Author Topic: Linux???  (Read 461 times)

Hawkmoon

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Linux???
« on: February 15, 2023, 04:18:43 PM »
Thinking again (for about the 100,000th time) about dipping my toe into the Linux pool. I haven't kept up on my reading. For those who are au courant, What would be the top three or five distros for the following:

  • Older/slower computers with less RAM and older CPUs
  • Emulating a Windows (XT, 10, or 11) desktop interface
  • Emulating a macOS user interface
  • Easiest to use for computer dummies (like me)

Thanks
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zahc

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2023, 05:21:58 PM »
3 or 4 distros?

Just install Mint.
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bedlamite

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2023, 05:55:37 PM »
A plan is just a list of things that doesn't happen.
Is defenestration possible through the overton window?

Ben

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2023, 06:31:21 PM »
Mint is what we recommend every time. One of these days he'll take our advice.  =D
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lee n. field

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2023, 06:37:34 PM »
Thinking again (for about the 100,000th time) about dipping my toe into the Linux pool. I haven't kept up on my reading. For those who are au courant, What would be the top three or five distros for the following:

  • Older/slower computers with less RAM and older CPUs
  • Emulating a Windows (XT, 10, or 11) desktop interface
  • Easiest to use for computer dummies (like me)

Another vote for Mint Linux. 

 XFCE Edition or MATE Edition for lower horsepower systems, (MATE preferred.  IMHO&YMMV.  ).  Cinnamon Edition for better systems.

Not perfect, but I don't think someone used to working with Win 10 would have much trouble picking up on the interface.  Some of the defaults aren't what I like, but, "whatever".

Quote
  • Emulating a macOS user interface

Elementary OS.  Minimal experience with it.  "meh."  I couldn't tell you how close or not it is to the MacOS experience.

Do you have a scratch computer you can try this on?  Because chances are you'd end up blowing it away and reinstalling a few times.

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Ben

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2023, 06:45:15 PM »
Do you have a scratch computer you can try this on?  Because chances are you'd end up blowing it away and reinstalling a few times.

I have also in the past recommended that Hawkmoon try Linux on a stick so that he can try distros to his heart's content until he finds one he wants to install native.
"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

Perd Hapley

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2023, 07:09:59 PM »
Hawk, it's very easy. Just try it out. Mint, or any of the other common distros.
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Re: Linux???
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2023, 08:42:30 PM »
+1 for Mint! Got some notebooks with very little RAM and a soldered on tiny SSD chip for the drive so I put Mint on it. Easy and worked great!
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cordex

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2023, 09:06:37 PM »
Don’t listen to these jokers. They don’t have your best interests at heart.

Mint isn’t even worth trying, nor any other junky Linux distro. Just install TempleOS and then thank me later.

Hawkmoon

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2023, 11:10:06 PM »

Do you have a scratch computer you can try this on?  Because chances are you'd end up blowing it away and reinstalling a few times.

I will have one, as soon as I find the time to replace the old 250 GB hard drive with a 500 GB SSD drive.
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Hawkmoon

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2023, 11:14:59 PM »
I have also in the past recommended that Hawkmoon try Linux on a stick so that he can try distros to his heart's content until he finds one he wants to install native.

Yep. A long time ago I tried some flavor of Linux running from a CD (or maybe it was a DVD). I'm planning to try several distros from USB sticks, if I can get them installed. Took several tries today to get the .iso for Linux Lite to install. The mounting utility recommended by the first article I read failed miserably. Rufus finally worked.

Several decades ago I would already have tried every flavor of Linux available by now. (Well, maybe not all 300 of them ... but a lot.) As I've gotten older, I have become a lot less willing to risk screwing up something and having to re-do it.
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Ben

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2023, 07:54:46 AM »
Yep. A long time ago I tried some flavor of Linux running from a CD (or maybe it was a DVD). I'm planning to try several distros from USB sticks, if I can get them installed.

This is the site that I used to make my bootable USB sticks (I like to use linux on a stick when I'm traveling and using hotel and other wireless).

https://www.pendrivelinux.com/
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Jim147

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2023, 11:39:06 AM »
This is the site that I used to make my bootable USB sticks (I like to use linux on a stick when I'm traveling and using hotel and other wireless).

https://www.pendrivelinux.com/

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Hawkmoon

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2023, 07:49:21 PM »
Derivative question: Fonts?

I write books and self-publish through Amazon KDP and Barnes and Noble Press. Despite pronouncements of doom from many people on writers' and desktop publishing forums that you "can't" properly format a book for print using Microsoft Word ... that's what I do. I know that there are minor technical flaws in my books from a typesetting/layout perspective, but 99.73% of readers will never notice, so I'm not worried about it.

Because as an author I try to respect the copyrights of other creators of intellectual property, I won't pirate fonts. But when it comes to fonts and the permissions, there are some quirks. Windows includes a lot of fonts, and Microsoft Office adds more fonts. If you use Windows Professional and/or any of the professional flavors of Office (Office Pro, Office Home & Business, or Office Enterprise) you can use the fonts provided by Microsoft for any commercial purpose. However, if you have Windows Home or Office Home & Student, you CAN'T (legally) use those same fonts for commercial purposes.

