Author Topic: Would like advice about choosing a version of linux  (Read 2572 times)

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Offline TelescopeMirrors

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Would like advice about choosing a version of linux
« on: November 17, 2019, 09:20:43 pm »
Hello,
I'm in the states and had a difficult time getting on a forum here. It kept forgetting my password etc (maybe it's a virus). I thought your UK site might be friendlier and so far it is. I'm still using windows 7 x 64. It's probably one of the most picked on versions for hackers .... not having much fun. I should explain that I'm over 70 and have been using windows since 3.1  I'm not really much of a tech, so I'm looking for a Linux OS that's easy to use and can do as much as XP did. I have a lot of trouble with command lines if that helps. Aside from your favorites (or your favorites) which versions would you recommend for me and why ? Thanks for your time, Alan :)

Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Re: Would like advice about choosing a version of linux
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2019, 02:25:25 am »
Give Linux Mint or Peppermint a go :)

BTW welcome to the forum.
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Offline Rich J

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Re: Would like advice about choosing a version of linux
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2019, 09:43:26 am »
Hi Alan!  And welcome from another 'silver surfer' in the UK!

My preference is Linux Mint Mate v19 on my main computer and the lighter version (XFCE) on an old laptop.  These have a familiar look and feel of Windows but work in a very different way 'under the hood'.  Much, MUCH, more secure, for a start!  If your rig runs W7 then you shouldn't have a problem running Mint but if you do, any issues can be dealt with swiftly (especially on this site!) and, regarding the command line, it's mostly a matter of copy/pasting the instruction into it and away you go!  Nothing to worry about there!

There's a ton of stuff online about how to get Linux and install it, so take a while to research would be my advice.  Mint (and others) are mainstream Linux and I would recommend going for one of those, especially for a 'newbie', as they generally run straight from the box and have all the bits and bobs within that most general users require. 
 
At first the amount of choice is daunting but see that as a good thing.  Linux is all about what you want and how you want to use it.  Once you have your 'distro' of choice up and running, you are free to modify it in any way you want.  No more  'get what you are given' - no more worry about security.  If you don't like a particular application, then remove it and try something else!  Linux is infinitely configurable. 

Like you, I began with W 3.1 but your constitution must be stronger than mine 'cos I only lasted as far as Vista!  I made the change to Linux almost 10 years ago and truthfully, there has been the odd bump in the road but nothing that put me off Linux and nowhere near the issues I used to get with Windows.  I really enjoy using it everyday.  No way would I go back!  And for any of those 'naysayers' who dismiss Linux (they live amongst us!) just ask them if they use a smartphone.  Android is a version of Linux - say no more!

Hope this helps - and good luck!

Rich

Edit:  Removed link

« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 08:44:54 am by Rich J »

Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Re: Would like advice about choosing a version of linux
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2019, 12:19:17 pm »
Sorry Rich J but...

Oh I hate those "10 things to do after installing <insert distro-name>" type websites and/or articles.
(with clickbait subtitles like "1. TEN ESSENTIAL ACTIONS:")

They sound like things that are **ESSENTIAL**, and for the majority of users they are absolutely NOT .. they are just what the site author likes to do on his system and the vast majority are simply opinion and 'preference'.
(at what point did setting the terminal semi-transparent become ESSENTIAL ::))

If the distro developers thought they were **ESSENTIAL**, they'd already be done out of the box .. but for some reason the site/article author thinks he knows better than the distro developers ::)
(so why isn't the author making his own distro?)



In fact the author of a similar (maybe the same?) site originally did one for Peppermint (for clarity I should add here that I'm the team lead at Peppermint), but after I suggested on our forum that some of his suggestions could be considered dangerous unless the user understood them (and people who understood them were likely not the visitors to his website), he went off in a huff and removed the Peppermint page entirely .. which BTW was fine by me, I'd much rather people with questions ask via the official channel (our forum) :)

I'd suggest there are a few things on that site that should be viewed with caution (for example, setting a root password) .. and NONE of it is **ESSENTIAL** unless you choose to make it so.



Sorry TelescopeMirrors for hijacking your topic .. not a great intro to Linux .. but those sites hit a raw nerve, if they used less clickbaity titles such "10 things you MIGHT want to consider after installing <distroname>" or "10 changes I like to make to my system after installing <distroname>", and they explained WHY they make those changes and what they do that would be another matter entirely, but they (most often) don't .. instead we get "TEN ESSENTIAL ACTIONS, rubbish.

