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Old 10-03-2013, 10:01 PM   #16
jailbait
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"I also wonder if it is really necessary to have the latest Linux release running."

No, that is not necessary. But the more popular Linux distributions have good update systems which tend to keep you more or less current anyway.

When I first switched to Linux I had two hard drives on my computer. I moved all of Windows to the first drive (In those days Windows would only boot from the first drive.) and then wiped the second drive and installed Linux on the second drive. Over a period of 2 months I moved all of my applications from Windows to Linux. Then I wiped the Windows drive clean and moved portions of Linux to the first drive to optimize performance. Using this method I never had any of the hassles you run into when trying to downsize a Windows partition to make room for a Linux partition.

I never used a virtual machine for Windows applications. I thought it was easier just to switch my applications to the Linux equivalent. I did use DOSEMU to emulate DOS for an application system that I wrote for myself on Novell DOS. I originally planned to rewrite the system using Linux Qt but my need for the application ended before I got around to rewriting it.

"Maybe I can just take a Linux like Mint 14 or 15 and if it runs fine for me, keep on sitting on it until websites start telling me to get rid of my outdated browser...?"

Linux doesn't have planned obsolescence. Quite the contrary, Linux tends to support hardware and software long after there is any demand left for it.

-------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 10-03-2013, 10:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traviata View Post
I also wonder if it is really necessary to have the latest Linux release running. It certainly wasn't with Windows. 98SE was perfectly fine until browser support ran out - years after I was the last dinosaur using it - and my current XP hasn't seen an update since its installation with wsusoffline.

Maybe I can just take a Linux like Mint 14 or 15 and if it runs fine for me, keep on sitting on it until websites start telling me to get rid of my outdated browser...?
Is it necessary to run the latest version of any distro? No, not at all. But is is necessary to run a supported version of your distro. Not supported versions of any OS won't get any security fixes. This is bad on Linux and very bad on Windows. Disabling updates is the worst thing you can do when you are interested in having a secure system.
 
Old 10-06-2013, 02:55 AM   #18
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Thank you all for your helpful answers and sorry for not coming back earlier - I'm having some real busy days right now, which is why all new installations are moved up to next week so I'll have enoughe time to do them with due attention.

Graeyhat - my last attempt with dual-boot (admittedly 11 or 12 years ago) ended with a totally screwed up system in which neither os would boot anymore. Had something to do with 'grub' and required the whole comp to be re-installed. Therefore, Virtualbox seems like the much more appealing option to me. Also, when I as a total dummie start learning Linux, it might be of some solace to have the whole thing in a virtual box. If I mess anything up, I can delete the box and make a new one a lot easier than I could do with a dual-boot.

Frieza - thanks, I'm already feeling quite comfortable about Virtualbox. One thing I'm wondering is if there might be troubles running the virtual box fullscreen - I've read through some fora and a lot of folks seem to have trouble with that. Strange enough, those people ran host and guest in different resolutions and I wonder why. If I run both in the same resolution (in my case 1280x960), there shouldn't be a problem. I hope so, at least...

Chrism01 and DavidMcCann - What makes me a bit unsure about those Live-CDs is that they are said to not mediate the full experience of an actual installation. Also, I'm a total newbie. Looking at Live-CDs might be something for a more advanced user who can actual make something from the differences between them. To me, it would be one confusing mess, something like showing someone who wants to learn how to ride, but never sat on a horse before, 20 different saddles, bits and bridles.

I tend to go with Frankbell's advice to get one distro and stick to it for a couple of months until I have half an idea what's going on in the thing. I'm not saying one distro is as good as the next - I wouldn't make such a fuss about which one to get if I thought that - but they're all Linux and I reckon I'll have to get at least an idea what it's all like before I can really have an eye for any distro-differences.

Gacanepa - thank you for the hint. I had a look at Zorin, but its Windows-likeness looks a lot like Win7 or so. To me, the fondness for Windows is something like "Secretly longing back for good ole 3.11 when you knew every file by name (lol) - three terrible years to get over the change to 95/98 but then I liked 98SE - long face for XP which I only ever ran in classic mode because I couldn't stand the new teletubby look - one glimpse at Win7 going 'Blech... no way that ever hits my comp, I'll try Linux!"

