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Old 11-20-2006, 11:28 PM   #1
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Migrating from Windows to Linux

We are migrating from Windows to Linux with 50 user facility. We are trying mandrake linux 10.1 official version. Would appreciate your guidance in the following matters :

Whether Mandriva are latest updates of Mandrake?
Mandrake allows to read window partitions but files are not writable? how can we use files in 'd of windows' writable?
There are problems in File print and sharing. What is the best guide for using this function.
Which is the best way to import outlook express mails into linux system.
SQL server : Whether MYSQL is similar to Window SQL? and where a comparison between the two is available. If our staff works in MYSQL and sends output to a client who has Window SQL, whether he will be able to use it.

Regarding open office, if I have worked on some formula in Window excel file, open it in open office as excel, do some changes and then again save as Window excel file and send to a client, whether the receipient will see the formula values or the figures (data) only without formula.
Old 11-21-2006, 01:04 AM   #2
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Mandrake 10.1 was pretty good for its day, but its day was a couple of years ago.

I would suggest that, if you want that distro, you go with the latest and greatest, which is Mandriva 2007. You should find that it goes in without trouble as a clean install, and you should have very little trouble making it work with Windows. Also, with Mandriva 2007, you will have the option of writing Windows NTFS partitions. With Mandrake 10.1, that is problematic. In any case, if you are migrating, you should just migrate. Move the data off of the NTFS partitions and onto native Linux partitions, then delete the NTFS partitions. If you still need Windows machines to have access to the data, there is an add-on ext2 filesystem for Windows. You have to purchase it, but it isn't expensive and it works well.

The automatic config tool for samba (which provides you with Windows networking) can get it wrong in Mandriva 2007, so be careful there. Otherwise, it should all just work.

Mysql is an sql. Functionally similar to Microsoft SQL, but with a very different interface. Whether it is the best choice for you just depends. You might prefer postgresql.

I'm not sure how to import Outlook Express files; I am sure it can be done, but you'll have to google for it.

Open Office provides pretty complete file compatibility with Microsoft Office. It reads and writes just about everything. Macros, however, do not translate. I won't promise you that all formulas will come over, but most do. You do have to be careful about writing out a complicated excel sheet from OO; particularly if there are graphs present, you can get some unexpected results. I do it myself, but I usually check it in Excel before shipping it.

It would be worth your while to obtain VMWare Workstation and deploy it on at least some of your Linux systems, with Windows as a guest operating system. This will provide you with the capability to run Windows when you have to, and will permit communication between Linux and Windows. This will greatly ease your transition to Linux, since Windows will be available if you really have to have it.

By the way. I consult.
Old 11-21-2006, 01:12 AM   #3
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Welcome to LQ.

1. Yes - Mandrake acquired Conectiva about a year ago, and the new name for the combined company became Mandriva.
2. To make Windows partitions readable by Linux, just mount the Windows partition to a mountpoint. See the man pages for mount for more detail, but you'd want to specify that the filesystem was NTFS, and you'd probably want to use the umask function to mount it as read-only. I would not recommend attempting to write to an NTFS partition under Linux - that capability should be considered as being in an experimental stage, and although it's improving, it would be too risky to use in a Production environment.
3. Use Samba
4. I don't know
5. We need more info. What do you mean by "send output" - query results, SQL scripts, exported data, etc?? I'm sure that a Google search would turn up a variety of articles comparing MySQL with SQL Server.

Good luck with it
Old 11-21-2006, 02:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jiml8
Mandrake 10.1 was pretty good for its day, but its day was a couple of years ago.

