Author Topic: Linux OS for a new user  (Read 7963 times)

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Offline pcdroid13

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Linux OS for a new user
« on: August 30, 2019, 08:45:21 am »
Hello users,

This question may be offtopic here, but i need your kind suggestions. I am now going to reinstall an operating system in my computer.
I had Windows 10 earlier. Now I am thinking to use Linux. I have not used it before so I have a few doubts.

Will it be difficult to use and understand Linux?
Will Linux be faster than Winodows 10?
 

Online ledtester

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2019, 10:00:19 am »

Linux will not be appreciably any faster or slower than Windows.

Why do you want to run Linux? It is possible that the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) might be good enough for what you want to do.

 

Offline tunk

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2019, 10:17:22 am »
Is this your only computer? If so, I'd stick to windows as I guess it will be a quite steep
learning curve starting with linux. If you want to learn, install e.g. virtualbox with
ubuntu 18.04 LTS. If it's your second/third/etc PC, by all means install linux.
 

Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2019, 10:19:37 am »
Why don't you do exactly what I've done this week?

Install Windows but when partitioning the hard drive leave half or 30% of the space empty (for example in a 256GB create a partition of 150GB and leave the rest unused).

Install Windows, configure everything you need, and then restart and install any Linux Distro (I'm using Fedora 30 currently).

That way you can test whatever you want, and if you don't like the distro you are using you install another one.

In the last 5 years I only use windows only for gaming and some programs that I don't have equivalent on Linux, other than that I'm forcing myself to use Linux. Even If you f**k up the installation, I can always return to the Windows one and search how to fix it.

Linux is somewhat a learning curve for people who never used or are starting, specially when most of the deepp config are made via Terminal (same as the CMD or Powershell on Windows) and what is shown in most help forums are command lines. Some programs only run on Terminal, they don't have a gui like in Windows (NordVPN is one that I use currently that in Linux is basically only terminal available) but it's starting to change.

But I'm probably not the best to help you in Linux, I'm not that deep into it. Most of the IT Support I've done was always in Windows Server machines and Active Directory, with sporadically some in CentOS.
 

Offline xmetal

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2019, 10:26:51 am »
Out of Linux distros I quite like Linux Mint. The layout is similar to Windows. As previously mentioned, I would install Linux as a dual booting system with both operating systems.
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2019, 11:22:23 am »
Linux will not be appreciably any faster or slower than Windows.

Baldercrap.

Linux can be configured to have considerably less chunky garbage than Windows. Boot times can be optimized way faster, drivers are often tighter, implementations for most things are just nicer. Across the board I've noticed improvements when using Linux over Windows, especially on hard drives where modern implementations of Windows are pretty much unusable compared to even the chunkiest Linux installs.

Now that's out of the way.

Linux has a range of options for users who want a simple solution, and for users who want a solution better tailored and optimized for what they want out of their computers. Notice I didn't say new users. I am under the personal opinion that Ubuntu isn't particularly good for new users just because it's simple. It's good for people who want a more polished Windows-like experience they don't have to worry about getting to work. This comes with advantages and tradeoffs. Tighter and more optimized systems to which you install the components of yourself tend to be faster, more secure, easier to fix when things go wrong (since you'd have built the damn thing!), and usually more efficient to your workflow.
Distros like Ubuntu, on the other hand, are simpler to use, for people who want something that's /not Windows/ but also not complicated, which I can totally understand. You tend to get more pluggable and "just works" options, where things are tailored for an easier user experience, and to where documentation is more suited for people who don't want a kit OS.

So, my answer is it's up to what you want out of Linux. If you are alright with spending time on configuring your system, learning the inner workings, and don't mind reading manuals if it gains you a better system, distros like Arch Linux, Debian, Slackware, and Gentoo are all good options with different strengths and weaknesses.

If you want an environment that is plug and go, then Ubuntu would be my first pick. It has the most people behind it, it's the most popular, the most polished, and the most supported (in documentation, app support is pretty much the same across distros). Other popular options are Kubuntu and Lubuntu, which offer different pre-installed desktop environments, Linux Mint, which is a sort of mixed up Ubuntu, and Manjaro, which has the excellent Arch Linux Wiki for documentation, but isn't as perfectly polished as the other options.

BIG NOTE: Ensure your computer is expendable if you intend to start messing around with it. You are replacing and modifying core system software, if this is something totally new to you, previous suggestions of using VMs (I suggest VMWare Player myself) for experimentation is definitely not a bad idea to start off with.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 11:24:41 am by Ampera »
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2019, 12:36:44 pm »
Hello users,

This question may be offtopic here, but i need your kind suggestions. I am now going to reinstall an operating system in my computer.
I had Windows 10 earlier. Now I am thinking to use Linux. I have not used it before so I have a few doubts.

