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Thaconos

Switching To Linux

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Lately I have been thinking about switching to a Linux Distro. Windows has been causing me no end of trouble lately, and I'm getting really tired of it. Also, I want to learn something new.

I was wondering if anybody here has any experiance with Linux, and which Distro is the best one for every day use (Browsing the web, email, etc), and which is the most secure. Thanks in advance.

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I use Fedora Core 4, but version 5 is out now. I love it and the installation is really easy. I didn't even have to install any drivers, Linux automatically detected all my hardware.

If you are new to Linux I would highly recommend setting up a dual boot configuration so you can still get into Windows when you need to. Don't just go "all out," because there will probably be at least a few times when you will need to get back into Windows.

Also, Linux generally makes an assumption that you know what you are doing. So I would recommend easing yourself into it instead of dumping Windows right away.

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I switched to Suse Linux a few months ago for several weeks. It looks good and configures al your hardware for you. I would have stayed with it if it weren’t for three things I need: MS Outlook, DVD movies, and Visual Studio. I am now running Windows Vista on my second pc, which easily beats Suse in the “coolness” factor.

By the way, OSS geeks often brag about how “stable” it is, but in my experience OSS has a lot more bugs than Windows. I was able to get things like TV cards, CD burners, and DVD movies to work, but it was always a pain, and full of hidden issues.

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I have SuSe 10.0 installed as dual boot with Windows. It does install fairly painlessly, and recognized all my hardware...except the wireless card. To get that to work, I had to spend a couple hours searching Google for a solution. Once that, I found my Microsoft 5-button mouse didn't work right. I've spent hours on that, and still don't have it working correctly.

I have to ask what problems that Windows itself is causing you. My experience is that you will understand how easy Windows is to use once you try Linux. I get the impression the the open source community gets a kick out of making things complicated...I mean, c'mon, who wants to install programs with a single install file? Don't you want to start up the command line, read through the makefile and compile a custom version for yourself?

I'd second the recommendation of dual-booting. After you use Linux for awhile, perhaps you can report back on whether you feel better or worse about Windows.

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The Dual-booting sounds like a good idea, but I only have a 40 GB hard drive, with 512 MB of RAM, so I don't know if it will slow down my computer. Fedora Core does seem to be the best one, so I'll try it and find out.

One of my main problem with Windows is that it's really easy to hack... I keep getting Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, and all that wonderful stuff. Windows always seems to make their OS easier to use, but in return they worry less about security.

I use Norton Anti-Virus, and Ad-Aware as protectors, but I still get infections. They're not all that hard to remove, but it's still annoying. And from what I've read from various sites, Linux Distros seem to be much more secure.

Another problem I have is that in the last two months, I've have to reformat three times, because Windows didn't want to boot anymore. I have no idea why either... It’s pretty frustrating

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The Dual-booting sounds like a good idea, but I only have a 40 GB hard drive, with 512 MB of RAM, so I don't know if it will slow down my computer. Fedora Core does seem to be the best one, so I'll try it and find out.
40GB should be more than enough. What I do is give most of my hard drive to Windows. I then configure Linux to read the Windows partition, so I can still access all my files from both operating systems.

One of my main problem with Windows is that it's really easy to hack... I keep getting Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, and all that wonderful stuff. Windows always seems to make their OS easier to use, but in return they worry less about security.

I use Norton Anti-Virus, and Ad-Aware as protectors, but I still get infections. They're not all that hard to remove, but it's still annoying. And from what I've read from various sites, Linux Distros seem to be much more secure.

Based on this description I'm guessing you use Internet Explorer? Windows is only part of this sort of problem. IE is the other part. If you switch to a better browser like Firefox that should reduce the amount of viruses. Of course, switching all out to Linux is even better since most viruses/popups/trojans target Windows specifically.

I get the impression the the open source community gets a kick out of making things complicated...I mean, c'mon, who wants to install programs with a single install file? Don't you want to start up the command line, read through the makefile and compile a custom version for yourself?
Remember there is a reason for this. Linux is designed for a server roll and it plays that part extremely well. Every one of my Linux servers run with *zero* maintenance for months, whereas my Win2k3 servers need to be rebooted every week. Windows on the other hand was designed with end-users in mind from the beginning, which is why it's so much easier to use.

