There are always stories of people installing Linux on their parents computer to provide them a more secure and stable operating system, seems interesting to share experiences.

Edit: I’m assuming that parents are okay with the changes, or do not care. Obviously do not force anyone to switch OS if they don’t want to.

  • Mikina@programming.dev
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    3 days ago

    I’ve just ben talking with my kind of tech illiterate gf about switching hers to Linux too, since she saw some articles about Copilot and Recall, which she hates with passion. Should I go for Mint or PopOS, assuming she does game on steam a lot (nothing with anticheat, thankfully)? She’s working in a GSuite/Slack workshop, so there shouldn’t be any problems with that. However, she does have NVIDIA GPU, which was the cause for most troubles for me.

    I’m on Nobara, but that’s because I’ve always preferred Fedora, and it isn’t exactly a smooth sailing. Nothing major, but I suppose one of the two I mentioned would be a better choice.

  • MonkderDritte@feddit.de
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    6 days ago

    The PC i gave my dad on birthday to replace his 10-year cheapo Medion pc with random bluescreens on boot.

    Had initially a bit of trouble to get his work software running in wine, with integrated TeamViewer for support and all. But since then it’s smooth sailing, he thought it was the new Windows for the first two years (Materia theme on XFCE).

    Motivation was that Debian stable and unattended upgrades with occasional support for linux-vs-Windows things is less trouble (for me) than fighting an OS working against you long-term.

    He did manage to have xfce-panels disappear once though.

    Remote support via rustdesk.

  • MarshReaper@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    Linux Mint. She opens Firefox to check her emails and work panel. Only complaint is that it is my old giant laptop that I let her have. I will give her a different one soon.

  • eluvatar@programming.dev
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    6 days ago

    Poorly, I setup Mint while I was in town, a couple weeks later it won’t boot, can’t troubleshoot that kind of thing from out of state, so… Yeah

  • KISSmyOSFeddit@lemmy.world
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    6 days ago

    I’m considering installing Fedora Silverblue on my dad’s PC. Install Firefox, Thunderbird and LibreOffice as Flatpaks, show him the software center, set up his printer and wifi, set updates to automatic with no notifications, and hide the terminal from Gnome menus.
    It would be like a debloated phone OS that requires no maintenance at all.

    Im just not sure if updates are reliable enough to work without intervention.

  • crozilla@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    I installed Ubuntu about 15 years ago and my Dad thought it was the new Windows. Had far fewer problems with it, but he kept hitting random keys and causing the most amazing errors. I just heard about EndlessOS which seems perfect for old folks.

    https://www.endlessos.org/os

  • 299792458ms
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    7 days ago

    Ubuntu on my nanny’s PC. Windows was choking its 4GB of ram and now it boots in 3min instead of 15min. She is super happy with it because you can actually do stuff on it.

    Anyway, made the mistake of choosing Ubuntu because I knew the installer offered a minimal Gnome installation (yes minimal Gnome XD) For the future I’ll do Debian/XFCE. Btw at the time I installed that Ubuntu I was 3 Months into switching to Linux.

    In the end its all good.

      • 299792458ms
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        6 days ago

        Its actually less than 3, I was being generous. I would think it has to do more with Ubuntu more than the PC. Plus i think it does not have one of the newer SSD that boot faster.

  • TheV2@programming.dev
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    6 days ago

    When my mom used her laptop, she was using arch btw! It was only for browsing though. Firefox was auto launched and she didn’t have to learn anything. It obviously wouldn’t have been a good choice, if I wasn’t able to do the updates.

  • SeikoAlpinist@slrpnk.net
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    7 days ago

    The last computer I built for my dad before he passed ran Xubuntu LTS exclusively for about half a decade. No problems. He did updates himself.

  • Potatos_are_not_friends@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    I installed ElementaryOS for my parents because it looked slick and gorgeous.

    I actually have a lot of high praise for that product. But maybe it’s a bit too slick, like there’s an expectation of things “just working”.

    When an error hits, I was on the phone or a zoom call immediately. It felt like windows again.

  • Mojave@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    I put Zorin OS on my mother-in-law’s laptop, she just uses Facebook as far as I know and it’s been fine. Only one call for tech support in the last two years.

    On a sample size of one, I give Zorin OS a thumbs up to send to tech illiterate family.

  • Technoguyfication@sh.itjust.works
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    7 days ago

    I’d recommend Linux Mint honestly. It’s popular enough that they can find solutions to common problems, has a Windows-like interface, and it mostly “just works” on common hardware. Printer drivers, networking, and audio all worked out of the box for me. Cinnamon is lightweight but powerful, and the Mint theme looks really good on it. The default package repos have everything you’re likely to need, and the software manager tool is easy to use.

    • smoothbrain coldtakes@lemmy.ca
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      7 days ago

      I am here to also echo Mint being great. I installed it on a pretty old laptop and it’s very snappy.

      The migration process was not difficult at all.

      Yeah, you know Chrome? It’s this button now, this is the internet.

      Your emails? Yeah they’re this button now. Just remember that, okay?

      Most people use computers as a means to an end and they are not really particular about what’s happening behind the scenes so long as it functions for their needs.

  • Gormadt@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    7 days ago

    I installed Linux Mint on my Mom’s and Grandma’s PCs as it’s one I use for most of mine. They took to it like a duck to water.

    My Mom has a little bit of growing into it as she plays a lot of videogames (literally more than I do lol) but it’s been smooth sailing.

    My Grandma primarily does stuff in her browser so for her it was more of a new skin for her PC.

    My Mom is running a system with a R5 1600 and a RX 580 and my Grandma is running a Intel Broadwell CPU (I can’t remember which kind with integrated graphics.

    To get my Grandma into Linux required some prep before hand teaching her about doing all of her office stuff in her browser because she was rude or die on Microsoft Office. Now she’s ride or die for Google’s office suite (not perfect but primarily painless for me).

    For my Mom it was pretty simple after she started getting pop-ups to upgrade to Windows 11 and then being told her system doesn’t support it. Also her finding out that Windows 10 was going EoL in 2025 really helped.

  • bubstance@lemmy.sdf.org
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    6 days ago

    Firstly, don’t go out of your way to try and convince or force people, but TL;DR – if you have an opportunity and want to give someone a solid start, my recommendation is always Linux Mint.

    My mother asked me to switch her in September 2022. Some bad Windows Defender definitions update started triggering warnings every 5 minutes starting at 2AM or something riduculous. I got a frantic call to come over because of “someone hacking her computer” fully expecting to just fix whatever was busted and move on with my day.

    After a conversation, I installed LMDE for her and set up automatic updates plus Timeshift. She has had exactly two problems since then:

    • she forgets that the scanner isn’t accessed by right-clicking the printer’s tray icon and messing with settings

    • she didn’t like that she can’t move desktop icons to wherever she wants

    She was also just about the easiest switch there could have been. Like many older folks, her primary use for her desktop is web/email and she has already been using Firefox/Thunderbird since the '00s.

      • bubstance@lemmy.sdf.org
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        7 days ago

        Well now, don’t I feel stupid. I never really bother messing with customizing the desktop layout nor do I use Cinnamon regularly, so I somehow must have just glossed right over that option. She only mentioned it one time in passing and had already gotten over it by that point.

        Thanks!

        • OpenStars@discuss.online
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          7 days ago

          I may prefer Mac OSX, but Linux really is a fantastically beautiful - and functional - OS, so I am glad that she can enjoy it better with this!:-)