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A year and a half ago I migrated from IE /Outlook Express to Firefox/Thunderbird just by curiosity and for the fun to try something new ; I am very pleased and I have no intention to go back to IE /Outlook Express.
Lately I have heard a bit more about Linux and would like to try one of the distributions. Since migrating to an other OS ( while keeping Windows ) is something that looks to me a bit more demanding than changing a browser I would like to know if for what I use my computer for , using Linux will make a big difference.
I mostly use my computer for surfing the Internet, downloading files, chatting on discussion's forums, sending /receiving email, downloading with emule and sometimes using Word. I don't work with my computer, do not develop programs etc...
I know, Linux is free. Apart that fact , I would like to know if view what I use my computer for, preparing my PC for installing Linux , learning and getting use to Linux is something I should bother to do or if Windows although his shortcomings is enough for the kind of user I am ?
Thank you in advance
If your used to windows and have never tried unix/linux there will be an initially steep learning curve.
Just make up your mind to stick with it for a few months before you throw your hands up in the air cuz it will take you a bit.
I find its easiest to set linux up on its own harddrive so I don't have to mess with my xp installation. And then use the lilo or grub boot loader to select which operating system you want to go into. This also allows me to learn the operating system at my own pace.
You will probably need an external serial modem as trying to get a windows modem to work in linux is like ringing water from a rock. Not worth the trouble.
A lot more is done from the command line then you may be used to.
I have tried fedora3 and ubuntu so far.
Ubuntu is probably a lil more newbie easy...Ubuntu uses the gnome desktop and kubuntu uses the kde desktop so you would have to see which one you preferred.
Many distros come with live cd's now so that you can run them from your cd without installing them to see what they look like.
Wether its worth the trouble and time only you can say, some people like figuring things out others enjoy the way windows holds thier hand. Its really what works best for you.
If you want to try out linux, I'd suggest downloading a linux live CD distro such as Knoppix http://www.knoppix.org. With a live CD you can just boot your computer with it and take it for a test drive. Because Linux is running off of the CD you don't have to worry about it affecting your Windows OS.
If you find it's something you want to permanently install permanently there's lots of tutorials on google to setup your system to dual boot.
The hardest thing maybe deciding what distro to load, I use Fedora or Centos depending needs
For you, the big difference between using Windows and Linux may be that Linux is more "fun". With a basic installation, Linux is more customizable and has more "eye candy" than a basic Windows installation. It's kind of fun just changing around the entire look and feel of your computer just for a change of pace.
To give Linux a whirl without actually installing ANYTHING on your hard drive, I recommend a Knoppix based LiveCD. These can run straight off the CD, and do not touch your hard drive at all (unless you manually click on your local hard drive to access the files, of course). Thus, you can try out Linux without commiting to anything.
Also, Knoppix based LiveCDs are also hard drive install CDs. If you like what you see, you can use the disc to install Linux on your hard drive. To start off with, you'll probably want to dual boot. This means both Windows and Linux are on your hard drive, and you can choose which OS to use when you turn the computer on.
Among Knoppix based Linux distributions, I recommend:
1. Mepis - This one is IMHO ugly by default, and it unfortunately only offers you one desktop environment (the popular KDE environment). However, it's also one of the BEST Linux distributions of all for automatic hardware detection/configuration, and user friendly GUI tools. It's also one of the best choices for a hard drive install.
2. Knoppix - This is relatively stylish by default, and also offers a variety of desktop enviroments. However, the hard drive install is non-obvious, and the resulting installation isn't as maintainable as Mepis.
3. OverClockix - this Knoppix variant is chocked full of eye candy, including xscreensaver. Like Knoppix, it offers a number of different desktop environments. However, it's look and feel is somewhat "kewl" and "leet", which may or may not suit your personal tastes.
Anyway, the nice thing about Knoppix based LiveCD distributions is that you can try them out easily with just one CD burn. They also install on the hard drive quickly, and you can even use the OS during the install. They're pretty high on the "instant gratification" scale.
-No Ad-ware or Spyware.
-No need to defragment your HDD.
-A "LOT" more secure (not as likly to be cracked) than windows.
-Does what you want, with a little work and stays that way.
-Has great support.
-Is open-source based, which mean most programs are free.
-Already probably has more software then Windows.
-Can have multiple Virtual desktops.
-You get to find out (if your interested) what your computer is doing, i.e.: your IN CONTROL.
And that's just the tip of the Iceberg. Go ahead, don't be afraid.
BTW, you may want to try a live CD first (like Knoppix or Kanotix or MEPIS) to see how it works without installing it first.
I'm vaguely suprised no-one mentioned performance - for me, there's two things here.
First, I've been using computers for <mumble> years, and I have a couple of old computers. There's no way they can run Windows XP, but they are happily ticking over in my cellar doing useful stuff under Linux.
Second, while I'm not a hardcore gamer, I do enjoy playing. My main machine is reasonably powerful, and is capable of dual-booting into Windows or Linux. I can run a number of Windows games (under Wine or emulators) and most of them run noticably faster/smoother under Linux. For the retro child within, I can also play a number of older games that XP no longer supports!
i am gonna have to agree with them almost totally try the live cd first. ive tried many distros of linux b4 i found the one im most comfortable in and thats FC4. i hear FC4 is not a great starting linux distro. i have ordered some more linux distros like redhat 9 and smallbsd and mandriva. i dont know why but i find ubuntu to be the most diffacult to understand/use, but to each his own. as for try linux and not turn back to windows ^5 to the person that said that i love linux i have 2 linux distros running and win xp i rarely ever use windows.
Originally posted by boxerboy
i dont know why but i find ubuntu to be the most diffacult to understand/use
I know why. Until I found the Ubuntu Guide, I too found Ubuntu difficult to understand and use. Apart from hardware detection, little is "automatic." Part of that is the Gnome desktop. Part of that is the total exclusion of nonfree and proprietary software (MP3, Java, etc.). The Ubuntu community and the Ubuntu guide are a big help to getting newbies set up, though.
thank you aysiu i will look at the guide see if maybe it will help me the gnome isnt a major problem i have with it its more of the apt commands i think is most difficult cause im having a hard enough time remembering yum and .rpm than adding apt .deb to it ive looked all over for a commands book to help me use linux but the one i ordered a month ago still hasnt gotten here but thats something im gonna have to deal with and i havent seen sites for commands. but i got the yum updates handled lol.