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Old 02-11-2013, 10:06 AM   #1
Heliosphere
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Student taking the Linux Plunge!


Hello there. I am a on-and-off Linux user at the moment who has decided to take the final step in having a dominantly Linux-based computer system.

Since I am a student, there are certain pieces of software I cannot live without, such as the Microsoft Office package.

I am going to start with Debian Linux, because it is not as beginner-based as other distributions such as Ubuntu and Mint that it hides certain aspects of the operating system that hinders my ability to understand the complexities of a Linux based operating system, while not being so hard to fiddle about with while learning that it hinders my ability to do my studies when I want to such as Slackware. Also Debian seems to be quite good with drivers since I am installing on a laptop. If anyone has any other suggestions here I would also appreciate it.

The main usage of my system is to use the computer for normal personal uses and studying for my computer science course.

In basic, I am writing this post to ask a couple of questions:
  • Which versions of Microsoft Office are most compatible with Wine? (Office 2007 onwards)
  • Which other Linux distributions except Debian match the criteria of a distro I have described above?
  • I also wish to know how easy it is to configure your HDMI port on a laptop which generally has easy-to-find drivers to work automatically on plugin.
  • I will be installing a Windows 8 Partition. My computer does not use secure boot of UEFI. Should I generally install Windows before I install Debian to save faffing about?

Any replies will be much appreciated.

Last edited by Heliosphere; 02-11-2013 at 10:07 AM.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 10:14 AM   #2
acid_kewpie
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Don't run office. If the very first concern on running Linux is using windows software with Wine, don't do any of it. Wine is only so useful. There are perfectly good office suites like LibreOffice. If you need MS Office, boot to windows. That said Wine does often work reasonably, crossover office works better still for a fee. As a student, I didn't need MS Office at all.

- they all fit your description. All the major ones. Mint is a better starting point I think. Although it "hides" things, that's only if you let it. You can go poking the exact same things as on debian if you feel like it.

- easy enough, xorg-x11 handles hdmi connectivity well these days.

- tbh I don't know about win8 but traditionally, you'd install Windows first as Linux will recognise the windows install and most installers would add it to the grub bootloader, whereas windows wouldn't recognise linux.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 11:58 AM   #3
John VV
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LibreOffice or Openoffice
have NO ( as in zero) issues saving to the MS Office 2010 ".docx "
there are a few issues with "Microsoft Visual BASIC macros" in excel being supported in LibreOffice


Libreoffice will open almost every and all MS Office formats just fine
sometimes there might be a few "glitches" if the "MS Windows Office Document" is using proprietary MS code and formatting .

like hard codded links to MS's internet explorer
but those normally get redirected to your "DEFAULT" web browser

Quote:
Which versions of Microsoft Office are most compatible with Wine? (Office 2007 onwards)
NONE -- install MS office 2010 /2013 on windows 7 !!!

Quote:
Which other Linux distributions except Debian match the criteria of a distro I have described above?
look at OpenSUSE 12.2
and on a laptop look at using a lighter weight Desktop like xfce
SUSE uses KDE4 as default and depending on the laptops specs ??? might or might not run well

Quote:
I also wish to know how easy it is to configure your HDMI port on a laptop which generally has easy-to-find drivers to work automatically on plugin.
most "non- light" distros ( Debian is a light distro -- as in YOU have to install most things after install)

most will auto set up things
OpenSUSE 12.2 is very good at this
( but a "customized" install is needed to make a root account with a DIFFERENT root password than your NORMAL users )


Quote:
I will be installing a Windows 8 Partition. My computer does not use secure boot of UEFI. Should I generally install Windows before I install Debian to save faffing about?
that might be "fun" ( as is hair ripping out "fun", and throwing the laptop against the wall in frustration "fun" )

fedora 18 with the shim loader ?? MIGHT??????
 
Old 02-11-2013, 12:38 PM   #4
DavidMcCann
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Debian can be a bit fiddly. I'd recommend Fuduntu or Mint. They enable you to encrypt /home during installation and you really don't want to run the risk of someone getting at your personal data if you laptop is stolen. Fuduntu also claims to be good at power saving on a laptop, although I haven't tested that. It is a great distro, though, and has better configuration tools than Mint (taken from Red Hat).
 
Old 02-11-2013, 01:02 PM   #5
John VV
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For dual booting with Win 8 you should have a look at
"Linux Foundation's Secure Boot bootloader now available"
http://www.h-online.com/open/news/it...e-1801527.html

--- and the developers blog --
http://blog.hansenpartnership.com/li...stem-released/
 
Old 02-11-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
Heliosphere
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Thank you everyone for your replies. I'll quickly go into a little more depth about myself and my system.

My system is a few years old Sony VAIO E series, it's no Ferrari, but it's no slug either.
Intel Core i3 2.2GHz
4GB RAM
AMD Radeon HD 5470
500GB Hard Drive

My general experience with Linux is not bad, I understand stuff like how the file system is laid out and manage to use the terminal for simple tasks such as installing software etc. While I don't want to be fiddling with a system constantly to get simple tasks done, I really do want a distro which will also help me get a better understanding of a Linux based OS.

I don't seem to find any issues with Debian so far (Been using inside VirtualBox), but I'm just a little skeptical if it will become a pain once I start using it as a main OS.

