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ok this could take some time to explain so please bear with me and let me start by thanking you for reading this post
i have 3 pc`s and 1 laptop (2 laptops on a monday)
the pc i want to change to linux is a server pc it handles the downloads (bit torrent game demos map packs etc currently thats through a programme called utorrent) and every monday night i host a battlefield 1942 server for lan games across the network.
its specs are AMd athlon xp 2000+ (at 1.67ghz) 512megs of ram a built on mother board sound video and network (according to windows xp, network = realtek RTL8139/810x family fast ethernet nic/ display adapter = s3 graphics prosavageddr compaq/ sound =well windows never liked it so i have no idea but it maters not for this machine) 2 hard drives a 40gb and a 200gb both ntfs file system
its connected my network through a hub and a router (router is the bt wireles network 1250)
i dont want to duel boot for one thing theres no flopy drive in the pc in fact non of my pc`s have one and it will only be getting a cd drive for the purpose of installing linux if i go ahead with it and for two all the guides i have read on dual booting are daunting to say the lest
now hopefully thats the info you need to help me with the following questions
1) with windows you can upgrade an existing instalation to what ever version can i do that with a linux that can handle windows apps for example suse (the one with wine(i have googled before asking here on all these questions but found nothing of help in the past 3 hours)
2) can i access my linux hard drives and vice a versa through the network? for example if linux pc downloads demo.exe for me can second pc browse the network and copy it ? and can the linux pc access the second pc and copy map files from that to itself? (for the time being all other pcs will be on windows thats 2 on windows xp and the laptop only came with home edition)
3)is thier a cpu usage to using linux to hosting the lan server (i`d be using the linux verson of bf1942 server) (at moment we get 120% cpu usage at times some times more due to the amount of bots we use
4) is it true that thier are no viruses that can get linux and thierfore no need to download a virus killer for it?
5) can someone sugest a linux alternative to utorrent(preferably as similier as posible for example i love the feature that picks up torrent files in a folder automaticly,example my server pc has torrents folder shared if i see a torrent download i merly drop a torrent file into that folder from whatever pc im using and utorrent adds it to its queue)
6) i use real VNC to control my server pc from any of my computers it allows me to use my mouse and keyboard as though i was sitting at the desk is thier a linux equivilent that would allow me at a windows pc use the server like that?
7) a lot of the pages of linux i have seen on my google hunt have seemed to suggest a less then user friendly enviroment an example is to install a application you dont just click the setup file you type a huge array of commands in, is this right? is it simplier then it looks? or did my searches only show old versions of linux and the method is better now)
8)is suse10 the latest version of linux (there was so many different version about and its hard to see which is which it seemed like ,to me anyway, there was multiple linux`s each with multiple versions, i figured it was like when mozilla changed its name to fire fox but thier seems too many names out thier for that so do the names represent something other then thier version ?
im sorry for so many questions i have been a windows user for many many years so linux is a little daunting but if its gonna be better for the server pc and the lan games then i want to risk trying it
Re Question 1: I have found linux to be less "upgradable" than windows, mainly due to wanting to avoid the shared program library conflicts that windows is so famous for. Sure, you can upgrade any version of windows to any other version. However, your upgraded windows will simply not boot. With linux, instead of getting an unbootable upgraded linux, you will be told in advance that you can't do the upgrade. Further, you don't need to upgrade linux like you do windows. You get a good version of linux to start out with and you can run with that version almost indefinitely. Regarding running windows programs under linux, you want to use a virtualization program (i.e. a program that will run the windows operating system as a guest under linux) of which there are a few: vmware (http://www.vmware.com); parallels (http://www.parallels.com); and win4lin (http://www.win4lin.com). My understanding is that wine is very clumsy and limited.
Re Question 4: There most certainly are viruses and other exploits that have been targeted for linux. Consequently, you most certainly do want an antivirus program for linux and you also want an antivirus program for the windows that you will be running under linux. I have found f-prot (http://www.f-prot.com) to be a good choice. Further, if you learn how to recompile your linux kernel, you will be able to fix vulnerabilities in the kernel as they are found rather than install patches after the fact. This is something that you simply can't do in windows since you are not given the source code for windows.
