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Giving the Gift of Ubuntu Linux for Christmas? 235

Posted by Cliff
from the for-all-the-good-boys-and-girls dept.
Father Christmas asks: "This Christmas I have decided to give all of my friends and relatives Ubuntu Linux CDs from the Ubuntu ShipIt service. In addition, I plan to help them backup their old systems, install Ubuntu, and then introduce them to using Linux for their everyday tasks. What sort of post-installation changes should be made to Ubuntu to make it easy for everyday people to use? What extra software packages should be installed? Should I stick with the default Gnome installation, or would KDE be a better choice? Is there anything else that should be done to maximize the utility of their systems, as well as make their first experience with Linux a great one?"
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Giving the Gift of Ubuntu Linux for Christmas?

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  • Proselytizing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by idiot900 (166952) * on Saturday November 04, 2006 @01:02PM (#16716711)
    "This Christmas I have decided to give all of my friends and relatives our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ from the church I go to. In addition, I plan to help them disavow their previous faith, if any, read the Bible, and then introduce them to living as a Christian for their everyday tasks. What sort of post-conversion changes should be made to Christianity to make it easy for everyday people to use? What extra faith-based initiatives should be installed? Should I stick with the default denomination, or would Southern Baptist be a better choice? Is there anything else that should be done to maximize the utility of their lives, as well as make their first experience with Jesus a great one?"

    Are you sure your all your friends and relatives actually want Linux, terrific though it may be, rather than having it forced down their throats?
  • by Mongoose (8480) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @01:46PM (#16717179) Homepage
    I gave my grandparents their first computer. I'm talking about showing them how to use a mouse, and very basic tasks for the first weeks. The OS? Debian unstable I customized for their personal use -- I'm talking I even wrote some applications like an ink monitor. This year I've already got them a new box, which is an Athlon XP running Ubuntu LTS with their migrated /home partition. The typical tasks are browsing the web, writing documents for their church/recipes/etc, viewing and printing photos from yahoo email, and much more.

    If you give them an old computer with Ubuntu 'pre-installed' they'll have an easy go of it. I don't even remember how many years they've ran Linux now. I do know they never got any viruses or had anyone break into their system from the internet. The only major problem they have is getting someone to help them install a new ink cart if I'm not around when the ink is out. I say Linux is a great first OS when you consider how great the USB camera support is these days! =)
  • Don't (Score:5, Interesting)

    by focitrixilous P (690813) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @02:31PM (#16717579) Journal
    Don't do it. As much as you may hate doing Windows Tech Support, you'll get ten times the phone calls if you do this. As opposed to just occasionally breaking, everything is broken now in their minds. The first time they get a word document that OpenOffice can't open, the first time they can't hook up their iPod, if they buy a new printer that doesn't work when they put in the driver cd.

    If you don't want to spend the next 6 months troubleshooting linux problems and then reinstalling windows, don't do this. Most of them will probably buy a new computer and never ask you for computer help again. If that's what you want, fine, but it sounds like you are trying to be helpful here, and that is not the way to do it.

  • by twitter (104583) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @02:59PM (#16717787) Homepage Journal

    Make sure to install the non-free media libraries (e.g. libxine-extracodecs, Adobe Flash 9 beta, libdvdcss2).

    Mepis [mepis.org] comes with all of that but decss, which is against the law to distribute in the US. Mepis now uses Ubunto as a base but still has the same KDE look and feel it always did. You might also have to get the "essential" Windoze Media codecs listed in the xine comand line dump, if you want to play some types of WMV. For all that, Mepis is a great time saver on installation for "normal" users who want all of the above non free junk.

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