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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist bradical1379's Avatar
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    how many of you run Linux?

    I have recently been considering building a small computer and running Linux on it. I have been a Windows users my entire life, but I have been reading about the benefits of Linux and I am intreagued. So I figured for a nominal investment of around $200 I could build a pretty decent PC to do alot of my development on in the Linux OS.

    Any drawbacks to doing this?

  2. #2
    100% Windoze-free earther's Avatar
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    The only reason I still keep Windoze around is for occasional video editing. Linux video editors are NOT YET up to what Roxio can do (or I haven't learned hem well enough). Unfortunately Wine does not support DirectX and that is the hangup.

    The few other Windoze proggies that I rely on - PS 7, NoteTab Pro (text editor) etc - are happily running in Wine.

    There's no turning back now. I absolutely LOVE Linux (running Ubuntu Feisty).

  3. #3
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    Smile Go Ahead! Try Linux :)

    Quote Originally Posted by bradical1379 View Post
    I have recently been considering building a small computer and running Linux on it. I have been a Windows users my entire life, but I have been reading about the benefits of Linux and I am intreagued. So I figured for a nominal investment of around $200 I could build a pretty decent PC to do alot of my development on in the Linux OS.

    Any drawbacks to doing this?
    Well, I wouldn't consider this a drawback but obviously, you wont be able to run most of your Windows software that get used to. One of the things people should realize when switching to Linux is that it is not MS WINDOWS. Linux behaves different and sometimes quite hard to use or just like my friend used to say.. "the learning curve is quite steep". But worry, the rewards of using and learning it is really great and you can poke any part of Linux. Btw, with regards to popular programs in Windows, it is rare that most of them would have a linux version. What most Linux users do is they use WINE(www.winehq.org) to run most of their windows games(starcraft, red alert, war craft, etc...) or CrossOver Office from www.codeweavers.com to run MS Office.

    Since you're a first timer, i recommend UBUNTU LINUX 7.10 which you can download for FREE from their website www.ubuntu.com.... You can try Ubuntu Linux without installing it since it is a Live CD. Just booth your computer with a copy of Ubuntu in your CDROM(be sure to set your BIOS to boot in CDROM first).

    Go Ahead! There's nothing to fear. Linux distros are way easier there days than when I started. They are more user friendly now. Good Luck!!!!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    There are so many versions of Linux distributions that I, too, recommend Ubuntu. I have it on one of my older boxes but actually run FreeBSD (there is only one version) and have not used Windows in two years.

    As far as software, as stated, many of the Windows programs don't run on Linux but Windows has the disadvantage that many Linux programs don't run on Windows.

    There are many programs that are equivalent, better, or close enough, to Windows programs available. Most people don't use all the features of the programs they buy and use anyway so you won't miss them anyway.

  5. #5
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    I made the switch about 4 months ago and I don't regret it. The only time I boot the windows partition is for gaming and quicken. At some point I'll use VM to boot quicken.

    Ubuntu has better eye candy, easier on the resources and administering your system is less of a hassle. Security is much better as well.

    There are some things that will drive you nuts. Getting a high end graphics card to work correctly can be painful. Sometimes things don't work as intended without tweeking and there are 10 different ways to accomplish the same task.

    Support on the Ubuntu forums is amazing. Any possible application can be found quickly and installed without even opening a browser. For example I needed a password manager application. Simply type it in the search box and you will get a large list of free applications to choose from.

    It did take me a good amount of time to get everything set up and running the way I like it.

  6. #6
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    I have been using Linux for about four years now and I would not go back to a windows computer for anything. It took a while to get used to doing things but eventually it all makes sense. As advised above start with an easy distro (Ubuntu, Fedora, PCLinuxOS) but take some time to see what is available to you on distrowatch. As noted high end graphics could be a problem but not one you will probably need to worry about based on the budget you mentioned. I would advise that you try to find native alternatives instead of using wine as I have always found wine a little troublesome. Having said that I do have IEs4Linux installed through it for checking sites. Some programs you may want to look into are Bluefish, Quanta, Komposer (dreamweaver type programs) Gimp, Inkscape (Graphics editors).