I went for KDE because it seemed the most appealing to me and comes with prograns attached I reckon I will need. It seems a bit overloaded with bells and whistles (not sure what all this plasma-stuff should be good for), but I hope that after a while I'll be advanced enough to keep what I like and kick out what I don't need. Mint drew my attention because it seems to be set up in a most comfortable way, with drivers, Flash, codecs and whatnot already preinstalled.

Frankbell - thanks for the info, I will have a look at gufw.org. And as said, I agree with trying to get the hang of one distro first before looking at any others.

Jailbait - I still have a few oldies I dragged with me for years that wouldn't work in Linux (and likely not even in Win7). I also have a few old games I like (such as Anno 1503, Age of Empires II etc.) I don't have much time to play games, but wouldn't want to miss them.

Talking of partitions - I've read everything in Linux clings together in some tree. I'm not quite sure how to say what I've got on my mind, but as an example, I use to run my Windows pc with at least three partitions like this:

c: drive for Windows itself and the programs
another drive for backups and all the stuff that usually lands within Windows, like the notorious 'My Documents' folder, email folders, all the folders some applications create automatically etc.
and yet another drive for all my works and my own files.

That way, the system drive c: can explode and my own stuff and settings are still there. How do I go about to have something similar in Linux? Is it even doable?

TobiSGD - I'm getting a bit unsure about that...

Quote:
Is it necessary to run the latest version of any distro? No, not at all. But is is necessary to run a supported version of your distro. Not supported versions of any OS won't get any security fixes. This is bad on Linux and very bad on Windows. Disabling updates is the worst thing you can do when you are interested in having a secure system.
I'm not quite sure. I never had a virus or any trouble with 98SE (which back then was tweaked by a geek friend of mine and not updated after that) or any earlier Windows. When I changed to XP, the geek friend was gone and I ran XP dutifully with Windows security center activated, Windows firewall, Avira AV and whatnot and automatically got each and every 'critical' update MS deemed necessary. The system was a bloated mess with a ton of open ports and I had TWO virus/malware infections within less than a year. Needless to say none of the fat resource hogs in the system did anything against it - Avira beeped and that was all it did. I had to reinstall XP twice.

After that, I sat on my behind and read what I could find, threw all the bloated crap out, deactivated security center and updates, exchanged the Windows firewall with my old Sygate (which wasn't supported by anyone as the company doesn't exist anymore), and got myself Timefreeze and Sandboxie. My XP hasn't seen an update since and I never had a virus or a malware since, either. And it runs a lot smoother and better than before, as well.

I don't say I'm totally against any updates. I update on-demand-scanners like MBAM, for example, every day, manually. But I'm rather wary about 'automatic updates'. Especially on Windows. Besides, I've skimmed through some Linux fora in the past few days and there seemed to be quite a lot of folks who had perfectly stable systems and then some updates screwed them up. Just like in windows...

Anyhow, trouble is I know how to go about to keep my Windows secure, but I just have no clue about Linux. I hope that running it in a virtual box for the time being will give me enough of a sandbox to play it safe and learn my ways around it.


Again, thank you all for your help and advice, it is much appreciated!

Thanks,

Traviata
 
Old 10-06-2013, 07:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traviata View Post
After that, I sat on my behind and read what I could find, threw all the bloated crap out, deactivated security center and updates, exchanged the Windows firewall with my old Sygate (which wasn't supported by anyone as the company doesn't exist anymore), and got myself Timefreeze and Sandboxie. My XP hasn't seen an update since and I never had a virus or a malware since, either. And it runs a lot smoother and better than before, as well.
Not installing the updates means that every security problem found after your last update is still existent on your computer. That in turn means that your computer is wide open to any script kiddie and malware out there. Nowadays malware is much more sophisticated, it hides itself from the user so that it can take full advantage of the machine.
Not installing updates is ba d idea, regardless which OS you use and with other measures you took to secure the machine, an unpatched machine is a potentially compromised machine, simple as that.

Quote:
Besides, I've skimmed through some Linux fora in the past few days and there seemed to be quite a lot of folks who had perfectly stable systems and then some updates screwed them up. Just like in windows...
It depends. If you use one of the stable distros things like that usually (if at all) only happen with version upgrades, not with security updates or bugfixes within a version. If you don't use a rolling release distro and read the release notes/upgrade manual before switching to a new major version you shouldn't have that problem.
 
