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Old 09-08-2015, 02:25 PM   #1
Megafrog
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Dual boot recommendations for preinstalled Win8.1 and sharing files between OSes


Imagine movie trailer music as I describe my goals for this system:

My Main Goal: Getting a new machine with Windows 8.1 preinstalled on it to have a dual boot option using a windows-like Linux distro, probably from this list: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...xp-4175502495/ .

Imagine even more hype for the movie trailer music.

My Secondary Goal: Be able to read files back and forth from Windows 8.1 and Linux without leaving a windows-explorer-like GUI at any time for either OS

My Third Goal: Have as much be "portable" in Linux as possible so if there is just a single directory I could back up, I'd have all my email, web bookmarks, regular data, and even programs without having to put something on a cloud or to reinstall and mess with settings to get things the way I liked them before the backup were needed. The plan is to have almost all my data in Linux and the barest minimum in Windows 10.

My abilities as a user: Clicking on a GUI. [imagine the movie trailer music slowing down like a melting 1970's cassette tape] If something uses a GUI and a mouse it will always be preferred to typing anything.

Given my goals and mental debility when it comes to command line prompts, what is the best course to take? Perhaps there are tutorials on this? Recommended distros to make it easier? I saw this http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=163126 but it had command lines and I'm hoping for something simpler than that if possible.

I know that three goals may not all work out with just a GUI but I am grateful for your help to get me as close to this ideal as possible!
 
Old 09-08-2015, 02:58 PM   #2
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megafrog View Post
My Main Goal: Getting a new machine with Windows 8.1 preinstalled on it to have a dual boot option
Start by using the Windows disk utility to shrink your Windows partition and free up some space on the drive. How much space you need to free up depends on your goals with Linux. Do you know what you want to do with Linux? If not, have you thought about starting with a VM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megafrog View Post
using a windows-like Linux distro, probably from this list: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...xp-4175502495/
There is no such thing as a Windows-like Linux distro. You may find some that use DEs that resemble Windows, but they will NOT act like Windows, so what's the point?
http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

That is a bad list you linked to in my opinion, it shouldn't exist. It only propagates the myth that all Linux needs is a facelift and it'll act just like Windows. It won't, ever, because it's not Windows...that's the point. All that list accomplishes is pushing newbies to Linux onto noname, unsupported, possibly buggy distros that no members here have ever heard of and don't know how to support. Install a common, widely-used distro and experiment with a few DEs to see what you like. You may find some other DE that looks nothing like Windows to be more intuitive, that's why there's choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megafrog View Post
My Secondary Goal: Be able to read files back and forth from Windows 8.1 and Linux
Linux can read/write Windows NTFS filesystems without a problem, the issue is Windows 8 doesn't like to unmount its filesystems properly. From what I gather it just "suspends" them, which leaves them unusable by other OSs. You might get away with creating a 3rd "neutral" NTFS partition on the disk and using that, others who dual boot with Windows 8 would have to provide more assistance here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megafrog View Post
My Third Goal: Have as much be "portable" in Linux as possible so if there is just a single directory I could back up, I'd have all my email, web bookmarks, regular data, and even programs without having to put something on a cloud or to reinstall and mess with settings to get things the way I liked them before the backup were needed. The plan is to have almost all my data in Linux and the barest minimum in Windows 10.
Almost everything you listed is in your home directory. Back up your home directory and you'll have your emails, bookmarks, program configurations and settings, etc. If you put your data in your home directory then you'll have your data as well. The only thing that won't include is programs, but programs are installed using the central package manager, so all you need to do is make a list of what's installed and if you ever reinstall your OS you can just reinstall those same packages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megafrog View Post
My abilities as a user: Clicking on a GUI. [imagine the movie trailer music slowing down like a melting 1970's cassette tape] If something uses a GUI and a mouse it will always be preferred to typing anything.

Given my goals and mental debility when it comes to command line prompts, what is the best course to take? Perhaps there are tutorials on this? Recommended distros to make it easier? I saw this http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=163126 but it had command lines and I'm hoping for something simpler than that if possible.
You'll never get away from the command line in Linux. There are simply some things that cannot be done (or cannot easily be done) via GUIs, it doesn't matter what distro you're using. The same goes for Windows, but to a lesser extent. If you force yourself to avoid the command line at all costs, you will end up screwing yourself when you need to be able to use it. Linux and the command line go hand in hand, you need to at least get comfortable navigating the filesystem and running basic commands. Don't be scared of it, it's a tool, a tool that's MUCH more powerful and flexible than the GUIs. You should be HAPPY that Linux gives you such a powerful and easy to use CLI system with built in help pages and manuals, you shouldn't be afraid of it.

You still haven't said why you want to do this. What's the point? Why would you go to all of these lengths repartitioning your drive and installing Linux just to use an uncommon distro that nobody has heard of so you can avoid the CLI like the plague?

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 09-08-2015 at 03:08 PM.
 
Old 09-08-2015, 04:18 PM   #3
Megafrog
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Thank you for your post Suicidaleggroll!

Quote:
What's the point? Why would you go to all of these lengths repartitioning your drive and installing Linux just to use an uncommon distro that nobody has heard of so you can avoid the CLI like the plague?
The specific reason I want Linux is because I hate the treadmill of forced upgrades and UI changes in Windows and would rather have something I could control for the future. I'm not happy about the problems with virus protection and privacy policies either. Whenever my computer dies and a new OS is out, it also takes way to long to make it usable in the way I want it (installs of specific software, shortcuts, etc). I still need some Windows apps for work though, so the dual boot option is much preferable to gambling on whether I can get something running in Wine.

That said, since the distros I had linked at http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...xp-4175502495/ were from the top of this forum, I was under the impression they were highly recommended by the community. Perhaps I might do well with something like Mint Linux, since I've read that it doesn't abandon Flash and other things that aren't open source but are still a part of YouTube, etc.

Everything at your link http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm pretty much tells me not even to think about Linux, since I apparently need the training wheels, but my complaints about Windows above are still annoying enough to give something else a try.

Quote:
Do you know what you want to do with Linux? If not, have you thought about starting with a VM
My eyes glazed over when I read VM instructions in the past. However, given the structure of home directory backup opportunities you described, perhaps an attitude of "just focus and do it" may be be worth it for me, as with the CLI.
 
Old 09-08-2015, 05:02 PM   #4
suicidaleggroll
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Some of the "Beginner Friendly" distros in the link you posted are widely-used, namely Mint, Ubuntu and a couple of others. The majority I've never even heard of, and I've been using Linux since 2002 (Robolinux, StartOS, Pinguy, Antergos, Netrunner, Point, Korora...the list just keeps on going). Others, like Crunchbang, don't even exist anymore:
http://crunchbang.org/

Installing in a VM is significantly easier than repartitioning your drive and installing in dual-boot, plus there's no possibility of screwing up Windows in the process.
 
Old 09-10-2015, 02:47 AM   #5
chrism01
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In addition (possibly saving some time), a lot of Linux distros have a LiveCD option - basically a bootable Cd version of the distro that you can take for a spin without installing anything.
This enables you to try a few and see which one(s) you like the look of.
I believe some LiveCd version even have an optional install option, so if you like it, you can also install it, instead of going and getting an install iso.
 
Old 09-10-2015, 03:47 PM   #6
jefro
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Don't forget that you might be able to run a usb hard drive quite well on a supported system. No need to mess with W8.
 
Old 09-11-2015, 06:05 PM   #7
Megafrog
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I'm looking at the suggestions. USB looks like the fastest way to go to try things out and I'll report back after the weekend. Thanks everyone!
 
Old 09-13-2015, 02:53 PM   #8
Megafrog
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Ultimately a virtual machine was easiest and I tried Linux Mint. Although the first resolution was about 10x the size of my monitor I was able to change it quickly and understood how to use it for writing or web browsing productivity in a minute, where it took me FAR LONGER with Windows 8. All the basics seem immediately understandable and immediately ready to use. No learning curve! In fact, I'm posting to the message board right now with Linux, which is something I might have expected to be a great ordeal before it actually got going.

The only noticeable problem I have is that sound doesn't work. "Video" (the software named video) and Banshee both recommended getting another sound package install when I tried to play audio but this was the error message I received:

Package dependencies cannot be resolved

This error could be caused by required additional software packages which are missing or not installable. Furthermore there could be a conflict between software packages which are not allowed to be installed at the same time.


The following packages have unmet dependencies:

gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad:i386: Depends: libc6 (>= 2.15) but 2.19-0ubuntu6.6 is to be installed
Depends: libcairo2 (>= 1.2.4) but 1.13.0~20140204-0ubuntu1.1 is to be installed
Depends: libcurl3-gnutls (>= 7.16.2) but 7.35.0-1ubuntu2.5 is to be installed
Depends: libdvdnav4 (>= 4.1.3) but 4.2.1-3 is to be installed
Depends: libdvdread4 (>= 4.1.3) but 4.2.1-2ubuntu1 is to be installed
Depends: libegl1-x11 but it is a virtual package
Depends: libgcc1 (>= 1:4.1.1) but 1:4.9.1-0ubuntu1 is to be installed
Depends: libgles2 but it is a virtual package
Depends: libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.37.3) but 2.40.2-0ubuntu1 is to be installed
Depends: libgnutls26 (>= 2.12.17-0) but 2.12.23-12ubuntu2.2 is to be installed
Depends: libgstreamer-plugins-bad1.0-0 (= 1.2.3-1ubuntu2) but 1.2.4-1~ubuntu1 is to be installed
Depends: libgudev-1.0-0 (>= 146) but 1:204-5ubuntu20.12 is to be installed
Depends: libmpg123-0 (>= 1.6.2) but 1.16.0-1ubuntu1 is to be installed
Depends: libopenal1 (>= 1:1.13) but 1:1.14-4ubuntu1 is to be installed
Depends: liborc-0.4-0 (>= 1:0.4.18) but 1:0.4.18-1ubuntu1 is to be installed
Depends: librsvg2-2 (>= 2.36) but 2.40.2-1 is to be installed
Depends: librtmp0 (>= 2.3) but 2.4+20121230.gitdf6c518-1 is to be installed
Depends: libsoundtouch0 (>= 1.7.1-3~) but 1.7.1-5 is to be installed
Depends: libstdc++6 (>= 4.1.1) but 4.8.2-19ubuntu1 is to be installed
Depends: libusb-1.0-0 (>= 2:1.0.8) but 2:1.0.17-1ubuntu2 is to be installed
Depends: libxml2 (>= 2.7.4) but 2.9.1+dfsg1-3ubuntu4.4 is to be installed
Depends: gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad-videoparsers (= 1.2.3-1ubuntu2) but 1.2.4-1~ubuntu1 is to be installed
Depends: gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad-faad (= 1.2.3-1ubuntu2) but 1.2.4-1~ubuntu1 is to be installed

I have "RealTek High Definition Audio" on the motherboard for sound hardware. In Linux I can't hear sound on YouTube or during the right/left speaker test in the sound test program so it is more of a problem than just trying to play music. Does this look like a Virtual Machine problem or a problem with Linux Mint connecting to my computer's sound hardware?

Still, I'm happy to have made it this far!
 
Old 09-13-2015, 05:58 PM   #9
Megafrog
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Ignore that part about the sound. A few Virtual Machine tweaks and now that is working too.
 
  


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