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Invisiblemoog
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Registered: 02/15/05
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Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help
    #4153831 - 05/09/05 05:17 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

OK, lately I've been thinking about switching one of my PCs from Windows XP to Linux, just for the experience and to try it out. I'm sure there's at least a couple nix gurus here, so I have some questions for anyone who can answer them...

Most importantly, what are the advantages of switching to linux? From what I understand, Windows' kernel uses a quite a bit of memory, so can I expect more free memory to use in Linux?

What linux distribution would you recommend for the beginner who knows nothing about unix? I don't know if there are any "user-friendly" linux distros, but if there are can you point me to them? And once I get everything installed, are there add-ons that make the environment more user-friendly like windows?

Lastly, what other info do I need before I begin doing this?


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InvisibleautomanM
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: moog]
    #4153944 - 05/09/05 05:42 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

man, first off, nice nick. in the last 2 weeks, i have installed mandrake, fedora core 3, debian, and gentoo. by far the coolest was gentoo, but it is a total pain in the ass to install. the second best was debian, but that too was a total pain to install. fedora core 3 was probably the easiest to install and worked great. i didnt like mandrake very much at all even though it was super easy to install.

for someone that has never messed with linux very much, i recommend Fedora Core 3. it's a breeze to install and comes with most everything you need.


--------------------
No, no, you're not thinking, you're just being logical. ~ Niels Bohr


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OfflinekronnyQ
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: moog]
    #4154025 - 05/09/05 05:59 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I put slackware 9 on my old K6-350 box, with no knowledge of linux administration. Had everything up and running in less than an hour, except sound cuz the card is onboard and way too old.

Linux is nice to screw around with, I like shells....but unless you are really into that stuff theres really not much reason to switch.


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Offlinecb9fl
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: moog]
    #4154164 - 05/09/05 06:37 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Kubuntu or MEPIS. I think Kubuntu (based on the highly popular Ubuntu) is much more customized than MEPIS so I recommend MEPIS.

Regular Ubuntu is based on Gnome and Kubuntu is based on KDE. I used Gnome for a long time but have since switched to KDE as it seems much more refined and professional. Gnome and KDE are two different desktop environments, they can be very simply described as two different GUIs.

I've run RedHat, Slackware (for about 9months), Gentoo, Debian and MEPIS. MEPIS is based on Debian but comes right off the CD with a great set of programs.

MEPIS or (K)Ubuntu would be my recommendation for the most user friendly versions of linux.

Tell me how this grabs you by the balls, I booted of the MEPIS LiveCD into an OS from the CD then played streaming audio from the web while booted off the CD and installed MEPIS to my hard drive in about 15-20min. The whole time I was able to browse the web and continue listening to music while running an entire OS off a CD AND while that CD was installing to my hard drive. Pretty fucking amazing compared to Windows.


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It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide

"Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives."


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InvisibleMarioNett
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: moog]
    #4154212 - 05/09/05 06:53 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

To answer your first question, here are some advantages of switching to linux:
A) The philosophy. Most elements of the OS are free. Not just proprietary freeware, like most windows programs that make you look at banners, or install spyware, or nag you to register, or install in your system tray or whatever. They're completely free, with no profit motive, and are written to work the way you want them to.

B) Most modern distros have some kind of automatic package manager (like APT for Debian and its derivatives). This means you use one tool to install, un-install, and upgrade programs in a uniform way. Much nicer than Windows programs, where you HOPE the installer will be nice and put the program in the right place, the right way, and HOPE the uninstaller will actually get rid of it.

C) Flexibility. There are 400+ distros, 2 major and numerous minor window managers/desktop environments, and zillions of choices for everything else too. This is all confusing to new users, I'm sure, but if you invest a little time into figuring it all out, it means you can make a linux box be or do anything. You can customize it far beyond what any other OS will allow.

As for suggesting a distro, I agree with cb9fl above. I use Gentoo, but wouldn't recommend it to a newbie. Ubuntu and the like will let you dive right into the experience without any installation, and then install it very easily when you decide it's right for you.


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Offlineummikko
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: moog]
    #4156315 - 05/10/05 06:51 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

D) Security & Stability (I don't want to start a fight, but I'm going to mention this anyway :wink: )
Microsoft is a popular target with hackers worldwide. There are more Microsoft machines out there, so there are more microsoft machines to target. Microsoft apps are designed to facilitate the sharing of data at the desktop level. This means there are inherently more holes in Microsoft than Linux. But that's also why Microsoft applications are useful and popular.

Maybe I just don't know how to configure Windows Xp correctly, but when  I was running XP crashes were not uncommon. I've been using linux(Ubuntu) full-time for a couple of months now and my computer has not yet crashed.

I've tried Debian, Suse and Ubuntu (in that order). I started with Debian two years ago, and I must say that it's the wrong distro to start with.

I would recommend burning a few live-cd's (many distros offer them) and trying them out. www.distrowatch.com is a good place to start.


--------------------
"All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy." -Paracelsius


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Invisiblemoog
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: ummikko]
    #4157188 - 05/10/05 01:34 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Thanks for all the advice. I looked at a couple dozen distros yesterday.  I decided I really like the look of Gnome so it was a toss-up between Fedora and Ubuntu. But I read some reviews online that said Ubuntu was slightly better (at least until Fedora Core 4 is released). So I tried out the Ubuntu live CD last night, and it was perfect. It was exactly what I was hoping for... simple and reliable. It auto-detected my video, sound and network cards without any problems. So I'm going to install tonight. And if I get tired of it, I'll just try something else.  :smile:


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Offlinecb9fl
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: moog]
    #4158102 - 05/10/05 05:20 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

What did you like about Gnome instead of KDE?


--------------------
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide

"Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives."


