• Creator
  • #2254029

    Newbie on the linux front


    by capefear ·

    Hello all I keep reading how wonderful linux is as a desktop operating system. I have never used linux before, but the interest is growing everyday. My question is for someone who knows absolutly nothing about linux where would i start to learn it and is there a simple flavor that i can use that is easy to install and use right out of the box. Thanks in advance.

All Answers

  • Author
    • #2527424


      by capefear ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front


    • #2527406

      you can test it without installing

      by jesus_c ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      Google mandriva download and download the iso.Burn the image to disk and you cant run the operating system off the disk without making the decision to install.If your happy you can install then.

      • #2528002

        Fastest “live” CD–Puppy Linux 2.14(latest stable version)

        by kenhultman ·

        In reply to you can test it without installing

        At Forget the misleading name– this is a unique distro that is blindingly fast and extremely easy to configure. It runs completly in RAM so it leaves other live versions of Linux in the dust and yet has a full complement of preinstaled software with many others available as optional downloads. Your configuration info and personal files and folders are saved and accessed via a small logical HD partition. What you have is a live distro that acts as a fully installed one without the Grub or Lilo dual boot manager. If nothing else its a great way to learn Linux before going on to the major installed versions.Also avilable at

    • #2527341

      some good sites to check

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      First of all, join a LUG ( Linux Users Group ). People there LOVE to help new people into linux and will be tripping over each other to help you. Many will even hand you a distro already downloaded and burnt to CD. They have monthly meetings and you get a good support group of peers.

      Here is an article about Feather linux, that can run off a CD or a flash drive.

      O’reilly books are king.

      Good luck!

      Oh yeah, check out this discussion by TechExec2 about migrating to linux. Will give you some good ideas.

      • #2527324

        Newbie on the linux front

        by capefear ·

        In reply to some good sites to check

        Thanks guys/girls for that information, I’m checking on it as we speak and so far so good. Wow seems like linux is more of a movement than software lol. Thanks again and hope to be able to speak more intelligently in the future about linux.

        • #2527245

          And if you found this helpful

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Newbie on the linux front

          It sure would be nice if you marked it as such…


          And yes, it can become as much of a mind-set as anything else.

          Here is another GREAT site for someone new to Linux and open source.

        • #2525877

          Grab a couple of live cds and see for yourself

          by johnson12 ·

          In reply to And if you found this helpful

          That is the best advice as to how to get to know Linux. You can find enough info on Google to make your head swim. But to get to know it you have to use it.

          Start with these live cds. Ubuntu, Mepis, PCLinux OS, and see which work best with your hardware. That way you won’t be fighting just to get everything working.Also they are new user friendly, and if you run into problems the forums are helpful to get answers.

          After you get some experience then you can try out distros every week until you find one you love.

        • #2525871

          Linux core or Gui

          by chauhan_kaushik ·

          In reply to Grab a couple of live cds and see for yourself

          I started iff with Fedora Core 5 ( after Red hat Linux). Red hat is much hands-on linux and Fedora is Gui based . I like both of them.

      • #2525822


        by leeburchfield ·

        In reply to some good sites to check

        I’m a big fan of the ubuntu-based distributions. Same thing you’ve heard about other dists–you can burn the iso to a cd and then boot from cd to use the OS without installing. If you’re installing on an older pc, there’s a different install cd you’ll want to burn. You have to burn the cd in a particular way, not just writing the .iso file to the cd. Free tools are available if you don’t already have something.

        • #2525730

          Ubuntu–User UN freindly ! ( and slow slow)

          by ihulland ·

          In reply to ubuntu/xubuntu

          I installed Ubuntu at the weekend–compared to “my” windows XP it is SO slow–my XP boots in 12 secs from cold to a desktop ( not that I EVER use thatr!) but I cannot find any COMPREHESIVE lists of shrtcut keys, and the e-mail program is very slow to open too ( P4 2.8ghzt–2Gbyte RAM)Perhaps there is a much more user-freindly version of Linucx out there? Still looking…..