Old 10-06-2013, 08:06 AM   #20
cascade9
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Just to exapand TobiSGDs line on 'malware is much more sophisticated, it hides itself from the user', windows firewall is one way only (it block incoming, not out goging connections).

The cause of the malware could well be something you have installed, with windows firewall it can talk to however it wants, but you disallowed it connecting to the internet with Sygate. Plenty of other causes, thats just one I've seen before.

I dont allow any unupdated OS that I'm actually using, or going to use, to conenct to the internet.

In my experience, Tobi is also right about updates as well, 'security updates or bugfixes within a version' as normally very safe. Its 'upgrading' (to annewer version) that causes the most problems. A lot of users will say 'update' when they mean 'upgrade'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traviata View Post
c: drive for Windows itself and the programs
another drive for backups and all the stuff that usually lands within Windows, like the notorious 'My Documents' folder, email folders, all the folders some applications create automatically etc.
and yet another drive for all my works and my own files.

That way, the system drive c: can explode and my own stuff and settings are still there. How do I go about to have something similar in Linux? Is it even doable?
Most linux distros do at least some of that automatically. While it is possible to run single partition, like windows C: with linux, its not a good idea, and most distros will give you at least / and /home.

The equivalent of C: in linux is / (/root).

/home/username is where some user specific config files are stored, normally as hidden files.

/home/username is also where files are saved, etc. by defualt.

You can setup another partition (or partitions) for saving your files if you wish. Its not as important as with windows. As you'd know, there is no easy way to just overwrite the OS files with windows if you have everything on C:. Because you've got / for the OS files, and /home for users files, if/when you go to do a manual reinstall you just overwrite /, and leave /home.

In rare cases some config file in /home/username has an issue with the new install.....even if its serious, like 'cannot boot to the desktop', you can just load a liveCD/DVD/USB (which in many cases is the same CD/DVD/USB you will isntall from!), go to /home/username and delete the hidden files (save them if you want).
 
Old 10-06-2013, 10:45 AM   #21
Traviata
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Thank you both a lot for your replies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
Not installing the updates means that every security problem found after your last update is still existent on your computer. That in turn means that your computer is wide open to any script kiddie and malware out there. Nowadays malware is much more sophisticated, it hides itself from the user so that it can take full advantage of the machine.
Not installing updates is ba d idea, regardless which OS you use and with other measures you took to secure the machine, an unpatched machine is a potentially compromised machine, simple as that.
You might be right, TobiGSD, but I reckon I just prefer my comp unpatched as long as it runs XP. Relying on MS 'security', fat AVs and 'automatic updates' got me in trouble, whereas putting the shields up kept my machine safe. And I dare say I would realize if there were any unwanted processes running on my comp, I have two independent programs to check on them.

But then I'm probably just the typical Windows user who wouldn't trust their OS no matter what.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9
Just to exapand TobiSGDs line on 'malware is much more sophisticated, it hides itself from the user', windows firewall is one way only (it block incoming, not out goging connections).
I know that now, but I didn't know it back then when I first installed XP. I was told by everyone how sophisticated all the new security would be and how out-dated and inadequate my own methods were. So I took their advice and ran XP with all the recommended bells and whistles, including that useless firewall and all the pesky 'critical' updates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9
The cause of the malware could well be something you have installed, with windows firewall it can talk to however it wants, but you disallowed it connecting to the internet with Sygate. Plenty of other causes, thats just one I've seen before.
No, it wasn't - I got both infections while surfing the net, on faulty websites. That was it what shocked me so back then, when I'm usually very cautious and never had a virus/malware before. At that time, my computer was stuffed to the tilt with Avira, all the MS 'security' and all the latest 'security updates'. I blindly relied on all that crap and got bitten.

After that I re-installed the system from scratch, dropped all the aforementioned stuff, went back to my old Sygate, did my old port checks, got WTF/SB and I never got infected again. I do check my machine thoroughly, have an eye on running processes and run regular virus/trojan/malware/rootkit scans.

I won't say I will never get infected again, as TobiGSD is certainly right in that malware gets smarter by the day. I won't even say my method is any good; and it surely wouldn't be the best way for people who click on everything that blinks. But it works for me, so far, for quite some time now. If I get bitten again, it will at least be my mistake, and then I will have to ponder what to do to not have it happen again.

I really hope I don't come across as snotty now; and it's certainly not my intention to indignate people who were kind enough to offer their advice and help, but I must admit I somewhat balk at the idea to rely on 'automatic updates' again. I know I've asked for a Windows-like Linux, but it doesn't have to be that Windows-like...



Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9
I dont allow any unupdated OS that I'm actually using, or going to use, to conenct to the internet.
There's certainly some good thinking behind it. That's one of the reasons I want to try out Linux, in hopes that after a generous learning time, it would give me even better ways to secure the os than I have now. As said, my method is good enough for me now, but it might not be good enough anymore in a year or two. Still, I would like something then that I can do and implement and understand myself - not just some 'automatic updates' where I don't know what it is.

It's also a reason why I think of Virtualbox so much. It's not only a convenient way to learn a new system, but it's also worth a thought to put everything that gets in touch with the big bad online into a virtual box later on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9
In my experience, Tobi is also right about updates as well, 'security updates or bugfixes within a version' as normally very safe. Its 'upgrading' (to annewer version) that causes the most problems. A lot of users will say 'update' when they mean 'upgrade'.
That can be, of course, and I probably mixed it up myself. The most dramatic thread I've read was from someone who complained about an Ubuntu-update screwing up their Mint version. There was talks about 'grade2'- and 'grade3'-updates, but I couldn't make out which was which and what the difference was. The tenor was to stay away from 'grade3' updates (now if only I knew what they are.... The diversity of Linux is certainly fascinating, but also very confusing for a newbie.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9
Most linux distros do at least some of that automatically. While it is possible to run single partition, like windows C: with linux, its not a good idea, and most distros will give you at least / and /home.

The equivalent of C: in linux is / (/root).

/home/username is where some user specific config files are stored, normally as hidden files.

/home/username is also where files are saved, etc. by defualt.

You can setup another partition (or partitions) for saving your files if you wish. Its not as important as with windows. As you'd know, there is no easy way to just overwrite the OS files with windows if you have everything on C:. Because you've got / for the OS files, and /home for users files, if/when you go to do a manual reinstall you just overwrite /, and leave /home.

In rare cases some config file in /home/username has an issue with the new install.....even if its serious, like 'cannot boot to the desktop', you can just load a liveCD/DVD/USB (which in many cases is the same CD/DVD/USB you will isntall from!), go to /home/username and delete the hidden files (save them if you want).

Seems it's really like a Unix Apache server... comforting and frightening at the same time. Not that I know anything about Unix - the last time I've crawled through Unix dirs to 'chmod' some files I was just plain dumb lucky I didn't toast the whole thing.

If I remember correctly, a Unix dir is not the same as a Windows folder, but more like a Windows partition... drat, have to read that up again. Of course I knew Linux comes from Unix, but after looking at all those colorful distro websites, I reckon it somehow slipped my mind.

This brings me to another - and rather fearful - question... What about the file names? Are they also like in Unix?

The trouble is that I have almost all my files in file names with mixed cases, spaces and such, among them about 90 gb of music files with file names such as 06 - Pride and Joy.mp3, or 05 - L'Arboscello Ballo Furlano (Pierre Phalese).mp3.

I cannot see myself going and renaming thousands and thousands of files, to provide them with underscores and whatnot. Would that mean I'm stuck to Windows with them?

Oh dear...

Many thanks again, your replies and advice is much appreciated!

Traviata

Last edited by Traviata; 10-06-2013 at 10:48 AM.
 
Old 10-06-2013, 12:03 PM   #22
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traviata View Post
That can be, of course, and I probably mixed it up myself. The most dramatic thread I've read was from someone who complained about an Ubuntu-update screwing up their Mint version. There was talks about 'grade2'- and 'grade3'-updates, but I couldn't make out which was which and what the difference was. The tenor was to stay away from 'grade3' updates (now if only I knew what they are.... The diversity of Linux is certainly fascinating, but also very confusing for a newbie.
The Mint updater parts the updates into several grades, with grade 1 updates important and well tested down to grade 5, not not really important and not well tested. You can decide to only update your system to a certain point.

