Move from windows to ... what Linux?

By maestromasada ยท 35 replies
Feb 9, 2008
  1. Hi there,
    Like many millions pc zombies in the world I've been running windows for years, 98, 2K and now XP. I've lost the account of crashes that I've suffered, data lost and reloading windows again and again.
    I always wanted to moved to Linux and have used Mandrake in the early days (always that X server problem!), ReadHat and now use Suse in a laptop. However I stil use windows as my main desktop and are scare of moving to linux for the following:
    1. What 'flavour' shall I use? I know is a silly question but I have no idea what label of linux provided the most stable kernel as a whole.
    My other main ghost about linux is: how do i recover data is case of system failure? After the years I've learnt in windows that you install in C:\ only the OS, put all your stuff in D:\ and let it go; when it crashes (that it will) just wipe C:\ and you keep you data intact. But how do you do that in linux? the /home partition always need to be formatted when you do a new instalation, right?
  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Not at all. If the /home directory is on another partition, when installing any distribution of Linux /home is never set to be formatted by default. You have to manually ask for it.

    Try downloading the Ubuntu distribution (7.10 available right now) & you can run it as a Live CD at first, eventually installing it if you like it.
  3. bundybear

    bundybear TS Rookie

    I'd give ubuntu linux a try. Beryl looks good as
  4. maestromasada

    maestromasada TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Ubuntu? that's a new one. I just download it and I'm surprise it fits on a CD only, bet OpenOffice is not include. I'll give it a try on my laptop.
    Thank you very much guys for your suggestions.
  5. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Actually OpenOffice is included with Ubuntu.
  6. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    Yes, I used/will use Ubuntu and love it. The only thing I have against Linux is the fact that if you have Dial up you have to go through a bit of trouble to get connected.
  7. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Mostly because the modems you can purchase or the ones included with computers are winmodems nowadays. It's still impressive that Linux managed to get them working as they've really had no help from manufacturers.
  8. skaferreal

    skaferreal TS Rookie

    i like ubuntu personally
  9. daniel161

    daniel161 TS Rookie Posts: 80

    I have tried Ubuntu and Xubuntu, to me, they are both just great, but I thinkj they are more "looks" then functionality. I could only live with Ububtu for about a week, then it started driving me crazy, so I tried openSUSE, and I LOVE it, it does not look as "cool" as the Ubuntu os, but the functionality and ease of use makes up for it all.

    --Daniel L
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986


    The naive approach to installing Linux is just two filesystems (in widows terms, partitions): the / (root) and /swap for paging.

    Just like you did with C:\ and D:\, you can place user data in its own filesystem and
    automount it at boot time. This also allows dual boot Linux and to mount the user data on whatever system you boot.

    the /etc/fstab in the / (root) filesystem controls mounting and you just add a line
    to mount /home
  11. maestromasada

    maestromasada TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Thank you jobeard for the tip!
    I never tried to mount the home partition and will do that in the next installation.
    I am currently using Ubuntu and is very user friendly, let's see when the problems arise
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    remember, you have to mkfs first, mkdir /home, then add the row to fstab
  13. NFSFAN

    NFSFAN TS Rookie Posts: 245

    I'd go for Suse, much easier to use than Ubunto or Redhat.
  14. drawstop

    drawstop TS Rookie

    Oh, Yes - Open Office is there; I've been using Ubuntu for a very long time and to date it has NEVER crashed nor given me any problem. It does all my banking and office work and I see no reason to line Microsoft's bank balance for an OS that is NOT AS GOOD AS UBUNTU! My Toshiba laptop has been dual booting Ubuntu and Xp ever since I can remember. I've had to reinstall XP twice but Ubuntu not at all. There must be a moral in this.
    Regrds and all the very best.
  15. Eigfrost

    Eigfrost TS Rookie Posts: 21

  16. Keyt1989

    Keyt1989 TS Rookie

    I have used many versions of Linux (Ubuntu, RedHat, YellowDog, Linspire)
    My favorite was YellowDog but everybody has their own taste.
  17. gigastrand

    gigastrand TS Rookie

    Linspire/freespire are currently the only distributions that we have tried that pass all of our requirements for operating system user-friendliness. I myself am using Linspire and freespire on all of my systems (no Microsoft anything on my systems).
  18. jonmcc33

    jonmcc33 TS Rookie Posts: 60

    I agree entirely. I tried PCLinuxOS 2007, Fedora Core 8, Ubuntu 7.10, Kubuntu 7.10 and even Solaris 10. None of them kept my interest and they all had their share of problems.

