Linux for dummies - where to start

Started Jan 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
abelits
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Re: Linux for dummies - where to start
In reply to CAcreeks, Jan 5, 2013

CAcreeks wrote:

abelits wrote:

In that case you might want to install Linux as a virtual machine, instead of dual booting. Virtual Box is free, as I believe is VMware Player. Both should be able to install a Linux virtual machine inside your Windows OS.

I disagree completely. Virtual machines are for running operating systems the user really, really hates to use, or Windows.

Well, you could be right, don't most Linux advocates really hate to use Windows?

Yes, however even those who love Windows have valid reasons for running Windows in VM.

I have Linux completely installed on this old Dell laptop here, but this afternoon I was pleasantly surprised how fast it was to run from a USB stick. Much faster than running from CD, and not a whole lot slower than running from disk.

It depends on the size of things you run and the speed of USB stick, however it's definitely much faster than CD or DVD.

Trying out various Linux distributions to see which one you like is easy if you put them on a USB stick and set your PROM to boot from that device instead of disk.

USB sticks are fine for running relatively small configurations, however one would need USB hard drive to do something like photo processing, and then it's not fundamentally different from a regular drive. As for trying different distributions, in my experience a newbie is not capable of making any meaningful comparison between distributions, but the fact that he is "just trying" prevents him from learning things at any depth before he re-formats his drive.

I recommend to stick with anything Debian-based (Debian itself, Ubuntu/Kubuntu, Mint...), and make all changes by installing and uninstalling packages. This is contrary to everyone's experience with Windows, where starting from anything but "clean" OS installation means drowning in filthy gunk left by previous attempts to install things, but this is how package management is meant to work, and it actually does.

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