Anonymous asked in Computers & InternetProgramming & Design · 1 decade ago

I want to go Linux, what is best for a beginner?

10 years of using Windows, and they're running slower and slower, using more and more of my system resources, I feel I'm ready to give Linux a try. But I don't know anything about Linux.

I'd like a OS that offers same or similar visual effects of MAC OS or Windows, and the familiar windows-style taskbar/start bar.

I have vista x64 installed on my computer, could I have two OSes installed and just picked what I want at advanced boot options menu?

what is the most compatible version of linux/unix with PC-compatible programs like Adobe CS3, Steam, AutoCAD 2010, VLC media player, Solidworks 2009, and MS Office 2003?

Are there any Linux x64 versions?

brief system specs:

Intel i7 920 quad

MSI X58 Platinum

6GB DDR3 1333

1.5TB primary hard drive capacity

Onboard Realtek sound and G-bit NIC

DVD-RAM drive, 16x?

IBM compatible mouse, HID keyboard

nVidia GTX285 1GB graphics

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    I've used (rated by usability for the novice - 0 = WAY not...10 = perfect):

    (4) Slackware (used about 6 months)

    (7) Mandrake/Madriva (used about 3 years)

    (7) RedHat (used about 9 months)

    (5) Fedora (used about 2 years)

    (8) Ubuntu/Kubuntu (used about 6 months - still using)

    Of the bunch, I think Ubuntu, especially with the K Desktop Environment (called "Kubuntu" for KDE + Ubuntu), is the easiest for new Linux users. (Guess I'm one of the people Christoph is talking about, but it's from long experience).

    I've recently migrated all boxes on my four-node home network to Kubuntu, including my wife's box (she's learning with relatively little trouble, but she's got a coach - me, and I'm using Kubuntu just to be sure I learn it well enough to teach her).

    Simplest/safest approach would be to download the ISO image of a LiveCD and burn it to CD. Then you can boot from CD (you may need to go into your BIOS settings to tell the box to boot from CD) and look around before committing to it. If you like it, the LiveCD offers a real install option. You can download the Kubuntu LiveCd at:

    Note that you need to tell it your architecture is 64-bit before you download.

    And, yes - you can install as dual-boot (my bride still has an XP install as a temproary crutch), but, unless you want to install an additional hard drive, you'll want to repartition your existing drive, which can be scary to some, since you risk data-corruption doing a live repartitioning. I chose to move my wife's old master drive to slave position and added a new hard drive as the master, but she needed more storage anyway. The boot manager, GRUB, still sees both the new Kubuntu master boot sector and the old master boot sector on the slave drive...the little woman can pick which OS to load from the GRUB boot menu.

    I can't address your software compatibility questions, since I don't use any of the items you mention. I gave up using Microsoft Office even before I gave up on Windows; I've been using Open Office since before it WAS Open Office. There's a Windows emulator called "Wine" that may support your software, but you'd want to explore that to see what others have to say online. I maintain six different installations of Windows for testing cross-browser compatibility, but I use VMWare for that and all of the Windows installs are guest OSs. Wine's been a little flaky in my experience.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I like the Ubuntu Desktop edition. I run the 64-bit and what's great about it is all the available pre-built software. Just recently installed the 9.10 'Karmic Koala' version, and Wow! the clean graphics are the best default desktop edition yet. One other thing I've noticed after updating the wife's monitor to a flat-screen... Linux gives you a bigger desktop. XP puts up to vertical black bars on both sides to give the old CRT size of desktop.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I thoroughly recommend Linux Mint 8 Main Edition which is built upon the outstanding Ubuntu 9.10 Its easy to install and easy to use plus it comes with much of the software you are likely to need preinstalled

    Linux Mint 8 Download

    Linux Mint 8 User Guide

    The Perfect Desktop - Linux Mint 8 (Helena)

    You download the ISO. image of Linux Mint 8 then you need to create a Bootable LiveCD for installation

    Linux Mint 8 can also be run direct from the LiveCD from Booting up without touching your Hard Drive


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  • 1 decade ago

    Fedora, You can have it create an install disk and everything so you just plug it in and boot. Then you can install to harddrive or leave as a portable. Easiest install.

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  • 1 decade ago

    linux is not for beginners it is poorly supported with limited inferior software and is awkward to use, ignore the linux fans they will put up with it for no apparent reason

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