New to Linux

I registered and posted on 12 March 2014.
On sending this new message I got an informative that my post will be checked first.

I was wondering how long this might take before it appears.


According to the forum this is your first post, and there’s nothing awaiting approval.

So I can only assume your posting either never got posted, somehow “fell through the cracks” and disappeared (though that’s never happened before), or was deleted as spam for some reason.

I’m afraid you’ll have to post it again.

Hello Mark
Thank you for your reply.
I thought that might have happened.

I have decided to ‘dump’ microsoft altogether and so I am seeking some help etc with the view to using a free OS.

First - which forum would be best to start?
Second - what basic information about my current PC and usage would be required to be posted to get help/advice?
Third - is a disc version available or does one need to make ones own ISO disc or is it best to download direct?
Fourth - I am not too sure if I should run a new OS alongside my current Windows XP SP3?


Hi antioch

welcome to the forums

I’m sure Mark will answer your questions soon but in his absence meantime I’ll give it my best shot :slight_smile:

First - which forum would be best to start?

That’s easy…here

Second - what basic information about my current PC and usage would be required to be posted to get help/advice?

cpu, ram HDD to start with it’s also helpful to know if it can boot from a USB drive, once you have Linux installed or boot into a live session we can get more detailed information

Third - is a disc version available or does one need to make ones own ISO disc or is it best to download direct?

It is possible to order a disc but that’s really not necessary it’s not difficult to burn your own .iso you’ll find all the help you need to do that on this forum

Fourth - I am not too sure if I should run a new OS alongside my current Windows XP SP3?

That’s entirely up to you either way is ok providing you have the disc space

Good luck


Yup, Emegra’a pretty much covered it :slight_smile:

If you’d like help with downloading an ISO image and burning it to CD/DVD in Windows, let me know and I’ll post instructions.
(another option might be a Linux magazine cover disk … though obviously that will limit you to only the distro(s) they are covering that month)

Might (hard rive space allowing) be best for now to dual boot, and stop going online in XP after they kill it off in April (even going as far as disabling the windows wireless drivers)

If what you’re wondering is “can any windows problems, such as viruses affect Linux on a dual boot PC” … the answer is “highly unlikely”, the Windows partition won’t be able to see the Linux partition at all (though Linux WILL be able to read and write to the Windows partition) :slight_smile:

Any other questions, or need something clarifying … please ask away :wink:

And just in case I haven’t already said it … Welcome to the forum.

Many thanks to you all for the welcome.

I have put together details of current system etc which I hope will help.
Not too sure if I should continue this thread or start fresh.

SystemCPU – Intel Pentium 4 640 @3.2GHZ [8 years old]
MB – ASUS P5LD2 – 533 PC4200 DDR2 S-ATA [8 years old
HD – Western Digital 500GB - WD5000AAKS-72 [3 years old]
GPU – NVIDIA GeFORCE 210 [1 year old – temp replacement for 7 year old GeFORCE 6800]
USB - all USB2

Rather than buy a new computer [desk top] over the next few months I am looking to upgrade the CPU/Motherboard and GPU, plus get possibly a stronger power unit.

Computer usesInternet – I email a lot – heavy user of Office Word and Excel [I currently have Office 200 plus compatibility pack] and survey company web sites via [IE8 and Google].
I am not into photography but sometimes edit family video clips for which I currently use MS Movie Maker.
I am not into games, but do use MS Flight Simulator a bit – have three sets FS2000 – FSX plus add-ons.
I don’t do any social networking at all – Facebook etc nor do I tweet.
Don’t use Skype or other similar.
SecurityMS Security Essentials plus their Firewall [did use Zone Alarm but found it had become bloat-ware]
From time to time I scan with Malwarebytes and SAS but scan with the AV daily.
I am looking at Bitdefender as a replacement AV?
Spyware Blaster
Other softwareVLC Media Player – Gadwin Print Screen – CD Burner for XP [Burns ISO images] – Windows Live Mail.
My pet hate is all types of registry cleaners as I have for many years considered them to be ‘snake oil’.
I have used CCleaner but without the reg. cleaner as I have, for some time now, done my own ‘housework’.

