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Thinking of getting Linux


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#1
UV_Power

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Hey everyone.

I was looking into switching over from Windows XP to Linux. I have done research on it (mostly with google), but it's difficult to find user opinions on how much better (or worse) it is on performance, compatability, ease of use, etc...

I wanna keep playing my Windows based games, primarily City of Heroes, which I hear you can do with an emulator called WineX. So, can anyone who uses Linux or knows about it fill me in on what the best Linux distro would be for me? Or fill me in if it's not worth it?

Thanks!
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#2
SoccerDad

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I run Linux as my primary operating system, but I also run WinXP for some development stuff. I have been using Linux for 6 or 7 years now, and I love it, but it's not for everyone. Your best bet IMHO is as follows (I'm chosing the distro based on the fact that you have not used Linux in the past):

1) Download and burn a copy of Simply Mepis 3.3.1. Here is the link:
ftp://ftp.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distribut...PIS-3.3.1-1.iso
This is a "live" cd which means you can boot off it, it will load (only as fast as your CD spins, so keep that in mind while it's booting); it will appear somewhat slower than an OS loading off the hard disk). Once booted, you will have a fully functioning linux distro without having touched your hard drive. When finished, simply remove the CD and cycle power and you'll be back to Windows.

2) If you like it, Mepis has an install utility built in that will install the distro to your hard drive. I would recommend creating a partition for this if you have the disk space to spare. Once installed, it will install a bootloader called Grub to your master boot record that will allow you to boot between any of the operating systems installed on your machine.

Here is a good site for more information:
http://www.mepislovers.org

Best of luck!
Be well, SD

Edited by SoccerDad, 23 July 2005 - 03:12 PM.

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#3
stu_design

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ok you can have the linux boot manager LiLo look for an operating system on any folder on your Hard Drive

so technically you have linux as your base OS, then xp is an addon

cant do something in linux? then just go to windows

cant play games in linux, then go to Windows

EZ

there is also something called NetraVerse Win4Lin which is a windows emulator

Just My Opinion

Stu Design
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#4
sigfrid

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Hey also red hat is a nice distro, i mean is not that diferent from windows and it has all the linux benefits (such as invulnerability to almost all viruses)
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#5
Ojoshiro

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Why are you thinking of getting linux?
Does your present OS do everything you want from it? If so, stick with it.
Don't go switching to linux because it is in and cool :) and hype.
Linux is ideal to run on a machine you cannot see. Somewhere in a rack in a serverroom. Perfect. It can handle many users at the same time, there are perfect http-servers, databases and development-tools for it.
As a desktop OS... It's not finished yet. Many have tried their ultimate best to make it look and feel like windows (Yes they did, says something, doesn't it? :ph34r: ) but it's still rough around the edges. Personally I find it unworkable, everything takes twice the amount of time, nothing is completely compatible and Adobe still hasn't ported Photoshop to it, they probably never will.( and gimp really isn't anywhere in the same league as photoshop ).
For games, I would leave it alone too.
I always have to laugh when people immediately start about emulating their old OS. Why are you even considering switching? If you paint a Volkswagen Beetle like a Porsche, it still won't be a Porsche. Why sell the Porsche for a Volkswagen?
Emulating costs processor power, even an emulator that is emulating a machine that isn't doing anything.
It's not all bad, but if you're only looking in to it because you are interested, I would say, don't burn your ships behind you just yet. Try it a year. Then decide.
If you're just thinking of switching because:
a) you heard it was better
b) you hear it's free
c) A linux zealot convinced you to
d) You're an open source salon socialist...
Don't do it.
a) It's better for some things, find out first if these are the things you need.
b) If your time costs something, linux is not free, it consumes extra time learning,
installing and maintaining
c) After you converted, the zealot will be gone and you will be cursing the stars
alone if you can't convince the thing to do what you want it to
d) Salon socialists discuss a better world from the safety of their wealth. A good
open source salon socialist should write beautiful articles about open source
on a registered version of Microsoft Office :tazz:

Sorry about sounding negative here. You'll probably get a lot of very positive sounding advice. I have worked with the OS for almost 10 years now. I've come to hate it. It and the people who preach it. They all seem to have distorted views on what 'easy', 'usable' and 'userfriendly' means.
(easy does not mean: "Read a book the size of the bible first before doing anything", it's closer to, "Try what feels natural, the interface shows the way and warns if you do something irrevokable")

An example:
a2ps, an application that translates anything to postscript (so you can spool it to a postscript printer).
If you feed it an ascii file, it will turn it into a postscript file that shows the ascii-text. This without adding options to the commandline (because it is default behaviour)
However, if your ascii textfile is an HTML file, a2ps thinks it needs to be smart and tries to push it to a browser first to render the HTML. You would expect the default behaviour here too to be just to turn the text to postscript. It will still do that, but you'll have to add commandline options.
This kind of inconsistent behaviour is not uncommon.

