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Is it time to "boot" Windows? A linux thread and why maybe you should

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posted on Mar, 25 2014 @ 09:37 PM
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!!!

posted on Mar, 25 2014 @ 10:17 PM
reply to post by madmac5150

For me it's about the games, Steam is making great progress but my favorite games are not there yet...

I have run various Linux distros in the past (dual boot PC, netbook, etc...) but currently I have a gaming PC and audio workstation (Windows again, pulseaudio made me sad...)

posted on Mar, 25 2014 @ 10:19 PM
Some years ago I was in exactly the same position. I experimented with different versions on a spare machine, just learning the ropes and whatnot, and with the way Linux used to be, one had to know at least a little bit, considering everything doesn't usually work "out of the box." There are compatibility issues, driver issues, etc. But eventually I made the switch, once I was confident in my abilities, and after still experimenting with various distros, I eventually settled on Ubuntu.

I had used elive, crunchbang, and other ubuntu-based distros a lot, and I think what made up my mind was the power of Linux coupled with the ease of use for everday tasks that Ubuntu provides. It never was THAT bad, but the newer versions are excellent. I'm still using 13.04 right now, but will upgrade soon.

And the good thing about Ubuntu for beginners is the tremendous amount of information available for new users. IMO it is the closest one can get to Windows with Linux, although one can customize or get a custom distro that differs from Windows greatly. I am not using the stock distro myself, although it is relatively close. I think everyone goes through a phase when they first start using Linux where they want to see what cool customizations they can do, and they learn a lot. At least I did. But now I don't even use stock desktop effects, lol. Linux has just become a practical OS for my needs.

HOWEVER, I still keep a Windows machine, because even with Wine one can only run specific Windows software, and sometimes there are no alternatives for Linux. Although this is becoming less and less of a problem as more open source software is developed. I have been seeing even more proprietary software for Linux as well. Although I don't want to see that, since it kind of goes against the grain, it is a sign that Linux users are growing.

For those who don't have another machine, partioning your hard drive with windows is the next best thing imo. Although it is highly annoying to have to switch by restarting, and sometimes it is good to be able to have both OS's open at once. One could also run a virtual machine I suppose. I've done that a few times, but didn't care for it much. If one's machine can handle it quite easily, and one can do whatever they want in both their OS and the virtual OS, it would probably be pretty handy at certain times.
edit on 3/25/14 by JiggyPotamus because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 25 2014 @ 10:25 PM
Steam OS is going to be something to consider, as far as minimum resources used.

Although I will give my honest opinion, and suggest an unpopular Idea.

Windows 8.1, is reasonably stable, and honestly the first Windows OS I was actually impressed with.

Although there's the Addendum with that of newer hardware is better for it.

OF course the above will trigger the Obligatory win hate, but its what I feel is the truth, its Sad, but getting a windows OS that is not complete steam pile for once is impressive.

You might be surprised if you gave it a chance.


I work for a large Manufacture of computers, Steam OS, exiting things are coming there, can't talk about much, just that even what My work has planned...

Well, Consoles, and Win PC, better look out.
edit on 25-3-2014 by benrl because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 25 2014 @ 10:26 PM
reply to post by JiggyPotamus

I do keep a few different Linux distros and utilities around (CD & DVD) as they can be quite handy (GParted and Clonezilla come to mind instantly).

posted on Mar, 25 2014 @ 10:35 PM
For years Linux just frustrated the hell out of me... I loved the platform, but getting everyting to work always seemed next to impossible. I even liked the look and feel of the old X-windows GUIs better than Windows 95... then, as I began to use my home computer for work stuff, I really had no choice. Windows it was.

