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Just Getting Started
#1
Hello . Just getting started with Linux and I have questions , naturally .

I have a newer PC with Windows 10 ( which I hate ) that I eventually want to replace with Linux .
However , being brand new with Linux , I don't feel quite confident enough to erase Windows from my hard drive just yet . 

I also have an older ( 10-12 years older ) HP desktop with Windows 7 , AMD dual core Athlon , 64 bit , 3 GB memory , 640 GB Hard Drive . This PC is running fine , if a little slow at times . The hard drive is almost full to capacity with documents , audio and video files , etc.   The hard drive is completely backed up on an external hard drive . 

I have Linux Mint Cinnamon on a dvd ready to install on the older PC . 

My question is , will the 10-12 year old PC I have described above be suitable to install and learn Linux on ? 
Like I said , the hard drive is backed up , but I would like to be sure that I would be able to return all the files back onto the drive after I install Linux . I'm not sure if the AMD dual core Athlon and 3 GB memory will be suitable for Linux Mint .

As an alternative , I have seen refurbished PC's with Linux Mint pre installed on eBay for reasonable prices . Would buying one of these be a better alternative than formatting my hard drive and installing Linux on my older PC ? 

Sorry if these questions are basic , but I have to start somewhere and I really want to eliminate Windows 10 ASAP .

Thank You .
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#2
That older HP specifications wise is fine.  You should just understand that you won't see the full speed of Linux.  So don't judge the slowness of an older computer harshly.

PM me if you are looking for a refurb system to play with Linux.  I have one client wanting to dump an older Panasonic Toughbook CF-C2 (i5, 8 GB DDR3, WD Blue 250GB - installed in May) .  No pressure or anything but I might be able to make that happen with Linux Mint preinstalled (currently has Ubuntu MATE).
Jeremy (Mr. Server)

* Desktop: Ubuntu MATE
* Windows are for your walls, Apple is for your health, Linux is for your computer
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#3
Hi and welcome to the Linux Community!

I would like to suggest, that if you know how that is, add a 2nd hard drive to your faster Windows machine and install Linux on it and then you can boot to the Linux drive or the Windows drive from the Bios boot menu (If you know how to do that too).... Don't know how computer savvy you are...

I set my sisters up like that...She hits "F12" when booting the computers and picks drive 0 or 1, "0 being Windows" "1 is the Linux drive"...

Like stated don't be to harsh about Linux on the old HP system. Locally it will do good to learn on and all but the Internet will make it work some.... But it will still work for that too...

In my opinion Mint is a good choice, but if it is to slow, there are lot of lightweight distros to choose from. I like MX, it is a light XFCE desktop that can be customised to your liking, there are just bunches of distros you can try before you settle on one for a while.

Everyone has there fav's, so don't just try one and give up, try others...
Please come here and ask questions. There's a great bunch of folks here with hundreds of years of experience that are glad to help!
Have fun and good luck in your Linux quest.....  Big Grin

Welcome Aboard!
**********************************************************
Taglines of the Day:
Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.  Huh 

Everybody remember where we parked. - Kirk

To Boldly Go Where No BBS Has Gone Before. USS Stargazer BBS, Sheridan In.
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#4
Hello,
I forgot to mention Swap....

Quote:I also have an older ( 10-12 years older ) HP desktop with Windows 7 , AMD dual core Athlon , 64 bit , 3 GB memory , 640 GB Hard Drive . This PC is running fine , if a little slow at times . 

With 3 gig's of ram make sure that you use a swap file/swap partition of at least 4 gig's when you installing your Linux distro...
If you manually partition the hard drive go for 6 or 8 gigs of swap partition. Running your system and opening a browser will eat 2 gigs fast and may hose the system. I know I did that on my AMD x2 core 2 gigs test bed. I got around the freezing up by setting a 10 gig swap file and when I use the internet the system uses 1 gig of ram and 700 megs of swap. It not too shabby....
Check out this link... Swap space partition/file

BTW you can have a swapfile and a swap partition from what I have read... Hope this helps....
LLAP!
**********************************************************
Taglines of the Day:
Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.  Huh 

Everybody remember where we parked. - Kirk

To Boldly Go Where No BBS Has Gone Before. USS Stargazer BBS, Sheridan In.
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#5
Hello,

I reckon Bescott is right, because i have a comparable old machine at home. It just a little older with a slower CPU but same RAM. I installed LM cinamon on it using the default install (use all the drive and automatic partitionning) and the computer has a bad time to boot. In this machine i ended up installing LM XFCE and it is much better.

