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Hi, guys. This is my first foray into this forum. There's a terrific deal at Walmart, where i can buy a Windows 7 starter Acer Aspire netbook for only $228 ...
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    Undoing Win7 on netbook then installing Debian -- see any problems?


    Hi, guys. This is my first foray into this forum. There's a terrific deal at Walmart, where i can buy a Windows 7 starter Acer Aspire netbook for only $228 US. I want to buy it, wipe Windows off it, then install Debian to the non-OS drive. Have any of you had any experience with this, and feel like giving me any pointers? This will be the first time I install Linux on a hard drive, so I wanted to do it with a new machine which doesn't cost much.

    There's also a dual-boot Acer 8573-9627 (with all the latest specs, including i7) which works well with Linux. Its native dual boot is Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit. But that machine costs $1,000 at Walmart. So I didn't want to start there.

    Finally, it's my understanding that after I install Debian, if there are certain components from other distros I want to install, that's okay.. right? For example, I really like Zorin's ability to look like XP (don't laugh too hard, I'm an XP junkie). It uses both the Debian and the Ubuntu libraries. So do I install Debian first, which has all the packages (in Squeeze), or do I install Zorin first (which only has some packages)?

    Thank you for your time!

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    Just Joined! ltnemo2000's Avatar
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    ha...yeah, thats pretty common. you do that and install almost anything you want with apt-get. Im pretty sure you can use alien to run stuff downloaded from the yum repository.
    dont use zorin or ubuntu if you like an older windows feel. linux mint has cinnamon which is a dream for people who want a simple and old-school environment with all the nice GUIs built in. (although Im partial to KDE and would encourage you to try it) Its still debian though so your support base is still there. (LM is growing really fast since unity became ubuntu standard.)
    you can install any distro as a starting point to build from. It all depends on how much time you feel like spending on making your computer personal. Debian has the most variability here. you would likely want to install debian and then add packages using apt-get. if you dont want to spend any time personalizing, install ubuntu zorin or mint.
    install the distro that has the packages you want. since you sound new to linux, my opinion is going to be this:
    Linux Mint 13 "Maya" - Cinnamon (64-bit) - Linux Mint
    for a more geeky distro with all the ease of use:
    Linux Mint "Debian" - 201204 MATE/Cinnamon 64-bit - Linux Mint
    ^ is a rolling release and debian based. its similar enough to xp that learning wont be too hard as long as you know some linux.

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    Linux Newbie hagfish52's Avatar
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    It's best if you pick a Linux distribution and then only install the packages for that distro. Not saying it is not possible, for instance some Debian packages will install in Ubuntu, which is derived from Debian. Where you run into trouble, I think, is in installing dependencies and package updates. A dependency is a program that has to be installed before you install your package, in order for it to run properly. If you are using your distro's package manager, dependencies are installed automatically. Your distro's update manager makes sure all of your packages are up to date. But these functionalities are missing for packages that are "imported" from other distros. So my advice is to pick Debian or Zorin and then only use packages from those distributions.

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    Thank you, Itnemo2000 and hagfish! You both gave me a full spectrum of answers. I looked at Mint also, Itnemo2000. My goal was to start with a distro that had ALL the Linux packages, and the only one I found, was Debian's. This way I can see what happens. Would start with Squeeze, since it's stable. I don't know any Linux code, hagfish, but am a DOS junkie so it's just a question of learning the Linux lingo. I wanted GUI only to ease the transition.

    You both gave me a procedural path. So thank you! It will be months before I implement it, so if you don't hear back from me for awhile, that's only because I have to finish the US tax season, first. Thank you again!

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