to linux or not to linux

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  1. mschmid5

    mschmid5 Member

    hi y'all

    I have a windows computer (win7 home ). I am fond of having linux since I am an avid open source user All of my work terimanls use linux and i want to convert my win pc to linux. I am just wondering what are the positives/ negitive aspects of converting from win/linux . i am confortable with both but i want to know what are some of the drawbacks to using linux at home if any ( also if there is not alot how to multi-boot so i can have both


  2. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    With Windows 7 it is easier than ever to multi-boot - I highly suggest, though, that you get another physical HD to instal *nix on and go that route. Another alternative would be to use a VM software, like VirtualBox or VMWare Server.

    if you're familiar with both, and want access to both simultaneously, VM would be the way to go. if you don't care about being able ot access both simultaneously then dual booting would be the way to go.

    These days you can do just about everything in *nix that you can in Windows (with the exception of playing certain games). Since you're already comfortable with both OSs, I'll spare you the side by side comparisons.

    Oh, just saw - new beta out for VirtualBox.... VirtualBox Free Download and Reviews - Fileforum
    mschmid5 likes this.
  3. mschmid5

    mschmid5 Member

    ok thanks now it is a laptop could i get a ext HDD and set it up so i can boot from usb for linux . I Have herd of vm ware but i had trouble using it
  4. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    That can be done, but you're better off not trying it. How large is the drive?
  5. jtcady

    jtcady Well-Known Member

    I went with Ubuntu and have been using it for over a year. I never went back because you can get all the software free and there are many alternatives of windows software. It runs better with less crashes as well. The boot is faster and I just love everything about it.
    mschmid5 likes this.
  6. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    I've run Fedora, Ubunutu, Xubuntu (I prefer XFCE over Gnome / KDE) and Gentoo - Gentoo was my fav b/c it really allowed me to delve into the nitty-gritty aspects of it, forcing me to learn about hings like CFLAGs and such. I always compiled my own kernels, and I had boots in as fast as 25 seconds before.

    I've stuck with Windows partially b/c it's easier to support when I actually use it and partially because I love to game, and there are simply some games I cannot avoid playing, and I must have Windows for that.

    I still play with *nix in VMs all the time, but not to any great extent - I have too much on my plate as it is being in a master's degree program and simultaneously obtaining my second Baccalaureate being here, testing apps on my phone and on my computers, and testing ROMs, learning my way through F#, learning my way around the App Inventor (which I really haven't started yet, other than some light reading in the App Dev forums)....

    I even like Mac OS, believe it or not - but my first choice is Windows, followed by *nix. If I could just take MacOS and install it on anything I wanted, I'd like it so much better....
    mschmid5 likes this.
  7. SoulTerror

    SoulTerror Well-Known Member

    I would just dual boot, that way if something ever came up that required you to use Windows, you have it. I dual boot, but I just about never use Ubuntu. I like it and all, but Window's 7 is a really good OS.
    mschmid5 likes this.
  8. tylerdurdin

    tylerdurdin Well-Known Member

    Well I use Ubuntu (Ultimate Edition) for the last six years for the most part exclusively. I do have XP dual booted on 1 of my PCs for flashing roms its just easier, but thats it. I tried dual booting six years ago and over wrote my boot sector, didnt have an xp disc so I installed Ubuntu and never looked back. It is not the linux of old in fact I find advantages over windows simply starting with not being worried about viruses. Stability is incredible on better supported distros such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint or if you like a challenge the very beautiful Sabayon linux. One of the best perks is being able to use Compiz Fusion who most will claim is eye candy, once installed the amount of user possibilty is endless from one click entire theme customization to working on 4 desktops through the use of the 3d destop that is unsurpassed by anything windows has ever put out. I have to laugh every time my wife says how cool the windows shake animation is on her laptop running windows7, that is elementary at best. When I show friends my desktop, I usually have four or five guys asking me to come over and set them up. Having ANY knowledge of linux puts you in a good spot for a smooth transition. I will never turn back at this point.
    mschmid5 likes this.
  9. jsenvisky

    jsenvisky Member

    To dual boot is simple, plus you are on the right track by already having windows installed. All you have to do is create another partition, the size is up to you (if you are going to use it as a full functional OS, I would suggest 30 GB or more, if you are just using it to play around (I have a 10GB partition with Ubantu BackTrak 4 on it to play around) To create your partition, just hit "windows key + r" type in compmgmt.msc, and go to "disk managament" under "storage" then shrink your C:/ drive volume (right click "shrink volume). Then you will have unpartitioned space. Then start up linux, aim it at unpartitioned space, and there you have dual boot. Since you installed linux last (which is what you wanted anyways) you will use the linux boot loader... Hope it goes well.

    p.s. I would stay away from virtual machines unless you have a good CPU and a lot of RAM, running an OS within an OS is a struggle for many computers. And you don't want Linux using resources already being used by windows, it can get sloppy.
    mschmid5 likes this.
  10. Stinky Stinky

    Stinky Stinky Well-Known Member

    Hey mschimd5 dude!

    Hmm... i would recommend puppy linux if you need something light and easy to start with. It is run (usually) from a USB stick which yes it can be slow due to USB 2.0 speeds but for starting out it's great! You can run it from almost any machine in it's RAM that is capable of running it because it is so light! Also good idea if you don't want to partition and format your hard drive buddy! Just run from USB stick the whole thing! :)

    Puppy Linux Community - Home

    If you want serious eye candy then go for Mint Linux 9 (do not go for 10 because it is not long term support) it is based on Ubuntu Lucid Lynx (10.04):

    Main Page - Linux Mint

    If you want an all rounder which is a bit of a user friendly then try Ubuntu dude it's made by a South African (Mark Shuttleworth):

    Ubuntu homepage | Ubuntu

    Get 10.04 it is LTS (Long term support)

    Hope this helps buddy! ;)


    Stinks! :)
    mschmid5 likes this.
  11. mschmid5

    mschmid5 Member

    900 Gb inturnal seagate but i like the ext drive that I want is 1.5 Tb for 70 dollars (cheap)
  12. tylerdurdin

    tylerdurdin Well-Known Member

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  13. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Well-Known Member

    What I did (the third time round :rolleyes:) - edited to help you:
    I downloaded Ubuntu 10.10 iso and burned it to a DVD-R

    I booted from CD (F12 in the BIOS) and entered "Try Ubuntu"

    I used GParted (topbar:system>administrative) to shrink my Windows 7 partition by 30GB

    I then made an Extended partition, and made a 5GB Swap Partition and 10GB & 15GB EXT3 partitions

    I then clicked on install Ubuntu (although I would advise you to leave the CD and boot up W7 to check its OK)

    In that I went into Custom partitioning/installation (sth like that) and clicked on the 5GB Swap and maked for Swap, clicked on the 10GB EXT3 and used for "/" and clicked on 15GB EXT3 and used for "/Home"

    There is a thing at the bottom for bootloader installation - want to keep W7 as your main? Then make sure GRUB (the bootloader) is installed on the 10GB EXT3

    When you reboot you wont see any change - Windows should boot as usual

    In Windows, google and install "EasyBCD"

    Use that to add GRUB to the Windows bootloader
    mschmid5 likes this.
  14. tylerdurdin

    tylerdurdin Well-Known Member

    Does Gparted do OK with Windows 7. The first time I tried to dual boot I used gparted and it killed the bootsector with XP. I do not know if the bootsector is on that end of the drive with windows 7. I just start fresh now
    -wipe whole disk and use Gparted to make the partitons
    -format the first partition as NTFS ( as ubuntu will play nice with windows bootloader)
    - Install windows
    -the seconfd partion does not need to be formatted as you can just select the "use largest continous free space" during the ubuntu installation

    I have to get a new desktop for playing as I am not allowed to mess with our new laptop, and all our old pcs are just outside the window for running win7.
    mschmid5 likes this.
  15. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Well-Known Member

    Windows 7/Vista *should* install the Windows bootloader on a 100-200mb Pimary partition (so you can have W7 on a logical partition, or XP if you are dual/triple booting)
    If it isnt, create a recovery disc just in case so you can re-install the bootloader in the extremely unlike chanvce that it gets knackered
    The easy way out but - it takes waaaay longer and you will have to reregister Windows (limit?)

    Dont worry about not being alowed, I have made massive mistakes and still got everything working again with no data loss :)
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  16. Eugene

    Eugene Well-Known Member

    Make the switch, I dual booted years ago and got to the point where I never boot into windows anymore, its just not worth the hassle (to run windows). If you need windows reinstall it under virtualbox, I have an old technet trial of XP I use for those rare occasions.
    mschmid5 likes this.
  17. mschmid5

    mschmid5 Member

    Thanks all i will try everything that you guys posted. I have all of the recovery disks and if i run into any problems i will come back to all of you for advice

  18. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    I will tell you one thing right now - DON'T DUAL BOOT WITH XP it's pure garbage.

    Windows 7, while being a bit of a resource hog, is much smoother, faster, and more stable than Vista ever was - it is to Vista what XP was to ME - and I abhor XP now as much as I liked it back in the day.

    @Mike - since your system already came with it you're golden. Ninty's write up is a thing of beauty - follow it like a bible. If I had had the time to do one I would have - but I haven't been here since Friday, for a variety of reasons....

    @Tyler - yeah like ninty said, it should install the bootloader on a separate 100_ MB partition - the only time I have not seen it do o is in upgrades, and in particular on systems that were upgraded from XP to Vista, then Upgraded from Vista to 7. Also, I have see where you can have GRUB / LILO / {insert your favorite bootloader here} as your default bootloader as opposed to the Windows 7 bootloader, but you'll really appreciate how far 7 has come when you see the bootloader for the first time. The clincher - being able to make a Virtual HD of my system and use the bootloader to load it at any time that i want to, for things like testing / etc.