Will it be difficult to use and understand Linux?
Will Linux be faster than Winodows 10?
There will be a steep learning curve and lots of reading on fora. A lot of things work different on Linux and settings are in a different place.

I'd suggest to start installing Linux in a VM (virtualbox) and move more and more tasks over to Linux. Dual boot sucks because that will hold you back to boot to a different OS. At some point you can install Linux as the primary OS and run Windows in a VM.

Depending on the task Linux may be faster compared to Windows. If I compile software on my PC Linux is 5 to 10 times faster compared to Windows.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 07:53:51 pm »
Will it be difficult to use and understand Linux?
Use? No.

Understand? That depends mostly on whether you can accept that many things work completely differently, even if some things work the same.
If you expect your Windows experience to carry your efforts in Linux, you will be disappointed.

The community is not a company, so you are not a client or a customer.  If you want help, you must show your own effort first, and be willing to follow the advice.  Usually this means finding a repeatable test case, extracting log files, and so on.  If you demand anything, you will be laughed at.  Even commercial distros like Ubuntu rely on volunteer community efforts.  The community is only interested in getting the tools and programs they use to work well, so they really do not care if you use Linux or Windows or something else; threatening to go back to Windows if nobody helps will be met with derision.  You only matter, if you contribute yourself.  (Finding a bug, and reporting it well enough so devs can reproduce and analyse it, is an excellent way to contribute, though.  All non-asshole developers really do appreciate those.)

If you start with the understanding that Linux is fundamentally (structurally, design-wise) different, and want to learn how it works, and how to make it conform to your own needs (instead of the opposite), I believe you'll have an interesting time.  There is lots to learn, so it'll take time, but it isn't hard/difficult; just different.  Often, things that seem to work the same on the surface, have quite important differences in how they are actually implemented.  For example, there is no single Linux (or GNU/Linux) graphical user interface; I personally use Gnome, Xfce, and LXDE, but there are also KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, Unity, Mate, and a few others to choose from.

(One fallacy I see often is a claim that Linux is based on command line.  That is not true: even terminals are just userspace services. gettys for console terminals, openssh etc. for network terminals, xterm/gnome-terminal etc. for GUI terminal windows.  When you get a terminal, you can use any shell ("command line interpreter") you want, although Bash is the most common one.  You can even replace the entire userspace with your own program or shell script, by writing your own init.  This means that even "command line" is optional!)

In my own experience, those who expect computers and applications to work like Windows does, will have problems.  Those who have an open mind, only need time and effort.  It is just a tool that anyone can learn (given time and effort), nothing secret: everything you wish to know is publicly available on the net.  If you have used Mac OS or other non-Windows systems, you are likely already aware of the differences at the subconscious level, and it will be easier to adjust.

This also means that if you don't really have the time, and just want things to work like they do in Windows, you'd better stay with Windows, as you can be more productive there.
 
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Offline soldar

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2019, 08:39:30 pm »
I always advise against double booting from the same hard disk. Windows does not play nice with Linux and will mess with the double boot. Better install each OS on its own HDD. That's what I do and save myself a lot of grief.

I am running Linux Mint on one of my desktops and I am satisfied BUT Linux requires time and effort and it has quite a few things that seem half baked. I have spent quite a few hours troubleshooting things.

Mostly I am still running my old programs on Win XP and a few like Firefox, Google Earth, on Mint.
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2019, 11:29:53 pm »
Out of Linux distros I quite like Linux Mint. The layout is similar to Windows. As previously mentioned, I would install Linux as a dual booting system with both operating systems.

Yes, dual booting is the best way to go IF you can get a contiguous partition for Linux.  If the machine already has Windows, you can tell it to compactify the disk and there is a way to partition it without losing a bunch of files.  I don't recall the method, look it up.  I'm sure there will be videos on dual-booting Linux and Windows.  BTW, if you  can install another drive, it is possible to leave Windows and the newly installed Grub loaded on the primary drive and install all of Linux on a secondary drive.  My Windows drive is a 1 TB SSD and my Linux drive uses 1 TB for Linux and a 2 TB partition with Windows games (Steam).

I like Linux Mint and, in fact, I was using it this morning just to work with Fortran.  I do that a lot.  Everything else is done on Windows and, no, the Windows Subsystem for Linux is NOT a good substitute.  Among other things, you can't really move files between Windows and Ubuntu.  I have yet to figure out how to print.  It MAY be possible but I can't get the recommended programs to install.  Without file transfer and print, what good is it?  I have it installed but I don't use it much.

