Totally confused

Snaresman

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Hello

I'm brand new to Linux. I have an old Windows laptop I use for data logging. I have a python program running on it as a data logger and soon to control some Arduino controller boards. I hate windows and it's trying to crash. I'd like to change it to Linux, but after reading several pages on the different versions, I'm totally confused on which one to try. I'd like a GUI and I'll be programming python on it. I really don't know where to start. Any help is appreciated.
 


Condobloke

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G'day Snaresman, and Welcome to linux.org

Different people here will give you different answers.....and many variations of those different answers.

I reckon if you start at the beginning

Linux Mint. Put a linux Mint iso onto a usb

Change the boot order so the pc boots to that usb

The pc will now be running a "live" version of Linux Mint (it will be running in the RAM....NOT on the HDD

Try it out......be harsh with it....you wont break it. (If you do break it, just reboot to the usb and away you go again)

I am going to type in a members name here who should be able to make a good suggestion for you.
@JasKinasis

Below you will see a long read on how to 'burn' an iso to a thumb drive so that it is bootable. You may already know this but I figured I would put it in anyway.

Just fire away with any questions
 

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sp331yi

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Specs of your hardware -- model #, CPU, GPU, RAM -- would help in our making suggestions; we already know generally what the intended use of hardware is -- thanks. Continue, please . . .
 

Vrai

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Hello

I'm brand new to Linux. I have an old Windows laptop I use for data logging. I have a python program running on it as a data logger and soon to control some Arduino controller boards. I hate windows and it's trying to crash. I'd like to change it to Linux, but after reading several pages on the different versions, I'm totally confused on which one to try. I'd like a GUI and I'll be programming python on it. I really don't know where to start. Any help is appreciated.
I agree with @sp331yi . It does make a difference as to which Linux version one may choose depending on the capabilities of their hardware. If you could post that information you will get some useful recommendations rather than some vague generalities.
 

JasKinasis

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Regarding programming in python - it really doesn’t matter which Linux distro you use!
Also arduino are well supported on Linux. So you shouldn’t have any problems interfacing with your arduino.

I have to echo what everybody else has said. The spec of the laptop will be more useful in determining which distro you should install.
 

Snaresman

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Thank you for the download Condobloke. I'm going to start reading it.

This is what I could get from the Laptop so far:
Toshiba Satellite C855
6 GB memory
600 GB HD

Still trying to find the CPU and GPU.

I'm glad to hear the Arduino is well supported. That and Python will be the main things on it.
 

gvisoc

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If you want a stable distribution that doesn't get in the way, I suggest starting your journey with an Ubuntu derivative: it can be Ubuntu itself, Mint, Pop, or many others. Your system seems reasonable capable of running it (but we still would like to know what kind of CPU of the ones available to that model you have --intel core, celeron,...)

Once said that, a bit of a decision making is still to be done!

In the Ubuntu world you'll have two flavours: Long Term Support distributions (LTS), or the regular point release distributions that appear every six months. The last provide a nice refresh of the software. Packages get updated to the latest versions, and so on. But sometimes, things get broken on the way.

If you want extra stability, go and get the latest Ubuntu LTS, which is the current one, or a Linux Mint. With this ones, you would get a stable operating system for 5 years, but not many software refreshments. A new LTS appears in Ubuntu every 2 years, with support (bugs and security updates) for another 5. For Mint, I think it's every year.

If you just want to be able to code Python and do arduino projects with a stable environment, and learn to admin the system as a second priority, I think LTS is the safest choice in terms of smoothness. The good news is that the current ubuntu (20.04) is LTS, all the Linux Mint releases are LTS, and all the ISOs are Live distributions you can try before installing so, why not give it a go? If it works in Live mode, it will work installed!
 

Snaresman

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I found the CPU. Intel pentium B980, 2.4 GHz, 2 cores

The GPU I can't find any mention of it in the system info.

I like the sounds of the LTS. I'm mostly looking for stability. Currently I'm monitoring the output of a weather station I built. Data is received on the serial port every minute. Soon I'll have a greenhouse controller built that will send and receive on a different serial port. All the incoming data from both are/will be written to a file for analysis. Currently, I keep expecting windows to crash anytime. A stable OS will be a blessing since both of these will be long term (for as long as I'm around) projects.

(FYI: Windows 10 was the reason I switched to a Mac. If Linux works out, I'll probably switch to it when the Mac dies.)

I'm working on downloading Mint onto a USB drive. My internet isn't too good, so I'll probably have to do it at work tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone for all the advice so far!
 

JasKinasis

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Re: Graphics card -
From a quick bit of DuckDuckGo-fu, it looks like the Toshiba C855 was released with several different options/configurations.

The versions of the C855 with AMD graphics cards always had AMD processors. So if yours has the Intel B980 processor, it’s most likely using an integrated Intel graphics chipset. The good news is - these are well supported in Linux.

Also - as nobody else has explicitly said it:
From the specs you have posted, it looks like your laptop should easily be able to run any Linux distribution you want to put on it.
 

Snaresman

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That sounds fantastic! Thank you very much! I have Mint loaded on a USB card and I want to try a dual boot from it to try it out this weekend. If it looks good, I’ll use it as the OS.
 

Snaresman

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I've hit a problem. I'm trying to boot the Windows 10 laptop from the USB drive. I used Yami to configure the USB. I went into the BIOS and made the USB the first choice to boot. After 3-4 tries, it still comes up with Windows like it always did. I went back into the BIOS and it still has the USB as first try. It doesn't ask me anything when booting up. Any idea what I'm doing wrong?
 

Alexzee

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Maybe try using Rufus instead to make Linux Mint bootable for your Live USB.
 

captain-sensible

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i had a quick look at my bios boot options for my H.P laptop and in the boot tab/section I have to actually manually select and manually enable for system to be able to boot from USB.
So do a cold boot and more or less a few seconds after you hit power up button; hit esc key or look at screen and it should say how to access bios. Look through menu and make sure boot from USB is enabled. IN theory if then on boot order boot from usb is top of list it should boot from usb if it is attached. But boot order doesn't matter if you hit as I said F9 or equivalent to manually make a selection of what you want to boot.

your image is hinting you don't have option to boot from usb even enabled
 

captain-sensible

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i'm not against Mint; "70 Tango Charlie" , uses it i'm sure i've seen "Condobloke" rate it " gvisoc" on this thread also seems to agree with that ; so i will throw in i got linuxmint-19.3-cinnamon-64bit.iso booting fine from other USB boot option called "ventoy" . I'm not sure nor can remember if we established you have 64 bit CPU
 

Condobloke

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or....I can throw another choice into the melting pot.....

Unetbootin

You will find it in the software manager. Use the options at the bottom of the screen

or HERE
 

gvisoc

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I've hit a problem. I'm trying to boot the Windows 10 laptop from the USB drive. I used Yami to configure the USB. I went into the BIOS and made the USB the first choice to boot. After 3-4 tries, it still comes up with Windows like it always did. I went back into the BIOS and it still has the USB as first try. It doesn't ask me anything when booting up. Any idea what I'm doing wrong?
Make sure the USB has a GPT partition table, and then ensure the bootable partition has FAT32 format. Modern UEFIs with EFI (non-legacy) boot require that.
 
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gvisoc

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Also, if you use Linux Mint you will have to disable Secure Boot, as Mint doesn't support it (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora do). Otherwise, you should be fine (provided the above options for the USB pendrive).
 


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