Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Is Linux a Good Choice for You? Are You a Good Choice For Linux? Part Two

 Beginner Linux Distributions are made to be simple and complete. Some mimic the Windows desktop and others do not. You have a choice of several different desktops when using Linux. The best is the one you want to use. All Desktops, even Windows have their strong and weak points. A few available desktops do not need a mouse. Lots of choices.


Once you have Linux installed, the difference between a beginners distribution and and a finely tuned Arch system, is a high speed stopwatch. They are almost identical systems with the exceptions of the applications and games on them and the amount of memory disk space they require.


Take your time. You do not need to decide immediately on one Linux distribution. They all sound great, but only one may really be for you. Load and run one or more Linux Distributions from your USB stick or DVD until you are comfortable with how Linux works and what it can do. Once you have your feet wet and your recovery tools, you are ready to begin.

 


 


I recommend you check out: MX Linux or Linux Mint first. These are two great Linux options for a new and old Linux users. Zorin OS or Elementary OS are also options, but they want to be the next Windows or Mac OS. Their software choices are rather limited. They do have their appeal, are pretty to look at, excellent integration, and selected applications most people use. If you are a basic user, either of these distributions may be fine for your needs.


Linux is Linux is Linux generally. The main body of a Linux system is mostly identical from one distribution to the next. Do you really care if your Linux distribution loads and runs an application a few seconds slower than the fastest Linux distributions out there? Or the Linux distribution you choose, takes nine seconds longer to boot up? What are your priorities in the moment, not the future.


You do not need a Linux distribution that claims to have most up to date software. You do not need the newest kernel or application releases. This is a fallacy pertaining 99% of thinking about Linux . If a Linux distribution loads on your computer and works as you want it to, it doesn't matter if it is Arch Linux or Zorin OS, or something in between. 

 

Standards change slowly and generally even the slowest updating distribution meets every standard you are likely to encounter Every major Linux distribution provides serious security updates quickly.


Though it is nice to have, you generally do not need a Linux distribution with fifty thousand files in its repository. If you have a unique need or want, chances are whatever Linux distribution you choose has someone who uses it too, and it will be available. Bigger is not always better.


Google for "beginner Linux distributions". Write down the names of as many as you want to look at and search for those. I suggest once you arrive on the "Home" page and read what is there, find and enter the "forums". Linux Forums are what really separates Linux distributions.


Some forums are very welcoming to new users, others are aggressive and hostile in general, new user or not. Find a forum that suits your personality and level of knowledge. There is no advantage to being talked down to or chastised because your question does not make sense to someone working in IT. If you knew what to ask, you probably won't be asking a question.


Most "Beginner" Linux distributions go out of their way to help new users feel welcome and comfortable. Arch Linux, though not friendly a beginners distribution, has one of the largest collection of documentation on the web. The problem is as a new Linux user, it may be difficult to actually find what you need and understand the material.


Once you have Linux installed, the difference between a beginners distribution and and a finely tuned Arch system, is really a stopwatch. They are almost identical systems with the exceptions of the applications and games installed and the amount of memory disk space they require.


A great source of information to help your Linux install go smoothly is this: every major Linux distribution has a manual usually in PDF format. Some distributions have two. One specifically for installing the distribution and a second for everything else. There is a acronym that pops up on some less friendly forums, but the advice is very good. The acronym is RTFM – Read the Fun Manual.


If you have a problem, look in your manual, then try your distributions forum. Describe your problem as thoroughly as you can. Be ready to rephrase what you asked and provide as many details as you can when asked. If you do not receive an answer that works, and you search the web. Ignore all information more than a year old. Do not make any changes unless a major Linux website has the changes on their website - not a comment on the bottom after a post. Something that fixed a problem in 2016, may break your system because it no longer applies.


Once you have Installed Linux, you are done until you are ready to learn more. You have learned and practiced the basics of Linux. You now know more about your computer and Linux than you know about Windows and your computer. You have made a huge step even if you choose to not use Linux long term.

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