Both of these operating systems have completely different design goals and that's an important point to keep in mind when switching to Linux.

Also Thaconos, it might be a good idea to pick up a Linux book so you don't jump into this completely blind. My personal favorite is UNIX: The Complete Reference. Even though it says UNIX, it actually covers any POSIX compliant OS (Linux is a POSIX OS), and it is generic enough to apply to basically any distro you choose. Also, a lot of Linux books will walk you through setting up a dual boot system.

Edited by skap35

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One of my main problem with Windows is that it's really easy to hack... I keep getting Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, and all that wonderful stuff. Windows always seems to make their OS easier to use, but in return they worry less about security.

I use Norton Anti-Virus, and Ad-Aware as protectors, but I still get infections. They're not all that hard to remove, but it's still annoying.

I use Windows XP and have none of these problems. I am well aware that these problems occur, because I've tried to clean up other computers that have just been bombed. In my experience, a lot of this problem is from the user. While its true that IE has some issues with allowing spyware installs, I'm of the opinion that the user is mostly to blame for such problems. Here's a few tips that I've found useful:

1. Try Mcaffee Virusscan rather than Norton.

2. Always have Windows firewall up before connecting to the internet, especially after reinstall.

3. Do not install fire-sharing programs.

4. Do not install any program you don't have to. Anything downloaded free from the internet is likely to include spyware. Judging from a person's computer I had to deal with, porn sites are especially guilty of taking over your computer. Basically, you should be wary of ever clicking "Yes" to install anything unless you know what it is and where it came from.

5. Try the Firefox or Opera browsers. I use Opera, which is getting very good lately.

If you follow that advice, and most importantly use the firewall and don't install crap programs, you won't have any problem with Windows. That, at least, is my experience.

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40GB should be more than enough. What I do is give most of my hard drive to Windows. I then configure Linux to read the Windows partition, so I can still access all my files from both operating systems.
Okay, I'll definitely give it a shot then.

Based on this description I'm guessing you use Internet Explorer? Windows is only part of this sort of problem. IE is the other part. If you switch to a better browser like Firefox that should reduce the amount of viruses. Of course, switching all out to Linux is even better since most viruses/popups/trojans target Windows specifically.

FireFox is my preferred browser, but I do use IE sometimes as well

Also Thaconos, it might be a good idea to pick up a Linux book so you don't jump into this completely blind. My personal favorite is UNIX: The Complete Reference.
Alrighty, I pick it up. Thanks for the tip :)

Here's a few tips that I've found useful:

1. Try Mcaffee Virusscan rather than Norton.

2. Always have Windows firewall up before connecting to the internet, especially after reinstall.

3. Do not install fire-sharing programs.

4. Do not install any program you don't have to. Anything downloaded free from the internet is likely to include spyware. Judging from a person's computer I had to deal with, porn sites are especially guilty of taking over your computer. Basically, you should be wary of ever clicking "Yes" to install anything unless you know what it is and where it came from.

5. Try the Firefox or Opera browsers. I use Opera, which is getting very good lately.

Thanks for the advice. I follow most of those already. I always have the Windows firewall up, and I almost never agree to those install pop-ups. And like I said earlier in the post, I mostly use FF. I don't browse porn sites, but I do download free software sometimes, but I always try make sure that spyware is not hidden in it. But I still get infected...

But as for the McAfee, I won't be getting that now, as I'm short on money at the moment.

Thanks for all your input everyone

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Well, here comes my first message on these forums. :thumbsup:

If you are moving to Linux, the suggestion will vary from how comfortable are you with computers, software, typing commands in consoles (welcome to any Linux).

I myself came from Redhat to Fedora (1-3), but for the last 2 years I've been sitting on Gentoo Linux, and find it to be the best distro. However, it is best for me and my needs. Who am I? A college dude, coding all day, every day, I need good decent tools that don't crash on me while I'm coding my project. :dough: I need nice configurations for development tools (KDevelop, gdb, vim, KDE apps, etc.) that work out-of-the-box, I need to stay up-to-date with all packages on my system. I need distro that has all configuration files at my fingertips, good and thought out layout of those config files (and Linux relies on text config files as if it's its blood).

