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I'm brand new to Linux, just installed Mint through VMware to test it out and works rather well. Boots in record time even through an emulator, home folder structure is just like OS X, and the control panel is easy to use. I like the customizing and the software manager is great.
I want to test out some 3D apps on Linux, so I've created an empty 200GB partition on my 3rd internal SATA drive to install it as a boot volume and had a few questions:
1) How stable is 64-bit version of Mint? On the web site it said Mint was less stable. Just wanted to get some user opinions. I'd rather run it in 64-bit to test the 3D apps so I can use all of my RAM.
2) I read that Linux uses a swap volume also. Do I have to setup another volume for this? Is this like scratch disk space, or something else?
3) Has anyone used 3D apps like Maya or RealFlow with Mint, and if so, are there any 3rd party drivers I should install besides the NVidia drivers?
4) I installed rEFIT to make booting easier. Should I use rEFIT's format tools or just use what comes in the installer?
5) I read that with Windows installed, Linux could mess up something on the drive so Windows won't work anymore. Since I am putting Linux on a separate drive could it still affect Windows / OS X boot volume?
5) Any other words of wisdom to share?
Hope these aren't too moronically basic but I want to do it right the first time.
First of all, let me declare, I know nothing of the Mac. However, I do run two PCs, one with Mint 8 32 bit and the other with 64 bit. To me both appear equally stable (and are in regular daily use here at home). The only reason for me using the 64 bit (on my desktop computer) is to employ the full 4GB of RAM plus swap (that seldom comes into use!). My Sony VAIO laptop, with 2GB RAM runs with the 32 bit and, to be quite honest, I can not see any difference in performance between them. (Although I haven't done any bench marking against a stopwatch.)
As I only use my computers for normal Social and Domestic purposes, I don't really use them for games so the Graphics cards don't get a bashing (both are from Nvidia). Processing of photographs in graphics programmes such as Gimp and Corel Photopaint (through Wine) work well. Sorry, just 2D not 3D.
I've generally found that Windows generally sods up Linux, not Linux to Windows. I run Windows XP on a separate hard drive on my desktop without problems (dual booting) although, I admit, Windows is hardly ever taken out for a spin these days, being reserved to run my Benq 5000E scanner which does just not run under Linux. (Oh well, HP or Epson next time I need a scanner.)
I too have not noticed differences with windows (or Mac) 32-bit and Windows (or Mac) 64-bit until I start doing 3D rendering or dynamic simulations (water, fire, gas, collisions, fracturing) and then I can see the 64-bit literally cutting the time in half, in part I believe because it's using most of the 32GB of RAM I have as well. Highly doubt that you will notice any speed increase when typing text documents or doing image conversions unless they are very large images.
I would like to know if anyone is running this on a Mac since there are specific things related to how OS X sets up things on boot drives.
One thing I can say in my so far extremely limited experience with Linux, is that it is using an incredibly small amount of RAM for the OS. Granted, I've not done much with it yet, but when I checked, Mint was only using 128MB of RAM as opposed to OS X using tons. Currently, just the kernel_task process is using 600MB of RAM and 3GB of virtual memory. In fact almost every system process is using between 200KB and 600MB+ of RAM and 600MB of virtual RAM, the 64-bit processes are all using 3GB of virtual memory.
I guess I've already developed a crush for the penguin, but I won't claim love until we get further acquainted.