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Old 06-28-2008, 09:16 PM   #1
jesoneric
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General questions about Linux


Hi guys, I am new to this website and new to the entire world of linux in general. I am a lifetime Windows user, and am thinking about making the switch to a linux based operating system. The problem is is that I do not know where to start. I see many variations to linux that are available to download and I am not sure what all will fit my specific needs. I mainly use my computer for web browsing, word processing, and a variety of applications I need for college such as autocad, mathcad, and maple, as well as some light video game playing. I am also not very computer literate, but know enough to get my way around to doing most of the things that need to be done with computers.

Also, is it easy to switch back to windows in case I end up not liking linux (as in a very simple switch that does not involve installation cd's)?
 
Old 06-28-2008, 09:29 PM   #2
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesoneric View Post
I mainly use my computer for web browsing, word processing, and a variety of applications I need for college such as autocad, mathcad, and maple, as well as some light video game playing.
Note that Linux is incompatible with Windows at binary level. Plainly speaking, windows programs don't run in Linux. There's wine, which is a compatibility layer which can be used to run some Windows programs.

If those programs are vital for you, you should first check this site, and see if they can be run under wine:

http://appdb.winehq.org/

Quote:
Also, is it easy to switch back to windows in case I end up not liking linux (as in a very simple switch that does not involve installation cd's)?
Installing or uninstalling a cd is never a trivial task. However, there are many options:
  1. there are distros in livecd, which can be booted and run from a cd without installing anything
  2. there's the possibility to dual-boot, that means that you can make room in your hard disk for linux without uninstalling windows, and choose which one to boot at boot time
  3. you can install a virtual machine, like virtualbox or vmware, in windows, and then install any OS on that virtual machine

However, note that the later one will limit a lot your experience, and the performance will be very poor. The livecds are handy, and can serve you to decide which distro do you like better. You can try lots of livecds without installing a single byte in your hard drive.

Last edited by i92guboj; 06-28-2008 at 09:31 PM.
 
Old 06-28-2008, 09:39 PM   #3
dv502
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Welcome to LQ

The first choice is Live CDs.
Even better install vmware server, this will allow you to run linux in windows as a virtual machine. With the virtual machine you can test, install and run programs and even use wine to test windows programs.

Wine allows you to run windows programs in linux. Whatever you do in the virtual machine won't break your windows environment, and if linux is not right for you, just delete the virtual machine.

- Cheers
 
Old 06-28-2008, 09:51 PM   #4
masonm
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Set up a dual boot system with the distro of your choice so that you can still use the critical apps you can't live without and use Linux for everything else.
 
Old 06-28-2008, 10:57 PM   #5
jesoneric
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I appreciate all of the help guys. I think I might try the dual boot system. It seems the most practical for me and a friend of mine said he used it for about a year before switching solely to linux based os's.

Thanks again for all of your help!
 
Old 06-30-2008, 09:56 AM   #6
gurbax singh
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Least but not last

LINUX is the future, equipped with it
 
Old 06-30-2008, 10:03 PM   #7
chrism01
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You may find these useful:

http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
 
Old 07-01-2008, 12:27 AM   #8
onebuck
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Hi,

You should really checkout some Livecd distro. That way you will get some true feel for what fits you. Be aware there may be a performance issue with older hardware if the Livecd is not loaded to RAM. But the Livecd can give you a means too select what you want to use.

You can look at a lot of on-line references that can assist but sometimes overwhelm a newbie. I would suggest the following to start with;

Linux Documentation Project
Rute Tutorial & Exposition
Getting Started with Linux

These posts are part of the 'Linux General Help' section of 'Slackware-Links'. More than just Slackware® links!
 
Old 07-01-2008, 01:51 AM   #9
ailema
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wow great sources here thanks for sharing this very informative information
 
  


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