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    • CommentAuthorElohim
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007 edited
    So, I'm considering moving onto a freeware linux-kernel OS (probably Unbuntu from what I've seen, since I'm not hugely computer-literate). I'm currently on Windows XP, but with mainly freeware applications (only really use Firefox, OpenOffice and WinAmp)

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I suspect I'll have a massive reduction in the games I'll be able to play, but apart from that?

    Much appreciated.
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007
    I leave to majority of the advice to the more well versed linux gurus out there, but I'm a huge fan of Ubuntu. It was incredibly easy for me to install, and the latest version came included with drivers for my Broadcom chipset based wireless card, which is usually a nightmare and a half to get running. I've had no real problems with it, though occassionaly settings I take for granted as easy to find in Windows are buried deep in Ubuntu.

    Those games you can play on windows could be played through an emulator on linux, or you could always dual boot. You'll get some reduction in performance, but it should still be workable. I personally dual boot Ubuntu and Windows 2003 Server on my PC. From a personal perspective, other than games and the Adobe Creative Suite, I have no reason to ever run Widows over Linux. Professionally I develop code in C#, and it ties in to MS SQL, so I need Visual Studio and SQL Server.

    The other nice thing about Ubuntu are the Kubuntu and Xubuntu side projects, so you can play with KDE and xfce, or switch to them permanently. I favor Gnome currently, so Ubuntu itself is just fine for me, but KDE has its strong points as well.

    If this post ends up inadvertently turning this discussion in to a KDE versus Gnome debate, I apologize in advance.
  1.  (145.3)
    I gave up any notion of going the Linux route when I found out it took too much work tinkering with the system to make sure things like mp3 players and printers work. I'm not computer-geeky enough and too lazy that if if I plug a gadget into the computer and the gadget doesn't go, I say fuck it and go find a computer that works.
  2.  (145.4)
    I made the move a few years ago from Windows XP to Kubuntu (I always preferred the KDE desktop) via a brief flirtation with Fedora. I was worried at the time, but I soon felt totally at home.

    download a copy of Ubuntu (or request a copy to be sent to you) and run it as a live CD first (boot from the CD without installing it). This is a great way to test that all your hardware works with Ubuntu without altering your current Windows XP installation. Have a play using the live CD and get a feel for it. When you've got a few hours spare, back-up all your user files (I burnt mine onto CD), insert your Ubuntu disk, do a clean install and say goodbye to Windows.

    Kubuntu has been great for me - it's plug and play. I plugged my digital camera in and Kubuntu immediately detected it and gave me access to the pics.
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007 edited
    Ubuntu is a glorious distro. I think everybody should play around a bit with Linux, if only to experience what is possible to do with a computer entirely for free.

    Then go out and buy a macbook, cuz srsly, it's awesome.
    • CommentAuthorElohim
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007 edited
    Sounding good. Looks like I've got something to get up to during my Christmas break. Anyone else got anything to add?

    btw, @ Lazarus corporation - is there any way by which to test Unbuntu without using a CD? Just to see if game CDs work with it. Also, how could I nab an emulator?
    • CommentAuthorNil
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007
    I've played around with a few Linux distros before, as well as various other free OSes (I have an ancient box at home somewhere still running NetBSD), but I've always had problems with them. I gave Ubuntu a shot a while back, and almost everything worked perfectly - I could play mp3s, watch videos, access my external harddrive, etc. The only reason I'm still running Windows is because I'm not sure if I can get Ubuntu to work with my uni's ridiculous network setup - in order to possibly get it working I would have to commit to a full install which I don't want to do because it quite possibly won't work.

    Not sure if that's any help, but meh.
  3.  (145.8)
    @ Elohim - if you've got 2 CD drives then I guess you could do it that way.

    I've got Wine installed to run a couple of bits of software I use which are only available for Windows. It's fine for me. YMMV - I'm sure other posters will have opinions.
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007
    What do you do with your computer? If you're really only doing web browsing, word processing, and music listening, then you'll be fine on any platform. The trouble comes when you need specific software that's only available for one OS. Like say, video games. Wine works for some stuff, but it tends to fail in annoying places.

    Definitely try Ubuntu out with the live CD (they make it really easy to do that) before installing it. And I agree with lazarus about Kubuntu being the Ubuntu of choice, but that's very much a matter of opinion.
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007
    I've installed Ubuntu a couple of times, I was dual booting with Vista Ultimate for most of this summer and at the end of the day, I found that I was so used to doing things in a windows environment I got lazy and booted into vista more than not. Ubuntu's a great platform that seem to perform really well 90% of the time in my experience and doing any sort of software management is so much easier via the various package mangers in Linux it's ridiculous. I might have switched over if not for Adobe Lightroom and the occasional video game. I'm curious about the possibility of a decent windows port of Amarok when the new version comes out. (I read somewhere that they're rewriting it in some way that'll make porting it feasible.)
  4.  (145.11)
    I just switched to Ubuntu. My hard-drive was corrupted and the only bootable disk I had was the newest Ubuntu release.
    So fuck it, I'm on Linux.

    I was able to make Steam work using WINE as well, so I can still play Portal and Team Fortress 2.
    Next step is to try install the Adobe CS2 suite.
    • CommentAuthorMark W
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007
    one thing you could try is using virtualization to try out ubuntu. this will require some pretty hefty requirements for your machine though, I wouldnt suggest it as a good test unless you have at least 1 GB of memory on your system, plus however much hard drive space you want the virtual machine to use. If you want to try this, you can download VMWare's free virtual machine player here, and use the website Easy VMX to create the virtual machine file you need.
    • CommentAuthorElohim
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007
    Sounding good. To be honest, I only really play video games to purge my burning desire to see people die, and that's getting less frequent as I become more well adjusted/deathly tired.
    And for "research" purposes, of course...
    I think Wine might be the answer. I checked out a guy who lives a few floors above me, and Ubuntu seemed rather swish on his. I may pick up some programming know-how over the Christmas break.
    • CommentAuthormunin218
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007
    Going to try Ubuntu soon, myself.

    Windows is teh eeeeebilll........
    • CommentAuthorkperkins
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
    Been using Ubuntu for everyday computing, for almost 3 years (before that various other flavors of Linux, intermittently), it's an excellent, and very friendly distro. Not hard to get various Media working (some doesn't work "out of the box", but media players actually ask you if you want to enable the codecs for those that don't.
    I've been using a System76 laptop, preinstalled with Ubuntu, for about 4 months now, and everything works great, including wireless networking (there is a problem with the card reader, but it is pretty much usable now).
    Games are probably what would keep you from using Linux (I'm not a big gamer, so no big deal for me), since there are very few FPSs, etc. made for it, but there are some, and all sorts of other games included in the distro
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2007
    • CommentAuthorElohim
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2007
    Like it.
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2007
    • CommentAuthordaiosho
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2007
    Just say no to package management.
    It'll take you a couple of months longer to become properly proficient, but you'll end up on a first name basis with your computer.
    I started using it in 1996 and it has hardly changed at all (this is intended as a positive point).
    It'll seem a little daunting at first, but when you've got slackware down, you'll have linux, and for the most part unix down.
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2007

    Slackware is what I intend for my third OS. Currently running Debian, but once I get another box and have both Debian working for an everyday box and windows running for gaming, then I'll get another drive for that box and start setting up slackware. It's not something you really wanna do on your only computer for the first time.