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Want to take a crack at Linux. Any good walkthroughs?

#1King_GheedorahPosted 9/22/2013 1:49:56 AM
I've never run a separate OS before. So a walkthrough would really be needed for me. I just don't want to jack up my pre-existing OS.

I want to check out Linux more than anything for curiosity.

So what's a good version to get my hands on. Most Linux operating systems are legally free, right?

And yeah, a good in depth walkthrough on how to install it without interfering with Windows would be great.
#2Knight2520Posted 9/22/2013 2:15:37 AM(edited)
If you're just curious, download VirtualBox and install a Ubuntu distro in a VM. Both VirtualBox and Ubuntu are free. No need to worry about changing your bootloader, as I've not been all that impressed with GRUB.

https://www.virtualbox.org/
http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

It will be slightly laggy in the VM, but you can decide if you want to go through the trouble of making Ubuntu a main OS or if you want to try another distro.
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#3betatechPosted 9/22/2013 2:28:50 AM(edited)
I would use a VM as Knight2520 says, as long as you have a half decent system. This way you can do things without any fears (one time someone I knew wiped a hdd because they didn't look at what they were doing).

I also personally use Linux Mint Cinnamon, its based on ubuntu but has a nicer UI and some other things included (including a link to a guide on login IIRC).

When learning Linux, it's a question of what you want to learn.

For me, I just wanted to be able to do something then I looked it up online or just tried looking.

For example, when I was in the command prompt I tried to run something but was told I needed higher privileges. I looked it up and read about the "sudo" command which does this.

Also, I learned about the "man" command which gives some details on commands e.g. "man tar", which is like the "/?" switch on windows.
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#4ECOsvaldoPosted 9/22/2013 2:29:59 AM
Since you're going to be a first-time Linux user, I would suggest to check out Linux Mint.

Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distribution whose goal is to provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience by including browser plugins, media codecs, support for DVD playback, Java and other components. Not only does it add custom desktop and menus, several unique configuration tools, and a web-based package installation interface, Linux Mint is also compatible with Ubuntu software repositories.

Also, I would suggest install Linux Mint 13 because it has long term support (support until April 2017), compared to version 14 and 15. They offer four different types of desktop configurations:

MATE - fork of Gnome 2, a continuation of the desktop that was used in Mint 11 and earlier (works on less powerful hardware)
Cinnamon - designed to look more like and have a workflow similar to the Gnome 2 desktop
Xcfe - lightweight desktop environment which aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly
KDE - vibrant, innovative, advanced, modern looking and full-featured desktop environment

Linux Mint 13 MATE - http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=104
Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon - http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=106
Linux Mint 13 Xfce - http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=114
Linux Mint 13 KDE - http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=116
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#5ElDudorinoPosted 9/22/2013 7:31:14 AM
Just get used to Googling. Some distros have hugely-helpful user bases with established sites/forums where you can ask questions... but if you run a search for your issue you'll probably find that somebody else has already asked that question anyway. So, Google a lot. Make it a priority to get your internet working so you can Google from within your Linux install, or keep a laptop/netbook/tablet/whatever nearby for quick searches for any issues that spring up.

I haven't messed with anything Linux in like maybe 6 years now (not since the earliest betas of Windows 7, which addressed most of my concerns with Vista) and I've heard people say that you'll no longer run into significant Dependency Hell with the popular distributions but my experience at the time with Ubuntu was that any time you install any kind of program on a fresh OS installation, you'll have to spend some time looking up all its dependencies so it'll run properly. Like, find the Python runtime environment. Then find out you already HAVE one that's a newer version than what's required but for some reason the older version isn't detected on your system. Then search the net only to find that you have to do something wonky like uninstall python 4, install Python 3, THEN install Python 4 to progress, then you think you're done but you find out you need to install some other dependencies as well... Hell.

So, maybe that's not an issue now for most setups. Could be the case. But I'd still be prepared for a lot of Googling just in case. Even once you have that stuff figured out, you'll need to know terminal commands anyway, so there's still that.
#6AlexTheNextOnePosted 9/22/2013 7:39:22 AM
ECOsvaldo posted...
Since you're going to be a first-time Linux user, I would suggest to check out Linux Mint.

Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distribution whose goal is to provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience by including browser plugins, media codecs, support for DVD playback, Java and other components. Not only does it add custom desktop and menus, several unique configuration tools, and a web-based package installation interface, Linux Mint is also compatible with Ubuntu software repositories.

Also, I would suggest install Linux Mint 13 because it has long term support (support until April 2017), compared to version 14 and 15. They offer four different types of desktop configurations:

MATE - fork of Gnome 2, a continuation of the desktop that was used in Mint 11 and earlier (works on less powerful hardware)
Cinnamon - designed to look more like and have a workflow similar to the Gnome 2 desktop
Xcfe - lightweight desktop environment which aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly
KDE - vibrant, innovative, advanced, modern looking and full-featured desktop environment

Linux Mint 13 MATE - http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=104
Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon - http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=106
Linux Mint 13 Xfce - http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=114
Linux Mint 13 KDE - http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=116


+1

I personally tried out Mint 15 Cinnamon a while back, and really, really liked it, plus I found it easy to get used to, since it has many similarities to a Windows-style desktop.
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Read everything, listen to everybody, believe nothing, until you can prove it through your own research. For that is the true mark of intelligence.
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#7ShubPosted 9/22/2013 7:40:25 AM
Definitely use a VM for your first exposure, that way you don't have to actually mess with your working Windows setup.
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#8New LinkPosted 9/23/2013 5:54:07 AM
Just remember that without a proper virtualization environment (like kvm or xen) you're going to take a SEVERE performance hit by not only having the overhead of running all of the bloat from Windows, but also the lack of any real hardware acceleration from a hypervisor. You could get away with running a jail or a chroot to test out a new distribution and get better performance without the need for true virtualization, but that's not available for windows...

So yeah, if all you have avaible to you is virtualbox or vmware -- go for it, just imagine everything being 15-20x faster for when you set up a dual-boot environment on bare metal.
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#9SinisterSlayPosted 9/23/2013 6:52:21 AM
Ok these guys are crazy

Grab the Mint ISO and burn it

Stick it into your drive while windows is running.

It will ask you if you want to install Mint inside windows

Do it, it will ask how much space to use.

Continue through the setup.

Restart your computer, choose Mint from the menu screen you get.


Your done.

When you are sick of it, fire up windows, go to add/remove programs. And uninstall Linux Mint.
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#10ChetyrePosted 9/23/2013 6:57:45 AM(edited)
New Link posted...
Just remember that without a proper virtualization environment (like kvm or xen) you're going to take a SEVERE performance hit by not only having the overhead of running all of the bloat from Windows, but also the lack of any real hardware acceleration from a hypervisor. You could get away with running a jail or a chroot to test out a new distribution and get better performance without the need for true virtualization, but that's not available for windows...

So yeah, if all you have avaible to you is virtualbox or vmware -- go for it, just imagine everything being 15-20x faster for when you set up a dual-boot environment on bare metal.


nonsense. As long as the processor supports virtualization extensions (VT-x or AMD-V) performance for non-graphical and non IO-intensive operation is not an issue. And pretty much any crappy processor in the last 5 years offers that.

Of course, KVM and XEN are still more efficient that virtualbox, but that is because they work at a lower level in the system. They all use the same extensions to make that possible.
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