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(Potentially) Swapping from Windows to Linux as my main desktop?


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#16 sean.ferguson

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  • Joined: 25-June 05
  • Location: Scotland
  • OS: GNU/Linux

Posted 24 May 2013 - 16:13

My suggestion for switching to Linux is simple, just do it.

Don't play around in a VM. For one, virtual hardware doesn't react the same as your actual hardware and two, you will still have Windows there for when you are struggling with a certain task that may be done slightly differently in Linux, it will be easier for you to do the 'task' in windows and it will stop you from learning about the guts of Linux to your full potential. This also goes for dual-booting.

Backup all documents, photo's, audio/movie files, program configs etc on Windows and keep them safe, at least by doing this if after your trial run you feel Linux just doesnt cut it for you reinstalling Windows will be less painful for you.
Read up on distros either one their homepages, ask users here or check out distrowatch. Make a decision based on the factors that are most important to you in an operating system, burn the ISO and install it to your main hard drive.

A few simple examples would be:
If you want a challenge, bleeding edge software, rolling release (not having to re-install from cd everytime a new version is released) then you may want to look at the likes of Archlinux. This distribution is considered for intermediate/advanced users however I know many newbies to Linux who have managed fine with it simply by making sure they have read all the documentation first and Arch's wiki/documentation is one of the best out there. Things will break and you will need to fix them via command line.

If you want stability, tried and tested software (wont be the current release), a great package management system and repos then you may want to look at Debian. Debian has been around for many years and is still one of the greatest distributions available to date if not the best.

Don't forget, choosing linux distributions isn't the same scenario as say deciding what version of Windows you want installed, or say choosing between Windows and OS X. A Distribution like debian can be customised to any degree you want, as can any other distribution. You can install the desktop environment of your choice, the software of your choice and configure them the way you want them.

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Another point I would like to get across as others have said, GNU/Linux is not Windows, will not work the same as windows or look the same as windows but for the love of mankind don't give up! :D If you are trying to accomplish a certain task and it doesnt work the way you want to don't throw in the towel. Google for a suggestion or ask on forums for help regarding what you are trying to do there are more communities dedicated to helping linux users than people realise.

I have been using linux since 1993, I was 8 years old. I completely switched over from Windows/Mac OS in 2006. I will never look back I have my systems the way I want them and in turn have learned a fair bit about how GNU/Linux works. I don't consider myself an expert to any degree because I still learn new things even today but thats one of the great things that make me choose Linux!

Sorry for the long winded post, but I hope you have fun regardless of your decision!

edit: The above post is my opinion and the "cold turkey" approach worked for me. I stand by what I say above but it may not work for all... just remember to back up everything you dont want to lose!

Edited by sean.ferguson, 24 May 2013 - 16:16.



#17 smokn

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 14:02

if the OS doesn't do what you need it to do or you spend more time tweaking/fixing it than actually using it, it's a good bet it's not the OS for you, regardless of who made it.

I have to say that using Linux as a beginner means that he'll spend more time tweaking and fixing stuff, until he get used to the system and start to know it better, then fixing issues won't take too much time.

I'm a beginner myself, when i used Linux for the first time i could just spend the whole day trying to figure out how to run .mp3 file or to detect my VGA card. Now things started to move faster for me, and so on.

#18 Growled

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 02:15

I've been playing around with Linux Mint 15 and it is the best desktop I've ever used. I'm not sure how they could make it any better. I will highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of trying Linux.

#19 +Karl L.

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 02:36

I've been playing around with Linux Mint 15 and it is the best desktop I've ever used. I'm not sure how they could make it any better. I will highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of trying Linux.


While Linux Mint strives to provide an excellent user experience, there are a couple of things to be aware of with their releases. Since they are based on Ubuntu, they inherit Ubuntu's relatively short support window. This is not a problem with interim Ubuntu releases because they can be upgraded fairly easily to the next bi-yearly release, but that is not the case with Linux Mint. Due to the high level of technical debt incurred by the project they have a frustratingly simple upgrade policy: only a clean install is supported for upgrading between releases. If you are fine with those caveats, Linux Mint provides a very polished desktop environment.

#20 Growled

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 03:03

You are correct but most home users really don't care about support windows. In fact, nothing says you can't run a Linux box forever if you want. A lot of us get update fever too easily. I'm as guilty as anyone.

#21 +Karl L.

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 03:08

If users don't want to update their operating system too often, they should definitely stick with long term support releases. Unfortunately despite being tied to Ubuntu, release cycle is one of Linux Mint's weakest points.

#22 Kreuger

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 12:17

Remember: Linux is not Windows. If your expecting to it behave exactly like Windows, then Linux isn't for you. Windows Holds your hand while Linux Will a little bit. Try to stick to the repositories, unless you are willing to risk a possible bit of stability/security.

QFT. Also http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

#23 Growled

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 13:06

If users don't want to update their operating system too often, they should definitely stick with long term support releases. Unfortunately despite being tied to Ubuntu, release cycle is one of Linux Mint's weakest points.


That's true but sometimes a newer (or older) release won't run on your computer, or runs much slower than the older one or has bugs or whatever. If your machine is running right on your present version and you are happy with it, sometimes it's better to evaluate why you want to change to a different version so bad before you leap.

#24 f0rk_b0mb

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 13:45

+1 Billion to all those that said Linux isn't Windows. Have an issue? Google, FTW! The first 3 links usually have the solution.

I'm thinking about jumping ship too and throwing Windows on my secondary rig. I've had nothing but good experiences with Debian + KDE. There are still a few extremely minor cosmetic issues that bug me, but very solid for the most part--- I'd rate it 8.5/10.

In terms of gaming, I'm getting better or on par performance on most my games under the native Steam client or the Windows Steam client running under WINE. I'm very impressed with it. :)

#25 mrmomoman

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 22:03

Depending on what you hope to achieve by converting over. Don't do it because it sounds cool or think you are stick it to the man by not being an additional license for MS.

If you are just a user who can work within the confines of tweaking, experimenting and understanding distros, repositories and Libre Office then you can make a go of it and be happy.

Libre Office is actually pretty good for what it is and will work for at least 70% of the people out there.

Surfing the web is effortless and security is well security. You can always open up yourselves for problems if you allow for it.

Stick with LTS ubuntu 12 if you want to have support. If not play away. Linux Mint is a nice desktop experience for those new to it as well as Ubuntu 12 or even 13 is pretty solid.

I run a VM of several Linux Editions to play around with. In the end I still use MacBook Pro 15"® with a Windows 8 VM/Boot and a 512 SSD. It works effortlessy for the most part. Graphics rendering has been a little on the slow side for Ubuntu 12.

WINE is getting pretty good with gaming as Tyler R has mentioned. Didn't think it would be that good but I was too impressed.

#26 soldier1st

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 02:44

I've already read that long ago and what is QFT? acronisms aren't my specialty.



#27 Mindovermaster

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 02:47

Quoted For Truth



#28 cork1958

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:25

Been playing with Linux off and on for several years and just installed Debian Wheezy a few weeks ago on 2 of my older machines. Can't stand that VM bull crap, so I've always gone whole hearted with it.

 

If you just use Linux, and don't venture outside the box trying to manually install stuff using the command line, which still messes me up to no end, Linux is a piece of cake, once you get used to the funky names they come up with for stuff!!

 

Only distro that has ever messed my setup by simply staying with the main repo's is Ubuntu and I will NEVER use that bloated POS again, even if they do have a super outstanding support forum!

 

If you enjoy learning new things though, go for it!! Which ever distro you choose will definitely be a learning curve, but fun at the same time!!

 

Good luck!!