There is a hell of a learning curve with Linux because the developers know what's best and provide some functionality, but not all.  They are absolute demons about "open source" so any closed source drivers won't even be offered without you going on Google to find out how to add repositories.  What a PITA.  Don't even get me started with the Ubuntu Unity desktop where they put the system buttons on the wrong side and, unlike earlier version, the position can't be changed.  A huge PITA!

You will spend hours (likely days) getting the system set up.  Google will be your best friend!  At the end, you will realize it wasn't worth the effort.

So, why do I have it?  I write a LOT of Fortran and Linux provides the best compiler/editor combination for my needs.  That's about all I use it for.  But it compiles code like a scalded rabbit on an Intel I7-7700K.

Windows is a lot easier to set up and to use.  Some people are really sold on the "open source" idea or they simply hate Microsoft's success.  Microsoft got so successful because they make sure that user problems are minimized.  The system installs itself including drivers and particularly print drivers.  There's no hunting around, everything just works.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 04:10:24 pm by rstofer »
 

Online ledtester

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2019, 02:59:02 am »
You will spend hours (likely days) getting the system set up.  Google will be your best friend!  At the end, you will realize it wasn't worth the effort.

That's why I recommend trying out WSL which allows you to run Linux binaries within Windows. It basically "installs" Ubuntu, so you can start using "apt get" to install software right away.

 

Offline wilfred

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2019, 03:15:49 am »
I use and recommend Linux Mint for new users. I wanted a windows look and feel so I choose XFCE rather than Mate or Cinnamon. I also have a Core2Duo so something lighter weight was appealing.

I do not recommend dual booting or virtualising for those who want to make the lifestyle change towards learning Linux. I suggest going all in so that you cannot simply return to the familiar. Solving the inevitable problems is the best way.

Linux Mint has been good to me with available help online. It works for me. There is no perfect Linux distribution so just pick one and deal with it's issues and then later on you might have your own reasons to change.

I still have Windows on a laptop for when I completely stuffed things up.

 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2019, 09:50:59 am »
That's why I recommend trying out WSL which allows you to run Linux binaries within Windows. It basically "installs" Ubuntu, so you can start using "apt get" to install software right away.

Unfortunately WSL has some pretty killer problems when it comes to learning things important to running a Linux desktop environment. For one it has no native X support, unless you send all connections to Xming, which defeats the point of learning how to operate desktop Linux on something like WSL, where X and X applications will constitute the vast majority of the things you need to learn to configure and understand for a desktop environment (that is unless you use a distro that does everything for you). Other issues like the limited selection of "distros", no 32-bit binary support, the requirement to use the Windows Store, and how all of this could be fixed with a VM or just another computer, makes WSL pretty boo in my opinion.

When I was using Windows 10 last (on my tablet) I found that MSYS2 provided a much much nicer Unix-like experience compared to WSL, in that it actually is comprised of binary ports to NT coded for that environment. So if you want something that's not a VM but is sort of like Linux without pretty much any X support, that is I think a better option.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2019, 11:25:34 am »
I do not recommend dual booting or virtualising for those who want to make the lifestyle change towards learning Linux. I suggest going all in so that you cannot simply return to the familiar. Solving the inevitable problems is the best way.
This is by far the least productive approach. There isn't a Linux alternative for some software and some tools work better on Windows. MS Office for example but also simple programs like Hyperterminal. Running both OSses at the same time (one in a virtual machine) is the most productive way to switch to Linux because you can take small steps at a time. Also what works well on Windows doesn't really need replacing.
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Offline wilfred

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2019, 12:00:52 pm »
I do not recommend dual booting or virtualising for those who want to make the lifestyle change towards learning Linux. I suggest going all in so that you cannot simply return to the familiar. Solving the inevitable problems is the best way.
This is by far the least productive approach. There isn't a Linux alternative for some software and some tools work better on Windows. MS Office for example but also simple programs like Hyperterminal. Running both OSses at the same time (one in a virtual machine) is the most productive way to switch to Linux because you can take small steps at a time. Also what works well on Windows doesn't really need replacing.

I'll stand by what I said. It suited me. But I do agree there can be times when something is available only on Windows. 

For the OP I don't really see a point to abandoning a Win10 install for Linux if the goal is just to have another OS. In the end it is a lifestyle choice and that is inherently a personal choice.
 

Offline themadhippy

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2019, 12:23:43 pm »
Quote
I suggest going all in so that you cannot simply return to the familiar. Solving the inevitable problems is the best way.

