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Which Linux for a newbie who doesn't like change ... coming from Windows (7)?

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Technique    34
Posted (edited)

I'm one of those people who doesn't like change, yet i'm also curious & wouldn't mind giving Linux a 'proper go'.

With there being a few available i don't really know where to begin other than i know i wont want anything technical as it'll turn me off instantly. Something that feels a bit Windows-like, but yet isn't.

 

 

To take it further - would i be able to install it on a USB drive (if so then suggested capacity?)? I don't particularly want to have to partition off the existing HDDs in my PC. So if it's possible i was thinking of a USB pen drive, install some version of Linux on this and then boot to the USB drive on startup.

 

If that's possible (i'm a novice so don't know if it is) then my next wondering is

A) storage once Linux is up & running, such as saving photos etc. Would they save to the USB drive you have Linux installed on or would you be ok to just attach another USB drive once Linux is up and running?

B) How would you 'save state' if you get me? You make changes once it's all fired up, create settings, bookmark pages etc - how would you save this? Again, would it just save to the USB drive that Linux is installed on?

 

I'm sure i'll end up having more questions but that's plenty for now. Thanks.

 

 

 

Note: I've seen some images of various Linux with images up the side on the desktop for example. Not my thing if i'm honest. I prefer the look of those that appear to have a start menu. Like i said, i'm the guy who is curious but doesn't like (too much) change :)

Edited by Technique

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+fusi0n    1,896

The two distros that come to mind for getting into Linux is Mint and Ubuntu.  I've probably used 10+ distros and always come back to Ubuntu. My first Ubuntu experience was Ubuntu 4.10 Warty Warthog. I'm not a huge fan of all the changes over the past 3-4 years with Ubuntu, but after doing some research on what you don't like, you'll find ways to fix and make it your own. Their forums are great. 

 

Since you don't like change, you may like Cinnamon as the UI. It comes default in Linux Mint, but can be installed in Ubuntu. Mint is based on Debian and Ubuntu. 

You can install Linux to a USB Drive, I found this guide,

https://askubuntu.com/questions/16988/how-do-i-install-ubuntu-to-a-usb-key-without-using-startup-disk-creator#942312

 

The default storage will be your USB Drive, but you can move your home directory to where you want. If you install Ubuntu to a flash drive, all the system changes will be saved like it other install, but will be saved to your USB drive.

 

If you want to mess around before diving in, you can install several distros in Virtual Box or VMWare Player. 

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Technique    34

Thanks. I was having a brief Google after posting that. What's your view on that Zorin OS? Looks appealing though i don't know whether it's my feminine side being taken by the colours 😂. I do like the look of Mint also. I questioned someones post recently here as to what OS they were running & the answer was Linux Mint 19.

 

I've previously played with Virtual PCs but find them to be a tad slow. If i go back down that road what Virtual PC would you recommend as the best (Free)? The last one i used was VMWare Player. Was a bit tricky (for me) getting it all set up but i stumbled through it in the end.

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Mindovermaster    1,662

Mint, through and through.

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+fusi0n    1,896

I've heard good things about Zorin. It seems to have gained in popularity. It's also based on Ubuntu. When you're new and have issues, it's best to get on a more mainstream OS for support. However, if it isn't OS specific, you can google the same issue but for "Ubuntu" and should be alright. However, since you're charting into new waters, I would suggest sticking with Mint while you learn Linux. Looking on Distro watch, Zorin is ranked 10 in popularity. The reason is simply support.  When running into issues with Linux, google is your friend. I've used Linux for 15+ years and I'm still Googling stuff ;) 

 

I would also print out a couple cheat sheets with commands until you get the hang of it. Something like this,

https://www.cheatography.com/alessandro-grassi/cheat-sheets/linux-command-line/

 

If you have a CPU that supports VT-X and enough RAM, running a Virtual Instance of an OS shouldn't be slow. I use VirtualBox, but I use vagrant .  What are your PC specs? 

 

 

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firey    3,869

My recommendation is mint with the cinnamon desktop. 

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Technique    34

I have a few questions here but as I’m at work on my mobile I’ll keep it short & sweet for now...

 

any particular reason why the recommendation for Mint is Cinnamon over say Mate?

 

After you said Cinnamon I took a look and saw it said that this is being developed faster (I think that was the term used) but that Mate is more stable. 

