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As all of you probably know, XP is no longer going to be supported past April. I run my "old" CAD program on my "old" computer running on XP. It works just fine. I'm told that I can run all of my "old" programs if I switch over to Linux. Is this true? If so, it may the least expensive and best way for me to carry on without having to upgrade my programs and computer. What is involved?
Which one? From what I understand by talking to others if it is autocad it won't run with wine in linux. Don;t know about others and I haven't come across a easy to use native cad program that runs in linux, but that may have changed since the last time I checked.
I'm told that I can run all of my "old" programs if I switch over to Linux. Is this true?
No, and whoever told you that should be slapped.
Linux is not Windows, Linux can not run Windows programs any more than Windows can run Linux or Mac programs. You basically have 3 options:
1) Find a Linux alternative. Some programs offer both Windows and Linux versions, naturally those will be the easiest, otherwise you'll have to find a different native Linux program that provides similar functionality to the one you currently use (eg: LibreOffice vs Microsoft Office, GIMP vs Photoshop, etc.)
2) Install Linux as the host OS, and install Windows XP inside a virtual machine (see VirtualBox). This lets the Linux host and VM software "shield" the Windows machine from the big nasty world (so lack of updates is less critical), and lets you easily back up your Windows system whenever you want. You still need to have a Windows license and your system needs to be powerful enough to run two OSs simultaneously.
3) Attempt to run your Windows program in WINE. WINE supports some Windows programs, but not a lot. You can check their database to see if your desired program is listed as compatible. Usually it's the small stand-alone programs that work well (text editors, etc.), while the big guys (Office, iTunes, Photoshop, etc.) generally only work partially or not at all.
I've listed these in order of preference (my opinion). A native Linux alternative will always be the best solution, so go with that if you can. If there are no native Linux alternatives, then a VM will give you all of the functionality of both systems on one machine. If you don't want to buy a Windows license or your machine isn't powerful enough to run Windows and Linux at the same time, then you can attempt to fall back on WINE, but you shouldn't expect much there.
Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 02-12-2014 at 04:28 PM.
Why are there suggestions to run XP in a VM in this (and similar) threads.
The main issue is that XP is being unsupported.
XP is no more supported in a VM than it is on a bare machine.
Subject to sufficient hardware, there is a small advantage to running an unsupported Windows version in a VM vs. on bare hardware. As the frozen security holes in the unsupported OS become more public, the security risks of running it on bare hardware go up. In a VM, you can somewhat better contain the security risks.
But that is all an unlikely scenario for the people asking these questions. If you are dropping XP because it is unsupported, running it in a VM is no kind of answer.
If you are dropping XP because it is unsupported, running it in a VM is no kind of answer.
Why not? He wants to use it for a CAD program, CAD programs do not require internet access. Running XP on bare metal means you either run that computer without internet access and transfer information back and forth through removable media (which, in addition to being grossly inefficient, can also get infected with viruses), or you expose the OS to the network and most likely the internet and leave all of your vulnerabilities out in the open.
In a VM you can just shut off network access to the client and transfer files back and forth through a VM shared drive, while still allowing full internet access with the host.
Rather than requiring two machines and an overused usb drive to do your work, you can do it with one and a VM.
This is the easiest way to get an answer to your question. Open up Google or your favorite search engine. Type in the name of the CAD program + Linux. You should quickly get several pages informing you if it will work or not. If so they should also tell you how to get it to work.
What is the name of the CAD program, if you don't mind me asking?
Since you say it is an old program and an old computer I assume it is 2D CAD. I have not tested any CAD programs in about a year so things might have changed but the best program I have found is Draftsight http://www.3ds.com/products-services...ight/overview/ If you are open to another CAD program that will work under Linux give it a try.
It is free but not open source. It is available for Fedora and Ubuntu. So when you choose a Linux distro you will probably want to go with one of these. The default desktop environments for these distros can be heavy and not ideal for older computers. I suggest trying a spin with a lighter desktop, like LXDE which you should feel comfortable with as it is similar to XP.
I'm told that I can run all of my "old" programs if I switch over to Linux. Is this true? If so, it may the least expensive and best way for me to carry on without having to upgrade my programs and computer. What is involved?
As much as I love using linux over windows, certain programs need a windows environment period. Claims like ALL windows apps work with wine and linux is not true, some programs will work fine, others will have issues and others will not work at all.
If an app requires windows then you should continue to use it in windows especially if the app is your lively hood of income i.e your current profession.
On the other note, running a dated OS with no future support is a big risk. It would be better to upgrade to a new system whenever possible. The benefits of a new system is security updates, better performance for number crunching programs like autocad and be able to use newer versions of autocad when they become available.
Last edited by iLuvDebian; 02-13-2014 at 09:26 PM.
If it were me, I would view this situation as follows: [i]"I have a (continuing ...) professional need to run this program."
(Never mind "Linux." Never mind "a particular version of ... Windows.") What you require, in order to pay your rent or mortgage, is that ... so you say ... this program "keeps running."
So, first of all, I would inquire with the vendor of this program. Does their software run on later versions of Windows? (Probably, the answer is, "yes, of course.") If so, your immediate problem is solved: you are not, in fact, "actually locked to XP."
Otherwise ... well ... maybe it is time to upgrade the software. Maybe you can learn to stomach ... (heh, good luck with that!) ... Redmond's latest marketing-driven brain-farts ahem, I mean of course I mean brain-childs.
Either way..."Linux? Probably not. I just don't see it. Not for you. Not here, not now." No return-on-investment. Unjustifiable business risk for this business situation. Not a necessary avenue to take, given that you do have other good choices. The bottom line is that you earn money by doing computer-aided design,not by -ing around with computer software.
Last edited by sundialsvcs; 02-13-2014 at 09:38 PM.