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Ubuntu or linux Installation

Posted on 2013-12-25
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Last Modified: 2013-12-26
Happy Holidays!!

I have two old PCs on which I would like to install a free OS. Each system has 2GB of Ram and needs to be formatted, ect. They will only be used to surf the internet by my grandchildren when they come over. They like Nickelodeon online games.

I am somewhat computer savvy and have installed Windows OS's in the past but never a free one like Linux or Ubuntu.

One of the main questions I have is drivers for devices like wifi adapters, sound cards, and monitors, ect.

I would like a step-by-step approach. How do I do this?
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Question by:pcwizz1
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Assisted Solution

by:Patrick Bogers
Patrick Bogers earned 400 total points
ID: 39739225
Hi

From my personal knowledge i advise you to install Ubuntu (which is a Linux distro except it is enhanced en improved over other distro's)
A complete walk through can be read on the Ubuntu website and needs no particulair drivers if the pc's arent to special.
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by:kostbad
kostbad earned 400 total points
ID: 39739227
It's not really difficult to install most linux restributions nowadays:
http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/install-desktop-latest

Usually, all the drivers are included in the installation and you won't need anything more. Ubuntu will either use specific or generic drivers that will suit your needs.

There is also the option to run the operating system from the dvd to check it out before you install it.
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rindi earned 1200 total points
ID: 39739334
As mentioned above drivers are usually not of an issue with Linux, particularly not if it's something older. But there can be some devices like WLAN cards etc., for which there aren't any OpenSource drivers available, because the manufacturer didn't care to provide enough info. For those you can often use the windows drivers using a tool like ndiswrapper.

I wouldn't recommend ubuntu though, it is unwieldy to use, has a desktop that isn't intuitive, and it uses more resources than other Linux distro's, often requiring a GPU with OpenGL capabilities. It also doesn't include the not OpenSource Drivers by default, and further things are also missing which you have to install manually.

The distros I'd recommend are Linux Mint, which is based on Ubuntu, but it includes those drivers and codecs for example by default, so it is more likely to work out of the box. I'd recommend either the mate or KDE desktop versions, which both run faster and better on older hardware than the Cinnamon desktop does.

Another Distro I'd recommend is Zorin, which has a very polished desktop, with everything included, and looks similar to Windows, so for old windows users it is very easy to use. It is also built on Ubuntu.

Or Korora, which is based on Fedora, but also very complete and easy to use, similar maybe to Linux Mint.

And another distro I can really recommend is PCLinuxOS FullMonty.

All of those distro's have tools included that make it very easy to install other drivers, and they all come as LiveCD's/DVD's, which means you can test-drive them on your hardware first without installation. You'll find them all, and others, via the Link below:

http://distrowatch.com
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Author Comment

by:pcwizz1
ID: 39739585
Thank you all for your input.. I have downloaded the ISO file but neither the 32 or 64 bit image will fit on a "CD". I tried burning it to a DVD (it did fit)  but the systems do not have DVD drives. Any suggestions?

Thanks
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Author Comment

by:pcwizz1
ID: 39739603
I have solved the ISO file issue and it is installing now. Thanks...
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39739764
As alternative, most of those distro's can also be booted and installed via a USB stick, provided your PC's can be set to boot from USB sticks in the BIOS. The Unetbootin tool helps create such sticks from the iso's:

http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net

If your PC can't boot from USB, the pLop boot manager can help to still be able to boot from USB, but to get usable speeds you should at least have USB2. PLop boot manager is included on the UBCD, or also comes as a standalone tool:

http://ultimatebootcd.com

http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager/index.html
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