( and if anyone cares to explain from the manual-page of 'find' what the difference between 'modify' and 'change' is... You wonder if -atime shouldn't be documented as 'alter' :) )

Good luck! :)
regardless of what you decide
Ojo
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#6
yardguard

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Don't switch to linux unless you plan on runnig a server or something......Linux is by all means, not friendly and not a desktop OS...Anyone saying elsewise is just pulling your leg.

The "invulnerabilty" you hear about with Linux is there because noone ever attacks it..only Windows OS.....I'd bet that most of the hackers into Windows OS are Linux advocates trying to make Windows look worse than what it is.

If there were as many Windows Gurus that liked to hack and indeed chose Linux as their target then you might find Linux not so invulnerable after all.

These are the pure and simple facts about Linux....Linux is like the Macintosh Computer..... Second-rate and a very small percentage holder in market shares.

Check the stats...Numbers don't Lie.
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#7
tictoc

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I'm not about to get into a flame war over this but....

Don't switch to linux unless you plan on runnig a server or something......Linux is by all means, not friendly and not a desktop OS...Anyone saying elsewise is just pulling your leg.

This made me chuckle, sitting at a very functional, stable, user-friendly linux machine(and no, I don't think my views are distorted on this...My 57 year old non-tech savvy mom would be comfortable on this machine)....I might be able to see how one would find it not friendly if they were unwilling to learn about it.

The "invulnerabilty" you hear about with Linux is there because noone ever attacks it.

I've never heard that Linux is invulnerable...A linux box can be as insecure as windows and a windows box can be just as secure as a linux box...It's all a matter of user knowledge on how to secure the machine...I will say this though, the default installation of any distro I've ever used doesn't set up a user as admin ala windows.

These are the pure and simple facts about Linux.

No, they aren't...
I am curious as to why people try to discourage others to not use something that they might be interested in and learn from.

If you're just thinking of switching because:
a) you heard it was better
b) you hear it's free
c) A linux zealot convinced you to
d) You're an open source salon socialist...
Don't do it

I'll agree with Ojoshiro on those points....but do try it because you have a desire to learn about something new.

Edited by tictoc, 18 August 2005 - 07:29 PM.

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#8
thenotch

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tictoc makes good points.
Linux is just fine as a desktop workstation. Open Office is just as good as M$ Office and plays well with M$ Office files, Firefox is a superior browser to IE, Ximian Evolution is a very nice email client, and while it doesn't have as many "bells and whistles" as Outlook, it functions quite well and is very easy to use.

SuSE Linux is VERY easy for a beginner to work with and comes with a ton of features. If you have the bandwidth you can download it, or you can purchase it with manuals at about half the cost of M$ Windows.

It networks well with Windows servers and workstations also.

And to top it off you CAN run SOME Windows programs with Wine (I have personally had success with Wine and Photoshop 7, Dreamweaver 4 Ultradev (MX 2004 is not suppoerted yet) and the game Age of Empires II).

If you are tech savvy and have patience and a box that you can mess with then Gentoo Linux is an excellent package because you can configure it EXACTLY how you want without it being all bloated with features you don't want (or even use).

The stigma about Linux being strictly for the geek types and the die-hard fans and that it is only good for servers (which it is EXCELLENT at) is passe now. Linux has moved into a challenging role in the desktop world.
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#9
UV_Power

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If you're just thinking of switching because:
a) you heard it was better

This is exactly why I was curious about switching over. I heard good things about it, and I heard that it's not as big of a target to hackers/viruses/malware/etc.....

My original question has been more than answered. Thanks everyone. I think I will be sticking to Windows after all. :tazz:
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#10
thegeek

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I switched because
A) I saw those virtual desktops and I was like I gotta have those!!!
B) I wanted to learn something new!
C) I was tired of Windows patches.

Now, my favorite things are:
A) It surprisingly was much faster than Windows! (Still notice it now!)
B) I can change so much, even begining to build my own pprgrams!
C) Everything is tabbed. (No, not just browsing! Text editing, consoles, web editing, etc.)
D) So much more free softwate, to do tasks that I would need to pay for in Windows.

I reaaly wasn't aware of these when I started with Linux, but now I am glad for them. Some might have controversy over them. But, they are all true.

OH, and yes this computer is so hard to use. :tazz: I let my grandfather use it, who had never used a computer, (I thoughtwouldn't let me help him. He had already sent a few emails (from my email :) :) ) and was using Konqueror to save him some graphics, and was doing something in Word. I said, how'd you learn to do all that? And he said, well I knew how to use a mouse! It was alot easier to use than your mothers one though. I couldn't do nothing on there! (WInXP)
I guess since all the programs are catergorized and such, it makes it easy. And yes, *does* sound like something only for servers. :) Anyways, I know every operating system has it's problems, but Linux is by far the best! (at least to me) I have tried many distros, and have used OSX even, so no Macheads chewing me out. :ph34r: Anyways, Hope that helps! -The Geek

Edited by thegeek, 20 August 2005 - 05:38 AM.

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#11
comanighttrain

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hmm...ok.

