Best Linux Distro for desktop PC

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Best Linux Distro for desktop PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:05 pm

Hello smart peoples.

I would like to dual boot and get familiar with Linux, so that I can install it on my sisters PC, her kids are excellent at #$&^%$&^#$ up windows, thx to the internet lol.

My software experience is limited, 1 semester course of C+ and 1 semester course of fortran 90 both about 7 years ago.

I would just like to know what distro, (ubuntu, fedora, etc) has the most user friendly GUI (most similar to windows), so once its setup anyone could use it. It will only be used to check email, surf the net, and store and look at pics from the digital camera.

Thanks!!
Last edited by anotherengineer on Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best Linux Distro for desktop PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:11 pm

You're going about this wrong if you go in to this looking for "most similar to windows". If you want that then just install Windows.

If what you really want is "user friendly GUI" and "once its setup anyone could use it. It will only be used to check email, surf the net, and store and look at pics from the digital camera." Then I would install Ubuntu 9.10 http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download My 5 year old likes it and hasn't managed to break it yet.
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Re: Best Linux Distro for desktop PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:24 pm

Thanks, if a 5 yr old cant break it, then its good, since my nieces are 7, 5, and 2, that means it should take their abuse too!!
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Re: Best Linux Distro for desktop PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:42 pm

When you install it, it will ask you to setup a login account. Set that up as your account (it will have administrative access), then once installed go to System->Administration->Users and Groups to Add User (after clicking on the keys to make changes) for the kids so that those are non-admin accounts.
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Re: Best Linux Distro for desktop PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:06 pm

mandriva. not cutting edge, but easy to use.
The powerpack version does everything, but cost money.
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=mandriva
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Re: Best Linux Distro for desktop PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:12 pm

Ubuntu. Try it off of the CD without installing, and if you find something that doesn't work like you expect, don't quit, just ask here or on the Ubuntu forums. There are many things that are different to Windows, and a few that are superior but take time to get used to. Installing software is the main one - you never run installers or use .exe files; you can install everything through Add/Remove Programs.
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Re: Best Linux Distro for desktop PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:37 pm

well every so often you'll need to install a .deb or .yum type file(depending on the linux system), but mainly the repositories or package managers do a great job finding and installing the programs and dependencies for it.
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Re: Best Linux Distro for desktop PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:05 pm

anotherengineer wrote:Hello smart peoples.

I would like to dual boot and get familiar with Linux, so that I can install it on my sisters PC, her kids are excellent at #$&^%$&^#$ up windows, thx to the internet lol.

My software experience is limited, 1 semester course of C+ and 1 semester course of fortran 90 both about 7 years ago.

I would just like to know what distro, (ubuntu, fedora, etc) has the most user friendly GUI (most similar to windows), so once its setup anyone could use it. It will only be used to check email, surf the net, and store and look at pics from the digital camera.

Thanks!!


If this computer is Vista just use parental controls, that's what I do for other parents and it works out pretty good. I've got the bios and boot priority locked down :lol: .
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Re: Best Linux Distro for desktop PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:57 pm

I find KDE does a better job of matching up with Windows. You may want to try Kubuntu

http://www.kubuntu.org/
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Re: Best Linux Distro for desktop PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:03 pm

Another vote for Ubuntu.

PRIME1 wrote:I find KDE does a better job of matching up with Windows. You may want to try Kubuntu

If you've got the time to play with it, it may be worth trying both the standard Ubuntu (with GNOME desktop) and Kubuntu (KDE desktop) to see which one you like better. While I agree that KDE may be a bit more "Windows-like", GNOME is probably more stable, so there's a trade-off.

Actually, if you want to try both desktops, just install the standard Ubuntu release, then install the "kubuntu-desktop" package on top of it. Once you've done that, you will be able to choose which desktop environment you want to use from the login screen.
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Re: Best Linux Distro for desktop PC

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:29 pm

you might also want to have a look at a lockdown editor like pessulus (for gnome based distros like ubuntu... it's in the software centre in ubuntu)

this allows you to stop them mucking around with the task bars, menus, etc.

The first thing people do when you give them a completely new desktop is play with it. Even if they don't manage to break it as such they might mess up the menus etc to the point where their user accounts aren't really usable. Though it's actually very easy to reset these back to defaults, using something like pessulus avoids the problem in the first place
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