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Best Live Linux For Christmas Giving?

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the insert-your-favorite-winter-holiday dept.

Christmas Cheer 594

trustedserf writes "This year I am including a bootable Live Linux CD in many of my Christmas cards. As I'll be making the copies myself I may even change the default desktop background to something personal, or Christmasy before running it off on cheap CD-Rs. The objective is to show people the easiest possible route to using a linux desktop so that they will be: A) Aware and B) Pleasantly surprised. About Christmas they may also have more time to try it out too. Naturally, I'm thinking of Gnoppix, but there are other options.. I use KDE, so I have to decide between it and Gnome. Bearing in mind my objectives, what distro would you choose. Also, importantly, is it possible any of them will damage their hardware (monitors with incorrect refresh etc.) I would be *very* unhappy if that happened. How many of them would fail to boot, leaving a bad impression? Which way would you go about it for maximum "WOW"."

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Stuff it with games (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894895)

A linux live CD by itself isn't going to get a normal person to run it. You need to put all sorts of easy to run/access games on it, plus Firefox. Then maybe... possibly... someone will actually use it.

Re:Stuff it with games (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894933)

That would be Knoppix MAME [sourceforge.net] then.

Re:Stuff it with games (3, Informative)

daves (23318) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894937)

That means http://sourceforge.net/projects/knoppixmame [sourceforge.net]

Re:Stuff it with pr0n (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10895088)

If I'm on your christmas list, just fill it with pr0n intstead -- then the knoppix-feature of not touching the hard drive is pretty useful; so parents don't see the stuff in my browser history.

Re:Stuff it with games (3, Interesting)

MC Negro (780194) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894991)

This is not a jab at Linux or anything, but the only things my peers know about Linux is that it's free and it's a Unix clone. Frankly, they would be pissed if I gave them a CD with a free operating system on it and tried to pass that off as a gift. Giving a CD full of free data is rather passe, IMHO. Why not offer to install and give support for a distro or download SuSE/Mandrake/Fedora Core and include a copy of CrossoverOffice (something that, coupled with help in installation and support, might actually move some to migrate). I know this will probably get modded as a troll, but this works. I actually did migrate my father to SuSE Linux on his tablet PC for a time. It was not an easy task to get the pen input working and to get CrossoverOffice working, but he did use it as his primary desktop for a while.

As far as LiveCDs go, I've found SuSE's LiveCD and the Knoppix LiveCD to be pretty good, but the best I've found for out-of-the-box support is the Slackware run-off live distro, Slax [linux-live.org] . This is what I used for the workstations at my university for the longest time. It comes bundled with X, KDE, a ton of office-oriented applications and has great hardware compatibility. It also fits on a mini CD-R, so it can be kept in a pocket. Might want to consider sending a card with one of those inside it.

Re:Stuff it with games (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10895061)

Giving a CD full of free data is rather passe, IMHO

It is? So was once popular but now it's out of fashion? Really, I must not have picked up on that trend.

Or maybe you're using words that you don't know how to define! Always bad form, even for Slashdot. Hell, especially for Slashdot!

Re:Stuff it with games (1)

Lotu (797031) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894998)

Yes games are definatlly a very good thing to have. Maybe a copy of WineX Cedra would be good? So they could possiablly play some of thier games.

Also both Konpixx and Ubuntu live have nice browers to go with them, not sure if firefox is on thier but that should be fixable.

Re:Stuff it with games (2, Insightful)

1337 Twinkie (795608) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895028)

I agree. Here is what I would put on it in terms of basic apps:

1. Firefox
2. SuperTux
3. The GIMP
4. GAIM
5. OO.o
6. Solitare

That should show them that they can do everything they want; games, web browsing, photo editing, and word processing. All the basics.

PS- If you can, make sure that Firefox is ready to go with java, flash, and shockwave

Re:Stuff it with games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10895087)

Shame OpenOffice is a bloated piece of shit, especially unsuitable for Linux newbies due to its inability to deal with even mildly complex Word documents. Shit interface as well.

Crossover and Word is the only way to go sadly, or AbiWord if you want a very simple and (in my experience) unstable word processor. Better than OO.o though, that's for sure.

knoplix and frozen bubble (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895105)

Knoplix had frozen bubble included (its a "bust a move clone") Fun. I used to boot into knoplix just to play..

sad. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894896)

Now I can see why you have no friends.

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894897)

Dear god I kick ass.

Re:First Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894934)

Actually, you didn't even get first post. And ff you actually got first post, you'd still be lame.

FP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894902)

And K(/G)noppix would be the best in my opinion as it is built for this sort of thing whereas most other LiveCDs are meant as installation environments or quick demos of the final installed-to-disk version.

best? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894903)

windows-xp-professional-with-keygen.iso

Mandrake (3, Informative)

truz24 (800762) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894910)

Mandrake has a live cd, and seems to be the best solution for a beginner. I have converted several people to Mandrake and they all seem to be happy with their solution

Re:Mandrake (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895005)

Did you try MEPIS? I believe you will not look at Mandrake again once you test drive MEPIS.

Cb..

simplyMEPIS (2, Informative)

asmdsr (519313) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894913)

http://www.mepis.org

Think Again (5, Insightful)

comwiz56 (447651) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894915)

I would think twice before doing. Seriously, how many people, whether family or friends, wouldn't think of you as a fanatic or total nerd if you went around giving Linux as a christmas gift.

I would suggest pulling some of your more technically inclined relatives/friends aside, and just show them Linux running on your machine.

Re:Think Again (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894983)

I would think twice before doing. Seriously, how many people, whether family or friends, wouldn't think of you as a fanatic or total nerd if you went around giving Linux as a christmas gift.

They already know I post on slashdot.

Re:Think Again (1)

shadowmas (697397) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895014)

so how many ppl are u going to be employing for customer support on christmas morning. :)

"Hello, Ohhh hi aunt may. merry christmas to you too."
"what the cd doesnt boot.. ohh ok lets see now...."

Re:Think Again (4, Interesting)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895011)

Actually, it seems to me like it all depends.... I've had several relatives and family friends ask me quite a bit about "that whole Linux thing", pretty much out of the blue, after they realized I'm still working in the computer industry.

There's a fair bit of curiousity out there from people who've heard about these cheaper/free alternatives to Windows for their computers. Something they can run as easily as sticking a disc in a drive might be just the thing for them to take a first-hand peek at it.

Much really depends on how many of your family members/relatives already enjoy using a computer. In my direct family, practically nobody does. My mother uses the same PC I put together for her and gave her as an Xmas gift about 6 years ago - and she still struggles to remember exactly how she's supposed to check her email, print it out, and write replies to people. Honestly, she just hasn't been willing to put in the time it would take to get comfortable with using the few programs she wants to use.

Re:Think Again (5, Insightful)

IntelliTubbie (29947) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895099)

I would think twice before doing. Seriously, how many people, whether family or friends, wouldn't think of you as a fanatic or total nerd if you went around giving Linux as a christmas gift.

Seriously ... this reminds me of people who push their favorite book on everyone as a "gift," and then constantly harass them if they haven't read it yet. Rule of thumb: any gift that requires less effort to give than to receive isn't much of a gift at all.

Cheers,
IT

Wow (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894916)

this is the dumbest thing i have ever heard of.

you must be the tech guy in your family (5, Insightful)

terrymaster69 (792830) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894917)

My family wouldn't know what "boot from this cd" means. Good luck!

Re:you must be the tech guy in your family (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895041)

Know what you mean. I don't think non-techies are going to be particularly impressed. I left a Knoppix CD in the girlfriend's computer once and the next time it booted up it just confused her. That version had some wierd defaults like Konqueror prompting to accept cookies (why on a liveCD distro?!?). Still might be a good idea for a temporary rescue CD like when Windows gets hosed by a virus and they just need to surf the web.

