Author Topic: Advice in getting a Linux system.  (Read 1284 times)

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Offline tony_a

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Advice in getting a Linux system.
« on: September 29, 2020, 10:51:16 am »
Hi
After another win10 update taking a day to complete, I’d like to try and move to a Linux system if able to do.
Being a novice, surprised when I search for Desktop PC with Linux re-installed, very few choices come up.
Appreciate that’s probably me, not looking correctly.
So any advice please.
I guess if there is hardware with no OS installed and know Linux will install with that hardware I could do that option with guidance.
Got a budget of approx £250 -£300 max.
Additionally would like to run a few legacy, not demanding programs that run on Win10
I see there is a programme called “Wine” not sure if that’s a complete Linux OS or as to be installed in another Linux OS, but would like a system that can do both.
Would appreciate any help.
Thank you

Offline Keith

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Re: Advice in getting a Linux system.
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2020, 01:02:54 pm »
Hello Tony - and welcome to the Forum.

Do you particularly want a separate computer for Linux?  You can install Linux alongside Windows on your present machine - or better still, replace Windows with Linux. 
A web search of "buy computer with linux installed" yielded these and more:
https://itsfoss.com/get-linux-laptops/
https://www.infoworld.com/article/2835035/why-you-should-buy-computers-with-linux-preinstalled.html
http://www.linuxandubuntu.com/home/laptops-that-ship-pre-installed-with-linux
https://www.techradar.com/uk/best/best-linux-desktop?region-switch=1601379996
https://linuxpreloaded.com/
https://omicronneon.com/index.php/2019/07/11/where-can-i-buy-a-computer-with-linux-already-installed/
https://www.amazon.com/Laptops-Linux-Computers-Tablets/s?rh=n%3A565108%2Cp_n_operating_system_browse-bin%3A7817221011
Some of them may not be UK but worth a look at them. 

The best option is to try several Linux versions before settling on the one that suits you best.  Probably the most popular one (and hence best supported) is Ubuntu, and there are several others based on Ubuntu; notably Mint and Peppermint.  Try searching "list of linux operating systems" and you will find lots to choose from.  Although I use Ubuntu almost exclusively I have discovered XUbuntu and like it very much. 
You can download an "ISO" file of an OS that takes your fancy then "burn" it to a DVD or USB to create a "live disc/USB".  This will allow you to try the OS without installing it - and then, if you wish, installing it instead of Windows or alongside it.  If you install alongside Windows you won't need WinE (Windows Emulator), if you must use Windows s/w! 

There are plenty of people here who will be keen to help you install Linux.  Good luck!
Keith

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Re: Advice in getting a Linux system.
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2020, 01:02:54 pm »

Offline Rich J

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Re: Advice in getting a Linux system.
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2020, 03:00:33 pm »
Hi Tony and welcome!

The reason there are so few choices of machine with Linux pre-installed is that Linux is relatively straightforward to install yourself, even for a complete beginner, plus the fact that the OS is free so no financial gain for the seller other than the value of the machine. 

If your device runs W10 then it is perfectly capable of running any of the latest Linux distributions (distro's).  There are many!  Echoing Keith's advice, I would recommend going for something more 'mainstream' Ubuntu, Mint, Peppermint, et al as they, generally, are more polished, have more software included as standard and have a greater user base, therefore more support available, should you need it.

You can easily download a distro of your choice and make a bootable medium to try out.  Go for a 64-bit version as many of the older 32-bit ones are now being discontinued.  32-bit OS's are still excellent, it's just that more up-to-date machines are all 64-bit capable nowadays so support for 32-bit is on the wane.  You can run the distro straight from the medium without having to install it first (a great advantage) to see if it meets your requirements but remember, any software run from a DVD or USB will always run slower than if it were installed to a HDD.  This is just the nature of the hardware and not a fault of Linux!  In fact, you'll be amazed at how fast Linux runs in comparison with what you are used to!

Personally I'm a fan of Mint, currently running v19.1 64-bit on my desktop and Mint Xfce 32-bit on 2 very old laptops - used as test mules and emergency back-up machines should the desktop play up, happily very rarely and usually from my own incompetence!

Also, no Windows software will run natively on Linux.  Some will run through the Wine emulator but with varying success.  If there are some Windows programmes that you just can't do without, better to keep Windows for them and do all your other stuff in Linux, whether in a dual-boot format or a stand-alone.  You will find that for most common requirements there will be a perfectly good Linux alternative anyway. 

Have a read through the links that Keith has provided and come back when you are ready to give it a go.  ;)

Hope this helps,

Rich

Offline DavidMcCann

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Re: Advice in getting a Linux system.
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2020, 05:06:05 pm »
This site will help you find alternatives to Windows software
http://linuxappfinder.com/
and this will enable you to check what can run under Wine if really necessary
https://www.winehq.org/

One thing about Linux is that you get to choose your GUI, and it's generally best to use the one that a distribution supplies as the default — more users, so better checking. Good choices are
Linux Mint with the Mate desktop. Excellent documentaion on the Mint site and an environment that's not to far from what you are used to.
Ubuntu (get the long-term support version) with Gnome. A GUI that looks more like a phone than a traditional computer, so you either love it or loath it.
OpenSUSE with KDE. The king of bling — all the eye-candy the heart could desire.

A couple of tips.
  • If you are going to install yourself, make sure that you have a separate partition for the /home directory. Linux keeps your configuration data with your personal files, so if you have it all on a separate partition you can always do a clean re-install of the OS without altering your choices
  • Try running it from the installation USB before installing, just to make sure you like it.
  • Always get extra software from your distribution. That way it will be updated when necessary.

A couple of things you might like to read
https://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
https://itsfoss.com/what-is-linux/
https://www.lifewire.com/basic-guide-linux-operating-system-2202786

Offline wishbone

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Re: Advice in getting a Linux system.
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2020, 08:10:00 pm »
Not much I can add to the previous replies. I can suggest you visit distrowatch.com where you get a full list of  Linux Distros down the right hand side.

I currently use Peppermint, having settled on it about four years ago, previously I used  Mint and loads more before that. The upside is you can use whichever you want, whatever suits you. You are not stuck with just the one choice!

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Re: Advice in getting a Linux system.
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2020, 08:10:00 pm »

Offline tony_a

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Re: Advice in getting a Linux system.
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2020, 11:19:00 am »
Thank you Keith, Rich, Davis and Wishbone
Lots of guidance and info there.
Appreciate the time you spent in replying, I’ve been doing some reading from links, and more to do.
Think, like you suggested, best start is to download a distro and just try from a usb stick, just to get the feel for it.
So be fun doing that.
Think I’ll start with Mint, maybe see how I go
Thank you again for help.

 


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