Linux, eh? what you on about

B42T

LE
Right, beardy weirdys,

Serious question, and it is, what exactly is Linux?
Now, all I do on my 7yr old pc is surf the net,internet banking, watch errr football, from various sites and listen to music on YouTube and itunes.

All I have ever used is windows.
However my pc is starting to creak although it does all of the above admirably.
Would there be any point in swapping to this Linux thing? Would it cause me a world of pain, could I do all the above?

Am I being daft to even think of this?
bare in mind my laptops are staying firmly in the land of windows 10, and only my desktop would perhaps be subject to this.

Any ideas, info would be gratefully received.

PS my great dane has a greater knowledge of technical things than me, so please go easy.
 
The simple version?

Linux is an operating system that comes in a lot of different versions. Essentially the basic code is free for anyone to modify and redistribute.

It is possible to 'dual-boot' - you can install Linux and leave your Windows install as it currently is, assuming you have enough hard disk space.

Some things Linux does very well and some things are a real pain in the arse until you practice.

I would suggest if you are going to try Linux then you spend a bit of time looking for a version (distro is the phrase) that is easy to use and free, Ubuntu used to be recommended but no idea on the current versions. Then either dual-boot or download virtual machine software to see if you get on with it.

Virtual machines allow you to effectively run Linux from within Windows and won't bugger up your Windows install if it all goes Pete Tong. Virtualbox works well and is free - Oracle VM VirtualBox

Right, now that I've done my very simple version stand by for lots of discussion about sudo and root and kernels from people who actually know what they are talking about ;)
 
Linux is great and free - I dual boot and use both Windows 10 & Linux (Ubuntu), Each have their pro's and cons - but for what you use your computer for Linux is fine. You get regular updates, and it's far faster than windows and there's less chance of getting a virus.

Also if you just want to try Linux - you can use a bootable DVD or USB drive and test it out to see if it's for you.
 
Right, beardy weirdys,

Serious question, and it is, what exactly is Linux?
Now, all I do on my 7yr old pc is surf the net,internet banking, watch errr football, from various sites and listen to music on YouTube and itunes.

All I have ever used is windows.
However my pc is starting to creak although it does all of the above admirably.
Would there be any point in swapping to this Linux thing? Would it cause me a world of pain, could I do all the above?

Am I being daft to even think of this?
bare in mind my laptops are staying firmly in the land of windows 10, and only my desktop would perhaps be subject to this.

Any ideas, info would be gratefully received.

PS my great dane has a greater knowledge of technical things than me, so please go easy.
Linux is a piece of wee wee IF you're capable of adapting to a new OS. If you have struggled in the past with each new iteration of Windows you're likely to struggle with Linux. Given your PC is a few years old the hardware should be compatible (Linux distros sometime lag behind with drivers for newer items of hardware). However, if you're adaptable, willing to learn a new way of doing things, willing to learn, and are fairly good at solving problems (minor ones, with a lot of available help out there) Linux is a great way to revive an old PC.

There are a plethora of distros out there (Linux is the name of the kernel OS, with a distro built around it) and they're pretty all intuitive these days.

If it's possible I'd go for a dual boot system initially, so you've got something to fall back to if/when things prove difficult. You can then ditch Windows once you're confident.

Good luck (I've been using Linux since 1997, even my wife has been using it since 2005).
 
My old mum got into a panic when she heard that Microsoft were stopping support for Windows 7. Then some prat on the radio said she shouldn't do Internet banking on Win7.

I installed Debian, a version of Linux, onto her laptop, copied all her photos and documents across, then setup Chrome with all her passwords. I also set up Teamviewer, so that I could have remote access if she had a problem. I was expecting a lot of tech support calls.

Three weeks now and she hasn't called me once about it.

Make a CD or usb stick and try it live. It won't be that quick because it's running off a slow media. When installed properly on the internal drive, it'll run quicker than the windows you were used to, and you'll wonder why you left it so long.