Re:you must be the tech guy in your family (4, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895111)

Yeah, and consider how incredibly slow these things run -- well, slow on the latest hardware, and slower than slow on somewhat older hardware. They're just going to think, "Oh yeah, Linux, I tried that, and it was slower than snail poop."

Mepis (4, Informative)

Kyouryuu (685884) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894918)

Mepis Linux is another good choice. It's also very easy to install to the hard drive if they are impressed with the LiveCD version. It's also just one CD. http://www.mepis.org

Linux for Xmas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894921)

I'd rather get socks as a present

You're a geek, but it's a cool idea. (1)

swankjesse (675497) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894923)

You're a geek, but it's a cool idea.

If there's one thing I know... (5, Insightful)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894926)

...it's that people hate to be converted and they hate to be preached to. If your friends aren't looking to change their OS then just forget your little crusade because all you're going to do is piss people off.

Re:If there's one thing I know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894997)

I find it amusing that you're whining about preaching and converting, but your sig tells preaches to us. Support the first amendment by browsing at -1, eh? Screw you, I don't want to be converted.

Re:If there's one thing I know... (1)

Soko (17987) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895012)

Dude. Sounds like the live Linux CD is payback for my father in-law. Knoppix for him it is.

Soko

Re:If there's one thing I know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10895050)

The last time I read at -1 I saw nothing but racist or homophobic comments. The moderation system is a fairly crude but, nevertheless, somewhat effective meritocracy and I support it 100%. However it is slightly ironic that I'm posting this anonymously.

--
Fuck the 1st Amendment, Read at +5.

First.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894929)

I get first beatings!

what's linux? (2, Informative)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894931)

I am including a bootable Live Linux CD in many of my Christmas cards

interesting choice, as i'm guessing at least half the people you send to don't even know what linux is. i'd like to know how this turns out :)

also, my suggestion is you is to include some sort of leaflet into getting them started, do they even know how to boot a bootable CD? just thought i should point this out.

Re:what's linux? (1)

penguin_asylum (822967) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895047)

it's also quite likely that, while screwing around in their BIOS, they'll mess something else up.

Wow! (0, Flamebait)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894932)

Its amazing how many stories are irrelevent on Slashdot and that even with powerful tools available http://www.google.com/ [google.com] some people can't be bothered to look.

GUI (2, Insightful)

pseinstein (833696) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894936)

I am not a linux guru but from the perspective of the average person go with something that has a simple GUI interface. All that fancy commandline stuff scares people.

Maybe (1)

DoctorMO (720244) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894940)

Are you going to raise the production value a little? get some of those spray on CD covers or what have ya's, gifts I find may look a bit cheap written in black marker.

Although Linux is a very good idea, just some incentive.. maybe security or games...

Re:Maybe (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10895048)

Or you could use one of these [luckydiscs.com] .

Set the Firefox default home page (4, Interesting)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894941)

Another nifty customization would be to set the Firefox Home Page to something personal and/or Christmas'ie [komar.org] so they are reminded again of your gift (cool idea) when they fire up the browser.

Mepis (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894942)

I've had real good luck with Mepis. The book "Knoppix Hacks" has instructions for re-mastering Knoppix for a custom desktop. Morphix has instructions for remastering too. If anyone has an older PC, DamnSmallLinux (DSL) might be a better choice.

My vote: (2, Funny)

po_boy (69692) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894943)

Christmux.

Re:My vote: (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894989)

Multiplexed Christmas?

Re:My vote: (1)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895102)

Sorry, ChristBSD is far superior, and you'll be made to regret your poor choice when your gift-receivers realize what you've done.

It is a DVD, but the new Suse 9.2 Live Eval... (3, Informative)

bagboy (630125) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894945)

has a lot of punch... Firefox, Multimedia and easy set up....

This may just be me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894946)

but if I got a fucking FREE OPERATING SYSTEM as a present I'd be pretty fucking pissed that I got you that new $300 PDA.

Windowsy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894947)

Not to sound lame, but you'll probably want this to be as windows-like as it can be... I'm assuming the people you're giving this to are windows kind of people so if nothing else you'll want this to be easy to figure out. Personally I find KDE a bit better in terms of GUI, as for the rest, it's very debatable. Though I sincerely doubt a there would be driver/hardware conflicts unless their computer is beyond ancient and was macguyvered out of sticks bubble gum and a light bulb

Hope you include an explanation... (1)

bdigit (132070) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894950)

Unless you will have alot of people going "WTF happened to windows!?!" "This asshole crashed my computer and now I have some foreign interface on it"

Wow (2, Insightful)

Morgahastu (522162) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894953)

I'd hate to be a member of your family, worst gift ever.

Honestly.

Don't give people these discs, unless everyone in your family is a geek no one will even use it or know what to do with it.

Most people who use Windows don't even know how to install that and that's really easy.

Re:Wow (2, Informative)

Xshare (762241) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894979)

He never said it was his gift, just that he was including it in his cards.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894992)

Don't give people these discs, unless everyone in your family is a geek no one will even use it or know what to do with it.

...and the ones that are geeks will already know where to get it if they want it.

For starters.. (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894955)

Don't use a cheap-o CD-R.. The price is low because the quality is low, do you want a low quality CD causing people to not switch?

Which brings up the point: What makes you think that the people you send Christmas cards to want to switch from Windows?

PCLinuxOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894958)

Try PCLinuxOS [pclinuxonline.com] . It's sort of like Mandrake, but cleaner looking.

Of course, you'll want to load it with lots of games before sending it out.

"WOW"! (1)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894959)

"Which way would you go about it for maximum "WOW"."

You mean as in: "WOW! I knew he was nerdy, but...just... WOW!!"?

Linux or coal? (1)

jazzman75 (637691) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894960)

Good lord man! Linux for Christmas? You might as well give them coal. One can at least safely burn coal and keep warm. ;) Interesting idea either way you look at it.

Re:Linux or coal? (3, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895013)

Well, what I'm thinking is that since a lot of people have numerous guests around during the holidays, if you have nice furniture these discs could make cool extra coasters to keep your relatives from sloshing their Scotch all over your new coffee table.

BB demo (1)

chendo (678767) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894961)

The aalib's bb demo makes me horny.

Seriously, it's an awesome demo, especially when you tell them it's nothing but text.

Mepis (3, Informative)

gvc (167165) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894962)

I tried a bunch of live CDs on my Toshiba 5200 and none worked properly until I found Mepis [mepis.org] and downloaded it. It worked perfectly - even the wireless. And installing to the hard drive was easy, too.

Mepis is Debian based; much lower barrier to admission than other Debian distros.

MEPIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894963)

Mepis seems to be a hit and has easily identified my hardware in it's live CD form. And the bonus is they can install it from the live CD if they like it.

Two Words (1)

fsterman (519061) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894965)

Penguin Piercings Or maybe "Raver Penguin" Anyway, a real penguin with some glow sticks would rule. Think there is a Gov. grant for testing X on these somewhere?

well.... (2, Funny)

SkankinMonkey (528381) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894969)

Nothing says, 'I'm cheap' on Christmas like giving out burned CD's of free OS's! I bet you gave out bootable floppies of FreeDOS before you got a burner!

Oooh, the card's heavy (1)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894972)

"Excellent, a heavy card... might be some money or something in there... or maybe a cool music CD. Cool!"
*rip, rip, fwiiip*
"What the hell?"
"LINUX! Oh for f*ck's sake!"

"Why the hell would I want to put this on my machine? It's got what... like 18 games out for it? Can it play HL2? No... can it play Halo2? No... Does it really improve what I'm currently doing if I'm not a nerd? Not really."

*throws it with the AOL CDs*

* Note: I actually think the idea is fairly cool.... BUT only when sent to a very select group of people who will appreciate it, ie those who are already a bit tech savy.

