Where to start. Total noob. I have a goal, but need machine advice.

fx9

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I have been reading and watching tutorials. I don't expect anyone to do the work for me. My goal is mostly just to get out of the surveillance game. I currently have a chromebook and the only real complaints I have are #1. Google. #2 Poor email clients, and I can't do basic pic/vid editing for website images. Other than that the CB meets most of my needs.

I want to buy a used laptop, wipe it clean and install Linux with no other OS. Unless persuaded otherwise, I have decide that Mint seems to be the best option for me. I prefer a smaller footprint. 14" and under. I have plenty of external storage, so I don't even care if it's just a CB, I just don't want to wipe this machine and all my info before I have everything on another machine in case I brick it.

The biggest shocker for me was hardware compatibilty. I am totally capable of installing, learning and working around software differences and quirks, but I am not so tech savvy that I feel I can pick a good starting machine with the information I have found online.

Can you guys point me in the direction of a list of some of the more linux friendly laptop models out there, or recommend some solid platforms to start? I would like to start with the best chance for success, something that will allow me to focus on learning Mint, instead of chasing drivers or incompatibility issues because I picked a machine that just isn't going to cut it.

If I am overthinking it, I am happy to hear that, too. This is just the biggest hold back that I found in searching out how to set myself up.

Thanks for any and all info!
 


wizardfromoz

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Unless persuaded otherwise, I have decide that Mint seems to be the best option for me.
Mint or MX-19 or Linux Lite are in amongst ones I can recommend.

I would be inclined to look for a pre-loved Dell, excellent track record in Linux compatibility.

Cheers

Wizard
 

Condobloke

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At least 4gb of RAM is crucial

If it has a ssd, that is very good....if not they are not so expensive and easy to fit in most cases.
128gb minimum

I would second the dell recommendation

Buy the youngest one you can find and afford
 

gvisoc

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If you want to start with low budget but solid experience, I'd recommend a business class laptop, either Dell or ThinkPad (specifically that sub-brand from Lenovo --the IBM ThinkPads are great, but too old I'm afraid). On eBay or off an auction site from used office material, great deals can be found.

Don't fall into consumer-grade used laptops, even from Dell or Lenovo. They usually are too worn and not too well taken care of, without the sturdyness and reliability of the business class ones.

If you want to use it as a daily driver, consider swapping the hard drive for a solid state drive and maxing out the amout of ram possible. With probably just a change of thermal paste you can get a very solid linux compatibility and experience, and it would last for years.
 

KGIII

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Unless persuaded otherwise, I have decide that Mint seems to be the best option for me.
Mint has a small number of varieties to consider. It's not really just Linux Mint anymore. Among trying Mint, I'd recommend you consider trying other distros. You may like Mint just fine, or you may find you prefer something entirely different.
 

fx9

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This is perfect. Thanks for the responses. I wasn't sure if certain laptops from a brand were going to be more grief than others or if a Dell for example was a solid choice pretty well across the board. Some of the info I found made it sound like any random machine might not have sound capabilities or touch pad drivers available.

How are Chromebooks in general? I only ask because no one mentioned them. I get you are going to be limited for storage, so I would think for most of you this is a huge drawback, but 4gb RAM is pretty basic, SSD's too, and Chrome is based on linux.

I am not trying to push in any direction, I found a few good Dell options on Kijiji. I am just trying to understand the the system itself a bit more.
 

KGIII

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Saying that Chrome is based on Linux is a technical truth, but it's a very bastardized form of Linux and the relationship to Linux is pretty marginal. Yeah, there's a Linux kernel in there, but it's not a whole lot like Linux as we know it.

I don't think you'll find too many people playing with Chromebooks here. As far as I know, they tend to have locked down bootloaders, meaning installing a real desktop Linux on them is a hit and miss.
 

fx9

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Exactly what I needed to know. Thanks again to all. I am going to dig up a Dell and jump in head first. We'll see what happens. I will either update as to my success or come back asking what the hell I did wrong.
 

wizardfromoz

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fx9

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I found a bunch of heavy, and bulky looking business laptops that aren't really floating my boat. How does this sound? I am not too keen on a heavier laptop, but this really leans towards consumer-grade.

Just to be clear, I'll be running Mint, Firefox, Thunderbird, Gimp, Libreoffice, VLC, maybe a vid editor that I would use once a year, but that's about it. No games. I assume my needs are very simple in comparison to what you guys do, I'm more concerned about compatability and privacy, than high performance.

Dell Inspiron 7472 14-inch laptop. Overall great shape, no issues. Specs: Intel Core i5-8250u CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD, 14” 1080p scene (non-touch), Windows 10 Home, Ethernet port, HDMI, SD Card slot, etc. $350 CAD
 
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Condobloke

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Just reading it....I love it !

