My "short" introduction is inside the code tag below:
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I've recently became interested in installing a new OS after seeing how much Windows 10 is a still quite young OS with some worrying issues worth of a "beta" software, like forced updates wiping the system clean, hardware incompatibility, random BSODs, controversial security and telemetry, little to no advantages over Windows 7 and 8 and other very annoying problems which made me refuse the "free upgrade" back in 2016 and stick with my Windows 7 OS.
Therefore, I decided to give a try to Linux, and look for something that could "initiate" me on this new world, however, while also having a familiar environment of sorts which would allow me to "get used to it", you know.
So, I read about distros that look like Windows, googling for a Linux OS which would be good to Linux beginners and "average" users like me, who don't know jack about programming and "cringes" to Command Prompts like Windows' own prompt and the Terminal. *shudders*
Anyway, I've recently downloaded Linux Mint MATE 18 x64 Bits and passed it to an USB pen drive with Rufus.
I admit it'll take awhile for me to learn since once I install I have to "unlearn" almost everything I know about Windows and dive in into unknown terrain, which I shamefully berated in a distant past (A computer that my brother had at the time came with apparently a "GNOME" based distro installed on it, since it had a green and woody appearance, and after I tried it out I told him how much that OS "sucked" and advised him to install Windows XP on its place).
For a long time I thought Linux to be something like a mystery unrevealed until modern days, only reserved to the "pros" and "not for the faint of heart", you know. Because of Windows' simplicity and practicity, I have a lot of wrong perceptions about the other side, combined with the first frustrating experience I had in the past and whenever I saw references of a Linux OS the darn Terminal was always there to mock me and there was no proper GUI to be found. *shudders*
To a Windows user like me, all that was unacceptable.
"How in the world someone can install their favorite programs or do stuff like writing and editing pictures without executables ? Or explore folders with such clumsy and unorganized appearance ? Home folder ? User folder ? What the heck are these ? Where's My Documents, My Pictures, My Videos, My Everything ? Where's good ol' Windows Media Player ? Man, this OS is so weird! It feels like it came from another world!"
That was me back then, thinking that there was no life outside Windows. Until nowadays, where I ironically come back to give a second chance to Linux, this time with Linux Mint MATE, and willing to learn the basics, even venture myself with the Terminal. *shudders*
And remember myself from these two things: "Mint is easy, but it's not Windows!" (from https://www.reddit.com/r/pcgaming/comments/30d5yc/tek_syndicate_the_linux_community_sucks_according/#cpro39a) and "Unix isn't a scary monster or a spellbook full of traps and daemons ready to eat the unwary. It is simply a massive program that tells the PC what to do with smaller programs, an Operating System. Just like Windows or the OS that runs your watch or video machine." (from https://www.cnet.com/forums/discussions/is-linux-os-something-an-average-joe-can-load-and-use/)
Anyway, enough introductions for today. Let's go to my questions:
1) My plan is to leave Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 for gaming and other entertainment purposes and install Linux Mint on my second HD which has 465GB of space to use it as a productive tool.
My BIOS is Legacy Mode, BTW.
I've read about some tutorials on how to do so but the thing that always get my head scratching is the "partition" part (/home, /swap, the works).
What would be the recomended partitions sizes for my case ? Do I really need all of these partitions ?
Also, can I use EasyBCD instead of GRUB, which I'll install along Linux Mint to avoid screwing up my supposed Windows bootloader ?
Here's my PC specs:
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Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
Richland 32nm Technology
8,00GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 798MHz (11-11-11-28) [2x 4GB Memory Sticks]
ASRock FM2A55M-VG3+ (CPUSocket)
1024MB ATI AMD Radeon HD 5500 Series (ASUStek Computer Inc)[1GB DDR2]
465GB SAMSUNG HD502HI ATA Device (SATA) [Secondary HD with nothing in it]
931GB Seagate ST1000VM 002-1SD102 SATA Disk Device (SATA) [Primary HD with Windows 7]
HUAWEI Mass Storage USB Device [this is my 3G Modem]
Realtek High Definition Audio
2) I'll use Linux mostly to do the following tasks:
- - Write and edit texts and stories;
- Edit and manipulate images;
- Edit and manipulate videos;
- Read documents and texts in PDF, EPUB, TXT and other readable formats;
- Browse the Web;
- Listen to music and watch videos.
I know about a handful of GNU and Open Source software: LibreOffice, WPS Office, Audacity, VLC, OpenShot, Firefox, Sea Monkey, GIMP, qBitTorrent and Foobnix (an alternative to foobar2K, my favorite audio player). But for other tasks I have no idea, which I'll probably end up googling later.
Does Mint can handle these tasks well without any issues or errors ? Or I should stick with Windows 7 ?
3) Will I have to use the frigging CLI/Terminal all the time to do stuff around Linux Mint ? *shudders*
4) Do I have to download a new ISO distro everytime a new release arrives, like in Ubuntu ?
5) Can Mint updates accidentally "brick" the OS like what happens with certain Windows updates every once in a while ? How to avoid "bricking" my own Linux OS for that matter ?
6) Will Mint recognize my printer ? Mine is a "HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 3516 e-All-in-One" multifunctional printer.
7) Will Mint have issues with my external HDs ? They're all in the "NTFS" format, and I read somewhere that Linux OSes doesn't support external "NTFS" HDs by default.
8] Will there be trouble if I don't install the third party stuff along with Mint ? I don't have Wi-Fi/Ethernet/whatever at home but only my humble 3G Connection through my modem, which obviously won't work during the installation. How can I install this stuff later ?
9) Is installing and uninstalling programs an easy task in Linux ? Do I need additional software to do so ? In Windows all I need is to click the executable to install programs and to uninstall them, I use a program called "Geek Uninstaller".
Also, I've heard that you need to compile stuff from scratch in Linux in order to install certain programs. Is it complicated, or not necessary in Mint ?
10) Is it possible to change themes and appearance in Linux Mint MATE like you do in Windows, or I can only do this in other distros ? In Windows 7 I use a program called "UxCore" to change themes installed in the "C:\Windows\Themes" folder.
I think that's all. Have a nice week, folks, and take care.
Sorry for the long post. And if it's in the wrong place, the mods are free to move or delete this thread, since I think these are newbie/beginner questions before I install Linux Mint on my HD.