OT. Ubuntu best Linux for beginner


I

Invisible Man

I have a laptop with no Windows license (apart from a PC with Windows 7
64 bit and a PC with XP SP3).

Thought I might try Linux. Is Ubuntu the easiest and most stable to
start with?

Any advice on pitfalls etc.

Laptop has a 30 day install of XP on the c drive. Do I use another
partition for the linux software and the third for other files?

TIA for any replies. I have been using MS Windows PCs since 3.1 and
anticipate a steep learning curve.
 
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W

Weatherlawyer

I have a laptop with no Windows license (apart from a PC with Windows 7
64 bit and a PC with XP SP3).

Thought I might try Linux. Is Ubuntu the easiest and most stable to
start with?

Any advice on pitfalls etc.

Laptop has a 30 day install of XP on the c drive. Do I use another
partition for the linux software and the third for other files?

TIA for any replies. I have been using MS Windows PCs since 3.1 and
anticipate a steep learning curve.
Linux is a multi distribution network with each one virtually locking
in the user to that particular brand. Ubuntu has a foot print of 4 or
5 GB on a hard disc. Dream or any of the small Linux OSs have a
footprint of 30 to 50 megabytes.

IIWY I'd get Linux Format and try the varieties they offer. Then get
someone to make a USB live distro for you out of the one you like
best.

Trouble spots are getting flash and stuff. So look for a version that
gives immediate access to the stuff you want by trying it on a live
DVD from the mag.

There are about 4 or 5 different Linux mags if you can find them.
Smiths is about the only one with a multiple choice in the season. The
distro will do virtually everything for you that the OS is geared for.

So the steep curve is about knowing how to get more stuff -and
downloading it is just the start of the problem.
 
D

dom

I have a laptop with no Windows license (apart from a PC with Windows 7
64 bit and a PC with XP SP3).

Thought I might try Linux. Is Ubuntu the easiest and most stable to
start with?

Any advice on pitfalls etc.

Laptop has a 30 day install of XP on the c drive. Do I use another
partition for the linux software and the third for other files?

TIA for any replies. I have been using MS Windows PCs since 3.1 and
anticipate a steep learning curve.
Download Ubuntu, burn it to a CD (remember you've downloaded an .iso
image, so set the CD burner appropriately).

Reboot the machine (setting boot from CD in setup if necessary), then
select "try ubuntu live distro".

This will take a long time to boot - but it does so only using the
ram, and not touching the hard disk.

Play with it - find out what works and what doesn't - decide if you
like it enough to do a full install.

If you do - the install menu will guide you through setting up a
partition so your machine can do dual boot - after that, you'll be
presented with a menu at switch-on to select windows or ubuntu.
 
J

Jethro

I have a laptop with no Windows license (apart from a PC with Windows 7
64 bit and a PC with XP SP3).

Thought I might try Linux. Is Ubuntu the easiest and most stable to
start with?

Any advice on pitfalls etc.

Laptop has a 30 day install of XP on the c drive. Do I use another
partition for the linux software and the third for other files?

TIA for any replies. I have been using MS Windows PCs since 3.1 and
anticipate a steep learning curve.
The great thing about LInux, is that LiveCDs let you try before you
commit. If youʻve got a DHCP-aware internet connection (like I have,
router and cable modem) then it can even access the internet from the
LiveCD. (This was what sold me on Linux. I was given a Ubuntu 8.04 CD,
booted, and could access the internet. This feature is INVALUABLE if
you are trying to fix a borked windoze installation, and need access
to google ...)

Having been with Ubuntu since 8.04, I guess Iʻm pretty happy with it.
However ...

1) Never, ever upgrade, just because you can. Not sure why, but Ubuntu
upgrades have always caused me pain.
2) Watch out for proprietary drivers. The Ubuntu philosophy means that
even if they can supply you with a manufacturers driver for your
hardware, they wonʻt *as default* if itʻs not open-source. nVidia
being a case in hand.
3) I would suggest you partition separate your data from system. That
way upgrades are less risky. It also helps share data on dual boot
systems.
4) GRUB is brilliant, but any subsequent (re)install of windoze will
wipe it out, and youʻll think youʻll have lost your Ubuntu. You
havenʻt
5) The Ubuntu community is by far and a way the largest. However some
issues are generic, so whatever you settle on, theyʻre a great place
to ask.


