Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Using Linux for my needs

    Subject: using linex OS from usb drive
    I am not a real tech savy computer user, but the possibility of using linex os instead of my present windows 7 hard drive os, and running my saved files from a usb connection stick drive. I have a dell inspiron 1525 laptop, 32-bit operating system with 540 Ghz hard drive ( ), 4 GB RAM, C-drive has 18.3 GB free.

    I only use computer for word processing, slide presentations, web browsing. I do not use Internet Explorer. I use Firefox, & DuckDuckGo for web searches.I use Open Office for word processing & slide presentations. I have Avast virus protection and Malwarebytes protection.

    Would an external usb hard drive be better than a stick drive to run linex from & what would be your best recommendation of linex for me?

  2. Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!

    Excel 2013: The Missing Manual

    + Get this BONUS — free!

    Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!

  3. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 931 Times in 852 Posts
    @rufusdog, welcome to the Lounge.

    I have moved this post to it's own thread. You might get more exposure than adding to an old thread such as you had originally done.

    If you are indeed not a very savvy PC user, IMO, Linux is not really a good choice for you. Again IMO! I found Linux to be rather Geeky and required much more operator intervention to install apps and such. I finally got tired of using the terminal, then searching all around for an app that would install easily and do what I needed to do. There is quite a bit more need to use command line instructions if I remember correctly (it has been a couple years since I dabbled in Linux) I consider myself a reasonable proficient PC user, but just could not get a handle on the inner workings and use of Linux.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  4. #3
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    A cultural area in SW England
    Posts
    2,834
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 110 Times in 104 Posts
    You can certainly run what is called a "live CD" of Linux from a USB Flash Drive.

    I personally would download the Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon-desktop 32-bit ISO file, which provides an interface very approximately like Windows, and 'burn' this ISO to a 2 GB-or-greater USB Flash Drive using the eponymously-named Rufus software to create a bootable USB drive.

    Either by changing the boot order in your BIOS setup, or by pressing the appropriate key at boot time (often F12), you can arrange to boot from this USB Flash Drive, but obviously be careful NOT to install the Mint operating system on your hard drive, for you will wipe out XP if you so do...

    As Ted says above, running Linux is by no means intuitive, but you should be able to play around with it enough to determine whether or not you like the concept.
    BATcher

    Dear Diary, today the Hundred Years War started ...

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to BATcher For This Useful Post:

    Mountain Aerie (2013-07-03)

  6. #4
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,162
    Thanks
    205
    Thanked 210 Times in 202 Posts
    Rufus:

    Welcome to the Lounge!

    Based on what you have described, I would keep doing exactly what you are currently doing. I wouldn't go to Linux.

    If you are really wanting to change to something else, I'd consider Mac, not Linux. But you'll have to spend a bunch of money switching over (new machine, new software, etc.).

  7. #5
    Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    43
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 8 Times in 7 Posts
    Hi, Rufus,

    You didn't give a reason why you are considering using a Linux distro from a thumb drive. So I'm curious about that.

    Anyway, there are several distros (consider a "distro" to be a version of a Linux OS; each with it's own flavor of window manager, desktop manager, applications, and 'look and feel') that are specifically designed to be run from a thumb drive. If the drive is large enough and your USB speed is acceptable, you can also run any full-bore distro. An advantage to using a bootable thumb drive is that you can carry your complete OS and data files with you and use almost any available machine. Don't forget backups and make a clone of the drive so you have a complete spare.

    Three pen-drive distros I'm aware of - there are others - are Puppy Linux and variants, Damn Small Linux, and Slax. All have their own package managers for adding and removing programs. In all of them, I think, one can also install Synaptic, which is basically a universal Add/Remove app utility. So you'd be able to install a browser and office suite of your choosing.

    Of course if you want to you can install and run just about any distro you'd like to try out. The entire process of picking something you like can be fun. It can also be frustrating - setting things as you like only to find you'd like to try something else, so there's the matter of how much time you care to spend on this. Also, for now I suggest sticking to 32-bit for greatest compatibility.

    Running Ubuntu as my main OS, I've used the terminal around thirty times this year - but only because it was easier in many instances for what I wanted to do and not because I'm a command-prompt fan - my terminal-fu is seriously lacking. I also used a terminal several times to tweak a few things on my particular system that were not otherwise reachable. (I started using a windowing GUI in late 80's and have no desire to use anything else.)