Sent from my neocore_E1R1 using Tapatalk
 
By the way, if you ask a group of people which distro they run I can almost guarantee they'll al be on something different.

Kubuntu here.
 

Just_plain_you

War Hero
On 7 year old hardware make sure you look for a 'lightweight' distro such as xubuntu
 
OK, another serious question. My dad gave me his very old laptop a year or two back. 1Gb of memory, not sure on the hard disk size (30-40Gb??) and it's possibly Windows XP, not sure haven't turned it on since he gave it to me. I recall taking off all the software that was on it apart from Windows.

Now there's a laptop repair place I've used in the past a couple of miles from home. Assuming they would be up for it, is it worth asking them to "de-Windows" it and put some version of Linux on it for me to try out the OS? I think Linux comes with a suite of programmes as standard - is that right?

If it is worth a try, which version would you suggest, perhaps other than, "Whatever the repair place has available or is prepared to install" of course.

Thanks in anticipation.

Edit: I'm happy if the laptop ends up as a total Linux machine, I only want to try it out and if everything goes tits up, the things going in the bin, it's not really worth more than a few quid at best.
 

B42T

LE
OK, another serious question. My dad gave me his very old laptop a year or two back. 1Gb of memory, not sure on the hard disk size (30-40Gb??) and it's possibly Windows XP, not sure haven't turned it on since he gave it to me. I recall taking off all the software that was on it apart from Windows.

Now there's a laptop repair place I've used in the past a couple of miles from home. Assuming they would be up for it, is it worth asking them to "de-Windows" it and put some version of Linux on it for me to try out the OS? I think Linux comes with a suite of programmes as standard - is that right?

If it is worth a try, which version would you suggest, perhaps other than, "Whatever the repair place has available or is prepared to install" of course.

Thanks in anticipation.
Grrrrr thread hijacker :p
 
However my pc is starting to creak although it does all of the above admirably.
When was the last time you got rid of all the cumulative crap Windows likes to absorb?
If you don't, you've likely got gigabytes of rubbish slowing it.
Free "service" downloads.
My current Windows 10 is the first generation, runs sweet, smooth, and shyte free.
 

Just_plain_you

War Hero
OK, another serious question. My dad gave me his very old laptop a year or two back. 1Gb of memory, not sure on the hard disk size (30-40Gb??) and it's possibly Windows XP, not sure haven't turned it on since he gave it to me. I recall taking off all the software that was on it apart from Windows.

Now there's a laptop repair place I've used in the past a couple of miles from home. Assuming they would be up for it, is it worth asking them to "de-Windows" it and put some version of Linux on it for me to try out the OS? I think Linux comes with a suite of programmes as standard - is that right?

If it is worth a try, which version would you suggest, perhaps other than, "Whatever the repair place has available or is prepared to install" of course.

Thanks in anticipation.

Edit: I'm happy if the laptop ends up as a total Linux machine, I only want to try it out and if everything goes tits up, the things going in the bin, it's not really worth more than a few quid at best.
Throw it in the bin. You are wasting your time with this old relic.

If you want a cheap way to play, either install virtualbox or buy a raspberry pi.
 
Throw it in the bin. You are wasting your time with this old relic.

If you want a cheap way to play, either install virtualbox or buy a raspberry pi.
This. That thing has to be at least 15 years old.

If you really are a masochist, I would suggest something like Puppy Linux, designed to run on extremely old hardware like this.

Oldest laptop I have is a Core 2 Duo something. It's a Panasonic Toughbook though, which makes it handy out in the field in rough conditions.
 
Last edited:
Linux can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Most home routers run Linux under the hood. They're simple, low-powered, low-memory, low-storage devices running generally off a mobile phone CPU (ARM derivative). I've got half a dozen of them, a couple of them are little bigger than an old-fashioned matchbox.