Have you tried Mint ?
 
T

Tim Watts

I have a laptop with no Windows license (apart from a PC with Windows 7
64 bit and a PC with XP SP3).

Thought I might try Linux. Is Ubuntu the easiest and most stable to
start with?

Any advice on pitfalls etc.
Try what the others have said re: LiveCD mode.

I'd start with Ubuntu - it's based off Debian which is one of the distros
with the highest quality*quantity (of programs) quotiant.
Laptop has a 30 day install of XP on the c drive. Do I use another
partition for the linux software and the third for other files?
That is my preferred layout.
TIA for any replies. I have been using MS Windows PCs since 3.1 and
anticipate a steep learning curve.
You won't. The installer had me confused the first time I ran it because
it asked so little. You get a good default install and most (all) of
hardware should come up live without half the buggering about Windows
needs.

You might need to kick windows down into a smaller partition first.

You can expect to find OpenOffice (MS Office clone), Thunderbird,
Firefox, and lots of random programs for editing, photos etc already
installed.

Install Gimp and Inkscape for more serious raster and vector graphics
(Inkscape has had a big jump recently and is bloody good).

If you tell it to allow the "restricted" package repository (not pure
enough open source for Debian or not open source at all) you'll get MS
fonts, Flash player, and a load of codecs that let you actually watch
videos, play DVDs etc.

Gnome (the default window manager) is a little weird from a Windows POV
but you can customise the "theme" and move everything around until it
looks pretty much like Windows.

Kubuntu is Ubuntu's sister but defaults to KDE desktop which you may find
more natural (and is equally as advanced as Gnome), so that's worth
considering (but you can install Ubuntu, then add the "kubuntu-desktop"
package and that gives you the choice of Gnome or KDE at login time.
 
O

Owain

TIA for any replies. I have been using MS Windows PCs since 3.1 and
anticipate a steep learning curve.
On Ubuntu, if you go to System > Administration > Update Manager, it
will update *all* your software that you installed using the package
manager. You don't have to update applications etc separately. You can
usually update whilst running applications and don't usually have to
restart or reboot.

If you want to add some more software, go to System > Administration >
Synaptic Package Manager, search for what you want, and mark it for
install. You can mark separate applications for install, then it will
go away and do the installing for you.

Other linuxes will have similar commands in similar places.

Owain
 
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I

Invisible Man

I have a laptop with no Windows license (apart from a PC with Windows 7
64 bit and a PC with XP SP3).

Thought I might try Linux. Is Ubuntu the easiest and most stable to
start with?

Any advice on pitfalls etc.

Laptop has a 30 day install of XP on the c drive. Do I use another
partition for the linux software and the third for other files?

TIA for any replies. I have been using MS Windows PCs since 3.1 and
anticipate a steep learning curve.
Thanks for all the helpful posts. I use Tbird for NGs and RSS. Firefox
for browsing. Will be interesting geting to grips with a different OS.
 
M

Mark

Invisible said:
Thanks for all the helpful posts. I use Tbird for NGs and RSS. Firefox
for browsing. Will be interesting geting to grips with a different OS.

its worth bookmarking this page
http://ubuntuforums.org/
the Ubuntu forums are incredibly busy but incredibly helpful. 
 
N

NT

I have a laptop with no Windows license (apart from a PC with Windows 7
64 bit and a PC with XP SP3).

Thought I might try Linux. Is Ubuntu the easiest and most stable to
start with?

Any advice on pitfalls etc.

Laptop has a 30 day install of XP on the c drive. Do I use another
partition for the linux software and the third for other files?

TIA for any replies. I have been using MS Windows PCs since 3.1 and
anticipate a steep learning curve.

I'd suggest going for Mint, its a variant of Ubuntu. The difference
between it and the base Ubuntu is that all the stuff you'll need is
already setup, no messing about required. Its far easier to install
and to learn than windows.

