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Hello all, today was my first day really trying out Linux, and I must say, I am very impressed. While I have no Linux experience, I am a computer technician, ...
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  1. #1
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    Best distro for non computer users?


    Hello all, today was my first day really trying out Linux, and I must say, I am very impressed. While I have no Linux experience, I am a computer technician, and have a question regarding the best distro of Linux to use for some laptops that we are going to sell at my store.

    I work in a computer shop that is not located in one of the best areas of the Hampton roads, Virginia area. The owner has about 400 Dell Latitudes C600's that we are trying to resale. The machines have Pentium 3's running at about 700mhz, and we are planning on selling the laptops with 256mb of ram. The machines are not capable of running Windows XP SP3 efficently. I work in an area where unfortunately, the people are not very bright, nor do they have much common sense.

    I have tried several versions of Linux, Fedora, Xubuntu, Damn Small Linux, and Puppy (?). I think they are all great, but we need a distro of Linux that is very lite. Youtube playback is very choppy, with Firefox, and that is the primary thing that we need to work. The distro will also have to have as few "administrator tools" programs as possible because we do not want our customers damaging their machines accidently, or on purpose.

    Basically, what distrobution do you all recommend that will:

    1. Browse the internet smoothly, and be able to view youtube, porntube, youporn, ect. well enough that the playback is not choppy.

    2. Have as few super user type programs as possible. I am not talking about Word type programs ovbiously, but programs that the regular person would not know how to use.

    3. Be as simple as possible to the average user who would know basically nothing about computers.

    4. Be compatable with external wireless cards, whether they are USB or PCMCIA.

    I appologize for the long post, we plan on eventually making a donation if we can find a Linux distrobution, since we would be putting it on roughly 300-400 laptops.

    Thanks for your time guys!

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer Segfault's Avatar
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    Lubuntu

    Keep in mind Linux distribution may be the lightest but web browser may be still slow, and this is the problem of browser+plugin+website combination. Some sites are just heavy on resources.

    Best distro for non computer users?


    Do non computer users need computers?

  3. #3
    oz
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    Hello and welcome to the forums!

    Another one that you could try that might work well for you is Zenwalk:

    www.zenwalk.org - Ever tried zen computing?

    I believe the specs you mentioned above will work with it, and it was a very stable distro the last time I tried it.
    oz

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Segfault View Post
    Lubuntu

    Keep in mind Linux distribution may be the lightest but web browser may be still slow, and this is the problem of browser+plugin+website combination. Some sites are just heavy on resources.



    Do non computer users need computers?
    Haha! I changed the thread title about 8 times. Thanks for the input guys.

  5. #5
    Linux Engineer MASONTX's Avatar
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    You might look at Mint LXDE or Dreamlinux 3.5. I've tried both on a similarly speced laptop and they worked fine, of course, I don't do much with youtube.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhannahs19 View Post
    Hello all, today was my first day really trying out Linux, and I must say, I am very impressed. While I have no Linux experience, I am a computer technician, and have a question regarding the best distro of Linux to use for some laptops that we are going to sell at my store.

    I work in a computer shop that is not located in one of the best areas of the Hampton roads, Virginia area. The owner has about 400 Dell Latitudes C600's that we are trying to resale. The machines have Pentium 3's running at about 700mhz, and we are planning on selling the laptops with 256mb of ram. The machines are not capable of running Windows XP SP3 efficently. I work in an area where unfortunately, the people are not very bright, nor do they have much common sense.

    I have tried several versions of Linux, Fedora, Xubuntu, Damn Small Linux, and Puppy (?). I think they are all great, but we need a distro of Linux that is very lite. Youtube playback is very choppy, with Firefox, and that is the primary thing that we need to work. The distro will also have to have as few "administrator tools" programs as possible because we do not want our customers damaging their machines accidently, or on purpose.

    Basically, what distrobution do you all recommend that will:

    1. Browse the internet smoothly, and be able to view youtube, porntube, youporn, ect. well enough that the playback is not choppy.

    2. Have as few super user type programs as possible. I am not talking about Word type programs ovbiously, but programs that the regular person would not know how to use.

    3. Be as simple as possible to the average user who would know basically nothing about computers.

    4. Be compatable with external wireless cards, whether they are USB or PCMCIA.

    I appologize for the long post, we plan on eventually making a donation if we can find a Linux distrobution, since we would be putting it on roughly 300-400 laptops.

    Thanks for your time guys!
    Try using google chrome or opera for web browsing, both are lighter than firefox, I don't know if it will be enough on such low powered machines but it's worth a try. Also stick with lxde distro's both gnome and kde will be too labour intensive.
    I would suggest something like crunchbang.

  7. #7
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    do you think that finding drivers for the video card might help with play back? the computer runs video fine with win xp sp2.

  8. #8
    Just Joined! Avalon's Avatar
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    I would agree with the suggestions that recommend LXDE. Lubuntu (or another distro based on Ubuntu that uses LXDE) would be easy to use and fast. Of course, with 256 MB of RAM, Firefox streaming video from Youtube is still going to slow down a bit. I run Crunch Bang Linux (9.04) on my MSI Wind (which has 1GB RAM) and even though I am using only ~76 MB of RAM at start up, Youtube videos will still look choppy if I try and watch on HD. Like Segfault said, "Keep in mind Linux distribution may be the lightest but web browser may be still slow, and this is the problem of browser+plugin+website combination. Some sites are just heavy on resources." Good luck selling those lappies!

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