    It's a far cry from XP - there simply is no comparison between the 2 OSs. It's like trying to compare RHEL 4 with Qnix (remember that floppy 'beast'?). It really is that different of an animal.
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  19. mschmid5

    mschmid5 Member

    yes i have herd of win7 being a resorce hog, Thats is why i want linux since it is a low resorce enviroment and i can learn more of the nitty-gritty programing aspects of linux
  20. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Well-Known Member

    I am, simply because I have two NFTS partitions, one for general use (W7's) and one for Symbain modding (sorry :p) PDKs, SDKs and also Backup (as I have no external HDD) so its a handy backup OS which uses 1% of my HDD :)
    I must agree, but I have a ligering foundness for XP too :eek:
    Mine is actually on my W7 partition (Dev/SDA1)
    I could make Dev/SDA3 as it (EasyBCD, a thing of pure magic, would donate if I had a card) but whats the point

    Yeah I do that too :D
    I use the W7 BL as my primary, with GRUB2 (Linux) and Chameleon (OSX) chainloaded off it
  21. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Well-Known Member

    I dont find W7 as heavy as Vista (from my limited experience of the former) and its definitely more efficient on laptops
    I think the main issue is RAM usage
    The most RAM I have managed so far is 2.5GB out of 4GB (incl shared graphics) but I dont do gaming (and couldnt really)
  22. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    Comparatively speaking, though, modern *ix distributions are getting pretty resource hoggy as well.

    Back in '02 or so, I grabbed Fedora Core 2 (or was it three) to take a look at the hullabaloo about Fedora - having come from environments like Novell NetWare and 'DTs' running Qnix off of a floppy, I was curious to see how well Fedora stacked up against XP on my machine that I had just finished building specifically for XP (I opted for dual 20 GB 7200 rpm HDs, splitting OS from data / programs, and building a custom XP install disc that automagically created everything correctly on the separate drives) - an I was so not impressed. I saved a whole 15 seconds on boot time between my optimized XP boot and Fedora.

    Until I learned about kernels, and such. I plopped in a pre-compiled Con Kalivas (remember him? A Nurse by day...) kernel, and things started moving much faster. I then learned my way through compiling a kernel manually - IOW, pre-building modules that I needed for my machine, rather than having some sort of HAL poll my machine for every piece of hardware known to man and making me wait for a boot - and got that ...sucker down from ~1.5 minutes to 33 seconds flat.

    That's 33 seconds total from pushing hte power on button to being at a login screen - and that included 8 seconds of BIOS and warmup for my Adaptec 29160N SCSI card also.

    Default booting in mass-distributed distros today do still edge Windows and MacOS, but not by much. You want raw speed, look at Gentoo - steep learning curve, but totally worth it i the end.

    I can still to this day compile a kernel for my system - I know what hardware I have, why make the system poll for hardware that I know is not installed? Why compile apps using basic i386 optimizations when I have a Core2Quad supporting SSE4 and everything i686? Why run apps compiled for KDE compatibility when I don't us KDE? (If I go with an Ubuntu-based distro, it's always Xubuntu - and in Gentoo I also install XFCE)....

    Up above, when I said don't dual boot with XP, I meant don't dual boot *nix with XP - Although I am nostalgic about XP as well, and in its purest form it definitely is light on resources, it's also so wide open to drive by infections that until you install about 4 different apps, you're not really close to being secure. Unless, of course, you run as LUA as opposed to admin - then you're a helluva lot safer.

    I've managed to push my RAM up - b/c part of that is because I push my machine hard, and part is because I like I have 4 GB installed running W7 x64 Ultimate (Thank you, TechNet!) an I have had over 3.25 used - but that was b/c I was testing a website in 5 different browsers, 2 of which had numerous tabs open in addition to the website in question, along with the usual suspects of apps I always have running. The big difference? W7 didn't care - it kept right on chugging along.

    I may start working on a Gentoo build again, sine I plan on retiring this beast in favor of my Core i7 965 EE CPU (as soon as I can find it a decent home), but I am also toying with playing with WHS Vail, or putting OpenNAS on it and making it NAS, or even putting just regular old Gentoo and making it a NAS that way....

    That, of course, is contingent on the time I have - and it looks like I won't have any, so....anyone want to sell me a really good x58 based mobo and 6 GB of really good RAM on the cheap? Poor college student and
  23. christos

    christos Member

    If your worried about a linux partion on your hd, why not try puppy linux on a flash disk? I recommend all new users to linux to try puppy before moving onto ubuntu or other *nix distros.
  24. gohausmachine

    gohausmachine Well-Known Member

    I just read this thread the other day and it made me miss my old laptop with Ubuntu on it. I'm proud to say that last night I installed Ubuntu on my new laptop on a 30 GB partition. Depending on how long I go without feeling the need to boot Windows this may just become a linux only machine.
    mschmid5 likes this.
  25. mschmid5

    mschmid5 Member

    i am thinking of going the vm route . i want to experiment with looking at the disk mangment part before i go and dual boot and wipe my hd

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