8gb ram is a winner
128gb ssd for the OS is terrific.....expect blazing fast
1TB hdd to store data/pics/movies/music/blah blah etc etc on and also room to store Timeshift snapshots on as well(more about Timeshift, soon

win 10 home is irrelevant,

Does it have usb slots ?
 

wizardfromoz

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Specs in the Spoiler, 2xUSB 3.0 1xUSB 2.0, sounds like a winner to me, at $AUD 365, Brian

Specifications:​
Processor:Intel Core i5-8250U 1.60GHz (Up to 3.40GHz)
6 MB Cache
Processor Core:Quad-Core
Screen Size:14"
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Resolution:1920 x 1080
Display Type:Full HD IPS Touchscreen LED-backlit
Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce MX150 2GB
Memory:8GB DDR4-2400MHz 1-DIMM
(expandable to 16GB)
Hard Drive:128GB solid state drive
Optical Drive:None
Network:10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
Wireless:802.11ac
Bluetooth:Yes
Card Reader:Multi-Format SD Card Reader
Sound:HD audio
Webcam:Yes
Microphone:Integrated Digital
Keyboard:Full-Size
Pointing Device:Touchpad supporting multi-touch gestures

I/O Ports:​
HDMI:1
USB 3.0:2
USB 2.0:1
RJ-45:1
Headphone/Mic Combo:1

Operating System:​
Windows 10 Home 64-bit

Power:​
45W AC Adapter
3-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery

Dimensions:​
0.75 x 12.73 x 8.94 inches

Weight:​
3.4 lbs:)

Wizard
 

Condobloke

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Absolutely!

Go for it @fx9
 

KGIII

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just wondering if there is any benefit to waiting.
Nah, just jump right in. Before you remove Windows, it may be prudent to quickly check to see if all the firmware is updated. Then, install Linux - electing to 'erase' (verbiage may vary) and install. If you leave Windows installed, you'll be tempted to use it. Inertia is what it is.

You can make a Windows restoration disk to tuck away, but I don't even bother with that.

Also, you'll likely find varied opinions with regards to this subject. The above is mine. I'm a 'dive right in' kinda guy.
 

fx9

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I didn't expect a response so fast. I answered my own question, so I deleted the comment.

You will probly all say that loading up Linux is a breeze. Well, I've never helped you...
It took a bit to get things sorted, but I'm all set up and all I can say is HOLY S#!% it's fast. The hardware doesn't equate to the massive load time differences. Makes me wonder why Linux isn't more common.

Anyway. I just wanted to say thanks. Lots of forums are super hard on the inexperienced and the ones that can help the most often tend to prefer to impose their superiority rather than be helpful. Everyone here has been awesome. I'll be speaking to you in the beginners section as I try to figure out where to go from here.
 

KGIII

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Makes me wonder why Linux isn't more common.
Inertia, complacency, people satisfied with the product they have, lack of awareness, and so on. The list of reasons is pretty long. There's probably never going to be the proverbial 'Year of the Linux Desktop', and that's okay.
 

SpongebobFan1994

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Before you got the Dell, I would've recommended getting a laptop that was purposely made with Linux preinstalled.

As for what you said about running FireFox, it came to my attention a few weeks ago that Mozilla has come under fire for wanting to engage in internet censorship, wanting to engage in cancel culture regarding Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation, and other things that are harmful to software and internet freedom. Watch this video in particular to learn more:
The LibreWolf Browser was created in response to Mozilla's business practices, so I'd recommend that as an alternative: https://librewolf-community.gitlab.io/ I've been using it for the last week and half, and I haven't had any problems with it so far.
 
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Condobloke

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The first step on your new blazing fast laptop will be to turn the firewall on.

(UFW stand for:Uncomplicated FireWall)

ENABLE FIREWALL
sudo ufw enable
sudo ufw status

Open Terminal (ctrl alt T) will open it......the copy and paste what i have typed in below in red.......

sudo ufw enable

....then hit enter.
you will be prompted for your password....type it in (you will not see ANY response when you type......just put the password in, this is normal)....and hit enter again

Thats it. Nothing else is necessary.
The firewall will now be turned ON each and every time you startup or reboot

If you feel the need to check if it is on.....

sudo ufw status .....will let you know that it is active. Thats it.

Welcome to the wonderfully simple world of Linux.

Step number 2 will be to set up Timeshift
Timeshift is similar to windows system restore.
The main difference is that Timeshift actually works !

Open a fresh topic asking "Help me set up Timeshift"...or words to that effect. Either wiz or myself or someone will take care of it for you
It is really good if you have an external hard drive to save the snapshots onto.
 
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