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Best linux for me? Please help

Hello. I'm thinking about installing Linux on my computer and dual booting it with windows 7.

I have a laptop, MSI FX603, specs:

M480 i5 2.67 GHz

2 graphics processors Integrated Intel and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 425M

4gigs ram

500gb

Which distributor of Linux would you recommend? I would like something reliable and friendly to someone who would like to start learning how to write in Linux and other script (I've only had experience with Macromedia flash and html previously) .

Comments

  • mfillpotmfillpot Posts: 2,180
    The hardware is more than sufficient for any Linux based distro.

    If you want willing to repartition your system I would recommend Linux Mint which is basically ubuntu with the extra media packages added and some extra safety tools in the package manager. However if you have not used a Linux based distro before I recommend Installing ubuntu within the windows partition (http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/windows-installer) which will allow you to try it before potentially damaging windows by resizing partitions.
  • mikev55mikev55 Posts: 3
    Thanks, My HD came pre-partitioned. (How) Can I install linux on my existing partition?
  • Goineasy9Goineasy9 Posts: 1,116
    Use the Windows disk utility and shrink the large windows partition after doing a defrag TWICE. I say twice because that is the safest way. I also say use the Windows utility because you want windows to recognize all the changes, and, the safest way is to use their utility.
    When I dual boot with Windows I use EasyBCD. It is a windows approved bootloader and preserves the windows bootloader functions. When installing Linux you just put grub into the "/" root or /boot partition. I think all the installers ask what partition, so it would be the partition you are installing Linux too. This is the instruction EasyBCD gives for dual booting with Fedora, but, it works the same with any Linux distro. (Instructions say Vista, but, it's the same for Windows 7)
    http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Fedora
    The link for obtaining EasyBCD is here:
    http://neosmart.net/forums/showthread.php?t=642
    Now, Ubuntu and Mint will install and set up grub to boot windows for you, and, you won't have trouble doing updates and such for Windows 7, but, if you every want to update to Windows 8, there is where you might have problems. I had a problem with XP to Vista when grub was the bootloader, so I found EasyBCD and it made my life easier, especially the upgrade from Vista to Windows 7.

    Edit: If you can supply us with the info about how the disk is partitioned, we can tell you which partition to shrink. Or, look at Matt's post following this one and see if that suits your purpose.
  • mfillpotmfillpot Posts: 2,180
    mikev55 wrote:
    Thanks, My HD came pre-partitioned. (How) Can I install linux on my existing partition?

    Checkout http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/windows-installer , there is a windows executable that will install ubuntu within the existing windows partition.
  • mikev55mikev55 Posts: 3
    Thanks for all the usefull help! I now have a disks with Ubuntu and Kbuntu (respectively) but i'm hitting some issues. When I install, durring the final processes I got a long error I am incapable of understanding. When it DOES install "properly" after booting it begins to work through the installation process, then i receive a message talking about a root error and how I must open the partition menu. when I go into system settings most options are broken. Ugh
  • mfillpotmfillpot Posts: 2,180
    mikev55 wrote:
    Thanks for all the usefull help! I now have a disks with Ubuntu and Kbuntu (respectively) but i'm hitting some issues. When I install, durring the final processes I got a long error I am incapable of understanding. When it DOES install "properly" after booting it begins to work through the installation process, then i receive a message talking about a root error and how I must open the partition menu. when I go into system settings most options are broken. Ugh

    We need to see the entire message to be able to help further. Please post a picture of the screen or type out the message it is giving so we can assist further.
  • I have this similar laptop (FX603), mine has 6GB RAM, other specs are same. Both Linux Mint & Ubuntu installs fine, but my camcorder doesn't work, nor does my "hot keys", that controls Turbo Boost, power options, etc. Neither distro does any better over the other.

    The sound truly sucks, battery life is half that of Windows 7 Pro (another unusual). If I want to watch a DVD, I have to use Win 7 for it.

    That being said, I'm primarily a Mint user, Ubuntu 2nd, Windows 3rd. I would like to find a way for at least the sound to work properly. This laptop cost more (and is much more powerful than my cheap PC), yet Linux looks (and sounds) far better on my HP Pavilion MS214 PC.

    This is the first computer of any brand where so many options do not work for me, and I've been running Mint & Ubuntu since 2009.

    Cat
  • mfillpotmfillpot Posts: 2,180
    The battery issue sounds like it is due to BIOS communication issues, which are not easily resolved.

    As for the hot keys you will have to set them yourself.

    The DVD issue sounds like a lack of information, once you install the libdvdcss package for your chosen operating system you will be able to watch DVDs on any Linux distro.
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