Last Updated: Jan 15,2011
As I said there is ABSOLUTELY NO NEED to do that
I highly recommend that you dual boot. You can learn linux at your own pace and spend as much time in whatever OS you choose. I think that approach is better for new "recruits" rather than the trial-by-fire/sink or swim approach.
That being said, I dual boot Windows 7 Ubuntu on both my laptop and desktop. I spend most of my time in Ubuntu on the laptop, and Windows on the desktop. The ONLY reason I have not migrated to Ubuntu only on the laptop is because Windows is so darn power efficient. With my TimelineX, I get 8+ hours in Windows but at the best, 5.5 to 6 hours in Ubuntu. Powertop is a great utility but its not as good as the built in power saving measures of Windows.
Fedora, Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Mint are all fantastic distros.
Yep I dual boot, I hardly use Windows except to game because I don't really care how Wine works, but since Windows dominates so bad you just have to use it again at some point.
In a nutshell Do really important work on Ubuntu and goof off on Windows. Also try Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long Term Support) because I used the updated 10.10 and its a nasty bug in it that when you boot your comp it says Fatal error...have not checked to see if they fixed that bug yet but they where working on it
You can run Linux with your Windows virtually in case of the rare instances you need to get back to it. I used VirtualBox.
This is how you getrid of Windows and keep it on the side in case of emergencies.....
Step 0) Uninstall any proprietary drivers for hardware (read the full steps)
Step 1) Boot into CloneZilla.
Step 2) Clone/Ghost your existing Windows setup/os/drive using CloneZilla to a FAT formatted usb drive. This will clone your machine.
You may clone to a remote Server with CloneZilla. This is what I do. I simply clone to a remote backup server.
Step 3) Format your drive or use another one.
Step 4) Install Linux
Step 5) Download VirtualBox.
Step 6) Make a Windows Guest OS with a virtual drive equivalent to your old setup.
Step 7) Boot CloneZilla inside the VirtualBox Guest OS. You will plug in your USB backup drive in the guest OS
Step 8) Restore your backup from Step2) to your Guest OS and Guest Virtual Hard Disk.
Step 9) Restart your VirtualBox and startup your Guest OS. This should be a copy of what you had before.
This way, you can run Linux full time and boot into VirtualBox to run your old Windows Apps and retrieve your old files,etc...
Now, this is not guaranteed to be perfect. You may have BSOD and have to repair your Guest OS due to hardware difference between your old setup and your new "Virtualized" backup clone of your new guest OS.
That is why I have Step 0. Remove all drivers. You may need to run Windows Repair from your original install CDs and maybe a few safe-mode reboots.
We had to unload a few old Windows Servers this way and now we have them all virtualized on newer, faster Linux host servers.
Honestly, I think everyone here is missing a very important step, especially for someone who is not sure of the decision.
1-boot linux via usb to try
2-using dd or the like, make an image of your disk
Now, continue with partitioning and whatnot. If you ever want to go back to this point, you have a myHardDisk.image to go back to.
EDIT: I misread. The person above me got the whole cloning step.
Linux Mint 10 is the slickest Linux distro I've ever tried, I highly recommend it. Just make a CD and boot with it, try it out and see if you like it. Much easier than mucking about with your existing partitions.
I watched the video and thats bad ass. I allways heard people talk about linux and I wanted to try it. Is this something anybody can try or do I need to be a computer whiz? I'm not too sharp on the partitioning thing but I do have a spare hhd I could put it on. Is most windows programs compatable (Sound card,Graffix card,etc)? Lastly why isn't linux prone to viruses?
Edit: I have a AMD Athlon 64 processor 3000+. Do I have to use the 64 bit or will the 32 bit work with that processor?
less than 10% desktop market share = few viruses
Ubuntu actually supported more of my hardware than the 4 times larger Windows 7 did, so it should be fine for most of your stuff
use 64 bit
Cool, I'm going to download it and give it a whirl. Thanks
install it on your spare HDD and boot form it by holding down F12/F10
The Compiz (desktop effects) are really easy to use. Just install ccsm (go to the Ubunut software center and type in ccsm). Then launch it, and it is fairly straightforward from there. It is very customizable, so you will be confused what all the tiny options may do, but just play around and you will get it. When I first installed it, I wasted a good day or two playing with every setting (especially ones where I did not know what they did). I eventually settled on a much less flashy setup than the guy in the video (I dislike too many animations), but it still looks much better than Windows could ever get.
Also, I encourage you to learn to make use of the multiple desktops on Linux (IIRC OSX also uses 4). I have 4 now, and they increase productivity a lot if you use them correctly.
EDIT: If you knew that already, ignore me. I misread and thought that you were new to Linux, not just to Linux as a main OS.
You can go up to 16 (x the number of monitors you have) virtual desktops on OSX. You can do the same with linux/X11. Anything beyond 6-8 is just showing off. I've seen 48 (16X 3 monitors) virtual desktops on a mac once. Again, eye candy.
I am new to linux. I have dual monitors. I'm not sure if I'm doing this right. I downloaded Ubuntu 10.10 amd64 desktop verson to my downloads. I don't have an iso image. It's a zip file so I opened it with winzip but there's nothing to extract all the files appear to be open already. So in winzip I burned it to the cd. I have a spare 40gig hhd and I'm in the process of wiping it before I tried installing with the cd.
I recommend that you re-download the .iso and burn it directly to cd. Natively, windows can look inside a .iso but there is no point in doing that. Just burn it and restart. It is a boot cd.
I have the zip file downloaded to the computer and I was hopeing to move these files to cd rather than download again. All I have is mobile broadband and its limited to 5gb so I teathered my phone and it took over an hour to download this file. I have the files extracted to a folder I named Linux. Now I have 14 folders in that folder. I just think I'm doing something wrong. Now if I was plumbing a building we'ed be on a level playing field.
Edit: Dummie me. I was trying to unzip the file and burning it to the cd. I downloaded Infra Recorder and burned the file to cd. Now I get to learn the Linux system.
Ooops I have a problem. It's says I have bad sectors on the hdd (it is a old hdd) I put it on and I'm going to have a failure. So that beening said how can I save the 208mb's of security updates I installed so I can install them on the new hdd when I reinstall linux.
I installed ubuntu 10.10 on the new hhd.
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