I recently sent this to someone interested in trying Linux and figured I would post it here for anyone else:
I recommend Ubuntu for anyone just starting out in Linux on the desktop.
Use the top one, 18.04.1 LTS
(Read the system requirements. If you are installing on something that does not meet these requirements, let me know. There are other distros that work on lower spec PCs.)
- You will need to burn the downloaded iso to a DVD or to a thumbdrive. There are plenty of tutorials online for doing this. I use Etcher to put the image on a thumbdrive.
- You will also need to know how to tell your computer to boot from the installation media (i.e. DVD or thumbdrive)
- Once you get that far follow these steps
Some things to keep in mind when trying or transitioning to Linux on the desktop:
- It is not Windows so things will work differently. (Think of going from Windows to Mac.)
- I recommend using the stock install for a period of time before breaking your stuff by tweaking and make no mistake, you can tweak the hell out of Linux and there is a ton of information on the internet.
When you search the internet for help follow these guidelines:
- Stick to help for your distro and version (Ubuntu 18.04).
- Set your search tools to results in the past year. (Old results may contain useless instructions. Linux is updated regularly.)
- When you find instructions to do something on a forum, don’t forget to look at the comments below. People will often correct instructions or provide alternate solutions in the comments.
- Compare multiple solutions to a problem before settling on the best course of action. For example, I have found 10 pages of instructions using one method that was accomplished with two commands using another method.
- If you are really going to make the move, take notes. You will do something and later want to duplicate what you did. The beauty of Linux is that it is free so you can install it again and again.
- While I am no expert Linux is a passion of mine so feel free to tap me when you need help. The laptop and screen on my desk to the left is running Ubuntu 16.04 and I’ve been using Linux successfully since 2010.