Re:Oooh, the card's heavy (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895019)

Can it play HL2? No

not to be anal or ruin your post but HL2 is now playable on linux using transgaming's flavor of wine

slashdot story here [slashdot.org]

all the same, your point is prolly true....

Re:Oooh, the card's heavy (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895093)

Note: I actually think the idea is fairly cool.... BUT only when sent to a very select group of people who will appreciate it, ie those who are already a bit tech savy.

That same group of people are also the ones you've told over and over not to run things people send them (in email). If you got through to them, this disk will go right in the trash. They have no way of knowing what's on it without running it (which you told them is a Bad Thing (tm)).

Be careful of wireless keyboards (1)

IIskooterII (597091) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894976)

One thing to watch out for is wireless keyboards, i had a problem with getting Gnoppix to load correctly because i could not select any options on the config due to a USB keyboard, Logitech was the brand.

Linux as a Christmas Gift? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894977)

I don't know what kind of friends you have, but if they're even remotely normal, they'll smile insincerely, thank you, then throw it out as soon as they get home, and probably call you a tightassed nerd.

you know it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10894978)

NERD!!!!!111eleven

In Soviet Russia... (1)

I'm not a script, da (638454) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894980)

...alive Linucks CD boots you!

MEPIS (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894981)

I have not come across a better bootable Linux than MEPIS, http://mepis.org/ [mepis.org] . I was even able to listen to the BBC's .ram and .rm streams out of the box! I was also able to pick my favorite station that streams in Windows Media as well. No distro comes close, and its package handling and fonts are better than what most distros offer save for Linspire. And ohh...it's Debian based. Everyone should try MEPIS.

Cb..

Awesome! (2, Interesting)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894982)

I just want to say that I think this is an awesome idea. I've been trying to convince my dad to switch to Linux for some time now- maybe I can guilt him into trying Linux out if I disguise it as a Christmas present!

And the 2004 uber Dork award goes to... (5, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894984)

This is like a relative trying to convert you to Colgate from Crest....

lame gift.

Give em a linux powered media player or something useful...

What about putting photos and music on it and use it as the card itself...

Re:And the 2004 uber Dork award goes to... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10895077)

What about putting photos and music on it and use it as the card itself...

Ooh.... this guy deserves an insightful... The idea went from a lame-geek gift to a pretty cool idea.

Make it auto-run a slide-show or video of friends/family/pr0n/whatever (depending on the audience), and it'd be a decent gift showing how Linux can do something.

Don't (1)

Doodhwala (13342) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894985)

All right. So I am probably going to get modded down for this, but, thre are always better gifts than Linux CDs. However, if you really want something computer oriented, send out copies of Firefox.

SuSE live cd distro (2, Informative)

TwistedTR (443315) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894986)

SuSE Live CD. I've found it has better general hardware support (don't want it to coredump on someone) and the default program pack does a pretty good job.

WHY GNOPPIX? (1)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894993)

So you use KDE but 'naturally' you would choose GNOPPIX? Why not Knoppix?

Re:WHY GNOPPIX? (1)

jrcamp (150032) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895033)

Knoppix has a lot stuffed on it, but in my opinion it has a very unpolished feel to it. Things have weird names, odd looks, missing icons. I think people would come off with a better impression if he used Gnoppix.

Re:WHY GNOPPIX? (1)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895057)

The point still stands that 'naturally' doesn't fit well if the person is a KDE user. Knoppix is what would 'natually' follow, not gnoppix. :(

Upgrade Path? (1)

Vombatus (777631) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894994)

Why not go for Mandrake Move (assuming you do realise that most recipients will think you are nuts)?

Then if they want to get the full experience, they can upgrade to a full hard disk based version of Mandrake?

Just a thought

Christmas Cards? (1)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 8 years ago | (#10894995)

If this is your idea of a Christmas Card, I would say that you need more help than figuring out what Live Linux to give. I think you need to just kill yourself and end it all. Do the card recipients a favor.

