HOW DO I TRY LINUX

Brickwizard

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I want to try Linux, What is the best way?

There are several ways to try Linux on your machine, to get the complete experience, it is always best to install your chosen distribution direct to the hard-drive. But this may frighten some newbies.

Options
Install to Hard-drive either as a clean installation [this will remove all your existing OS and associated files]

Install to the Hard-drive, in a duel/multiboot system . You then choose which OS you wish to use at the boot stage, using multi boot Linux can be used to access your windows folders [pictures, documents, &etc.] BUT windows will never see your Linux files.

Install to an external drive [ I have several, which I use for testing various Linux distributions]

Install to a pen-drive with persistence [ you will need a pen-drive of at least 32GB] this has the great benefit that it becomes your personal portable computer drive, that you can carry around and use in almost any computer.

Install into a VM/VB [virtual machine/box] this has the advantage that if you mess up and cannot fix your Linux it is easy to delete and replace, also you can jump between VM’s and your main OS without having to re-boot each time.

WSL [Windows subsystem for Linux] If you have Windows 8,10,11 then you can install WLS from Microsoft [if its not already on your system] Personally I have not used Windows for many years, therefore I have little knowledge of WSL, except to say it is similar to using a VM and has the same benefits

There is one final option for those wishing to learn Linux, that is to do a full clean installation on a second computer [THIS I HIGHLY RECOMMEND], any old 64bit computer or most chromebooks can be used, if it has 4GB of ram then you can use any of the 500 or so desktop Linux builds, If it has 2GB of ram , then there are many medium/lightweight distributions that will work on it, and even if you have less than 2GB there is still a small selection of distributions that you can run.

And there you have the Brickwizards thoughts and advice, if you are a newbie please also read https://www.linux.org/threads/what-is-the-best-linux-distribution-which-should-i-use.43789/

Footnote.. Before you install your chosen distribution, Please ensure you read the full documentation, from the developers.a link is usually on the download page.
 
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When I first started looking at Linux...I'd download the ISO and install it in Virtualbox. Then I burnt the ISO to a Flash Drive and ran it as a live session.
A little later I'd install the Distro on to a spare Drive...these days I just use Virtualbox...easy.
m1212.gif
 
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@airmaxpneumatic
welcome to the forums
I do not recommend the on-line testing,
1] it will not give any guidance as to if a particular distribution will run on your kit
2] it is limited as to what you can play around with, set up wise
3 depending on your connection, it can be very slow, and not give a true experiance.
 
All excellent advice.

But for all aspiring new users who are NOT in a hurry: Start reading about Linux for a bit first.
On a low entry level. Do a Goog ....euhm Search Engine search first. For example "easy to use Linux distributions". You would probably end up with Linux Mint or Ubuntu and start reading that. Preferably their respective home pages. Look at the screenshots, read up on how to install and TRY out a distro without "diving in too deep" and get familiar with the terminology for a while.

After building your confidence a bit, take the next step and do a USB install and fire it up on you system. (This might in turn teach you a little bit about BIOS/UEFI as you will have to deal with that). Make yourself familiar with it (while still keeping your original OS) and try to duplicate the basic use as you would on your previous OS.

And go from there.......all the "complicated" stuff is so much easier to learn when you are familiar with the basics.
Don't take on too much from the get-go. Familiarize. That's the key. It will take some time to learn new things but also to UNLEARN old ones.

;)
 
I want to try Linux, What is the best way?

There are several ways to try Linux on your machine, to get the complete experience, it is always best to install your chosen distribution direct to the hard-drive. But this may frighten some newbies.

Options
Install to Hard-drive either as a clean installation [this will remove all your existing OS and associated files]

Install to the Hard-drive, in a duel/multiboot system . You then choose which OS you wish to use at the boot stage, using multi boot Linux can be used to access your windows folders [pictures, documents, &etc.] BUT windows will never see your Linux files.

Install to an external drive [ I have several, which I use for testing various Linux distributions]

Install to a pen-drive with persistence [ you will need a pen-drive of at least 32GB] this has the great benefit that it becomes your personal portable computer drive, that you can carry around and use in almost any computer.

Install into a VM/VB [virtual machine/box] this has the advantage that if you mess up and cannot fix your Linux it is easy to delete and replace, also you can jump between VM’s and your main OS without having to re-boot each time.

WSL [Windows subsystem for Linux] If you have Windows 8,10,11 then you can install WLS from Microsoft [if its not already on your system] Personally I have not used Windows for many years, therefore I have little knowledge of WSL, except to say it is similar to using a VM and has the same benefits

There is one final option for those wishing to learn Linux, that is to do a full clean installation on a second computer [THIS I HIGHLY RECOMMEND], any old 64bit computer or most chromebooks can be used, if it has 4GB of ram then you can use any of the 500 or so desktop Linux builds, If it has 2GB of ram , then there are many medium/lightweight distributions that will work on it, and even if you have less than 2GB there is still a small selection of distributions that you can run.

And there you have the Brickwizards thoughts and advice, if you are a newbie please also read https://www.linux.org/threads/what-is-the-best-linux-distribution-which-should-i-use.43789/

Footnote.. Before you install your chosen distribution, Please ensure you read the full documentation, from the developers.a link is usually on the download page.
The "install mint" did not give me the option of installing it on an external USB hard drive. How does that work?
 
USB hard drive. How does that work?
you have 2 options

1] you will need 2 usb/s one with the ISO and one for the target drive, when you get to the partitioning bit you look for the target usb and select
2] make a persistent usb installation
 
I'll second @Brickwizard on this one. By far the best way to learn Linux is to install it to a totally separate, second machine. This is advantageous for those of you who HAVE to run Windows (for whatever reason), since there's no danger of the familiar "broken bootloader" scenario due to Windows updates (Windows always rewrites and resets the bootloader after major updates), which invariably results in losing access to your Linux install when dual-booting.

It also means you can learn about Linux at your own pace, since there's no danger of the thousand and one other wee mishaps tat can occur when dual-booting. I realise this is not always practical for some people due to budgetary constraints, but you really can pick up perfectly functional Core2Duo-era hardware - usually with 4 GB of RAM - for silly prices on places like eBay or Gumtree....


Mike. ;)
 
I'll second @Brickwizard on this one. By far the best way to learn Linux is to install it to a totally separate, second machine. This is advantageous for those of you who HAVE to run Windows (for whatever reason), since there's no danger of the familiar "broken bootloader" scenario due to Windows updates (Windows always rewrites and resets the bootloader after major updates), which invariably results in losing access to your Linux install when dual-booting.

It also means you can learn about Linux at your own pace, since there's no danger of the thousand and one other wee mishaps tat can occur when dual-booting. I realise this is not always practical for some people due to budgetary constraints, but you really can pick up perfectly functional Core2Duo-era hardware - usually with 4 GB of RAM - for silly prices on places like eBay or Gumtree....


Mike. ;)
Thanks. I have managed to make a bootable flash drive for mint, and it is working. Loosing the settings every time is not nice, and I am now trying to install the mint operating system on my 1Gig USB HDD. The speed is terrible even hard wired with a 100Mbps connection. What I like so far are the solutions to utelise my old data. I will probably eventually clone my Windows disk to the HDD and then do a clean Linux install on the laptop, but first I must find the confidence. Being a bit older there is a lot of comfort with the familiar.
 

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