So i guess Bescott is right and you'll need to make your partition yourself using the "something else" option, because by default LM is set for no swap (perhaps my memory is wrong?)


In the other hand, i don't recommend dual boot my self. It makes problems. Here is a link to one of our fearless leader YT videos ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9iX2qSfMhE ) that explains his point of view about dual booting. He point out some of the problems you can find with it. My point is if you have no ideas about how to solve any of this problems, it is definitively a good idea staying away of dual booting. If you know how to handle all of them, you can happily dual boot. Just be aware of where you going before getting there Smile
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#6
Thank You for all the kind replies . Nice forum here .

I have to admit just like my username implies , I'm not terribly computer savvy .

I have no idea how to use a swap file/swap partition and with my luck , I'd probably screw things up if I tried to install Linux that way . I do know my limitations . I just know I want to dump Windows 10 as soon as I can .

Lots of information on this forum and I have plenty of reading to do .

On another thread , its suggested that on a PC with resources similar to my older HP , to install Mint 18.3 MATE , since its lighter on resources . I may go that route depending on the further reading and suggestions I see here .

Thanks Again for the suggestions and help !
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#7
Hi there,

here is a suggestion: in your win10 machine (or the other if you like) install virtubalbox. With this software you can install over and over again all the linux distros you like, mess up the install and redo it again and again. Are you familiar with virtualbox?

I personally did it for months before actually installing in my old machine. And to be honest i installed linux mint 3 times in my old machine before doing the final jump and installing it for ever in my main machine.


If you don't know where you are going i suggest you have a look at an other thread in the eazee talk : https://www.ezeelinux.com/talk/showthread.php?tid=772 it may be interesting for you.
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#8
Thanks @Tuxinho, I forgot all about that, Duh...  Blush
I use it all the time too... LOL

I installed VM on my Win10 too. I installed Mint 4 times after breaking it over and over just playing around to see how things work.
I too tried lots of distros for 4 months. I stuck with Mint Cinnamon and took Windows off of two computers at the start.
Now all 6 have Linux, 2 Mint, 2 MX18, 1 Solus, 1 Manjaro... 
I have played with them all in Virtualbox for several days before installing them for real....

I worked in a computer store as a tech years ago (90's). Always told a new owner, 
'Take it home and play with it see how it works and I will see you next week to reinstall the software.."
Back then that was a 1 time free service...

So @ihavenoidea, that is a great option also... Sorry I didn't think of it earlier.... Rolleyes

My 1's & 0's  need defragged I think, hell at 65 I guess it is not that big of a deal...Lol

Good Luck!
LLAP
**********************************************************
Taglines of the Day:
Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.  Huh 

Everybody remember where we parked. - Kirk

To Boldly Go Where No BBS Has Gone Before. USS Stargazer BBS, Sheridan In.
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#9
Thanks . I had heard of Virtual Box but never used it before . After doing some reading on their home page , it looks fairly straightforward . If I install it on my older PC with only 3 GB memory , do you have any suggestions as to how much I should assign to Linux ? I need to leave some for Windows to run on .

Or , should I just skip the older PC and install it on the newer one that has 8 GB ? In that case , how much would I assign to Linux ? Maybe 4 GB ?

Thanks .
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#10
I would pick up your main machine and give it like 4 GB of memory. Because a virtual machine (VM) will always be slower than a machine in actual hardware, so give it some RAM. In the older machine you might be really struggling with a VM because of the lack RAM.
Also virtual box don't allow you to give all your CPU to the VM. since your old machine is a 2 core, you will only be able to try 32 bits versions. Your main machine is probably at least 4 cores (to "survive" win10 i assume it is) so you can give 2 to the VM and use a linux 64 bits version. Witch is more realistic because in actual hardware you gonna end up using a 64 bits version.
i know, yesterday i told you you could pick up any of your machines, but i forgot about those details. My bad.

About the disk space, why not 64 GB? it would be like 10% of your old machine HDD. It would be a nice training for partitioning. If this is something you want to try Smile

most important stuff don't be afraid to play the mad scientist with your VM, they are just virtual, you can clone them, try something, break it, use the back up and try something else over and over again.
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