I'd Like to Give Linux One More Try


Truth be told, I’ve never had much luck with Linux, but would like to give it another try. A bit of background:

  1. I use Win 10 with UEFI (Dell XPS 13 laptop)
  2. I would like to boot and run Linux on a USB stick - with persistence

Persistence will be important for me, as that will allow me to incrementally test out peripherals, apps, etc. Thinking about ZORIN since I like Win 10 layout. But if another distro will increase my chance of success, do tell. If all goes well, then I’ll try dual-boot next. Your guidance appreciated!


Which distro is a matter of preference. In my case, I selected Linux Mint 19.1 (Tessa). It can be run from a DVD OR a Stick. No matter the distro, here’s an article you need to read: https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/14912/create-a-persistent-bootable-ubuntu-usb-flash-drive/


@ReadandShare What do you want to do with Linux distribution? Which part of Linux distributions or Linux world attracts you?



Thanks for the quick responses. Linux is more a curiosity for me than anything else. Fun to learn something new. The HTG guide was what I followed - and it didn’t work for me (can’t remember exactly the error anymore). Maybe I’ll give it another whirl.


You can use a virtual machine to test. USB drives have slower I/O speed than HDD. Or just dual boot it for native performance.


I’m posting this from a USB stick I just created using the above HTC article, using Linux Mint 19.1 (Tessa). Had NO problem creating the USB stick. HOWEVER, I’m having MAJOR problems running Linux from that stick, versus running it from my SSD. Network access is very slow, clicking on certain files (system) is slow opening, and when I did a speed test, it took 2 minutes for the test to even start, although when it did finally start, it is showing my correct download speed, but would not do the upload speed test. Same goes for loading web sites, very long load times.


Well that’s about to change. :sunglasses: :+1:

Dell XPS 13 has GREAT Linux support in fact, they sell a version of the XPS 13 with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed. :smiley:

I think you should try out some distros in a virtual machine first so that you can try out the interfaces rather than going through the process of setting up persistence only to find out you don’t like that setup.

Virtualbox.org for the VMs and then you can just download the ISOs from the particular distros.

Once you find the distro you like the best as far as user interface then you can move to the USB thumbdrive approach with persistence if you want.

Zorin is good but it is rather limited as well. If you would like to try it out then I suggest that be one of the systems that you test in a virtual machine approach.

I would also suggest the following options to try:

These all use a Windows paradigm interface so you should be comfortable with any of the 3 above or Zorin as the interface will be somewhat familiar. It still wont be Windows of course you there will be a slight learning curve even with the similar interface.

USB drives are flash based so they can have similar speeds to SSDs, provided the quality of the drive is high end.

It can also be the USB drive that you used. They are not all created equally. I have had some very nice high speed drives from Sandisk and some others that calling them sluggish would be kind.


It’s a Centon data stick. I had to close Linux out and reboot. I accidentally closed the HTG tab, and when I tried to open a new HTG tab, it just sat there spinning away. I don’t have any other USB sticks large enough to install Linux on.


Lots of good info (and warnings). Really appreciate! This will be my summer learning project. :man_student:


Limited in what way? I ask because I’m considering it.


One thing to check is if your BIOS/UEFI supports VMs. I tried running a VM on my old computer which didn’t really support it, so I was able to install some OS’s, but only certain ones and only in 32-bit mode. I think the only one I was really successful installing was Mint, but it was still enough for me to get in and check things out.


Zorin is limited because they update fairly slowly with new versions. Zorin OS 12.4 is the latest version of Zorin but it is based on Ubuntu 16.04 which is 5 versions behind Ubuntu and 4 versions behind Ubuntu’s latest LTS.

Zorin OS uses the GNOME desktop as the flagship interface with all their customizations. GNOME is the heaviest DE available in Linux so Zorin inherits the heavy issue and also adds their own custom extensions on top making it a bit heavier.

Zorin is developed by a very small team so it is impressive what they have done with that small team but the limitations they have being based on a old version of Ubuntu with slow update cycle and a heavy desktop environment makes it something I cant recommend over other options.


Thank you!

Just how big of a problem does being behind cause? Is it a security issue?


Its an issue because it lacks up to date software unless you compensate with a universal package or 3rd party PPAs. PPAs don’t always work for older LTS’s though so thats hit or miss.

Security is not an issue because they probably use the LTS from Ubuntu to benefit from the Ubuntu Security Team’s work so they likely get security updates


Again, thanks!..