Iv been a linux user for some time, but im also a big gamer.

I dual boot my personally configured Slackware linux and Windows XP, Because in all honesty both OS's have their advantages. With Linux, most distro's can give you the ultimate in productivity for free (everything from a top quality drawing package (the gimp) to top class office packages (too many to name) to top class software development suites (Kdevelop, QT, Tcl/tk and so on)).

In short, I work on linux, but it doesnt stop there, linux can be used to optomise gaming performance, this is not done by emulation, but by modern game developers supplying ways of getting linux to run games (Never winter nights, Battlefield two and others). If you take linux and windows, you can make linux run faster by cutting down the things you dont need (literally by shutting them off), thus running better games on fewer resources. On Windows this is only possible to an extent. and on linux you can Optomise the OS code itself (if your good enough :tazz:).

Downside of linux is, and always will be, drivers, manufacturers generally dont make linux drivers. right now my sound doesnt work because im using a cheap and obscure mobo.

In essence, Linux is great if you have the right stuff for it and have time to study its difficult and obscure ways of installing software. Windows beats it on, ease of use and compatibility, but thats going to change;). Im involved with a project right now that will give linux a device manager like windows, and a unified installation method, Windows should be watching its back, theres a penguin right behind it.
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#12
comanighttrain

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OH, and yes this computer is so hard to use.  :tazz: I let my grandfather use it, who had never used a computer, (I thoughtwouldn't let me help him. He had already sent a few emails (from my email  :)  :) ) and was using Konqueror to save him some graphics, and was doing something in Word. I said, how'd you learn to do all that? And he said, well I knew how to use a mouse! It was alot easier to use than your mothers one though. I couldn't do nothing on there! (WInXP)

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What disto you on man?
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#13
Ojoshiro

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I switched because
A) I saw those virtual desktops and I was like I gotta have those!!!
B) I wanted to learn something new!
C) I was tired of Windows patches.

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A) If you would look around you would know they exist for Windows.
B) That's a good reason for installing linux. Learn you will (have to).
Basically it's the only reason I can think of.
C) You don't have patches now? Or do you consider upgrading your kernel every 7 days not "patching" ? ( Ah. Microsoft shouldn't send a small patch for a problem, they too should bang out an entirely new kernel every time )

If Linux would not be free but would have to fight its way into the competing world of desktop operating systems, I very much doubt it would even be known to anybody (Except some fanatics).
But everything free is worth what you paid for it.

I'm not too afraid the evil Microsoft empire is trying to take over the world, so I won't have to join the Star Wars Linux Rebel fleet to defend and protect the world. Kicking against microsoft in every possible way but praising a hobbyist project that tries to be just like microsofts hated and unusable OS (but always coming short), shopped together from code made by thousands of people all around the globe (talking security? Who assures all these people are bona-fide?) who didn't get paid for it either, who don't have a million dollar interface design department, who don't have continuity because everything got developed somewhere else by someone else who implemented her/his own beliefs.

Well, I've been elaborate enough earlier.

some minor points still:
- Open office is not 100% compatible with Microsoft Office. ( Microsoft hasn't released the complete specs, so the OO guys are left guessing )
- Keep mentioning emulators for another OS to try and convince how much better your OS is, it's ridiculous! ( :tazz: Look! My volkswagen is much better than your Porsche, it even looks, sounds and smells like your Porsche)
- Can I see the posts from all your mothers, grandfathers and dogs who get along much better with Linux than with windows. My mom works just fine with her Apple //C emulating an Osborne I , and she doesn't even have hands! (So I can hear "Well, we told our son to go clean the windows, he wiped all the windows off every machine we own and then proceeded to ritually burn the installationCD's in the backyard, so now we will have to write our emails on that linnix thing wether we want to or not.." )
- Writing email is NOT a good comparison for how friendly your OS is. Setting up your mailclient is a better one.

And if you really want to learn something, go Debian. :)

But it looks like the choice has been made.
Success! :)
Ojo
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#14
thegeek

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What disto you on man?

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I think it was Mandrake at the time. KDE though.
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#15
Ojoshiro

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No, they aren't...
I am curious as to why people try to discourage others to not use something that they might be interested in and learn from.

View Post


That can only be because the other camp is so relentlessly trying to push their fetish. This person asked for an honest opinion, he got the Linux propaganda treatment. I guess the anti-linux front feels they have to retaliate in style.
(pissing down linux is just as easy as pissing down windows :) )

But you are completely right if you say there are no 'facts'. It's all opinion.
And opinion is all that counts. The best advice would be:
Try it, but don't burn all your ships behind you just yet.
That would give someone the opportunity to build her/his own opinion, based on experience. Not on hearsay.

Ojo

:tazz: top quality drawing package (the gimp) :)

It's a charming tolerable attempt at one at best.
I doubt you'll find it used very often in the graphic media sector.
( and even if, then you have something that can draw bitmaps, what
are you going to do with it then? Run Wine with Indesign? :) )
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