I typed this up for someone who has a ten year old laptop that used to host Windows 7. They want to keep using there laptop as aside from the slow hard drive, it runs like new. This particular laptop has a very slow hard drive, and eight gigabytes of memory. I use Linux Mint, so which distribution to Install was an easy choice. Once Linux Mint was loaded, the slow hard drive is not noticeable. For a few very applications such as graphics intensive programs, this laptop is more than they could ever hope to utilize.
For this computer I moved the Panel to the top of the screen and added Plank on the bottom of the screen. For often used programs, Plank is quicker to use.
Your Linux Mint Debian Edition Laptop
is the most used operating system in the world today. Everything from Smartphones to the Internet is powered by Linux. If you include Android, which is a type of Linux, over eighty percent of the World runs on Linux.
In many ways Linux is similar to other operating systems such as Windows, iOS, OS X, and others. Linux has the types of software and graphical interface you are accustomed to using in Windows. You can even run some Android programs, though they are boring. You will be using Linux Mint LMDE 4 Debbie, a Windows like, simple to use and maintain type of Linux.
The Linux Mint start menu button is on the top left, the green M in a circle. Unlike Windows, (almost) all the programs of a type have their own place in the menu display. Accessories, Education, Games, Graphics, and Internet are example menu entries with applicable programs below them. Office for example contains a Microsoft Windows compatible office suite. Accessories contains editors and my favorite notes program, Zim. After a few days of using Linux Mint, you will feel completely at home.
I put on a bunch of games. I have only played or tried maybe half the games, so I don’t know how they play or if they will even run.
I have created two accounts on the laptop for you. Your account, and a second account named Zorro for everyone else. Your account is the administrator account. Zorro account is a user account and has no ability to change anything. Anyone using the Zorro account can not see any files in your account, such as documents. Your account has a password, Zorro does not. Using your account you can see all files in the Zorro account.
When you power up the laptop, a boot screen will appear. You can either do nothing and wait five seconds, or hit enter. Now you will have to wait for about one minute for the login screen to appear. Select the account you wish to use and add the password.
If you never connect the laptop to the Internet, it will run as it is until it can not run any more. If you connect to the Internet it will want to update itself. If you find you do connect to the Internet, it is best to keep Linux Mint updated. The process is simple, just follow the prompts.
LinuxMint LMDE 4, the Linux you are using, is based on Debian and uses the Cinnamon Desktop. On the bottom of the screen is a row of icons. The program that holds them is called Plank which is a Dock (Think Dock like at a Lake). When you open a program not on the Plank Dock, its icon will show up on the Dock. If you want to keep it there, right click on the icon and click once in the, “Keep in Dock” box. If you want to remove any program already on the Dock, right click on the icon and Click in the box.
The Cinnamon Desktop is simple to use. For example if you want to change the desktop background, do a right click and click on, “Desktop Settings”. There are a lot of alternate backgrounds you can choose from on the left side of the program screen.
Your laptop has a firewall installed for the Internet, and I put ad blocking and anti tracking extensions in Firefox Web Browser. Linux is mostly immune to viruses and malware, so you don’t have to worry about that.
Linux is free software and the applications and games are also free. There is a program named Wine, that lets you run some Windows applications and games, but your chance of getting a virus just like using a Windows computer. Plus it would run really sloooowwww.
One last note. Any text files, Documents, or spreadsheets you create on your laptop that you will share with Windows users, needs to use a font that starts with “Liberation”. The Liberation Fonts are Windows format compatible. This means if you use a font starting with, Liberation in a document, the formatting will be retained if the document is opened in Windows.