        • #2527918

          Save yourself lots of time…..

          by fxef ·

          In reply to Ubuntu–User UN freindly ! ( and slow slow)

          If you think Ubuntu is un-friendly, save yourself lots of time and trouble and forget about Linux. Ubuntu is the simplest distro yet.

          For shortcut keys go here:

          Good luck,

        • #2526819

          I wonder why

          by rknrlkid ·

          In reply to Ubuntu–User UN freindly ! ( and slow slow)

          I’m running Ubuntu 6.06LTS on a 500mhz Compaq Presario with 8MB Video and 256MB RAM (on a wireless newwork). I was running XP Home prior to this. Ubuntu boots LOTS faster than XP ever did.

          As far as applications, yes, some of those are slow. Open Office takes about 4-5 seconds to open a document. These same sluggish times exist when using it with Windows too, so I think it is the program rather than Ubuntu that is the problem.

          Makes me curious why your system runs slower with it 🙂

        • #2526762

          Opposite experience

          by tct ·

          In reply to Ubuntu–User UN freindly ! ( and slow slow)

          Interesting. My experience with XP versus Ubuntu is that Ubuntu is considerably faster on the same machine. Obviously, YMMV.

          As for being user friendly, are you equating speed and shortcut keys to user friendliness? Not how I usually frame that concept.

          Maybe you might be happier with Kbuntu? It uses the KDE destop which is more similar to Windows in my opinion. Or perhaps try Xandros. I found that Xandros worked flawlessly with the other XP machines on my network, was fast on an older machine (P3 800mhz with 768m of RAM) and used the KDE desktop.

        • #2521075

          Clarification ?

          by ihulland ·

          In reply to Opposite experience

          Thanks for the tips, and encouraging comments.
          I never go desktop normally, just use shortcuts to raise apps and various pre-constructed windows/mail frameworks.- I am not saying Ubuntu is slow to open it’s various windows -just that I am used to an alternative way ( routine?) to do my tasks–Perhaps I have just got lazy over the years but to me, to have to go to a “desktop” at all is already an unnecessary stage, but I AM determined to persevere, today I looked at about 4 more flavours of Linux, in the office.But they all seem to be based on the “Go to desktop, and click on various menus, until to drill down to where you want”- type philosophies-I am hoping ( May be in vain?) for a way to call up apps/windows via key shortcuts, or at worst( slowest) a mouse-over.
          In MY current XP Pro, I can open three editing apps,select media, and simultaneously send a mail, with some 6 hits of the keys-never a need to drill down to any “desktop”-this, obviously makes one a bit lazy–does that explain my dilemma any better? Hoping for an exhaustive list of simple keystrokes or whatever…

        • #2521339

          RE: Clarification

          by jessechoward ·

          In reply to Clarification ?

          Can you give a specific example of what you are talking about in XP? Are you using the “windows” key on your keyboard to open the start menu and navigating with the arrow keys?

          If so there are similar ways to do this on KDE and Gnome desktops using similar keystrokes however it will involve using alt or control instead.

        • #2521230

          Nice info-will follow it up-thanks-need 50+ keys tho.

          by ihulland ·

          In reply to RE: Clarification

          Thanks for that tip–Actually, one of the first thing I do on any of my machines at home ( 4 at present) is to re-map the keyboard, I utilise the following as “hot Keys” left and right Windows, left and right Ctrl, all the Number keys, and some two, three and four combinations, not to mention a few keys with pre-set mouse presses for the lesser used ones. I never used to use the caps lock key so I use that as a sort of extra “Win” key for most of my Graphics app launches, it is really a metter of setting up the entire thing with a system that YOU find easy to remember–once I do that on all my pc’s I really can fly along with hardly ever touching the mouse, the desktop or even Windows Explorer( reduntant on my pc’s except for initially setting up defulat actions/views. I suppose I will just have to PRETEND I am learning Windows to LEARN Linux??

    • #2525851

      The problem with Linux

      by divaddrof ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      The problem with Linux – from a Windows user’s point of view, is that there are so many different options. If you’ve been used to not having to think about your operating system – because there was only one Windows – it can be a bit daunting.

