brian said above, on two counts.

    1. enable the Uncomplicated FireWall (ufw), at Terminal (Ctrl-Alt-t is shortcut), once you have entered your password and pressed Enter, you will be rewarded with a message that UFW is working, and that a small startup script has been generated which will run on every boot/reboot

    2. have a read of that Timeshift Tute of mine (working on new input currently, having a ball), and see if you make heads or tails out of it, and ask any questions there. Because

    That/they would be a good place to store Timeshifts snapshots.

    Cheers and as all whom know me will expect (Friday arvo, here in Oz)

    Avagudweegend, all

    Wizard
     
  17. jerahmia gaither

    jerahmia gaither New Member

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    1519746741870-1644954670.jpg finally got around to tinkering with this lap top again and got the firewall on also havent gotten to time shift yet but it seems to restart pretty smoothly and havent had any errors. I am.late at responding but have a few computers im messing.with and learning as many coding classes as I can.get for.free online, as well as taking care of my.stepfather. But I appreciate everyones input and im super happy with my dell. Now anyone know anything.about converting chromebooks to ubuntu or maybe a different os that would work better with an acer chrome book15 cb3-532? I.can always start a new thread to go in depth just wondering.a pic of all my screens I stare at. 1519747115643279957724.jpg
     
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  18. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Glad you've got the Dell up and running well now... congratulations! :D:D

    Chromebooks are a very different animal though. Really... very different. You are welcome to open a new thread about that, but I am afraid you'll be disappointed as I think that few people on here have a Chromebook to work with. (Always happy to be proven wrong though!) A good first step will be to Google for something like "Install Linux on Chromebook" and see where that takes you. A lot of what I found is somewhat outdated, so some of your answer to this may be determined by how old your Chromebook is. It seems that a program called "Crouton" was the popular method of running Ubuntu... but this is also not replacing Chrome OS, if that's what you had in mind.

    Cheers
     
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  19. nuna

    nuna Member

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  20. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Well-Known Member

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    @nuna - nice leads, Mate (where's a double thumbs up when you need it?):D

    @jerahmia gaither - Mate, when you get that new thread cracking, I have some more input.

    Cheers all and

    avagudweegend

    Wizard
     

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