Starting off - No bias please

dronet

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Hi folks,

I am sure this has been answered a lot here, but wanted have some fresh opinions.

I am a windows user for more than 25 years ( starting from Msdos) but always had a fascination for Linux.. and what it represent.. i have few beginner courses planned and then will start more study on cyber security.

i have heard a lot of opnion whether is good to have a proper linux machine over a VM.. ( i ran different distro on virtual box) so i am now planning of buying some hardware.. was thinking the MK4 from starlabs https://starlabs.systems/, heard good and bad of this company..any feedback on them ? but also i heard some linux users mentioning how good is to start off with a mac and then install parallels and use linux there.. so you have the good of a desktop experience with mac ( for everyday use).. and you can work as much as you want on Linux.. Being a complete beginner.. what would be your suggestion/views for the best path for someone that is just dipping his toes in the linux word...

Any feedback.. is very appreciated.
Thanks.
 


KGIII

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If you're going to buy Linux hardware, it may make more sense to make sure you actually really will be using Linux.

In the music world, only 10% of people keep taking lessons after a year. 90% of them give up.

I don't know the numbers for Linux, but I bet it's similar. This is not a personal slight - it's just a precaution. You may find that you just don't like any distro. You may find that you just don't want to use it. All sorts of things could happen.

There's no certainty that Windows would work on that hardware (should you not like Linux). You may have bought an expensive paperweight (or device that sits unused).

Again, this isn't anything personal. It'd be great if you loved Linux and stuck with it. But, before you buy Linux-specific hardware you might want to make sure you like Linux.
 

dronet

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If you're going to buy Linux hardware, it may make more sense to make sure you actually really will be using Linux.

In the music world, only 10% of people keep taking lessons after a year. 90% of them give up.

I don't know the numbers for Linux, but I bet it's similar. This is not a personal slight - it's just a precaution. You may find that you just don't like any distro. You may find that you just don't want to use it. All sorts of things could happen.

There's no certainty that Windows would work on that hardware (should you not like Linux). You may have bought an expensive paperweight (or device that sits unused).

Again, this isn't anything personal. It'd be great if you loved Linux and stuck with it. But, before you buy Linux-specific hardware you might want to make sure you like Linux.
thanks you KGIII for the input, was very informative.. So you would suggest to get a MAC and use linux with pararrels..so should i mess badly or not getting into it.. i can always switch back to the desktop experience of MacOS ( which is also linux )...?

Are there any major limitation in using Linux with parallels compared to the bard hardware ?
 

craigevil

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Or just buy an inexpensive Raspberry Pi.
You can get the PI400 for $70 other boards are even cheaper.
Keeping in mind that Pis are arm based so not all distros will work on them.
But most of the bigger ones will including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Majaro, Arch, just to name a few.
Plus the Raspberry OS, which is based on Debian and just works.
 

dronet

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Or just buy an inexpensive Raspberry Pi.
You can get the PI400 for $70 other boards are even cheaper.
Keeping in mind that Pis are arm based so not all distros will work on them.
But most of the bigger ones will including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Majaro, Arch, just to name a few.
Plus the Raspberry OS, which is based on Debian and just works.

That was my first purchase in terms of physical hardware, but i sent it back... as the experience was quite painfull for the multitask i was doing ( even YouTube videos were lagging so much, SD was class 10).. hence the idea whether have a physical linux laptop or a mac and use linux with parallels
 

craigevil

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Weird. I have Discord, Element, Telegram-desktop, guake/terminal with 6 tabs including irssi, Clipq, fbreader, audacious, conky, crossfire-server, minetest-server, profile-sync-daemon, logs2ram, zram, plus all the standard system things running with no problems. I have updated the firmware and kernel, not sure if that really makes any difference.
This is my first raspberry pi device and I am quite taken with it.
There is a newer pi4 with 8GB of ram.
Sorry if I sound like I am trying to talk you into getting a PI of any kind. I just find it the next best thing to Jam. I bought quite a few 16gb and 32gb sd cards to play around with. Shutdown, pop in a different card, and boot into a new OS.
Code:
$ free
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:        3886364     2403668      100692      627816     1382004      734160
Swap:        364524       72192      292332
Even with everything I have running and most of it runs 24/7 I still have quite a bit of ram not being used.
Code:
System:    Host: raspberrypi Kernel: 5.10.20-v8+ aarch64 bits: 64 compiler: N/A Desktop: LXDE 0.10.0 info: lxpanel 
           wm: Openbox 3.6.1 dm: LightDM 1.26.0 Distro: Raspberry Pi OS base: Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster) 
 Processes: 234 Uptime: 14h 29m
Another thing you can do is look on ebay for Thinkpads, most will runs pretty much any Linux distro.
 

