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Where to start?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by linuxbeginner, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. linuxbeginner

    linuxbeginner New Member

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    Hello everybody,

    First of all I hesitated a long time to post, because I tried to read as much as possible before I ask, but I get the impression of the linux community to be very supportive towards new people coming into the sphere, so I try my luck. Please forgive me if I ask dumb questions or if my English is not on point (it is not my native language).

    I try to format my post a bit, to make it easier to understand and read. I marked the actual questions in blue to make it easier for answering. I hope this helps.


    What is my general question / goal?
    I want to get into Linux for my personal use. What Linux OS would you recommend? Yes this is probably a very typical question and I already tried to search on my own but I always get very different results.. Often I read Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Sometimes Gnome or Red Hat was recommended too when I filled out an online "what distro should I choose"-form. This is why I try to give a bit more context and informations here...


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    What is my current situation / "status"?
    Right now I am using a PC with Windows 10 (64bit). I started (process ongoing) to "un-google" my digital self by trying to have full control over my data and informations by myself again. I bought a Synology NAS (not exactly sure which one, have to check this when I am home if that is helpful, but I think it is DS218J 2 Bay Desktop or similar to this model) and plan to host my data (in detail: my contacts, my notes, my files I need on the cloud etc.) with nextcloud. I also have my mails on a webserver hosted and access them via Thunderbird right now.
    I think most of the general stuff I do on a daily basis (mails, surfing etc.) will be no problem on Linux to do as far as I understood. I also need to work with software like Adobe Photoshop, Indesign or Maya3D etc. for my job.
    My solution to this would be to run Linux on 1 harddisk and windows on another one. I would try to do as much as I can on Linux for my personal stuff and only use Windows for the software I need to.
    Is this a good idea in general? Maybe really dumb question but: are there any concerns / security issues if I still have Windows on a harddisk? fe. Is it possible to restrict the Windows OS to access the other harddisks (linux OS harddisk, media harddisk with my private files on etc.)? I am just thinking about: If I make all the effort to switch OS and try to keep my data on my own, am I doing this for nothing if Windows sniffs around the other harddisks anyway? Do I need to run Windows on a complete other system or maybe a VM (in this case I am thinking about the potential troubles with my 3D rendering etc. -> performance issues).

    Further informations
    I try to give a bit more context and informations for general questions I noticed when people asked the same "what Linux should I use?"-question like I do.
    • Use Case: As mentioned I want to use Linux for daily use. I dont not want to play games on Linux.
    • Troubleshooting: I ususally can fix all the Windows issues I have by myself or with help from the internet.
    • Linux Knowledge: I do not have any or just a little knowledge about Linux, but I am willing to learn.
    • GUI Preference: I am willing to learn working with a new GUI, I do not really need a Windows-like UI. I think the transfer would be smoother, but this is not really a main preference for me.

    Thank you already for reading and maybe answering. I am not sure if all of this is even helpful, otherwise I would love to answer more questions if that helps.
     
    wizardfromoz likes this.
  2. Bayou Bengal

    Bayou Bengal Active Member

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    Hello, Linuxbeginner, and welcome to linux.org!
    You've come to the right place for help with dual booting Linux and Windows. Actually you are halfway there since Windows is already installed on your computer. In order to have a trouble free dual boot system with Windows, it is always best to have Windows installed first. To answer your question on what version of Linux you should start with, well..........there isn't a real definitive answer to that. I use Linux Mint Cinnamon on all my computers. That doesn't mean you'll like and start with Mint Cinnamon. Your best bet is to hop over to Distro Watch and test as many versions as you like. Distro Watch has descriptions and download links on hundreds of versions of Linux. You can download and create a Live USB or DVD and test as many as you want. You could also install a Virtual Machine on Windows 10 and run the Linux Distros in that to test the different versions. After you have tested a few, you will have an idea what you want to start with. A final word of advice, avoid Kali Linux and Arch versions. You need a little experience for Arch, and a ton of experience for Kali. When you have selected the version you like we can help you set it up as a dual boot with Windows 10.