Open source on windows (1)

CyberThalamus (822198) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895000)

It's a fine compromise. Put in firefox, openoffice, audacity (sound editor), gimp, latest Java. That's what I got on my (yes, Windows) box.

Ubuntu (1)

tdc_vga (787793) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895006)

Definitely Ubuntu. Ubuntu [ubuntulinux.org] Cheers, TdC_VgA

Why just christmas? (1)

Johnathon_Dough (719310) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895009)

If you apply yourself a little bit, you could be the next AOL.

1.Start by sending Linux CD's to friends and family.
2.Branch out to your whole town
3.Now county level, then state, etc
4.????
5. pro^H^H^H declarw bankruptcy

Okay, so maybe a few bugs to work out, but still, Rock On! great Idea

Oh, and I would use Red Hat, so maybe you could get sued for some free publicity.

Re:Why just christmas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#10895103)

I was a birthday party the other day and someone had given our friend a quartet of mix CD's

Nice Gift

Except for the first thing said by the same gift giver afterwards

"Yeah, it was great I downloaded all the music for free, and burning c'd only takes a few minutes now...happy birthday"

i only bring this up, as, back-in-the-day (tm) when you made a mix tape it was a sign of time spent, and much more thought put into the gift, now-a-days (tm) a mix CD seems to be the 'oh shot I forgot/am too cheap(or broke) gift" gift.

Linux proselytizing (0, Troll)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895020)

Since you're all about spreading the good news of Linux to one and all make sure you include the tennants of this radical faith.

As the disk starts, make sure there is screen that clearly states this is a Linux installation, not BSD, because BSD is dead and gone.

When they login, ask them if they'd like a beowulf cluster of these... the only choice they should have is yes.

Background picture on desktop is a bowl of hot grits.

The first time they login they must choose between KDE or Gnome. Let them know they must choose wisely, or suffer the wrath of many a legion of nerds and geeks (don't tell them either choice offends the legion).

After the Linux bootloaders starts up the real OS, make sure they know their running an Emacs box, and that has nothing to do with the six (vi) editor they've heard so much about.

the real question is... (1)

Fyre2012 (762907) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895025)

I've had great luck with MandrakeMove [mandrakesoft.com]
love the idea of sending the live cd with the card.
the real question is whether having them use a live linux cd will reduce the ammount of in home tech support you'll be doing for your familie's new windows based computers,
or
just create the need for more house calls to learn the new system?
in short... is livecd(headache;) less than or == windows(headache;) ??

*noppix or ubuntu (1)

originaldexta (738185) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895029)

Gnoppix for Gnome
Knoppix for KDE

But why not give them ubuntu linux, if you got in earlier they would have sent you free pressed CD's.

----
KDE is windows for linux
Gnome is what you wished windows would be

Re:*noppix or ubuntu (2, Informative)

rolfpal (28193) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895044)

Ubuntu is the coolest for sure, although it has more hardware problems around ACPI than any other linux I've tried.

Oh, jeez. (2, Funny)

SamMichaels (213605) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895037)

I'm jumping on the "this is dumb" bandwagon.

Give them something useful like Firefox. Leave a note:

1) Install
2) Use for 7 days
3) Send me a thank you card for saving you

Morphix (1)

quamaretto (666270) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895058)

The Morphix ISO's and derivatives are some of my favorite LiveCDs. I think my very favorite is GNUStep 0.5 [linuks.mine.nu] because it is built on GNUStep; and because it has GRUB and parted and QTParted, even though the installer still uses cfdisk by default.

Close second is Morphix [morphix.org] LightGUI, an XFCE-based full desktop system, since it's only 200 MB. Unfortunately, the ISO builds are very seemingly outdated. (Firebird!)

After that, I would probably go with plain old Knoppix, or maybe Gnoppix being a GNOME-ish person.

Getting People To Switch (2, Informative)

nukem996 (624036) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895060)

I would go with knoppix, KDE is much more windowizy and many windows users cannt even tell the difference. It is very user friendly and has alot of extra apps that are really usefull. If they finally decide to make the switch I would strong suggest Fedoria. Its very easy to install and update/maintain. The only thing I would suggest is for them to just burn all there files on a CD before installing. Anyway goodluck on your mission!

There is a good point to be made from this (3, Interesting)

sllim (95682) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895064)

The people that say that this smacks of conversion and fanaticalism are correct. I mean, put it in the xmas cards if you want, but don't get all upset if no one installs it.
I mean seriously, how many people really want to think about OS's during Christmas?
This is a better Halloween gift then anything. You can be that crazy old man that gives out Linux Distros instead of candy bars.

On a serious note.
This puts a thought in my head.

I have pretty much 'zero' interest in running Linux thankyouverymuch.
One of the reasons I don't desire to attempt it is because of the headache factor. Command line commands I don't know, drivers I don't know where to find, sound card that won't work.... blah, blah blah.

All I know is that when I install windows it comes up as advertised.

See, I think this guy is onto something. I just don't think he is thinking of the correct use for it.
What about a seriously generic Linux distro where a newbie like myself could put it in his CD drive, it would boot into some sort of DOS like equivelant where it would ask some simple questions about partioning and formatting the drive, then 20 minutes later it would finish the install and boot me up to a GUI desktop with video drivers installed (well generic ones at least), sound drivers installed and firefox installed.

I am not aware that such a creature exists. It probably does though. But that is one reason I haven't attempted it. I don't feel like taking on a learning curve that for me would start on the install. I can learn about dealing with drivers and command lines and such later. Just get me to a GUI desktop so I have some sort of baseline to work from.

What does linux have to do with Christmas (4, Insightful)

voidptr (609) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895065)

You're kidding, right?

If one of my relatives tried to use a christmas card to evangelize an operating system, they'd be spending Christmas outside in the barn.

ok idea but... (1)

blisspix (463180) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895079)

why not give a gift voucher that says

"redeemable for one free install of Linux!"

that way you convert them and take all the hassles out of it :)

I have bad memories of technology and christmas. One year we got a Sega and it broke 4 times. It's very frustrating when tech stuff won't work on christmas day.

GNU Object Model Environment (1)

n0tv3ry3lite (833715) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895089)

I don't know much about Live CD's as I've never had to use them, but as far as Desktop Environ's, I would suggest Gnome, only b/c it's spiffier. I think people would prefer something at least a little cool looking, over something flat and boring. But, if you have a bit of a mischevious side, send them a distro without a graphical install and Fluxbox as the only WM. That'll be the gift that keeps on giving (headaches, that is) ;)

I love your idea! (2, Informative)

psych-major (767984) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895098)

I have messed around with several live Linux CD's and have settled on SLAX Popcorn, which is based on Slackware. http://slax.linux-live.org/download.php It comes standard with Firefox, Thunderbird and MPlayer already installed, and being Slack-based, it is extremely smooth and stable. I can't see that it would harm any PC hardware as it probes quite thoroughly while booting. I have booted several PC's and laptops with it and all major items funtioned correctly without any tweaking needed. It can boot totally into RAM and therefore runs quite fast and saving the configs to a USB drive, hard drive or floppy is a breeze. AND best of all, it's 137megs so it will fit on a miniature CD, for better envelope stuffing!! Hope this helps, and good luck with your project!

To spread Linux cheer... (2, Funny)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#10895106)

just put a message on the first boot screen that says they must send copies of the Live CD to 7 friends and family within one week or they'll have bad luck... like Timmy Tomelson in Desmodo, Nebrasksa who didn't believe the curse and was sued by the RIAA, for illegally downloading copies of John Tesh at the Red Rocks or Bostuli Smith of New Townslope, New Hampshire whose liquid cooled beowulf cluster sprung a leak destroying his systems, and rendering his attempt to compile a complete Gentoo distributin in record time (less than 3 weeks) an utter failure.

I'm hoping this will make it into the drafts of GPL 3 [slashdot.org] .
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