The best Linux starter for a beginner?

  spuds 10:17 AM 31 Dec 12
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Answered

I am considering trying out Linux, and I was wondering which of the number of downloads available, would be the best to start with, as a new and fairly easy learning curve?.

The other point, would this be best to install on a machine with Windows as a possible second O/S, or download to a new computer that I have available?.

Any help and advice appreciated.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:02 AM 31 Dec 12

As you say there are lots of distros to download

Start with a live CD /DVD everything rund from the disk and dosent affect any windows system you have installed but you can access your data.

I have tried a few - stated with Slax as that seem similar to a windows desktop - people seemed to rave over Mint but I had trouble loading it in my machine

  LastChip 11:50 AM 31 Dec 12

Linux Mint should be (imho) your first port of call.

It's very Windows like in operation and hence does not require much learning. It also comes preconfigured for media, so DVD's, youtube and the like are not an issue.

You can find it here

Ubuntu is considered by many as being the leading edge distribution (distro), and was well ahead of Windows 8 in offering a touch friendly interface. Personally, I don't like it, but many thousands of others do.

More about Ubuntu here

Both of the above have a Debian core, which probably doesn't mean much to you, but it determines how upgrades are done and Debain packages are considered to be excellent.

openSUSE is another not often talked about distro that deserves more recognition. It's a competent distro - again similar in structure to Windows, so you should have little difficulty in using it.

You can find openSUSE here

openSUSE is RPM based, (Redhat package manager), still regarded as a strong upgrade mechanism, but different.

Each one has it's own "repositories" which should be used for additional applications as required. Do not attempt to use applications built for Windows on a Linux distro. Some can with something called "wine", but it's generally not easy and unnecessary, as Linux has literally thousands of free applications that will cover every normal computer chore you wish to do.

Yo will find when using a Linux distro, all the common applications that you need are pre-loaded. Things like Libre Office, Firefox, Thunderbird and so on.

Generally, anti-virus software and anti-malware software are not necessary, as there are only a couple of proof of concept viruses that have ever been successfully written and I've never heard of a Linux computer suffering from such problems.

As Fruit Bat /\0/\ suggests, run the distro first from a live CD/DVD to see if they are compatible with your computer. They've come a long way and again generally speaking, you shouldn't have any issues. It will also allow you to evaluate each and see which one you feel comfortable with.

  spuds 13:28 PM 31 Dec 12
Answer

Thanks Guys for the advice and suggestions given. I'll go through the links later.

I have a Unbuntu disk which I obtained a year or two back, so I might use that or check for a later version if there's one now in circulation?.

Probably put it on the new unused computer, in case I screw something up?.

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