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Unsafe as in your non-computer super-literate parents...

I have few friends that aren't really computer savvy and need often computer check or they even infect themselves with whatever... Bad-ware in general...

I'm not really keen on reinstalling their machines once a year or so that's why I started considering Ubuntu for them.

My relative is the next in line to get a complete reinstall. She needs this:

  • Internet - I would install FF or Chrome
  • Skype - I see there's a version for Linux as well
  • Office like software - OpenOffice being best alternative
  • Printer/Scanner support - this is the one I'm not really sure about... Canon MP520 anyone? Will I be able to make it work?

What is your opinion on this? Do you think that Ubuntu is mature enough for everyday users to use? I suppose they will be a bit more safe since there's much less badware around for Linux as it is for Windows.

Let's make it less argumentative

If you have any experience in installing Ubuntu on everyday users' computers what would you suggest I should be careful about, take care about or install/remove/set? Basically I'd like to get best guidelines on installing Ubuntu on everyday users' machine.

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closed as not constructive by random Dec 20 '10 at 17:22

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You killed the question making it all about discussion and opinion – random Dec 20 '10 at 17:23
@random: You're right random. I totally forgot about this. I was just frustrated... I'll rephrase and click reopen in hopes it will be fine then. – Robert Koritnik Dec 20 '10 at 18:38

Windows 7 + UAC + automated patching really does kill most of this stuff nowadays. If that's not enough for you, I'd just set them up to automatically boot to a VM and take a snapshot once a month. If they ever have trouble, you can automate restoring the latest snapshot.

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I think you'd easily get some bad stuff using MSN Messenger and similar. USB keys exchange is another problem... etc. I don't think you're really safe with any Windows version. Unless you completely lock down your users. But then I'd have to be their everyday admin. Which is not what I aim for. – Robert Koritnik Dec 20 '10 at 16:55
@Robert - just don't run as administrator, do keep yourself patched, and Windows is pretty safe these days – Joel Coehoorn Dec 20 '10 at 17:01
But as what? As a normal user or any other role? Will they be able to install new software that they do want, but not the one that installs itself. – Robert Koritnik Dec 21 '10 at 6:05

There's another option:

Use software like Returnil or similar alternatives- what it does is disallow any changes to be made to the PC / system partition. Basically, a rollback each time the machine's rebooted.

Once the machine's rebooted, it's restored to the same state as when it was first activated.

You can disable the protection when it's time to install updates and then re-enable it.

As to your original question, I believe, Ubuntu and especially Kubuntu will make the transition / learning curve easier, for a user migrating to Linux.

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I don't think that's an option. People do tend to save documents, photos, etc... personal stuff. But it's a nice idea. I suppose this kind of working is great for demo environment. – Robert Koritnik Dec 20 '10 at 16:49
1 you only use it on the system partition. I believe you can specify which partitions to use it on. Shift all user files to another partition(unprotected). Also see Comodo Time Machine - , which allows a system to be restored to a previous state. – Sparx Dec 20 '10 at 16:51

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