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PGHammer    1,059
13 hours ago, Technique said:

Thanks. I was having a brief Google after posting that. What's your view on that Zorin OS? Looks appealing though i don't know whether it's my feminine side being taken by the colours 😂. I do like the look of Mint also. I questioned someones post recently here as to what OS they were running & the answer was Linux Mint 19.

 

I've previously played with Virtual PCs but find them to be a tad slow. If i go back down that road what Virtual PC would you recommend as the best (Free)? The last one i used was VMWare Player. Was a bit tricky (for me) getting it all set up but i stumbled through it in the end.

Native vs. VM - VMs simply cannot run at native speed unless the VM is running a very light OS.  Even native Android runs faster than practically any VM you can name - and that includes BlueStacks4, MEmuPlay, and AMI DuOS (the three best Android emulators in my experience.  The same applies to any OS running native vs. a VM, including a Linux distribution.  Other than Ubuntu, my preferred distribution has been Sabayon (mainly due to performance and features for desktop usage; it has more applications included than Kubuntu; it also requires a bigger image than Kubuntu as well).

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+fusi0n    1,896
1 hour ago, Technique said:

I have a few questions here but as I’m at work on my mobile I’ll keep it short & sweet for now...

 

any particular reason why the recommendation for Mint is Cinnamon over say Mate?

 

After you said Cinnamon I took a look and saw it said that this is being developed faster (I think that was the term used) but that Mate is more stable. 

 

You said that you don't like change. Cinnamon will give you more of what you're used to from Windows, from a UI perspective. I actually use MATE with cairo-dock. 

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Gotenks98    485

Zorin OS is as close to Windows 7 as you can get.

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Technique    34

I remember what my issue was with the Virtual PC thing now - I open tabs, a lot. I had many tabs open, videos within those tabs and downloading numerous files as well. It made the whole thing not even quick enough to be called snail pace.

 

Which brings me on to the first of my questions tonight...

 

1) If installing to a new drive, what capacity would you give it for a Linux install? I don't want to say 1TB and only use like 100GB. I don't want to say 200GB and need 400GB. I know it's a slightly unanswerable question but assuming i wont be storing a ton of stuff there and will transfer it to an external drive should i need it - how large would you make the drive?

 

2) If triple booting (since i'll have 2x Windows 7 installs plus a Linux install) then what order would you install in? Would it be fine to install Linux at this stage? It wont prevent me from booting to either of the Windows drives?

 

3) Here's a question ... can you stop the drive that Linux is installed on from 'seeing' other drives?

For example, Disk Management in Windows, enter that & remove the drive letters for the drives you don't want your 'C' drive to 'see' and that's it job done. Can you do something like this in Linux so that it can only 'see' itself and not the Windows drives?

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adrynalyne    10,777
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, PGHammer said:

Native vs. VM - VMs simply cannot run at native speed unless the VM is running a very light OS.  Even native Android runs faster than practically any VM you can name - and that includes BlueStacks4, MEmuPlay, and AMI DuOS (the three best Android emulators in my experience.  The same applies to any OS running native vs. a VM, including a Linux distribution.  Other than Ubuntu, my preferred distribution has been Sabayon (mainly due to performance and features for desktop usage; it has more applications included than Kubuntu; it also requires a bigger image than Kubuntu as well).

Not really true. Bare metal hypervisors run at full speed. In fact, hyper-v enabled Windows 10 runs on top of a hypervisor. 

Edited by adrynalyne
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Technique    34

In addition to the questions in my previous post, if i go the Virtual PC route then what would you suggest my settings setup be in that Virtual Machine?? When i've set it up in the past i haven't really asked anyone and i've just picked numbers (RAM, hard drive etc etc) at random really.

 

My PC...

 

PC01.thumb.jpg.b5a49a3d80a8b4a8760f95033e36140a.jpg

 

The Virtual PC would be installed on a 2TB drive with plenty space remaining.

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Mindovermaster    1,662
18 minutes ago, Technique said:

In addition to the questions in my previous post, if i go the Virtual PC route then what would you suggest my settings setup be in that Virtual Machine?? When i've set it up in the past i haven't really asked anyone and i've just picked numbers (RAM, hard drive etc etc) at random really.

 

My PC...

 

The Virtual PC would be installed on a 2TB drive with plenty space remaining.

