Questions before starting with Linux

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Dany333
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Questions before starting with Linux

Post by Dany333 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:27 am

I have searched the forum before posting but am not able to find all the answers.
Also - I have tried installing Linux on an old laptop before but it never went well.
So I would like to ask help before starting.

I have a Dell Inspiron 1720 that works very well but am having problems with Firefox and am advised to buy a Windows laptop or install Linux.
The specs are:
Dell Inspiron I1720 -
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T8300 @2.4GHZ ( I was not able to find this in the hardware list)
Ram Memory 4GB
Windows Vista 32b
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT
The system has 2 drives of 250GB

I would like to keep Windows on one disk because some programs I need will not work with Linux.

Also I would like to be able to access my data from both operating systems.

My questions to start are:
Which Mint version can I use?
Cinamon 64b? - Is my pc good for Cinamon and will it be possible to access my data from both systems if the one is 32b and the other 64b?

gm10
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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by gm10 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:37 am

Don't do Cinnamon with that, I suggest you give Mint 19 MATE a try. Test it out from the live USB/DVD first before deciding to install it so you know what you'll be getting. Your data won't be a problem, Mint 19 is able to work with the file system Windows uses.

Mattyboy
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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by Mattyboy » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:02 pm

+1 for not using Cinnamon.

MATE and turning off all the effects should be ok.

Leave your windows alone and install Linux on the other drive... I'd use a 100GB partition and create another partition in NTFS to store your shared data on.

You'll be able to access the files stored on your Windows while in Linux but Windows won't be able to see anything stored on your Linux partition, which is why a data partition is a good idea.

rene
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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by rene » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:22 pm

-1 for not using Cinnamon.

Cinnamon being the heaviest choice available for Mint unfortunately here on the forum means that it is considered vewy, vewy heavy indeed -- but it is not. This is being typed on a Core 2 Duo 3GHz (better) with integrated Intel Q45 graphics (worse) and 4G RAM, running Mint Cinnamon 18.3 64-bit; works very nicely (admittedly, you may want an SSD in any such system).

Feel free of course to make up your own mind wrt. desktop effect and what have you, but don't unnecessarily shy away from Cinnamon beforehand.

rui no onna
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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by rui no onna » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:01 pm

rene wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:22 pm
-1 for not using Cinnamon.

Cinnamon being the heaviest choice available for Mint unfortunately here on the forum means that it is considered vewy, vewy heavy indeed -- but it is not. This is being typed on a Core 2 Duo 3GHz (better) with integrated Intel Q45 graphics (worse) and 4G RAM, running Mint Cinnamon 18.3 64-bit; works very nicely (admittedly, you may want an SSD in any such system).

Feel free of course to make up your own mind wrt. desktop effect and what have you, but don't unnecessarily shy away from Cinnamon beforehand.
I agree with this. Cinnamon's heavier in comparison to MATE and Xfce but all things considered, it's not really super heavy, especially not compared to Vista. If hardware is capable of running Vista/7 decently (so Core 2 Duo or faster), I expect it would be able to handle Cinnamon as well. SSDs really help with performance, though.

Here's a comparison with the processors used in the MintBox Mini 2 (J3455) and MintBox Mini (A4-6400T). Note the Single Thread Rating, not just the CPU Mark scores in red.
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/In ... 2875vs2413
System requirements:
  • 1GB RAM (2GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
  • 15GB of disk space (20GB recommended).
  • 1024×768 resolution (on lower resolutions, press ALT to drag windows with the mouse if they don’t fit in the screen).
Notes:
  • The 64-bit ISO can boot with BIOS or UEFI.
  • The 32-bit ISO can only boot with BIOS.
  • The 64-bit ISO is recommended for all modern computers (Almost all computers sold since 2007 are equipped with 64-bit processors).

gm10
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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by gm10 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:07 pm

Well, he can just try live environments of both flavours. We get plenty uses with devices like his having problems with freezes and stuttering on Cinnamon, so I recommend non-Cinnamon for those by default. It's not the CPU, it's the GPU and its drivers.

rui no onna
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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by rui no onna » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:38 pm

gm10 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:07 pm
Well, he can just try live environments of both flavours. We get plenty uses with devices like his having problems with freezes and stuttering on Cinnamon, so I recommend non-Cinnamon for those by default. It's not the CPU, it's the GPU and its drivers.
So true. I created a 64GB multiboot USB with Mint 18.3 (Cinnamon, KDE, MATE, Xfce) and Kubuntu 18.04, then later added Mint 19 (Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce), Manjaro KDE and KDE Neon. Very easy to try various distros.

I was going to edit my earlier post to recommend trying both flavors but you beat me to it. :)

My system (i3-3227U with integrated Intel graphics) is almost on par with the OP's barring the SSD. It runs Cinnamon quite well (19 even seems faster than 18.3) so I reckon it's at least worth a try on the OP's laptop. I've ran all three (live) and didn't really notice a difference in system responsiveness albeit Cinnamon's heavier on RAM usage.