Quote:
If I remember correctly, a Unix dir is not the same as a Windows folder, but more like a Windows partition...
A directory is both the same on Windows and Linux. But where that directory is stored can be complicated. In both OSes (although it seems that this practice is not very widespread in Windows) you can mount a partition to a certain directory. For example, I have a large data-partition that I have mounted to /data.

Quote:
This brings me to another - and rather fearful - question... What about the file names? Are they also like in Unix?

The trouble is that I have almost all my files in file names with mixed cases, spaces and such, among them about 90 gb of music files with file names such as 06 - Pride and Joy.mp3, or 05 - L'Arboscello Ballo Furlano (Pierre Phalese).mp3.

I cannot see myself going and renaming thousands and thousands of files, to provide them with underscores and whatnot. Would that mean I'm stuck to Windows with them?
You can use those files with Linux as you would under Windows, the only drawback with names with spaces in them is that they are more difficult to handle on the command-line. Mediaplayer software will have no problems at all with that. Anyways, even if that would be a problem it is fairly simple to exchange the spaces with underscores (I personally prefer a single dot instead of spaces, looks somewhat cleaner to me), using a simple script or the rename command that usually comes with your distro by default.
 
Old 10-07-2013, 04:58 PM   #23
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Thanks again, TobiGSD, that's good to hear. Odd enough, the spaces and mixed cases are, for the biggest part, in audio- and video files and some larger wpd-files. Audio/video is the bulk of the files, but they just sit in their place for use with the various players. For web files and most images I actually stick to lower case and avoid blank spaces, being used to it as my websites sit on Apache.

As for my upcoming Linux, I was (almost) ready to go for Linux Mint 14 KDE (as it has better reviews and is supported for longer than LM 15).

However, after looking around some more, I finally settled for Linux SolydK, a debian-based KDE distro. I hope it is the 'right one' for me.

Thanks to all for all the advice,

Traviata

Last edited by Traviata; 10-07-2013 at 05:00 PM.
 
Old 10-08-2013, 02:20 AM   #24
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traviata View Post
I know that now, but I didn't know it back then when I first installed XP. I was told by everyone how sophisticated all the new security would be and how out-dated and inadequate my own methods were. So I took their advice and ran XP with all the recommended bells and whistles, including that useless firewall and all the pesky 'critical' updates.
I guess by 'everyone' you mean microsoft fanboys and lazy-arsed tech writers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traviata View Post
No, it wasn't - I got both infections while surfing the net, on faulty websites. That was it what shocked me so back then, when I'm usually very cautious and never had a virus/malware before. At that time, my computer was stuffed to the tilt with Avira, all the MS 'security' and all the latest 'security updates'. I blindly relied on all that crap and got bitten.

After that I re-installed the system from scratch, dropped all the aforementioned stuff, went back to my old Sygate, did my old port checks, got WTF/SB and I never got infected again. I do check my machine thoroughly, have an eye on running processes and run regular virus/trojan/malware/rootkit scans.
Way to complex to figure out now, but IMO the safest way to use XP (and this probably applies to other current micsoft OSes) is to use a decent 3rd party firewall, antivirus and browser, and get all the security updates.

Not getting security updates is a bad, bad idea. It might work to some degree with sandboxing, virtualization and using system restore...but its not as safe as if you have the updates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traviata View Post
However, after looking around some more, I finally settled for Linux SolydK, a debian-based KDE distro. I hope it is the 'right one' for me.
IMO, no, its not.

SolydK is based on debian 'testing'. Debian testing can be considered a 'rolling release'- there are no final versions, and it is constantly updated. 'Updating' debain testing is like 'upgrading' a normal (point release) distro.

Its far easier for a newbie/inexperienced user to 'break' a rolling release than normal relases. There are also a huge amount more updates.

If you want debian, I'd suggest debian stable KDE. Or if you really want a debian based distro with 'out of the box' changes like firefox instead of iceweasel, kwheezy (KDE desktop, but based on debian 'stable')
 
Old 10-08-2013, 10:56 AM   #25
Traviata
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
I guess by 'everyone' you mean microsoft fanboys and lazy-arsed tech writers?
Could be. Back then - around 2008 - I was sitting on my 98SE like a mussel on a rock and wasn't happy at all that I had to change it to XP. As said, I'm a technical illiterate and my trusted geek was gone, so I listened to the supposed 'experts'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Way to complex to figure out now, but IMO the safest way to use XP (and this probably applies to other current micsoft OSes) is to use a decent 3rd party firewall, antivirus and browser, and get all the security updates.

Not getting security updates is a bad, bad idea. It might work to some degree with sandboxing, virtualization and using system restore...but its not as safe as if you have the updates.
I might correct myself - I do have some sort of security updates, just not directly from Microsoft. They screwed me once too often with smuggling their dreaded WMP back on the hdd or re-enabling all the Windows services I had disabled. It was a plague, really. Instead, I use a thing called WSusOffline to get (only critical security) updates every other year or so, and have Belarc to look if there are any glaring holes in the system's security.

Besides, the biggest malware in XP are about two thirds of their socalled 'services'. I disable most of them and in the end I have but 14 MS services running that the system actually needs to function. And there are only three items in the startup: Sygate, W-Timefreeze and Sandboxie. With XP, keeping it as lean as possible is your best bet to stay clear off trouble.

Don't get me started on AVs...


Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
IMO, no, its not.

SolydK is based on debian 'testing'. Debian testing can be considered a 'rolling release'- there are no final versions, and it is constantly updated. 'Updating' debain testing is like 'upgrading' a normal (point release) distro.

Its far easier for a newbie/inexperienced user to 'break' a rolling release than normal relases. There are also a huge amount more updates.

If you want debian, I'd suggest debian stable KDE. Or if you really want a debian based distro with 'out of the box' changes like firefox instead of iceweasel, kwheezy (KDE desktop, but based on debian 'stable')
Shoot... Another thing to look into - 'stable' vs. 'testing'.

The thing that brought Debian to my attention was a snippet on some website. It read:

For the Cautious and Stable: Debian
Debian, in many ways, is the opposite of Fedora. Its goal is to be as stable and bug-free as possible, which it does very well—but it means that your system is rarely up-to-date with the latest versions of software. New releases come out every 1 to 3 years, (...)


Sounds fast enough for me... Besides, all my favorite programs are real antiques, so I'm certainly not someone running after the latest updates. The article went on:

(...) if you're looking for something as stable as a rock, and don't care about always having the latest version of a piece of software, Debian is for you.

Music in my ears... only no-one recommended it for newbies. SolydK is an offspring of Mint and their 'rolling Debian release', only with KDE or Xfce. Their website boasts that you'll "never install the system again". Guess three times who was happy to read that...

Finally, I saw a YouTube video about SolydK offering to install the required Nvidia Proprietary Driver right on the installation's welcome screen and I just thought: Wow! That's it! That's mine!


But I have to admit I never spared a thought pondering the difference between 'stable' and 'testing'. 'Stable' sure sounds good, whereas 'testing' evokes the image of a lab rabbit (or is that a lab penguin in Linux?).

And you're right, SolydK is a rolling release with monthly updates.


As for 'out of the box', I think KDE itself comes with a ton of stuff by default. While I do need Firefox, I actually have more hopes in Konqueror as a neat replacement for my good old K-Meleon browser. Firefox is necessary as K-Meleon slowly meets its limits with all the newfangled stuff in the net, but it never was half as good as the old Firebird was. Firefox got bloated and sluggish. I only have it, along with SWare Iron, for all the things K-Meleon can't do as well.

As for mail, I think that KMail/KShowmail will be good to replace my Mailwasher/Outlook Express6 combo.

And I hope that KDE's Krusader will do to replace Free Commander.

LibreOffice seems to be a standard in any Linux, right?

What I would really like (and probably will be badly in the need for) about 'out of the box' is having all the required codecs preinstalled to listen to audio and watch videos, that would be Flash, DivX and all the lumber that comes with the K-Lite Codec Pack.

And of course, I would like to have an easy-going clickety-click GUI to get used to Linux before I reach the realms where you need the Unix manual in order to survive.

It doesn't mean I wouldn't want a system I can tweak - I'm actually looking very much forward to doing this without constantly running into brickwalls like in windows). But, before I can even think of doing so, I'll have to learn the ropes first, and this might take quite a long while considering I'm not exactly an Einstein in that field (rather the opposite of that). It will also require a system that I know and can deal with.



Another thing I keep thinking about: it says that Linux can read Windows files but not vice versa. But, if everything in Linux sits in a Unix tree, how can it possibly read something like f:\somefolder\someotherfolder\somefile.xxx if itself sits in a different partition.

My hdd has a row of partitions - c:\ for Windows, d:\ for backups, e:\ for working files, f:\ for music, g:\ for videos. There is also a 50gb h:\ drive/partition where I plan to run the virtual box. So my Linux will sit on h:\ in the vbox and all its stuff gets assembled under its root dir /. How can it look beyond that?

If I save a file with some Linux program, how can I place it into, say, f:\somefolder\someotherfolder\ ?

Also, Linux uses another format, ext3 I guess as opposed to ntfs (I sure hope it'll be easy to get that going in Virtualbox, as my h drive is, of course, ntfs). Would that become a problem?


But I'll give Debian KDE and KWheezy a look. Up to now, I've only read that Debian isn't Win-idiot-friendly and Kwheezy somehow fell under my radar - I never looked it up.

Thanks so very much for your reply and advice, it's highly appreciated!

Traviata
 
Old 10-09-2013, 02:17 AM   #26
graeyhat
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I'm a huge Debian fanboy but I'm gonna tell you that you should go with Linux Mint. Lots of things are preinstalled and it is easy to install and use. Linux Mint 13 is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS which is scheduled to be supported well into 2017.

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=136573

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LTS

As far as desktop environments, they are easy to install. When I first started using Linux I used a distro called SuperOS (before Mint matured into what it is today) and installed a whole F-load of desktop environments and window managers. I had a blast.



This is what you do:

Install Mint.

Install a whole bunch of desktop environments.

Have a blast.
 
Old 10-09-2013, 02:28 AM   #27
chrism01
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Basically, there are no 'drives' in the MS sense eg C:, D: etc.
All physical drives (in partitions because you have to partition them to use them) are mounted in one big dir tree.
You can probably find a nice graphic eg http://www.tuxmachines.org/node/6006.

You can store any kind of file on the Linux fs (most likely it'll be ext4 these days; see wikipedia), but whether you can read them depends on having the correct app/tool, just like it would under MS.
Text is no problem, but 'binary', eg music, video, office will need the right app.
Luckily, libreoffice/openoffice is pretty good these days.
Really advance docs may(!) be an issue, but you'll just have to try each one.
(Even different versions of MSOffice can have issues).

If you run a VM, you'd either copy files across, or use the Samba tool to mount them across (or even NFS; your choice).

I'll leave it there for now
 
Old 10-09-2013, 05:48 PM   #28
Traviata
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Thanks for the answers!


Quote:
Originally Posted by graeyhat
I'm a huge Debian fanboy but I'm gonna tell you that you should go with Linux Mint. Lots of things are preinstalled and it is easy to install and use. Linux Mint 13 is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS which is scheduled to be supported well into 2017.
Uh oh... I was afraid to read that. Debian clearly doesn't seem to be for the noob.

Following Cascade9's advice, I had a look at Debian+KDE and as a possible alternate, Kwheezy.

I couldn't really warm up to Kwheezy, even though it basically should be just Debian and KDE combined. But it seems terribly overloaded with tons of software, and I'd probably spend two weeks just removing software. Yes, I like 'out of the box', but I would think of codecs, flash, drivers etc. - not 23577 different programs I'd likely never use. And I have an inbred aversion against adding/removing programs like there's no tomorrow. Maybe it's only a Windows-thing, but doing this is a nice way to clutter up your hdd when most removed programs leave some debris behind.

Also, one reviewer of Kwheezy couldn't remove some ugly app or what-ever-it-was from the screen (conky or so), and had troubles removing other desktop icons/apps as well. Considering that this reviewer likely was an experienced Linux user, I dare not think how I would fare trying to clean up that cluttered desktop. (And I'm the kind of gal who goes up the wall screaming when one little icon isn't exactly like I want it to be...)

And before you wonder why on earth I'd want KDE - I DO want the options to add all the kitsch and clutter and eye candy I might fancy. But I want to do it at my own whim, one piece after the other, and only the kitsch I want. I don't want 40 tons of it shoved down my throat.


Nicer, MUCH, MUCH nicer appears the normal Debian stable 7 with KDE - apparently a nice clean desktop with the option to spice it up later on as you see fit. If only it wasn't for the constant mantra of "Debian is not for the newbie, take Mint or Kwheezy instead..."

I've read and watched about Debian's installation routine, and thanks to the graphical installer it seems fairly straightforward. And as long as it will sit in a vbox even the partitioning looks fine, as they guide you through creating the root /, the swap and the /home. (Partitioning will only become a problem later when Linux will become the main os - I shudder at the thought of having a 900 gb /home directory, with all the data drives plastered into one single partition/folder/dir/lvm/whatever-thingy. Again, probably just a Windows-induced newbie fear).

But, it seems Debian isn't easy to get to work with every hardware, and I couldn't find out if my hardware is suitable (Mainboard: AsRock H77 Pro4-M with sound onboard, a Intel Pentium Dual-Core G1620 PC1155 2.7 Ghz cpu with 2mb cache and 4 gb of DDR3 RAM, an Asus Nvidia GT 610 graphic card (GT610-SL-1GD3-L), an older NEC 2080 monitor (NEC662B) and an even older HP printer.) Well, at least it shouldn't mind the monitor, should it?

Also, it seems one has to pick all the codecs for movies, flash, audio and whatnot together manually and then get them to work somehow. Might be a breeze for an adavanced user, but for poor little me? And mind you, my biggest computer disasters always began with me thinking "Well, it cannot possibly be very complicated..."

There might be a reason why newbies are discouraged from going for Debian.


So, it seems that in the end, SolydK still could be my choice, and be it just to learn the basics and then go for Debian 7 KDE. But I will go and read more about Debian 7 - and maybe the one or other here will offer some much appreciated hint/thought/advice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism01
You can store any kind of file on the Linux fs (most likely it'll be ext4 these days; see wikipedia), but whether you can read them depends on having the correct app/tool, just like it would under MS.
Text is no problem, but 'binary', eg music, video, office will need the right app.
Luckily, libreoffice/openoffice is pretty good these days.
Really advance docs may(!) be an issue, but you'll just have to try each one.
(Even different versions of MSOffice can have issues).
I never used MSOffice or even MSWord. I use WordPerfect since my 3.11 days, and stuck with it even after Corel bought it up. Right now, I use WordPerfect 9.0 (from 1999/2000 or so, but still good enough for me). The files it puts out all have the wpd extension.

As for the 'right app' to view binary files, I will have to look that up - is there any catch word I could go by? Because, it would be a real shame not being able to get into my music- and movie partitions. The wpd files are binaries, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism01
If you run a VM, you'd either copy files across, or use the Samba tool to mount them across (or even NFS; your choice).
I'll have to look into that, as well. I must admit that copying the files across doesn't sound very encouraging. It might be fine with working files, but for browsing the music/audio drives in order to select a piece it would mean to browse in Windows to make a choice and then shovel the files into the Linux dir.

I'll look up that Samba thing, right now I cannot figure what it is. I always thought 'mounting' something just meant to plug some external drive in and then watch its contents in Free Commander...


As always, many thanks for help and advice,

Traviata
 
Old 10-09-2013, 06:05 PM   #29
Traviata
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p.s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism01
You can store any kind of file on the Linux fs (most likely it'll be ext4 these days; see wikipedia), but whether you can read them depends on having the correct app/tool, just like it would under MS.
Text is no problem, but 'binary', eg music, video, office will need the right app.
Quote:
Originally Posted by me
... I will have to look that up ...

On second thought - when you talk about 'the right app' - do you, by any chance, just mean that for example a mp3 file will need an audio player of some sort? And not some sort of converter that will change a Windows-mp3 into a Linux-mp3?

If so, then of course the whole subject shouldn't be much of a problem...


Traviata
 
Old 10-09-2013, 06:07 PM   #30
chrism01
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By 'app' I mean Application like Excel or Firefox or Adobe Reader or indeed WP ... ie any non-plain-text file requires a program that understands its format.
For Linux equivs of MS apps, see http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/...ndows_software
I've no idea how well libre/open Office handles WP files; you'll have to google that. Maybe someone here with experience will chip in.

As for mounting, you're over thinking it its just another word for sharing. IOW, Samba enables you to share a dir/mount point from Linux to MS, so that it looks like a normal MS network share. It uses the cifs protocol that MS uses.


Edit: exactly re mp3; now you're getting it
 
  


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