Using & Installing Linux

So i was at the NCIX markham warehouse sale yesterday and picked up everything i needed to fix up My old PC for the rest of the family to use.

After thinking over its uses, ive been thinking of putting Linux on it instead of Windows 7, and i was going to use either Mint or Ubuntu, but im not sure if they will be the right flavour of Linux as i want this PC for browsing and to use it is a Local server for all my movies/pictures/music instead of my PC.

So i have a few questions:

  1. Which version of Linux would be best for my needs ?                                                                                                
  2. Does anyone know a resource to show me how to use the basics of whatever OS i use                                                                                                           
  3. How the hell do i install it from a USB drive onto a HDD without an OS already on the PC, all ive found is how to make a Live USB drive or use it as a secondary OS from within an OS                                                                                                                                     

Mint is Ubuntu, it just looks different. Mint 14 is based off of Ubuntu 12.10.

I'd recommend Manjaro Linux, which is Arch-based. It has the speed of Arch, plus access to all of the Arch software/PPDs/etc., and is UEFI-compliant. It is fast, pretty, and user-friendly.

Fedora may be more "noob" friendly, because it has a much larger community, and uses the .rpm file system, which is a lot more common. It is also easy to install, UEFI-compliant, and isn't in any way attached to Ubuntu.

To install either Fedora or Manjaro to a USB drive, simply extract the .iso to the formatted USB. Not all distros work this way, but Fedora and Manjaro both work well as live disks. Boot into the USB drive from your BIOS, and you're set. It will walk through the installation with you.


You install linux from the live usb (when it boots up there will be a clickable icon to install)

If your just running a web browsing pc and what to use it as a server use debian 7 its the most stable linux (use this to make a live usb)

So is there anything specific to Manjaro that will help me use it as a home server ?

And thats answers why i couldnt find out how to install from usb without seeing a Live USb guide.


i love arch but would recommend mint 15 for your needs(just wait for a couple of days for its release) Debian is more stable but you wont get updated applications

You might want to check out Mint 15 first... it can't install Steam and is hugely unstable, even worse than Ubuntu 13.04...

If you go with Mint, get Mint 13 (based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS), Mint 14 was a bad as Ubuntu 12.10, Mint 15 is worse than Ubuntu 13.04, unless Mint starts moving to the Debian core like yesterday, they are not going to stay relevant much longer in my opinion. Cinnamon is no improvement to Unity when it comes to system resources, it looks better, but it's heavy and laggy, Unity at least feels snappier, even though it's utter dysfunctional bloatware.

Haha, well im using Ubuntu 13.04 right now, and have 3 different versions of Mint, ones is Mint 13 Debian, the other two are Mint 15 with Cinnamon/Mate (wanted to try them out) Im really new to Linux so im just dicking around to try and get used to the O, i learned a bit about Terminal today LOL! but then again ive only spent about 30-45mins combined on a Linux OS. 

The main purpose of this PC is going to be for family use, so Ubuntu seem like one of the most user friendly UI's ive seen so far, and im also looking for some form of Windows>Linux or Linux>Windows  backup but im not going to switch to a complicated OS just to have those features.

Why do you say Mint 15 and Ubuntu 13.04 is bad though? is it worse off for power users or are there just problems everywhere for people not looking to be to serious about it, ive been thinking of switching to the LTS of Ubuntu if i use the Linux PC as a backup just so i know it solid, so any info on that would be greatly appreciated.


P.s. Why is it so impossible to use a Wireless card/network on Linux ? i cant find any kind of Driver or way to install drivers for a PCI wireless card i have, and Windows wont recognize my Linux PC/ i cant access my homegroup from the Linux PC (even though i can get into my C drive)


- Ubuntu 13.04/Mint 15 are suffering from a bad kernel that was used by Canonical, it causes all kinds of problems. I don't want to discuss this to death, the problem is not there with LTS (long term support) versions, of which the most recent is Ubuntu 12.04, on which Mint 13 is based, and Mint 13 is a great distro. Ubuntu 12.10/13.04 and Mint 14/15 are intermediate releases, they are expected to be buggy in a way, but they've really outdone themselves on this one lol. The major problem is that Steam is not in the repos and that Mint 15 rejects the Steam package from the Ubuntu repos..., for a "popular" distro, I would think an easy installation of Steam seems paramount.

- As to wireless drivers, most wireless adapters no longer require a driver in linux, as with most hardware, the kernel contains the drivers already. Some wireless adapters are an exception, and do not have a linux compatible driver because of legal reasons. For those adapters, you can actually use the windows wireless drivers through an application called NDISwrapper. Look for info on NDISwrapper on the Mint documentation, see if your adapter is in the list of adapters that don't have a linux compatible driver, and if it is, use NDISwrapper to install the windows drivers for it so that it may function.

I would reccomend you to use Ubuntu 12.04 (Very easy for beginers), The latest Opensuse(Very easy for beginers and has the most powerful GUI system administration program I have seen ever on any OS), or Debian 7.0 (if you don't want your hand held but still want to get stuff done).

No offence brennan but I would never reccomend those two to a beginer due to the fact that they are both bleeding edge and things tend to break easier.

I'm running mint 13 as my general use distro and it seems fine for me for general stuff you can still get an image on a torrent site or if you want i think i can drop box a copy.  Really though I wish sometimes people would start with something like Arch, Slackware, Sabayon, CentoOS, or Gentoo.  I think this Ubuntu/Debian thing seems like such a fad, and the config files are all over the place. Irrelevant to a new user but as an old school Unix/BSD head I just can't seem to grasp the init scripts in Debian. Debian also likes to change they way things are done for no good reason it seems like sometimes. Of the above Sabayon is a decent enough newbie distro despite the fact that it tends to be a little bleeding edge.

What you want is something like Pendrive linux or Unetbootin. It will automatically take a linux install disk iso and turn it into a usb stick. If you're already using linux most distros work by just issuing the command #"dd if=somedistros.iso of=/dev/sd(some usb drive letter) bs=512k" --without quotes of course. Blam you have an usb stick installer! A few distros get a little complicated; if the instructions mention something about setting up grub or whatever to fix the mbr and boot into an install disk, just stay away from those distros for now unless you have the Pendrive Linux or Unetbootin software.