Which distribution for real newbies?

One of the people I work with is interested in trying out Linux as an alternative to Microsoft (he’s tired of lockups and rebooting). However, this person and his wife are not computer savvy. They generally surf the net, send email, and use a spreadsheet or a church bulletin.

So, the question is: what distribution is the easiest to use & learn? Real point and click stuff (command line know how is really not an option here). I know SUSE 9 with KDE is fairly decent for this sort of stuff (what I have at home), but I haven’t tried other distros to compare. I also haven’t tried to walk a new user through navigating the desktop, as some of you have, so I don’t have any reference on which distros were the easiest for a newbie to understand.

I’ll probably do the installation for them, so that isn’t a real factor, although easy installation is always a plus :wink:

I’m open to any/all suggestions. Thanks in advance.

I’d suggest Ubuntu even though in the past I’ve used Suse a lot. Ubuntu doesn’t try to include every package that exists, it’s a nice balance of what is commonly needed in a no-fuss interface unlike most KDE distros which try to fit everything in. I believe there are both live CD and install versions, so worth giving it a try.

How good is the support for Ubuntu?

Not sure if you mean hardware support or software updates… can suggest a visit to their web site at http://www.ubuntulinux.org/

Definitely try the Ubuntu LiveCD, they can boot to that and it won’t affect their current Windows install :slight_smile:

Yeah I’d say try the Unbuntu lot.

Tried for a while and was excellent!

Wish I tried the Live CD first mind…

I’ll take a look at the live CD.

I can see why Ubuntu is recommened. That’s the most simplified, “doesn’t feel like linux” linux distribution I’ve ever come across. I think I’ll install it on another machine to give it a test run. If all goes well, I think we have a prime candidate :thumbsup:

Thought I’d give Ubuntu a go myself and installed it on an old P3 celeron sysytem. Installation was very straight forward and now it’s time to have a tinker with it. Looking good :slight_smile:

I installed it on my P3 866. The installation was very smooth and overall I’m impressed. Detected all my hardware, lan settings, etc. with no problems. SMB works well, as I didn’t have to do anything to see the shares on my two XP systems.

I think this is the distribution I’ll recommend to my friend.

The only problem I’m having with it is BOINC manager doesn’t see the system it’s running on. It insists it’s disconnected. BOINC cli runs just fine however. And it was easy to make a start script for the cli and set that as an executable script. One click and the terminal opens with seti running. :slight_smile:

My hat’s off to Ubuntu for making such an easy to use distribution.

Next I’ll be loading Wine on it to test MS apps.