Tolkem

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Hi folks,

i have heard a lot of opnion whether is good to have a proper linux machine over a VM.. ( i ran different distro on virtual box) so i am now planning of buying some hardware.. was thinking the MK4 from starlabs https://starlabs.systems/, heard good and bad of this company..any feedback on them ? but also i heard some linux users mentioning how good is to start off with a mac and then install parallels and use linux there.. so you have the good of a desktop experience with mac ( for everyday use).. and you can work as much as you want on Linux.. Being a complete beginner.. what would be your suggestion/views for the best path for someone that is just dipping his toes in the linux word...

Any feedback.. is very appreciated.
Thanks.
Instead of buying one, why don't you build your own? Hand pick the hardware, peripherals and anything else, besides, it's more fun that way. :) You can use this site https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ to have some reference. You might want to take a look here too, if building PC is not your thing https://www.cyberciti.biz/hardware/laptop-computers-with-linux-installed-or-preloaded/
 

dronet

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@craigevil - impressive results... i had the P4 8gb with RaspberryOS and it was awful.. i tried to test a youtube video in 720 the frame drops was way too much.. so decided to return.. might have been a faulty device.

Not a fan at all of Lenovo, had bad experiences with their products.. i have been more lucky with Dell.

@[B]Tolkem[/B] - Thank you for the input mate, appreciate. I built several pc in the past.. but is something i am not interested/willing to do anymore.. i have had my fair share of factory damaged components and it was an hassle to return them... so i want just a laptop.. ready to work out the box.

Sounds like i might go with a MAC and use parallels.. any known limitation for the daily usage of linux trough parallels ?
 

stan

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So you would suggest to get a MAC and use linux with pararrels
I don't think anyone above suggested a Mac, except you, several times. I've never owned one... never will. Apple is too expensive and too restrictive, in my opinion. I have read plenty of posts on here from people with Mac having trouble with Linux. Apple is generally unfriendly to everything non-Mac. They are antithetical to "free and open source."

Sorry... I am biased. How can I give you a non-biased opinion? ;)
 
Last edited:

dronet

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I don't think anyone above suggested a Mac, except you, several times. I've never owned one... never will. Apple is too expensive and too restrictive, in my opinion. I have read plenty of posts on here from people with Mac having trouble with Linux. Apple is generally unfriendly to everything non-Mac. They are antithetical to "free and open source."

Sorry... I am biased. How can I give you a non-biased opinion? ;)

yes, i have asked pletora of times whether linux with parallels would be a good choice..but was not assumption that anyone here suggested.. hence the "would you suggest".. next time i will add a question mark.

I am asking for non biased opinions because i am total beginner.. but i know already myself how superior is linux compared mac.. from freedom to learning purposes ( you don't need to be a linux literate to know how good it is compared to windows/mac).. i find myself in the situation where.. investing money ( any amount) to buy hardware and drop VMs.. would be a good idea to start learning this OS.
 

stan

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I am asking for non biased opinions
The opinions each of us offer you are based on our own personal experiences. Your experiences may differ from ours. You are your own best judge. If you lean to Mac/Parallels, then maybe that will be best.... for you. You said you aren't a fan of Lenovo... fine, that is your experience speaking. I have had great experience with Lenovo products, but my recommendation will mean nothing to you.

You mention Dell favorably. I have had great experience with Dell also. Dell has a very good reputation running Linux.... they may even still sell computers with Linux pre-installed, but I am not sure about that. A Dell should be much cheaper than a Mac.... and cost is a factor for me, if not for you.
 

Nelson Muntz

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The opinions each of us offer you are based on our own personal experiences. Your experiences may differ from ours. You are your own best judge.If you lean to Mac/Parallels, then maybe that will be best.... for you.
Exactly.
You mention Dell favorably. I have had great experience with Dell also. Dell has a very good reputation running Linux.... they may even still sell computers with Linux pre-installed, but I am not sure about that. A Dell should be much cheaper than a Mac.... and cost is a factor for me, if not for you.
I have excellent results using Linux OOTB on Dell computers with Intel hardware inside.