I'm generally more of a fan of debian-based distros because I've experienced more on them than others, but I am willing to try other distros. Was thinking of Fedora 18, but I've heard some bad press from that release. I also generally prefer GNOME-Based WM's over KDE.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 04:19 PM   #7
John VV
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Quote:
Was thinking of Fedora 18, but I've heard some bad press from that release
i would not say "bad press" but

Gnome3 -- ANY new distro that uses gnome3
-- you ether love it or hate it with a passion
like the " not to be named 'metro' desktop" on win 8
some LOVE it
Some HATE it

it is however a very fast passed "Research and Development " distro ,
that needs to be reinstalled every 6 months when the new version comes out .
It dose require a lot of work on the users part . It is not a "install and forget about it" Operating System .
 
Old 02-11-2013, 04:30 PM   #8
Heliosphere
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Thank you for the reply.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John VV View Post
Gnome3 -- ANY new distro that uses gnome3
-- you ether love it or hate it with a passion
like the " not to be named 'metro' desktop" on win 8
some LOVE it
Some HATE it
Hah. The sad thing about Windows 8 I've found is it's actually one of the more stable Windows OS's I've used but the start screen irritates me quite a lot. It is the only Windows OS I have the licence key for so I'm going to have to stick with it for dual-boot when it is (Hopefully as little as possible) required. I don't really have any bad experiences with GNOME 3, but I don't really have that many in total anyway. As far as I understand most distros have their own twist on GNOME 3 right? (Generalisation based on Ubuntu and Fedora) Overall I preferred GNOME 2.x from experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John VV View Post
it is however a very fast passed "Research and Development " distro ,
that needs to be reinstalled every 6 months when the new version comes out .
It dose require a lot of work on the users part . It is not a "install and forget about it" Operating System .
That does sound a little irritating. When it comes to stability I'm not that fussed as long as it is not terribly unstable. I know though I wouldn't like to be reinstalling a distribution every 6 months or so.
 
Old 02-12-2013, 12:17 AM   #9
chrism01
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FWIW, I've been using Centos at home for years (free rebuild of RHEL). You could try that. Very long support; same as RHEL http://www.redhat.com/security/updates/errata/
Comes with LibreOffice 3 on Centos 6.3 (latest).
Works for me
 
Old 02-12-2013, 11:13 AM   #10
DavidMcCann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heliosphere View Post
Overall I preferred GNOME 2.x from experience.
Fuduntu is still using it (as is CentOS) while they decide where to go next.
Quote:
That does sound a little irritating. When it comes to stability I'm not that fussed as long as it is not terribly unstable. I know though I wouldn't like to be reinstalling a distribution every 6 months or so.
Fuduntu's rolling release policy means never re-installing. As for CentOS, you can see that I use it. But the repository is small: I've got extra stuff from EPEL, RPMforge, atrpms, naulinux-school, Fedora, and Mandriva!
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 02-12-2013, 05:01 PM   #11
Heliosphere
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Thank you very much for the replies. I've been using Mint for a day or so, and although it is a worthy distribution (This will sound silly), it just doesn't feel... Linuxy enough.

Where I mentioned I don't want fiddling about with Linux to interfere with my studies, I do mean that in the way of something like Slackware, where it has no package manager and abysmal out-of-the-box driver support. (Not knocking it, it's been a brilliant learning tool for me in the past)

After much looking at suggestions here I'm starting to consider CentOS, or trying a proper install of Debian.

Would you say CentOS and Debian are similar in difficulty level?

Edit: Just decided to try CentOS live and it's a nice tidy, nippy OS. I like the simplicity of this just like I liked it on Debian. Think I'm going to wipe Mint and give this a whirl.

Last edited by Heliosphere; 02-12-2013 at 06:34 PM.
 
Old 02-12-2013, 08:04 PM   #12
chrism01
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Lots of free-to-read manuals/books here www.linuxtopia.org
Enjoy
 
Old 02-13-2013, 11:07 AM   #13
Heliosphere
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What I'll probably do eventually is use my Linux distro of choice without any dual-boot lark, and use XP or 7 in a VM for MS Office.

Just a another couple of questions, do you think Windows 7 will be much more resource-intensive than XP when in a VM?

Would a toned-down Windows 7 or XP be better for a few essential applications I may need in a VM? I'm planning on keeping the VM's installed software to bare minimum, and disabling any network access.
 
Old 02-13-2013, 06:34 PM   #14
chrism01
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Unless you're doing some fairly extreme stuff, OO/Libreoffice should be fine. I haven't used MSoffice in years.
In case you wondered, yes, it CAN read/write MS office files.
 
Old 02-13-2013, 11:07 PM   #15
EDDY1
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Quote:
I don't seem to find any issues with Debian so far (Been using inside VirtualBox), but I'm just a little skeptical if it will become a pain once I start using it as a main OS.

I'm generally more of a fan of debian-based distros because I've experienced more on them than others, but I am willing to try other distros. Was thinking of Fedora 18, but I've heard some bad press from that release. I also generally prefer GNOME-Based WM's over KDE.
If you're comfortable with debian I would stick with it, although debian squeeze is getting ready to become the next stable with gnome 3. Me personally I just upgraded my main os from squeeze to wheezy without any problems.
I did the upgrade only to see how it would go as I already had wheezy on an external drive. Having it that way allowed me to get used to gnome3. Gnome3 to me was just different, but not bad.
 
  


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