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Hello I need some help and direction


Hi there,

With the release of the Raspberry Pi and the fact that its going to be using Linux of some flavour. I have never used Linux, I think that I have allways been a little scared of it

But I have a strong intention to get hold off one of these Pi's and to help get my newphew, who's 10, involved in comuters and computing beyond the control pad of his console.

As there are some big waiting lists to get a Pi i thought my first job would be to get to grips with linux and find out what kind of things I can do on it, and why it is used by some people in prefferance to Windows.

Ok, so my plan is this I have a Dell Laptop that i dont use, as it came with vista and only 1gb of memory and has never run very well. So Im happy to wipe it clean and install Linux on it. However I have no idea how to go about this or what flavour of Linux to use. I believe the Pi is using the Debian one so it may be prudent to use the same one.

I guess my first project will be just to get the Laptop working in a stable way with Linux. If someone could point me to some kind of guide which goes through this step by step. I assume that i will need to make a list of all the hardwear that the laptop has in it.

My second project will be getting to grips with Python, which is the language of choice for the Pi but thats something for another forum.

Once I am comfortable with all of this ill need to find some project for my nephew and I to do, so if anyone can think of any sites or books that are pitched to this level then that would be great.

Thanks in advance as allways for your help in this

Brian Moran.


  • marc
    marc Posts: 647
    Pi uses Fedora (recommended) although you can use whatever you want. For the record, there's nothing wrong with using another distro on your computer :)

    Give one of the big ones a test (or all): Fedora, Ubuntu, Opensuse (this is the one I like the most for newcomers).

    And for the guides... I'm affraid I can't recommend anything, there's others in the forum that will probably help you though :)

  • woboyle
    woboyle Posts: 501
    I run a variety of Linux distributions on my various Dell systems. 1GB of RAM is perfectly adequate for even the most current ones. I would recommend for a newbie like yourself to install Mint - a derivative of Ubuntu, which in turn is a derivative of Debian Linux. I run Scientific Linux on my current Dell D630 laptop (a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux), but I wouldn't recommend it to a person new to Linux. So, booting into Vista that is currently installed on the laptop, download the Mint live DVD image and burn that to a recordable DVD or USB thumb drive. Then, boot that and run to make sure it supports your hardware (including WiFi). Then you can select the installation option. I assume you have a DVD recorder in the system. If not, then if you have a thumb drive, you can install Mint to that, and boot with it.
  • frostyknight
    Could someone help me out here. I am having issues runing flashplayer on Linux Ubuntu 11.10. I can`t play online video content for some reason. I downloaded VLC and Flash player 10 and was looking on youtube and someone said to download mediaconnectivity file off the unbuntu software site but says fire fox dose not reconize it thus could not download. Also having issues with empathy messenger as I tried to log into IRC chanel to get help but would not read content but did connect.
  • woboyle
    woboyle Posts: 501
    edited March 2012
    Frostyknight, please don't hijack another person's thread. Start your own, please!
  • count_zero99uk
    Thanks for the advice Rubberman - ive actualy now got Mint installed on my laptop and its working great.

    Take care


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