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Alright, at the moment i am running windows XP and have never even touched Linux in my life. Information about my computer can be found here. I mainly use my computer for video editing and playing games like Counter-Strike. My plan is to back up all my files, reformat the drive and install Linux. I have the following questions before i begin:
What version of Linux should i get?
Where can i get Linux?
Is it free?
Will all the drivers work on my computer?
Will i be able to install windows and run it in a window?
Will i be able to run my windows software on Linux?
What are the general advantages that Linux has over Windows?
1- Try Fedora core 4 for example
2- Search for it
5- Install windows first, leave some space like about 10G, then install Fedora
6- You can run same programs at most with different way in installtion
7- Free, No subscription required, You can say more stable than windows
8- May be its a little bit harder at first
Distribution: Previously red hat,fedora,gentoo,debian; Currently,ubuntu,cygwin,mandriva
For first-timer, I'd like to suggest Kubuntu Linux. You can get it from the following link: http://www.kubuntu.org/download.php
Choose any of the mirrors from the list and download the iso with the name kubuntu-7.04-desktop-i386.iso,
which is meant for normal standard PC with 32 bit processing.
Once you get the iso CD image, you can burn it using any CD burner software such as Nero by choosing Disk Image.
Actually, there is also a DVD version, but it will make your download time longer.
If you want to use it together with Windows, you need to dual boot. In this case, you need to install Windows first as mhm suggested since Windows usually overwrite MBR boot menu, which is the entry list into your installed OSes.
But, the CD mentioned above is called the live CD, meaning you can run linux from the CD without installing it.
1- there are many distributions, but most people opt for Fedora Core or Ubuntu
2- Search, download an ISO, burn to CD
4- Assuming you don't have an ATI video card or a Creative X-Fi sound card, probably. Some fiddling around might be required.
5- Agree with mhm
6- Some will work fine, some will require tweaks to work fine, and some won't work at all.
7- It's highly customizable, you can make it how you want it
8- It's highly customizable and has a relatively steep learning curve
1. Kubuntu is straight forward, download and try for yourself what you like, no need to stick to one distro, try knoppix out as a live cd see how you get along (it will be slower than a HD install)
2. try distrowatch
3. Yes, unless you want to pay for extra support or a nice manual
4. hmmmmmmmmmm. That PC should be OK, Linux does not use windows drivers, but its own. Ask not why linux does not support some hardware, why does some hardware not support Linux.
5. Yes, using vmware, qvm, qemu etc. just don't expect it to be as fast and as fully supported as a normal install (no 3d)
6. You mention CS:S. I have that working on Debian under wine. The odd error, but quite playable (as is guildwars). Not all software will run under WINE. I would be worried about your video card if you want to play CS:S, even in Windoze it would be underpowered. Quake 4, Doom 3, RTCW, and others have all been released in Linux versions.
7. Many many
8. Can't think of much at the mo.
To be honest, I think you would be better off dual booting. Its what I do for games as you are assured they will run (but windows may crash)