      The operating system field falls easily into two areas.

      1/ Systems that hide from the user and allow him/her to just get on with using the applications to do the work. Ubuntu is probably a good example here.

      2/ Systems that demand user attention and give pleasure to those who enjoy being in control. I’d suggest Debian here – Slackware is just too difficult to start off with.

      RedHat/Fedora and derivatives fall somewhere between the two. I haven’t used SuSe for some time so I can’t place it for you – Novell’s influence must make it worth considering though.

      Then of course you are faced with the choice of window manager – this is a completely foreign concept to Windows users. KDE/Gnome are the Windows/Mac look-a-likes but there are many others.

      The main problem is that there is no direct replacement – out of the box – for Windows.

      You can have all the facillities that you expect from Windows in Linux but “Some adjustment may be necessary”. For instance, you can pick up your Hotmail with Thunderbird (the Firefox mail client) but only if you install ‘gotmail’. To get ‘gotmail’ working you will probably need to get ‘sendmail’ working first. And there are many other examples that I can’t think of at this moment.

      I switched away from Windows when XP came out and I’ve not used it since then. There were times when it would have been quicker and easier to just use my old Win98 box (I kept it for years – just in case) but with a bit of Googling (and a moderate amout of bad language) I have been able to do everything I need with my Linux workststion.

      Was it worth the effort?
      It has been frustrating from time to time, but I must have enjoyed it, I’m still here after all!

      Most importantly I have had an operating system that I can update when I need some new feature or peripheral and that has allowed me to use wireless cards, import and manipulate photos from my camera, create, play and edit music and process words, spread sheets, browse, email, skype, instant message, manage my finances, at least as well as my Windows friends who have “kept up with the Gates’s”.

      Hope this helps

      Currently running Fedora Core 3 on a PIII 650 Mhz box – but thinking of moving up to FC6 also Debian ‘Sarge’ on a P166 laptop with 32Mb ram – just because I can.

      • #2525836

        A Lesson from Russia

        by carltonhobbs ·

        In reply to The problem with Linux

        One thing to consider, Microsoft presents a one solution fits all, where you don’t have to … or get to think.

        Linux presents many options. It is like coming out of a Soviet system and being overwhelmed by so many choices in a freer market. Some old people who left the USSR and came to the West never got used to it and decided to go back.

        Hopefully that should encourage people to spend the bit of effort to adjust. I’d recommend. I’m a non-techie and made the switch about 3 months ago. Actually, I still dual boot with XP for times I don’t have time to figure out something new. It’s not often.

    • #2525850

      Ubuntu or Kubuntu

      by grewcockd ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      If you have an old machine lying around, try: (It will work on a new one even better.8-))
      Ubuntu (South african for freedom, or something like that?)or Kubuntu for a more ‘Widows like” desktop. (Just google it and then download is totally free, but it may take a while, its quite big).
      It installs itself with hardly any input, finds most hardware and configures it,
      and JUST works! (I have had it running for over 3 moths, and It hasn’t crashed once!!,
      My copy of Vista Ultimate on the other hand’
      crashes at least 3 times a day!!)
      It has, as part of the install:
      An office suite,
      A couple of internet browsers
      CD/DVD writing programs
      Various ‘editors/viewers’
      and other ‘stuff’
      It just works.
      The only thing is, it is a bit difficult (different) installing other programs and drivers, but once you get used to the Linux
      way of doing things, then it’s fine. The nice thing is, there is loads of help on the net
      for Linux in general.

    • #2525848

      Live CD vs install

      by turninheads ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      There are many great Live CD’s that you can try first to
      determine what type of distro you may like as they all
      have their set of advantages and disadvantages. Distro’s i
      can recommend to a complete newbie would be Mandriva,
      SuSe, and Fedora Core. Once you learn linux and get more
      comfortable you may want to try Gentoo – it is by no
      means meant for noobie’s but it is an incredibly powerful
      distro that is completely compiled from source, so it is
      optimized for your specific machine with only the features
      you want and use.

