I have messed around with different versions of Linux for years
... Slackware, Debian, SuSE, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Fedora... and in all of those
years I have been extremely hesitant to use it as my primary OS
. I have always had it installed on either a spare machine, a server, or on a
dual boot system as a secondary OS. There were always too many things that I needed
Windows for; and Linux could be very trying with regards to
drivers and really good quality applications. Well, times have changed and so has Linux. Tremendously.
Let me explain why I have changed my mind.
Over the course of the last few months it became obvious that I needed a new machine... my other machine still had Win Vista loaded; a 32-bit machine
at that. It made no good sense to me to shell out the bucks to upgrade to Win 7 32bit when I could probably just get a better machine with Win 7
preloaded. You see, as a total cheapskate I dig for bargain machines off lease or refurbished... I have gotten great computers that way, and saved a
lot of money... I digress.
I found a Dell quad-core Xeon workstation, off lease with Win 7 preloaded... it's a monster
compared to what I had...
While in the process of swapping in video cards etc. (2x Radeon HD cards... this figures in later) I added a 500 Gb hard drive and figured that I
might as well try out Linux on a dual-boot system again. No harm in doing it... you can always reformat later. Setting dual boot on this machine is
pretty easy... I merely turn 1 drive on, and the other off while booting through the BIOS page...
When I first cranked her up, it was with Windows 7... and 7 seemed pretty OK at first. My dual monitors both came up, I went through the setup
process, got to the end and rebooted. This is where things started going stupid. First, only one monitor came on, then Win 7 decided that it could not
detect the internet, and furthermore decided that it no longer wanted to even try. It took me the better part of the day to finally figure out that it
was resetting my managed switch... and had also killed the interwebz in the rest of the entire house. So I fixed the switch issue and moved on to my
monitors. I figured they just needed the proprietary Radeon drivers loaded, and all would be well. Not so much. I had each monitor connected to the
DVI port on each seperate card (this machine does support multiple vid cards), and they worked during setup... not anymore. I had to relent and plug
my secondary into the VGA port on the primary card...
Then, after finally getting everything to work somewhat properly... it started running all 200+ updates. This took nearly two hours... and screwed up
all of my drivers- again.
It took 3 full days and quite a few gray hairs to finally
get everything running and somewhat stable... never did get the video card thing
fixed to my liking...
Then I decided to get Linux loaded on my other drive. I swapped my vid cables back to where I wanted them, changed drives in setup and loaded Fedora
20. I kid you not, everything
was configured, updated, running and stable
in under 2 hours.
I keep Win 7 loaded on my secondary drive now... for playing a few games and using Photoshop.
Best of all... Linux is 100% free.
Linux comes in many "flavors" with different packages, desktops, etc... you can also load multiple desktops to most releases, trying each one out
until you find what you like best. The desktops themselves are also highly customizable, allowing you to really decide the look and feel that you
like. If you do run into issues, the online support community is HUGE... and there are more than a few of us Linux users here on ATS that would be
more than happy to help
Linux also natively supports multiple core CPUs... Windows is sketchy at best (you are probably only using 1 processor core about 99.9% of the time
with Windows). My Linux OS tasks all 4 processors at once and it makes a huge
difference, especially in math heavy processes...
As Linux does have so many "flavors" to choose from, ask other users which they prefer, and why...
My current system is Fedora 20 with both Gnome and KDE desktops. My preference for Fedora is simply based on the fact that I have been using it for
longer than the others. I use both KDE and Gnome for flexability. I have a server computer running Fedora 18 with the LXDE desktop (servers have zilch
for graphics... LXDE has a very small footprint and runs very well on those machines). I have a spare machine that will be getting Linux Mint loaded
this week... I haven't used Mint yet, but half of ATS seems to swear by it... so I will take it for a test drive.
I will say that, for the non-tech savvy users out there Ubuntu is the easiest for Linux noobs... Mint may change my mind, I'll let ya know
For me... switching from Windows to Linux is now a no-brainer. I also know how so many fear change
... (my wife is a Windows lifer... she got my
Vista machine and she loves it)... With XP now in the dirt, it's probably time for many to start thinking about a new OS... maybe Linux is right for
you as well
edit on 25-3-2014 by madmac5150 because: Bill Gates wants your SOULS!!!