As Rich J suggests, Linux Mint would be as good a choice as any (and better than most) for your first foray into Linux .. just stay away from those "10 things to do after installing <distro name>" type websites unless they solve a SPECIFIC problem you're having, don't just take all the changes they suggest as necessary or essential, they are NOT .. and personally I'd trust the distro developers to choose the default settings over some random dudes website.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 01:27:15 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline Zorba61

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Re: Would like advice about choosing a version of linux
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2019, 05:12:50 pm »
I can concur with Mark about Mint.I had a desktop running w8 pro and missus had a laptop running w10 (bloody awful) and we both now run Mint 19.2.Very easy transition across from windoze and have never looked back. :D

Offline Rich J

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Re: Would like advice about choosing a version of linux
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2019, 09:39:46 pm »
Sorry Rich J but...

Oh I hate those "10 things to do after installing <insert distro-name>" type websites and/or articles.
(with clickbait subtitles like "1. TEN ESSENTIAL ACTIONS:")

They sound like things that are **ESSENTIAL**, and for the majority of users they are absolutely NOT .. they are just what the site author likes to do on his system and the vast majority are simply opinion and 'preference'.
(at what point did setting the terminal semi-transparent become ESSENTIAL ::))

If the distro developers thought they were **ESSENTIAL**, they'd already be done out of the box .. but for some reason the site/article author thinks he knows better than the distro developers ::)
(so why isn't the author making his own distro?)



In fact the author of a similar (maybe the same?) site originally did one for Peppermint (for clarity I should add here that I'm the team lead at Peppermint), but after I suggested on our forum that some of his suggestions could be considered dangerous unless the user understood them (and people who understood them were likely not the visitors to his website), he went off in a huff and removed the Peppermint page entirely .. which BTW was fine by me, I'd much rather people with questions ask via the official channel (our forum) :)

I'd suggest there are a few things on that site that should be viewed with caution (for example, setting a root password) .. and NONE of it is **ESSENTIAL** unless you choose to make it so.



I posted the link really to give an idea of how a complete beginner could see how Linux is infinitely configurable and that there is plenty of advice available, especially in acquiring Linux and installing it.  I should have perhaps, stressed the point more strongly that everything in Linux is a personal choice and that any changes made or advice taken, whether from an official site or not, always carries some risk and that should be borne in mind.  Personally, I tried out some of the things, others I didn't bother with, understanding that it was entirely my responsibility to do so and I would expect anyone else to do the same.  I have no vested interest other than trying to help a fellow traveller, as I have been helped many times myself.......

Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Re: Would like advice about choosing a version of linux
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2019, 01:37:43 am »
Not having a go at you personally Rich .. just something I felt I had to say about those sites (pet hate of mine I'm afraid) ;)

Mainly it's more about the wording than the content which seems to confuse new users, I get fed up of new users coming to the forum asking "if this stuff is necessary/essential, why isn't it done out of the box?". We don't mind explaining why defaults are chosen, we just wish people weren't being confused in the first place.

This stuff ISN'T necessary/essential, the 'tweaks' will depend on the system and user preference .. and some of which IMHO shouldn't be attempted/done unless the implications are FULLY understood.
(for example - setting a root password instead of using 'sudo' to elevate privileges, which is the default for a reason .. the benefits/drawbacks of each method aren't well explained on the site, with new users just pushed towards the authors preference without explanation)

I just think if someone is going to author such a site with new users as the target audience, the author should use it more as a teaching opportunity rather than an opinion piece (this is the way **I** like my system) with little explanation .. and please, drop the **ESSENTIAL** tags, they are bound to confuse (even scare) new users.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 01:56:05 am by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
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Offline Rich J

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Re: Would like advice about choosing a version of linux
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2019, 08:47:57 am »
Not having a go at you personally Rich .. just something I felt I had to say about those sites (pet hate of mine I'm afraid) ;)

Mainly it's more about the wording than the content which seems to confuse new users, I get fed up of new users coming to the forum asking "if this stuff is necessary/essential, why isn't it done out of the box?". We don't mind explaining why defaults are chosen, we just wish people weren't being confused in the first place.

This stuff ISN'T necessary/essential, the 'tweaks' will depend on the system and user preference .. and some of which IMHO shouldn't be attempted/done unless the implications are FULLY understood.
(for example - setting a root password instead of using 'sudo' to elevate privileges, which is the default for a reason .. the benefits/drawbacks of each method aren't well explained on the site, with new users just pushed towards the authors preference without explanation)

I just think if someone is going to author such a site with new users as the target audience, the author should use it more as a teaching opportunity rather than an opinion piece (this is the way **I** like my system) with little explanation .. and please, drop the **ESSENTIAL** tags, they are bound to confuse (even scare) new users.

No worries, no offence taken  ;)  I would never knowingly post bad advice so I've removed the link.   :)

 


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