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Old 09-11-2015, 04:26 AM   #1
Puzzle
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I want to bin Windows


Hi, I want to make the move from Windows to Linux and have a few questions that I hope you will be able to help me with.

Which version/distribution of Linux is recommended? I'd like a graphical interface.
Does Linux support programs such as CuteFTP and AVS Document Convertor?
Are there any programs that Linux doesn't support e.g. Norton 360?
Will Linux automatically install drivers or is that something I will need to do?

Many thanks for reading my post.

Shona
 
Old 09-11-2015, 06:37 AM   #2
wpeckham
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OHhhhhh My!

Greetings friend! I believe you are making a good choice. The questions you have are often asked, but the answers are NOT short.

Quote:
Which version/distribution of Linux is recommended? I'd like a graphical interface.
Well, nearly any of the major distributions would serve, and provide a very nice desktop. None of them are very 'MS Windows like', but are generally superior. For someone who does not want to mess with settings and drivers very much I would think about Ubuntu, Elementary, Mint, CentOS, OpenSuse, or perhaps Sparky. There may be specific drivers you could need help with, simply because some vendors are jerks that do not support linux well. We would need your hardware list to comment on that, but if it does not include Broadcom for WIFI it should all work from day one. You might want improved drivers to get WIFI working if your WIFI NIC is Broadcom, or for better video performance and options if your video is Nvidia.

Quote:
Does Linux support programs such as CuteFTP and AVS Document Convertor?
Depends on what you mean by
Quote:
such as
. Most Windows programs you are likely to be familiar with do NOT run under linux natively. There are other programs that are linux native applications that will serve the same purpose. Using a call translator like WINE you can run some, but I recommend against it. While it is a WONDERFUL project and product, you are better off running things MADE to run under Linux.

Quote:
Are there any programs that Linux doesn't support e.g. Norton 360?
The real question is about what vendors or applications do not support linux. There are many! That is getting better, but is not very important. If you google the question, you will find a ton of linux applications for almost any activity you require. Linux will not get a virus that targets Windows, so AV is a bit less critical. I use Clam-AV and a rootkit scanner. Look for things that serve the same purpose, and have lots of users and community support, rather than the same name.

And now is a good time to discuss these Linux applications that do the same job as some Windows applications. The vast majority of them are free, without licensing restrictions that impact the average user. You just ask for them and Linux installs them and they appear in your menus like magic. There are paid applications, but the odds are you will never haver to get out your credit card to get a job done.

Quote:
Will Linux automatically install drivers or is that something I will need to do?
Depends upon luck. 99% of everything available is well supported and will be detected, have the drivers installed, and work from day one. If you are so unlucky as to have one of those 1% devices, you might want to add a driver manually. Most of them are available the same applications are: ask and it will download and install it for you, but you have to know what to ask for. Google is your friend here. If google lets you down, we have your back. It is rare that someone asks about support for a particular hardware item here that they do not get an answer within 24 hours. The problem is that they may get five, and some conflicting information. You may have to try two or three things before solving a driver problem.

There is a Linux hardware support list online. I have not the url right now, but if you knew exactly what all of your hardware does, you could check it against that list. I never bother, because the list is SO large that installing takes far less time than checking.

Which brings me to some advice you did NOT ask for: I would not install Linux on day one. I would install linux under virtualbox, or run from a livecd, and get a little used to linux before jumping into the deep water. The liveCD does better to test your hardware and ensure that the default drivers support it well. Running a virtual is more like running native, except that it only sees the virtual hardware, and not what you really have. Most distributions have a livecd or livedvd ISO available, or the install ISO can run in live mode. This also allows you to try more than one, and gives you a basis to decide between them before you actually write to your hard drive and change the boot options.

This should be great fun! Welcome to the Linux world! ;-)
 
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:43 AM   #3
Kytsuine
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I would recommend Linux Mint for a new Linux user. It's very user-friendly, and, being based on Debian, has lots of packages available to it.

Most programs (excluding some games) either exist in Mint's repositories or have an alternative. That being said, Wine is a program that attempts to teach Linux how to read Windows programs. For some, such as Istaria (a mmorpg that I play,) it works wonderfully. For others, such as Myst, it does not.

The primary purpose of antivirus software on your computer is to protect it from viruses. That is not nearly as much of an issue with Linux. Due to the relatively small user base and the wide variety of distributions, very few viruses exist that target Linux users. (Plus, most Linuxers are the type of folks that will evade viruses anyway.) However, to avoid passing along Windows viruses via, say, email, you can install the GPG, which helps prevent malicious emails, Clam antivirus, which will monitor network traffic to and from your computer (I think?), and a good old firewall.

Hope this helps!
 
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:03 PM   #4
jefro
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This is good advice. " I would install linux under virtualbox, or run from a livecd, and get a little used to linux before jumping into the deep water."

A free virtual machine would allow you to run almost any number of different linux versions. That way you can start off easy.
 
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:42 PM   #5
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
This is good advice. " I would install linux under virtualbox, or run from a livecd, and get a little used to linux before jumping into the deep water."

A free virtual machine would allow you to run almost any number of different linux versions. That way you can start off easy.
This is good advice - it will give you exposure to the programs available in Linux and how to use them, without requiring you to mess with drivers right out of the gate.
 
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Old 09-12-2015, 01:50 AM   #6
Puzzle
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Bin Windows

Hi,
Many thanks for your replies. CuteFTP allows to me log in a website that I host as a freebie for Scottish Great Dane Club. It allows me to drag and drop the files I need to upload/download. Is there anything similar for Linux?

I have a friend who is installing Linux on a laptop so I can try it out and get used to it. Thanks again for answering my question.

Shona
 
Old 09-12-2015, 04:37 AM   #7
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puzzle View Post
CuteFTP
the name implies that it's some sort of version of ftp, which is an application native to linux(*)!
so you are asking, is there a linux version of a program that is actually a windows version of a linux program.

see?

you will have to let go of quite a few expectations if you want to make the switch; esp. the way of thinking in apps.
everything you can do on windows you can do on linux too.
but not with the same apps.
filezilla is a perfectly good graphical ftp client for linux (and, incidentally, for windows, too).

installing programs on linux happens through your packet manager!!! not through web pages!!!

(*) actually unix, but my argument is still valid.
 
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:46 AM   #8
wpeckham
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GUI FTP Alternatives

MY goodness, yes. TONS of them.
All of the great command line stuff works, but for something more like that there is filezilla (which also has Windows versions), FirFTP, muCommander (if you like the norton commander style), trolCommander, gFTP, CrossFTP, bareFTP... There must be dozens, depending upon what features and style you prefer.

I recommend either filezilla or FireFTP, because you can test them out on windows before you jump, or gFTP for a fast interface and all the power you need.

There will be a little learning curve, but not bad. Most of it, if you use CuteFTP a lot, should look very familiar.

Last edited by wpeckham; 09-12-2015 at 08:50 AM.
 
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:42 AM   #9
DavidMcCann
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This site will be very useful, as it lets you find information about available software and also lists Linux equivalents to well-known Windows programs:
http://linuxappfinder.com

When you need a new program, always get the version from your distro's repository. Linux programs tend to share libraries, so most of the programs in a repository will only fit an installation of that particular distro, unless you have some advanced tricks up your sleeve.

There are lots of GUIs used with Linux and each distro has one or two that it uses by default. That is naturally the one that the developers use and which most users accept, so it's the most reliable.

Mint offers Mate (plain) or Cinnamon (fancy). Both are easy for a Windows users to get used to, and Mint is a very good-quality distro.

Ubuntu offers Gnome (a bit Windows-8-ish) and Unity (make your computer look like a phone!). People either love them or loathe them. Ubuntu is generally good, although sometimes you get a poor version. Go for the long-term-support version.

PCLinuxOS offers KDE, the king of eye candy. This distro doesn't have versions, but regularly updates itself once you've installed it. Designed for the home user and the only distro with a monthly magazine.

Try them and see which you prefer.
 
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