    • #2525847

      Here is a site worth looking at

      by gcstout ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front You can download a simple Linux which you can IPL from a CD. It is a full featured Linux with a lot of help.

    • #2525828

      Free full-blown SUSE Linux with Star Office

      by coco6809 ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      Novell has a VMWare image that you can download as an appliance. You can use VMWare’s free Player or Server and use it on your XP box with no issues. This will help you to learn without having to jeopardize your XP install.

    • #2525826

      Noob at one week

      by viztor ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      I’ve tried many live linux CDs. They worked fine on my daughter’s desktop, but wouldn’t talk to the internet on my laptop. People are your best resource. Check the links to local user groups Fortunately I work with someone who knows linux and was able to sort out my problems. Google can be helpful, but if you don’t know the lingo, it can be frustrating.

      Once you are up and running, experiment.

      (By the way, the Opera browser lets you burn an ISO of a downloaded linux image when you click on the file in the Transfers window.)

      Good luck and have fun.

    • #2525809

      Fedora Core6

      by chuckmba ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      I use Fedora Core6 it is very intuitive like Windows unlike the other versions like KDE, (think I have it right) For the most part very easy to install unless you have unique hardware like I have. I am using an old Compaq DL360 server that has two NICs which makes it great as firewall server. The only problem I have right now it trying to get firestarter configured. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Also be carefull uninstalling things that you don’t need. Since I am using a server I do not have a sound card, CD/DVD burner or USB ports I tried unistalling things that I thought were associated with these devices and ended up re-installing everything all over again. Finally I gave up. I have 4 GB of RAM, with everything installed and running I’m using less than 300MB.

    • #2525805

      Multiple Linux’s

      by john.ammon ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      At work of course we run just about all the flavors of Linux. I have a small test lab (because of space) and run all 6 different linuxs on one computer. You don’t need a monster PC, an older 1.5 or 2.0GHZ and 512MB PC will do to learn on. I use removeable hard drive trays. They are cheap $20.00 a piece and everybody has a bunch of old hard drives laying around. I just asked and people started piling old 40GB HDD’s on my desk. I’d download the .ISO’s from reputable sites and burn your own DVD or CD’s. Most CD/DVD burning software has a burn CD/DVD from ISO images feature. I’d also start with Fedora, SUSE, Red Hat, Ubuntu and Debian Linux. The only real difference is where things are laid out and how they look.

    • #2525798

      Try Mepis

      by 79spitfire ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      Try Mepis linux, it also has the “try before install” feature of a live and install disk in one, has excellent hardware detection, and a very friendly, helpful community to get you started.

    • #2525796

      Fedora Core is good

      by vernonhorn ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      I had no experience with Linux when I did my first Fedora Core install on an old laptop. It did take a couple of tries and some tinkering, but in the end I wound up with a machine that has worked fast and well. Good Luck!

    • #2525789

      easy distribution

      by nlsn_gonzalez ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      I’m a rookie too. I tested different linux distribution like: Mandrake 9.1 (now Mandriva), Red Hat 9, Ubuntu 6.10, OpenSuse 10.1. Recently I tested a very easy distribution, beautiful design, very intuitive, got samba installed by default. I fall in love at the first time I used. The distribution is freespire, it’s like windows. When you prepare the cd, you can boot from them (live cd) first to tested.

      • #2527856

        Newbie on the linux front

        by capefear ·

        In reply to easy distribution

        It seems like the best approach here is to work a few of these distro’s, read, read somemore, then the learning starts once you actually tinker around with linux.The nice thing that i’ve read so far is that i don’t need a new super laptop or desktop for that matter to get linux up and running. I’m so tempted to upgrade from XP pro to vista, but since joining this forum and reading up on the hiprocrisy of microsoft (secret codes) that linux is the way to go. Seems like other than being a great OS it helps and motivates you to think and then do. I’m so sick of my version of XP telling me I need updates and when i go to download them or patches, my version says that my copy of XP may be counterfit.

