I want a Linux OS but do I??

Hi All

I have just started getting back into computers, at work mostly, over the lat year and so since I last had a windows 98. All I have noticed is Windows makes it nearly impossible to actually get anything done - I feel this is on purpose!! But that aside, everything else out there is awesome.

I have been given an old ‘e-machines’ cheap computer which (besides my telling them not to) was changed from an XP to windows 7 before I got my hands on it. I dont have the original disks like I was promised but I cant complain too much as it was free!! :slight_smile:

I was thinking about going back to XP (or possibly 98?) but then I have seen Linux - awesome. I have not had a chance to use any of the Linux OS’s on anyones computer so I am very much in the dark here.

I am planning to get a new computer but before I do I want to use this one as an experimental computer. Before I go out there and just randomly pick Ubuntu, I was hoping to find out if it worth me going through all of this - As you have reallised Im not that wise on computers.

My computer is used for basic home things such as:

  1. Home entertainment - i.e. My flat screen tv is my monitor and I watch a fair bit of 4OD, DVD’s etc
  2. Google Sketchup / Earth
  3. Old games such as Command and Conquer, Worms etc

Oh and this missus goes on FB all the time:(

Which Linux would be best for me as a simple learner OS?
Would I need the original Windows 7 CD’s and Codes in order to get it off this computer before putting a Linux on?

Is there any general advice that any of you would give to a newbie while considering the move to the dark side? Is worth me learning alot more about command prompts I have an Idea how they work etc but having always used windows for basic stuff I have only put in what is need to fix things.

Any help or general advice would be excellent

Thankyou very much

Hi, and welcome to the forums :slight_smile:

Firstly … Linux will NOT (in general) run Windows applications and games … there is an application (compatibility layer) called WINE that will allow you to run SOME Windows applications and games, with varying degrees of success.

You can search the WINE application database for how well a Windows app/games will work under WINE, here:

That said, there are “free” Linux games similar to C&C and Worms … but whether they will work on your PC is hardware dependent.

It would be helpful to know the spec of the PC and peripherals such as printer … do you have makes/models ? … or what graphics card, how much memory, which CPU, etc. … as there are MANY Linux distributions to choose from, Ubuntu being fully featured yet rather heavy for older hardware, things like PeppermintOS being much “lighter” but slightly less feature rich.

The command line is not really something it is necessary to learn any more … pretty much everything can be done in the GUI these days … the only reason commands are given on forums id because it’s easier and leaves less room for interpretation.

There is a Linux version of Google Earth … and it will be fine for internet use (firefox/Chrome etc.) and multimedia stuff.

Any other questions, feel free to ask :slight_smile:

Hi Mark,

The computer I am on is AMD Processor 2.60 GHz 32 bit Windows 7 SP1 1GB - nothing great really and a Nvidia 6100 nforce 405 graphics card. I dont have a printer or anything extra at the mo as I can do all that at work for free!!

Other than that there isnt much to add. I think for this computer I will try out the Peppermint on this computer then when I get a better one next month with my bonus I will know whether or not it is something I want!!

There are alot of Pros that I have seen so far and the only con being there will be some programs/games that I have which may or may not work - but as its open source there will be away around it eventually - I guess. But not many people are listing out the general cons! Will there be much trouble with sharing files / watching films (dvd or streamed) / Java etc. I realise that you will always get problems with any OS especially when you get started with one but is there anything that really stands out?

Also are there any Newbies to Linux that would like to put forward there experiences - good or bad?


I am new to Linux, I am using Ubuntu and cannot wait to get rid of windows. So far the the only problems I have had was setting emails up but that was sorted with help from this site. everything else I have done has just worked. The printer was found and installed when I pluged it in and I dident have to install all the other c**p that came with it on windows, wirleless comection worked fine. file sharing with the other pc is all ok. I would recomend it to anyone.
You can try it as a dual boot systom as I am so I choose to use windows or Ubuntu (mainley Unbuntu).
Try it and see what it’s like.

Pros - total control over your system, NO (I repeat NO) viruses in the wild so no AV necessary (unless you want to scan for Windows viruses on something like a server), generally free as in beer, MUCH more secure, easier to install/update, can be run from a USB stick (LiveUSB) or CD/DVD (LiveCD), faster, easier to learn (though obviously if you already “know” Windows … ), no licensing worries, comes with software pre-isnatlled, more choice, did I mention free :wink: , friendly community support, etc. TONS of available software most of which is free, a software installation manager (package management system) that is the envy of the other OS’s … I’ve no doubt missed a few other things :slight_smile:

Cons - may take slightly longer for drivers to appear for brand new hardware (not so much these days), flash seems to work slightly better on Windows on single core CPU’s , the inability to run some software that has become industry standard (such as AutoCAD, SAGE, etc.) though there are usually equivalents … and this seems to be a biggy for some, there is currently NO iTunes for Linux.