I hope I have given the main info requested. Sorry it’s a bit detailed and long.
You may have spotted that I already use a lot of free software ;D
I like the catcha idea - but please consider us oldies [70 +] with trembling hands - fun though.

OK …

The Captcha is only for your first 5 postings … after which you’ll not see it again :wink:
(I’m afraid it’s a necessary anti-spam measure to stop automated account creation and spam bots)

Can’t see any of that hardware being a problem … but the best way to check is going to be to boot a LiveCD and see if everything works.
(if anything doesn’t “just work” it’s highly likely that it’ll be fixable)

If I were you I’d go for something light on system resources … not because your system can’t handle something heavier, but mainly because of the single core CPU and the fact that the Adobe flashplayer for Linux is usually happier/faster on a dual core CPU.

I’m going to suggest Peppermint … but I have to mention I’m part of “Team Peppermint” so read into that what you will.

You do realise that Windows applications won’t run in Linux ?

Office … There are IMHO 2 options here, LibreOffice and Kingsoft Office … Both can read and write Microsoft Office documents/speadsheets, but Kingsoft Office seems more accurate for formatting of .docx documents.

Web browsing will be taken care of via Google Chromium/Chrome or Firefox

Photograph editor - GIMP (which IMHO is as good as Photoshop, though there is a learning curve if you’re used to photoshop … but there are MANY online tutorials)

MS Flight Simulator - you’re really going to want to dual boot into Windows for this … there’s a possibility that it can be made to run in WINE, but I wouldn’t bother … Windows software (particularly games) are usually better run natively.

Skype is available if you want … and Fekbook etc are just websites so are available in any browser in any OS

Anti-Virus/Anti Malware/Firewall - You won’t require AV and Anti-Malware, and if you’re behind a NAT router you won’t really require a firewall … though they are available if you want.

Couldn’t agree more about registry cleaners and system tune up software … it’s all snake oil and usually creates more problems than it solves.
The good news is that nothing like that is required in Linux.

VLC is available on Linux … most distro’s will come with screen capture software already installed … CD burning software is also available.

Windows Live Mail - If this is a “local” mail client, probably the closest equivalent would be Thunderbird, and if it’s webmail it’ll work in any web browser on any OS

Have I missed anything ?

MS Office has been made to run under WINE, but as Mark has said, try to give WINE a bit of a wide berth, as it’s a nightmare really. Very low odds of success, and lots of work required to even attempt it. Native Linux/open-source software is the way to go. Bit worried about this “survey company” thing - will be worth testing that it works under Google Chrome before you play with Linux.

It’s worth stating, that you don’t need to install anything to test Linux - just boot with the CD/USB stick in, and it’ll load into Linux without touching your existing Windows XP install (this is called a “live environment”). You can test out software and see how you get on. You can even post here whilst booted into the live environment!

Bit worried about this "survey company" thing - will be worth testing that it works under Google Chrome before you play with Linux.

I could be wrong, but I think he just meant he “surveys” company websites via IE8…

Swap the word “Survey” for “Peruse” and it reads differently.

Thank you Mark and Chemicalfan.

I will look through your posts and any others that may pop up and respond.
Yes, I was in favour of the ‘mint system’
Two Captchas to go - yes I fully understand why its there - better than the unreadable letters and numbers.
Be in contact soon.
Yes, I survey [not peruse]web sites for designers and companies - don’t do forums though. I would favour Firefox over Chrome - tried Chrome and did not sit well with XP for me.

Quote form Mark

Have I missed anything ?

Yes :o

Not wishing to complicate things, but Peppermint and Mint are two completely different Linux distributions. True, there are based on Ubuntu, being heavily modified, but the philosophies are almost opposite. Mint is designed to be “everything in one box”, but is a bit more “heavyweight” in terms of computing power needed, whereas Peppermint is very stripped back and “lightweight”, so runs very quickly and nimbly. In the next couple of months, both will be releasing a version that is supported for 5 years - try to hold off the final installs until then. Doesn’t stop you playing with both of them in the live environment though :slight_smile:

Also, Firefox is great :slight_smile:

Hi Antioch! And welcome to the forums from an ‘end-user’! I’m a fairly new Linux convert with a very similar set-up to your pc.