    One drawback I can see is that if you are installing this to a different computer you will not use it as much as you intend as you will need to use your other computer. Why not save the money and install it on your current machine and dual boot. I know the Ubuntu disk makes it easy to do but please back up just in case if you do.
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast Cifra's Avatar
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    I use Linux... obviously...

    it is a GREAT operating system, much better than any of the others on the market...

    just a word of advice; if you don't have time, stick with windows... Linux distros like Ubuntu are easy and fast to install (20 mins, graphical installer better than Vista'S), but you can screw up a lot of stuff by yourself afterwards.
    Free Software

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  8. #8
    SitePoint Evangelist bradical1379's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cifra View Post
    I use Linux... obviously...

    it is a GREAT operating system, much better than any of the others on the market...

    just a word of advice; if you don't have time, stick with windows... Linux distros like Ubuntu are easy and fast to install (20 mins, graphical installer better than Vista'S), but you can screw up a lot of stuff by yourself afterwards.

    Screw up what?

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    I think he means getting lost in the conf files and setting something wrong. But conf files are just text files so it's easy enough to go back.

  10. #10
    100% Windoze-free earther's Avatar
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    Messing with xorg can really screw things up as can /boot/grub/menu.lst and lot's of other places. But then sometimes breaking something is the only way to learn . . .

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast Cifra's Avatar
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    You can screw up stuff in Linux if:
    - you edit conf files
    - you want to change a module / component
    - you get into dependency hell (RPM based distros do that)
    ...
    Free Software

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  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast Syam's Avatar
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    Using Linux since 2003, and stopped using windows since I got Ubuntu 6.06
    Last edited by Syam; Dec 28, 2007 at 05:57.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast Cifra's Avatar
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    I like Debian.
    Free Software

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  14. #14
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    I've been using Linux at home for a couple of years now, and I've never looked back.

    The only caveat is if you need extra hardware. There may not be drivers available, since most hardware vendors, sadly, don't know there's anything but Windows out there.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot detzX's Avatar
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    Linux fan here. Centos at work, Gentoo on my laptop. Dual-boot and give it a try or do the vmware thing. You could also sign up for a virtual server and play around that way, I've been using Linux for almost 10 years and I still don't know things about it!
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  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict dAEk's Avatar
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    I tried to migrate from Windows to Linux (Ubuntu) a couple of months ago and while Ubuntu has improved in pretty much every area since my first play with it, I was expecting a more unified experience. Ubuntu is still installed but as an virtual operating system through VMWare. I need to make friends with Linux because it is not with the best of confidence I update/deploy stuff at work...

    I've had plans to throw out Windows all together but there are too many little things in Linux (especially related to GUI) that bug me too much for that to happen.
    David Shamloo-Ekblad

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  17. #17
    www.logoraman.com electroskan.com's Avatar
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    I would like to ask you all some questions....

    will there be any trouble running PS CS2 and Illu CS2 in Linux.
    will there be any trouble with my HP scanjet 2400 scanner

    I am also thinking of a shift to Linux.
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast Cifra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electroskan.com View Post
    I would like to ask you all some questions....

    will there be any trouble running PS CS2 and Illu CS2 in Linux.
    will there be any trouble with my HP scanjet 2400 scanner

    I am also thinking of a shift to Linux.
    The latest version of PS which works with linux is PS7 (through the compatibility layer WINE) - but it works faster than on windows

    http://appdb.winehq.org

    check out the apps.
    Free Software

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  19. #19
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    I've gone and installed Ubuntu 7.10 on my laptop along with Windows Vista.

    One of the reason I held off from giving Linux a serious try is for the lack of NTFS support namely writing. But with NTFS-3g I now have full access to my Windows partition and my External HDD.

    Oh and Compiz is also very nice with all of its effects. Just need better driver support for my ATI card x.x

    However there are a few problems that are keeping me from moving completely to Linux.

    First one being is I'm having major problems with VMware working, Its not letting me install or boot from CD nor is network working on allready setup VMs.

    Lack of Adobe CS3 support, Critical applications for school. And games.

    And IMO Windows at this time is just so much more user friendly.

    *is writing this post from Linux*
    Logic without the fatal effects.
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  20. #20
    100% Windoze-free earther's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    I've gone and installed Ubuntu 7.10 on my laptop along with Windows Vista.

    One of the reason I held off from giving Linux a serious try is for the lack of NTFS support namely writing. But with NTFS-3g I now have full access to my Windows partition and my External HDD.

    Oh and Compiz is also very nice with all of its effects. Just need better driver support for my ATI card x.x

    However there are a few problems that are keeping me from moving completely to Linux.

    First one being is I'm having major problems with VMware working, Its not letting me install or boot from CD nor is network working on allready setup VMs.

