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Old 10-29-2009, 04:15 PM   #1
Mahea01
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Question Please explain the pros and cons of Linux to me - thanks


Hi all,

I'm a newbie...an illiterate newbie! LOL

Would someone please explain the pros and cons of a Linux system as opposed to a Windows system in language that a person who is not a tech will understand?

Also, I really don't understand the installation instructions. I guess I need a "How to Install and set up Linux for Dummies".

My husband is interested in switching his system from Windows XP to Linux. If it is in his best interests to do so, we will need lots of help and coaching. Is that what this site is all about?

Thanks in advance!

Mahea
 
Old 10-29-2009, 04:22 PM   #3
EricTRA
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Hello Mahea and Welcome to LQ,

To say in easy words what Linux is all about is impossible. But you could have a look at this site which describes in plain and easy English the differences between Linux and Windows, pointing out between the lines, the pros and cons.

You are right about one thing though, if you need help, LinuxQuestions is the place to come too. I for one have had a lot of help from other users here and am trying to return the favor.

So, you and your husband should just decide what distro you want to go with, depending on what you want to do with your computer, download and burn the image to a CD and get your Linux up and running in no time.

Best of luck!

Kind regards,

Eric

Last edited by EricTRA; 10-29-2009 at 04:22 PM. Reason: Forgot to post the link, sorry.
 
Old 10-29-2009, 04:24 PM   #4
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahea01 View Post
Hi all,

I'm a newbie...an illiterate newbie! LOL

Would someone please explain the pros and cons of a Linux system as opposed to a Windows system in language that a person who is not a tech will understand?
Well, if you don't want to get into the tech stuff, the biggest pros are:
- Better security
- Better stability
- Better speed and resource usage (meaning, you won't have to upgrade your hardware as often, since Linux is faster on older computers)
- More flexibility (do as much as you want...want to run a server? You can)
- Free

The only 'con' I can see, is that there aren't Linux replacements for some of the Windows software. The biggest ones are TurboTax and Quicken. You're fairly well covered for EVERYTHING else.
Quote:
Also, I really don't understand the installation instructions. I guess I need a "How to Install and set up Linux for Dummies".
As a rule, you download the installation image for whatever Linux distribution you want, burn it to a CD or DVD, put it in your drive, and boot from it. That's it. Follow the instructions on the screen..if you can read and follow basic instructions (i.e. "What do you want your user name to be?"), you're all set.
Quote:
My husband is interested in switching his system from Windows XP to Linux. If it is in his best interests to do so, we will need lots of help and coaching. Is that what this site is all about?
Yep, it sure is. There IS a learning curve, but these days, it's fairly short.
 
Old 10-29-2009, 07:37 PM   #5
chrism01
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That link by EricTRA is good.
You don't have to download and burn if you're not sure about how to do it.
Your profile doesn't say where you are, but most (Western) countries usually have one or more companies (also maybe a Uni or ISP) that will do that for you and post it for a small fee. eg I use http://www.linuxit.com.au/.

Here's a good HOWTO for Linux http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz. Note however, that most distros come with a GUI and most things can be done from there. The cmd line is just handy if things get tricky; GUIs tend assume things are in a reasonable state to start with.

The place to find the list of distros is www.distrowatch.com; anything in the top 10 is prob worth a look.
Speaking of which, if you start with a 'LiveCD', this is a bootable CD that enables you to just run from the CD (not affecting your hdd ie no install) and just get a feel for how Linux looks/works. Obviously it won't be as fast as an hdd install.

You might be interested in this http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/...ndows_software ; don't know how up to date it is.

HTH

Welcome to LQ
 
Old 10-29-2009, 08:26 PM   #6
lugoteehalt
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Quote:
Would someone please explain the pros and cons of a Linux system as opposed to a Windows system in language that a person who is not a tech will understand?
Linux is based on Unix, an operating system designed by computing superheavies at MIT. Windows started as qdos, the 'quick dirty operating system'.

Simplest thing if you are bit nervous is to get a 'live' CD, say http://www.ubuntu.com/, there are many others, then just put it in your CD-ROM drive and restart the computer. This will give a very rudimentary version of Linux. It's a bit boring - just sort of microsoft works, a - very good - graphics program, a file manager, some multimedia stuff, and a web browser. It will invite you to install it to your hard drive. If you do so you may then easily install additional programs which will make it much more powerful and interesting than Windows.

If it was me I'd go for http://www.debian.org - this is the real article, but you'll have to do some reading from the site.
 
Old 10-29-2009, 08:42 PM   #7
murankar
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When burning you cd use the burn image to disk option in nero or roxio or else it won't work. Accounting software is handled through gnuCash, great program read the online insturction very intuitive. Also depending on your software needs linux will provide your everyday use stuff like openoffice.org, firefox, gnuPaint, Evolution(e-mail client or outlook).

for beginners I would try ubuntu, kubuntu or Xubuntu. They are the easiest to learn on and most hardware is supported right out of the box. Any issues just post them here.
 
Old 10-29-2009, 10:01 PM   #8
xaler
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Assuming
1> you have a good internet connection
2> a system that boots a USB memory stick
3> and a usb memory stick about 4GB capacity.

When you like to find a distro to try, you have an easier facility
1> download "unetbootin" program - small One-screen windows application
2> Select a Linux distribution and install it into the USB memory stick.
3> Reboot the system into the USB and your linux will come up.
4> You can try different Linux distributions like this (steps 2 & 3)
- the advantage is your hard disk is never touched.
- no need to burn the CD/DVD, just re-use the memory stick
 
Old 10-29-2009, 10:42 PM   #9
onebuck
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Hi,

Welcome to LQ & hopefully GNU/Linux!

Other members have given you some really good advice and options to start your endeavor. I would like to suggest that you might look into a 'LUG' Linux User Group in your area. You could look at 'Linux User Groups - World list ', hopefully one is near by. Most do meet at Local Colleges or University Computer Labs. Some in the U.S. meet at smaller venues like local libraries, High School or even Churches.

Hands on assistance is always best but if you get stuck there is always 'LQ'.



The above link and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
 
Old 10-30-2009, 12:46 AM   #10
murankar
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Lugs are great if one is in your area. Seems like LUG scene is dieing in my area. If you do have have one join it, usually there free to join. A popular thing they do is an install fest. Everyone brings a PC/laptop and then they all install the os from scratch with step by step instruction.
 
Old 10-30-2009, 12:54 AM   #11
murankar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xaler View Post
When you like to find a distro to try, you have an easier facility
1> download "unetbootin" program - small One-screen windows application
Just a tad overkill for a newbe. Your asking her to make bios changes, just use the live cd.

BTW Ubuntu can be ordered free of charge no shipping no nothing FREE. Just order it, takes about 2 weeks to get it since it ships from over seas. That goes for Kubuntu Xubuntu and Edubuntu(for young students).

heres the link to kubuntu order site:
https://shipit.kubuntu.org/
click on the right option the sign up for launchpad (free) and order as many as you want.
The most windows like one is Kubuntu. Looks different but the concept is the same.

Last edited by murankar; 10-30-2009 at 12:58 AM. Reason: added url
 
Old 10-30-2009, 03:24 AM   #12
resetreset
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Try Dynebolic for a Live CD. Its not a corporate distro (and you'll have to download, burn and change your CMOS youself ), but it's a one-man effort and I think that's laudable. Try and BUY a copy if you can -www.dynebolic.org .
 
Old 10-30-2009, 10:11 AM   #13
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by murankar View Post
Lugs are great if one is in your area. Seems like LUG scene is dieing in my area. If you do have have one join it, usually there free to join. A popular thing they do is an install fest. Everyone brings a PC/laptop and then they all install the os from scratch with step by step instruction.
Too bad! 'LUGs' are great as you said. Most in my area are within the academia arena. There's one that meets at a local Junior College for convenience. Most of the members are not affiliated with the JC.

We have a SuperFest (RadioHamfest/Electronics/Computers) every year and there's some activity there. I had to miss this years due to prior commitments. Next year I'll schedule better.
 
Old 10-30-2009, 11:22 AM   #14
Mahea01
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Thank you all so much for your help! I will get back to you with any further questions that I might have.

=^)
 
Old 10-30-2009, 09:56 PM   #15
cantab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahea01 View Post
Would someone please explain the pros and cons of a Linux system as opposed to a Windows system in language that a person who is not a tech will understand?
Pros:
* On Windows the 'standard' software, that most people use, is commercial and often quite expensive. On Linux the standard software, that most Linux users use, is free.

* Linux is more secure. Viruses, spyware, and other forms of malware are virtually nonexistent.

* Linux is more versatile and configurable. Not necessarily so relevant for most novices.

* Linux may perform better. (It depends on the distribution and configuration.)

* Installation of software is very easy on most Linux distributions. A 'package manager' is a one-stop shop for thousands of programs. Whenever you need software on Linux, the package manager is your first port of call.

* Updating software installed through the package manager is similarly easy. On many distributions it's automatic.

Cons:
* Linux will not run all software made for Windows. It can run some Windows software, thanks to 'Wine', a program to run Windows software on Linux. But not all.

* Linux has worse hardware support than Windows. (This is not entirely the fault of the Linux developers). You would do well to check online whether your hardware (notably printers and wifi) will work under Linux.

* Linux usually has to be installed by you. Windows is preinstalled on most computers. Linux installation isn't difficult, but it's an unfamiliar experience for most novices. One option is to use 'wubi', a Windows program that installs Linux. It avoids worrying about repartitioning and may be the safest way for a novice to install.
 
  


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