Partitioning with ubuntu or mint is the one thing that, if someone has
no technical understanding, isnt totally goof proof. When partitioning
I'd suggest a swap partition of 2 or 4G, not the default 1G.


NT
 
T

Tim Watts

When partitioning
I'd suggest a swap partition of 2 or 4G, not the default 1G.
Good point. If the SWAP is smaller than the RAM, you won't be able to use
the hibernate feature (which dumps the RAM to SWAP for a fairly[1] quick
restart right where you left off.

[1] suspend is quicker if the hardware supports it - stuff stays in RAM
on low power maintenance - but of course, the PC has to have power even
if it is nominally "off".
 
T

The Natural Philosopher

Invisible said:
I have a laptop with no Windows license (apart from a PC with Windows 7
64 bit and a PC with XP SP3).

Thought I might try Linux. Is Ubuntu the easiest and most stable to
start with?
Bit less stable than say Debian Stable.

Whiuch distro you use is *almost* irrelevant.
Any advice on pitfalls etc.
Just try and see. Use the OS you have to download and burn a lot of
distros, and simply install away.

The pitfalls are not distro specific, and are generally hardware
related. Some support for some hardware is patchy, tricky, or nonexistent.

The distro represents a bunch of peoples favorite ways of selecting
collating and distributing what amounts to standard source packages
across nearly all platforms. EWhat they do is ensure that that code is
all mutually compatible, and precompiled, that's all.


One issue thats a bit of a current bugbear, is 64 bit flash plug-ins.
Simply not available for Linux in the new incarnation, and somewhat
flawed in the old.


Laptop has a 30 day install of XP on the c drive. Do I use another
partition for the linux software and the third for other files?
If its only 30 days, wipe it and start again.

I wouldn't bother partitioning - just back everything up on a USB stick
till you know what your final configuration will be.

Assuming you are committed to ending up with Linux.

TIA for any replies. I have been using MS Windows PCs since 3.1 and
anticipate a steep learning curve.
Its not too bad. Mostly stuff just works. It will be the odd case when
it doesn't that will floor you.
 
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G

george [dicegeorge]

Ubuntu 10.04 LongTerm Support,
if it works from the CD and you dont need 30 days of winxp
then i'd click the option to let it use all the hard drive
and click yes to almost everything.

The more standard vanilla your installation then the easier to get help.

A separate home partition is not easy, after 2 years of ubuntu i'm
thinking of having one..
but I've only used command line once or twice-
GUI is safer.
and with ubuntu theres lots of support out there.

http://ubuntu-manual.org/download/10.04/en_US/screen

https://help.ubuntu.com/10.04/index.html

http://www.ubuntu.com/
 
W

Weatherlawyer

Bit less stable than say Debian Stable.

Whiuch distro you use is *almost* irrelevant.




Just try and see. Use the OS you have to download and burn a lot of
distros, and simply install away.

The pitfalls are not distro specific, and are generally hardware
related. Some support for some hardware is patchy, tricky, or nonexistent..

The distro represents a bunch of peoples favorite ways of selecting
collating and distributing what amounts to standard source packages
across nearly all platforms. EWhat they do is ensure that that code is
all mutually compatible, and precompiled, that's all.

One issue thats a bit of a current bugbear, is 64 bit flash plug-ins.
Simply not available for Linux in the new incarnation, and somewhat
flawed in the old.


If its only 30 days, wipe it and start again.

I wouldn't bother partitioning - just back everything up on a USB stick
till you know what your final configuration will be.

Assuming you are committed to ending up with Linux.


Its not too bad. Mostly stuff just works. It will be the odd case when
it doesn't that will floor you.
A stand alone hard drive that you can use on any platform will cost 40
to 50 quid brand new.

It doesn't take much input to install even Ubuntu from a disc. It can
take most of the weekend to install XP and you need 8 GB if you are
updating an original distro circa 2001.

And that's without office and etc.

So hang on to your Microsoft as it will be something your children or
grandchildren will not understand. Not that just showing them an old
fashioned OS will help them understand the disenfanchisement of a mass
market monopoly.

