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Old 02-20-2013, 03:51 PM   #1
antitankknife
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Talking Making a total switch from Windows


As the title says, I am looking at making a full ditch. Since the open release of Steam, and with Wine becoming increasingly better, I don't have excuses to stay with Windows.

I have used a number of distros pretty infrequently for the past 10 years, which have included Red Hat, OpenSUSE, FreeBSD, Fedora, and Mint. I can't say that I disliked any of them, since they all seem to come with a number of standard features but there must be a large number of distros for a reason. I really liked FreeBSD for it customization and power over everything but I found it pretty difficult to use compared to others.

Is there any significant differences between any of those distros? I haven't used Red Hat since v2 or 3, and obviously don't use it anymore, but I have tried a lot of standard ones these days, and they all seem to have pretty much the same things and run about the same. While I don't do a lot of gaming anymore, I do have quite a number of games that I play, and mostly just use my computer for productivity and browsing, so I don't know if that has a big impact on which one to use.

I have tried out the newest KDE and absolutely love it but as I write this I am downloading a distro with GNOME 3. I haven't used GNOME in many years, but from the pictures I have seen of it, it appears to have a Windows 8 Metro design to it, but I don't want to speak ill of it until I try it. Does this typically affect doing everyday tasks or does it work pretty smooth for you guys?
 
Old 02-20-2013, 04:11 PM   #2
snowpine
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We recently discussed the 'pros and cons' of the various desktop distros in this thread: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ar-4175441843/

Hope the discussion therein is helpful to you.

As for my personal recommendation: it is to "dual boot" with Windows and go through a process of "distro hopping" until you find a distribution that is best for YOUR needs. Good luck!
 
Old 02-22-2013, 04:05 AM   #3
BoraxMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
We recently discussed the 'pros and cons' of the various desktop distros in this thread: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ar-4175441843/

Hope the discussion therein is helpful to you.

As for my personal recommendation: it is to "dual boot" with Windows and go through a process of "distro hopping" until you find a distribution that is best for YOUR needs. Good luck!
I recommend this option. I ended up choosing my first distro because it worked with the least set up. Since then i've stuck with it (It's called Fedora now), but looking at options, namely Debian.

Long term support is important, which is why I'm thinking of ditching Fedora. Frequent releases can be a hassle, especially when trying to upgrade. Get a few, use the one the works the easiest for you.

I would disregard distros that have a 'philosophy'. While some might disagree, having a distro not include certain drivers or MP3 support makes it more difficult for new people, who will want to figure out how to add these features.

Lastly, I also recommend you budget your time. Before you begin, decide how much time and effort you are willing to put to make the switch and how much time for each distro. For example, you might decide if you are still grappling with a distro after X hours, you ditch it for another. Otherwise, you can get caught up spending a lot of time which may not be in the end worth it.

Last edited by BoraxMan; 02-22-2013 at 04:08 AM.
 
Old 02-22-2013, 12:35 PM   #4
DavidMcCann
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You might like Fuduntu. It uses the "housekeeping tools" of Red Hat, so it's far easier to customise than most Debian derivatives. They're definitely not going to use Gnome 3: Gnome 2 will be used until they decide on a replacement. And they've just added Steam.
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...page/15/sort/7

Solus (Gnome) and PCLinuxOS (KDE) also might appeal to you.
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...page/15/sort/7
http://www.linuxquestions.org/review...p/product/2281
 
Old 02-22-2013, 08:34 PM   #5
thallium
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I had an old toshiba satellite to practice converting to linux with. So far I have been using it for a few months now to do web browsing, etc. when I get home. But no serious work related stuff yet. I used ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which is actually quite easy to install even on such an old machine.
 
Old 02-23-2013, 01:04 AM   #6
John VV
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years ago i started with MinGw in windows then moved to Fedora 4
the mingw and cygwin experience was invaluable

i did a bunch of research and fedora fit me at the time
BUT and it is a big one
i wanted to hack code , hack the os and wanted to fix things as they broke
i looked at problems as a puzzle to solve .Fedora fit that bill

but fedora is a VERY fast passed distro and changes VERY fast
after a few years reinstalling every 6 months was not as fun as it once was .

But i learned a lot


OpenSUSE has been my everyday OS for a few years now
it's not bad BUT novell dose things very differently than red hat/fedora

CentOS and ScientificLinux
not bad BUT they are VERY conservative
They trade NEW for STABLE
they are NOT the best fit for a general purpose desktop install
for the Office -- YES
for running scientific ( and Univ. ) software -- yes
For watching dvd's -- NO
for playing games -- NO

Different OS's have a different target audience / user

try a few
pick the one that BEST fits YOUR needs
 
Old 02-23-2013, 01:21 PM   #7
antitankknife
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Well, I would have to say that between Mint, Fedora, and SUSE, I definitely like SUSE the best so far. I do really like and kind of miss all the customization, control, and power of FreeBSD though. Either way, I won't be deciding for sure on what I will go with for another several weeks. I want to see how OpenSUSE 12.3 works and compare it with latest BSD.
 