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InvisibleSuffer
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: cb9fl]
    #4158388 - 05/10/05 06:38 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Enlightenment > Gnome & Kde


but really, its all preference


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Offlinecb9fl
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: Suffer]
    #4158668 - 05/10/05 07:53 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Nope Englightenment sucks and KDE is the rules!!!!!111


--------------------
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide

"Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives."


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: cb9fl]
    #4159449 - 05/10/05 10:39 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

So, if I install Linux, that means I have to reinstall anything else I want on my computer, right? What about software compatibility? Can I get, say, Microsoft Word documents to work on whatever word processor Linux has? Will most games that work on XP work on Linux?


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InvisibleautomanM
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: Silversoul]
    #4159466 - 05/10/05 10:43 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Paradigm said:
Can I get, say, Microsoft Word documents to work on whatever word processor Linux has?




yes. openoffice can open and save into ms word formats. same goes for powerpoint, excel, etc.


--------------------
No, no, you're not thinking, you're just being logical. ~ Niels Bohr


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Offlinecb9fl
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: automan]
    #4159773 - 05/11/05 12:16 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

So, if I install Linux, that means I have to reinstall anything else I want on my computer, right? What about software compatibility? Can I get, say, Microsoft Word documents to work on whatever word processor Linux has? Will most games that work on XP work on Linux?


Would your data and programs work under OS X?

I'm sure that isn't an exact comparison but it is similar.

When you purchase Office XP what does it say are compatible OSes?

Wine (Wine is not an emulator) can run some Windows programs by basically remapping Windows functions to Linux functions. I've run DVDShrink under Wine with great results. However you have to realize that a program designed for Windows was not designed with interoperability in mind. It was designed to work on a single platform.

Linus may be a project (OO, Firefox, Firebird, XChat, Azureus .. etc. however it is worth the payoff.


--------------------
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide

"Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives."


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Offlineummikko
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: Silversoul]
    #4160181 - 05/11/05 01:43 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Paradigm said:
So, if I install Linux, that means I have to reinstall anything else I want on my computer, right?




You can have both Win and Lin, most linux distros detect windows and set up a dual boot for you.


--------------------
"All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy." -Paracelsius


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Invisiblemoog
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: cb9fl]
    #4160515 - 05/11/05 03:46 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Welp, I got Ubuntu up and running today, although with a couple problems that had to be fixed because the install CD turned out to be damaged. (aarrrgh) But anyway...

First of all, why I picked Ubuntu: the default gnome interface was very minimal and simple, and I like that. KDE, to me, seemed a little more bloated. Also, I liked the fact that I don't have to deal directly with the root account if I don't want to. Make things easy on the newbie.

Now, my impressions: I LOVE IT. It is honestly nothing like I expected. Linux is really great these days. It's come a long way since its hardcore command-line-only reputation of the 90s. Gnome, compared to Windows XP's graphics, just looks beautiful. The icons and menus are refined and just look very cool. Linux's file system still confuses the hell out of me, but I'm starting to get the hang of it. I like the file structure compared to Windows, though. Somehow it seems more... practical... and logical. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that there's at least one quality open source app to replace almost every commercial windows app, and the fact that you can download them all from preset repositories with the package system. That's pure genius.

I don't have any real gripes yet. I wish someone would develop a good MIDI sequencer with VST support for linux, but I guess I can't have everything. :wink: Overall, I'm very happy that I ditched Windows. My system is stable, secure, user-friendly, and I probably won't have to worry about spyware ever again.


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Offlineummikko
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: moog]
    #4160900 - 05/11/05 09:15 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Great! I'm very satisfied with my Ubuntu too. :laugh:

Don't forget to enable Universe if you haven't already done so, gives you a wider selection of packages to choose from. You can do it by editing /etc/apt/sources.list .

Here's a good link to explain the basics of the linux filesystem to you:
http://freeos.com/articles/3102/


--------------------
"All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy." -Paracelsius


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Offlinedebianlinux
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: ummikko]
    #4161559 - 05/11/05 01:12 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

just to throw out some FYIs gleaned from above.

Ubuntu is based on Debian. In fact, it may well become the fork that obsoletes Debian.

whoever installed Slackware and said the onboard sound was too old was wrong. The older the tech the more likely it is to be supported. I'm not saying that Slack did support it, tho.

For older computers try out Vector Linux. It works great on an moldy old P66 with 16mb RAM.

Glad to see a newly converted Linux user!


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InvisibleDmonikal
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: debianlinux]
    #4167251 - 05/12/05 06:13 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Linux will not run windows games by itself. WineX will (a windows game emulator for Linux), but the selection is rather limited and only the most popular games will have any support at all. Even then most of the supported games will run badly, with all sorts of graphical and other glitches (like the mouse icon in the game unmovable). If gaming is important to you, do not bother with Linux at all. There are also very few native Linux games. If you want to run Linux and windows, install Linux on a different partition and run them both, switching to windows when you want to game and Linux for everything else.


--------------------
Give your money or your life
Take 'em both for all I care
Dump your bullets right here


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Offlinecb9fl
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: Dmonikal]
    #4167588 - 05/12/05 07:33 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)



--------------------
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide

"Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives."


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Offlinevermonster
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Re: Thinking about switching to Linux, need your help [Re: cb9fl]
    #4179265 - 05/15/05 07:32 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I've been running Kanotix from CD for about a month here and really like it. My laptop has a BIOS bug with APM/ACPI that causes the mouse to go nutz unless you disable the battery monitor. You really need to be into messing with PC's to run linux. I'm shopping for a Dell 600M laptop and will keep a dual-boot system. Kanotix has a excellent HD install and I hope that apt will let me update/upgrade debian. Try lots of live CD's to find what you like!


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