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  1. #1

    Best / Easiest Amateur Version?

    Hi all - 1st post please be kind!

    I killed my windows install, and I'm thinking about running a Linux install permanently. I installed Ubuntu 12.10, but the wifi drivers don't work, and after 3 or 4 hours messing about (via google) still not up and running. Before I post a "help" message (or try installing an earlier version), I wonder if I have the best install for our needs? The computer will be basically used for web-browsing and some basic home office tasks, so we don't really need anything more complex than a tablet style interface, any suggestions how to set this up?

    Thanks in advance!


  2. #2
    Linux Enthusiast Steven_G's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Western US
    This one is mostly a matter of opinion and depends on a lot of things. Right now I reccommend anybody starting out with *nix to start with ubuntu 12.04 LTS; but not because it is the "best" linux distro.

    Linux has, I feel, a fairly steep learing curve. But, it is 100% worth it. I've been tinkering with *nix for about 2 years and I'm only just now getting to the point of feeling that I've moved to the advanced enduser skill level.

    I started with UB 11.04. As I've gotten deeper in to *nix I have found a lot of fairly technical reasons to fall out of love with ubuntu. Despite that fact I still personally believe that it is the best place for new people to start; especially if you never intend to "crawl around under the hood" and just want something that gets the basic stuff done without a lot of hassles.

    In so far as version: 12.04 will be supported until April 2017. 12.10 will ony be supported until April 2014; which means you'll either lose all support or have to go through the headaches of upgrading in a year.

    In so far as wireless problems: They are very common with all versions of linux and almost all of them can be solved. There is a very sharp group of folks here who are really good at fixing that kind of thing and will be more than glad to help you.

    I'd recommend installing unbuntu 12.04 and then come back and get some help with the wireless card.

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Virginia, USA
    I recommend using Linux Mint. It includes a lot of proprietary drivers that Ubuntu doesn't by default. You shouldn't have to try to troubleshoot hardware issues on day 1, and this is why I think Ubuntu is a poor choice for most beginners.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    I recently had an issue installing Ubuntu on an older Toshiba laptop.
    Went to xUbuntu and all is well.....even WiFi!

  6. #5
    I would suggest 'Zorin'.

  7. #6
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    santa cruz, california
    if you install 12.04 or 12.10 with an rj45 cable plugged into your router, ubuntu will find your wireless next time you boot.

  8. #7
    Ubuntu is a good place to start. It is one of the top supported distros. Also, if you're a gamer, Steam is currently using Ubuntu as its lauching pad. So you'll have plenty of help and support. Of course Steam is coming to other distros also.

    As a 3 year linux user I don't like the new "Unity" interface that was put into effect, but for someone who is new to linux, you probably will like it.

    Fedora is also heavily supported but it can be confusing to install when you're a beginner. But if you want to become a linux wiz someday or possibly plan to get into networking or programming, you may be better off to learn to use that operating system.

    Linux Mint is currently my favorite. Their operating system is very well documented and supported also.

    If you want a fancy looking operating system with all kinds of eye candy, try Kubuntu.

    If you want to get into hacking/network exploiting Kali Linux is unquestionably the way to go

    Above all, the beauty of linux is that you can try out different operating systems. You don't have to pay money to get different distrobutions. Get something like Virtual Box or VMware Player and download some distros and install them as virtual machines and test them out and see what appeals most to you.

    Good luck and enjoy the thrilling experience of the limitless Linux universe.

  9. #8
    Thanks all of you! Ubuntu found my wifi card when i went to 12.04, but I'm gonna have a go with Mint I think, sounds interesting. And coming from Windows and osx I'm not a massive fan of the unity interface on Ubuntu either?!

  10. #9
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Tow (rhymes with cow), Texas
    I much prefer KDE to Gnome and am running Kubuntu 12.04 but I also very much like the ease of installation and use of Xubuntu and recommend 12.04 LTS. The thing about the LTS release is that it's proven, stable and you won't have to deal with reinstalling/upgrading your OS for at least a couple of years (or longer). I don't know why exactly but the install always crashes when I used the live/install version of Xubuntu 12.04 but the Alternate install disk has, so far, worked great, every time.

  11. #10
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Florida in winter, Germany in summer
    I am pretty new to Linux and have been first tinkering with Ubuntu. And that was fine until they blessed us with the Unity UI. That was the end of that one. Then I tried a few other distros and found Zorin that I liked. It is a little lightweight though and also a bit buggy.

    Finally I settled for Mint Mate Nadia which I find the best of the dozen distros I have tried (and that is only my personal view). To make it easier for fellow newbies to get started, I made a series of video tutorials which you find here:

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