    Here is the link to Distro Watch: https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major
     
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  3. linuxbeginner

    linuxbeginner New Member

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    Hi Bayou Bengal,
    Thank you very much for answering to my thread! I will definetly try a few distros this weekend in my freetime. I think about Linux Mint and Ubuntu, maybe I find a few others there to test as well.
     
    wizardfromoz likes this.
  4. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    G'day @linuxbeginner and welcome to linux.org :). This one from DownUnder (Australia).

    I am in complete agreement with friend BB (@Bayou Bengal ) above.

    I will add a couple of ideas.

    1. DuckDuckGo is a search engine alternative to Google. By all reports it is very user-friendly towards Linux, a number of our Members use it. If you like it, then when you are using Linux, you can usually add it to your list of Search Engines in your Browser, and make it the default.

    2. On Browsers - Firefox is the most common, but there are others which work with Linux, and are cross-platform, that is, they work on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX (Apple).

    3. As well as Distro Watch, make alternativeto.net your friend. You can use it to see what other options you have to Windows software. So if you Googled up (duckduckgo'ed up :D)

    alternative to MS Edge

    you will find alternativeto.net reference a few lines down, and there are heaps of ones which run on Windows and Linux. The one at the bottom "Ungoogled Chromium" is a new one on me :p

    4. If you find yourself in favour of looking at Ubuntu - with you having Windows 10, it means you are on UEFI, as opposed to BIOS. In that case, if you wish, you can download and install, on your Windows, wubi-uefi. See my Post at this other thread, last month

    https://www.linux.org/threads/nwe-linux-convert.21161/#post-62297

    A benefit of WUBI is that you could run Ubuntu with your full RAM, instead of having to give a portion of RAM to a Virtual Machine.

    You could then still use USB sticks or disks to try Live versions of other Distributions (Distros) such as Mint, &c, to compare against. Be aware that Live USB is not as fast as installed to your hard drive, and DVD is a little slower still.

    Let us know what you think, and enjoy the Linux experience.

    Chris Turner
    wizardfromoz

    (Wizard disappears in a puff of smoke)
     
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  5. linuxbeginner

    linuxbeginner New Member

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    hi @wizardfromoz

    Thank you for your reply! The first 3 points I am already familiar with but thank you anyway for pointing out! :)

    this seems very interesting. I have to look deeper into it. My plan was to try Mint via USB for the start. I think I have to dig deeper into dual booting later then. For example I am curious as I mentioned, running windows and linux on on PC causes any troubles. Especially in terms of privacy, I would like to have windows be restricted on its ssd and maybe 1 other hdd only. It feels a bit odd to use linux when windows (which from time to time I have to use as mentioned because of certain software) still could access my other files..
     
  6. Bayou Bengal

    Bayou Bengal Active Member

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    I've been dual booting Linux Mint and Windows 7 since Mint 17.0. I have had no issues so far (Knocking on wood!:eek:). Just to let you know, windows can't read Linux drives, they aren't NTFS or FAT, so it's pretty easy to restrict windows to the drives you want.
     
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  7. linuxbeginner

    linuxbeginner New Member

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    Good to know :) I already tried it on my laptop on the same SSD, but for my tower I d like to have 2 seperate SSDs which I managed to set up now. I feel pretty comfortable with Linux Mint so far :)

    I have 1 SSD running Windows now, 1 SSD running Linux Mint, 1 HDD NTFS where both OS can access and 1HDD where only Linux can access! I am not so sure what else to look for as a start for a good setup. :D
     
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  8. VP9KS

    VP9KS Well-Known Member

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    I was just about to say that, but you beat me to it, mate. :) Welcome to the group, linuxbeginner. You have had so much wisdom tossed your way already, I won't compound it at the moment. Besides, it is way past bed time, and I must go slave in the old salt mines tomorrow.

    Happy Trails,:p
    Paul
     
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  9. linuxbeginner

    linuxbeginner New Member

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    Hi all again :)

    Thank you for your help! So I tested linux mint and I like it a lot so far!!
    I added another SSD (B) in addition to my existing SSD (A) (with Win10 on it) to my PC. I installed Linux Mint on SSD B and also set the bootloader to this SSD B. After that I picked SSD B in my BIOS for default boot. As far as I understood: there should be grub which allows me to select which OS (Mint or Win10) I want to boot. Now my questions:

    Does this only work if the 2 different OS are on the same SSD?
    Should I have selected the already existing and with Win10 installed SSD A when I installed Linux Mint on SSD B?