For all the above, Gentoo is awesome. It has some overhead, as installation procedure is harder then the rest of Linux distros (but it gives a manual on the website, which guided me though without problems, and had a system going in 1 hour). And Gentoo also compiled everything from source, on your machine locally. This means it will take some time on large packages (24 hours for me to make a full reinstall), but what you get is being able to have the latest packages, easy to-up-date, easy to install new packages. Gentoo does all that for you, you'll never need to mess with it, just type: emerge kdevelop, and kdevelop is installed after an hour or so.

Judge yourself of course: http://gentoo.org

P.S. Had to join some forum related to Objectivism (just starting reading Atlas two days ago :o ).

Edited by Olex

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I have to ask what problems that Windows itself is causing you. My experience is that you will understand how easy Windows is to use once you try Linux. I get the impression the the open source community gets a kick out of making things complicated...I mean, c'mon, who wants to install programs with a single install file? Don't you want to start up the command line, read through the makefile and compile a custom version for yourself?

Typing 'apt-get gimp' or whateverr into a command line is significantly less effort than opening a webbrowser, loading up google, typing in the name of the program you want, finding a site to download it from, clicking on the download link, waiting till it's finished, opening the directory the file has been downloaded to, then double-clicking it.

There are things linux does better than Windows, and there are things windows does better than linux. I dont think I'd be prepared to say that windows was easier - linux is certainly hard to get the hang of at first, but thats partly just because its different (although even for a new user, I'm not convinced linux is more difficult out of the box - with linux you get a complete OS rather than the barebones system windows gives you, so you dont have to spend hours hunting around the internet to find an office suite/photo edictor/whatever)

Edited by Hal

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Also if youre serious about learning linux then I would recommend against dual booting, at least for the first month. If you have windows installed then youll probably be tempted to go back to it every time you cant get something to work, rather than learning how to use linux properly. Diving in at the deep-end is often the best way to learn something new.

Edited by Hal

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Well, here comes my first message on these forums. :lol:

If you are moving to Linux, the suggestion will vary from how comfortable are you with computers, software, typing commands in consoles (welcome to any Linux).

I myself came from Redhat to Fedora (1-3), but for the last 2 years I've been sitting on Gentoo Linux, and find it to be the best distro. However, it is best for me and my needs. Who am I? A college dude, coding all day, every day, I need good decent tools that don't crash on me while I'm coding my project. :dough: I need nice configurations for development tools (KDevelop, gdb, vim, KDE apps, etc.) that work out-of-the-box, I need to stay up-to-date with all packages on my system. I need distro that has all configuration files at my fingertips, good and thought out layout of those config files (and Linux relies on text config files as if it's its blood).

I was looking at Gentoo not too long ago, and I think I just might get that one. One reason is that I really like to code stuff, so I also need good tools that don't crash. And the other reason is that it'd be faster for me to download (As I'm only on crappy dial-up :dough: )

Also if youre serious about learning linux then I would recommend against dual booting, at least for the first month. If you have windows installed then youll probably be tempted to go back to it every time you cant get something to work, rather than learning how to use linux properly. Diving in at the deep-end is often the best way to learn something new.

I was thinking the same thing at first, and if I get that book that skap35 mentioned earlier, it might not be such a bad idea... I'll consider both options while I wait for either the Gentoo download to finish (Which will take about a week >_<), of Fedora Core to arrive by mail, whichever I decide

Edited by Thaconos

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Lately I have been thinking about switching to a Linux Distro. Windows has been causing me no end of trouble lately, and I'm getting really tired of it. Also, I want to learn something new.

I was wondering if anybody here has any experiance with Linux, and which Distro is the best one for every day use (Browsing the web, email, etc), and which is the most secure. Thanks in advance.

