Your Home Linux gives old PCs a new lease on life by replacing their bloated commercial operating system (OS) with Linux

For several years, we've been using Linux at home and at work. In this short time, Linux has evolved from a niche OS favored by DIYers and computer science geeks into an increasingly easy-to-use, virus-free, speedy platform. The OS is improving at breakneck speed, and gaining fans worldwide.

But our primary interest in Linux has always been this: It's great for giving PCs with modest specifications a new lease on life, thereby keeping them out of the trash.

For home users, that means:

  • Finally, a useful purpose for those desktops and laptops gathering dust in a closet
  • A fast-booting computer to put in unexpected places (kitchen, garage or shed)  
  • A perfect system for kids (plus, loads of free games and educational applications)
  • A highly configurable PC for people with special needs
  • A home media server
  • A home "cloud" server

Best of all, all this is possible using PC hardware you already own

Services

  • Load your old, "useless" PC with an appropriate flavor of desktop or server Linux
  • Create an always-on home "cloud" for your music, video and data
  • Teach you how to add free software from the secure, virus-free Linux repositories
  • Teach you how to update your system to the latest version of Linux
  • Consultation and demonstration (about 1 hour)
  • Installation (about 1 hour)
  • 2 months of free support

Additional services, including hardware recommendations, networking support, additional tools and education available at a negotiated hourly rate. 

We Like the XBMC Frontend to a Media Server: 

 

We Also Like the Plexmedia Server, Which Any Web Browser Can Reach:

 

 

Our Favorite Linux Desktop for Linux Newcomers: 

 

While there are dozens of Linux distributions ("distros") to try, for people coming to Linux for the first time, we recommend Lubuntu. This distro, which is based on Ubuntu Linux, has a deserved reputation for being lightweight and familiar for people coming from, say, Windows XP.

Lubuntu, a swift desktop that consumes less than 500MB of RAM

We consider Lubuntu our default starter distro for new users. Why? Because it runs great on older hardware (the type YourHomeLinux users typically want to upgrade) and it runs blazing on machines with a bit more power (dual-core processors and above).

Here's a quick video review about the latest version, Lubuntu 14.04:

 

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If you like staying current, and you're already using 14.04, you can update easily with one command in the terminal.

If you're doing this on a laptop, plug into a wall outlet first. 

Open a terminal

Type: "sudo do-release-upgrade -d"  (without the quote marks)

Enter your password 

You'll be told a new distribution, 14.10, is available. Click OK to have it install, and sit back (this will take some time, particularly if you're trying it today, Release Day (Oct. 23, 2014). 

 

 

April 2014 will mark the end of Windows support for Windows XP. Are you part of the 25% of Windows users still using XP? 

 

Yes. Your installation comes with two months of free support, but we can also offer individualized instruction for people eager to learn about Linux desktops and servers. 

You should also check our growing Forum for tips and tricks, including links to YouTube tutorials. 

 

 

I downloaded my first Linux distribution ("distro")  years ago via a dial-up connection! Remember those? 

Back then, there weren't graphical installers, easy ways to install additional software, good documentation or even friendly places to get answers. "What do you mean you don't know if you're 'root' or not!"

Thankfully, much of that has changed. (But it's still a good idea to understand how to use the terminal.) 

A great way to learn is to install and then play around with a virtual machine (our favorite is VirtualBox). With a virtual machine, your PC "hosts" one or more virtualized machines. You can play inside these VMs, which perform just like "real" desktops or servers. Best of all, you can even break them without affecting your host machine. Brilliant! 

 

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