    When I installed Linux Mint on my Laptop (1 SSD with Win10 also already installed), it did let me choose in boot up which OS I want to boot. I guess thats the grub, that gives me the choice of selection the OS. I would like to have the same solution for my PC but I also would like to have the current design where I run 2 OS on 2 different SSDs.
    I hope this makes any sense, otherwise I would try to formulate it differently.


    EDIT:
    I found the grub file in etc/default. I checked this source (https://www.howtogeek.com/196655/how-to-configure-the-grub2-boot-loaders-settings/) and found out that GRUB was set to hidden. So now I set GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=5, where I have to chance to actually enter the GRUB and select the parts I want to boot.
    New problem now is when I open GRUB, I can only pick between Linux Mint and memtest. How can I pick Windows 10 from here? I didnt really find a solution yet. On my laptop Win10 already shows up here. I guess it is because Win10 is on another SSD. Is it even possible to have an option for it to get selected or would I need to change the installation of the bootloader onto the Windows 10 SSD (A) and then also set the BIOS boot priority to SSD A, but it will load GRUB and then I could pick Linux?

    EDIT 2:
    I searched a lot and tried a lot of stuff but I am not really successful :/ I mounted the windows partition, I tried to have a custom GRUB menu entry (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/CustomMenus) but somehow I am not really doing it right I guess, it always says partition not found.. I will have to look further into on another day. Maybe somebody here has good advice :)
     
    #9 linuxbeginner, Feb 10, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    VP9KS likes this.
  10. VP9KS

    VP9KS Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you are getting the hang of it rapidly. Good on Ya!
     
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  11. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    He's doing fine, Paul.overall, just needs some fine tuning :)

    @linuxbeginner - you've made a goof somewhere, with the install.

    This is indicated to me by your reference to

    My highlighting. :)

    Viewers and helpers alike take note -

    The OP is using Windows 10, therefore his computer is UEFI-based (required by Windows 10), not BIOS-based. What we might otherwise call as eg "Enter your BIOS setup" we will call as "Enter your Setup utility before the machine boots as far as the Grub, this using a hot key (Esc, F2, F10, F12 or Delete) assigned to your computer brand and model".

    Long-winded, so we will just say "Enter your Setup right at Startup".

    Memtest does not appear on a UEFI-based Grub Menu, only on the BIOS-based.

    BIOS, CSM (Compatibility Support Module) and Legacy Mode are often used interchangeably. Confused - good, you're learning :Do_O:confused:

    If you enter your Setup, perhaps under eg Boot Sequence, or some other page or tab, there will be an option to switch between UEFI and CSM/Legacy.

    You installed your Mint under that mode, you need to change it back to UEFI. Might need a reinstall.

    Under CSM/Legacy , a Grub Menu will show memtest.

    But it will not see what is called an EFI Sytem Partition (ESP) which Windows 10 requires to run, and therefore Linux will not see Windows, and no Windows entry on your Grub Menu.

    I'll come back with an article and a video you can watch, but in the meantime, you can switch to the correct mode, save changes and reboot and see if the Grub Menu alters to something like

    Your Linux
    Your Linux, Advanced Options
    Windows Boot Manager

    If no go, we can do some more voodoo.

    Cheers

    Chris Turner
    wizardfromoz
     
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  12. linuxbeginner

    linuxbeginner New Member

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    Hey wizardfromoz,

    Thank you for your time to reply to all my posts!

    I see.. Thank you for the hint, I was not familiar with that. I read into it now and it seems like a pretty dumb mistake from my side.

    Yes, indeed but as you said thats fine, I am here to learn! Thank you for helping me to learn :)

    Hmm.. The only option that comes close to your description seems to be "PCI ROM Priority" which currently is set to "Legacy ROM". The other possible option would be "EFI Compatible ROM". I did try to read a bit into it and found posts on some other forums where people switched to EFI Compatible ROM and later had the problem that they could not boot into any OS anymore (also some cases where they couldnt even access the BIOS/UEFI screen anymore and had to reset the BIOS/UEFI via motherboard).

