Ubuntu: need help with getting laptop for daughter and dowload Ubuntu [closed]


my daughter is ten. She is wanting to learn to code. She wants to create apps and games. I want to give her a laptop for Christmas. My research indicates I should download Ubuntu for her. I saw where Ubuntu partners with an organization to provide Google chromebooks to kids with Ubuntu downloaded. I am considering getting the following laptop; HP 13.1 touch screen 750 GB Hard Drive AMD Quad Core A8-6410 2.4 GHZ AMD Radeon R5 Graphics. 6GB DDR3 Memory. She is just starting and just took a course to create a video game. Her game will be showcased at a technology fair in January. I am not tech savvy. I do want to give the best start That I can but I can not pay $1000 for a gaming computer. This computer is on sale at sams and I can get 24 months no interest to pay for it. Would this make a good a starter computer for a young coder?


You're probably asking your question at the right website, although some would differ and slight it because of the hardware topic. The fact is that Ubuntu has a different character from proprietary operating systems, and that is what makes it such a good operating system for development. Like any other work, development is dependent on having the right tools to do the job properly. By doing the job properly I mean being able to download and install the necessary software in order to not have to "reinvent the wheel" for every project.

Ubuntu has a very large repository of vetted software, and this is a great benefit, but in the end one has to face the eventuality of requiring additional software from untrusted sources and this means in real terms having to run such software in some sort of virtual environment, either a virtual envelope or if that is not possible a virtual machine.

The requirements for a virtual machine would be enough RAM (6GB is OK) and preferably an SSD. Although a spinning hard drive is possible, it's slow and unpleasant to use compared to an SSD. A touch screen is nice, but a 13" screen is in my opinion entirely too small. It's unpleasant to have to work with your eyes glued to a small screen squinting to read miniature lines of text on the screen. LCD screens become yellowish and off-color with age, so get a computer with an LED screen. A ten-year-old girl will have no difficulty at all appreciating the difference between an LED and an LCD screen.

For development, the difference between a laptop and a desktop computer is like the difference between a little gardening shovel and a full-sized shovel. They're almost like two completely different tools. You can't properly do gardening with a full-sized shovel and you can't properly shovel wet concrete with a gardening shovel. Lines of code on a screen have a virtual weight. For working with large quantities of code, you need a full-sized tool to do the job efficiently.


It very much would so make a good computer for a young coder. Touch screen is nice for art, you can get her a touch pen for greater accuracy later, and you wouldn't need the tablet to go with it until she really finds the need for it.

Your biggest issue will be the eventuality of her looking into making something bigger, like a 3D game. A 3D game,especially one created with a powerful engine, can be very tough on a computer like this. Some of them ask for a minimum of 8Gig ram or more.

Don't let the latter discourage you though, there is still much she can do with this as it is. If she likes making games, you might want to know if she likes making the art for her games, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has great open-source (free, and without royalty) programs like

ART -Inkscape (Art Program) -GIMP (Adobe Photoshop quality program) -Blender (like autodesk maya which is 7000. A 2D/3D art program and game engine) -MyPaint (works with Wacom tablets, so you neednt use the mouse tediously)

MOVIE (could be video game cutscenes) -Kino -Pitivi

MUSIC (for game music) -Ardour (Music Maker) -MusE (Music Maker) -Rosegarden (Audio Sequencer)

these are programs for making games, they are all bundled together so that its easier to make a game.

GAME ENGINES (some have demos only that are free to use) -Open Game Maker -Solarus -Game Maker Studio -C4 Engine

If she likes making art on computers as well as coding, a Wacom Tablet and Pen might be a good investment for the future, they go as cheap as 99$ for both.

If she is into 2D games and coding programs and viewing the code of other people, this is the PERFECT computer for her right now. The codes on linux are almost always open source and available for anyone to see, study, change, and distribute. So your daughter can learn from tech geniuses without needing to go to college to meet them first, this community is full of really smart people who can answer her questions and help her grow from an aspiring coder to whatever she wants.

Little more advice

I am 20 years old and I have had "I wanna pull out my hair moments" trying to use this OS after 20 years of windows and mac. But reinstalling the OS is free and quick so if you screw up you just start over and redownload everthing much faster now that you know what to do.

If you yourself haven't looked up Sudo commands and the like for the linux terminal it might be wise to check it out so that you can show her how to open up terminal and how to google for the instructions on how to add what shes trying to add.

for example I needed Nuvola Player as an app for my Google Play Music. But its not on the ubuntu software center, so I needed to download the Nuvola Tarball on thier website and extract it, then run the installer through terminal to get the app.

would have looked something like this

ctrl+alt+t (open terminal)

cd home/username/desktop/nuvola [hit enter]

sudo apt-get install nuvola-player [hit enter]

sudo apt-get update [hit enter]

and poof the nuvola player is on my computer.

The only true reason we see this as anymore complicated than the windows and mac way of going onto the web and finding files to download is that we got used to the fact that we needed to go out into the dangerous web with a stupidly weak Operating System like Windows, attempting to dodge virus' and hopefully getting the files we wanted.

This way we get the files from the source and no virus' or bloatware will show up with it. no offers to norton antivirus or for girth enlargement pills, none of that garbage. Just you and the files you wanted on the computer you love. Once you get used to the terminal, the OS is a piece of cake.

everything on linux works perfectly for me except that sometimes on boot I need to start up twice, and now my headphone speakers will not play, although my mic does work. trying to solve this one myself haha.

anyways hope this helps


I just read the other post about a laptop and a desktop difference is like a tiny garden shovel and a full sized shovel. True in its ways.

But.. A huge but is this.

I have an old macbook, almost 10 years old. It has intel core 2 duo, 256 Megabytes of ram, and some whack graphics card that has no name and it just a bunch of random assorted numbers. It's awful,I there's a game from the 90's on my steam that won't run on it...

On top of all this it runs Linux 12.04 32-bit perfectly, there's new 300$ laptops that run worse. Its alive and kicking and just last week it was dead and in a drawer rotting away.

Linux brought a useless laptop back and now it runs inkscape,even blender runs,I haven't put strAin on it in blender but still it works. It runs GIMP, Libre office, steam (games won't run without a new graphic card and ram though) and everything else essentially. Linux just kicks butt in this regard. My Mac was dead and osx was actually holding it back. Now I can do more coding than your little girl could learn in a year on a crummy laptop that wouldn't start a week ago. Not that I could,cuz I suck at coding so far I'm very new to it. But just to put in to perspective just how weak a laptop can be and still run Linux and the nice programs it has

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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