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hi everyone, I am looking to make the move from windows to linux but I can't do it until I find out a few things about the various distros. 1) ...
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  1. #1
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    most stable and user friendly distro


    hi everyone,

    I am looking to make the move from windows to linux but I can't do it until I find out a few things about the various distros.

    1) First and foremost, which of the hundreds of distros is the most stable one? In other words, which one needs the least updates/upgrades/fixes of them all? I am normally looking for a distro that will work flawlessly even 100 years from now, without needing a single touch/tweak/upgrade no matter how many programs and games I install onto it

    Now, since such a distro is probably almost impossible to exist, I will be happy even with the one needing the least tweaks/updates/fixes of them all in case of crashes

    So, which distro can suffer the least crashes irrespective of how many apps/software/games I install onto it?

    2) which distro is the most secure of them all? Which one would you use for online banking?

    3) which distro is the most recommended for newbies looking to make the move from windows to linux?

    I installed Linux Mint 14 Xfce a week ago and even though I figured out how to customize my desktop, icons, windows and all this stuff the same day I installed it, I would still like to know if there is something as easy as Mint. Just for comparison purposes

    4) which distro has the easiest upgrade/update process? As I gathered from the intense forum asking and online research I did over the last few days, it seems that most of the distros get upgraded yearly, or even twice an year.

    No problem with this, but when it's time to upgrade which distro has the most painless upgrade process (aka not messing with terminal, commands and other stuff like that)

    And speaking of terminals, I noticed inside my Linux Mint that there is terminal and there is also terminal emulator but when I open them they both look the same. So, is there any difference between these 2 (and if yes, which is the difference) or it's just a simple terminology bug that will be fixed with the next update?

    Well, there are probably more questions but only these 4 come to mind right now. Please let me know about what I asked cause I am having an awful hard time deciding on a distro or another.

    Oh wait, one more question please: the desktops. Is there any distro that contains all the desktops available on the market today? Or at least the major ones? If yes, which distro contains them all? I would like to test each desktop and see which one is better for me but I don't feel like installing more distros just for the desktops.

    Ok, this really is all for now. Thanks in advance for your responses and I am eagerly awaiting for your replies

  2. #2
    oz
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    Hello and welcome to the forums!

    Unfortunately, there is no clear answer for everyone regarding most of your questions (or any of them really). You can take a look at the Hits Per Day Chart at DistroWatch.com to get an idea about which distros are generating interest there. Any of the top 3 or 4 distros in that listing should be a good place for new Linux users to start. If one distro doesn't give you all that you want, try another.

    Don't forget that Linux is extremely customizable, so you might be able to create what you want from a distro that offers a minimal system install, then you add only what you want, or need. In the end, the best way to find what you are looking for is to try different distros, one by one, until you've found the sweet spot you seek.
    oz

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    Quote Originally Posted by oz View Post
    Hello and welcome to the forums!

    Unfortunately, there is no clear answer for everyone regarding most of your questions (or any of them really). You can take a look at the Hits Per Day Chart at DistroWatch.com to get an idea about which distros are generating interest there. Any of the top 3 or 4 distros in that listing should be a good place for new Linux users to start. If one distro doesn't give you all that you want, try another.

    Don't forget that Linux is extremely customizable, so you might be able to create what you want from a distro that offers a minimal system install, then you add only what you want, or need. In the end, the best way to find what you are looking for is to try different distros, one by one, until you've found the sweet spot you seek.
    Thanks for the welcome and fast reply

    Let me ask in another way then, based on what you replied. Assuming I will go with "a distro that offers a minimal system install" (what does "minimal" refer to btw) which distro is the easiest to customize? Since I used Windows my entire life obviously that I will look for something that looks and feels like windows, at least until I am ready to dive into more Linux-specific settings and stuff. Or, if you don't know what I mean by Windows-like customization, at least name a distro that looks like Mint (I assume you know what Mint looks like) but which offers that "minimal system install" you've mentioned.

    I would go with Mint but as I mentioned it already had a few app crashes and I didn't even install anything onto it as I couldn't connect to the internet to download the packages. So, a Linux that crashes without even being put to tests is obviously not a stable one

    Also, about the desktops. I just read that there is something called Hybryde or something that has all of the major DEs and which you can switch between without having to log out and which doesn't impact performance, either. Cool! I will have to read a bit more about this distro or whatever it is cause I didn't really understand what it is exactly and I don't remember where I saw this mentioned either. Was hoping you might know something about this

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    You can make any distribution as stable as you want but you can get some idea of this by knowing which have been around the longest. If a distribution has a lot of problems, it isn't going to be used and will disappear. Slackware and Debian have been in existence since the early 1990's. I expect you would have a good deal of problems with either.