Plenty staight forward, bro... How much RAM do you need for a VM? Or HDD space to include OS and programs? Sort of easy if you ask me...

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+fusi0n    1,896
27 minutes ago, Technique said:

In addition to the questions in my previous post, if i go the Virtual PC route then what would you suggest my settings setup be in that Virtual Machine?? When i've set it up in the past i haven't really asked anyone and i've just picked numbers (RAM, hard drive etc etc) at random really.

 

My PC...

 

PC01.thumb.jpg.b5a49a3d80a8b4a8760f95033e36140a.jpg

 

The Virtual PC would be installed on a 2TB drive with plenty space remaining.

Since you have 16GB of ram, I would start off with 2 cores and 4GB memory with a 60GB VHD. 

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Whistlesix    28

Definitely second the recommendation of Mint or Ubuntu, you'll have plenty of support available with either, and you can use a very comparable UI to what you're used to (Windows).  As for the order in which to install, I've had good luck with installing all versions of Windows in their respective locations (windows boot manager will list them all) THEN installing the GRUB loader (during Linux install for example) the GRUB will show your previous Windows installations as well as your new Linux distro. For the settings for VM, it all depends on your use really: If you are only web browsing then you don't need much storage or RAM available to the VM but if you are going to be mastering audio or video files of astronomical size then obviously you would need more in that case. You can usually adjust these settings after the fact though, so things like virtual HDD and RAM can be changed later if need be. If you want drives to not be visible from linux except for your native drive/partition then you should be fine at stock, at least the last time I installed Ubuntu for a customer it would not mount his NTFS partitions automatically, I had to manually create a startup command to mount them each time he logged in.

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Marujan    60

install Windows10 LTSB version, never had problems for the last 5 years

 

 

and +

1)install COMODO DNS at router

2)dont use admin rights on PC

3)Firefox and NOSCRIPTS

4)data backup to offline USB hdd annually

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Technique    34
1 hour ago, Marujan said:

install Windows10 LTSB version, never had problems for the last 5 years

 

 

and +

1)install COMODO DNS at router

2)dont use admin rights on PC

3)Firefox and NOSCRIPTS

4)data backup to offline USB hdd annually

Never heard this mentioned when discussing Linux before. Is it a new version of Linux?

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Mindovermaster    1,662
23 minutes ago, Technique said:

Never heard this mentioned when discussing Linux before. Is it a new version of Linux?

You shouldn't be using that. Stands for "Long Term Service Branch"

 

Only corporate businesses should use it. 

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Technique    34
41 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

You shouldn't be using that. Stands for "Long Term Service Branch"

 

Only corporate businesses should use it. 

Yeah i gathered that. I was seeing where he'd go with his reply.

 

Not any more though.

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Technique    34

Ok so I’m not really a fan of virtual machines due to how slow I think they are or at least in my experience. 

 

So so I was considering a clean install on a new drive or at least new partition. 

 

Im just wondering how you’d connect to the internet etc? With the virtual machine I’m guessing it picks up your connection from the host? You’d have no such thing on a clean install on its own drive. 

 

With Windows you have to install your motherboard drivers and then you can connect to the internet. I’m guessing the same drivers can’t be used on a Linux setup?

 

my motherboard is also quite old, at least 10 years. So basically just wondering how i’d do it? 

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+InsaneNutter    1,248
16 minutes ago, Technique said:

With Windows you have to install your motherboard drivers and then you can connect to the internet. I’m guessing the same drivers can’t be used on a Linux setup?

 

my motherboard is also quite old, at least 10 years. So basically just wondering how i’d do it? 

The Linux kernel will likely support all your hardware out the box with the motherboard been so old.

 

You could Google your motherboard and see if theirs any reported issues / workarounds with Linux.

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Mindovermaster    1,662
1 hour ago, InsaneNutter said:

The Linux kernel will likely support all your hardware out the box with the motherboard been so old.

 

You could Google your motherboard and see if theirs any reported issues / workarounds with Linux.

What he said. It should have all the drivers you need out of the box. You might need apps to control it, but the drivers should be there.

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adrynalyne    10,777

You crazy kids and being spoiled with included drivers 😉

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Mindovermaster    1,662
5 minutes ago, adrynalyne said:

You crazy kids and being spoiled with included drivers 😉

Most OLD stuff has drivers installed. I'm talking onboard, not like your GPU...

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