I think Linux has finally caught, and even bested the heavyweight from Redmond... in many ways. Windows still has a stranglehold on the PC market, but more and more manufacturers are now offering Linux as an OS option.

posted on Mar, 25 2014 @ 11:21 PM
Hm I've never had any problem with Dell running Windows. Even back when porn was loaded with virus's

posted on Mar, 25 2014 @ 11:30 PM

Hm I've never had any problem with Dell running Windows. Even back when porn was loaded with virus's

The Vista machine my wife inherited is also a Dell... Vista seems to run OK on it, as long as you don't push it too much... This one and Windows just don't play well together. Linux has run without a single issue.

posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 12:24 AM
reply to post by madmac5150

Vista is pretty reliable I keep vista as the main operating system on one with xp as a back up. My new one has 8 which is so far so good. I've tried a few different OS but I guess deep down I'll always be a windows user.

posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 01:28 AM
I just got my new computer and it has windows 8.1 and I LOVE it! Lightening fast, bright, vivid colors...awesome! I was hesitant at first because I kept hearing about how it wasn't user friendly, but I am not technically inclined nor the brightest light bulb in the pack and I figured out so much by myself in the first night. There are also tutorials on youtube. There is still a lot I need to learn and I'm sure I'll never understand everything, but I really do love this computer and the windows8.1.

posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 06:11 AM
Hey, im thinking to try out linux for while now, i dont know much about linux or computers that matter but i can learn fast and im wondering can i instal linux to side of windowns 7 im using right now and whitch when ever i want between them? Do i have to format my hard-drives before instal linux, or just have enought space in hard-drive to instal linux on it?

posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 07:53 AM
I "booted" Windows about five years ago, and have never looked back. Used Ubuntu until Unity drove me away, then moved over to Mint.

I do website design for a living. I have never found myself in a bind or lacking for software. The few minor issues I've had were worth working around compared to the crap one deals with in the MS environment.

I evangelize for Linux every chance I get.

posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 07:57 AM
reply to post by romilo

look at running it as a virtual machine first, theres plenty of virtual machine packages so you can run it as a program on your pc just like any other so you can play around with it and if you muck it up then just start again

One of the problems with linux is that there is so many different UI's which makes finding the right one a pain and sometimes getting multiple ones to work together can be 'fun'

and if you're serious i'd raid the local library for a bit of reading material and even stuff for unix and its variants can be useful as at the command line level the basic commands are pretty much the same 99% of the time

posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 08:14 AM
reply to post by Maxatoria

Thanks, i already download wubu program and try it to get ubuntu start but at boot it says error with wubildr.mdr, missing or cant find but i see them are in right places tho. Atm i dont have dvd driver so burn the image its not an option for now.

Also im thinking now that will ubuntu work with my games, i play League of legends, civilization 5 and battlefield 4 mostly. But if i get ubuntu work side by side with win7 i have already, then i can use win7 for gaming and rest of the time i can learn ubuntu. LE: will skype work in ubuntu?

I try to read as much i can but my brain does bleed info out after enought of reading
So i usually just read bit, ask questions and rest i go with hardway learning.
edit on 26-3-2014 by romilo because: (no reason given)

I might just wait till i get my dvd driver and try again then, its no horry for me.
edit on 26-3-2014 by romilo because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 04:04 PM
I find windows 7 handles multi cores without any problems at all. Sometimes one core is doing more work than other cores but that is simply because windows 7 is optimized to use the cores in the most efficient way. Any cores that are not needed are parked so they can be used for other systems and to save power. Of course if the processing power needed exceeds a single core then more than one core is used.

TBH i have a bought version of windows 7 which i run on an i7 with 2 gfx cards that runs without problem with any bit of hardware i have ever plugged into it. I cant see any advantage of swapping to another OS. Especially one that doesn't run all the software i need on a daily basis.

I can see that if i had a really old pc that i just used for films and internet then a *nix based system might be the way to go.

edit on 26-3-2014 by PhoenixOD because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 06:26 PM
reply to post by romilo

try this with you're pc no need for a dvd

zorin os 7 or 8 is close to windows 7

and a real one 1 handy for you

edit on 26-3-2014 by 999zxcv because: (no reason given)

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