    Once I tried OpenSUSE 10.3 I settled down and really enjoy using a Linux distro over Windows for once.

    Ubuntu has a large user base so the illusion is that you get better support. But I just didn't like it and I do not like Gnome at all either. OpenSUSE offers great support as well through it's Wiki and forums.
  19. I disagree, ubuntu's community and support is second to none. And this is not due to it's large userbase but down to the support and community ethic they have. Also if you don't like gnome then there's kubuntu.
  20. jonmcc33

    jonmcc33 TS Rookie Posts: 60

    You have an Ubuntu avatar, I wouldn't expect you to agree. It's just what I noticed, not being a fan of anything really myself. As I said, I gave a lot of distros a try and I'm coming directly from Windows.

    Kubuntu isn't the answer. After a fresh install I'd try to run updates and it would always mess up in the middle of installing them. That was Kubuntu 7.10 by the way. It's just Ubuntu with KDE. So I still don't like Ubuntu and why would I want to try Kubuntu again over OpenSUSE?
  21. I have an ubuntu avatar, that does not mean I'm a biased fanboy! :haha: Appearances can be deceiving. Perhaps I just like the design. To be honest I was going to change it ages ago but couldn't be bothered.

    Define "mess up"? I've never had this problem, yes I've had problems with Ubuntu but no more problems than I've had with Fedora, Debian, SUSE or Mandriva. As to why you'd want to try it again, well that's up to you. I was responding to your "I just don't like gnome" statement by reminding you that a non gnome version of Ubuntu does exist. Apart from that I can't see what exactly is so bad about ubuntu. Personally I can get on just fine with gnome, I'm not so hung up on desktop managers as some users are. If it works and it's stable that will do. KDE is nice but it is a bit bloated and needs a good system to run it.

    The reason why Ubuntu is getting a bit of bad press lately is because it's getting too popular and most people trying it are utterly clueless newbies that want to get the desktop cube (compiz) working for a day and will then swtich back to using windows. Basically it's in danger of becoming a gimmick. I think if the ubuntu developers switch back to priorities and remove compiz from the default install, the distro will regain some of it's cred.

  22. jonmcc33

    jonmcc33 TS Rookie Posts: 60

    Heh heh! Don't get me started on Fedora.

    Compiz is a gimmick. It doesn't really impress nor does it help me use my desktop to the best. In fact, desktop enhancements are rather pointless to me as it's just a place for my icons.

    I got it working on PCLinuxOS and was bored of it after 10 minutes. I never tried it on anything else.

    Well, Ubuntu is Gnome so it's not for me. I tried Kubuntu and that's where I was really disappointed because right after install when I tried to run all the updates it would download all of them and then in the middle of installing them it would "mess up". I don't remember the errors but when it errors in the middle of an update after numerous installs then that's not a good sign for me.

    I just wanted something that looked polished and well done, OpenSUSE was just that for me. I do use the Ubuntu forums for help with a lot of things though (such as installing the Wolfenstein game, wasn't sure how to get a .run file working). So the Linux community itself is still a great help either way.
  23. I disagree, compiz in itself is not a gimmick. Using 3D acceleration on the desktop makes perfect sense (instead of all the 3D processing power of your graphics card sitting idle and your cpu taking the load), though I agree that the "cube" and some of the other effects (wobbly windows etc) are.
  24. jonmcc33

    jonmcc33 TS Rookie Posts: 60

    Using 3D acceleration on your desktop causes additional power drain for nothing but a visual boost. The enhanced productivity added by using Compiz is zilch. So it is useless and a gimmick.
  25. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    I'm a total newb to Linux, been tinkering with it for maybe two months. I'd honestly have to say openSUSE 10.3 has been far more enjoyable to use than other distros I've tried (Ubuntu 7.10, Kubuntu 7.10, simplyMEPIS 7, Freespire 2.0.3 [worst experience]).
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