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Ubuntu, Mint, or Puppy - Best distro for experienced Windows user, but Linux noob?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by encryptedbytes, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. I've used Linux a little in the workplace to do stuff like tail logs, monitor/kill/restart processes, and edit files with vi and have been around gurus and servers in a business environment but I've never actually used it as a desktop operating system. Linux really is the Swiss army knife of operating systems and I'm interesting in getting more familiar with it. I've seen Ubuntu, Mint, and Puppy mentioned as good distros to get started with, but thee's doesn't seem to be a consensus on which is the best to start with.

    What distro do you recommend for someone already who already has years of experience with Windows, networking, hardware, and computers in general, but has limited knowledge of Linux and wants to get more familiar with it as a desktop operating system? Also, which distro would be best for casual use on a netbook?
    1 person likes this.
  2. dbp

    dbp Guest

    What are the specs on the netbook? I use ubuntu on mine. Honestly, I would go with ubuntu or xubuntu because of how many resources are available for it.

    Googling something as simple as 'how to install kde in ubuntu' would yield pages upon pages of good results. It's literally as simple as adding a repository, updating the repository, then installing...3 total lines typed in your terminal.

    I've always had problems with opensuse and others as well without the huge communities behind them.

    Sent from my HTC EVO using Tapatalk
    1 person likes this.
  3. I have a couple that I could use, but both are pretty typical setups. The first is an Acer Aspire One AOD250-1165 with An Intel Atom N280 processor at 1.66GHz, 1GB RAM, and a 160GB hard drive and a 10.1" LCD. The second is a little beefier, but similar. It is a MSI Wind U123-004 with the same Intel Atom N280 processor at 1.66GHz, the RAM has been upgraded to 2GB, the hard drive was upgraded to 500GB, and it also has a 10.1" LCD. Both machines are currently running Windows XP Pro.
  4. Remp

    Remp Guest

    I'd say go with Ubuntu. It's the best distro for beginners, you don't have to do any tweaking at all! I really appreciate when someone who's a Windows expert tries Linux or something else... Remember, It's always good to have experiences with other systems! That's why I'm always experimenting... otherwise it gets boring :D I think you should install Ubuntu, it will run quiet smoothly!
    1 person likes this.
  5. pane-free

    pane-free Guest

    IMO, for . . .
    Casual use -- peppermint two
    Serious/get familiar use -- Salix-13.37

    And both have 64-bit versions, if applicable. Old review of Peppermint One (Two is current); re: the latter, "Basically, Salix is a stable, quite attractive small distro that is not intended for people new to the Linux way of doing things. . . Although I’ll be using my preferred Linux Mint . . . I do plan to look at Salix again, along with Zenwalk and Absolute Linux, to see how distributions based upon the well-respected Slackware distribution compare to the ones that I have become familiar with," says duskfire.

    I've found both commentaries to be generally true.

    Best wishs in your endeavors!
  6. Victor Leigh

    Victor Leigh Guest

    I think the closest you can get to the Windows environment in Linux would be Ubuntu. For a netbook, try Puppy. Doesn't matter what the specs are. Puppy runs even on 256Mb ram. And no hard drive.
    1 person likes this.
  7. From what I've gathered here and in other parts of the Linux Forums, Ubuntu and Puppy are the way to go. I'm setting up a couple VMs and downloading ISOs as we speak, so we'll be up and running before long!
  8. pane-free

    pane-free Guest

    They are but one way to go that a newbie can easily digest (although I've heard some call Puppy difficult or even unsafe!). Once linux adolescence sets in, one may want to explore the likes of PCLOS or Zenwalk or even (gasp!) Fedora. It's like Life -- about making choices. Also, it's the journey and not so much the destination that matters!

    Let us know how your journey goes!
  9. One step at a time, but thanks for the suggestions!

    Oh, I'm sure you'll here all about it here on LF! I try to be self-sufficient, do my research, and come up with the answers I need on my own, but when I hit a wall it's good to know there are places like LF that I can bring my problem and likely get good information from knowledgeable people :)
  10. scotty

    scotty Guest

    Ubuntu is great for netbooks, they actually have their own distro built only for netbooks. My sister ran a dell for 2 years running ubuntu netbook, as a complete non technical person, she loved it. She got used to the interface, and really liked the way it worked on the screen compared to windows.

    I would download Ubuntu Netbook, and use that, it has great reviewed, and dell even ship it as standard on their netbooks, so it must be doing something right!
  11. I must say that I feel Ubuntu or Puppy would be the best choice. Puppy Linux is easy to run and easy on your computer's ram/memory. My Mother has an old laptop computer with 256 ram and a 1.0ghz processor that I struggled to find an OS to run smoothly on it. I popped in a Puppy CD and it made that old laptop run as if it were brand new. I must admit that I had experienced some slight issues with Puppy when it comes to recognizing various wireless drivers - especially when those drivers are old. It took quite a bit of time for the wireless driver on the laptop I mentioned to run correctly every time.

