New to Linux thinking of having a play

By Tritton · 12 replies
Jul 20, 2009
  1. Basicly I want to have a play with Linux. Just want to know where to start
    well I know the first bit, and thats what one to get
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    If the computer was built in the last 5 years you may be best off with Ubuntu just because it seems to be the most popular and hence will be easier to find help on. What do you want to do with it though?
  3. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

    play. (not in the sense of playing games just)
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,036   +2,558

    As SNGX1275 pointed out the newest version "Ubuntu", would be your best bet.

    I would additionally suggest that you use the "WUBI" installer, which allows you to install the OS via Windows.

    I say this for several reasons; You could run the OS "live", directly from the CD, but very little in the way of programs will be fully available.

    If you install it fully, you would need to use the Linux bootloader "GRUB" to allow you to dual boot with Windows. GRUB defaults to Linux if unattended. So, if you're not paying attention, you get Linux whether you need it or not. Yes, that could be changed, but with some difficulty.

    The "WUBI" solution offers a mid point solution between the 2 extremes.

    Linux "live CDs" offer the possibility of being used as a boot disc, to enable access on a system where Windows may not load. The latest distros read and write "NTFS" files, so they can be used to salvage and backup files.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,177   +990

    There are version (like Knoppix) which will run directly from a CD without and install,
    thus making 'try and like it' less destructive.
  6. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

    well I was thinking of putting on a machine with vista so duel boot how ever I won't always have this vista machine so at some point I would want to ghost the partion with it on to a same sized parition on a XP machine
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,036   +2,558

    As does Ubuntu. The standard download is considered a "Live" CD.
  8. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

    ok well I think I will go for Ubuntu and duel boot with GRUB
    is there anythink I need to know about installing
    So got the vision do I gess it's on to the GUI and application what can you have etc
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,036   +2,558

    First, Ubuntu installs quite easily, (dozen or so clicks), via GUI

    However, I think you missed the point of the "try it before you buy it" utility of a "live" CD, or the "WUBI" installer.

    If you install Linux completely, then it's more or less forever. It can be difficult to remove it, should you desire to do so.

    Second, Linux will create partitions if you ask it to do so. Unlike Windows, it will do so on a disc with information on it without destroying that info, but within certain limitations.

    If I were to install Linux to the HDD, (without WUBI), I would want to do so on a HDD that was much more empty than full. I would also run the defragger at least 1 or 2 times, so that there are contiguous data blocks for the necessary partitions to be created.

    Other than that, I would use the latest version available. as device detection, and device drivers get better with every release.
  10. Tritton

    Tritton TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 108

    I just had a though, is Linux free. cus it would want a free vision
  11. arkantos

    arkantos TS Member Posts: 46


    yes, ubuntu is free and also tech supported i'm also using it now but on a separate hardisk (my old one 30gb maxtor).
  12. lnvisible

    lnvisible TS Rookie

    You can run ubuntu from a pen-drive with a persistence file that lets you configure and modify it, you can even install programs. I've been using it that way for a while and decided to install debian after some time for two reasons:

    - the persistence file is great, but when writing and reading the program you are using may hang for a few seconds. With firefox that's a big inconvenience, as usually it is the only program I'm using, I will probably try chrome (several processes) when available.
    - I wanted to expand my knowledge and know more about linux and computers, I think debian will help me, and I hope forum users too ;) The performance seems better also.

    Before going with ubuntu you should take a look to the different versions there are, kubuntu and xubuntu at least, the differences are mostly the GUI, but I think the performance in xubuntu is better, and even better in debian. Besides, the customization is really good in linux when compared with windows, choosing the GUI that fits better your likes is a good way of start experiencing this customizability.
  13. WinXPert

    WinXPert TS Guru Posts: 445

    Why not try PCLinuxOS or LinuxMint. Ubuntu is popular but mine (Ubuntu 7 & 8) can't play mp3 and videos out of the box.
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