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What Linux distro do you recommend for computer illiterate seniors

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  1. cousinlucky
    I am wondering what linux distro is best suited for older people. Suse drove me up a wall and my computer's graphics card is not compatible with ubuntu, which caused me a lot of headaches.

    I guess things like gnash do not work on my computer because of that flaw!!

    At ant rate I see what Hazel means about ubuntu and I am reluctant to
    recommend it anymore!
  2. Rubberman
    Tell us something about your hardware Lucky.
  3. cousinlucky
    I am using a hp pavillion a532x desktop that has a 2800+AMD processor, 512MB ram, 160GB hard drive and a graphics card that Ubuntu 8.04 does not recognize!!
  4. hazel
    Well, surprisingly I've read in this forum about one or two elderly relatives who were put straight onto Debian Stable as their first working computer system and had no problems with it. It "just worked". Of course they weren't involved in the installation at all.

    SUSE is really an enterprise system and I wouldn't recommend any version of it for the personal desktop. For people who already have Windows experience, I always recommend Puppy, as it has a friendly look, runs very fast (even on old hardware) and can be installed inside Windows.
  5. Rubberman
    Lucky, have you tried Ubuntu 9.04 or later on this system? Try a live CD/DVD to see if it works first. Since the CPU is an AMD I am assuming that the video hardware is an ATI? Do you know what it is? In any case, it should work with the vesa driver. Every card I've seen since the early-mid 90's supports it.
  6. cousinlucky
    Rubberman, I get instant headaches just contemplating the frustration that I go through trying to install anything onto my computer; never mind another operating system!!

    If the good lord is willing I might someday have a worthwhile computer built, and then try other operating systems on it!!!
  7. glene77is
    Many OS now come in a Live-CD format, can sample them without installing.
    Live-CD will show you if it automatically detects your video.

    ***** Puppy 5.25 Linux runs on 128 Megbytes of RAM, and is my five-star favorite *****.

    Comes on a Live-CD, and will run forever from the Live-CD without any install.

    Puppy is very well supported, with many good features built-in,
    Puppy has many extensions / applications to download with auto-install.
    Puppy comes on a Live-CD ( for $2.35).
    My five-star ***** recommendation is this:
    * get the Live-CD for Puppy 5.25, boot-up, check it out.
    * run from Live-CD only, and select the option for a "Save File" to your HD, Only the "Save File" !
    * watch it run in small RAM. and detect your video card.
    * write back to us if it does not. Share the solution or share the misery.

  8. Rubberman
    Myself, I'm tempted to create a new distribution for the "geezerati" - call it "OFL - Old Fart Linux"...
    Special features?

    1. Up-to-date drivers for video, wireless, and other hardware.
    2. latest LibreOffice and any plugins necessary to handle MS Office files that aren't supported directly by LO.
    3. All the cruft needed to play/rip CDs, DVDs, and BluRay discs.
    4. Image manipulation and archival tools, including slide-show generation.
    5. Personal / Small Business accounting software (GnuCash, et al).

    More ideas?
  9. cousinlucky
    Someday my ship will come in and I'll hit a lottery number and be able to buy a new washing machine, a new juicer, and a new hand built computer with the best components instead of the cheap stuff presently in my HP a532x.
  10. Rubberman
    "Someday my ship will come in and I'll hit a lottery number and be able to buy a new washing machine, a new juicer, and a new hand built computer with the best components instead of the cheap stuff presently in my HP a532x."

    Let's see Lucky. We got a new dishwasher last year, a new (used) juicer at a garage sale for $5 a couple of weeks ago, and you can build a computer yourself with quality off-the-shelf components for only a small fortune! A dual cpu high-end system with 8GB of RAM and a bunch of disc space will cost you about $3000 less than the same configuration of an Apple Mac Pro. Of course, if you price the Mac Pro, the price would choke a horse... Ok, just priced one (8 cores @ 2.93GHz) - without display(s) comes to about $7 grand - choke!
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