    Ordinarily you'll have little to no need to use the command line, tho. Several times I've gone more than a year without needing or wanting to use a terminal. (Pro-tip: any time you want to copy and paste code from a website, paste the code into a text editor first to ensure that there are no gotchas hiding out. I believe this holds true for any OS, btw.)

    For starters, you might go to distrowatch.com. If you search on "Linux chooser" or the like there are even some sites that'll guide you through a selection process; you might get some ideas that way.

    Oh, and the folks at Mint do some mighty nice work; all but one of their flavors is based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to kermidge For This Useful Post:

    Mountain Aerie (2013-07-03)

  9. #6
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    12
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    The questions about why switch to Linux is a good one. If you are going to switch there is a Linux flavour based on Ubuntu that promotes itself as the easiest for people coming from Windows and given your usage, I would say you fit the description. It is called Zorin [www.zorin-os.com] All the programs you described are there and the menu system looks like Windows. You could run it from start up.
    However, you would first have to install it. Running it off a stick works but it is slow to start up and all usb stick versions have 4 G limit for storing the pgms. I have recently put a version on a spare usb drive and that allows you to try it out without having to worry about partitions and all the other technical stuff about installing. You would simply download an .iso version from the net. When you burn that to a DVD let your burning software know [if it doesn't guess correctly] that you are burning an .iso. It will create a live CD. You might try running that on boot up for a few times to see if you like the software. It will not remember any settings however.
    If you are going to install on a usb drive start it up before proceeding. Then reboot your computer with the CD in the drawer. You may have to tap F8 or F12 on boot up to direct your computer to boot from cd drawer
    When you boot from the live CD you will be offered a menu which will let you either run the CD or install it. During the installation process it will ask whether you want to install along with Windows. The answer is "no". Choose the "other" option. Find your usb drive and install it there.
    Once installed, you will have to tell your computer to always boot from that drive by changing the bios options or simply hitting f8 or f12 [depending on your computer] and choosing your usb drive.
    If you don't use Zorin, I agree with the others that Mint would be a good choice.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to glenn questions For This Useful Post:

    Mountain Aerie (2013-07-03)

  11. #7
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rufus,

    I use (and manage) a combination of Windows, Mac and Linux machines (some remotely) and for ease of use and maintenance, it's hard to beat a Mac. Linux is a close second and Windows a distant third. For what you're doing, any of the OS's would serve your purpose. Linux is much easier to use and any of the suggested distro's will work well for you. One advantage Linux has over both Mac and Windows is the ability to get familiar with one version or another using Live CDs and USBs without having to invest in any hardware or software or install to your hard drive. If you use one of the LiveUSB versions, you can set it to "persistent" and it will save your settings and files. A LiveUSB version will run faster than a CD-based one. And as Kermidge noted, you will not have to use the command line.

    At one time Linux was "geeky" to use, as Medico noted, but that stopped being the case years ago. Some of the distro's are like Mac's and do their best to "hide" the command line from the average user. Give it a try and if you don't like it, no big deal: you'll still have your Windows installation intact.

  12. #8
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    I thought I would write this up to maybe help those who are tired of Windoz. I've used Windoz since 1998 and have a small computer repair business, so I am fairly savvy in Windoz. After toying very slightly with various versions of Linux over a few years, about 10 months ago I downloaded the "live CD" of Linux Mint 13-MATE.By booting with the "live CD" you run it from RAM, so nothing affects your regular install(of Windoz). I liked it so much that I've installed it and running(on all of my computers) it, dual booting with Win7. I'm using Linux probably 99% of the time, and really prefer it to Windoz. To further inform you-Linux is completely free, as are over 31,000 programs for it. Another thing I particularly like, using the dual boot is that I can go in Windoz partitions using Linux.You don't even need to run an anti-virus program. BTW-I'm running Linux Mint13-MATE, which is a Long Term Support(until May 2017), unlike Mint14 and 15.
    Try it, you'll like it!

  13. #9
    Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    43
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 8 Times in 7 Posts
    @tosim

    Dual boot is not a bad way to go depending on one's needs and wonts. The main drawback is having to choose one or the other on system boot. Of course, if one has money and space, a separate system for each OS on a private network could be interesting.

