back to article Fresh bit o' Linux to spruce up that ancient Windows Vista box? Why not, we say...

The Linux distribution Q4OS sounds like textspeak from a teenager from 1997, but it has potential, and it's not a bad option for Linux newbies. Screenshot of Q4OS Click to enlarge The Linux OS is flexible. If one Linux distro is an unfriendly fit, you can replace it with another one that has a more appealing options list …

  1. Solarflare

    "The chooser tool is easy to use, even for n00bs. Just click on the Run Command utility in the main menu. That opens a command line where you simply enter: >altdeski and then click the RUN button."

    That's great and all, but you've already alienated 98%* of non-techies by making it even as difficult as that. Most people want a computer that you turn on, looks nice enough and does the common, simple stuff really easily.

    *citation needed

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      "Most people want a computer that you turn on, looks nice enough and does the common, simple stuff really easily."

      That seems to be what it does. Any fancy stuff takes extra effort, as is usual in life.

    2. John Sanders
      Trollface

      Alienation...

      This is the interwebs, whatever you do will alienate lots of people.

      Heck you do not even need to do anything to alienate lots of people off.

      See what you did, I'm Alienated by my own comment!

      I hope you have a nice day... Sir.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Um....

      Why are you asking for a citation on your own comment, Solarflare?

      1. Solarflare

        Re: Um....

        "Why are you asking for a citation on your own comment, Solarflare?"

        Because I am freely admitting that I pulled the statistic out of my arse. I may be a hack, but I am an honest one.

        1. el_oscuro

          Re: Um....

          I always thought that 87% of all statistics are actually pulled out of ones arse.

          1. Dave Bell

            Re: Um....

            Do you have the sigma for that measurement?

        2. Al Black

          Re: Um....

          No problem: everyone knows that 79% of statistics are made up!

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "That's great and all, but you've already alienated 98% of non-techies by making it even as difficult as that."

      Those who would find typing a one word command are unlikely to want to exercise that choice. The screen-shot on the Q4OS site shows that they've taken trouble to make the menu look post-W2K Windows-like so Windows migrants aren't likely to want to change much anyway.

      I must download it to take a closer look; think it will become my standard distro for upgrading family from Windows from now on. I might even move SWMBO's new laptop over to it, away from standard Debian Stretch with its fashionably flat and ugly KDE 5 styling.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        To ease the transition for former Windows users, there's also a Windows-alike theme/skin for it, called XPQ4:

        http://dailylinuxuser.com/2016/11/make-q4os-look-like-windows-with-xpq4.html

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Linux

          To ease the transition for former Windows users, there's also a Windows-alike theme/skin for it, called XPQ4:

          Ohh! I can have so much fun with this! Thanks very much for the info!

          [wanders off rubbing hands together with glee while sporting a suspiciously evil grin]

    5. Kraggy

      Which is why Apple and Microsoft make billions by locking in the 'noobs' of course.

      I agree with you and I wonder why they deemed it acceptable to make this job use a command shell when a single would do. The fact they didn't seems to indicate they still don't fully understand why the 'noobs' are content to waste a small fortune over their lifetimes on the 'big two'.

    6. Palpy
      Thumb Up

      @Solarflare: There's a GUI for that, I think.

      Q4OS: Control panel | Settings | Look switcher.

      Can't vouch for its operation, never used that feature. There are a lot of customization options, themes and window-trimmings and whatnot, all gathered under the Control Panel applet.

      Coincidentally, I've been running Q4OS on a 32-bit Toshiba laptop, originally Vista, for a year or so. It has seen many, many distros walk across its hard drive before Q4OS. The distro in hand is pretty much as reviewed, fast and trouble-free. The desktop is much like a generic Windows, pre-8.0 mashup, if one imagines such a thing. Chrome, Firefox, VLC, Libre Office, and multimedia codecs are installed if you so choose. IIRC, the install took 10 or 15 minutes to first boot.

      The only niggle is that Google has quit updating 32-bit Chrome, so you get warnings there, but it's not an OS issue.

      There's been an effort to make Q4OS Windows-user friendly: Control Panel, My Computer, Start button, taskbar at the bottom, notifications lower right corner. Desktop icons if you want them. But of course there's no C:\ drive... ;)

      I've been on Linux and Mac at home for many years now, but I think the classic Windows desktop GUI remains an ergonomic choice. Not just because it is familiar, but because it's a sensible way to organize applications. And, as many have said, applications are what we use. The desktop GUI just enables them.

      The Q4OS team appears to be targeting the business market. The OS is free, but customization-and-support options can be had for a price. I hope they make a commercial go of it. It seems a very sensible distro.

    7. Pete4000uk

      As a fan of Debian Linux, I agree. Buttons and icons all the way

    8. Uffish

      @ the first commenter

      So you rushed out a comment, eager to be the first, we've all done it and sometimes it shows.

      The article says, in the bit that you quoted, "The chooser tool is easy to use, even for n00bs". You are assuming, if your comment is to have any sense, that the user has to select the chooser tool. You are mistaken, the user doesn't have to bother with the chooser tool or even know that it exists.

      For your information, my unjustified, unproven and maybe even erroneous opinion is that you can alienate some pc users all of the time, you can alienate all pc users some of the time, but you can't alienate all of the pc users all of the time (unless you are Microsoft).

    9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      desktop installation chooser tool instal other supported desktops..and repeat..often as you want"

      And to think it's only taken 20+ years for a Linux distro to acquire that capability.

      That ability, to be able to back out of things and not commit to something forever (without a shedload of grief to fix it) is something normal human beings users find quite attractive.

      A bit more like that and maybe (just maybe) Linux might start to get some traction.

      User Interface Design.

      No one likes to do it.

      Everyone user hates people who don't do it.

      1. Palpy
        FAIL

        Re: desktop installation chooser tool instal other supported desktops...

        But John Smith 19 -- Microsoft still doesn't enable other desktop GUIs. Ya see any Gnome as an option? Ya see a Mac app doc as an option? Ya see any flexibility without invoking third-party fixes like Classic Shell?

        Linux gots all dat things.

        WTF, bro?

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Devil

        The usual obvious trollish nonsense...

        > And to think it's only taken 20+ years for a Linux distro to acquire that capability.

        You mean like using the GUI frontend for the package manager and selecting options from a drop down menu in login manager. That stuff predates Ubuntu.

    10. Dave Bell

      This is something MS Windows does too, so I am not sure it is bad. But is it documented? That seems to be the common problem.

    11. JEDIDIAH
      Devil

      ...as if.

      Barring the occasional tool that I use the same way under Windows, I haven't used Linux in that way since pretty much forever.

  2. Tim 11

    "Windows Vista"

    I still get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I see that phrase.

    1. Avatar of They
      Stop

      Re: "Windows Vista"

      Remember those "Vista Ready" stickers. :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Windows Vista"

        All too well. At the time I worked for the company that printed them.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Windows Vista"

        "Vista Ready" stickers.

        Yeah, I ripped one off the computer of a mate and stuck it onto my waste bin. My Facebook pic of the feat got a lot of likes, at the time ;-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Windows Vista"

      I'm sick of people knocking Vista, it was an amazing operating system, the only one that was remotely close to it's awesomeness is Windows ME but both are seminal* to the development of Windows 10.

      * I use this word in it's second meaning "relating to or denoting semen" as it's w*nk.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Windows Vista"

      I get it when I hear Windows8, 8.1 or 8.2 (AKA 10)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Windows Vista"

        I get it when somebody mentions that Linux and OSx are fellow nix derivatives and are therefore somehow philosophically equivalent. Oh no, one is open and free, the other totally isn't!

    4. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: "Windows Vista"

      ""Windows Vista"

      I still get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I see that phrase."

      Vista had a rough start, but it evolved into a decent, usable product, after which it was further developed into the popular Windows 7.

      Windows 10, on the other hand, keeps getting worse with every force-fed release. It gets harder and harder to avoid the stupid UWP stuff, and the new features they insist on adding to justify WaaS are mostly silly little things that seem as if their main purpose is to pad the "this is what you're getting" changelog. The things people have actually been asking for are notably absent in each release that comes along.

      The entire point of the half and half 8 and 10 releases was to sell Windows phones, but now that ambition is over... and yet Windows 10 users on the PC get more and more phone stuff thrown at them each release. They don't know when to quit... Apple rejected the "one UI to rule them all" idea from the start, and Canonical abandoned it recently, but MS keeps on charging ahead with the same idiotic plan. Now there's three different UI styles in Windows 10; Win32, UWP, and Fluent. It's just a jumble of whatever flavor of the month Microsoft is obsessed with for the moment, to be cast aside for the new shiny at any moment (yanking the rug out from under all the third-party devs MS is trying to woo time and time again).

      I am nostalgic for the days when the likes of Vista was the example of a bad Windows version. Compared to what we face now, I'd much rather have Vista.

  3. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    OK, I think I just found something to do with that old laptop that's sitting in the cupboard, doing nothing... :)

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    nice to see...

    A new distro that is NOT based on Ubuntu.

    This gets a thumbs up from me for using Debian.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: nice to see...

      "This gets a thumbs up from me for using Debian."

      A pedant speaks: Ubuntu is also based on Debian.

      I have to agree, however. Ubuntu does seem to specialise in taking features from Debian and slightly damaging them.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: nice to see...

        I find anything Ubuntu touches turns to crap after a few months. I've never reliably ran an Ubuntu-based system for longer than 6 months.

        My laptop however, the daily driver, has ran Debian happily for 2 years without issue or complaint. And you tend to find (excluding Ubuntu) Debian-based distros tend to run and work a hell of a lot better.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: nice to see...

          That is exactly the same thing I experience hence my post.

          It seems that there might be a bit too much NIH going on in Ubuntuland.

          A number of people in my LUG have gone back to Debian in recent years and found that they are enjoying a far more stable environment.

          1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

            Re: nice to see...

            It seems that there might be a bit too much NIH going on in Ubuntuland.

            YES! Now I finally know what they're shouting!

            Anyone got a shrubbery?

            :)

          2. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: nice to see...Ubuntu bashing???

            found that they are enjoying a far more stable environment.

            Urgh, I wish people wouldn't throw 'stable' around without thought. If they are using the 'Stable' branch of Debian, of course they are!!

            Debian 'cooks' it's releases a Hell of a lot longer than Ubuntu, which pumps another out every six months on the dot.

            I find Archlinux pretty danm stable, but the software gets updated daily, so it's not that stable.

          3. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: nice to see...

            A number of people in my LUG have gone back to Debian in recent years

            My own take on the matter is that I tried Debian in the days before Ubuntu and was put off Linux for several years. This as a complete and utter noob, long-term RiscOS user who was trying to find something to use that was a: not Windows (because I like to be contrary) and b: not Mac OS (because I'm not made of money).

            Ubuntu gave the idea of an easy-to-set-up and easy-to-use Linux distribution something of a kick up the backside, and while it may have gone a bit weird in recent years I would say that it has made other distributions - Debian-based or otherwise - buck up their ideas. I'd put Raspbian and Mint into the "good influencers" class too.

            That said, outside of my Pis (and I have several dozen between home and work) I tend to use OpenSuse. A decent 32-bit OS might make me revive my EeePC, which was latterly running 32 bit Mint, but was retired from frontline use about a year ago.

            M.

            1. Gary Heard

              Re: nice to see...

              That said, outside of my Pis (and I have several dozen between home and work) I tend to use OpenSuse. A decent 32-bit OS might make me revive my EeePC, which was latterly running 32 bit Mint, but was retired from frontline use about a year ago.

              I've used OpenSuse for years, in fact from when it was just SuSE Linux, I think the first version I installed was 6.2. Always liked it, have tried Slackware, Red Hat/Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint and several others, now it's easy to try something new, just stick it in a VM, back in the day I had an old PC I'd try a new distro on. Always gone back to Suse (OpenSuse as is now), easy to install easy to change and YaST is a brilliant "Control Panel" that works with or without the GUI

        2. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          Re: nice to see...

          > I find anything Ubuntu touches turns to crap after a few months. I've never reliably ran an Ubuntu-based system for longer than 6 months.

          You must tell us how you manage that. The rest of us haven't figured it out yet.

  5. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Begs the usual question...

    Can it run Crysis (given sufficient hardware)?

    1. Solarflare

      Re: Begs the usual question...

      The usual question is a hardware-based (unfunny, partly due to how often it is rehashed) joke. So it is even less funny than usual in this context.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Begs the usual question...

        Who says it's funny. I use the question in all seriousness since it pretty much determines whether I actually use this software or not? For those of us with sizable Steam collections (most of which are Windows-ONLY), it becomes a make-or-break decision.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          Re: Begs the usual question...

          Yeah. Sure. An old cast off PC is just the PERFECT thing to run Steam on.

          This reminds me of when I had my old Macs and I heard Civ was coming back to MacOS. Unfortunately, none of my Macs had the juice to run the dang thing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Begs the usual question...

      It's a fork of a fork of a fork that's forked on the Desktop e.g.:

      "Replace Vista! Yeah! Vista sucked! I used to play Red Alert 2 on Vista. How do I install Red Alert 2?. Huh, what's that? Whine? Huh? I don't know man .."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Begs the usual question...

      "Can it run Crysis (given sufficient hardware)?"

      Yes, the sufficient hardware can be formatted and upgraded to Windows 10!

    4. Bob Ajob
      Linux

      Re: Begs the usual question...Crysis on Linux

      It may be technically possible to use a virtual machine on Linux running Windows with 'PCIe pass-thru' mode where the host Linux system uses an on-board Intel GPU but a hypervisor provides real GPU access to a VM running Windows then it can use the native Windows graphics drivers.

      Here is a link with more technical implementation details but using another distro called archlinux and the QEMU hypervisor -

      https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PCI_passthrough_via_OVMF

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another way is like windows: everything is tied to an impenetrable, monolithic lump of unnecessarily mingled code that only creates problems without solving anything.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "everything is tied to an impenetrable, monolithic lump of unnecessarily mingled code that only creates problems without solving anything."

      It needs to be hybridised with Devuan.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "It needs to be hybridised with Devuan."

        This looks interesting: http://www.q4os.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=1592

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        There's also EXE Linux, which is essentially Devuan with the Trinity Desktop Environment:

        http://exegnulinux.net/

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Another way is like windows: everything is tied to an impenetrable, monolithic lump of unnecessarily mingled code"

      Actually Windows these days is extremely modular. Far more so than say Linux!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        My bait was better than your bait.

      2. JLV Silver badge

        >Actually Windows these days is extremely modular. Far more so than say Linux!

        Cool. Can you tell us how to unload the telemetry and ribbon modules?

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Trollface

          Cool. Can you tell us how to unload the telemetry and ribbon modules?

          Sure. Start with www.distrowatch.org....

  7. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Linux

    Good choice for the original eeePC 701

    I run it on my 701 4G - it even fits comfortably on the internal 4Gb SSD with room to spare. With Qupzilla as the browser, it does basic Internet stuff acceptably well.

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Just spun up a vm with Q4OS

    Looks good so far, will have a test drive with it after work... I like the idea of trying different desktops to find the best fit.

    1. Freddie

      Re: Just spun up a vm with Q4OS

      I'm a little confused. Every distro I've ever tried has made it possible to switch desktops - just select the one you want (of those you've installed) from the drop-down menu at login (at least with most of the graphical login managers I've seen).

      Is the news here that they've added a script to install another and change which is your default? That doesn't seem earth shattering, especially as newbies are less likely than most to want to switch desktops.

  9. Dave Lawton

    systemd :(

    Such a shame it includes systemd, ah well, perhaps they'll wake up and smell the coffee.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: systemd :(

      It seems that it can be installed over Devuan - see my post above.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    This Linux thing...

    Do you think it's actually going to catch on?

    1. wallaby

      Re: This Linux thing...

      "Do you think it's actually going to catch on?"

      when it gets to the stage when you don't get abuse for asking questions the people offering support think is beneath them..... maybe.

      But not until then

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: This Linux thing...

        I am on http://unix.stackexchange.com and linuxquestions.org, what I see is gentle hand-holding going on ... please have a look.

  11. wallaby
    Trollface

    Hmmm......

    just found a CD, think Ill install a copy of Vista on that Ubuntu PC I have in the corner

    See how you like it

    1. Jim Mitchell

      Re: Hmmm......

      The funny thing to me is that Vista ran fine on my PC long after the latest Ubuntu wouldn't. I think support for the installed Nivida graphics was dropped in some release.

  12. Tromos

    I'll give it a go

    I will dig out my venerable Acer netbook this evening and give Q4OS a spin. The netbook has been gathering dust for a while as it had W10 installed for me to try out and make decisions on future OS direction. The decision arrived at was to maintain W7 on all systems and slowly move to dual-boot with Mint, with a view to totally moving across before end of life for W7. Q4OS sounds like it may prove to be another contender especially on some of the older hardware (this is why the netbook is such a good testbed, W10 was struggling, if Q4OS runs reasonably well on this, it should be fine on anything else that I haven't chucked out).

    1. Citizen99
      Linux

      Re: I'll give it a go

      I run Trinity 14.0.4 on Debian Jessie on my Acer Aspire One 10-incher for travelling. Dual-booted with W7 for when I need a Windows program that won't run on Wine/Crossover-Office.

      Debian+Trinity is the 'snappier'.

  13. Stuart 22

    On a far away beach, many years ago ...

    Something to try on my long forgotten, cobweb hungry 4Gb eeePC 701? You remember when Vulture porn looked like this: https://regmedia.co.uk/2008/05/21/eee_girl_1.jpg

    1. JLV Silver badge

      Re: On a far away beach, many years ago ...

      Raise you:

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/04/23/ryobi_grinder_girl/

      Missing Lester.

  14. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

    Nice but still some problems with it

    I gave it a spin in a VM and it's a nice quint XP style interface. The problems I found were that the package manager wouldn't use the proxy settings through a NAT network, not without some serious faffing about under the hood which no noob is going to do. The installer to move the Live CD to HD wouldn't run at all, again bang goes the simplicity. On the whole I like it but I think it needs a lot more testing, "Never underestimate the ingenuity of a non-techie.", they will find the most bizarre ways to break your apps imaginable!

    Sadly the biggest crime in this distro is that user passwords cannot contain non-alpha characters! Whoa! Bad move, very, very bad move indeed, noobs should never be allowed to get away with bad habits like that!

  15. Walter Bishop Silver badge

    Windows Vista and older computers

    "I have run it on ageing computers from the early days of Windows Vista .. if your desktop or laptop ran Vista, it will run Q4OS Linux fast and reliably. This is a smart way to energise old computers."

    In the interests of historical accuracy. At the time the advertising had it that the latest hardware was required for PCs to get a "Vista Ready" label. Unfortunately the latest Intel hardware wasn't capable of running Vista, so Microsoft enthused Intel to go ahead anyway and put "Vista Ready" stickers on the computers. The resultant debacle was partly responsible for the demise of Vista.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Angel

      Re: Windows Vista and older computers

      And when things were ready, drivers written, many bugs squashed, the UAC prompt made more friendly, out comes Vista 2 Windows 7 which goes on to be a major success that many Yankees still won't upgrade from to 10 (unless you forced it into their cold dead hands).

    2. herman Silver badge

      Re: Windows Vista and older computers

      "The demise of Vista" - The fact that Vista needed 14 days to delete a single file may also have had something to do with it...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows Vista and older computers

        Well if it ran for 14 days, at least it was stable!!!

        My 2 penneth, Vista was fine after SP2, particularly if you knew what you were doing. Unfortunately most people encountered Viista as crappy OEM installs on laptops full of crapware, and yes, most of those were very dire.

        Things got a lot better with Vista SP3 (aka Win 7) but I think that a lot of that was a combination of improved hardware and drivers, and the industry getting it's act together. Then there was Win 8, which was as bad as pre SP1 Vista, but again history repeated itself and 8.1 was released which was and is much much better. I actually prefer it to Win 10.

  16. dhaupin

    Hmm this reminds me of 2003. I installed Mint 18 mate edition on 4 XP Era machines this week, and it runs fine. Not sure what the point of this distribution is.

    1. Stuart 22

      "Hmm this reminds me of 2003. I installed Mint 18 mate edition on 4 XP Era machines this week, and it runs fine. Not sure what the point of this distribution is."

      My latest install of Linux Mint 18 XFCE took 6.2Gb. Not much good for an early 2008 4Gb SSD on the next PC to be resucitated or the 8Gb on the one after that. Great machines retired because of restricted disk space with no easy upgrade as early SSDs were proprietary or no longer available with a compatible interface for sensible money.

      Bloatware is not just restricted to Windows. Small, mean distros are welcome. Very welcome.

      1. YARR

        Great machines retired because of restricted disk space with no easy upgrade as early SSDs were proprietary or no longer available with a compatible interface for sensible money.

        Which early SSDs were proprietary? Early netbooks circa 2008 often used the mSATA standard, which are still available if you look in the right places.

  17. Uncle Ron

    Not a Noob

    I have been diddling around with Linux for decades. I have used Windo$ for more decades. I have multiple machines set up for dual-boot. I have 8 machines (static and notebook,) and have several set up to play with. I don't play much any more. I have used Suse, Debian, Ubuntu and more. I'm on Ubuntu now. Here's the thing: I have never been able to figure out HOW TO INSTALL AN APPLICATION !!! Sure, I could read a book, but even with Ubuntu's Android-like 'store,' it is still unpredictable. And don't get me started on what happens when I install an OS update. It universally hoses Grub, and the boot script has to be manually revised. No, I'm not there yet. All my current machines run Win7 Pro 64 bit. I am desperate to get Linux up and usable and easy before MS abandons Win 7. BTW, I have never written a line of code in my life, and I don't want to look at obscure "run" commands and scripts. I want point-and-click. I want wizards to install apps. PLEASE. I want to replace Windows with Linux.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a Noob

      If you've been working with computers for decades and still can't RTFM, you're forever a "noob". Or better put, you're helpless. Stick with what you like, no need to venture off your path if everything you need is already had.

      Anyways, I think you're trolling (I hope).

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Devil

        Re: Not a Noob

        Forget about Linux. The rube should be able to handle VMS or CommieDOS without breaking a sweat.

    2. Walter Bishop Silver badge
      Linux

      How to install an application !!!

      @Uncle Ron: "I have been diddling around with Linux for decades .. I am desperate to get Linux up and usable and easy before MS abandons Win 7"

      After a decade and still no progress, maybe your brain isn't compatible with Linux:

      Using Synaptic Package Manager

      Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 Desktop overview

      Fedora 26 Workstation - See What's New

      10 Best Linux Desktop Environments

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: How to install an application !!!

        "10 Best Linux Desktop Environments"

        01 - xfce

        10 - fvwm

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a Noob

      "I want to replace Windows with Linux."

      Why? You can stay on Windows 7 till 2020, and Windows 8.1 until 2023, and Windows 10 indefinitely.

      "I want point-and-click. I want wizards to install apps."

      Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 in a nutshell.

      If privacy on Windows 10 Pro is a concern, just use a local account and then turn off what you don't want. Using point and click, you can turn off telemetry via Services, syncing via gpedit.msc, and turn off Cortana with a single regedit. Use Privacy in Settings to turn off everything else, it's not hard.

      And if you really want to get down to it, and don't mind hitting a command shell once, a single PowerShell command can remove all the "apps".

    4. Colin Tree

      Re: Not a Noob

      RTFM means Read The Fucking Manual

      You are an old (L)user

      Stick with Windoze

      or

      https://docs.slackware.com/

      https://www.debian.org/doc/

      https://help.ubuntu.com/

    5. TVU Silver badge

      Re: Not a Noob

      "I want wizards to install apps. PLEASE. I want to replace Windows with Linux"

      I have a number of constructive suggestions. If the equipment's relatively modern then I'd suggest trying out Linux Mint Cinnamon, Linux Mint Mate or Zorin since they are all relatively Windows-like and using them won't come as too much of a shock. In terms of apps, they all come with software centers pre-installed from which you can easily and safely download all sorts of software apps.

      For older equipment, I'd suggest trying out Linux Lite or Peppermint OS.

    6. JEDIDIAH
      Mushroom

      Re: Not a Noob

      > I have never been able to figure out HOW TO INSTALL AN APPLICATION !!!

      So modern smart phones must also be a mystery to you then.

      I call bullshit on all your nonsense. It really doesn't get any easier. Macs and certainly WinDOS can't compare.

      There is no boot manager I've ever had to tinker with on any Linux distribution unless I wanted to do something weird and custom.

  18. captain veg

    odd

    Most peculiar. Installing applications is way easier on most Linux distros* than on any version of Windows. Are you sure that you're not trying to install Windows programs on Linux?

    On Debian and Ubuntu, use Synaptic Package Manager. On SuSE it's YaST. On WIndows 7 it's, er, find the publisher's web site, download some binary executable that might or might not try to install malware, you can't really know in advance, and hope that DLL hell isn't about to break out.

    No idea about your GRUB problem. I've never had the slightest issue installing OS updates on any Linux. OS upgrades (to a newer version) are a different matter, but I find the 'buntus handle that with aplomb too.

    -A.

    * Of course, that's for apps that are in the repositories. Which is, for most people's purposes, all of them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: odd

      "On WIndows 7 it's, er, find the publisher's web site, download some binary executable that might or might not try to install malware, you can't really know in advance, and hope that DLL hell isn't about to break out."

      I don't think Linux repositories are 100% immune from malware. People used to pontificate about how Linux was open source and therefore inherently secure because of the 'many eyeballs on the code' principle. Well in the last few years that idea has been demonstrably blown out of the water after vulnerabilities have been found in critical open source libs.

      As regards Window, for most people, most of the time (which is millions of people lets not forget), installing executables from reputable website is not a big risk - and yes I know about ccleaner, nothing is perfect :( But personally I'd rather accept some risk, than be tied down Apple style with everything ring fenced and no root access to your own machine. As regards DLL hell, when did you actually last use Windows, was it Windows ME perhaps? ;)

      Don't get me wrong, I use Linux myself, it's great and if Windows ever went down the pan (you wish, eh!) then Linux it would be for me 100%.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Mushroom

        Re: odd

        Even PPAs put up by one lone useful power user is still less dodgey than the vast majority of sites that host Windows downloadables.

        Forget about malware. These days even the semi-legit stuff has shovelware crammed into it. Unless you are VERY careful you end up getting some adware infested alternate version.

        Every time I have to touch Windows in any non-trivial manner it reminds me how spoiled I am by using Linux.

      2. William Towle
        Boffin

        Re: odd

        > I don't think Linux repositories are 100% immune from malware. People used to pontificate about how Linux was open source and therefore inherently secure because of the 'many eyeballs on the code' principle. Well in the last few years that idea has been demonstrably blown out of the water after vulnerabilities have been found in critical open source libs.

        It doesn't help that you're adding to the polemic. According to The Cathedral and the Bazaar, at the time "given many eyeballs, all bugs become shallow" was coined the principle Linus was following was "release early, release often" and "...many eyeballs..." the justification for exposing potential bugs in the code to public scrutiny. It isn't an attempt to claim people will look, it isn't an attempt to claim people who are looking will focus where you need, and it isn't a claim there won't be bugs in the first place ... yet it turns out people do want to get involved at all stages of the submission/release process, and in all areas of the code; the existence of vulnerability fixes serves as proof that the overall process serves its purpose (and it does this a lot better than it implies Linux as a project was due to have crashed and burned). That fixes arrived later rather than sooner on occasion is neither here nor there.

        (...and of course the existence of vulnerability fixes for both open and closed source software of various types tells us neither has the upper hand on advice for best practice. Sadly).

  19. Colin Critch

    If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox

    If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox this is the command.

    sudo update-alternatives --config x-www-browser

    This seems like a good effort for a vista / XP replacement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox

      "If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox this is the command.

      sudo update-alternatives --config x-www-browser"

      Which is why no one uses Linux. On Windows just install new browser. And it will ask you.

    2. Kiwi Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox

      If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox this is the command.

      I've changed browser on Linux a number of times, especially between Firefox/derivatives and Opera.

      Never once have had to resort to CLI to do so, excluding that apt-get is my most commonly used installer (simply by habit from when I used to play with headless serverstuff).

      Is this something with the Q4OS? If it's based on Debian or can be installed over Devuan, then it should be using the normal firefox, in which case the first time you fire up firefox it'll ask if you want to set it as default. Will know later when I get a chance to play with it.

      1. Colin Critch

        Re: If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox

        I could not find the graphical way of changing the browser. I tried it out yesterday in virtual box. Seems it comes with two chromes, one firefox and Konqueror web-browsers installed.

        I bet as things progress this choice will be added to the graphical settings.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox

          On the other hand, the current version of Windows makes you go hunt in the control panel if you want to alter the default browser.

          You have actually used the current version of windows right?

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox

          I could not find the graphical way of changing the browser. I tried it out yesterday in virtual box. Seems it comes with two chromes, one firefox and Konqueror web-browsers installed.

          I can't speak for Q4OS as I don't have it fully installed as yet (my internet connection is crap, will be able to say more later). [edit I've done some quick exploring, but because of only one browser installed I cannot explore further till much later today - in Control Panel -> TDE Components (no idea what the name means) there is a "Default Applications" settings that has an option to change the web browser - until I can get a more complete system I can't explore further. HTH and perhaps Q4's people can look at renaming/editing/whatever.]

          However, in MS Windows (XP up to 8.1, I can't speak for 10.x), the standard way to change the default browser is 1) install new browser.

          The not-so-standard way is 1) Open browser, 2) go to browser's settings/preferences, 3) usually under the initial page find the "make x my default" button and click it. You also have the option to toggle "always check if X is default when you start X" checkbox.

          IIRC for IE you have to do this under the "Internet Settings" but it's been a very long time since I changed the state of IE. This is the only instance I am aware of under Windows, Linux or OSX where you're normally expected to change the default browser via the system settings and not the browser itself.

          (That said, I've discovered Mate has a "Preferred Applications" setting where you can also change default browser.. I'm used to have have learned to do it via the browser itself, perhaps because Windows has no equivalent (spins up XP and 7 VMs to check - XP go to control panel -> network and internet connections -> internet properties, programs tab, and you have the option under Default Browser to make IE the default, for others you have to do it in browser. For 7 you have the Default Programs tool as well - must be my days in Windows up to XP that taught me to only do it in the browser.... Oh well.. )

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox

            TDE Components (no idea what the name means)

            Idjiit.. "Trinity Desktop Environment".

            In my defence, I accidentally read some youtube comments last night and turned my brain to mush.

        3. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: If you want to change the default browser from chrome to firefox

          I could not find the graphical way of changing the browser.

          As suspected, in Control Panel -> TDE Components there is a "Default Applications" settings that has an option to change the web browser. It seems to default to the last one installed, which IRC is common with Windows as well.

          With the version of Firefox they have, go to Prefereces -> General and the option is there to check if FF is the default.

          HTH

  20. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Windows7 / 10 look+feel

    Are there any current desktops with a very close Windows7 (or Windows10 ) look and feel?

    I want to replace a Windows machine for a highly-non-technical user and don't want them to realise anythinn has changed. As long as web pages open and they can have libreoffice open word docs they will be happy.

    1. Anonymous IV

      Re: Windows7 / 10 look+feel

      Have you looked at Zorin for a Windows 7 simulacrum*?

      BTW why on earth would you want your Linux to look like Windows 10...?

      * one is in Boris Johnson mode!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows7 / 10 look+feel

      "Are there any current desktops with a very close Windows7 (or Windows10 ) look and feel?"

      Windows 8.1 with Start8 ?

    3. sandbelt

      Re: Windows7 / 10 look+feel

      FWIW I have experience running this experiment with one wife, with Mint 17. She scarcely noticed, so there's a data point.

      1. Anonymous Bullard

        Re: Windows7 / 10 look+feel

        Same here. I just said it was the latest Windows.. they're always changing things.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Windows7 / 10 look+feel

        FWIW I have experience running this experiment with one wife, with Mint 17. She scarcely noticed, so there's a data point.

        Gave an elderly Uncle a copy of Mint on a spare laptop to play with. Less than a week later he'd asked to replace Windows on his desktop as well, he found Mint just so much easier to use than Windows (8.1 as well, although his UI seemed to have difficulty with knowing if it was 8 or .1 sometimes). Did a backup, set it up for dual boot. Few weeks (months?) later he asked for the Windows to be wiped completely as he'd not been using it.

        So there's another datapoint (or few, I've given several non-techs Linux and they're happy with how easy their computers are to work after that).

    4. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Windows7 / 10 look+feel

      Are there any current desktops with a very close Windows7 (or Windows10 ) look and feel?

      The post at https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/3331147 references something that looks very promising for people in your situation.

      I've used Zorin in the past, very good for those coming from 7 but I haven't seen whether they've lowered themselves to make it look like 10 or not.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Windows7 / 10 look+feel

        Thank you, the Q4OS manager in the link (http://dailylinuxuser.com/2016/11/make-q4os-look-like-windows-with-xpq4.html) looks promising

  21. Colin Tree

    boys flogging themselves

    Home page reads like newby Linux boys trying to flog their services and provide professional business support.

    If you want to mention security, you need to talk about no Micro$oft security support for older OSs on older boxen and how Wine is the only safe place to run your legacy Windoze applications.

    If you want to talk about legacy Windoze boxen, they might also run legacy Windoze apps, doesn't get a mention till documents... available Q40S applications... down the page a bit.

    Trinity based on KDE3, forked, get real boys, shows their inexperience, not a stable base.

    KDE shite is never fast or light, if they had any experience they'd use anything else.

    1. Colin Critch

      Re: boys flogging themselves

      Q40S seemed to be quite zippy for me compared to the KDE (Mint 18.2) I use everyday.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: boys flogging themselves

        Q40S seemed to be quite zippy for me compared to the KDE (Mint 18.2) I use everyday.

        Have it running in a VM atm. I was disappointed by the password setting during install (numbers and letters only!) but overall performance is good. Very snappy compared to many others I've tried - but then most fresh installs are :)

    2. Spasticus Autisticus
      Linux

      Re: boys flogging themselves

      @ Colin

      KDE 3.5.10 was the last good version of KDE before the abomination of 4 (don't know about 5, KDE had lost me by then). I usually upgrade to a new version of Linux by getting a new drive and retire the old drive. For a while I used to pop the old OpenSUSE drive back in just to see KDE 3.5.10 for a nostalgia trip - I don't remember what I changed to, then I found Mint Gloria and have been a very, very happy Mint with Cinnamon user ever since.

    3. Citizen99

      Re: boys flogging themselves

      "KDE shite is never fast or light, if they had any experience they'd use anything else."

      Er, to which version(s) of KDE do you refer?

      The whole point of (KDE3-derived) Trinity for me is that is free of the arty-farty GUI artefacts that came in later versions, while still offering a handy suite of tools, some of which got degraded in functionality/friendliness for my purposes in later KDE releases. On any hardware of within, say, the last decade, the responsiveness is not perceptibly slower than the 'lightweight' desktops - I've tried most of 'em.

  22. Kiwi Silver badge
    Happy

    Bloody hell this is ANNOYING!

    The minimal hardware requirements is a Pentium 300MHz CPU with 128MB RAM and 3GB hard disk space.

    I was digging through some of my stored stuff yesterday and came across a couple of PIII 300 machines and thought that I might leave them nearby, and maybe take a look at them to see if I could run anything on them. Not sure if they have HDD's or RAM but I think they were working when parked.

    So what's annoying? Well, this so often happens to me - yesterday I was thinking "could I ever use this or should I bin it" and today I have an answer. I get it in other ways as well, like "I wonder what will break next on my car" or "what will be the next major outbreak to hit MS" or "Who will be next to release a load of customer data".. Happens more than I like, even if sometimes the answer is fun.

    If I remember, next weekend I'll pull one of those boxes out, see if it can meet the RAM+HDD requirements, and see if I can get the OS to go. Might need to build me a new PXE server, not sure if the CD drives in the machines will work let alone with any writeable media, and the machines are slimline deskpros so probably won't take a normal drive.

    (El Reg, we need a better icon to express optimism for the future! :) )

  23. Jim 59

    Just to note Q4OS is currently at number 40 in the Distrowatch ranking. This article might push it up a few places.

    And that dear old basket case Ubuntu is at number 4, below Manjaro. Oh, mate.

  24. Citizen99
    Linux

    A bit of a historical aside; it is sometimes implied, or 'accused', that KDE was inspired by Windows. The inspiration of early KDE in fact goes back well before 21st century Windows; desktops with that flavour were to be seen on 'grown-up' systems such as the Unixes, Digital Equipment Company's VMS ....

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Such Microsoft centric nonsense.

      Windows itself was shit until it started to try and be more like MacOS. Back in the day, some of us even tried to resort to 3rd party products in order to make Windows more civilized.

      There are also a host of various other influences that get ignored on the DOS-fixated crowd.

      I would not brag about being inspired by CDE.

    2. Gary Heard

      Ahh, the days of CDE (Common Desktop Environment) where the screen was a uniform grey and you had to figure out how to get anything to run.

      The change from KDE3 to KDE4 was a real mess, but that's years ago and KDE has been good for donkeys ages, I have both KDE and Gnome on my machine, almost always use KDE, sometimes look at Gnome to see what's new, but prefer KDE.

      Someone earlier mentioned Konqueror, it's a brilliant program does browsing, File Management, allows multiple split screen operation, superb program.

  25. sloshnmosh

    Spun up pretty quickly as a VM

    Although it seemed to take up more space than I had anticipated.

  26. Kinel

    A lot of the respondents seem to be missing the point which is that Q4OS is principally aimed at Windows users who, for myriad reasons, either want or need to explore alternatives and on that score it gets 10/10 from me and not least because, unlike any other distro I've come across before, it installs under Windows into a single folder on C:\ ('ubuntu') without any need for creating bootable USB sticks or go through any cumbersome - and yes geeky - partitioning which is what puts so many noobs off.

    Equally uninstalling (if you should want to ) is a simple matter of running the provided uninstall .exe which removes it in seconds - including the dual boot menu - leaving behind just 'ubuntu' folder where the uninstall programme resides and which can then itself be deleted leaving no trace whatsoever.

    If Linux wants to make it into the mainstream then this has to be the way to go and it can be installed this way it brings into question what all the partitioning is about in the first place ?

    Over the past year or so I've probably tried out just about every distro which lays just about any claim to being aimed at would be Windows defectors and Q4OS is the only one which has lasted for more than a few days or shows any promise whatsoever of actually being a genuine contender and after just a week or so I'm already finding myself choosing to use it on my laptop in preference to Windows 7, something which has never happened before.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "If Linux wants to make it into the mainstream then this has to be the way to go and it can be installed this way it brings into question what all the partitioning is about in the first place ?"

      No, if Linux wants to make it into the mainstream, then it needs to convince mainstream company to develop their programs for them, wil ne nil ye. The OS is nothing without the programs you need to actually get things done, and in that the Linux ecosystem is seriously lacking in persuasive power.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        WTF?

        The OS is nothing without the programs you need to actually get things done, and in that the Linux ecosystem is seriously lacking in persuasive power.

        So it's most used in servers, mobiles, cars, devices etc etc, and most used OS by far because?????

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Linux is based on UNIX, and UNIX and its relatives have been in the server room almost from the beginning. Short learning curve.

          Phones and the like? No history, and the Linux-based Android just happens to lead the pack. Apple's iOS is IINM BSD-based while BlackBerry has transitioned to a QNX base. Luck of the draw, basically, and nothing to do with the OS itself. Linux leads mobiles regardless of it being Linux, not because of it.

          Cars? Toss-up. Remember, QNX is in play as well.

          But the key point is, they're not end-user computers, which is what most people (home and office) associate with computers. And in THAT key aspect, Linux is still struggling (Remember, MacOS is BSD, not Linux). Think, why is Valve having so much trouble getting developers to multiport games from Windows to the Linux-based SteamOS? Unlike all the other environments you describe, the end-user environment carries trememdous institutional momentum. For Linux to REALLY win the computer war, they have to deal with the 800-lb gorilla in the room known as PC institutional momentum, unless things like tablets are able to take over for PCs even for performance-intensive tasks (which I still don't predict for some time yet).

    2. Kiwi Silver badge

      If Linux wants to make it into the mainstream then this has to be the way to go and it can be installed this way it brings into question what all the partitioning is about in the first place ?

      There's a few reasons. 1) A problem with one isn't likely to hose the other, 2) most filesystems are better than NTFS (or at least better than how Windows' file manager handles NTFS), 3) Linux has better access control and file locking (for example you can update Linux files without having to reboot for trivial things like browsers, graphics drivers etc etc) which is better run on a proper file system.

      And 4) when people do decide they really want to be rid of Windows (not all of them, though Q4OS might make it a lot easier for some) and want to recover the space, it's a "simple" matter of deleting the partition (or how I normally do it, delete the entry from grub (etc) and give them another week or two).

      It's why a lot of systems advise keeping user and OS stuff seperate as well, to help avoid total loss. Acer systems and a few others (iirc) used to come with the HDD split into 2, d: being for data (but very few people every used it, giving you a great spare partition to install Linux on :)

      A lot of people switching from Windows to Linux will have someone who can help them through the experience. They don't need to work through the harder stuff.

      But for those who don't, then certainly having something like this could at least be a start. But I've seen issues with running 2 os's on the same partition, although being very different in this case (ie not 2 *nix or 2 windows) means you don't have 2 things wanting to use the same data dirs.

      HTH, and hope someone can explain it better (neighbours had a rough night)

  27. checktuo

    If i remember correcting it is not 3g dongle internet friendly

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019