    On the other hand, Ubuntu will generally run perfectly right out of the box. I do find that I struggled to run the original desktop edition of Ubuntu (11.10) on my desktop computer that had 2.7ghz processor and 2GB of ram. With that aside, Ubuntu comes with a large variety of programs that you would find on a Windows-based system. From music/video players to office suites, the possibilities are quite limitless. If I am remembering correctly, Ubuntu was the first Linux distro that I began to use and I did not really struggle with usage. I wish you the best of luck as you begin your Linux journey!
  12. miks

    miks Guest

    I think that the one thing not mentioned here is that each distribution has its own flavor, and can be customized in several ways. Grab a CDRW disk and download / burn a liveCD. Then boot it. Your now on a fully functioning graphical desktop without installing anything permanently onto your computer. If you like what you see, great! Download the next distribution and burn it onto the same disk (remembered to use a RW disk, right?) and try it. You'll find default things that you like and ones you don't like. Live with it for a day or so.

    But I think for a total Linux noob, the best and most user friendly Linux distros are going to be Ubuntu or Ubuntu-based: Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, Super OS to name a tiny few. Ubuntu is great, but Linux Mint has alot more working out of the box like Flash even though it's not hard to add things yourself , Linux Mint would be a good starting point.
  13. scotty

    scotty Guest

    I agree with miks you have nothing really to use by trying the Live CD approach, and generally the LivCDs will give you complete functionality without even installing. So you don't need to worry about not liking it. I agree again, start with Mint.
  14. I am a Windows XPert. In my world, Linux is known as that "other" program where you have to know programming code and type stuff constantly just to do basic stuff. August 2013 my hard drive corrupted and my cd exploded when trying to reinstall Xp. My first taste of Linux was Puppy-Slacko. It was a good Linux Starter, but it will only run on certain machines. My laptop was preinstalled with Windows 8, and I could not boot Puppy withouth changing the BIOS settins from UEFI to CSM. [I have a computer degree and didn't know what that means.] When I switched back to Windows 8, my laptop was misbehaving to the point I had to reinstall Windows 8.
    Since then I started using Precise Puppy. It works just like Slacko, but the web browser is Seamonkey and I prefer Firefox. I learned how to swap out the programs, and Precise is now my FAVORITE Operating System. It boots on my Windows 8 laptop and everything runs fine. When I restart my laptop without Precise, Windows 8 boots up as it should with no problems.

    I said all of that to say this: for a Windows expert/Linux virgin I would recommend Precise Puppy
    1 person likes this.
  15. I don't agree with most of the people above me.
    First of all, Zorin is the most windows-like Linux OS you can get. And secondly, don't go searching for a linux that is a windows replacement. You should choose one which suits your needs. You'll soon get used to it. Just because an OS looks like windows doesn't mean its the best one for a long time Windows user.
    Ubuntu netbook is not good IMHO. You can try Lubuntu/Xubuntu.
    1 person likes this.
  16. Videodrome

    Videodrome Guest

    I think Linux Lite is worth a look for a Windows user seeking a good NetBook OS.

    It has a familiar Start Button and is aimed at introducing Linux to longtime Windows users. Also, it is built on Ubuntu LTS, so if you have issues you might get good support from other Ubuntu users.

  17. New Linux users should try ubuntu, feroda or mint. These are distros with a good userbase and they'll have the support they need. There's not need to find an OS that looks exactly like windows. They'll get over the new UI in a week if not in a couple of days.
    What new users need is help and they can find help easily for popular distros.
    #17 Harikrishnan R, Nov 18, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  18. Justan

    Justan Guest

    I recommend either Linux Mint, or Manjaro Linux. Manjaro linux is currently my favorite distro, it has a very detailed wikipedia, and forums with a super helpful community that always has someone around to answer your questions. http://manjaro.org/
  19. Justan

    Justan Guest

    If he/she is gonna do the LiveDVD approach then why not Porteus? I think Porteus probably runs the best of any Linux Distro from LiveCD / USB.
  20. Jdmeaux1952

    Jdmeaux1952 Guest

    Whether if you own a PII 64Mb pre-Y2K machine or the latest and greatest machine, antiX will work. It is extremely lightweight yet based on Debial linux. You can go to distrowatch and search for antiX. The .iso you download, in either 32- or 64-bit, needs to be burned to a cd/dvd (or flash drive), and you can run antiX LIVE from there. If you like it, install it.

    Go check out the videos by run with the dolphin on YouTube to see what is up.

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