It is unlikely that Linux will EVER run Windows applications (properly) … Linux is not Windows and in my opinion it shouldn’t attempt to be, Windows is a dying OS and Linux will eventually be what’s left … though it may not be Linux as it is today :wink:

Yes Linux will happily network with Windows PC’s (and Macs) … and it’s highly likely that you are already doing so, your router is probably Linux based.

If your PC can boot from a USB stick, why not take Linux for a test drive on a LiveUSB, it will make NO changes to your current setup (unless you tell it to) … if you want more info on LiveUSB’s/LiveCD’s, let me know.

if it can’t boot from a USB stick, you can always test drive it from a LiveCD, but obviously you won’t be able to save any changes.

Be aware it won’t be as fast running from a LiveCD or LiveUSB, so don’t make any speed assumptions … but it will at least give you an idea if there are any hardware issues that may need fixing, and give you a general feel for Linux without any risk to your current OS.


And as Markems0 points out … Linux will happily resize your Windows partition and install as a dual-boot setup, where you choose at bootup whether to boot into Windows or Linux :slight_smile:

[EDIT 2]

Nearly forgot … NO you don’t need the Windows CD/DVD to uninstall Windows … Linux will either remove it for you, or resize the Windows partition leaving room for a Linux partition(s) and dual-boot … though obviously you would need them if you ever wanted to reinstall it … and JAVA is fine.

Hi Mark and Mark

thanks very much for your replies and apologies for not coming back sooner - my Windows 7 on an old computer and been f***ing me around - its time to go!!! - I never managed to get the new computer as my bonus went on kitting out the kitchen after the girlfriend went!

I am going to try Pepermint. Can I just ask what I might need to do before I install - I want to just install and be rid of Windows. Will I need to back up my pics to an aexternal drive? theres nothing else really thats important to me on there.

Again thanks for your help


Hi, I have been using peppermint 1 and now peppermint 2 since I dumped Windows XP about 6 months ago and have found that it is quick and dose most things I wont on a computer.

Gave my 10 year old laptop a new lease of life.

I have an old computer that I dual booted for a couple of weeks with WindrossXP/Ubuntu 11.04.
I was using the Ubuntu book to learn about using it and last weekend I installed PeppermintOS 2 and completely wiped Windross.
I am now finding my way round Peppermint and it’s great IMHO

take care
Don W

Thanks guys

I have downloaded the Peppermint IOS onto a USB stick and tonight I will try go through the instructions and see if I can jump in at the deep end

I will let you know how it goes tomorrow - sink or swim!!


You won’t regret it. ;D

take care
Don W

I have that sinking feeling!!

I down loaded the peppermintos 32 bit .ios onto a USB stick and put it into the computer. Then downloaded the UNetbootin and showed it the .ios. It then didnt want to use usb under type like it shows on 1. Download and Install – Updated 10/15/2023 – Peppermint OS so I used the hard drive as it like it. the computer started shutting down quite a few hours ago and Im not sure whether its doing something or not

Can anyone shed some light on this? Should I leave it to do its thing or is it purely buggered - I dont mind if its wiping the puter and putting peppermint on??


maybe not actually - I think it had just crashed while shutting down - I have Linux baby!!!

It just doesnt like my usb stick though!! so I cant seem to install - Iwill try another way

If you have a CD/DVD writer in the puter then you could try
to write the iso to CD How to Burn an ISO Image File to a DVD
Then boot from that (you might have to change the boot order in the BIOS)

would it need to be a re-writable??

If you are using it for installation then - NO
However if you intend to use it to run it as a live environment (with presistance) then stick with the USB

You could try a different live usb creator http://live.learnfree.eu/

I am in the install on Allocate drive space and its only giving me the option of /dev/sda. when I go install now it says No root system is defined. Please correct this from the paritioning menu??

have I missed a step? I didnt think that I wanted to partition anything as I want to straight down load and install??

Take a look at the Peppermint Install Guide http://peppermintos.com/guide/install/
/dev/sda would be the first HD

Persistance pays off - I am now fully peppermint with no more Windows - Its bliss and it works. The internet hasnt disconnected (or should I say the computer hasnt disconnected from the internet). and above all its damn quick

Thankyou all for the advice on the way and for this great forum which I am sure I will be frequenting from now on!!

Exploring starts now good hunting.

I’m happy to hear you got it installed and are enjoying Peppermint :slight_smile:

I have stopped enjoying Peppermint for a minute or two as I only get the blue screen of death - which I only every associated with Microsoft!!!

It was most probably my fault for messing around with the res too much - it never likes to fit the screen properly when you first start up. I will get that sorted tonight - I hope

I am however having problems finding my Belkin N1 USB. I have loaded the software through Wine but theres something missing somewhere. When Im back up and running I will get some more details and see if anyone else has had the same problems.

Otherwise the OS is brilliant!! my computer is fast, the music, games etc that come with/ download for free are excellent!!!