So what happens if I start a book on my desktop computer, running Windows Professional and Office Professional, but I finish the book on a laptop running Windows Home and Office Home & Student? Or, just to mix it up a bit, a laptop running Windows Home but Office Home & Business?

Anyhoo ... to do anything useful with these infernal devices, we need fonts. For those of you who have switched to some flavor of Linux -- what do you do for fonts? After reading as mush as I can digest about variations of Linux, it seems most of the distros come with LibreOffice, Firefox, and Thunderbird. And I know my non-Microsoft office suite of choice, SoftMaker Office, is available for Linux. But nobody mentions fonts.

Does Linux come with fonts, or do you have to download what you want from Font Squirrel?
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Hawkmoon

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2023, 08:59:17 PM »
I'm dragging this one back from the dead. New scenario -- a friend who is an IT guy cleaned out his basement, and delivered a bunch of old computers to my house last week. A couple aren't even computers yet -- they're empty cases, with motherboards and hard drives still in the boxes. But two of them are (or were) actual computers, back when they were new in 2007. One is an AOpen MP945 mini-PC, the other is an Asus A3000-A3Ac laptop. Both have 1 GB of RAM. The mini-PC has a 120 GB hard drive, the laptop has an 80 GB hard drive. My friend put a bare copy of XP on each of those two just to see that they would still boot up, but the plan was (and still is -- I hope) to switch them to Linux and find adotive homes for them with some poor family that needs a computer and can't afford even an entry level machine new.

The Asus has a Pentium M CPU. The Pentium M doesn't play well with Ubuntu -- something about PAE not being enabled. Thanks to Lee N. Field, I found a 32-bit version of Mint Debian (LMDE 5) that uses a non-PAE kernal, so I downloaded it and installed it on the mini-PC.

OOF!

It installed, but it took (literally) hours -- a bit over 2 hours to install. It doesn't "run" -- it doesn't even walk -- it crawls. Yet Debian for i386 is supposed to run in 512K of RAM. I'm pretty sure the problem is that LMDE 5 is only available with the Cinnamon desktop, which is a resource hog. For whatever reason, the Linux Mint folks don't offer an LMDE 5 distro with either Mate of Xfce.

On the mini-PC I gave up and installed Linux Lite, the last 32-bit distro. That runs acceptably fast, so I think someone who isn't looking to play a lot of games can use that machine to do word processing and e-mail.

But Linux Lite is based on Ubuntu, so it won't install of the Asus laptop. If I install LMDE 5 on that, it should work but I'll have the same molasses-in-January performance issue. So the question for you Linux gurus is: if I install LMDE5, can I then drag in the Xfce desktop on top if Mint and hopefully speed things up a bit?

Please keep in mind that I'm a total newb with Linux, so at least for now please keep responses non-technical. If it can be done, I'll probably need some hand holding when I tackle it.

Thanks.
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WLJ

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2023, 09:21:05 PM »
1 GB and 32 bit is pretty restrictive for any OS new enough to trust on the internet. Even Xfce requires a min of 2 GB.
As far as the one running Lite goes in running games you're going to be hard pressed to find games both compatible with Lite and able to run within the HW specs.
These machines might be useful as retro (win 98) game machines that are never connected to the internet but not much else nowadays IMHO.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2023, 09:39:18 PM by WLJ »
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WLJ

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2023, 09:47:56 PM »
Is the ver of lite you installed 3.8? That's the last ver I can find that supports 32 bit. If so end of support was April 2021. Would not trust that hitting the internet

https://www.linuxliteos.com/download.php#roadmap
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Hawkmoon

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2023, 10:46:15 PM »
Yes, it is Linux Lite 3.8. I thought I read that 3.8 would receive security updates until 2026.

All the more reason to see if I can graft the Xfce desktop onto LMDE 5, which is being maintained.
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lee n. field

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2023, 07:59:58 AM »

All the more reason to see if I can graft the Xfce desktop onto LMDE 5, which is being maintained.

try this.

Open a terminal session.

type "sudo tasksel" and press enter.  Enter your password when prompted.

You'll get a text mode menu.  Arrow down, and check the box for XFCE.  Also maybe try LXDE or LXQT.  Spacebar selects and deselects.

Tab until OK is highlighted.  Press enter.  Stuff will then install.

Next time you start up, there will be a place at the main login screen to change to one of the other desktop environments.

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Hawkmoon

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Re: Linux???
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2023, 10:47:14 PM »
Progress, of sorts. I found a Debian distro with the LXQt desktop. That installed in the mini-PC. It takes 3 minutes less than forever to boot but, once booted, it runs LibreOffice fast enough for most normal people to be able to use it. But that install doesn't include Thunderbird, so I have to learn how to install that.

However, that same .iso wouldn't install on the Asus notebook with the Pentium M cpu. I'm putting LMDE 5 on it right now, while I work on my desktop computer, but if LMDE is as slow on the notebook as it was on the mini-it's not going to be a viable solution.
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