Newbie saying Hi!

I’ve just the forum so thought I’d introduce myself and say Hi!

I work in IT Support and I’ve never really used Linux before so thought it about time I learnt so I’m now the proud owner of an All-In-One Dummies guide to Linux and I’m working my way through that.

My first real introduction to Linux was when I got fed up with Windows XP on my Dads ageing Dell laptop that took forever to load. After one failed Linux installation attempt (i couldnt get the wifi to work) I picked a different distro (Fedora) and was amazed at not just how quickly the laptop booted and loaded the OS bt how fast it was to use!

Anyway, I’m now off to look around te forum to see what I can find…

Hi Fazza, and welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

Hi Fazza

I am new here to, isn’t it awesome here :smiley:

Hi Fazza. Welcome to the forum. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have any. That’s what we’re here for.


This forum has proven a god send for me, I’d have loundered within the first day otherwise and would forever be at the mercy of windows. (not because Linux is hard, just because I’m clueless)

I am also new. I work in IT but also new to linux. i have used Windows and mac and now i would to learn about Linux. i have been looking into the different distros and the different desktops (gnome and kde) and wondered if any one had any advice or opinion of where to start.

Hi hamster26, and welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

When I’m asked for a starting point I generally suggest Ubuntu … for no other reason than you’ll find help, advice, and support easier to come by … Ubuntu being the most popular Linux distro ATM.

The only caveat is the FULL Gnome desktop can be heavy on system resources, particularly on older/slower systems with a lack of RAM (same goes for KDE) … in which case, I’m currently recommending PeppermintOS which uses the much lighter LXDE desktop environment.

Do you know you can burn Linux onto a CD and it will boot to a working desktop for test driving (LiveCD) ?
(be aware, you won’t be able to save anything)

Or if your system can boot from USB sticks … you can create a LiveUSB for test driving, which WILL allow you to save changes.

In either case, once you decide Linux is for you, and want to nstall it to the hard drive … you can then use the LiveCD or LiveUSB as the installation media.

Can you tell us a bit about the hardware you are planning on using ?

i am planning on using a samsung laptop
intel core duo 2
2gb ram
200gb hdd

Not short on resources then :slight_smile: … so I’ll stick with Ubuntu as my suggested distribution.

That’s just my suggestion though, others will differ, and in the end you’ll want to find one that suits you … the good news is there’s nothing stopping you taking a few different distros for a test drive before making up your mind … just bung them on a LiveUSB and take them for a spin.

A LiveUSB will allow you to boot to a fully working Linux desktop contained on the USB stick, without making any changes to your hard drive (unless you tell it to) … you can then erase it and try another distro, or use the LiveUSB to install it to your hard drive.

Please be aware running from a LiveUSB will be a lot slower than running from a hard drive, but it will show you what to expect from the distro.

Do you want help with creating a LiveUSB stick ? … and have you got a 2GB+ USB stick ?

I’m gonna jump in here a sec and give a little bit of previous experience;

I’m running a Intel Duo 2 processor as well, I’ve got 3GB of RAM however, I do feel newer versions of Ubuntu are pretty sluggish sometimes. I’d recommend Peppermint to really get the most out of your systems resources. I plan on installing Peppermint myself this weekend. Previous version of Ubuntu 10.10 and lower run absolutely great though!

I’m not convinced PeppermintOS is the ideal “beginner” distro as LXDE is missing some of the GUI tools for achieving certain tasks … having to manually edit /etc/samba/smb.conf to share a folder springs to mind, not a show stopper for a slightly more advanced user, but you get my point. (FYI, it’s as simple as a right-click in Ubuntu, similar to Windows)

Nor as a “showcase” distro … people coming from the Windows world are (IMHO) more likely to notice Peppermints perceived shortcomings when directly compared to Windows instead of its strengths.

Ubuntu on the other hand is both an ideal “beginner” and “showcase” distro … works “out of the box”, yet with plenty of GUI tools to help get it the way you like, it will allow people to experiment, yet with good support if things get out of hand, and it’s an ideal platform that allows people to slowly get used to Linux without actually NEEDING the command line.

Don’t get me wrong, PeppermintOS is a great little distro, and certainly my current favorite … but then I no longer consider myself a “beginner” and would probably have found it a little harder to begin with than Ubuntu … I started with Ubuntu, and I’m glad I did, indeed I still use it on my main PC. :slight_smile: … though yes I NOW prefer Peppermint.

IMHO, Ubuntu first, then switch to another distro if/when you feel more at home, and/or feel the need.

Actually, I tell a lie … my first experience of Linux was Redhat 4, which is why I immediately went back to Windows :wink: … Linux was somewhat harder to transition to back then :wink:

Ubuntu was the distro that grabbed me and held me :slight_smile:


Are you now recommending distributions that you haven’t tried yet ? :wink:
and answer me this question … which distribution was it that helped you learn, and got you hooked ? … I’m betting it was Ubuntu :slight_smile:

I’d also suggest there may be something wrong with your setup if Ubuntu is “slow” on your system … it runs perfectly happily on my Pentium 4 (dual core) with 2GB RAM … so should be even quicker on a Core 2 Duo.
OK it’s not a “speed demon”, but it’s still reasonably nippy.
Didn’t we have to partition your HDD because of bad sectors … could it be that rearing its head again ?

