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Solved: Help Finding A User-friendly Linux/BSD distro.

Discussion in 'Linux and Unix' started by almightybob7, Jan 19, 2006.

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  1. almightybob7

    almightybob7 Thread Starter

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    My niece's computer had Windows XP on it, but it wouldn't boot, and her father said that there were a lot of viruses on it. I'm looking to install Linux on it, but I need some suggestions for a user-friendly Linux distro. She isn't very good with computers, and she used to Windows XP. She uses the computer for Instant Messaging and email, and also for word processing. Her computer is relatively old, but it should be able to run most of the newer stuff. Suggestions are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. CouchMaster

    CouchMaster

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    If it ran XP it will run any of these
    http://www.distrowatch.com
    take your pick - I'm running SimplyMepis - PCBSD - SuSE - Ubuntu - all free and loaded with just about everything you need...
     
  3. saikee

    saikee

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    If you want to lower the impact of switching over then Xandros is an alternative because it retains a lot of the WIndows features.

    Newer distros do excel in many areas. Just any of the Ubuntu, Kanotix, Mepis, Puppy....in one CD will do.
     
  4. Anchoret

    Anchoret

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    This is a relative term. :rolleyes: The plain truth is that for most low-order XP users, conversion to Linux is very trying and frustrating for a lot of reasons, and cannot usually be said to be what most people would consider a "user-friendly" experience. You may get lucky, however, and have 100% supported hardware and no other big issues. Luck is a lot of it.

    The very best advice I can give is to download and try the several "Live" distro CDs that boot from the CD and run without installing the OS on the system. This is a good way to see how well that distro will work on her hardware before doing a real install to the HD. If there's trouble with the "Live" CD, then there'll usually be trouble with a real install. Go to a different distro and try that.

    Right now, Ubuntu is probably the best place to start as it has the "Live" CD and is extremely popular with new users, which translates to more support -- she'll almost certainly need it.
     
  5. almightybob7

    almightybob7 Thread Starter

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    Well I have experience with linux in general and will be the one installing it, but are there any that don't require using the linux shell and stuff?
     
  6. Anchoret

    Anchoret

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    The major new distros are all nearly 100% GUI, but sometimes the GUI is buggy and you need to go to command line to make it work, or to make the application perform some option that isn't supported in the GUI.

    Another thing to consider is whether she has broadband or not. If she does, a basic distro like Ubuntu is good because it installs a fairly spare setup from one CD and the desired programs beyond the typical stuff can be added online from the various well-stocked Ubuntu repositories with Synaptic. While I had my share of grief with Ubuntu 5.04, I must admit that Synaptic was great and very user-friendly. Doing this with dialup would be difficult, though.


     
  7. almightybob7

    almightybob7 Thread Starter

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    she does have broadband, so I think I'll go with Ubuntu. thanks!
     
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