No. of Recommendations: 1
I would recommend that you get a modern, user-oriented distribution that does a good job of keeping up to date. Fedora or Ubuntu are good choices.

If you are going to dedicate a system, then the easiest thing to do would be to install from DVD.

Installation:
- involves two accounts: a root user/password, and your dedicated user/password.
- Should give you an option to encrypt your disk
- Should be pretty straightforward

Depending on which distribution you install, check online for how to
- update your software ( don't be surprised if there are small updates available quiet often )
- install additional software ( for example, Fedora does not include non-open software, but there are sites that spell out how to get extras that you might find helpful

Note that Adobe has largely bailed on Flash plugin support for linux, but the Chrome browser maintains that internally. So if you use sites that are Flash heavy, Chrome might be your friend.

But you should be able to do everything that you want to do without pain these days.
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