Yeah, it’s always the same question. Of course when someone willing to leave the M$ camp asks you how to get started in Linux, what you gonna do?
Of course it depends on the individual user, in case you haven’t done the switch yet, on you in this case. Yes, you as a singular entity are the most important factor when it’s time to pick out a certain distro and tell you to try that one out. My computer repair lady told me yesterday – before I nearly threw up all over her workshop – that she sometimes has to install Linux on client machines. Always when those machines are virus infected and need to be cleared out inside and out and the clients can’t find their valid license for their old Windows installation. In these cases she just installs a standard Ubuntu and sends them on their way. Because these people are clueless, that’s how they got all the malware dreck on their machines in the first place. And guess what: All these people take their computers home and are never to be heard of again, obviously happy. 🙂
Because what 90% of mom n dad users are doing on their computers is a bit of surfing, writing one or the other email and watching videos on YouTube. That’s so easy and cheap any OS can do that, even Windows. So a step to Ubuntu is actually a step up for them, in puncto ease of use, maintenance and security. They can just do their stuff, even click on some or the other suspect link, without a worry in the world. And no need to clean the registry every day and defraggle your hard drive once a week. Perfection.
Okay, back to the above question: Giving those clients a easy beginners distro is perfect!
But what about you? Heck, you’re young and clever, a pioneer of virtual worlds. Maybe you’re even dabbling with 3D modelling and scripting. You set up home servers and you’re a forum admin or sumsuch, you’re the sysadmin for the rest of the family and you know your way around soft- and hardware. You’re actually interested in what’s going on inside your computer and that is for you a reason to leave the boring Windows world. Setting you up on any *buntu based OS won’t satisfy you in the long run, because you want action, you want to have the full control over your machine. You want to know more! In that case, yes, I should tell you to download an Arch-based system like Manjaro or Antergos or try a vanilla install of the pure Arch Linux. You could even try the super geekish Gentoo. While Gentoo needs strong will and lots of stamina to even get it installed, Manjaro is almost too easy, as they borrowed their installation routine from Linx Mint.
Will you get better quality work done? Will your workflow benefit from using such systems? Fuck, hell nooo! But it’s maybe fun for you to play and experiment with the likes of Arch, to study thousands of Wikipedia pages and to get lost in command lines. Different strokes for different folks.
Lemme tell you a bit about myself … as if I’d ever do anything different on these pages anyway … and my way into the exciting world of the Big X: Couple years ago I was bored and my laptop was slowly giving up on me anyway, and I’ve read in some of hubby’s computer magazines about this new fancy thing, Linux. Ok, I have my Windows DVD and the licence code handy (unlike the computer repair lady’s clients) and can always be back on Win in no time, so why not? Downloading a promising German Linux distro, Knoppix, and failing to install it from the live version was one thing. 😉 But that short look I had at Knoppix’ GUI and the speed of operation, even though it was all running from DVD, impressed me much. Anyway, after my laptop was finally dead and I got a real desktop tower in 2010 I of course purchased a Windows 7 license with it. And I was happy with it, despite all the shite. But I didn’t know better at the time and thought it’s perfectly normal to clean and care about your system every day. Tune it up, download the latest virus stuff, clear the registry … et cetera. Again that desktop also had to die (a humidity and corrosion damage this time) but I already had made some steps into Linus land by now and was feeling at home in many distributions so I decided that the next machine – this one – would never ever even get in the vicinity of anything Microsoft or closed source software.
I’m still only a mon n dad user, more interested ín the philosophy and politics of Linux than the technical stuff. Still I know a heck of a lot more about computers than most people. I was on Manjaro for a while, I typed in very complex command lines in the terminal, I was looking like the perfect girlgeek. But now, yes, I’m back, using a *buntu-based beginners Linux right now, the super nice Mint, and I’m not even ashamed of it. Why? Because I’m somehow too stupid to install a fancy Manjaro on my computer. Something broke inside my machine I guess. Will try it again later, but that’s a different story altogether … and it really doesn’t matter, my blog works and looks the same on all systems. You’d not even notice if I’d type this story on … Windoze, brrr, /me shivers …
And many many very knowledgeable Linux freaks with dozens of years of experience are working on the standard Ubuntu and they don’t feel like 2nd class citizens or outcasts at all. If you’re on Linux you’ve already made the huge step and joined the brother- and sisterhood. And you’re welcome here.
Anyway, that was my lengthy opinion about the perfect beginners Linux distro: It doesn’t exist. Or, yes, it does but that depends on the type of beginner. It depends on you!
So what did we learn today?
- Never trust Orca with technical stuff
- Know at least a little about what you want and expect before trying it
- Under the hood all Linuxes are the same but …
[…] Linux: What To Do With You? […]