You may want to take a look at Max OS X as well. I've made several attempts at running Linux as my primary desktop OS and always went back to Windows due to lack of software (MS Office, and multimedia primarily) and the constant need to futz with it to get it to do what I wanted. I bought a Mac Mini after it came out and haven't looked back since. Things generally "just work" and work well. There's no question though that the Mac route is more expensive.

Most of my experience is with Red Hat but I've installed and tested Ubuntu several times and it looks to be a competent desktop OS. SUSE is also a safe bet.

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If one really wants to slowly wade into Linux while using a rather Windows like Linux distro (which I realize is a bad thing in many eyes) which while is not as feature packed as other Linux distros, there is Xandros Desktop. Although it it a cheap commercial product (like $10 purchase or probaby less now), it is REALLY easy to set up, and apparently has easy, reliable Windows comptaible networking.

This way you can try out some stuff in Linux without quite such a drastic change.

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Then there is LiveCD versions (ie you can boot from the CD as the name implies without touching the hard drive) of other (better in my opinion) versions of Linux, including: SuseLive. There is also Knoppix (more complicated than Ubuntu but mroe feature rich, but also more of a memory hog at times, so not a good choice for older systems unless you can find an older version of Knoppix such as version 3 or so).

However these are usually more complicated than Ubuntu and may or may not be the ideal place to start off with Linux (though it wsa great for me, but I had the the advantage of being quite capable with computers).

There is also Xubuntu, simple but not too simple (Ubuntu uses the Gnome desktop manager which is drastically oversimplified if you ask me or Linus Torvalds, the original creator of Linux). Ther is also a live version of Mandrive, which I hear is fairly simple.

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Also, I want to learn something new.

I know this isn't what he meant, but if you really want to learn something new, I'd go with Linux From Scratch... If you make it through the installation, you will have learned a lot of new somethings. But, I've always liked knowing how things worked and controlling them to the utmost of my ability, which is why I like LFS so much. If you don't want to go to that extent, I second the Gentoo reccomendation. If even that's too much for you, then try one of the out-of-the-box distros, I've had experience with SuSE and it worked for me.

As an aside, this mirrors my transition to linux... I started out on Windows, then bought a new computer and decided to try linux, I started with SuSE but by the end of the first day had discovered Gentoo, I started a stage one(most configurable but also longest/most complicated) install of Gentoo that night and was finished by the end of the week, but after around three months I was tired of having to wait for an ebuild to update my software to the utmost of the bleeding edge, and then found LFS, where I stayed until my parents demanded that they be able to navigate the computer I use for school work, so back to Windows it was.

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I know this isn't what he meant, but if you really want to learn something new, I'd go with Linux From Scratch... If you make it through the installation, you will have learned a lot of new somethings. But, I've always liked knowing how things worked and controlling them to the utmost of my ability, which is why I like LFS so much. If you don't want to go to that extent, I second the Gentoo reccomendation. If even that's too much for you, then try one of the out-of-the-box distros, I've had experience with SuSE and it worked for me.

As an aside, this mirrors my transition to linux... I started out on Windows, then bought a new computer and decided to try linux, I started with SuSE but by the end of the first day had discovered Gentoo, I started a stage one(most configurable but also longest/most complicated) install of Gentoo that night and was finished by the end of the week, but after around three months I was tired of having to wait for an ebuild to update my software to the utmost of the bleeding edge, and then found LFS, where I stayed until my parents demanded that they be able to navigate the computer I use for school work, so back to Windows it was.

I do know not a gret deal about Gentoo, but isnt it usually suggested as more of a distro for the more expereinced/expert users? Nor from what I hear is it as straightforward as some of the other options like Suse, as you suggest. I am failing to see why it is particulary suitable as a distro for new users..

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I do know not a great deal about Gentoo, but isnt it usually suggested as more of a distro for the more expereinced/expert users? Nor from what I hear is it as straightforward as some of the other options like Suse, as you suggest. I am failing to see why it is particulary suitable as a distro for new users..

I know this isn't what he meant...

I said it as kind of an aside. And if he really wanted to learn a lot about it, that's one way he could have done it. It wouldn't have been functional right away, but by the time it was he would've understood it.

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