Beginner here, don't know what distribution I should use

VXen

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Hello everyone !

I have an old pc that is kinda tired, running with Windows 10. I'd like to continue to use it as a side PC, for typewriting, going on internet, watching videos and films (these would be the three main things I would do with it). So instead of staying on windows which makes him very slow, I'd like to switch on Linux to give him a new start, a whole new life !

BUT I'm really new with this, and I don't know which distribution I should go with, considering the use I will have of this PC. So this would be great if I could have you guys advices to help me chose and get started :)

Thanks !
 


f33dm3bits

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kc1di

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Hello @VXen,
Welcome to the Forums, You'll get a lot of advice, But in the end only you can choose which Distro is best for you and your Machine. This page may be of help though.
 

forester

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Welcome, @VXen .

First things I want to know with such a question is 1) intended usage of the PC, and
2) the PC's specs.

Then, an informed suggestion may be made, by us here at LO. Otherwise it is likely some fanboi will tell you to use Pop! or Kali or another unsuitable distribution, especially at other Linux forums.

Try and find McGrath's book Linux in Easy Steps, I would suggest, to get the basics down.

There is nothing wrong with LinuxLite (as @Bartman suggests) for beginners.

I encourage newbies to look into PCLinuxOS, as well. Little-known yet surprisingly user-friendly, it's worth investigating.
 

Pirx

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Try Linux Mint, first. It's known for being a good choice for beginners. If you need something lighter then you can have a look at Sparky Linux. It works fine on my ancient laptop with 2GB of RAM.
 

Brickwizard

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most distributions will run on ex W 7/8/10 machines, as to what is best, the answer is the one you like the look & feel of, and works best on your machine, welcome to Linux it's your OS and so your choice
 

SeanK

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Hello everyone !

I have an old pc that is kinda tired, running with Windows 10. I'd like to continue to use it as a side PC, for typewriting, going on internet, watching videos and films (these would be the three main things I would do with it). So instead of staying on windows which makes him very slow, I'd like to switch on Linux to give him a new start, a whole new life !

BUT I'm really new with this, and I don't know which distribution I should go with, considering the use I will have of this PC. So this would be great if I could have you guys advices to help me chose and get started :)

Thanks !
I'd use Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE). Its the most stable of the Debian derivatives I've come across. My daily driver on the laptop I use for business.
 
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KGIII

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LMDE is a fantastic choice. I, of course, echo the response from @f33dm3bits.

Your distro choice is a very personal thing. It is something you, and only you, can ultimately decide. That may seem like a bad thing or even a hassle, but it's a wonderful freedom. Freedom needs work to maintain, so it's up to you to make the choice.

As you can guess, this question is asked at least a dozen times a month. Sometimes, it's asked more than once in a single day ('cause people don't know how to use the search function, I suppose). Unless you have very narrow choices and a limited selection, and even then, all you'll get are people telling you their favorite distro or telling you to figure it out yourself.
 

wizardfromoz

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My response has elements of those from my friends @f33dm3bits and @KGIII above, but with additional suggestions.

If you have, or get, a USB stick sized 16 GB to 32 GB in size, from your Windows 10 I would download Ventoy.

https://www.ventoy.net/en/doc_start.html

Then I would go to

https://distrowatch.com/

and from the right-hand side where it says Page Hit Ranking, download the .iso for the top 5 to 10, and add them to your Ventoy stick.

For now, I would exclude those for Pop!_OS, Garuda, and openSUSE, I can explain why later.

You can then use the Ventoy stick, placing USB at the top of your booting order in your startup setup, to try out a group of Linux.

Things I would be looking for as essential:
  1. Does it recognise my wifi, and Ethernet (if available) for internet connectivity?
  2. Does it recognise my printer/scanner?
  3. Does it recognise my Graphics card for video?
  4. Does it recognise my Audio card for sound and music?
  5. Does it have an Office Suite (usually LibreOffice) for word processing and spreadsheets?
  6. and anything else of major importance to you.
That pretty well covers what you say here
for typewriting, going on internet, watching videos and films (these would be the three main things I would do with it).

You could also tell us the computer name, and model and how much RAM (memory sticks capacity) it has for us to better advise.

From the Distrowatch site rankings, I run 19 out of the top 25 amongst my 75 Linux distros, so I may be able to help further, later.

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

bob466

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Welcome to the Forum.
happy0005.gif

For an old computer I would say...Linux Lite...it doesn't hog resources. I had it running on my old Lap Top and ran very well.
m01101.gif


Another would be Linux Mint Mate it doesn't hog resources but the choice is always yours...just remember old computers are limited to what they can do.
m01101.gif
 
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VXen

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So many answers, thank you :eek: !

The PC is an ASUS, don't exactly know the model and didn't find it... It is equipped with an Intel Core i7 2.4gHz, a GeForce GT 720M, and 6GB Ram.

I will check every of your recommandations / links, and look for what is best for me ! I just wanted to have maybe a slight direction to go to as a newbie here :)

With the specs I just gave you, do you any other advice?
 

Brickwizard

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With that spec it's not what I consider old, acers do throw up some problems, if it's a laptop they sometimes load with hard block on the Wi-Fi [flight mode] they also occasionally load with sound disabled, but the main bugs are Realteck Wi-Fi drivers and if it's a touch screen getting it to work properly, with a little effort they can all be overcome
 

kc1di

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So many answers, thank you :eek: !

The PC is an ASUS, don't exactly know the model and didn't find it... It is equipped with an Intel Core i7 2.4gHz, a GeForce GT 720M, and 6GB Ram.

I will check every of your recommandations / links, and look for what is best for me ! I just wanted to have maybe a slight direction to go to as a newbie here :)

With the specs I just gave you, do you any other advice?
With those specs you should be able to run almost any Linux Distro. I would still recommend starting with Mint. But try several live version as see which one fit you the best. Stay away for now from Distros like kali they are for more advanced users. The only problem I see may be the Nvidia Graphics card you will need to do some work to get in working properly on some distros. I believe that PCLinuxOS still install nvidia drivers during install. I think Manjaro does also but check around. Good luck and enjoy the process. :)
 
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Brickwizard

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As for suggestions, any of the Ubuntu family, Mint, Peppermint, Mx, Debian with non-free codecs, linux lite are all good usable beginner distributions, as @kc1di said there are some speciality distributions only stable to those fully proficient in Linux and the terminal and some made for specific manufacturers kit which may or may not work on other makes [Pop is one such distribution]
First google Linux desktops and take a look to see which you fancy using and look for a distribution that offers it out of the box
 

bob466

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So many answers, thank you :eek: !

The PC is an ASUS, don't exactly know the model and didn't find it... It is equipped with an Intel Core i7 2.4gHz, a GeForce GT 720M, and 6GB Ram.

I will check every of your recommandations / links, and look for what is best for me ! I just wanted to have maybe a slight direction to go to as a newbie here :)

With the specs I just gave you, do you any other advice?

With those specs you can run anything...try Linux Mint Cinnamon an excellent Distro.
t2009.gif
 
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