@Mark - I’ve tried Peppermint in a VM. It’s a great distro and seemed to be pretty nippy even on the allocated specs I gave it which wasn’t much btw!

I didn’t say it was “slow”, I said “sluggish” compared with previous versions of Ubuntu like Lucid, Maverick etc, but of course Unity was added in 11.04 so of course it’ll be a little heavier on system resources. By sluggish I mean it has the tendency to delay its actions sometimes by like you said above I’ve got some bad sectors on my HDD so it’s most likely that.

It’s a good thing my birthday is right around the corner because I’m going to be picking up an NAS and a new HDD. Hopefully the HDD won’t have bad sectors. XD

Ahh … My apologies then :slight_smile:

Apology accepted :slight_smile: Haha.

Thanks for your advice. i will try them to see what i think. what do you think of mint?

i have downloaded:
peppermint (as you suggested)
mint with kde

i got on a magazine
mint with gnome
fedora 16

so i got a few to try. at the moment i am trying mint with kde hope to try the others over the weekend

Personally I don’t like the KDE desktop … but that’s just me :slight_smile: … you may prefer it,

Nothing at all wrong with Linux Mint (Gnome) though … and as it’s based on Ubuntu, most (but not all) of the Ubuntu help and support is directly translatable, if you get my meaning.

Puppy is just too minimalist, and you’ll probably find it hard going.

Fedora … uses .rpm package management which I’m not a fan of … I prefer Debian based distros and their apt tools for package management … but again that’s a personal thing.

Only you can decide which suits you best … and it may take some experimentation, all I can say is you’ll find more online help for Ubuntu … but the choice is yours :wink:

Ubuntu, Mint, and PeppermintOS are ALL Debian based distros, so they all use the apt tools for .deb package management

There is never a right or wrong way to start with linux. My advice would be to try a couple of the major distors like Ubuntu and Fedora, try different desktop environments like KDE, Gnome and XFCE and just see which you feel most comfortable with.

When I started using Linux a number of years ago I tried to research the best distro but got some bogged down it drove me mad. I just tried a couple and after a while chose Fedora. I kept Fedora for a long time but with the release of Gnome3 I’ve gone off it, I just can’t get use to it. I’ve now switched to XFCE on Arch.

The amount of support my be a deciding factor for you. As Mark says Ubuntu/Mint have a very good community support forum, as does Fedora from my experience. You might find if helpful to use one of these distros for a while until you get to grips with everything then try something else.

Another piece of advice I can offer is to try and set up a virtual machine so that when you get new distros with a magazine you can try them out without installing them. You never know what gems you might find!

It is all down to personnal preference though, so make your choice then join the ‘my distro/DE is better than yours’ war!!

As glitch suggests, ask other people and you’ll only get “their” opinion, and a whole lot of conflicting advice … and here’s the proof …

I don’t like Fedora

I do like Gnome 3, but hate Unity

I don’t like XFCE … for a “light” desktop I prefer LXDE

So it would seem glitch and I are diametrically opposed … but we’re not, we both like Linux, we’ll both have come across similar problems with similar fixes, we both use similar applications, we can hold a meaningful conversation about how to achieve common goals (most distros aren’t “that” different under the skin), and we’re both willing to give help and advice wherever possible.

Another reason I think Ubuntu’s an ideal starter distro (sorry, just sprang to mind) … the PPA’s for installing software that isn’t in their software repositories … very handy until you get used to compiling.

As he said, it’s easy to get bogged down with this … just take a few distros for a test drive and make your own decision :slight_smile:

Here you go … analogy time … ask peoples advice on which car to buy, and you’ll get lots of “opinions”, but in the end they’re all pretty much the same, the wheels off my Ford may not fit your Fiat but they both have wheels etc. and any garage can “pretty much” fix any car … but there are more specialist Ford garages out there, and more people make after market goodies for Fords, not because they are “better” but because there are more of them … heck, you can even get a super performance kit car (Gentoo), but expect it to be hard work :slight_smile:

… except mines better than his :wink:

i will try all the ones i have to see what i like.
i have installed mint kde now though because of work not had much chance to use it. once i have tried that i will then try mint with gnome ( just so i can see the differance) i will then move on to Ubuntu. i will then see how i go from there.

hopefully i will be able to try them soon :slight_smile:

i am grateful of your help, advices and options. From what i seen and looked in to i am already trying to get my friend to move to linux.

I don’t like Fedora

I do like Gnome 3, and I LOVE Unity.

Never tried XFCE, but LXDE is amazing.

My BMW E30 is better than everyones. 8) :stuck_out_tongue: