Something different instead of Windows OS

Hi to everyone !!! i been facing an issue with my mom’s PC and is really annoying mostly times …she has windows OS version 8.1 on her PC and been having a lot of troubles with almost everything,everything i mean with the software updates,drivers updates and everything related to updates;i did decide to download drivers updater software,a software updater and AV software but now more troubles are on the way cause the system now is heavy and slow …is there any Linux,Ubuntu or any other OS that she can use instead of windows ??? my only concern is that she like to use Dropbox and that kind of software which i really dont know if is available to use with any other distro,any ideas,suggestions ??? :worried:

Well, we would advise Ubuntu-MATE of course; with this being its official board and all.
Besides it’s a close enough match to Windows 8.1 desktop that will ease your mom’s transition. You don’t need to worry much about installing and maintaining anti virus software and the update mechanism is intuitive enough that she can soon enough use it herself without your help.

Of course, Linux comes with its own set of problems. So she will be adapting to a new world of computing. How easily she does this depends on how she uses her computer and also what computer exactly is this (its specs). But roughly speaking she will end with a much more stable computer, with much less burden on maintenance and with a working environment that lets her do anything she would on Windows.

Dropbox is not a problem at all. It’s fully supported on Linux and the Software Boutique even comes with a dropbox plugin for the Caja File Manager (the equivalent of her current Windows Explorer File Manager).


Test drive mate (live dvd) and let her decide.

But she still should have anti-virus software because a virus that doesn't affect her won't affect others (she can take action against malicious files) and she'll probably stumble upon an OMG! Ubuntu! or Web Upd8 article that will convince her she needs a specific piece of software or software configuration, and she won't know how to install a PPA, then when she updates the system (Dear Lord) she'll wonder why all her PPA's are useless.

Here is what I recommend. Have her Ubuntu MATE from disk or USB, then Instead of breathing over her shoulder do the following commands;
sudo apt-get update sudo dpkg add-architecture i386 (if on x64)

Then you can go to and install TeamViewer, so you can access her session from a different computer. If she has no mic and headset setup, keep her on the phone and walk her through, This will allow you to monitor her progress. The first order of business will be the interface, have her use mate-tweak to find the setup she likes. (Just remember to killall plank if she selects, but not uses a setup that requires it because mate-tweak doesn't kill other software when it is not necessary for a panel setup).

Remind her that what she is using now is temporary and will require to be reinstalled should she use additional software from PPA or dpkg, but is also infinitely unbreakable (by virtue it is like a session with Windows software Faronics Deep Freeze or Intel SteadyState installed) and Capable of showing her the ropes, to be used as an every-day system in its current state until it is shut down (so that suspend function better work).

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Lol,that was a lot to read @tiox !!!:confused: i did understand a little bit of your words;all i want is to replace Windows from another OS that she easily can use and install dropbox if possible :slight_smile:

Thanks for take the time to help me solve my inconvenient !!!

Have a nice day !!!

Thanks for your help @anon42388993 :tongue: i do have the original dvd from but she will need dropbox,i did read from a post from @marfig that she can use dropbox with Linux which sounds great :raised_hands:

By the way,how can i receive daily posts news from the Ubuntu community ??? i did disable that feature cause i am still new and dont know much about Mate,i am just receiving replies from my own posts .

Thanks for your help and have a nice day !!!

You can just keep visiting these forums and browse on occasion. If you’re looking for user settings, click on your user icon at the upper right and then on your name in the menu that provides.

While the support you provide via OSDisc is great, you don’t need to use their service since it’s easy enough to just download the ISO and put it to disc if one learns how.

There is an extension for caja (MATE’s default’s file manager) called caja-dropbox you can install from synaptic or using apt;
sudo apt install caja-dropbox

That should sort your mother out. Though, depending on what she needs to use Dropbox for, she would still need to install wine, which you could receive the latest stable version after adding this PPA;
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa

Then install the Windows applications she may need; you may need to use outdated versions as newer Microsoft-branded utilities may not work the best with Wine.

Alternatively, if your mother’s PC allows it, you could use whatever virtual machine software available for Linux distributions to set up a virtual operating environment which would share all physical hardware components to run Windows, set up a file network to make files made within Windows accessible in Linux and she could use Windows exclusively for Windows-only tasks within whatever other system you give her but that is the more complicated way of doing things.

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More terminal commands, love them thanks.

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I wouldn’t use a command the first time I do using Linux, it just makes new people confused and will be thinking console is the only way to do things…
Go to the Software Boutique, and search for Dropbox and you’re done.

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You have come to the right place. Ubuntu MATE is one of the most beginner-friendly distributions and you can always turn to this forum if you need any advice or help in setting up your system. Dropbox can easily be installed via the Software Boutique, a curated selection of the best available software for this distribution.

Don’t expect a trouble-free operating system. There is always a certain learning curve when changing to a new system. If you select the Redmond panel and activate the Advanced Menu via Mate Tweak in the Control Center you can create a look quite similar to Windows 7.

Agreed, this is a very user friendly OS, I don’t think I would confuse my mom with terminal commands. Have her turn on the machine, and read the welcome screen. The it is pretty much self explanatory, a virtual one stop shop for updates, drivers, software and community help all a couple of clicks a way… very easy to navigate, and use.

Just set her up with a password and have her this watch on [YouTube] (, I found this video sufficient to get a basic guided tutorial view of how it works. There are others tours choose from but I find most of Quidsup’s videos sufficiently quick, and effective.

If she is comfortable with it install Wine and Dropbox portion. I am not familiar with the wine software. I know it allows you to run windows programs on Linux operating systems and thats about it.

mklink /j %userprofile%\desktop\Documents %userprofile%\Documents mklink /j %userprofile%\desktop\Downloads %userprofile%\Downloads mklink /j %userprofile%\desktop\Music %userprofile%\Music mklink /j %userprofile%\desktop\Pictures %userprofile%\Pictures mklink /j %userprofile%\desktop\Videos %userprofile%\Videos

The first five things I do to any Windows desktop. People still don't know. People still don't know about symbolic links being a thing in Windows.

What's that for? It's a little off-topic but I am interested why you regard this as important for a Windows desktop. And how to do that?

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I screwed up; Fixed it since.

mklink is Microsoft’s symbolic linking program for NTFS only. It’s like ln, but backward. I don’t prefer a completely clean desktop because I want to give that thing some purpose other than being an art piece, and those five commands do what ln does. Here’s the Linux equivalent;

ln -s ~/Documents ~/Desktop/Documents ln -s ~/Downloads ~/Desktop/Downloads ln -s ~/Music ~/Desktop/Music ln -s ~/Pictures ~/Desktop/Pictures ln -s ~/Videos ~/Desktop/Videos

For a newbie on either system, those links make it easy instruct users because you can always say “Go to desktop” as your first order, due to those symbolic links being there. Also it’s a nice way to sort a desktop full of crap; Drag to symbolic links, rather than a window.

Thanks for your help and reply @tiox,i am the only one that manage everything related to her PC;i really want to delete everything windows from her PC and she will be ok with the Ubuntu Mate OS cause is really easy to use. You said at the end of your comment ‘‘she could use Windows exclusively for Windows-only tasks within whatever other system you give her but that is the more complicated way of doing things’’.
That is something i really dont want,to have more windows OS headaches !!!
I will install on her PC Ubuntu Mate OS,just need the complete steps on how to install Dropbox on her PC;she only use dropbox to keep pictures as far as i know.
Thanks again and have a nice day !!!

:open_mouth::scream:Lol,internet is a really complicated thing to understand sometimes !!!


Thanks for your reply and help @FatDad47 very useful comment : Agreed, this is a very user friendly OS, I don’t think I would confuse my mom with terminal commands.
Even for me it’s really complicated to install software via terminal or network manager like the VPN i did install but i didn’t by my self,the tech support did it .
Thanks for your comment,have a nice day !!!

Thanks for the kind words @maro :thumbsup:
You said Dropbox can easily be installed via the Software Boutique,i have the CD but with the version 15.10 and i dont see any software boutique,i guess is available with version 16.04 LTS right ???
P.S i did quit from Windows,dont want nothing silmilar to windows back again :dizzy_face:

You can upgrade your 15.10 install to 16.04. I have had to do this in the past and it works nicely on a fresh install. Just takes a while and of course, internet access.

Update Manager should offer you a version upgrade to 16o4.