Jumping off the Windows Ledge

Thank you for your “beginners” journey post I found it very helpful and well written. Hat’s off to you, you’ve saved me a lot of time and frustration.
Today is my jumping off the Windows ledge day. I’m excited to begin a new computing adventure. After watching several YouTube videos and reading various website articles ready to take the leap.

Two questions please:

  1. Did you use a usb stick or virtual box?

  2. Have you ever considered Twister? I was leaning toward Ubuntu and then watched a YouTube video featuring Twister, it looks very user friendly for newbies?

Would appreciate any insight into this product.

Here’s my computer info if this is helpful for feedback:
HP EliteBook Folio 9480m Notebook PC
Manufactured date: Jan 13, 2015
164 GB
64 Bit OS, x64-based processor
8 GB RAM (7.88GB usable)
Intel Core i5-4310U CPU @2.00GHz 2.60GHz
Windows 10 Pro

Thank you


So happy you found the information useful!

So… With the cost of USB thumb drives being so low and the requirements of Linux being typically pretty light (in most cases, an 8GB stick is enough), it’s very affordable and easy to use the stick method.

You can search for how to make an ISO bootable drive in Windows of a Linux distro. Me talking to you as a Windows jumper, I’d recommend Ubuntu, Mint or Zorin. I paid for Zorin to get a more Mac OS experience that the paid version opens up, but the regular free one works great. I strongly recommend installing Linux at first side by side with Windows… just until you get your sea legs and have comfort that all you need is in Linux. Plenty of tutorials on that and it’s pretty easy work.

If you get into Linux and hate your distro, don’t give up! Try some others. Plenty of users here hate Pop! OS, but I actually like it. Plenty love Ubuntu, but I am not the biggest fan. Lots of flavors. Try until you find one that works. There are great tools for creating ISO-bootable drives in Linux, but I consistently fall back on Baleana Etcher. It’s easy and it works with every distro I’ve run.

Next, don’t sweat the terminal. I don’t love it because I don’t have the commands memorized, but there’s always a search engine to guide you.

On Twister, I have ZERO experience, but on looking it up, it looks pretty tasty. Give it a try! I plan to now. I reverted to Elementary OS after a buddy told me I had not given it a fair shake and I’ve gotten it loaded up with what I want and I still don’t “love” it. I do think I cut bait too soon earlier, but I prefer distros mentioned in my post more, still.

Best of luck! Reach out and I’ll offer whatever help I can!

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Your hardware is PLENTY adequate for any distros I have run. You’ll find Linux hogs far fewer system resources that you are accustomed to – and it’s dramatic! My Elementary OS box is running 8GB RAM and a Gen 4 i3 processor and it is PERFECTLY fine. I also have run Zorin and Mint on it and it had no trouble.

It definitely depends on the use case. One major reason, why Linux usually hogs far fewer system resources, because it has much less features available by default. So, if you are used to a lot of features and programs and need to install them explicitly, since they are not available by default on Linux, then it will still draw more resources. Not as much as Windows does, as this one is very bloated, but still much more than an empty GNU/Linux distribution.

The conclusion is, that 8GB RAM and a mediocre laptop(?) CPU is enough but I wouldn’t say it’s plenty, especially not for all use cases.

A real world example:
If you seriously run a big IDE like IntelliJ IDEA, then the 8GB RAM suddenly becomes really small… Even on Linux.

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You have done the most important thing… learn something before you start with Linux. And keep it up… there is more to Linux than you have seen so far. You are right , it is an adventure.

I endorse the good reply you received from @fishyaker .
Keep it simple to get started.
Did you use PowerShell in Windows? Well Linux command line is like that. Learn a few simple commands… it is useful. Also find a text editor that you like, you will need it sooner or later .



You might want to consider a more main stream distro first (Zorin, Elementary, PopOS, ReactOS, Mint, etc). Perhaps use a few USB drives to try some out before you jump in.
Also, it goes without saying, BACK UP EVERYTHING before you do ANYTHING.

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Stella: I can only echo the advice you’ve been given–these folks are seriously the best.

I would like to echo 7blade’s recommendation to BACK UP YOUR DATA. That’s always your first step in anything.

My personal recommendation would be for you to check out Get start . Ventoy and give it a try on your USB–you can fill up the USB with several ISOs–the one I have in my desktop right now has ten ISOs on it. It’s a really easy way to test drive and compare distros. I would avoid the Arch family and anything that isn’t in English or a language you understand. And nobody needs to install Kali. There are 100 distros on the far right side of the Distrowatch home page; 90 of them are worth trying.

Thank you for reply. Put in a full day of Linux work yesterday more reading and then on to trying to install on my HP, after 4 “failed” installed tries I put the computer down for the night.

