Recommendation on Linux

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Thread Starter
Dec 28, 2003
A friend gave me 2 laptops from a company that closed down. They have an i-5 3210 [email protected] and 4GB ram. I tried to upgrade them to Win 10 but they will not activate. I think this may be because they were on a corporate license as the Microsoft # was the same. Since they won't activate it was suggested to install Linux. I have very little experience with it and am wanting recommendations about the best one to install. I am giving them to children with little experience so wanting a good system . Thanks in advance


Mar 23, 2005
There's no "best" one. :)

Ubuntu is the most popular, and has many close relatives so you can probably find one with a look that you like. Personally I prefer Lubuntu (a "lighter" version).

You can boot (from DVD, CD, USB flash drive) and run pretty much any Linux distro without installing it. This gives you a nice opportunity to fairly quickly take several for a test run to make sure the computer is compatible and that you like the look and feel.

Johnny b

Nov 6, 2016
As mentioned, there are various distributions to consider and only you can tell what's best suited for your uses.
Testing Live versions from a flash drive is probably the easiest way to discover what you like the most, with the least effort.

Mint and Ubuntu seem popular for installs. Good distros to start with.

My own preference is booting Xenialpup Linux from a USB flash drive on a computer that has it's hard drive removed.
But that's 'just me'.
Point is, Linux can be configured in many ways ( that Windows can't ).
My 'way' is one of them.
Jun 14, 2020
4 GB is too close a call for the latest Ubuntu. Gnome is a bit heavy and costs a good amount of RAM in idle state. As suggested above Lubuntu is great on resources. The last I checked, it needs 3 times less RAM than Ubuntu.


Apr 1, 2016

Depending on how young these children are, how inquisitive they are, and what you think they might find interesting, there's this one you could look at:-

"Sugar On a Stick"

Developed by Sugar Labs, it's an OS specially designed for youngsters, with interactive 'learning' built-in. It'll run completely from a USB stick....2 GB or larger. (I doubt you'll find anything under 16 GB these days, but even those are as cheap as chips).

Before deciding, you can try a 'Live' version of it on-line, to give you some idea:-

If you think it may 'fit the bill', download/installation instructions are here, at the Sugar Wiki:-

Of course, if we're talking about teenagers then they're already interacting with the online world, and full of curiosity anyway. It's a rare teenager that can't figure out tech pretty quickly.

That being the case, any of the lightweight distros would do the job. I won't recommend my own 'daily driver', Puppy Linux, because it's rather more 'manual' & 'hands-on' than many, and most people, even youngsters, like things that are straight-forward and easy to use.

Mike. ;)
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