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Best Linux to use for complete newbie

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I have a inspiron 8000 laptop that I have winxp pro on the main partition but I was going to maybe make a small second partition on it and install a flava of Linux on it to dabble for the first time. I have never used Linux before but for some reason feel that it is something I should try to explore. What is the best and easiest distro for me to use considering that im a hardcore Xp pro user (and windows and general) though my first computer ever was an Apple IIc LOL (i loved it though, can anyone say Lemonade Stand? Ha Ha)


Here are the specs of the laptop


P3 1ghz

512 megs PC133

30 gig HD

Geforce2 Go 32 meg

dvd/cdrw drive

15" UXGA

MN-520 Wifi card


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You might want to try the linux distros that come with live CDs. If you are not familiar with live CDs, they are just simply an OS in a CD that is bootable and you can work from and of course it won't install onto your HD, unless want to, and it won't damage any of your windows HD at all.


I would suggest experimenting with Knoppix, Morphix, or my favorite, which I think it is almost a perfect linux distro Mepis. ProMepis comes with lots of the plugins or packages that you may need on a daily basis. I highly recommend Mepis and since you have laptop and if you have trouble booting the live CD if you decide to use SimplyMepis, then go to this website:



You can check out this site if you haven't to see the alternatives for the different distros out there:




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I agree with what has been said above, except I don't. If you are really new to Linux, please find an old machine to play on OR pick up another 2-1/2" laptop hard drive and put that in your machine.


CD distros are great for looking but pretty much useless for anything else when you are learning. Okay, guys don't rush to the keyboard to yell at me. I use these distros for rescue and repair of systems all the time. I also use them on customer's machines to debug problems with networks, etc. These distros are excellent tools for diagnosis and repair.


But, when someone wants to learn Linux, run the real mccoy. You need to learn about filesystems, permissions resource configuration etc. The best way to do that is on a real distro which is booted from an alterable filesystem system.


Also, for those just starting out. When you do an install, install everything in the distro. That is, when installing Fedora for example, pick the custom install option and later check the box for everything. Let the installer partition the disk for you. Then run it. In general, regardless of the distro, you will have a fully functional system to learn to drive on. You can screw it all up and later reinstall if you have to. But you also will have all the tools to recover as well. (Assuming you haven't totally trashed your system and rendered it unbootable.)


Maybe I am just a bit conservative, and I will admit that I am.


If you have the budget, pick up a cheap computer (new or used) and experiment on that first. Learning is priceless and the cost of the tools is minor compared to the value of what is learned. You should be able to put together a perfectly servicable machine for under $200.00.


Anyway, that is my $0.02 worth. I give it freely, spend it wisely. LOL



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p-r man stopped by from next door at NT Compatible. I had to stop over there a few weeks ago and ask, (what I'm sure they thought) were some really dumb Windows questions. Over there I'm still a Moderator! LOL!

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