Exactly what i did 15'ish years ago due to constant blue screens of death,Linux (ubuntu) was a final test before i trashed the machine,it worked,it was stable so it stayed and has been my main os since then.Yes i've had a few issues,but so has windows.I hated the new desktop thingy with the side menu,  a quick online search, a few magic incantations in the terminal and my desktop is back how i like it,don't like the layout in win 10? Tuff microsoft knows best and that's what you want. Wine lets me run older software that win 10 refuses to play with,and a win 10 virtual box for the odd occasion when i need a laugh to use software that doesn't have a Linux alternative or doesn't play nicely with wine,i also have the option to boot into windows,i think the last time that happened was just  after i installed it.
Quote
The system installs itself including drivers and particularly print drivers.  There's no hunting around, everything just works.
Strange ive found the opposite,on the last 2 machine builds ive had to install drivers for certain motherboard functions  to work under windows,most notable the network,however with Linux everything has worked out the box.
Quote
I always advise against double booting from the same hard disk. Windows does not play nice with Linux and will mess with the double boot. Better install each OS on its own HDD. That's what I do and save myself a lot of grief.
Install windows first,then Linux and all will be good. Instead of wasting a drive for the o/s use it for your home partition, that way you can reinstall the os  without losing your files settings etc.

 if you want to give linux a try  download one of the live discs,you can then run linux  without touching your hard drives,it will be slower but gives you and idea of what its like.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 12:26:24 pm by themadhippy »
 

Offline HoracioDos

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2019, 12:25:50 pm »
Out of Linux distros I quite like Linux Mint. The layout is similar to Windows. As previously mentioned, I would install Linux as a dual booting system with both operating systems.
I agree! but if your hardware is good enough you can create a VM first and learn in this environment. Once you have acquired some minimum skills you can switch to dual boot. The most frustrating thing for a newbie is losing grub config and do a manual recovery.
Linux Mint is the most friendly distro out there. Timeshift allows you to take system snapshots and restore them if you mess up your system. This tool is already installed and it is very easy to use it.
You can also install Paragon Backup and Recovery 17 free in Windows to make backups (ntfs, ext3, ext4) and recover the system using a pendrive and a external harddrive. It's very powerful and it includes a partition manager too.
Take periodic backups while you are a novice. When you become more skilled you will be able to solve many problems without them. This will save you a lot of headaches.
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2019, 02:01:56 pm »
Quote
I always advise against double booting from the same hard disk. Windows does not play nice with Linux and will mess with the double boot. Better install each OS on its own HDD. That's what I do and save myself a lot of grief.
Install windows first,then Linux and all will be good.

All will be good until your next Windows update. You can find lots of sad stories in the Linux Mint forum.

Hard disks are dirt cheap and I would rather have each OS on its own disk, And, as a bonus, if one disk dies or is messed up, you still have another perfectly well working OS. And back up data from one disk to the other. Really. HDD are dirt cheap.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2019, 10:36:36 pm »
Nowadays forget about hard drives. Use SSD instead; a virtual machine will also run faster from an SSD compared to a hard drive.
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Offline malagas_on_fire

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2019, 10:57:16 pm »
Although Linux is non-invasive to windows with grub but sometimes it windows decides to get rid of it, so dual boot is not a great stuff, as mentioned by Soldar. Try out the Linux OS in a virtual machine to check if GUI is easy to use to perform a full install. Either try one of the easy distros available on distrowatch.com:

https://distrowatch.com/

There is a top list and a image preview for each distro, eg MX-linux:

https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=mx


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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2019, 11:08:33 pm »
simple programs like Hyperterminal.
There's GTKterm and minicom on Linux. On Windows, the best serial terminal in my experience is Realterm, which also works on Linux with WINE.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2019, 11:36:08 pm »
simple programs like Hyperterminal.
There's GTKterm and minicom on Linux. On Windows, the best serial terminal in my experience is Realterm, which also works on Linux with WINE.
None of these have the combined features and ease of use like hyperterminal. What I use often is the connect/disconnect button because I have the debug CLI and firmware programming interface on the same UART.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2019, 12:21:52 am »
The one I use in the windows side for hyperterminal and SSH, Serial, Telnet and others are SecureCRT from VanDyke Software.

I have an old account for that software. Now they also have a Linux version.

https://www.vandyke.com/
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2019, 12:33:01 am »
The one I use in the windows side for hyperterminal and SSH, Serial, Telnet and others are SecureCRT from VanDyke Software.

I have an old account for that software. Now they also have a Linux version.

https://www.vandyke.com/
Seems interesting. Unfortunately no demo download without registering first.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline bingo600

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2019, 09:52:25 am »
I'm using Putty for telnet/ssh/serial on linux if Gui is needed (Free for linux & M$)  , and use minicom if commandline.

/Bingo
 


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