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Old 10-05-2009, 01:47 AM   #1
vex390
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conversion to linux, what should i know?


i'm heavily considering switching to linux. but the concern of drivers is stopping me. i have a sata hard drive which any OS's made before vista don't automatically have drivers for. i'm just concerned about driver's in general. where would i find them if i needed them? also, these linux open source applications like VLC, is it compatible for just one version of linux? or all versions. which operating system is right for me?

answering any of these questions would mean a lot to me. don't leave me answerless open-source kings.

thx in advance


-vex390
 
Old 10-05-2009, 01:55 AM   #2
slakmagik
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Welcome to LQ. This a frequently asked question and you can probably search for and find lots of threads about it. Briefly, sata drives should be fine. Linux generally comes with "batteries included" and proprietary video drivers for accelerated graphics are usually the biggest issue. If you don't game or need high performance graphics, the standard open source drivers will suffice. If you want more, nVIDIA and ATI produce Linux drivers you'd get the same as Windows drivers in terms of from the manufacturer's websites, but many Linux distros package them for you. Generally, if you compile or install a VLC or other app on one Linux you won't be able to run it on another, but it's easy enough to recompile or install in your new distro. As far as which is right for you, only you can know. If you're curious about Linux, it's free to try, so you might as well. Then you'll know for sure. The only thing really required is patience and a willingness to learn.
 
Old 10-05-2009, 02:00 AM   #3
linuxlover.chaitanya
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First thing that you should know is that Linux is NOT like windows and do not expect it to behave like it. You will have to learn to use linux just like you learned windows.
Drivers for SATA drivers should not be an issue with new distributions. Most of them will recognize SATA drivers. Most of the drivers are usually built in. Wireless drivers are sometimes bit reluctant but with some work that is not an issue as well.

For the distributions that you should try, there would be lot of advices. There are Live CD versions for most distributions that you can try without installing it on your hard drive.

Ubuntu is one such distribution that you should try. It is intended to be easy to use. It comes in as a Live CD and if you like it, you can install it right from your working environment. Jaunty is the latest right now and Karmic Koala is coming this month.
I would strongly suggest and advocate Ubuntu for those who are new to Linux and want to dive into it. Once you are familiar with Linux, you can then move onto more advanced distributions.
And installing VLC or softwares for that matter in Ubuntu should be very easy. Easier than windows. There is a package manager called Synaptic that will download and install the package you want. And there are more than 20K packages in the repositories.

Sorry forgot. Welcome to LQ.

Last edited by linuxlover.chaitanya; 10-05-2009 at 02:01 AM.
 
Old 10-05-2009, 02:02 AM   #4
Doculus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vex390 View Post
i'm heavily considering switching to linux. but the concern of drivers is stopping me. i have a sata hard drive which any OS's made before vista don't automatically have drivers for. i'm just concerned about driver's in general.
Most of common hardware is supported by Linux.
If you want to give a try, without destroying your current OS, just get a LiveCD, like Knoppix (or several others, search for "linux livecd"), boot from it, and you will see.

Very new, or uncommon hardware sometimes has no driver, so if you have one, you can consider coding it

Quote:
where would i find them if i needed them?
Linux distros has most of usual drivers in them.
If not, google is your friend...

Quote:
also, these linux open source applications like VLC, is it compatible for just one version of linux? or all versions.
Open source applications are compatible with all versions of Linux, even if they are not packaged in the distribution. Then you can compile them yourselves.

Quote:
which operating system is right for me?
From one side this is a personal preference.
From the other side if you are a programmer, hacker or coder, Linux is definitely a better choice.
 
Old 10-05-2009, 02:11 AM   #5
stu7
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/snip/ i'm heavily considering switching to linux. /snip/

** Linux began as a programming application...
I mean by this, written by and for computer users with a programming background. Windows, on the other hand, was the original "easy for anybody to use" computer platform.

Lots of people do run "dual-boot systems", so they can enjoy the benefits of Linux and Windows both.

Otherwise, you can pretty well break down the question of which OS to use in terms of what end applications you will be using... there are, for instance, no Linux versions of PhotoShop or other Adobe business apps, even though Linux has oodles of good photo-processing apps.
 
Old 10-05-2009, 02:38 AM   #6
Doculus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doculus View Post
Open source applications are compatible with all versions of Linux, even if they are not packaged in the distribution. Then you can compile them yourselves.
Just an addition: prebuilt packages, and not Open Source applications are bound to specific version of libraries, specially GLibc and kernel version. Here sometimes you can run into problems running them on a not mainstream, or older/newer version of Linux distro.

With Open Source packages you have always the option to compile them on your distro.
 
Old 10-05-2009, 03:29 PM   #7
vex390
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thank you guys so much for replying. this really helps. one more question though. can somebody link me to a list of linux os's and recommend one that's good for media management and takes care of file type issues? thanks again!
 
Old 10-05-2009, 06:42 PM   #8
Ahmed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vex390 View Post
thank you guys so much for replying. this really helps. one more question though. can somebody link me to a list of linux os's and recommend one that's good for media management and takes care of file type issues? thanks again!
Basically with every linux distribution you can achieve almost anything, so it all comes down to your preference of how the distribution is built and what it offers out of the box. To make the choice easier, here's a comprehensive list of the mainstream linux distributions:

http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major

You can see the pros and cons of each one and see which one is most attractive for you. distrowatch.com is generally a good source for info on distributions and news.

Ubuntu is an easy and comfortable way to start. On the other hand, the learning effect won't be as large as with other certain distributions (e.g. Debian or Slackware)

Good luck!

-A

Last edited by Ahmed; 10-05-2009 at 06:48 PM.
 
Old 10-05-2009, 06:52 PM   #9
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vex390 View Post
i'm heavily considering switching to linux. but the concern of drivers is stopping me.
I'm jumping over the more specific questions to make an observation. It is my impression that---when using the top distros--- the total installation (including all the drivers) is now easier and faster on Linux vs. Windows. The major reason is that--for all common hardware--the drivers are either built into the kernel or are available as part of the distro.

For non-standard HW, there can sometimes be issues.
 
Old 10-05-2009, 10:15 PM   #10
Smartpatrol
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...

Last edited by Smartpatrol; 03-11-2010 at 10:39 PM.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 10:43 AM   #11
vex390
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thanks guys. is there a way to integrate drivers into the linux cd? because the linux OS i had in mind (freespire) hasn't been updated since my laptop's sata drive has been released
 
Old 10-06-2009, 04:51 PM   #12
Ahmed
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Freespire is indeed a bit dated. Virtually every new version of a mainstream linux distribution will support sata drives out of the box. Grab any one from the list I posted above and give it a spin.

-A
 
Old 10-06-2009, 04:58 PM   #13
Tinkster
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Actually ... the drives will hardly ever pose a problem. The chip-sets that
the motherboard uses to talk to them can. I remember long-standing issues
with the NVidia chip-set on an ASUS board I once bought - quite new on the
market back then.

Took about 6 months for Linux drivers to become available. I worked around
that by buying an extra PCI card with dual SATA interface with a tried & proven
(older) VIA chipset.


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 10-06-2009, 10:23 PM   #14
Smartpatrol
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Last edited by Smartpatrol; 03-11-2010 at 10:39 PM.
 
Old 10-07-2009, 09:18 AM   #15
teebones
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Remember, that when using a live cd version of a Linux Distribution, the performance is significantly slower compared to an installed version of that particular distribution. Also you cannot do much (installing things etc), and the boot time is realy realy slow.. Just to remind you, don't let you be taken away from a distribution (or linux in general) because of the bad performances during the live cd usage...

It's like 90 - 95 percent slower then the installed version.
 
  


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