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  1. #1

    Questions about Linux

    Hi im Jake, recently my computer has been randomly crashing and its getting on my nerves, so im switching to Linux.
    But im completely new to linux and have some questions.

    1.Whats the best distribution for me?
    I have:
    Windows 7 home premium 64-bit
    about a 2 1/2 month old computer
    it has an ATI graphics card(idk if there is support issues)

    I am fairly experienced with windows, and have some experience with macs. I have been looking and Ubuntu and fedora seem to be recommended most, but they usually recommend Ubuntu for people new to Linux, but i would like the best stable one even if i have to learn more about it, and i do not want to reinstall the os just to get a better version of linux.
    also something without a ton of background processes would be nice.

    2. After i install it where do i get drivers and software for it?

    Specifically for my graphics card
    recommendations for good games would also be nice

    3.Is there a chance my laptops touch pad and webcam wont work?
    if so how to a avoid it/fix the problem?

    4. is the software distribution specific?

    like if i get a game for Ubuntu, would it work with fedora? also if it is distribution specific which distribution has the best and most software options?

  2. #2
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Hello and Welcome!

    Ubuntu is great for making the switch. Most drivers are included in the kernel, so unless you have some exotic hardware, you should be just fine in that regard.
    Proprietary drivers, if not loaded by default, can often be installed from the System menu.

    And there are very few pieces of SW out there that is distro specific. And even then, it can be installed using the source code.

    A good idea would be to download a few distros and try them out. This can be done quite easily, as most mainstream distros have a LiveCD option, allowing you to run a full usable system without having to install a thing to your hard drive. This will also allow you to check for any hardware compatibility issues.
    Just remember that running from a LiveCD will be slower than running a full install.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    Quote Originally Posted by Pineapple264 View Post
    1.Whats the best distribution for me?

    2. After i install it where do i get drivers and software for it?

    3.Is there a chance my laptops touch pad and webcam wont work?
    if so how to a avoid it/fix the problem?

    4. is the software distribution specific?
    Hello and welcome aboard, Jake!

    The best approach to find the best distribution for you and your hardware is to actually try a few and see what you think about them. The downloads are free for most distributions, so it only takes some of your time and a few blank disks to give them a try. You can check the link in my signature for a link to some quizzes that might help you pick some starting distributions. The other links in the signature also have valuable information for new Linux users.

    The drivers for most computer hardware are already included within the Linux kernel. Some exceptions might be very new video chips, networking chips, etc. In those cases, the chip maker or hardware manufacturer often have driver downloads for Linux users.

    I have no experience with laptops and webcams so will let someone else chime in on that but I'm thinking they will probably work just fine.

    The software itself is not distribution specific, but the packages to install it are, for the most part. Debian based distros generally use .deb packages, Red Hat, OpenSuse, and Mandrake, or distros based on them use .rpm packages, and other distros use some other package extension. Software in source code format can be compiled and installed on any Linux distro.

    Good luck to you with it and we hope that you'll have lots of fun with Linux.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    You can also take a look through the green column on below web site to check on ATI and also see if your computer is listed there and what works in what distro.

    Debian HCL; Debian GNU/Linux device driver check & report
    I refuse to let fear and fear of others rule my life. It puts my humanity at risk.
    Accepting Death is the only way to stay alive.

  6. #5
    Linux Newbie theKbStockpiler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Upstate NY

    There is also Mandriva and PCLinuxOS

    If the current release is a good one, Mandriva is a very good beginners to intermediate Linux Distro. It very staight forward and you hardly have to use a command terminal. Its sort of a Linux verions of Windows Xp Pro. It's a RPM distro so more programs are available as well.

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