I would suggest that, if you want that distro, you go with the latest and greatest, which is Mandriva 2007. I consult.
Thanks. Which distro you think will be more suitable for the users who are accustomed to window enviornment. It is psychological but people will like to have minimum differences from their previous environment.
Old 11-21-2006, 02:56 AM   #5
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Thanks. Which distro you think will be more suitable for the users who are accustomed to window enviornment. It is psychological but people will like to have minimum differences from their previous environment.
I don't think that's a choice between distributions, really, since the adminitration is (or at least should) be done by people who know the operating system; if you think what the users might want, you'll need to think the desktop environment - that's what they're going to see every day, use and learn. Of the greatest desktop environments KDE is closest to Windows (in my opinion): check out for screenshots and more information. It should be available in most distributions, if not selectable during the setup, then at least as a choice to be installed after the operating system is installed first. It has a K-menu similar to that Start menu of Windows' (though MS promised they will get rid of Start menu in their post-Vista Windows), it's file manager Konqueror acts quite similarly to Windows Explorer/Internet Explorer, and if you put a redmond theme in, it even looks a bit like Windows (not exactly though; LinuxXP might do that better, but if you want functionality, consider KDE). KDE also includes quite some applications that are "KDE-looking", and resemble those of Windows'; it's mail system Kmail works a bit the way Outlook Express does, and along with other KDE components like address book etc. it works like MS Outlook...well, see their site and decide yourself. Gnome is another "big" choice, but it's less Windows-looking than KDE, and the others (there are a million choices really) aren't probably what you're asking for (not saying that they are worse, no no, but they do differ in the user interface).

Windows partitions can be written to easily if they're FAT partitions (up to Windows ME); the later versions use NTFS filesystems and the write support to them is under development, to say at least (last time I tried, I got something like 50% or less written/ I don't think you'll want this - as said, try VMware instead if you really need Windows, or change Windows filesystem).

OpenOffice is quite good as said but it does have some differencies. In every part of it. Not everything you write with Writer looks out just identical in MS Word (try different versions of Word and you'll get the picture), not everything written in Calc works exactly the same way in Excel, not everything done with Impress works with PowerPoint etc. And especially the databases (Base vs. Access) do differ. Most of the stuff should work, but expect minor "problems"; if the "end-client" you're sending the sheets, documents and so on does not need to edit them anymore, just read, I advice you to save/export the office docs to pdf format - it's the best way to transfer office files between systems, since pdf is pdf on both Linux and Windows and it looks like it should.

About the SQL..I can just say that most probably MySQL and MS SQL do differ. Surely. If they didn't, why would there exist these two anyway? I've been using both a little, more MySQL, and my opinion is that you probably can't get them work together too easily, not the straightest way at least. But again it depends on what you'll want to do in the end, the available tools are many so solutions are too.
Old 11-21-2006, 09:07 AM   #6
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Yes, KDE will give the most windows-like experience. The user learning curve for a Mandriva 2007 system running KDE will be pretty short. The admin learning curve is much different and is pretty steep for someone who only knows windows, but the open nature of any Linux vs the closed nature of Windows means that you really can fix it and tweak it. No registry, you see.

Coming back to mysql vs microsoft sql; I would be simply astonished if the file formats were the same. SQL means standard (or structured) query language, not standard file format. So it seems to me to be very unlikely that you could ship a mysql file to a client and have him use it in microsoft sql.

However, you certainly could export a file from mysql and expect your client to be able to import that exported file.
Old 11-21-2006, 03:37 PM   #7
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Technically FAT32 partitions are recognized for reading and writing by both Linux and Windows.

Normally you can't install latest windows as FAT but here is a little hint: I made the linux partitions first and installed linux. Among them I had a plain FAT partition. When I re-installed windowsXP in the rest of the disk, a bonus option of installing it as FAT in the unpartitioned space showed up . Then I had to reinstall linux because windows messed up the bootloader. Now my winXP are in FAT and I can access them at will through linux. Very practical.
Old 11-21-2006, 06:48 PM   #8
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FAT is a really, really bad choice for a modern OS. Among other things, it is not robust and it wastes space. The one advantage is that, since it is so crude and primitive, it was easily reverse engineered and therefore every OS supports it. This removes the file system as an obstacle for working on a broken Windows system.

You can write NTFS (using a Linux kernel > 2.6.14) with the Captive NTFS package, which uses the actual Windows file system DLLs to handle the job. It ain't native, but if you *have* to write NTFS from Linux, it works.


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