Big iron industrial routers that run the internet also run derivatives of it. The commands are the same, they're just a lot more capable. Most web infrastructure runs on Linux.

It's also available as a desktop OS, which is what you're considering here. But note that it's really just the user interface that makes it a "Desktop". Industrial server variants don't generally install the graphical interface, because it's just overhead. But it's certainly possible.

For starting off, I'd go with Ubuntu. It's pretty user-friendly. It comes in several different "flavours". These generally change the User Interface and some under-the-hood things. They have derivative names, like Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu. For older hardware, Xubuntu is a good choice. If you've got 2GB RAM, normal Ubuntu will likely be fine. At least this week. Next week might be 4GB, but for now I think 2GB will be fine. It will run in 1GB, but you will see better performance with more memory, like anything else.

The command line environment is completely different to DOS/Windows, but if you weren't using that in Windows, you won't miss it in Linux.

Try a "Live" CD/DVD version. You don't commit yourself because it doesn't modify the hard disk, and if you don't like it, bin it. If you do like it, dual boot it, if you have enough HD space. It can shrink down existing Windows installations to make room for itself. Live versions will be slower because it runs from the optical disk. That's not the case for hard disk proper installs, they boot very quickly (like 10-15 seconds).
 

jg505

Old-Salt
I've been running an Acer aspire, with an extremely small HD for the last 14 yrs. I've upgraded the RAM, OS and video card and it's been absolutely brilliant for what I want. Have stripped out all the additional junk software, and installed a local NAS. All my DVDs, pictures, films, documents are on the NAS, which is backed up to a 4TB external drive.

Sadly, it's currently running Windows 7, so I will need to upgrade. Gave Linux some consideration but will go with a new Windows 10 PC.

Love Windows and MS products, hate anything Apple related, and my NAS currently has over 2000 films on it, and is linked to my Samsung Smart TVs, so win win.
 
I used to use Ubuntu until the "unity interface" which I hated. Ubuntu is good but becoming bloated and slow for older machines.

I used Kubuntu for a while and liked the interface, but used to Mint a few years ago.

The good point is that you can try for free and then change if you don't like it.

My current personal preference is for Mint, but with Kubuntu a close second.
 
Sadly, it's currently running Windows 7, so I will need to upgrade. Gave Linux some consideration but will go with a new Windows 10 PC.
Why?
The world hasn't ended and Win7 still works fine.

There is no issue as long as you have a decent firewall and anti-virus installed. If you want more security then a VPN.

As long as you're not surfing dodgy websites or downloading spam email attachments then Win7 will be fine. I have no plans to "upgrade" my Win7 laptop.
 

jg505

Old-Salt
Why?
The world hasn't ended and Win7 still works fine.

There is no issue as long as you have a decent firewall and anti-virus installed. If you want more security then a VPN.

As long as you're not surfing dodgy websites or downloading spam email attachments then Win7 will be fine. I have no plans to "upgrade" my Win7 laptop.
TBH, and for the past few years, I've paid for Kaspersky, which I'm led to believe is a very good AV software package. (Still scares the bejeebas out of me that's it's Russian tho).

So do you think with Win7 and Kaspersky, I don't need to upgrade?
 
Right, beardy weirdys,

Serious question, and it is, what exactly is Linux?
Now, all I do on my 7yr old pc is surf the net,internet banking, watch errr football, from various sites and listen to music on YouTube and itunes.

All I have ever used is windows.
However my pc is starting to creak although it does all of the above admirably.
Would there be any point in swapping to this Linux thing? Would it cause me a world of pain, could I do all the above?

Am I being daft to even think of this?
bare in mind my laptops are staying firmly in the land of windows 10, and only my desktop would perhaps be subject to this.

Any ideas, info would be gratefully received.

PS my great dane has a greater knowledge of technical things than me, so please go easy.
Buy a Chromebook from Currys.

Save yourself some grief.
 

Latest Threads

Top