    But unless one needs to have both OSes have full access to, say, the video card or NIC, I find it much easier and more convenient to have a host OS and run the rest as virtual machines. With these vm's, one can have several OSes running concurrently within windows on the desktop - or on other workspaces or even monitors. This makes cut and paste much easier, for instance. It lets one run different tasks in each OS and able to see what's going on in each. (On a good-sized widescreen monitor it is easy to watch TV in one window and continue with other things on the rest of the workspace, for example; I used to do this often, since I don't own a TV set.)

    Btw, using such terms as "Windoz" endears you to no one, generally. Unless you have a specific, focussed, necessary, and prudent reason for doing so - perhaps for sarcasm or illustrating a point - and using it just the once in a post for that particular reason, it tends to put people off, even irrespective of their preferences and opinions. And although it's a small thing, it also introduces an annoying semantic operating overhead when reading. (Please take this in the helpful spirit in which it's offered. I've BTDT and didn't get a T-shirt. I did manage to catch some flak in several forums and irk a few people, to my regret. And for what? Some childish pleasure in showing how cool I was? Some kindly soul finally hipped me to what's what, and I'm trying to pass along the favor.)

  14. #10
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    555
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 35 Times in 30 Posts
    Linux is free, as is all associated software. The only cost to you is that of downloading it. All you need is a computer and no other software, and the computer doesn’t even have to have a hard drive. There is plenty of commercial use of Linux, and if any of your utilities let you create a bootable recovery disk or flash drive, you may notice that many or most use a version of it.

    The distros vary from hi-tech to user-friendly, and from ‘lite’ or compact versions to fuller versions, with the difference among the latter being in the age and resources of the computer with which you hope to use it. Lots of us have old computers that we don’t use, but that are capable of running the latest ‘lite’ versions. It’s also fun to have a second system to fool around with (or to learn in earnest).

    I can’t advise you on the many other distros, but Ubuntu 12.04 is last year’s version, which is very stable, and 13.04 is the latest, which I found especially easy for a Windows user to adapt to. The ‘04’ is the month in which it is released, and in the short run there may be incompatibilities or missing drivers, but I personally encountered no problems with 13.04.

    Data recovery alone is an argument for having it on a stick with the relevant application(s), as insurance. The stick is inexpensive and the software is free. Use it successfully once and it will have more than paid for itself.

  15. #11
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    16
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Further to Dogberry's post:

    12.04 is a "Long Term Support" release, meaning that you will not be forced to move on to later versions for (I think it's) 5 years from the original release. I run the 64-bit verion of 12.04 on my desktop (with Win2K & WinXP running nicely in VBox), and the 32 bit version of 13.04 on my older laptop, also with my cute little toy Windows pets living in their cozy VBox. Nice thing is that, unless you do something to save the state of the guest OSs, they spring back on restart like those blow-up rocking clown toys.

    I have noticed that 13.04 not only allows you, but encourages you to use the (included) Ubuntu Software Center to do installs. I'm talking about installs of downloaded SW, not SW obtained thru Ubuntu Software Center. Also, 13.04 puts a slight but noticeable additional load on the system, and 12.04 gets a LOT of updates, compared to 13.04.

    The Linux community, like the surfer community, is highly supportive of newbies as a general rule, with a few towering ausperger's butt-head exceptions who may be safely ignored. To minimize frustration, I'd advise running a text editor alongside the terminal. Paste each to-be-attempted command line statement into the text editor first, then copy it and try it in the terminal. If it doesn't work, you can make your tweaks in the text editor, paste the revised statement into the terminal, and minimize the re-typing.

    They say that learning a new OS helps stave off Ausperger's. For those of us apparently already deep in the throes thereof: hey, they also say suffering builds character.

  16. #12
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rufusdog:
    It doesn't seem anyone really answered your question! I would continue using the stick if you are unwilling to wipe out windows, or, you could use the "WUBI" installer, which allows you to install Ubuntu (and some others, a google search should clarify) right alongside windows as an application, but acts like a dual-boot, allowing you to choose which OS you want to use at start-up. I don't know that there would be any benefit to installing your Linux distro of choice to an external USB drive. Also, as far as which distro is right for you, I would recommend trying Puppy Linux, extremely light, boots quickly even off of a thumb drive, and is really snappy. The apps included are very basic, not advanced user stuff, but sounds like you have pretty basic needs. Hope this helps, even if it is a little late.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •