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I would love to make the change from Windows to Linux, however I'am unsure of which kernel or distro to use, I hear that I will be required to find new drivers for my hardware too, and limit which software applications I can use. I thought the best thing to do would be to compile a list of the hardwares I use, what softwares I regularly use, and what I want from Linux. Hopefully you guys will be able to help me make an informed choice as to which distro to go for to make the change from Windows to Linux. Thanks in advance for any useful posts.
AMD FX-55 PCU
DFI LAN Party UT SLI-DR Motherboard
2x Corsair TWINX 3200C2PT RAM (2 gigs in total)
Western Digital Raptor 74 GB 10,000 RPM, 8 MB CACHE Hard Drive
Connect3D ATI Radeon x850xt PE 256 MB DDR3 DIVO/TV-Out Dual DVI (PCI-E)
Sound Blaster Audigy THX 7.1
Software I use regularly:
Half Life II and it's mods
Half Life and it's mods
Command and Conquer Generals:Zero Hour
What I want from Linux:
Compatability with my hardware and software
General all round compatability and reliability
I don't think I can give you much more to work with lol, as you can see I like to pretend to be a pro-gamer and I would like to get into Over Clocking and performance tweaking so that I can learn more about computers. Yet again thanks for any advice you can give me, and hopefully I can get a Kernel/Distro that works for me.
I guess one option of doing it would be is setup your computer on dual boot and run them both side by side untill your happy enough to migrate, I did this with suse 9.1 and windows xp, now ive converted to suse and dumped windows, but having it on dual boot for a while really helped me get into it. Just a thought
The best thing to do is download a few linux live cd's, fire them up on your system to check if your hardware is supoorted. Once you have completed your test download a distro that you would like to install alsongside Windows. I would urge you to try either Mandrake, Suse or Fedora coz they play along nicely with windows and have easy installers.
If you want to go Linux right now with that rig, you'll probably come up against a few obsticals. Make sure you install the absolute latest stable version of whatever distribution you choose, as your board has some really new chipsets, as does your graphics card. You'll have to install the drivers for the graphics card from the ATI site directly, as its not in xorg's sever yet. I'm not saying to forget about it. To the contrary. But, if you know that you may encounter a few issues, that you're not alone. Find someone who has a bit of experience with 64 bit architecture to give you tips on how to make your install more productive (and get the 64 bit version of the distro).
For software, I don't know what Maple Story is, but the other games can be runfrom Linux using Cedega (its for sale, but dirt cheap) and will likely run better. If you use Photoshop, you might want to try Gimp. There is no comparison to Photoshop or Illustrator, but there are some close seconds, of which Gimp is one. You can connect to msn with Gaim or Kopete (and most other IM networks too) or aMSN. There are dozens of irc clients out there (BitchX is good) so that's not a problem. K3B will satisfy most of your cd and dvd burning needs.
The easiest way for you to get a good idea of what hardware you have is supported os to read through the Hardware Compatibility Lists(HCL) for the various distro you're interested in and also check out the one here at LQ.
Thank you great advice so far, Vectordrake your post is particularly helpful so thank you. What I think I will do today then is to review a wide range of Linux Versions and see if there are any versions that do give me the hardware compatability I require, if not then I will go to the retrospective sites of my hardware in an attempt to find linux drivers. Just for references sake, Maple Story is a free 2D mmorpg.
One thing that does interest me is how I will know whether game software works or not, are all games compatable with Linux, or do I have to hunt down some specific support for them?