I came from Vista (but on an ex-XP box) to Linux Mint 13 KDE version as I found it to be the closest in appearance to the MS Windows I’d been used to. This is only cosmetic however - Linux works very differently and in my experience is a lot easier to get along with. For my computing needs, there is nothing that Linux can’t do that Windows did and I believe that would cover 99% of users worldwide. For sure, if you require a specific program then you might have an issue, but as already has been stated, there are plenty of Linux alternatives available.

The biggest eye-opener is that you don’t need to spend precious time in constant ‘housekeeping’ and worrying about the latest ‘threat’! Like a lot of other ‘converts’ I was suspicious about the claims of inherent security and stability of Linux systems - all true! I dual-booted Ubuntu for a while but didn’t really like the layout of it and then tried an earlier Mint version. Eventually I got to Mint 13, which is a long-term support version, which suits me just fine. There are later versions available now, some of which are also LTS.

I can also echo the sentiments regarding this forum. The odd issues I’ve had have been more down to my inexperience rather than any problems with the system and questions I’ve put have been dealt with speedily and with generosity. Linux is truly a community.

Good luck in your endeavors, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!


Hi all, I do think you were hard on WINE I have been running most of the main Office programs (office 2007) with Wine for over 2 years with no real problems.

WINE works (for some windows apps) but it IS a PITA to set up, and you’re always better off with a Linux native app.

On top of that is the fact that Kingsoft Office is pretty damn accurate with .docx /.xlsx /.pptx … so there’s really no need for Microsoft Office any more :slight_smile:

The people i know who are starting to jump out of the xp sinking boat, have found zorin-os, to be a easy transfer to linux, and were amazed how the face of Zorin to take on a xp look or a win 7 look.

This claim that Zorin is more friendly for Windows users annoys the hell outa me. Besides a theme, how is it more user friendly than say Mint Cinnamon or Peppermint ?

Maybe by comparison to Gnome Shell or Unity … but not every distro uses those. :o

This claim that Zorin is more friendly for Windows users annoys the hell outa me. Besides a theme, how is it more user friendly than say Mint Cinnamon or Peppermint ?

Yeah I have to agree with that, the way I see it and I’m not trying to knock Zorin is that Zorin because it can be made to look so much like Windows XP or Windows 7 will always be directly compared to them and seen as a knock off and therefor never as good wheras a DE with a different look and feel like Gnome KDE or Unity would be more likely to be accepted for what they are and judged on their own merits or weaknesses

lets face it Gnome, KDE Unity LXDE they’re all user friendly in there own way they’re just different Linux is not Windows and thank god for it

In fact I’ve introduced Linux to a few people and when I install it I always place the panel at the top of the screen for them not because I think they would prefer it there but because I don’t want it to look like Windows I want them to know they’re using a different operating system


I like it :slight_smile:


I’m not so much bothered that Zorin choose to look like Windows, that’s fine, I’m more bothered that people are being made to believe Zorin will ease the Windows → Linux transition somehow “better” than other distros/DE’s

At best it doesn’t make sense, and at worst it’s intentionally misleading.

There’s nothing wrong with Zorin, and if you choose to use it because you like it, more power to you … but don’t fall for the “it will ease the transition” rubbish

Linux is not Windows … Zorin is Linux … Zorin is not Windows … Simplez :wink:

Zorin will neither ease or hinder the transition from Windows … it will behave as Linux, not as Windows … the rest is just a skin.

But I seriously don’t understand why anyone would WANT Linux to look like Windows in the first place :o

For all it’s shortcomings, Windows 8 is nice to look at. I mean, it’s a bit of a productivity nightmare and way radical (but you could argue the same about Ubuntu, the “flagship” desktop Linux DE), but you can’t deny that it’s very fresh looking, and “convergent”.

/devil’s advocate