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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by thx-1138 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:53 pm

gm10 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:07 pm
Well, he can just try live environments of both flavours.
We get plenty uses with devices like his having problems with freezes and stuttering on Cinnamon,
so I recommend non-Cinnamon for those by default. It's not the CPU, it's the GPU and its drivers.
+1

Mark Phelps
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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by Mark Phelps » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:25 pm

According to specs I could find, your laptop has only ONE physical drive, not two.

Windows calls C: and D: different "drives", but in reality, they are different "partitions" -- nearly always on the same physical drive.

So BEFORE you do anything about installing ANYTHING, you need to sort this out -- do you have two physical drives or only one?

Also, look at ALL the partitions on your drive, because it's possible to have partitions that do not have assigned letters, and the max upper-level partitions on your drive is limited to 4. You will need two for Linux, so if you already have three (e.g., boot, OS (C), Data (D)), that is a serious problem.

And finally, installing Linux is NOT going to fix problems with Firefox. It would probably be better if you posted your problems with Firefox in a Windows forum before jumping into using Linux -- as the two environments are very different.

rene
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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by rene » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:35 pm

Mark Phelps wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:25 pm
You will need two for Linux, so if you already have three (e.g., boot, OS (C), Data (D)), that is a serious problem.
Both / and swap can be logical partitions fine; one free slot in the primary partition table is hence enough. Otherwise, certainly. The output of sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda as entered into a terminal opened from the Linux Mint Live/Install DVD/USB would be enlightening.

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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by jpenguin » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:39 pm

Mattyboy wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:02 pm
You'll be able to access the files stored on your Windows while in Linux but Windows won't be able to see anything stored on your Linux partition, which is why a data partition is a good idea.
You can read ExtFS/Btrfs/XFS from windows
https://www.paragon-software.com/home/linuxfs-windows/

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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by whm1974 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:34 am

OP have you considered using Xfce?

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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by Dany333 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:03 pm

Thanks for all the help. Was not aware I got answers but see now that notifications was disabled.
1. How many discs?
I see this in "My Computer" (dutch):
Knipsel.JPG
2. Many suggest trying it first -
I created a 64GB multiboot USB with Mint 18.3 (Cinnamon, KDE, MATE, Xfce) and Kubuntu 18.04, then later added Mint 19 (Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce), Manjaro KDE and KDE Neon. Very easy to try various distros.
It seems I can even create a bootable usb with different live environments.
Googled a bit and found this:
https://itsfoss.com/multiple-linux-one-usb/
Will try that as soon as I have the new laptop.
3. Mark Phelps says my problems with Firefox might not be solved.
That is strange - thought Firefox was created by the Linux creators.
The problems I have are caused by an old version of Firefox. I am unable to update to latest build because updates do not exist for Vista. I would think that I would be able to install the latest Firefox build on recent Linux builds.
4.
OP have you considered using Xfce?
No idea what that is.

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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by JerryF » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:29 pm

Dany333 wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:03 pm
...
4.
OP have you considered using Xfce?
No idea what that is.

Xfce is another desktop environment available in Linux Mint. It is considered the lightest to run of the 3 desktops, Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce.

There is also LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition). I don't know much about LMDE. I believe its base for is different from the 3 above.
IF your problem has been solved, please edit your ORIGINAL post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject Line. It helps other members when browsing posts.

Dany333
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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by Dany333 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:53 pm

Thanks for enlightening me.
The thing is I do not think I have to go for such a light system.
I already installed Linux Mint on a much older (Windows XP) laptop and it worked.
So I will test other environments proposed here.
Rather important for me is that it looks most like Windows because I am used to that since 18 years.

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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by Snafu » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:01 pm

I have LM19 Cinnamon installed on a Dell 3521 with the same processor and ram and it runs perfectly well. Switching from windows to Linux Mint is a very easy learning curve, they aren't all that dissimilar to use.
When all else fails follow the instructions

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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by JerryF » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:02 pm

Dany333 wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:53 pm
Thanks for enlightening me.
The thing is I do not think I have to go for such a light system.
I already installed Linux Mint on a much older (Windows XP) laptop and it worked.
So I will test other environments proposed here.
Rather important for me is that it looks most like Windows because I am used to that since 18 years.
I have Cinnamon running on a Dell Inspiron 1520 with Intel Core 2 Duo 1.66 GHz and integrated GPU. Works fine!
IF your problem has been solved, please edit your ORIGINAL post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject Line. It helps other members when browsing posts.

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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by phd21 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:59 pm

Hi "Dany333",

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

You can run any edition of Linux Mint (64-bit) on that computer. It is always recommended to at least try the live test drive versions of Linux Mint (Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce) from a bootable USB stick or DVD to see which one you like the most and which works best for your computer hardware.
Dany333 wrote: am having problems with Firefox and am advised to buy a Windows laptop or install Linux.
Exactly what type of problems are you having with Firefox?
Dany333 wrote:I would like to keep Windows on one disk because some programs I need will not work with Linux.
Please explain exactly which MS Windows software (programs) that you need and why?
Dany333 wrote:Also I would like to be able to access my data from both operating systems.
You should not have a problem accessing your MS Windows data from your Linux machine, but MS Windows machines cannot natively read Linux file systems without installing special software. BUT, you could create a "shared data" partition on one of the drives and use the NTFS file system on that, then both MS Windows and Linux Mint can read from and write to that partition.


Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint KDE 18.3 & 19, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

Dany333
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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by Dany333 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:58 am

@phd21
1.Problems with Firefox: When opening several tabs and on certain websites Firefox crashes. This happens very frequently.
I visit these websites all the time on my Windows 7 PC at home - also with Firefox - and do not have the issue there.
This laptop is only used when I am in France. Last year it still worked well. The issues started this year.
I posted the crash reports in the forum and got this reply:
Unfortunately, Firefox on Vista is no longer actively supported, and will only receive one more Security update in the next few weeks. This update won't fix any crashes. Vista itself is no longer supported by microsoft, and hasn't received a single update in well over a year.
This means that Vista and Firefox are not being updated, and are vulnerable to security issues on the web. This means that it is not safe to use your computer on the internet.
I STRONGLY suggest you update to either Windows 7 or 10 (I suggest 10, it's faster, more secure, and will be supported longer by microsoft), buy a new computer, or switch your computer over to Linux.
2.The 2 programs I cannot do without is Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Money.
I know there are alternatives for Outlook but I have it on my PC and want to be able to access it on my laptop too (i migrate the Outlook pst file). I am trying Google agenda but do not like that too much.

You speak about a shared data partition to access from both Windows and Linux.
As said before I tried installing Linux on an old XP laptop some years ago. It went wrong somewhere and I think the reason was that I first should have made this shared data partition before installing the Linux. So I will first have to search very carefully how to do the install. However that laptop was one I got from my brother and I am not to sure how it was partitioned.
As you can see in my second post I already have a separate data partition on the Dell laptop here.

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Re: Questions before starting with Linux

Post by phd21 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:46 am

HI Dany333,

It would help to know more about your system setup. If you run "inxi -Fxzd" from the console terminal prompt, highlight the results, copy and paste them back here, that should provide enough information. It would also help to have a complete fullscreen screenshot of whatever partition manager editor that you used for the other screenshot.
Dany333 wrote:1.Problems with Firefox: When opening several tabs and on certain websites Firefox crashes. This happens very frequently. I visit these websites all the time on my Windows 7 PC at home - also with Firefox - and do not have the issue there. This laptop is only used when I am in France. Last year it still worked well.
I have been using Linux Mint various editions and versions for years now and can open many tabs (50+) in all browsers without crashing. Your quote seemed to be explaining a problem with Firefox in older versions of MS Windows not Linux. Firefox has undergone major changes in the past year and a half when they switched to web extensions, but I can still open many tabs without crashing. Perhaps if you can provide a link or two to some of the websites you are having issues with and perhaps explain what you are doing when these crashes occur, we can try to duplicate your issues.

There are a few really great browsers (Chrome, Opera, Slimjet, Brave, Waterfox, etc...) that you anyone can use besides Firefox and I think it is a good idea to have more than one installed. You can easily export or import bookmarks and stuff into other browsers. There are times when I cannot view certain content in one browser and yet I can in another?
Dany333 wrote:2.The 2 programs I cannot do without is Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Money.
I know there are alternatives for Outlook but I have it on my PC and want to be able to access it on my laptop too (i migrate the Outlook pst file). I am trying Google agenda but do not like that too much.
There are some great alternatives to Outlook and Microsoft Money available to install and use which can import your data from these apps, or you can export from those apps into these apps. There are many posts in this forum on these apps.

Outlook Email Alternatives: Thunderbird, Evolution, Kmail, etc...

MS Money Alternatives: KMyMoney, Scrooge, GnuCash, HomeBank, Eqonomize, etc...
Dany333 wrote:You speak about a shared data partition to access from both Windows and Linux. As said before I tried installing Linux on an old XP laptop some years ago. It went wrong somewhere and I think the reason was that I first should have made this shared data partition before installing the Linux. So I will first have to search very carefully how to do the install. However that laptop was one I got from my brother and I am not to sure how it was partitioned. As you can see in my second post I already have a separate data partition on the Dell laptop here.
Installing Linux Mint to a whole entire drive or alongside an existing operating system (OS) is usually simple and only takes about 15 minutes or less. Anyone can easily create a shared data partition before or after installing Linux Mint or any other OS using a Partition Manager editor (gparted, etc...). You have two 250gb drives where you can create one or more shared data partitions before or after installing Linux Mint. If you have not read the release notes on your edition and version of Linux Mint, I would recommend that you do. From your partial screenshot, you already have used the second drive for various things, so we would need to know exactly what is on those partitions to make any recommendations for installing Linux Mint. Obviously, you must allocate some space or partition on either drive for installing Linux Mint.



Hope this helps ...
.
Linux Mint 18.3 KDE Chrome browser with many tabs open and working fine.
Linux Mint 18.3 KDE Chrome browser with many tabs open and working fine.
Phd21: Mint KDE 18.3 & 19, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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