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Old 11-20-2006, 05:45 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Scotland
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.10
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Talking Just another newbie


Just another windows user thats thinking of making the switch from windows to linux. Ive toyed with the idea a good few years and been too chicken to do it. But now that ive seen the specs needed to make the switch from XP to the new windows vista, all I can say is f**k that! I have a very good machine and refuse to pay out more money for more hardware to run vista when I know linux could make very good use of the hardware I have at the moment.

So I guess im here because, well if you wanna know info about something, where better than the horses mouth. so I hope you folks can all help me out here a little, and oh yeah, hi!!
Old 11-20-2006, 05:48 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2006
Location: Canada
Distribution: Gentoo
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Not sure what you are asking ... but I would highly suggest booting your system with a LiveCD (such as Knoppix) and see if all your hardware is detected and working.

Note anything that does not ... and search the forum.
Old 11-20-2006, 05:59 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Scotland
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.10
Posts: 12

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Thx dxqcanada. firstly, where do I get this 'knoppix', and secondly, I guess what im asking is, how difficult is the transition, is it difficult to set up, is it VERY different from windows etc, all the usual 'im a scared ' questions.

Ive neen using windows since '95' so im a complete novice to other OS out there.

Old 11-20-2006, 06:10 PM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: UK
Distribution: Kubuntu 12.10 (using awesome wm though)
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Yeah, LiveCDs are a good way to get a feel for a distro. That's something which takes a little getting used to - Linux is really just the core of the OS - the kernel. A "distro" or distribution is a collection of some version of the Linux kernel, and a big collection of everything else which makes a working computer system. This includes all the libraries (like dlls in windows), config tools, programs to control how the system boots up, starts and stops services etc etc...

In the Windows world, these components just come from Microsoft as part of the OS, but in the Free Software world they're mostly separate projects. Now, you could try to build up your own system from these components, but it's quite a job. Hence the existence of the distros. These are Linux setups - the distro maintainer (sometimes a business, sometimes just some nerd in his/her bedroom), gathers version of components which work well together, bundles them up and, umm, distributes the result, usually in the form of an installer CD.

There are a LOT of distros. Since the distro maker decides what gets put in and what gets left out, there are many specialised distros for specific purposes such as firewalls, network connected storage, penetration testing and forensics, TiVo-style media boxen, demos of new programs etc etc etc... The list is large. For general purpose desktop usage, the big names are (and I will miss some out here and annoy their fans): Red Hat (the "community" (free) version being called Fedora), Ubuntu, Debian, Slackware, PCLinuxOS, Mandriva, Gentoo, Mepis, Xandros, Linspire. etc etc etc.

A LiveCD is a special type of CD which will run the OS from the CD without having to touch the hard disk. There are limitations to this of course - load speed is limited by the CDROM, which is not usually very fast, space is limited to the size of a CD (or DVD), you can't save files permanently (not strictly true, but humour me for now).

There are quite a few LiveCDs out there. Some of them, such as the Ubuntu LiveCD, double up as an installer, so you can play with the LiveCD and if you decide to install, you just select some thing from inside the LiveCD environment, and install from there. They're pretty cool, but just remember to take the limitations into account.

So... I suggest the first step should be to get a bunch of LiveCDs (you can download CD images and burn them to disk, or run them in vmware of similar). To find out details about the various distros, check out DistroWatch.
Old 11-20-2006, 06:10 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Scotland
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.10
Posts: 12

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Its cool, I googled knoppix and im currently downloading the iso files for it. I'll get back to you when Ive done it
Old 11-20-2006, 06:10 PM   #6
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: cambridge UK
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I have been using linux for about a year now & I use a distro called simply mepis. When i first came to linux i was getting very frustraited with so many distro's that all seem to lack something and made using the pc awkward especially on the web.
I would suggest you download Mepis & try it first. Its a live & install cd you can test on your PC then Once your happy with it you can install it via an install icon on the desktop. The install proceedure is easy as well.

go here for their website:
Old 11-20-2006, 06:14 PM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Scotland
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.10
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Thx guys!
Old 03-13-2007, 12:48 AM   #8
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2007
Location: LA
Distribution: Ububtu
Posts: 4

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I'm with you...


I've been running Fedora for a bit. Had it dual-booting on a desktop.

Here's a sweet & simple solution:

goto Download vmware server. It's a bit of fiddling but s/g any somewhat experienced windows user can learn.

Download the ISO of your choice. I've always been a big fan of Fedora but I've spent $40 bucks on an Ubuntu book so I'm checking that out.

Burn the ISO to a CD, you can use nero if you've got it.

Go to VMware player, with the CD in the drive and hit the play button and there you go.

If you don't like it, delete the VM. But both Windows and Linux will live happily together. You can also just piggyback your existing network connection so it makes it very simple.

In my VERY humble opinion, that's the ideal way to see it in action.

Good luck.


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