        • #2521309

          Relative Noob to Linux

          by aleshire_rick ·

          In reply to Newbie on the linux front

          I feel your pain about XP telling you can’t update because you software “may not be genuine”! On my old system, I wiped XP out completely and used Fresspire – great distro as it looks and feels just like XP – with OpenOffice as part of the package, you are up and running basically all the MS Office suite of programs.

          Just recently bought a new laptop with dual 120 gig harddrives – XP Media Center is the OS and I am trying to figure out how I can dual-boot to the second hard drive – does anyone know if this can be done? Or should I just dual-boot on my “C” drive and use second drive for all the data saves?

    • #2525786

      Puppy Linux,

      by netjess ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      This is the best small quick and easy linux distributions I have come across.
      Two official sites to download and get info.

      • #2525748

        Also pretty new to Linux

        by glgruver ·

        In reply to Puppy Linux,

        I have heard about Puppy Linux and since I have an old PII laptop, I plan to try the two together sometime soon. I have tried a number of live cd distros and my favorites so far are freespire and mepis. In fact, I am strongly considering the purchase of Linspire for my main home computer, but have heard so many good things about the latest Red Hat version that I may go that route instead.

      • #2528109

        Something VERY familiar about those TWO sites

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Puppy Linux,

        Heck, it would take a trained professional to even tell the difference? 😀

    • #2525750

      Great Linux Distro: Ubuntu Edgy

      by jnhannah ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      I use Ubuntu edgy at home. I now run MythTV on Ubuntu and it rocks. Ubuntu is a great distro for any first time Linux users, or user who might be converting from Windows to Linux.

    • #2525725

      Edited by moderator

      by beth blakley ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      edited by moderator

      Message was edited by: beth.blakely@…
      Posted: 03/23/2007 @ 07:41 (edited 03/23/2007 @ 08:07)

      • #2528110

        NOT Edited by moderator

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Edited by moderator

        [b]NOT[/b] Edited by moderator

        Message was [b]NOT[/b] edited by: beth.blakely@…
        Posted: 03/23/2007 @ 07:41 ( [b]NOT[/b] edited 03/23/2007 @ 08:07)

    • #2525680

      Linux – which one- depends on what you like the most

      by intrepi ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      I’ve tried a few versions of Linux, all were full versions and although SuSe was my first choice, it wasn’t my preferred choice. To be objective in finding which version of Linux works for you and which one you like, depends on you. I tried Ubuntu, I liked it but it was lacking, so I tried Xandros Business Edition 3
      and I liked it a lot. I moved up to Xandros Professional 4.01 and I like it the most. I’d like to try Mandriva as I’ve read some very good reviews but I can’t make a comment on it as yet. Read a lot of reviews and go to various Linux distro websites and read what they have, don’t have, options, etcetera as this was the main reason I chose Xandros

    • #2525660

      If you are a “Linux Newbie”

      by contact-pro9 ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      1. Start with the most easy distribution and work your way up untill you are satisfied.

      2. Go to the Ubunto web site and *** READ EVERYTHING *** there.

      3. There are 3 flavours. Ubunto, Kbunto, Xbunto.

      4. Xbunto is for older computers (read= slower).

      5. Ubunto & Kbunto are the same except for the “Graphical Front End” (user interface).

      6. Download all 3 ISO files (including the runable from a CD versions) to a hard drive.

      7. Beg, borrow, or steal a cpy of NERO 7 Ultimate to burn each ISO file to a installable CD and/or runable CD.

      8. Run each version from a CD untill you decide wich one you want to use.

      9. *** READ EVERYTHING *** you can find on or off the web about the version you install.

      10. Join a Linux Club (preferably one with a Ubunto section).

      11. *** READ EVERYTHING *** you can find on or off the web about the version you install, again.

      12. *** READ EVERYTHING *** you can find on or off the web about the version you install, yet again.

      Good luck, stay with it – I know you will love it once you get it going.

      • #2528060

        Easier than that

        by freebird54 ·

        In reply to If you are a “Linux Newbie”

        It should not be difficult to find a place to download an .iso file to try out a likely version. It is CERTAINLY no problem to find a burner program that will do the job for you – assuming Windows as a start point 🙂 Right here (TR or ZDNet) in the downloads are several freeware burners that will do the job without drama..

