Linux Recommendation

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KujjieKujjieKoo
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Linux Recommendation

Post by KujjieKujjieKoo » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:21 am

I find myself needing to use a non-Windows OS a little bit to help clean malware from an external HD. Having 0 experience with Linux to this point, can anyone recommend a version to use? Things I'm looking for:

-Ease of use.

-Easy to install.

-Friendliness with Windows... I'll install Linux to a separate HD partition, but knowing things won't mess up would be nice.


Also, if there are handy install & use links, that would be incredibly appreciated as well.

Thanks!
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deusnoctum
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Post by deusnoctum » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:42 am

Ubuntu is pretty easy to install and use--sometimes hardware doesn't work like you expect it to without a hack-y fix, but that will be true of any linux distribution you install. As long as you empty space on your disk for a linux partition, "friendliness" shouldn't really be an issue, as the OSes won't interact with each other. (That said, Ubuntu can generally read and write to Windows partitions, if you want to use that functionality, but I don't think Windows will read or write the Ubuntu partition without third-party software.)

To install, you burn a disk image that you download from their website, then boot from that disk: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download (click "more options" for a 64-bit installer). It works pretty much straight from the box; go to "Ubuntu Software Center" in the Applications menu if you need more software.

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Post by thacon » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:12 am

I've had a good experience with Ubuntu over the years as well. If you're looking for something to boot into just to clean up a drive and then go back to Windows, check out Knoppix. I have no idea if they've kept it up, but I used to use it for exactly that reason.

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Post by NardoLoopa » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:20 am

I use debian, but Ubuntu is close enough and I'd recommend it.

As for solving your problem, I might suggest you instead do the following:
Install Windows. Then install a VM (VMware, etc). Install windows into VMware (let's call it VMwindows).

Then you have VMwindows connect to the internet etc, but don't tell it about the external HD. Only tell your host-windows about the HD. That should isolate the drive enough from viruses/malware and you get to stay with something you know.
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Post by thacon » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:27 pm

BartPE is another good option if you can find/make a copy of it. It's basically a Windows LiveCD, so everything should look very familiar to you.

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Post by Flolle » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:33 pm

+1 on the Ubuntu recommendation.

The UI is not that different when coming from Windows and the community is pretty big, so that pretty much all solutions to problems you might have have already been posted on the community forums and/or wiki. At least that was the case for me until now.

Although, if the sole purpose of the installation is to clean up the external HD, it might be enough to do what thacon says, namely to try and fix this with Knoppix.

Also, NardoLoopa's VM proposal would also work, if you really rather not want to use Linux. However, Linux has gotten pretty easy to use and unless you need special software that doesn't have a Linux version, have driver problems or are a PC-gamer you'll be able to work just as well with Linux as you would with Windows.

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Post by Turias » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:42 pm

Another vote for Ubuntu. Nothing beats it for ease of use, ease of install, and install base (which helps a lot if you ever run into any issues).

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Post by Eleron » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:07 pm

I'll chime in with Ubuntu as well for an easy-to-use Linux version.

If you just need to boot up something temporarily to delete some files, the Ubuntu Live CD (or Knoppix, or many others) will work fine, no need to install anything.

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