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Discussion Starter #1
I have limited Linux experience in general, but I am very familiar with Linux Mint. About a year or so ago, I ran Linux as my daily rig for about 6 months straight. I tried probably 10 different distributions, but came back to Mint because it was the easiest to use and most for me. To the disdain of many Linux user, Mint works a lot like Windows... there, I said it.

I went back to Windows 10 because I like to try everything. But, I am constantly frustrated with my Windows 10 machine always needing attention. I like to leave my machine on 24/7 as it is my family Plex server. But, every other day I have to go to the machine because it restarted, or logged me out, or whatever, I never had these issues with Linux. My Linux machine could run for weeks and never needed an ounce of attention. Basically, I'm going back to Linux because I'm tired of my wife telling me, "Plex isn't working again."

Here is my needs:

1. Needs to run Chrome and all the Google Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc. My office is 100% in the Google Ecosystem. So, I need legit Chrome and a lot of Chrome Extensions. No Chromium, actual Google Chrome and all of its features.

2. Need to be able to convert videos. I load cartoons onto my son's tablet and I need to convert video files. Handbrake would work for this.

3. Needs to be able to run a VPN 24/7. I use Private Internet Access VPN. In general, I'm big into security. I'm the guy who encrypts everything on every device and uses scrambled 16 digit passwords that are unique for every login.

4. Needs to run Plex flawlessly, streaming across my internal home network, mostly to Roku Boxes with dedicated Plex Apps on them. I have paid for the Plex app on all our phones and Roku Boxes.

5. ?? I may dual boot with Windows 10, just in case I need to trouble shoot someone's computer, which I do every now and then. ??

6. Needs to be easy to use. I'm familiar with Mint and that's the way I'm leaning. I really am not interested in spending hours and days learning a new OS. I can put in some time to learn, but I'm not interested in jumping into the deep end. Is Linux Mint the best choice for me or is there another distro that's just as easy as Mint and does everything I need?

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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Mint is a good choice for your needs, keeping in mind that you are already familiar with it. Every distro can handle your requirements with relative ease. Third party softwares pretty much run fine on every distro out there, but obviously with exceptions like Trisquel which doesn't bundle non-free softwares. It all boils down to how things are integrated with each other and the community support which is obviously good in case of mint and it's a big plus for new linux users.

Mint is the OS which is based on Ubuntu/Debian and Cinnamon is it's Desktop Environment. You need to get familiar with the OS and not the Desktop Environment. You can always switch to another DE on the same OS.
 

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If, as you said, you've tried a number of different distributions in the past and found that you preferred Mint, Mint 17.3 Cinnamon is probably going to remain your favourite distro. If you're looking to try something different however that is equally user friendly, I'd suggest Ubuntu MATE 15.10 (though I prefer Ubuntu 15.10 myself).

I'd also like to give an honorable mention to Chrome OS; I'm quite taken with it myself. It's incredibly elegant (in my opinion), efficient, and easy to use, though you'd probably want (and need) to purchase dedicated hardware.

Regarding dual booting, unless you plan to switch between Linux and Windows on a regular basis, I recommend using two separate drives (one for each OS) and switching your boot up drive in the BIOS when needed. Dual booting isn't all that difficult to set up however, I just prefer a computer that loads the OS instantly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just to respond to you guys. I have tried Ubuntu Mate and found that one to be the next easiest to learn after Mint.

I also like Chrome OS as well. I switched out my laptop for a Chromebook about a year ago and use it for hours everyday. I'm even lookIng at a bigger and better one now. Can Chrome OS be a Plex server though or convert video files? I don't know if it can do everything I need from my office PC.

I will probably will go with Mint again, that's what I was planning on doing. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't some other compelling option that I was over looking. I also quickly looked at FreeNas, FreeBSD, and Unraid, but I don't think those will work well for my uses.

Thanks, rep all around. And leave any other suggestions if you think of any.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Depauville Kid View Post

Just to respond to you guys. I have tried Ubuntu Mate and found that one to be the next easiest to learn after Mint.

I also like Chrome OS as well. I switched out my laptop for a Chromebook about a year ago and use it for hours everyday. I'm even lookIng at a bigger and better one now. Can Chrome OS be a Plex server though or convert video files? I don't know if it can do everything I need from my office PC.

I will probably will go with Mint again, that's what I was planning on doing. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't some other compelling option that I was over looking. I also quickly looked at FreeNas, FreeBSD, and Unraid, but I don't think those will work well for my uses.

Thanks, rep all around. And leave any other suggestions if you think of any.
Chrome OS could be used as a Plex server, it's Gentoo Linux underneath....as long as the hardware can handle video encoding....which I doubt any chromebooks could handle. FreeNas and Unraid are file server distros, you wouldn't be able to also use them as your desktop. I would just stick to what you already have experience with.
 
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I used to run Linux Mint but didn't like that they deliberately disable Google from the list of search providers in Firefox and give you paid search results either. And since you mentioned that you don't want to have any downtime, I assume you also don't want to go through the hassle of upgrading when a new distro release comes out. Have you considered a rolling release like Manjaro or OpenSuse Tumbleweed?
 

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Ehh ,,, gotta start my response over, but that might be a good thing -- seems any questions like this tend to inflame some to argue the merits of their own personal preferences, and my own might not be the right one for your needs, but for the record? I dual-boot nearly every system I can (including Windows 10 on my laptop, so I completely understand your frustrations w/ Microsoft's latest/greatest ~;-)

No fan of the tricks Conical pulled regarding unsecure communications and third parties (e.g. sharing search results w/ Amazon) but the latest release seems clean, and derivitives of Ubuntu are often the easiest to customize and maintain ... sounds like you'd really enjoy Ubuntu Studio, which is what I install on most systems I plan to give to others. It's pre-configured for multimedia editing, but you can add/remove most anything you wish w/ little more than the click of your mouse.

:: edit ::
I personally prefer OpenSUSE (specifically their rolling release, Tumbleweed), which finally brings all that they can do together into one unified effort, but I recently needed access to Fedora's latest desktop, which has changed dramatically from what I'd expected.
:: /edit ::
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhiru View Post

...
Mint is the OS which is based on Ubuntu/Debian and Cinnamon is it's Desktop Environment. You need to get familiar with the OS and not the Desktop Environment. You can always switch to another DE on the same OS.
Good advice there. It sounds like a Debian based distro would suite you the best. You can always change the DE to try out others. As you get more comfortable with the command line you can really start trying different distros and see the differences to them besides the DE.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all of the replies. I looked into every distro that was mentioned in this thread. Some are not recommended for people who don't have rock solid CLI skills yet. Others didn't look any more compelling than MiNt for what I'm doing (see Post #1).

I have had my Mint Machine running now for about 10 days without any downtime, so already better than Win 10. I did have some trouble getting Plex Server running. The Plex player was easy, the Plex server took me a few hours though to get it configured right. But all is well and it works rock solid. Everything else on my list was a sinch on Mint as always.

Thanks again for the suggestions. Rep all around for the help.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanyChris View Post

Really you just told a person with limited skills to try Gentoo? Really?
Be glad I didn't recommend installing Linux from Scratch instead.
 

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Originally Posted by aweir View Post

Be glad I didn't recommend installing Linux from Scratch instead.
Thanks for revealing the "quality" of your comments showing how "helpful" you wish to be. Your last two posts are close to as useless, infantile and harmful as those idiots that recommend "rm -r *".

You, sir, need to Google "Schadenfreude".
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by adre View Post

I am not considering Mint after this news:

"Beware of hacked ISOs if you downloaded Linux Mint on February 20th!"

http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2994
Dude did you even try looking at recent news? That was dealt with basically the next day and everything is fine now. Sheesh.
 

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Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

Thanks for revealing the "quality" of your comments showing how "helpful" you wish to be. Your last two posts are close to as useless, infantile and harmful as those idiots that recommend "rm -r *".

You, sir, need to Google "Schadenfreude".
First off, the phrase "install gentoo" is a popular meme across the internet, and meant to be a joke.
Second, I created the post with the words striked out from the beginning
Third, I'm almost 100% sure the OP would not have even attempted to install Gentoo
Fourth, google "anal retentive"
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aweir View Post

First off, the phrase "install gentoo" is a popular meme across the internet, and meant to be a joke.
Second, I created the post with the words striked out from the beginning
Third, I'm almost 100% sure the OP would not have even attempted to install Gentoo
Fourth, google "anal retentive"
Frankly I don't care whether it is a meme or not. It comes off like elitist posturing or can't you see that? Simply put, I find it to be unhelpful and not a little irresponsible. Apparently you realize "anal retentive" does not include a hyphen, so kindly behave appropriately.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie1337 View Post

Dude did you even try looking at recent news? That was dealt with basically the next day and everything is fine now. Sheesh.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cones View Post

That was handled within 48 hours.
I know. Still makes me nervous about the later releases.
 
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