        As for which to try? Most like Windows – PCLinuxOS. Old hardware – PuppyLinux or DamnSmallLinux. Best support forums? Ubuntu family (Kubuntu – KDE desktop, Xubuntu Xfce desktop, Ubuntu – Gnome desktop. Works well – ALL of them 🙂 (that are stable releases – not Mint yet)

        Enjoy – the switch is not hard. Remember – if Linux were just like Windows, how could it be better than Windows?? Check this:

        (recommended reading)

      • #2528043


        by bdfew ·

        In reply to If you are a “Linux Newbie”

        If one really needs to beg borrow or steal Nero7 you could just use the deepburner free program which will do a good job.

    • #2527901

      Ubuntu FTW

      by jmgarvin ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      As for documentation, the Ubuntu forums are quite nice.

      Also, a lot of people seem to like PCLinux and Linspire as well.

      for disto information and
      for information.

      You can also post questions here and people tend to get back to you…

      Good luck!

    • #2527895

      First with Live CD .. next VMware and then on the Hard Drive

      by kumvnode ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      newbie for Linux can try the linux following the phases below.

      1.) In the first phase work with a LiveCD. (Knoppix ) The Live CD contains the entire Linux and will install itself on the fly.

      2. ) In the next phase install linux on VMWare or MS Virutal PC . This will create an image of Linux.

      3.) Once your are comfortable with Linux and have passed the above phases you can then install linux on the Hard drive and go live with it

      by Vinod

    • #2526989


      by oleevi ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

    • #2521013

      Here are a bunch of Linux resources for you …

      by jasonhiner ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front


      Here are a bunch of resources that might help. Good luck!

      Regards, Jason

      [b]Linux 101: How to set up Linux on a PC[b]

      [b]Demystifying the Linux operating system[b]

      [b]Links for Linux Newbies[b]

      [b]10 things I love about Linux[b]

      [b]Nine reasons why 2006 wasn’t a lost year for Linux[b]

      [b]Giving up on Linux and going back to Windows[b]

      [b]Why does Linux hate me?[b]

      [b]Ten words or less: “I don’t use Linux because…”[b]

    • #2520811

      One who started with NO KNOWLEDGE!

      by thmiuatga ·

      In reply to Newbie on the linux front

      I started running Linux with absolutely No knowledge of it nor it’s initial setup. It took me hours but in time I learned enough to operate it and get into trouble too. The distrobution I suggest is Mandriva. this is the EASIEST to set up and run. People keep telling you SUSE, UBUNTU, RED HAT. FEDORA CORE but trust me, if you don’t know how to set up your partitions at all you will be lost and extremely frustrated. You must be able to set up your partitions first and this knowledge is important even more so if you are using multiple hard drives. Mandriva is your best bet. You can use PCLINUXOS or MEPIS but they usually don’t run all your installed hardware though they may be detected. I own and have used both programs.

      I am presently running Mandriva 2007 on one of my computers with no problems at all; in fact it was one of few that tested well on my newly constructed dual core system.

      This is the easiest one to start and run with and believe me I have the others I mentioned and not all of them run well, especially on my new computer.

      Get yourself a copy of “Linux for Dummies” and start reading. this should provide you with an insight on what Linux is and what it’s inner workings are with little technical jargon to confuse you.

      then get yourself a copy of Mandriva 2007.

      • #2520761

        Newbie on the linux front

        by capefear ·

        In reply to One who started with NO KNOWLEDGE!

        All of the suggestions in this forum are informative.However, Thmiuatga’s response is on point and exactly what i was hoping to find out. Thanks Thmiuatga (straight and to the point.) The other memebers with those links and also explainations in the body of their reply are outstanding. I’m trying to for a study group, im just getting into cisco ccna and was wondering if linux would be a good fit or windows?. I just purchased a few low end of sale routers 2511,2×2501’s 1×3620 1×3640 and 3500 switch.

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