New to Linux - not installed it yet

I have just registered here, as my name suggest a complete computer DUNCE here, but like another post I saw, I am sick to DEATH of windows!! had a nightmare with trying to install Windows 10, and from advice from a Dtuch friend who has linux ubuntu he has advised me to try linux Mint, I travel extensively and use laptops in the UK and The Netherlands, I plan to try Linux Mint just to navigate it and get used to it before fully installing it, am only a novice user, surfing, use google chrome browser, ebay, emails, youtube etc., never do music or video downloads, can I come onto this site with questions in English (I plan to test Linux mint on my laptop in The Netherlands first)
thanks
Laptopducne

Of course you can … that’s what we’re here for…

and welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

You don’t need to install it to experience is - using a Live CD/DVD or a Live USB will allow you to boot into a “temporary” version, which is fully functional but generally can’t save anything (it will also be quite slow, as it has to do all the reading & writing from CD/USB, rather than a hard drive or SSD). But give it a whirl, you can’t do any damage without mounting your laptop’s hard drive - not only is it good practice, but it allows you to check all your hardware is compatible (even if not, there may be post-install fixes that can be done).

How much RAM is in the machine, and what CPU does it have? That will determine the most appropriate distro/“version” of Linux to try.

Hi, OK thanks, I have two Acer E5-511-POBM laptops with an Intel quad core N3530 2.58ghz processors. I plan to download to a USB external drive on my Sony Vaio windows 7 laptop in the Netherlands when I am back there next week. I did download the Windows 10 to the Acer laptop in NL last week and though it worked OK I had to delete it and go back to factory settings as it wouldnt boot up or log on from start, made a right mess of the laptop so will never use Windows 10, plus I am sick to death of the constant updates on windows, and being unable to actually USE the laptop until they are all done. A friend of mine in Holland recommends a Linux Mint programme to test (I think he sent me a link to it)obviously it will be entirely new to me but as a “novice” user I think it is time to get away from windows, it seems to me that a huge corporation like Microsoft are on the wrong track if they are constantly changing the entire operating system, whereas Mac have always had one Operating System which they update and upgrade, but I would have to buy 4 mac computers for my operation as I have two computers in NL and two in UK. Far too expensive for a moderate simple user, thanks laptopdunce

PS i am not sure of the Ram on the Sony Vaio that I plan to install it on, it has windows 7 home premium installed and is a 500gb hard drive,
Im also not sure of the processor in it, I will have to get back to you on that. thanks Laptopdunce
the two Acer laptops I have are: windows 8.1 intel CPU N3530 @ 2.16ghz with 8 gb Ram ((7.89 usable)
thanks

Ah, we really need the spec of that Sony model if that’s the target machine - if it’s a low power machine, and you try to run the heaviest Linux, it might run badly (giving you a bad impression of Linux). Likewise, if it’s a powerful machine, and you run the lightest Linux, it’ll run fine, but may lack the polish Linux distros are capable of.

If you’re eager to get exploring Linux on your Acer machines, try this one - http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=192 (pick whichever country you are in for the fastest download). You’ll need to use Linux Live USB creator from Windows to “burn” the Linux ISO you download to your USB stick (download here - http://www.linuxliveusb.com/download)

Right, I think it is a lower spec computer than my Acers, but not much, I will have to wait till next week when I am back in The Netherlands to check the “system” on the computer for the correct information about it. Also when using windows I use anti-malwarebytes and Avast anti-virus, my Dutch friend tells me these are no necessary?? - I run the antimalwarebytes programme every so often and I nearly always have those PUP things in the system. Is it really not necessary to use these programmes with Linux? seems to good to be true? thank Laptopdunce

By the way, i do have a Toshiba laptop that I hardly use in the UK, it is a model C-50D which has an AMD E1-2100 APU with radeon graphic, it is 1.00 Ghz, with RAM 4gb (3.44 usable) running windows 8.1 64 bit. This is a very slow computer in comparison to my 2 Acers, I only use it for printing labels and boarding passes. I have a suspicion that this laptop would run Linux badly? what do you think (I dont like this Toshiba laptop at all but only bought it for linking to the printer in another room as it isnt used much and was a cheap one from Argos UK) thanks laptopdunce

My son has a Toshiba L750D-14R … it has a “slightly” more powerful CPU than yours (E-450 compared to your E-2100), the rest of the spec is similar.

We run Peppermint 6 on it and it runs VERY well indeed.

I’ll be willing to bet you’re wrong and your C-50D could run Linux Mint, but it’d probably benefit from a lighter distro … Peppermint being one example, but there are others.

Disclosure - I’m a member of the team that create Peppermint:

Peppermint is happy on Intel Atom powered netbooks with 1GB RAM … so your C-50D should be plenty powerful enough.


According to this:
http://www.toshiba.co.uk/discontinued-products/satellite-c50d-a-138/
your C-50D came with Win8

If it’s powerful enough for Win8, Peppermint will simply FLY on it .)

Right I might try that peppermint one on it, I am only in UK for 3 days so dont want to try it just yet, I find these things are so time consuming especially if I need to get used to how it works, the Toshiba is a slow-ish running laptop with the windows 8.1 but maybe that is because it is further away fromt he talkTalk router. thanks Laptopdunce - I am with a T mobile owned company called online.nl in The Netherlands and that is pretty fast, it loads youtube really fast compared to my UK talktalk system, but of course being in Europe its not cheap!! (internet is a damn rip-off in The Netherlands!! I dont know how they get away with it!! - but everything is a NIGHTMARE since the rotten eurine (euro) came in!!
laptopdunce

is Peppermint not a Linux product? I opened the link and it looks like a standalone programme, is it easy to install? can I make a DVD to “test” it first? and if I did instal it on the Toshiba laptop would it remove the windows from the laptop? (after I have back up my photos and docs)
Im kinda surprised that windows will be obliterated totally from a laptop with it pre-installed, is it not just hidden away in a partition somewhere?
thanks
Laptopdunce

Peppermint is a Linux distribution in exactly the same way as Mint or Ubuntu, etc.

it’s VERY easy to install, in fact it uses the same installer as Mint and Ubuntu … see here:
http://peppermintos.com/guide/downloading/

YES you can … in exactly the same way you would with Mint or Ubuntu … you just boot the LiveCD/LiveDVD/LiveUSB you created and choose “Try Peppermint”.

The installer will give you the option to either
a) Install alongside Windows … where you’ll be given the opportunity to say how much disk space to steal from Windows and give to Linux … then you’ll be asked at each bootup whether you want to boot into Windows or Peppermint
b) to wipe the hard drive and install Peppermint … this option will destroy EVERYTHING, including the Windows recovery partition
c) “Something Else”, where you will be given the option to manually set up your own partitioning scheme


BE AWARE - ANY partition manipulation ALWAYS carries a small risk of disk corruption, so there is absolutely NO 100% safe way to install another operating system with no risk to the current OS

The risk may be minimal, but it IS present … so if you want to be 100% sure Windows is safe, either
a) take a full disk image of the current setup to an external HDD
b) make sure you’ve created some recovery media
or
c) you’ve extracted your Windows 8 key from the UEFI/BIOS … as long as you have that key you can always download Windows and reinstall it legally.