Old 02-23-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
John VV
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12.3 ?
unless you want to test the still in development version
and supply bug reports and the needed fix
i would wait until it is officially released

until then use OpenSUSE 12.2
 
Old 02-23-2013, 07:04 PM   #9
antitankknife
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12.3 Stable releases in 18 days or so. At any rate, I am DLing PC-BSD now. I have heard a lot of good things since the 9.0 release, so I may go back to using BSD again.
 
Old 02-25-2013, 03:50 AM   #10
bloody
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I'm not sure if BSD is the right Gamer's system. Afterall, it's not Linux, although it supports a Linux compatibility layer.

What you really need to know first is which Desktop Environment you want, as several Desktops have changed quite alot lately, and there is also a number of interesting new ones, such as Xfce, E17 (Enlightenment), MATE, Cinnamon or Ubuntu's Unity.

Once you know that, choose your distribution. There are too many points to discuss when it comes to what's best for YOU, so i won't even try. But i recommend to choose your Desktop Environemnt first, and then choose a distro that does best - for you - with that DE of your choice.
 
Old 02-25-2013, 05:24 AM   #11
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
But i recommend to choose your Desktop Environemnt first, and then choose a distro that does best - for you - with that DE of your choice.
Alternatively, you could settle on the system that you like the best for how it meets your needs. If you do not like the default DE, or are just curious, you can install other GUIs (desktop environments and window managers), try them out, and keep the one you like most. There is nothing stopping you from using any GUI on any system, although Ubuntu is trying their best.

As an analogy, one can choose an automobile based on which one has the tyres one likes most, or one can choose the best automobile and change the tyres if one does not like them.
 
Old 02-25-2013, 05:40 AM   #12
bloody
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Post
As an analogy, one can choose an automobile based on which one has the tyres one likes most, or one can choose the best automobile and change the tyres if one does not like them.
Unfortunately, "changing the tires" may throw problems later when you do a dist-upgrade on a system which didn't expect to be re-configured massively, e.g., by using something different than the default installation. As you already said, Ubuntu is a prime example for that. Of course there are distros which can handle these things perfectly well.

Still, changing the DE usually involves more work than just nuking the entire system by installing a new one (saying "yes" at the "format root partition" question in the installer).. a few mouse clicks and you have installed a different Desktop to play around with. :P
 
Old 02-25-2013, 05:51 AM   #13
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bloody View Post
Still, changing the DE usually involves more work than just nuking the entire system by installing a new one

How many systems can be installed (and configured just the way one likes) in less than half an hour?
Versus,
Install package (push Enter)?

One then has the option of choosing which GUI to use when logging in.
Let's just say, I disagree with your logic.


Quote:
Unfortunately, "changing the tires" may throw problems later when you do a dist-upgrade on a system which didn't expect to be re-configured massively, e.g., by using something different than the default installation.
At the risk of being seen as distro bashing, any system that is dependent on a single default GUI is not worth using.
 
Old 02-25-2013, 06:06 AM   #14
bloody
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Post

How many systems can be installed (and configured just the way one likes) in less than half an hour?
Versus,
Install package (push Enter)?
I'm referring to the work involved in (finding and) uninstalling all packages from the old desktop you eventually decide to get rid of, plus going thru all the folders (especially /var and /home) and all the zillion subdirs there to remove every trace of unnecessary data created by the former desktop which isn't needed anymore. Which is assuming that you know exactly what every single folder/file belongs to (e.g. not a part of xorg or some common subsystem not related to either desktop in particular). Some distros won't even remove residual configs in /etc..

The idea to spam my nice & clean system with multiple desktops just to eventually get rid of all but one of them gives me the creeps.. i'd rather rescue important data, nuke everything, install the new system and then restore my files.

And yes, i'm one of those who hate bloated distros.. :P
 
Old 02-25-2013, 06:21 AM   #15
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bloody View Post
And yes, i'm one of those who hate bloated distros.. :P
Then there is hope for you yet.

Quote:
Some distros won't even remove residual configs in /etc..
In the interest of playing Devil's advocate, that would help determine which system not to use. Discovering issues with things like simple package management before putting one's life's work on the system could be useful. (Am I playing Devil's advocate or am I playing the Devil?)

I wonder if the OP is disgusted yet with the turn this thread has taken.
 
  


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