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I've been given 10 refurbished laptops, 1 wireless printer and licenses for MS Office 360.

The majority of the computers are running Win7 with no issues. There are a few that have a few problems, but that probably will not matter if I switch over to a different OS.

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  • And what is your question? Maybe it is better to ask for help at ubuntuforums.org. But you are welcome to ask specific questions here.
    – Pilot6
    Aug 19, 2015 at 14:24
  • not sure where the remainder of my statement (which included my question went). Essentially i need advice on setting up a computer lab for a community center.
    – AUBluTiger
    Aug 20, 2015 at 14:59

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Okay, first things first. The 10 refurbished laptops. If they work, don't mess with them. Most people will know Windows better, and using Windows will be better for them. I'm not saying Ubuntu is bad, simply Windows will probably be more familiar. Windows 7 isn't a bas OS - and if you can get the free Windows 10 update, even better.

The wireless printer - we need to know the brand. Some it is easy to get working, others less so. Essentially, this guide is what you need.

Finally, MS Office 360 won't run on Ubuntu - Microsoft only provide Windows and OSX installation programs. Depending on what you are doing, Libre Office should fulfil your needs - it has all the basic programs and comes pre-installed on Ubuntu releases

Alternatively, to avoid compatibility issues you can use MS Office online.

The issues with the computers may not fix themselves with a new OS. We need to know what you are hoping to solve - and maybe ask over on Super User, one of our sister sites for Windows questions. Also, if you can get the aforementioned Windows 10 for free, that may fix the issues.

Now, if you do decide to go for Ubuntu, I'd reccomend 14.04. It's what I'm writing this on, it's a stable release and it's supported for 5 years in total - until April 2019.

For an easy to follow install guide, this question and answer is your friend, and if you encounter any issues then pop back here and ask a new question!

While Ubuntu (which by default uses a "Display Manager" called Unity) isn't a lightweight OS, it doesn't need much to run well. I can put up with it on a PC with 1 GB of RAM, but I'd advise 2 or even 4 GB.

If you have less than 2 GB of RAM, or an old processor, consider using Xubuntu or for less that 1 GB Lubuntu may be better. I'd suggest reading this answer - it explains why it would be slow, and what you can do to speed it up. That said, anything that run Windows 7 acceptably should be fine with Ubuntu!

Good luck with your project, and remember to ask another question if you have any specific issues, or comment here and I'll do my best to help.

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  • Thanks for your reply back. I set everything up last night, just quarky on a few things. 8/10 laptops were usable The HP officejet 8600 connected easily with the working laptops. Even better, all 8 gave a notice that windows 10 was ready. I see your point with keeping win as the OS as people are familiar with it (including me!) Now trying to figure out how to get these computers set up in a lab, where students cannot save to the hard drive, changes are wiped clean at log off, software can be pushed down from a server, etc. Any advice where to go or search for?
    – AUBluTiger
    Aug 20, 2015 at 14:56
  • @AUBluTiger Sure! If you ask a new question, I'd be really happy to help you, but it's sensible to split it to help future readers with a specific question. Post the link here when you have done :)
    – Tim
    Aug 20, 2015 at 15:00
  • I'm still trying to figure out how only about 1/2 of what i wrote initially appears...as my question was in the 2nd half...must be a text character limit but yet still let me post? anyway, will do. Thanks again.
    – AUBluTiger
    Aug 20, 2015 at 21:26
  • @AUBluTiger No, I edited it down significantly. I'll check over my edit again, but a lot of the info there wasn't needed for the question.
    – Tim
    Aug 20, 2015 at 21:27
  • Yeah, reading it through we didn't need to know where the church is, what you are doing there and why, when it will be set up / taken down etc. While I removed a lot, what I removed wasn't needed for the question :) You can see the whole post here askubuntu.com/posts/663358/revisions and undo my edit by clicking roll-back if you wish.
    – Tim
    Aug 20, 2015 at 21:30

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