Smiths are offering a £5 voucher this week for use next week on any
purchases over 12 quid. They are selling a magazine style Linux
introduction booklet complete with 5 distinct OSs for about £15.

So next week you can get one for £10, if you go and buy a newspaper or
magazine there this week.

They also have copies of an older intro booklet with Ubuntiu 9 on it.
I wasn't very taken with that. It's more or less the same adive you'd
use for M$ as any other OS and just tells you the names of different
programmes, IIRC.

Another alternative is a Linux magazine that has half a dozen versions
of the Ubuntu kernel as its DVD.

For the life of me I can't understand why they just don't up their
prices and offer USBs instead of DVDs.

They are absolutely ideal for a Laptop as you can use a variety of
live versions on it and of course keep your favourites and anything
you downloaded on either the Laptop and/or the USB.

The small distros available these days will allow the battery to run a
lot longer than with a standard HDD install.

The other thing with a live distro is that you are more or less
invisible with them.
 
N

NT

A stand alone hard drive that you can use on any platform will cost 40
to 50 quid brand new.

It doesn't take much input to install even Ubuntu from a disc. It can
take most of the weekend to install XP and you need 8 GB if you are
updating an original distro circa 2001.

And that's without office and etc.

So hang on to your Microsoft as it will be something your children or
grandchildren will not understand. Not that just showing them an old
fashioned OS will help them understand the disenfanchisement of a mass
market monopoly.

Smiths are offering a £5 voucher this week for use next week on any
purchases over 12 quid. They are selling a magazine style Linux
introduction booklet complete with 5 distinct OSs for about £15.

So next week you can get one for £10, if you go and buy a newspaper or
magazine there this week.

They also have copies of an older intro booklet with Ubuntiu 9 on it.
I wasn't very taken with that. It's more or less the same adive you'd
use for M$ as any other OS and just tells you the names of different
programmes, IIRC.

Another alternative is a Linux magazine that has half a dozen versions
of the Ubuntu kernel as its DVD.

For the life of me I can't understand why they just don't up their
prices and offer USBs instead of DVDs.

They are absolutely ideal for a Laptop as you can use a variety of
live versions on it and of course keep your favourites and anything
you downloaded on either the Laptop and/or the USB.

The small distros available these days will allow the battery to run a
lot longer than with a standard HDD install.

The other thing with a live distro is that you are more or less
invisible with them.
but why buy whats free?


NT
 
W

Weatherlawyer

but why buy whats free?
To save on time and duff ISO burns. Plus a newbie gets some sort of
hard copy free with the disc.

Having said that, I've a number of live CDs (actually DVDs) that have
distros that won't hop up.

But then I am running an old AMD Athlon box with 1/2 GB RAM. Maybe cut
down >1/2 GB Lives can't afford to be as discerning as a 4 or 5 GB DVD
gobbler?
 
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N

NT

To save on time and duff ISO burns. Plus a newbie gets some sort of
hard copy free with the disc.

Having said that, I've a number of live CDs (actually DVDs) that have
distros that won't hop up.

But then I am running an old AMD Athlon box with 1/2 GB RAM. Maybe cut
down >1/2 GB Lives can't afford to be as discerning as a 4 or 5 GB DVD
gobbler?

I've run ubuntu mint live on less than 500M before. I do notice though
that with any particular machine, some linux live cds will run on it,
some wont. Sometimes different machines, different discs. Not sure
why.


NT
 
J

Jethro

On Ubuntu, if you go to System > Administration > Update Manager, it
will update *all* your software that you installed using the package
manager. You don't have to update applications etc separately. You can
usually update whilst running applications and don't usually have to
restart or reboot.

If you want to add some more software, go to System > Administration >
Synaptic Package Manager, search for what you want, and mark it for
install. You can mark separate applications for install, then it will
go away and do the installing for you.

Other linuxes will have similar commands in similar places.

Owain
From 9.10, you have access to the software centre, which groups apps
into functionality- nice touch.
 
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T

The Natural Philosopher

Man said:
Only if you are a total idiot.
And what about 'installing XP' and 'total idiot' is inconsistent?


Microsoft: Software for Idiots.
 

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