Re Question 7: You want to get a version of linux that uses RPM packages. That will give you access to many software packages that can be installed turnkey.
1) I don't know much about wine, so I'll leave that alone. As for upgrading the distro (i.e. similar to upgrade from win98 to win2k), some distros are better at it than others. Debian based seem to have the least problems IMHO. Other linux apps similar upgrade very well on Debian based systems, not sure about others.
2) Yes. You'll have to setup sharing via SAMBA, which will work much in the same way Network Neighborhood works (although the setup is a little more difficult).
3) Linux will probably use less CPU than windows by default, but the real advantage is that you can kill many services you don't need (including the GUI if no one is playing on this machine and the game doesn't require the server to have one) while you play your game. That'll lessen the CPU load. Additionally, you can always upgrade RAM...
4) Mostly true. I feel I read about one once before, but generally this is not a problem on linux. As for virus killer, if you're sharing files with windows boxes, it would be advantageous to use one (ClamAV or F-Prot) to scan your hard drive every week so you don't infect the windows machines. Linux boxes can be transmitters, even if they don't get affected themselves...
5) Don't know what utorrent's interface looks like, but there's tons of torrent clients available for linux.
6) Yes, use vncserver on the linux server and TightVNC (or any other VNC client) on the windows machine. Again, this will probably be slightly more involved than setting up on windows.
7) there are many graphical tools to install programs. For the most part they involve selecting a repository (database of programs), then once that's setup, you just check a box and hit install. There may be cases (such as with your bf1942 server) in which you have to do something more exotic. Since you're specifically interested in this bf1942 server, you might look at their website and see if they pre-made packages for any specific linux distributions (Fedora, Debian, Slackware, Ubuntu, etc) and then decide to go with that one.
8) The different names correspond to different distributions (collection of packages). Linux is a bit different from windows in that all the distributions share the same kernel (core OS) but each then adds whatever programs and configuration tools to make it different (usually to fit some special goal of the distribution). Each distribution therefore has evolved through many versions. For example, the Debian distribution was created to be the most stable distro available so it typically uses slightly older packages that are bug free. You sacrifice "cutting-edge" packages in order to have a more stable OS. Others like Fedora or Ubuntu are more interested in having all the newest stuff. Additionally, Debian only includes true free software (free as in freedom and free as in beer) where other distributions will include proprietary software like Adobe Acrobat reader and Nvidia drivers. Not that you can't install these on any linux distro, it's just that by default they are excluded from a distribution. So for Suse, the latest version is 10, and 9.3 is a couple of years old (much like windows 2000 is a few years old and the current newest windows is XP). Debian current is 3.1 (Sarge) and old is 3.0 (Woody).
Hope that answered some of your questions. And even though you think dual boot is daunting, but if you just slap a second drive in, you can make it so that Linux never touches windows and if you need it it's there. Although many experts will recommend not dual booting so that you have to jump in head first, I'm more of a slow adopter. Went from using windows all the time, to linux about half time, to linux all the time. The only time I boot up my old Windows box is to play some old games since I've never taken the time to figure out wine.
Don't be scared, just cautious. I haven't found networking to be all that challenging. There are lots of good reasources to learn whatever you need. Just understand that you WILL have things to learn. Linux isn't Windows. Know that going in.
As far as upgrades go, distros like SuSE are probably among the hardest to upgrade properly, where the Debian based are among the easiest.
the upgrade thing well what i want to know is if i put the linux disc in and install it will i lose the data on c drive or will linux incorperate it
The SuSE installler, if I recall correctly (it's been a while, has tools to help you repartition your drive to make room for SuSE. Just pay attention to what you're doing and the options presented. I'd suggest that you defrag your Windows before doing the installation, as well as back up any important files just in case you make a mistake during the partitioning.
@mrgreaper: linux and windows need other filesystems. So where windows can use ntfs linux needs ext3 or another linux-specific filesystem. This is one of the reasons why linux and windows can't exist on the same partition. The safest option is to use an extra hard-disk for linux and leave your windows disk as it is.
Suse per default will detect your windows and will make it's own partition next the the windows partition and leave your windows alone. The only thing which needs some tweaking now and then is the bootmenu (GRUB per default). Some users need to edit the grub configuration in order to be able to boot to windows.
Before you start: backup all you files and such. That's always a good idea, even when just running windows.
@masonm: i think upgrading is a breeze when using package-managers like YasT.
im gonna take the plunge and risk linux mate droping suse 10 off in about half hour (5DISCS!!!!!!) im hoping to tell it to install to my second hd (which has stuff on but 40 gigs of freespace in which suse can make a partition if she so choses (though i shant install till i get home from work 1230 am tonight GMT depending on the help u guys give me which has been superb)
1 last and very important question this server pc is my download pc and running linux i expect it to carry on this job (i have been told azurus runs on linux though i renember it to be a memory hog that was when it was on windows maybe things are different on linux) but could it write to a ntfs drive?
say i have
hd 1 : c windows drive (ntfs formated partition)
hd 2 : c: linux (ext3 formated partition)
d: "thepit"(the ntfs formated partition)
could azuras (or any linux programe) running in linux`s c:\programme files\ folder save data to d: thepit
from what i understand the answer is no but im hoping im wrong if i am not wrong and it cant write to "thepit" are thiere any programmes that could convert the ntfs dile system to one that linux can handle?
also i would like clarification on one thing as well (sorry but this is a big step and i want to go through it with my eyes wide open)
From what i understand from above if i install linux on my server pc then the programme shamba will intergrate it into my network and i will be able to use the servers harddrives from any pc on my network just like i could on windows so for example in linux on server pc i could share the linux c drive with "allow network users to change my files"(i know the option will be labled different but assume it will be self explanatory) then on my main pc i can download the linux server version of bf1942 and copy the (i believe its a tar file (not sure what a tar is figure its like a zip or rar) file across form main pc to server pc through my network page of my main pc. is that accurate or are thier extra steps?
sorry thought of aother question my router has a very good hardware fire wall and all the ports i need open are done through that is linux going to block ports as well if so how do i tell linux to back off and let my router deal with it?
oh man so many questions i have never felt computer illiturate in my life (spelling illiturate yes thats a dyslxic thing but computer never) that is untill today, linux seems like this big mystery and from what i have read if i crack that mystery my lan games will be so much better off with the linux server
sorry one other question in advance if i decide i really like linux and install it on the other pc`s will this mean i cant play any of the latest games? (that seems to be the theory i gather from googling etc but i may be wrong)
The main reason that Linux will seem so overwhealming at first is that you get about 10 times as much operating system as you used to have. For example, every copy of Windows I ever saw comes with about 4 games (Freecell, Hearts, Minesweeper, and Solitaire). Compare the 15 or so games in each menu of KDE and Gnome. Windows has one desktop and that's all you get. Linux distros typically come with about 5. In Windows, you have to buy programming language development tools. Even the poorest Linux distribution will typically be set up to use at least five programming languages, and if you install everything off of a major distro, you'll end up with something like 10 or 15. And so on...
The factors in play: (1)it's all free/open source, so there's a ton of it to be had, (2) Linux is all about choice, choice, and more choice - you can putter around for years in it and still discover new things every day, (3) Linux inherits the Unix mindset of software design: instead of huge programs that try to do everything and halfway succeed, the focus is on hundreds of tiny programs that do each job remarkably well.
The key to it all is to prepare yourself for a LOT of reading! A typical install of Linux will come with man-pages, info-files, docbook system, and all the HTML files in /usr/doc. Here's my guide to Linux docs. That was the main thing that impressed me when I first started Linux, is that it came with the equivalent of an encyclopedia's worth of reading - and unlike some other systems, Linux documentation is actually *helpful*!
Last but not least, as a special request, you can do yourself a favor by spending some quality time in the console. You sound like a power-user extraordinaire, so you'll really benefit from experience with all the power tools available from the console/terminal. I still take a vacation from my desktop every now and then, as I find that many of the activities I most enjoy (web browsing, reading, programming, some games) are accessible from the console and everything runs faster there anyway.
By the way, there's hundreds of distros out there, and they each have their unique flavor. Don't be shy about shopping around if SuSE doesn't work out for you. I have about 50 free/open source systems burned to disk (some I grab just for the review - I gotta put something in that blog!), mostly live CDs, and I routinely boot into different ones depending on what's on them that I need, rather than trying to install it all on one system.
reading ntfs drives is no problem under linux. Writting works at your own risk and is not advisable. You could loose data. This is because Microsoft's file system is not open and linux has to "guess" how it works. If it guess right, no problem. If it guess wrong, you could be in big troubles. Bad reading is not that bad, but bad writting can trigger data loss. I've not experienced data loss yet, but I do it very rarely and it doesn't mean I won't have.
So you know. Better use ext3 or FAT32, which is better tested and works both for windows and linux with no problem since years.
BTW you may not know, but there are linux distros that you can run for trying without installing. It doesn't touch the hard drive, but has full linux operability (at the cost of speed). You can download knoppix, which is the most famous live CD distro (so we call them).
download here : www.knoppix.net/get.php
A lot of people started with that. This is IMO by far the best way to migrate smoothly to linux.
1/ Upgrading is a piece of cake with ubuntu (a different newbie-friendly linux than suze). Don't worry about that. When you will have to upgrade, you will find that it goes far smoother than windows "upgrade".
2/ Yes, you can, with the tool called samba.
3/ 120%? Is that possible? Anyway, linux uses more or less CPU than windows, depending on what you install. The lighter distro you use, the less CPU is consumes.
4/ It's true. The nature of linux makes it very hard for virii to spread. I haven't seen any linux virus since I use it (for 5 years). Virii are no issue on linux.
7/ It is different, but not less user friendly. In the linux world, all applications are concentrated in a single place. You don't have to look for one on the internet. You go to the application manager, choose an application, click install and it installs.
8/ Linux is free. There are several different "brands" of linux. Compare that to the PC. You have DELL, IBM, HP and so on. Suze is like say HP and Ubuntu like say DELL. They are all linux but different with different component, but mostly compatible (although one has some features that the other lacks and the other way around, just like the DELL has a DVD burner while the HP has a bigger screen). You have to choose a linux flavor that suits your needs or you can build one from scratch just like you can build a PC, but you have to know about the components.
Look at here in order to choose one that suits your needs : www.distrowatch.com
well i have the suse discs now though im not sure of there legality, im told thier legal and that is how linux works but hey i know nothing, assuming these are legal whch would be better for me ubuntu or susu 10 ? (im now thinking dual booting is an idea so if one does that automaticly then it gets my vote )
it is a matter of taste. Both are newbie friendly and both are legal. use distrowatch to see the screenshots and reviews. This can help you to make a choice, but I can't do it for you. Maybe use a dice.
I do a windows/suse dual boot, and am loving it (linux that is)
I don't run my windows that much anymore but it's nice to keep it around for a while.
I'd say suse is more newbie-friendly since the ubuntu i tried (with default options) wanted to delete my windows whereas suse leaves it alone (with the default settings).
4/ It's true. The nature of linux makes it very hard for virii to spread. I haven't seen any linux virus since I use it (for 5 years). Virii are no issue on linux.
Nonetheless, there have been holes found and exploits created to take advantage of those holes, the most famous being perhaps the do_brk() and do_remap() exploits. My understanding is that all of them have been fixed in the latest versions of linux. None of those exploits were trivial, considering that it took weeks of effort on the part of a research lab (iSec Security Research) to create the exploit. But then that same research lab turned around and published the exploits with c source code and everything for every cracker and its brother to use. Consequently, you do want to have and use antivirus software on your linux system. Further, with linux you have another option that you never had with windows, namely the ability to fix the source code and recompile the kernel. Being able to do that far and away beats all of the patch upon patch install that you have to do with windows. For example, all of the above exploits were fixed by adding one or at most a few simple test statements to the source code for each of the exploitable functions.