    You've already got one of the easiest to use and the most popular distribution with Linux Mint.

    On line banking security has more to do with the bank end than the user. Your computer can be as secure as it is possible to make it but you still have to go on the internet to access the bank servers.

    Ease of updating would include Mint and most of the top 10-20 on the distrowatch site referred to above. The site below indicates Zorin is the most windows like of the Linux distributions. That of course, is the writers opinion. I've not used it so don't have an opinion.

    Zorin OS 6: The ultimate Linux distro for Windows users? | Marketplace Blog - CNET Reviews

    Minimal install is basically customizing everything to what you want starting with a very basic system, probably the opposite of what you want??
    You haven't posted any information on what your hardware is so it's pretty difficult for anyone to guess why you might have had problems, connecting to the internet, etc...
    There are 10's of millions of people using Mint all over the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yancek View Post
    You can make any distribution as stable as you want but you can get some idea of this by knowing which have been around the longest. If a distribution has a lot of problems, it isn't going to be used and will disappear. Slackware and Debian have been in existence since the early 1990's. I expect you would have a good deal of problems with either.

    You've already got one of the easiest to use and the most popular distribution with Linux Mint.

    On line banking security has more to do with the bank end than the user. Your computer can be as secure as it is possible to make it but you still have to go on the internet to access the bank servers.

    Ease of updating would include Mint and most of the top 10-20 on the distrowatch site referred to above. The site below indicates Zorin is the most windows like of the Linux distributions. That of course, is the writers opinion. I've not used it so don't have an opinion.

    Minimal install is basically customizing everything to what you want starting with a very basic system, probably the opposite of what you want??
    You haven't posted any information on what your hardware is so it's pretty difficult for anyone to guess why you might have had problems, connecting to the internet, etc...
    There are 10's of millions of people using Mint all over the world.
    Thanks for the info and sorry for not posting my PC's specs but I didn't know it matters to expose them

    - Intel Core2 Quad 2,4Ghz (this is the CPU, supports x64 bits something, whatever this is lol)
    - Motherboard is P5N-e SLI from Asus
    - 2 GB RAM (2x1GB Geil, 800 Mhz I think)
    - Sound card is Creative Soundblaster Xfi Xtreme Audio
    - HDD is 500GB Seagate Barracuda
    - Graphics Card is ATI Radeon 4560 with 1GB Memory

    Now, I have more questions about the desktop environments. First of all, do these various DEs have any other functions than making the desktop look pretty and if yes, what are these other functions? In other words, why would I care about which DE to install other than the prettiness of the OS? Secondly, do different DEs consume different amounts of resources or they're all the same? And last but not least does each DE come with its separate packages of software and apps or this is dependent upon the distro?

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    Given all said, there will be trads-offs. Check out the new netrunner, as one suggestion among myriads.

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    I relatively new here & being a former Win only user can say: I switched to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS about 6 months ago and it has worked for me. Updates easily done, browsing and mail servedvery well by either firefox or chrome & thunderbird...I'm happy with it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint_El View Post
    I relatively new here & being a former Win only user can say: I switched to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS about 6 months ago and it has worked for me. Updates easily done, browsing and mail servedvery well by either firefox or chrome & thunderbird...I'm happy with it!
    I don't know what you mean by "Ubuntu worked for me". Probably that all major and popular distros work, I never doubted of this

    What I am looking for is stability, security and user friendliness, all in one if possible (although I doubt it's possible)

    Also, what about the terminal? Anyone knows what the difference between terminal and terminal emulator is?

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    From a user point of view, there's really no difference between terminal and terminal emulator. It's mostly a naming convention for that particular program.

    If I might make a suggestion, Debian sounds like it might be a good choice for you. If you've already played with Mint, then any terminal commands that you need will be familiar. Debian also releases new versions about every 2 years. So performing a system upgrade is often as simple as changing a few lines in a system config file, and running an update. (Simplified that just a touch.)
    Jay

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayd512 View Post
    From a user point of view, there's really no difference between terminal and terminal emulator. It's mostly a naming convention for that particular program.

    If I might make a suggestion, Debian sounds like it might be a good choice for you. If you've already played with Mint, then any terminal commands that you need will be familiar. Debian also releases new versions about every 2 years. So performing a system upgrade is often as simple as changing a few lines in a system config file, and running an update. (Simplified that just a touch.)
    Hi, by Debian you mean Ubuntu, or?? Sorry I am not too familiar yet with the sheer amount of Linux variations, each with their own desktop enviroments and applications. I already got lost in all these lol

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