    Now first of all I am not even sure if that is the right option that you mentioned. What I dont understand is (and I am sorry if this questions sounds dumb...): As far as I understood Windows would need UEFI / EFI (which is basically the same but UEFI is just the newest name for EFI right?). So if I change the boot priority back to the SSD where Windows is installed on it works fine (even if the UEFI BIOS Settings for "PCI ROM Priority" are still on "Legacy ROM". This really confuses me, because I thought Windows would need UEFI/EFI to boot, but it seems to work also when my setttings are set to "Legacy ROM".. Maybe I am just mixing things up here?


    Ok. But when I am booting into Linux Mint I actually can access the Windows SSD. Or do you mean something different with "Linux will not see Windows"? Are you just referring to the Grub Menu?

    Thank you very much!


    EDIT:
    Oh no :( So I tried to change it to EFI and now I have the same problem. The screen is just simply black not even a BIOS screen or anything... I should have listened to the inner scared voice.. I try to check some other solutions before I have to reset stuff :/

    EDIT2:
    I reset my BIOS with the jumper on the mainboard (I learn a lot more than I intended to first, but hey why not :D).. So I continue the hunt for this mysterious "UEFI/Legacy Switch" in my UEFI BIOS :)

    EDIT3:
    I searched to many hours for today... I can simply not find anything, I feel really dumb right now but maybe it just to late here for this kind of stuff to do. I have an Asus P8Z68-V PRO mobo, if that helps anything.. I dont really understand it, I simply can not find any option regarding CSM or Legacy (except the one I tried, where I had to reset).
    btw. here is a picture how it looks in my boot options (not my picture, but it looks the same): https://communities.vmware.com/servlet/JiveServlet/showImage/2-2024945-19582/DSCF5295.JPG
     
    #12 linuxbeginner, Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  13. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    Mate, you can kill the "dumb" references :)

    For (probably) all of our Helpers here, the only thing dumb is when you have a problem regarding something that is new to you, or beyond you, or you could some with some clarification on ... and you don't sing out for help.

    That's dumb.

    Which is not the same as doing your own research to try to troubleshoot, but trying to "sort the wheat from the chaff" can be tricky without the grounding and experience.

    We are here to help, to have fun and "meet" people, and to share the love on/of our beloved Linux :cool:

    I am having a scout around, seems a number of computers use v 2.10.12.08 Setup Utility, and your mobo reference will likely help me narrow the search , Ta (pron. "tar", Aussie for thank you).

    I'll be back when I can, and if one of my Mates comes along with a good lead by all means take their lead.

    Cheers

    Wiz
     
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  14. linuxbeginner

    linuxbeginner New Member

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    I guess you mean I shouldnt call dumb all the time and not I should post "dumb" references from other posts right? If so, I understand its not meant to be bad language, sometimes I probably just translate not really good into English. But thank you for the advise!

    Aaand learned something new in English :D

    I try to not be rude, but what do you exactly mean by that? What do you mean by scout? Is this a reference to you being a wizard? :D
    I can post my exact Mainboard with version number etc if that helps. I really tried to do my own research but I only could find ppl who did the same mistake as I did with the "PCI ROM Priority" option where I had to reset the UEFI BIOS with the jumper on the mobo.

    I am totally fine with reinstalling Linux again, but I am not really sure where I could change stuff. I try to install the bootloader on the Windows SSD this time and not the Linux SSD, maybe that helps. I will post an update when I tried it..

    Thanks again for your time, effort and help! I really appreciate it!
     
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  15. VP9KS

    VP9KS Well-Known Member

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    What the wiz was trying to say is that we all have been there at one time or another, and we understand how you can feel lost in the woods with a broken compass;). It happens to the best of us sooner or later. He is scouting around (doing a search) for information to help out. I don't use UEFI on my system, so I :( cannot help on this one, mate.

    Happy Trails,
    Paul
     
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