We left the MS Windows/Apple world. With very little knowledge of computers, you can too. Linux is a free operating system which was originally based on Unix. We have contemplated making this move for years. There will be a follow-up blog of why we made the move, but this is a how-to blog. Though there are thousands (an infinite number?) of ways to set up Linux, there are two very easy ways of getting Linux on a laptop.
The first is to purchase a computer with Linux installed by someone else. This is the easiest and includes tech support. Companies which sell laptops with Linux already installed include System76, ZaReason, Dell, ThinkPenguin, and EmperorLinux. This is more expensive. Though Dell frequently changes their product line, for today, here is a link to their $1200 laptop with a Linux Ubuntu operating system. http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/xps-13-linux/pd
We purchased two refurbished Windows 7 computers for under $800 from a shop which refurbishes computers. There are thousands of such shops throughout the United States. Refurbished Windows 7 computers are also available in many foreign countries and thousands are available online. Included in the price was repartitioning the hard drives with 50 Gig partitions for Linux. The dual boot system allows Ubuntu to access data from the Windows 7 partition. The Linux partition is only needed for the Operating System and Linux programs such as LibreOffice, Inkscape, Blender, GrafX2, Font Manager, etc. We found a dual boot system to be the easiest to install and use. Using Windows 7, download Ubuntu from here http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop.
Burn the download to a DVD, then follow these instructions. http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/install-ubuntu-desktop
Be certain you write down ALL USERNAMES AND PASSWORDS.
It really is this simple. Purchasing a new computer is actually more difficult to get particular features that you want, since there are many refurbished Windows 7 choices. Even with a dual boot system, which is much slower, the system boots up in about 18 seconds.
Anything which can be done on Windows or Mac can be done with on Ubuntu. The single greatest issue is a lack of tech support for Linux in general. However, to date, everything we have needed to do with Ubuntu is available by asking on Google.
4 thoughts on “Joining the Ubuntu/Linux Community — Post by Michael J. Findley”
I am no expert, but have been a Linux user for years. I am however a PC professional and can say that for many people Linux is a fabulous alternative with many giant advantages. THIS very modest old HP desktop is doing yeoman’s work for me as a web server. You can see this by clicking on my name 🙂 It is a LAMP box. Linux, Apache, MySql, PHP.
Ubuntu is on my Netbook. For most users it does everything they’ll ever care about.
Thanks for the encouragement!
I wish you had done this before I bought my Chromebook. Although, I like Chromebook there are certain things I cannot do on it. Mainly Excel to create .csv files. I have a Windows 7 machine so maybe I could do this but much later on. Maybe I can come to you for technical support. 🙂
As much help as newbies can be, we will try, Russell!