Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

Best/friendly linux distro for the biggest linux noob?

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
Share
March 22, 2010 7:27:43 PM

I'll say this first, I'm a big mouse/click/double-click type of computer Windows user. So I am wondering if there are any linux distro out there thats really good and user friendly enough that requires the user only to know no more than 10 commands, and all 10 commands are no more than 5 words long. Noob (me) who knows little-to-nothing about linux looking for the most user friendly linux distro. Trying to learn linux, leisurely. Any suggestions? Some people I have spoken to say Ubuntu. I looked up Ubuntu and found out there are like 10+ different flavors of Ubuntu. Whats the best linux distro for a stupid person like me? Thanks!
a b 5 Linux
March 22, 2010 7:35:27 PM

I'd recommend Mandriva. But, TBH, they're all much the same (unless you go for something esoteric like Gentoo).

But, if you don't want to learn more than 10 commands you're not going to get the most out of Linux IMO.
Score
0
March 22, 2010 7:39:26 PM

well I was being a half-joker when I said 10 commands, I'm just looking for a linux that click-friendly.

ie: install a program = double click on setup.exe.
ie: install a driver = double click on setup.exe

while at the same time, give you the option of learn and entering commands that will do the same.

somewhere along those lines.
Score
0
Related resources
a b 5 Linux
March 22, 2010 7:59:41 PM

I'm afraid that no Linux distros that I know of work that way. Programs you install from some sort of software manager that lists all the available programs; you then select what you want and install by clicking a button - the exact details vary with different distros. Drivers you don't really need to worry about too much; in most cases they will be automatically present, but for a few very esoteric devices you may have to run some commands from a terminal prompt to compile and install them.

If I were you I would try a few distros - Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora - and see what you feel comfortable with. To make things easy whilst trying them out you could use VirtaulBox to install them within your Windows setup, or even just use a Live CD (slow but very easy to try). That way you won't need to do any disk partitioning. Mandriva, as I first recommended, is very user friendly but many people swear by the others.

If you know nothing at all about Linux it would probably be a good idea to buy one of those "Linux for Dummies" type books to get you started and to give you an idea of what can be done.
Score
0
March 22, 2010 9:35:46 PM

ok. thanks for the input :D 
Score
0
a b 5 Linux
March 23, 2010 3:06:29 AM

The most important thing to remember is that Linux is not Windows. Don't try doing things how you did on Windows or you'll get frustrated. It's like comparing Apples and pine cones. :) 
Score
0
a b 5 Linux
March 23, 2010 6:31:35 PM

San said:
well I was being a half-joker when I said 10 commands, I'm just looking for a linux that click-friendly.

ie: install a program = double click on setup.exe.
ie: install a driver = double click on setup.exe

while at the same time, give you the option of learn and entering commands that will do the same.

somewhere along those lines.


Why click on a setup.exe when you can just tick on a list the software you want, click install, make a quick brew and find it all there? If you're a novice (just an experience thing not a judgement!) windows user then the switch to another way of doing things should be easier than for a power user.
Score
0
December 2, 2010 2:45:21 PM

I have worked in the field of IT for over thirty years and have seen the complete evolution of M$ and Apple. Supporting Windows clients and Apple clients to a lesser degree have provided me with much income for decades! I have played with Linux/BSD since the mid 90s and since 2003 have delved in deeper. I find there is a certain arrogance both in the Linux and the BSD communities. Many wonder why more M$ users don't convert to Linux. M$ users typically are not true users of the OS. They only know that if they point and click, then something happens (good or bad)..lol! If we ever expect "Linux for the masses", we must come down off our trees and truly realize this. Over the last two years I took it upon myself to find the best distro out there for the "masses". I have installed scores of distros and had many friends, colleagues, and coworkers test drive them. Their skills ranged from "point&click" to experienced IT professionals. From all this evaluation I reached one conclusion. For 90% of users, if we want a "Linux for the masses", we have to build a distro which installs VERY easy, with everything working out of the box (including codecs, flash, jre, etc.), easy to configure and use, stable, user friendly rich software repositories, simple clean interface with beautiful "eye candy" (see MacOSX), and friendly non geeky support. Considering all this, I believe we have still "missed the boat". KDE looks a little like Window$ but is clumsy.. and what with all the "K"s?!?! Gnome is clean simple and sensible, but not at all the style Window$. So which distros would I recommend for a brave M$ user to try and convince them to take the leap?

1. Linux Mint (Gnome) *****best by far!
2. Ubuntu ****easy to configure
3. PCLinuxOS (Gnome) **trouble with some browser plugins, etc.
4. Puppy (just for fun) ***WOOF-WOOF!
5. PC-BSD (just for BSD bragging rights) ****"Hey, I use UNIX!"
6. All the rest of they want REAL challenges "hey, I'm a geek!"

So for all of us Linux/BSD freaks, like what was said in another blog, "please don't get your panties in a bunch"... just my opinion.
Score
0
December 2, 2010 6:29:31 PM

I am an experienced Win user and I remember back to the days of DOS pathlists and using BASIC (even peeking and poking) on the 80's computers.
Saying that I tried Hardy Heron Ubuntu 8.xx as a dual boot and I liked it BUT
it wouldnt load a driver for an older Creative Audigy sound card.
It probably could be worked around but at the time I didnt want to deal with it.
I uninstalled Ubuntu (whole process in itself).
I do want to try again.
There are apps involving cluster computing (OSCAR etc) that are not out there for Windows (at least not without paying LOL) so I will give it a go again.
LINUX takes time, patience and some hard work.
For me as a computer hardware/OS (Google LOL) tech (A+) it is a necessary step in my learning curve.
For me it is fun but for the general masses who cant figure out disk defrag and disk cleanup etc much less regedit and msconfig well Linux might not be for them.
And anybody who has mastered Linux deserves to be a little arrogant :D 
Score
0

Best solution

a b 5 Linux
December 2, 2010 7:03:24 PM

king smp said:
For me it is fun but for the general masses who cant figure out disk defrag and disk cleanup etc much less regedit and msconfig well Linux might not be for them.

Interestingly, of the four things that you mention three are what makes Linux easier than Windows. No need for defrag, regedit, or msconfig. OK, so you have to edit a few text files to configure things but, to me at least, this is much easier than messing about with the registry. Anyway, most configuration is done through a GUI nowadays.

Linux is not harder than Windows, it's just different. Very few users master the full intracacies of Windows, so why expect them to do so with Linux?

The real reason for a lack of adoptance of Linux on the desktop is simple - Games.
Share
December 2, 2010 7:53:24 PM

Good point.
I am just starting out with Linux.
It is like starting martial arts training where you have to forget everything you have learned before.
There is all the terminology and pathlists etc.
I need to get "Linux for Dummies".
BTW your website is impressive.
Score
0
a b 5 Linux
December 2, 2010 8:02:04 PM

As I used to work for the publisher of the "Dummies" books I commend your choice! And thanks for your kind words.
Score
0
December 2, 2010 8:51:54 PM

Well anybody that enjoys doing assembly for fun gets my respect.
I learned just enough about assembly language to know how hard it is to write elegant code.
infinite loops are no fun.
They invented the phrase Garbage In- Garbage Out with me in mind LOL
If-then-else/and-or-not is about all I can handle.
I miss Pascal!
Score
0
a b 5 Linux
December 2, 2010 11:28:47 PM

Many now say Zorin OS is a very good distro for the hopelessly Windows-addicted.
You may want to give it a shot.
Score
0
a b 5 Linux
December 3, 2010 5:26:49 AM

Zorin OS tries to imitate Windows too much. If you need Windows that bad then you don't need Linux :)  There's Linux XP too which is an even closer match to Windows. It even has a 30-day trial period before activation is required, and you log in as root by default. Can't get much closer than that! :D 
Score
0
a b 5 Linux
December 3, 2010 10:02:14 PM

randomizer said:
It even has a 30-day trial period before activation is required, and you log in as root by default. Can't get much closer than that! :D 


That raises all sorts of alarms in my head.
Score
0
a b 5 Linux
December 4, 2010 9:46:45 AM

randomizer said:
Zorin OS tries to imitate Windows too much. If you need Windows that bad then you don't need Linux :)  There's Linux XP too which is an even closer match to Windows. It even has a 30-day trial period before activation is required, and you log in as root by default. Can't get much closer than that! :D 


Yes. but isn't that what the OP wanted?

I use Debian- and Slackware-based distros myself, having grown out of ubuntu. I favor both antiX and absolute, respectively, at the moment. Things change over time . . .
and Pyroflea is wise to be wary!
Score
0
a b 5 Linux
December 4, 2010 10:13:17 AM

The OP wanted a distro that is "really good and user friendly", they didn't say they wanted a Windows clone. :) 
Score
0
a b 5 Linux
December 4, 2010 4:53:28 PM

To the OP, I just suggest you really think about what you're wanting. It's fantastic that you show an interest in Linux, but you have to realize that it's a completely different world than Windows. It WILL take some getting used to, it WILL be frustrating at first, and it WILL pay off in the end if you're willing. I realize that it's hard migrating from Windows, but you have to just give up that thought. The command line is scary at first, but I guarantee you'll learn to love it; it is a very powerful tool.

Again, just think about what you're wanting to achieve with your OS. As much as I absolutely love Linux, I still run Windows on my laptop, just out of necessity. Some programs I run I just can't get running on Linux, and I'm fine with this. The ability to use any OS thrown at you is a great skill to have.
Score
0
December 14, 2010 12:13:11 PM

Honestly for a total Linux noob, the best and most user friendly Linux distros are going to be Ubuntu or Ubuntu-based: Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, Super OS to name a tiny few. Ubuntu is great, but Linux Mint has alot more working out of the box like Flash even though it's not hard to add things yourself , Linux Mint would be a good starting point.
Score
0
March 22, 2011 5:03:58 PM

Ubuntu is the easiest Linux install. Dual partitions Ubuntu beats Linux Mint because in Ubuntu you can view your Windows partition.
Score
0
a b 5 Linux
March 22, 2011 9:47:18 PM

Which you can do in any distro.
Score
0
March 22, 2011 11:27:19 PM

I think that the one thing not mentioned here is that each distribution has its own flavor, and can be customized in several ways. Grab a CDRW disk and download / burn a liveCD. Then boot it. Your now on a fully functioning graphical desktop without installing anything permanently onto your computer. If you like what you see, great! Download the next distribution and burn it onto the same disk (remembered to use a RW disk, right?) and try it. You'll find default things that you like and ones you don't like. Live with it for a day or so. Check out the documentation available - As mentioned above, Gentoo isn't a beginner's distro, but it has really good documentation and guides; not the only reason I use it, but certainly a plus. If the documentation is easily accessable to you, and helpful, then another plus for a distro.

www.distrowatch.com gives a nice overview of each distribution.

For new converts to linux I seriously suggest a mainstream distribution, they have the largest userbase and are the most polished of install and updates typically.
Score
0
April 29, 2011 9:52:11 AM

San said:
I'll say this first, I'm a big mouse/click/double-click type of computer Windows user. So I am wondering if there are any linux distro out there thats really good and user friendly enough that requires the user only to know no more than 10 commands, and all 10 commands are no more than 5 words long. Noob (me) who knows little-to-nothing about linux looking for the most user friendly linux distro. Trying to learn linux, leisurely. Any suggestions? Some people I have spoken to say Ubuntu. I looked up Ubuntu and found out there are like 10+ different flavors of Ubuntu. Whats the best linux distro for a stupid person like me? Thanks!


I think one of the simple with the very least to learn, runs about everything right out of the box (so to speak, at least for everyone I've turned on to it, to date is Simply MEPIS.

After years of using several distros, this seems to be one that I don't get complaints about. The only time I have used the console to enter any commands was with some reckless experimenting, actually.

It seems to come with about everything you could want installed, and if you want some new software , just look for it in your synaptic package manager and click, and it's installed for you with a click.
I have forgotten more things I learned in windows than I had to learn to use this distro, and my old windows addicts , seem to like it better than ubuntu for the majority.
Score
0
Anonymous
May 3, 2011 12:26:53 AM

I'm not the OP, but wanted to thank everyone for their input, it's been educational. I played around with Linux (for a short time) some time around 97/98 and am thinking of learning more.
Score
0
a b 5 Linux
May 3, 2011 1:08:40 AM

Linux of 98 and Linux of 2011 are totally different animals :) 
Score
0
June 6, 2011 1:07:35 PM

San said:
I'll say this first, I'm a big mouse/click/double-click type of computer Windows user. So I am wondering if there are any linux distro out there thats really good and user friendly enough that requires the user only to know no more than 10 commands, and all 10 commands are no more than 5 words long. Noob (me) who knows little-to-nothing about linux looking for the most user friendly linux distro. Trying to learn linux, leisurely. Any suggestions? Some people I have spoken to say Ubuntu. I looked up Ubuntu and found out there are like 10+ different flavors of Ubuntu. Whats the best linux distro for a stupid person like me? Thanks!


San,
IT seems what you need is Linux Mint. It comes with All the tools to make your Linux experience easy and fun. Has a great initial set of applications like office, acrobat viewer, Image processing, Internet messenger, Gui tools to manage firewalls, domain blocking, backup etc. Will install your propriety drivers, audio/video/network out of the box. for the few like advanced ATI/Nvidia graphics it's a one click install from propriety hardware driver gui.

It come with 3 media players - VLC/Mplayer and Totem(linux standard) which will play almost everything. As for your favourite programs you can find them or a very close alternative in the package manager (since they are packaged by the distro in a safe environment its always safe).

Best is to download a live iso image burn up a disk or put it on a USB drive and go for a spin. You can also install it in windows as a program and It'll give you a multiboot option. When you are ready to put it on its own partition just remove from add/remove programs and do a standard install to put linux on its own partition (Its faster and more responsive when run from a standard install)
Score
0
June 9, 2011 7:35:00 PM

As an occasional Linux user I have this criticism for Linux:

It looks good, it runs well, but its still not intuitive to do anything in reference to installing programs or modifying them. I recently tried the latest Ubuntu, which I installed under Windows. (It crashed 3 times after reinstalls, so I finally had to uninstall it).

It looks good. Sound worked right off the bat which was nice. The video worked fine as well. Where it got wonky and I believe is a must fix for wide acceptance...If there are linux drivers for a product usually used in Windows, Package the drivers so you can install them easily. I tried with a TV capture card which does have drivers for Linux. The documentation was impossible to understand, it was way over my head. When I did try to install it, it did not work. How hard can it be to package drivers/application programs in one executable, so you can double click and use the programs?
Worked easily for printers, so why not other items?
Score
0
June 9, 2011 9:30:39 PM

^ I agree to a point

I didnt have any crashes with my dual boot with Ubuntu
I think that it is for either a light duty user who is just going to browse,check emails and play music/video
OR
it is for the Hard Core enthusiast user who has some coding training

for the person in the middle who is an advanced user but not at the
level of a programmer
it is a problem

I can handle some terminal work
I usually copy and paste over commands/pathlists from articles on the web
I can do a basic "sudo apt-get *"
I have trouble with device pathlists and also understanding the different
filesystems

The learning curve with Linux is much harder IMHO than Windows
It rare to get into DOS commands with Windows
an occasional "fix mbr" "fix boot" etc

You are right the support for more drivers and easier installs is needed to
go to the next level of OS for th masses

In the hands of a trained coder it is a powerful OS
for somebody doing the basics it is good

but for the people in between it is tough
I do enjoy reading and learning about it
but with a wife,kid,work,dog and motherinlaw in the house
trying to get a few hours uninterrupted to study is tough LOL
Score
0
a b 5 Linux
June 10, 2011 12:22:47 AM

xaephod said:
As an occasional Linux user I have this criticism for Linux:

It looks good, it runs well, but its still not intuitive to do anything in reference to installing programs or modifying them. I recently tried the latest Ubuntu, which I installed under Windows. (It crashed 3 times after reinstalls, so I finally had to uninstall it).

It looks good. Sound worked right off the bat which was nice. The video worked fine as well. Where it got wonky and I believe is a must fix for wide acceptance...If there are linux drivers for a product usually used in Windows, Package the drivers so you can install them easily. I tried with a TV capture card which does have drivers for Linux. The documentation was impossible to understand, it was way over my head. When I did try to install it, it did not work. How hard can it be to package drivers/application programs in one executable, so you can double click and use the programs?
Worked easily for printers, so why not other items?

It may be that the product is so niche that nobody has stepped up to do this (a job for you perhaps ;) ). It may also be that the licence on the drivers forbids distribution outside of the original source (the manufacturer). There could be a number of reasons.
Score
0
January 28, 2012 3:28:49 PM

Best answer selected by mousemonkey.
Score
0
January 28, 2012 3:31:19 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
Score
0
!