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ISO free operating system recommendations


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I've been checking out safe links online to free operating systems for home users (such as Ubuntu) and was wondering if any of the PC gurus here have

any suggestions?

I did some virus cleaning for a neighbor and was paid with an older pc that seems to have a suspect copy of windows xp on it (MS can't verify it so I cant update it.) I don't have the OS disc and she appears riddled with viruses so I think it's probably easier just to wipe it and reload it with a free OS than to fight to get everything out of there with an outdated OS - the thing is so old I don't want to waste any $ for windows 7 or xp.

All suggestions appreciated.

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Ubuntu is great and really probably the most user-friendly operating system out there that isn't made by Microsoft or Apple. It's easy to get to learn and will probably recognize all the hardware pretty easily. The only problem is that you say that this system is really old. Now Ubuntu isn't particularly straining on the system (they recommend 1 ghz processor and 512 mb ram, according to wikipedia.) So it really depends how old your system is.

Xubuntu is Ubuntu but with a different desktop environment. It looks a bit different, but runs just the same. This, I believe, is a bit less demanding on your system, so that's a consideration as well.

If your system is less than 1 ghz and 512 mb ram, there's other versions of Linux out there to get you up and running. Just go to google and search and you can find all sorts of info about what you can use on a system with less resources.

If you're anywhere around the 1ghz, 512 mb ram recommendation, burn yourself a live cd and test it out on the computer without installing it. It will run slightly faster once it is installed, but it's just a test to make sure it runs properly.

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You could probably look at DSL (Damn Small Linux). It has a smaller 'foot print' and doesn't need as much hardware to run efficiently.

You could also use DSL to actually see if the 'old' computer will run under a Linux OS. If it does, you can decide to stay with it (DSL), or upgrade the pc and look at something more 'substantial', like Ubuntu.

I'm sure there are enough Ubuntu users here to help if ever you need it.

If you are up to experimenting, get yourself a blank DVD-RW (a blank CD-RW won't be big enough) and burn the ISO of an OS that takes your fancy. Start with DSL, and you should be able to run it as a live CD (DVD), which means you don't have to install the OS in order to run it. Run it off the disc and see what does/doesn't work. If you don't like that, wipe the disc and try the next OS.

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