    Lack of Adobe CS3 support, Critical applications for school. And games.

    And IMO Windows at this time is just so much more user friendly.

    *is writing this post from Linux*
    Congrats on taking the plunge! Yeah, the NTFS-3g support is a winner. I use it all the time myself. Not interested in Compiz so can't comment there.

    I know VMware works in Linux. Are you sure you have the correct install package? I have VirtualBox up and running in Feisty so you might give that a try as an alternative to VMware.

    All I need is PS 7 but I think Wine is working on CS3 support. Have you checked their database? I don't know what you mean by "critical applications" but Crossover will run many standard MS apps. I'm not a gamer but if you research, you might be able to play you favorite games. Again, check the Wine db and also Cedega,

    Now that I've gotten used to Linux, Windows seems really gross.

  21. #21
    <code></code><WoW></WoW> nukeemusn's Avatar
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    First, you might be able to get a FREE computer to run linux on, especially if you're just trying it out/playing around on it. Check Craigslist for a few weeks and see if anyone is getting rid of old harware. You can usually put together a system from throw-away parts of other systems if you're patient enough. Linux also doesn't have much in the way of hardware requirements, so the system doens't REALLY have to be that good. I built an Ubuntu box for some kids I know who couldn't afford a computer so they can do schoolwork and play web games. It's got a Pentium 3 and 512MB Ram, an OLD 32MB video card, and a 20GB hard drive. All free stuff form Craigslist, and Ubuntu runs fine.

    I forgot what my "secondly" was going to be...

    But if you buld a separate computer jsut for this, and don't use it for serious work until your'e comfortable with Linux, then I can't really see any drawbacks, as you cna always Re-install without losing anything important.

    Also, check out virtualization technology. It's free for home use, doesn't require any physical square-footage, and is extremely versatile. You can run VMWare server on your home computer, and run a Linux distro inside it. Or put twelve Linux distros inside it. It doesn't matter. You can try all the distros you can find and figure out which you like best.

    I've got a spare linux box (Running Ubuntu Studio) I use just to rip my DVD's to my iPod. I've also got one that I use wth the intent of breaking the software on it. That way I don't mess up anything important, as I am a tweaker and just can't help digging in places I shouldn't sometimes
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  22. #22
    Afraid I can't do that Dave Hal9k's Avatar
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    Registered Linux user since 2005-01-03, though probably been using it for longer. Started out with RedHat 9, then moved to Slackware where I did some interesting things like recompile the kernel and compile programs and libraries (dependency hell isn't only with RPM files). Switched over to Ubuntu Breezy and have been using Ubuntu ever since.

    I don't play games and I'm not a graphics designer, so it's ideal for me. Though I know a friend who is using the GIMP and Inkscape commercially. The GIMP may not have import print features, but I've seen some amazing web graphics created with it.

    The general programming environment beats Windows hands-down for me. Why?

    • Intelligent shell (BASH)
    • Libraries usually come accompanied with a -dev release that allows you to install and start using them in no time.
    • Tools such as make, autoconf and pkg-config
    • Whole programming environments integrated into the system that intelligently preserve configuration when you upgrade, ie. LAMP.
    • Better community? Most things are open source, in many cases I've been on a mailing-list where I have received personal help from the maintainer.
    • Native Windows programming using Mono.


    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth
    And IMO Windows at this time is just so much more user friendly.
    I can see why you say that, it really is what you're used to. I have no idea how to use Vista, but find XP alright. With Linux and GNOME, things have remained consistent practically since I started. Actually the Vista issue is a bone of contention for me. At university people have no end of trouble using Vista on their laptops. XP and a security suite like Norton actually works, but Vista makes me want to instinctively bash Microsoft again. Vista comes preinstalled on laptops and in many cases they can't handle it properly without making tweaks that a lot of people don't understand. Most people just want to browse YouTube, play some games, type up some reports and chat on MSN. I don't see how Vista improves things a great deal over XP and security software.
    Last edited by Hal9k; Jan 3, 2008 at 10:55.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by detzX View Post
    You could also sign up for a virtual server and play around that way
    Where can I do that?

    Also will Ubuntu work ok on a 900Mhz Celeron with 384ram?

  24. #24
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebDonkey View Post
    Also will Ubuntu work ok on a 900Mhz Celeron with 384ram?
    Yes it will I have it on far less then that.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard HarryR's Avatar
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    I recently reached the wonderful "Linux user for a decade" point a few months ago. Woo


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