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Ask Slashdot: The Best Linux setup to transition Windows Users

Quantus347 (1220456) writes | about 2 years ago

Windows 1

Quantus347 (1220456) writes "I am trying to convince a number of people to give Linux a chance, arguing that it has come a long way on the road of consumer usability. Can you, oh Wise Ones of Slashdot, recommend a Lunix setup that will be as similar as possible to a Windows environment (Windows 7 or XP). These people hate and fear change, and so will latch onto nearly any noticeable differences, so I'm thinking in terms of both front end functionality and the look of the interface. It would also be very important for them to have to go to the command line as little as possible during daily use (meaning as close to never as can be managed)."

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kubuntu (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#40781081)

Going from Windows to KDE is less painful and with less of a learning curve than going from one version of Windows to another, and FAR less of a difference than going from Win 7 to Metro. I say kubuntu rather than Ubuntu, because stock Ubuntu uses the GNOME desktop.

It has something similar to a start menu and in the same place (more logically laid out than Windows), desktop icons if you wish, a task bar, the equivalent of Control Panel (again, more logically laid out with things easier to find), the familiar minimize/maximize/close buttons at the top right, etc. It also has many advantages to Windows:

  • No AV Needed
  • The computer runs faster
  • You have a software repository with easy, worry-free installation (way easier than a Windows app install)
  • No Patch Tuesday -- when a patch comes, one click with no reboots and it's done
  • No reboots when installing software
  • If you want, you can set it up with a default user, whose password is entered automagically on startup (security of a password without actually having to type it in)
  • If you shut it off, when it comes up all the apps and documents that were open when you shut down are re-opened (this can be overridden if the user doesn't like it, as is everything else)
  • Most apps are free as in beer as well as in speech
  • No hunting for drivers when you install a new piece of hardware; unlike Windows, it "just works"
  • Far easier to network than Windows. In fact, you can network a Windows machine that won't network to other Windows machines
  • No registry to grow uncontrollably and slow the machine down, or be corrupted and require an OS reinstall
  • You can use movies as wallpaper! Windows won't even animate an animated GIF as wallpaper or screen saver. I have a movie of my daughter as a teenager in the St Patrick's day parade as wallpaper.
  • No DRM, no product activation keys
  • No crapware (yahoo toolbars and such crud you'll find on a stock Windows install) unless you actually LIKE crapware

There are probably more advantages I can't think of off the top of my head. Of course, if they're gamers, they'll need Windows. If they use NetFlix, that won't run on Linux.

The biggest problem Windows users have switching to Linux is the file/drive layout. However, if they're used to putting everything in "my documents" then "Home" won't confuse them much if any, but there are no C: and D: etc drives; drives appear as folders. In its file manager, CDs and USBs, etc, appear as separate devices. After using it for a while, you're likely to wonder how the hell you put up with Windows for so long. It really is hassle-free.

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