What is the Easiest Linux for Beginners ?
That question is a matter of preference, personal tasks and hardware.
Ok, so how do I choose a Linux distro for me?
At the end of the day, the best way is to try a few, and be prepared to experiment.
For a quick Q and A test to narrow it down a little, the guys over at Zegenie Studios
have prepared a Linux Chooser for newbies:
Linux Distribution Chooser
The test only includes a fraction of the Linux distros which are avaiable, but many new distros are
based on the ones you will have suggested at the end of the test.
Ok, the Linux Distribution Chooser told me to try [Distro], what now?
Head over to the most comprehensive Linux distro site on the net, which not only lists practically every distro, but has reviews, news, distro profile pages, a distro searcher, and a top 100 ranking which shows the most popular distros that are being used around the world. Distrowatch.Com If you scroll down a bit, to the right you will see the distro rankings.
The Current Top 10 are:
10 Damn Small
What now?, Good News !! Linux is easier than ever
1. Most Linux distros are available as a Live CD, which means you can try for a while and have a play
with your new chosen distro without having to install it, nor will it change anything at all on your
computer. So your Windows is completely safe.
2. READ!!!! Many new users have forgotten this skill. Go to the main website of your distro and also
the support forum and USE-THE-SEARCH-BOX. They all have them, and remember Google is your friend.
Be prepared to take notes, print information and sign up on a support forum.
A Few Extra Notes Before The Impatient Ones Dive In Feet First
a) Linux Distros are downloaded as an iso file and will need to be burned to a cd or dvd as an image NOT data.
b) Linux images should be burned at the slowest possible speed. Each burner will vary, try with 4X to start with.
c) Not ALL distros work on ALL hardware, although Linux comes with 1000’s of hardware drivers preinstalled or easily available.
d) Use Google or a Forum Search for a “How to Install [Distro] Guide”, most distros will now offer you a step-by-step installation
program that will do it all for you anyway, all you have to do is answer a few questions on the application by clicking Yes or No.
e) If in doubt at any stage whatsoever, ask on the forum.
Linux Forum Do’s and Don’ts
There is a little netiquette involved on many forums, and each has their own way of doing things to keep the forum friendly, helpful,
organised and easy to use. Forum communities are like little towns; everybody knows eachother, you will always be welcomed with
open arms, there will be hepful and not so helpful advice, young and old, novices and experts, and probably a village idiot
Forums will be run by a team of Administrators and Moderators, some are friendly and blend in as members, others are like the Gestapo on a power trip with their new found position. In general they are all there to help maintain order and support with different degrees of efficiency.
DO try and find an introduction thread and post a “Hello everybody, i’m new to Linux”. See what kind of welcome you get from staff as well as members.
DO read the forum rules. Some are long winded while others are short and to the point.
DO use the forum Help button which will provide a guide on forum use and features.
DO look at the various sections and post in the right place.
DO use the Forum Search, your question may already have been asked and solved and even have a Howto guide.
DO be prepared to help yourself, you get far more respect and quicker help if you can show that you have tried.
DON’T expect an answer within 5 seconds. Forums are run by volunteers with jobs, families and lives outside of the forum.
DON’T whine and complain. Stick to the point and stay positive, you will have everybody jumping in to help you.
DON’T double post your problem a second time or in different sections, you will not get helped any faster.
DON’T post useless information. “My screen is black”. State what your hardware is, and try to remember any error messages.
DON’T post attention-seeking exagerated titles. “[Distro] broke my computer!!!!!!!!! going back to Windows!!!!! AAaaaaah!”.
Ok, so, you have got a list of possible Linux distros, you know how to look for information and help. What now?
Go and buy a pack of good quality blank cd’s.
Head over to Distrowatch and read up on the Top 10 distros.
Start downloading your chosen Linux distro images.
Burn the images to cd’s
Insert in CDROM drive and reboot the computer.
Nine out of Ten times, you will wait about 5 to 10 minutes and will be at a Linux desktop. You will be able to play and experiment
without having to worry about any adverse effects whatsoever on your already installed Windows system.
That’s it !! Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux