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I have many questions about linux as I come from the "windows" world. I have a number of applications that are currently being used in windows. I need to still be able to use the applications for business reasons (e.g. Quickbooks pro, audacity, windows media player, windows moviemaker, etc.) Also another question: Will my printer and scanner work with linux? Will I still be able to download pictures and videos from my camera? Will I still be able to download sound recordings from my audio recorder?
I read that Wine is a solution to keeping my windows applications.
Is this a good solution? Will I still be able to keep Linux's famous stability and speed with Wine?
Personally - I use "VM"'s for the Windoze stuff I "must have". I use VirtualBox - free in non-commercial use. It's fast, allows all sorts of O/S's and I even use it to "test upgrades" of my own Linux box.
Wine is (IMHO) "only OK" for some things. Checkout the winehq appdb.
Audacity has a very good version native to linux. But, maybe you have other VST's etc that are "tied in to windoze" - hence you can't change to the Linux one? (A lot of VST's run fine BTW)
I create tiny little Windows VM's with just the one app I want... well, ok - sometimes I have a couple in the same VM.
WMP - VLC is much, much better - and runs on windows and doesn't need all those codecs that you can never find.
Movie making stuff - much more in Linux - better, easier (cheaper) etc. I use Kino.
Download pics from camera - yep UNLESS camera is model &%$%$## and only works with windows 82 or something weird.
To plagiarise another popular saying "Once you've had Linux - you'll never go back".
But, remember - something that does a bucketload more than MS - requires a bit of learning too. Not everyone was born knowing how to use a window'ed environment.
To say it the simple way: If you have Windows programs that you have to rely on for your work then use them on Windows. There is no point in switching to Linux when you can't get your work done. May be a VM is the solution, but I wouldn't trust on Wine when it gets to relying on it for earning your money.
To your other questions: The simplest way to get an answer would be to boot from a live-CD and try it.
Thanks for your replies. Both of you don't seem to think much of Wine, which is interesting. Another question: Some websites demand that I use Internet explorer. there's just no way around this. According to what I have read, Linux doesn't work with IE. Is this correct? Is Virtual Box one of those "partition" programs which allows you to switch between operating systems?
I don't see my printer listed in cups. Is there no hope for this printer to be used in linux?
2. if you must use a specific MS prog,
2a. dual boot
2d. separate computer
Ultimately your call. Many people start with eg dual boot then gradually move over to Linux. If you dual boot you can read/write your MS partition(s) from Linux to share data.
To move across apps you'll prob need to data export/import
PS re printers list etc; as above, get a LiveCd and just try it. List may may not be definitive
A lot of people seem to downplay wine for some reason, and often recommend a VM instead. But you really should try to understand exactly how wine works, its real strengths and weaknesses, in order to determine if it's a suitable solution for your needs.
Wine is essentially a translation layer for Win<-->Unix API calls. It provides your programs with a simulated Windows environment, which theoretically allows them to run at near-native level. Other than a few environmental settings and a small wineserver that does the active translation work, your Windows program runs directly on your system, just like the native Linux programs running next to it.
The main "weakness" of wine is that whether any individual program will run, and how well it runs, depends entirely on what system calls it makes, and whether the wine developers have yet managed to accurately duplicate those functions. This means that some programs will run perfectly, some partially (glitches, broken functions, occasional crashes), and some not at all. A small number of programs even manage to give better-than-native performance due to better-written code. In general, older and simpler programs will run better than new releases or large program suites with tons of flashy bells & whistles.
Wine also supports the use of native Windows .dlls, BTW, for times when the built-in ones aren't up to the task. It's also THE solution for games, as VM's generally don't have the necessary speed and direct-rendering support.
The main focus of wine is thus to (hopefully) allow you to run a small number of programs that don't have reasonable Linux equivalents, ones that may be "show-stoppers" for migration to a Linux OS. It's not meant to be a catch-all replacement for a Windows system.
OTOH, if you really need full Windows compatibility, then yes, a VM is probably better, as you're really running Windows. But of course this means you're also giving yourself the extra overhead of the VM/emulator and a whole second operating system, just to run one program. Not to mention that you also need a Windows license to run it.
So I suggest giving wine a try first. Check the wine appDB to see what experience others have had with those programs, and try installing and running them yourself. You might also consider the codeweavers paid support version, which focuses more on getting business software to run.
My advice, for what it's worth, would be
1. Install Linux alongside Windows — double booting. Since you are a professional user, get something stable that has a reasonable support period: Mepis, Vector SOHO, or CentOS
2. Try the Linux equivalents to the programs you use and see if they do the job
3. If you still end up using Windows nearly all the time stick with it. If you like both, use both, but try to us Linux for the internet and mail: less chance of getting malware.
To find out about your hardware, just search "linux canon lide 50" or whatever, and see if you turn up any tales of woe or helpful hints.
Websites may occasionally say that they should be used with IE, but it's years since I've seen one that can only be used with it. A recent survey showed that in Europe there are actually more using Firefox than IE.
I didn't see the scanner/camera etc peripheral question addressed yet, so here's my two cents:
Most of those things are USB and USB support in wine is primitive at this point. I wouldn't count on using a proprietary Windows program to access your devices. iTunes, for example, has a spotty record. The good news is that a lot of devices are supported by Linux native programs.
I also wouldn't count on running the latest Windows tax software on Wine. Such things are too frequently "updated" to get good support. I agree with the advice previously given; however keep in mind that the VM route with Win 7 has been an issue in the past as well....
Last edited by mostlyharmless; 12-15-2011 at 11:16 AM.
A lot of people seem to downplay wine for some reason,
I know how Wine works, I fiddled a long time with it. It is just so that I would recommend to anyone that has to use a Windows application professionally, to earn the money for living to not rely on Wine, but should better use Windows (dual boot or VM). I have often seen that a program runs fine with Wine and with the next update it didn't run at all anymore. Fiddling with something like that is a no-go in professional environments.
It's also THE solution for games
I disagree. Been there, tried that. There are still to many games that don't run flawless or are not supported at all. I ended up with installing Windows for gaming only. If you want to play Windows games a native Windows install (no VM) is THE solution.