Linux..?

Dommers

Fledgling Freddie
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Apr 2, 2005
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Well basically I want to try Linux out. I have a spare PC with XP installed on it. So I decided that I want to try Linux out as I've seen mentioned countless of times on forums etc. All I want is a free version. Not anything overly complicated. I've seen all lots with text based interfaces and stuff. Is there anyway you can get a GUI for or are they only text based.

Would I have to wipe my HDD of XP or do I can I dual boot it? As I metioned before I would like to try a free version. Preferably a freeware one as I don't want to have an annoying trial hanging over my shoulders.

Bare in mind that the only OS I've dealt with is XP and I'm a total noob when it comes to over OS

Any assistants would greatly welcomed. Thanks in advance guys.

Regards, D.
 

Ardrias

Fledgling Freddie
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Dec 29, 2003
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You could try Ubuntu from www.ubuntulinux.org
There's a LiveDVD available that loads the OS into ram so you can try it without wiping anything. Obviously just for that session tho :)

There's also Suse which is rather easy to set up and use, but Ubuntu seems to be a bit more "light". Yast in Suse isnt really that fun...
 

Dommers

Fledgling Freddie
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So, are those the two mains ones or are there other ones. How would you run it on RAM?
 

SheepCow

Bringer of Code
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Dec 22, 2003
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There are about a billion versions of linux/unix.

  • Ubuntu
  • Red Hat
  • Debian
  • SUSE
  • Gentoo
  • Knoppix
  • FreeBSD
  • Fedora
  • Slackware
  • Mandrake
  • ...

Some are much easier for newbies then others. I'd say try fedora or ubuntu to start with. But everyone you ask will have a different opinion.

Linux is a bit pants as a desktop OS imo :)
 

TdC

Trem's hunky sex love muffin
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Dec 20, 2003
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30,693
linux is poo. BSD is the shining path!!










tbh, if you're really a noob at unix-alikes you're best off starting out with a more user-friendly linux. off the top of my head I'd guess Ubuntu or Knoppix (or redhat/suse/debian) as they've become more graphical over the years configuration wise.

unix-esque OS's can be very very nasty of something goes wrong. I'd say that a liveCD would be cool to give it a whirl. on the other hand, a real manly man with a penchant for beards would just install it directly on their primary PC and keep at it till it worked :)
 

Chilly

Balls of steel
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Dec 22, 2003
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I used linux on my laptop for a while and I must say it was absolutely bollocks. It just isnt ready for desktop use yet. XP is leaps and bounds ahead in ease of use and simplicity and being able to guess where to do stuff. Not to mention the fact that the shell in windows doesnt make it harder to use the PC in gui mode than in command line mode.

TBH dommers, unless you have a reason to use linux (training to become a unix admin or whatever or simple curiosity) don't bother if you have XP.

/edit - before all you call me a MS fanboy, I LOVE linux, I have it on my server and have been learning tonnes and tonnes about it recently, it's just NOT a desktop OS......yet.
 

Shovel

Part of the furniture
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Dec 22, 2003
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I've played SuSE a bit in the past but found it nasty and bloated thanks to the horrid KDE desktop. Having played with Gentoo (not for the faint hearted) and Ubunto (desinged for real people) which both use the Gnome desktop, my experience was much better.

Definately recommend Ubunto again. They should offer a 'Live CD' that you put in your machine, then restart the computer and it will load direct from the CD. Then you can use it and play with it. If you like it, then you worry about installing it properly.

Alternatively, you could download the 30 day trial of VMWare and install it through that, so you can try out Linux whilst still using Windows at the same time.
 

Ardrias

Fledgling Freddie
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478
Actually Suse offers the possibility to use Gnome as well. I also think they provide a liveboot now, but I may be wrong.
 

Dommers

Fledgling Freddie
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Hmm well. I dual booted it for a while but I found it pointless as a desktop OS. It was a pain in the arse switching to XP all the time because of the lack of software support for Linux. Whilst I agree that linux is great for servers, the lack of software availible makes it bad as a desktop OS. Thanks again for all your replies. It was useful experience.
 

Chilly

Balls of steel
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Dommers - it's not a lack of software for linux, there are very few cases where there is a program for windows that does not exist (generally for FREE) on linux. It's just it's a bit of a chore to get things installed, there is no standard installer program or anything, each distro uses a different system.
 

Shovel

Part of the furniture
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Dec 22, 2003
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1,350
Dommers, there is simply loads of software available for Linux. I'll admit that the quality can be variable and that even in the better known projects the UI design is often bad to the point of physical sickness, but it's out there.

To be honest, whilst the software quality (not availability) put me off Linux in the end, the installation method on Gentoo was fabulous. All you had to do was type 'emerge Firefox', wait a little bit and you immediately had yourself a fully optimised version of Firefox. Wonderful.

Default installation on MacOSX is also pretty good (drag a single file into the 'Applications' folder... that's it), but it's not always consistant (some applications come with installers instead).

I'd recommend you give it another look and have a proper dig through the instructions this time. Manuals are for reading.
 

Dommers

Fledgling Freddie
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575
Ok Chilly and Shovel. I'll take another look at it over the weekend. I may change distro. I was using Ubuntu.
 

Earl

Fledgling Freddie
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Feb 17, 2005
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I've tried loads of 'user friendly' distros and Ubuntu has by far been the best i've tried.
It takes a bit of getting used to (just think of how many years you've used windows)... but once you figure out how to install applications using apt-get Ubuntu is just brilliant.

The support on the Ubuntu forums is second to none they've always been able to fix my problems and most of the time anything I need is just a search away (not to mention a load of 'howto's on how to install applications, or drivers..

I'd consider giving Ubuntu another go before you get rid of it.

Post here if you need anything, i'm by no means a linux geek, I know hardly anything.. but I can setup and use Ubuntu for desktop needs so i'm sure i'll be able to help some way.

Oh and, I used to think Linux had no applications and such, but I now realise that Linux has BETTER applications than Windows, I've fallen in love with Amarok music player :)
 

Honza

Fledgling Freddie
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Jan 22, 2004
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363
Peeps, just use right thing for right doing :p
As well as you won't cut wood with table knife or slice bread with axe, you should select proper OS for your use. If you want games, multimedia, user-friendly system, you shouldn't choose linux. If you want making web server, network admin station, taking Windows might not be the best choice.

Saying Linux has BETTER applications than Windows or vice versa is ofc totaly bullshit. One might like this and dislike that on both systems... For both platforms there are thousands of applications you can choose from... both freeware and paid ones.
 

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