My opinion biased or non-biased however you choose to interpret.

Perhaps buy a refurbished Dell and test out a few Linux distros and see which suit your needs and likes.

Bottom line buy what you want as Linux is about choice which is up to you to make.
 
@dronet welcome to the wonderful world of Linux. I am a user of Dell computers running Linux. I purchased rebuilt /refurbished Dell desktops and put Linux on them. Like @stan and @Nelson Muntz both mentioned Dell is a good choice. Words of wisdom don't purchase specific hardware for Linux until you plan to commit to Linux as mentioned by @KGIII . Most of the older PC will run Linux with little to no problems. The support in this fourm is outstanding for most hardware currently out there for computing. You are in the right place to ask question and get a lot of different opinions. One thing to keep in mind just enjoy the journey.
 

Nik-Ken-Bah

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@dronet
G'day and welcome.
I am a craftsman, so a computer is just another tool and along with all decent craftsmen I maintain my tools. In the beginning propriety systems were all there was and they did a reasonable job of maintaining their systems. So it was when I designed the computer that I now have had for over five years and then had someone build it (though I am quite capable to do it) for me with the OS to be Win 7.
It is based around an AMD processor as I am not an advocate for Intel processors due to a comment way back in the late seventies early eighties about their quality control which contrasted significantly to AMD's view of quality control at the time. The OS I was planning on using then was Win 7 then they went to the abortion called Win 10.
I was just browsing YouTube one night and come across a video describing how to install Linux on your computer so that set the ball rolling for me to do more research and it gave me an alternative to Mac and Vindows.
When I did finally decide on the Distro I liked and installed Linux Mint as my OS of choice the only real problem I had was with my internet connection but that was not due to Linux but my ISP and the way Vindows did things. The only down side I had was with my sound card and that has more to do with the GUI interface it is designed for crappy MS code but I can live with that.
All is sweet now and when I do have a hiccup I have the tools at hand to rectify the situation plus there is a wealth of information out there as well as forums like this one Linux.org as well as the distros forums as well to seek information to rectify a problem.
In the nineties I did have several discs of a Red Hat distro and didn't even realise at the time it was Linux and didn't use them but handed them to my son for him to use.
After saying all that my advice is to heed what the others have said in this thread as they are more knowledgeable and used Linux longer than I.
 

stan

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i find myself in the situation where.. investing money ( any amount) to buy hardware and drop VMs.. would be a good idea to start learning this OS.
Parallels is a virtualization tool. If you want to drop VMs, buy a laptop. Pick any (non-Mac) one you like. The odds are strong that Linux will run on it (although maybe not EVERY distro will run on it). Four years ago, Linus Torvalds (creator of the Linux kernel) chose a Dell XPS 13 Developers Edition (article). The XPS is still a popular choice. Last year, Linus custom built a desktop (article).

More specific recommendations for Linux compatibility is all over Google. Here's a recent 2021 list. There are a number of suppliers who provide laptops, desktops, and mini computers with Linux pre-installed... System76 is a very popular one. Good luck... you'll find what you want.
 

Nik-Ken-Bah

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Last year, Linus custom built a desktop (article)
Thanks Stan
Just been thinking on designing another box for myself but this time based on a AMD Ryzen processor. but Torvald's choice is just a little to much for my meager usage only need to double the number processors.
 

dronet

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@Hansel Johnson Jr @Nik-Ken-Bah thank you for the warm welcome and sharing your experience.

@Nik-Ken-Bah my path probably won't be very different.. beside a personal preference over Intel or AMD.. i am quite content to find compatibility.. i don't mind difficulty.. as this can be fixed by learning everyday.. but not a compatible system will be much hard to sort out.

@stan agree with you, thank you for the sincere opinion. i heard of system76 and seen plenty of review.. what i am not sure is.. being in UK.. how the support will work in case of issue with the hardware etc.. will get in touch with me and find out.

Anyway probably the best of Linux is that there is not really the "right" way to approach.. but there is your way..more to a personal preference rather than specific or best path to follow.
 
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