I watched a YouTube video that seemed reasonable to me (Ha) to down load Ubuntu, open in Virtual Box and away you go. Looked good, but for some reason I could not get VB to run it.

Sitting down to dig in today. Trying the USB method. And oh yes I have BACKED UP EVERYTHING! Been there down that nightmare of no backup. Learned that lesson years ago.

Thank you for encouragement and info. I did some reading on Mint last night. Looks like a very good starting point.

Appreciate the support!

All very good points. Appreciate the heads up. We’re pretty low key users. Emails, YouTube, Little Streaming, Mostly online patent research. Word Docs, Ebooks. Music. No fancy high end computing.

By the end of yesterday with 4 failed install (Ubuntu) attempts under my belt I was ready to go buy a new computer with Linux installed. But… today I’m looking forward to “doing it myself”. And the adventure continues.

(LOL just in case I do decide to buy a new computer can you recommend a site and brand/model of computer to me? I’d like to stay in the 1,500.00 price range)

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Hello Neville
Thank you for your reply. I am loving the learning put of this. Now if I can just blend the learning with doing I’ll be thrilled. I’m a get it done person, this slow and steady pace is great and painful. But rewarding.

PowerShell? No haven’t used before. I’ll have to read up on it. Hmm

Thank you for the Text Editor heads up. Which one do you use?

Again thanks for the reply and encouragement.

Hi 7blade,
After my adventures yesterday your advice to consider more main stream distro is making me feel better. 4 failed install attempts of Ubuntu was a bummer. Put down my computer after 4th fail, had a glass of wine and decided tomorrow would be my make it happen day.

Getting ready to conquer Mint now!

And YES! Thanks for the backup reminder (30 Years ago learned the hard way about backing up. : )

Appreciate your support and insight!

Yes it’s all about the “BACKUP” for sure!

Thank you for recommending Get start. Ventoy I will go check it out now.
Distrowatch homepage? I’ll look for that and check them out too.

Appreciate your reply and thoughts. What a great community of generous folks here. I’m enjoying the learning side of this adventure.

Best regards

Touche. I agree with that. For my purposes, I find that even a full featured Linux distro is adequate for my daily non-work needs. At work, I have the Adobe Creative Suite, a host of Microsoft apps including Teams (we run a lot of files through Sharepoint).

At home? I surf, I work on files and documents for personal use, I scan tax returns, I load images into my photo album and adjust using GIMP, and I watch the occasional video or stream a few shows.

Without the bloat of MS and Adobe (because I do not have the need for home use, and LibreOffice and/or Google Docs, Sheets, etc., work for me) and all of the other system add-ons of Windows and, frankly, Mac OS, I can run a Gen 4 i3 and do fine. I have upgraded the RAM to 8GB. I also have a Gen 8 i7, and a Gen 8 i3 (both running 8GB RAM), and I have not found any of the three computers outgunned by Linux in the way they are by Windows. On the i7, I am running Zorin. on the Gen 8 i3, I am running Pop!, and on the Gen 4 i3, I have given Elementary OS another go. I am probably going to give Nitrux a try on it… I like Elementary OS better than I did the first time around after giving it more of a chance, but it’s not my favorite still. I also tried UbuntuDDE and I am sad to report that it’s a dumpster fire.

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Powershell is just the modern version of the old command terminal
In Linux you open a terminal window to do commands.

A good simple editor is nano I use vi` but that is not a good choice for beginners.

woohoo! Another linux guy jumping on the choo-choo train! Ubuntu isn’t the best distro mi amiga, so I’d recommend mint… it’s the easiest distro to download… it’s basically windows… you’ll forget your using linux :wink:
Another good option is Zorin, I used Zorin before I distrohopped to Debian then to Arch(I’m in the mood for fedora right now :stuck_out_tongue: ), and it was the most beautiful distro I’ve touched my eyes on.

how attractive is that distro… :heart_eyes:

personally, it depends on choice. both are easy to install, but zorin has a more attractive desktop than mint tbh…

Ubuntu is better for new users, because it has the best compatibility. People think, that Linux Mint has the same stability as Ubuntu, because it is based on it. That’s not the case. Already in this small forum I have seen plenty of people telling stories about how something did not work on Linux Mint, but when they tried to do the same thing on Ubuntu it started working.

Ubuntu isn’t the “best” of all. But it’s the best, if you are new to Linux. It has the best compatibility and it has by far the biggest tutorial and documentation resources available. There is a tutorial for anything on Ubuntu.

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Wine exists mi amiga, so I’m advocating for Zorin, not Ubuntu. Zorin is an attractive distro, I’d recommend Deepin, but they are a windows kid soo.

Zorin is a minor distribution with tiny support for anything, compared to giants like Ubuntu. Ubuntu is the best for new users, without question.

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