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Old 02-18-2012, 10:53 AM
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Question Please tell my about the Linux OS vs Windows 7

Now that my home brew PC is up and running well. I'm contemplating upgrading my Windows XP Pro to Win 7 or possibly something else. Linux is one of the other possibilities...it looks to be a lot less expensive than Win 7 and I'm wondering why? Insights from those in-the-know please! TIA

The PC is mostly used for typical family stuff...surfing, videos, music, games, homework, taxes, etc.

Gigabyte GA-965-GM-S2 MB
CPU - Intel Xeon 3060 (same as E6600 Core 2 Duo)
500GB Western Digital SATA HD
Pioneer CD/DVD ROM-writer
4GB DDR2 PC5300 667 RAM
500W Corsair PSU
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:22 PM
LinuxRandal LinuxRandal is offline
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You may want to either make it dual boot, or more likely TRY a bootable CD/DVD or USB key FIRST.
I repeat TRY FIRST BEFORE INSTALLING.

There are VERY limited Games on Linux (store bought). Most do require work arounds (not the best choice if you have kids into them).

Other then the PDF's from the IRS, (which you print out or in some cases can fill out on a Linux pc) THERE IS NO LINUX TAX SOFTWARE. The government set it up in such a way that it is contractually not allowed to provide an open source alternative.

For the rest of the work, websurfing, Youtube, Office/homework, email, etc. Linux works just fine. Personally, if one has kids I would want their games, on THEIR OWN computer or at the very least installed under their user name (no connection with pc that has tax/financial info on it). I've seen enough issues over the years when I gamed, of people screwing up their systems.
I would recommend, as this (if I remember correctly) is due to your old pc dying, that you find an old pc, that someone is giving away, if you want to go full install first, BECAUSE there IS a LEARNING CURVE (STEEP FOR MOST that started with Windows).
Linux was started by an individual as a college project, using software from GNU. He let people play with it, and worldwide development ensued. While companies (Red Hat, SUSE, etc) put together versions, individuals can put together their own, it isn't under the control of one company, lots of places to get it. Primarily, that is the reason it is so much cheaper. Lots of people developing what they need and use and doing so in a way (licensing) that they give back to the community and people either pay who they want to reward, (buy a prepackaged) or can make their own or get a free (cost) version. But this shouldn't be confused as it isn't about price, but about freedom of choice.
“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”.
Some links:
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
http://www.fsf.org/
http://www.distrowatch.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/nixiedoeslinux

Linux is NOT Windows. While a lot of us who use it, call and consider it an upgrade, it is NOT an upgrade as your used to. It wouldn't be any different if you were asking about switching to Mac (your old software wouldn't run on it), without other parts. I hope this helps.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:57 PM
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It helps a lot. Thank you.
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:22 PM
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You might do well to do as Randall mentioned and use the Live CD or a geekstick first to see if you will be comfortable with it.

I've been using Linux for about 10 years, and other than one system of my own that has windows on it, my other five computers all use Ubuntu or OpenSuse.

It is much better at a lot of things than Microsoft is, especially when it comes to the crappy bloatware you are forced into using on MS. Linux is also much better at memory utilization than Windows.

One of the reasons I use it though is that even if Windows won't recognize a drive or tells you that a file is damaged, Linux is still able to access it and in many cases you can make repairs.

Good Luck! I hope you have a great time with your new experience!
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knottscott View Post
Now that my home brew PC is up and running well. I'm contemplating upgrading my Windows XP Pro to Win 7 or possibly something else. Linux is one of the other possibilities...it looks to be a lot less expensive than Win 7 and I'm wondering why?

If you go with Ubuntu or Mint, they are very similar to windows, very little additional "learning curve". I'd install windows first, then install Ubuntu dual boot - very simple and clean process, better than installing most windows programs.

A couple of possible issues:
1. the open source office packages don't always read Word and Excel files that use the "obscure" features. For example, if you are pasting images into Excel, OpenOffice doesn't keep the images in their own cells.
2. If you are using certain graphics cards, notably Nvidia, the non-LTS versions of Ubuntu can have some problems. If you stick to the LTS (long term support) versions, you should be fine.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodturner View Post
If you go with Ubuntu or Mint, they are very similar to windows, very little additional "learning curve". I'd install windows first, then install Ubuntu dual boot - very simple and clean process, better than installing most windows programs.
The biggest learning curve, I see with people, is different terminology, due to different thought process.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:02 PM
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Ubuntu is a very user friendly flavor of Linux and I was happy with it for what I was using it for - surfing and documents.

I had Xubuntu because of the small space requirements, but any of the variants would be fine.
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:18 PM
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The guy that helped me load Win XP suggested a trial dual boot Ubuntu also...kind of a nice option as opposed to dumping $100 for Vista, only to find out that you don't like it.

Thanks gang!
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