Author Topic: Linux OS for a new user  (Read 9024 times)

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Offline Kilrah

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #50 on: September 01, 2019, 09:11:11 pm »
An OS that requires auto updates to be disabled by GPO in order to be usable is broken by design.
So the linux distros that are likely to be adopted by people migrating from Windows are also broken by design since you need to get to command line shenanigans to disable the unattended upgrades.

Maybe you're just used to Windows? I find Apple MacOS/IOS just as tedious. Once you've used a good, well-configured Linux distro, everything else feels sluggish. This is coming from a Windows veteran.
I don't want to spend hours setting up my OS so it works right, and breaks with some package update later (been there, done that).
I've extensively used all 3 systems, and both Mac OS and Linux have, for a desktop setup like mine which is still somewhat unusual with a very large 4K60p display too many limitations to work properly for me.
One thing that I use a LOT and neither comes up close is... the very basic Windows Explorer.
I spend a significant amount of my time on a computer organizing and managing files and folders, and Windows' explorer is by very far much more practical and efficient at that  for me than any of the offerings I've tried on both of the other major systems, third party tweaks included.

« Last Edit: September 01, 2019, 09:12:56 pm by Kilrah »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #51 on: September 01, 2019, 10:53:07 pm »
So the linux distros that are likely to be adopted by people migrating from Windows are also broken by design since you need to get to command line shenanigans to disable the unattended upgrades.


Which distro would that be?

I have 5 or 6 machines running various flavors of Ubuntu and I've never had to muck with the updates or do any sort of command line tricks. During install I set them to check automatically and notify me when updates are available, they do that and when it's convenient for me I click the button to update now. When it's done it sometimes tells me a reboot is necessary for some of the changes to take effect, it has never once forced an update or a reboot when I was in the middle of something or forced me to wait through an update to shut down or reboot. If you can find an example where this is necessary please share, but I have yet to run into it, ever. Updates wait patiently for days, weeks, even months and when they do happen, they are non-intrusive, they never, ever install freaking Candy Crush or other useless bloatware on computers I use as tools.

On the other hand I had to use Win10 for just under 2 years at a former job and it was a constant struggle. In 30+ years of using PCs I have never experienced an OS that is so user-hostile, it made my blood boil. I was able to work around most of the crap but it felt like it was constantly fighting against my wishes, it was wearing me down, very slowly destroying my soul. I finally left that toxic relationship and I do not miss it one bit, although it makes me sad that Microsoft, the company I started my career at and once loved has gone down a path that has turned me to loathe almost every one of their products. They still have some very bright people working there, I still know quite a few of them, but something has changed and it's not for the better.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 01:32:35 am by james_s »
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #52 on: September 01, 2019, 10:56:32 pm »
But not all kinds of file transfer protocols. I didn't list an exhaustive list of features I need. I'm going to try SecureCRT.

SecureCRT is quite good, I used it at a former job where the built in scripting was very useful.

These days I don't need any of that stuff so I just use PuTTY or SSH.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #53 on: September 01, 2019, 11:02:16 pm »
On the other hand I had to use Win10 for under under 2 years at a former job and it was a constant struggle. In 30+ years of using PCs I have never experienced an OS that is so user-hostile, it made my blood boil. I was able to work around most of the crap but it felt like it was constantly fighting against my wishes, it was wearing me down, very slowly destroying my soul. I finally left that toxic relationship and I do not miss it one bit, although it makes me sad that Microsoft, the company I started my career at and once loved has gone down a path that has turned me to loathe almost every one of their products.

I couldn't have put it better myself and I'm in the exact same situation as yourself. Not a week goes by where I don't hear someone utter similar feelings towards Windows 10.
 
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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #54 on: September 02, 2019, 01:03:37 am »
One thing that I use a LOT and neither comes up close is... the very basic Windows Explorer.
I spend a significant amount of my time on a computer organizing and managing files and folders, and Windows' explorer is by very far much more practical and efficient at that  for me than any of the offerings I've tried on both of the other major systems, third party tweaks included.
In my experience, it's an ancient dinosaur without even something as basic as tabs like every modern web browser does. Have you tried SpaceFM?

I also think Windows itself is a bit behind with GUI design in not having an always on top button. Nview works well for adding that small and very useful feature, but requires a Nvidia GPU.
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Offline james_s

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #55 on: September 02, 2019, 01:36:55 am »
I also think Windows itself is a bit behind with GUI design in not having an always on top button. Nview works well for adding that small and very useful feature, but requires a Nvidia GPU.

I think the Windows 7 GUI is quite nice, it's very polished and I have few complaints. About the only thing that bugged me enough to make me go out of my way to customize it was the worthlessly clunky calculator app and mspaint and wordpad that were redesigned to have a stupid ribbon instead of a proper menu. I replaced those all with the versions from Vista and have been happy ever since.

10 was a major regression in terms of GUI, it's like they hacked together a half assed wireframe and just called it good. It has that same crusty half baked inconsistent feel I remember from FOSS back in the mid 2000's.
 

Offline ledtester

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #56 on: September 02, 2019, 01:47:28 am »
I also think Windows itself is a bit behind with GUI design in not having an always on top button. Nview works well for adding that small and very useful feature, but requires a Nvidia GPU.

Speaking of file managers that require a GPU...



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Offline MyHeadHz

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #57 on: September 02, 2019, 03:53:00 am »
Well, deciding which distribution to try can be overwhelming.  Personally, I recommend starting off by just installing Linux to a USB drive live install (or live DVD).  You don't have to configure or commit to anything as your current OS/HDD's remain untouched.  You can try out a few different distros to see what you like before committing to installing it to a hard drive.  It is worth noting, though, that live installs are only recommended for basic testing and familiarity.  Once you decide on which one you like, you should install it to a hdd/ssd.

To directly answer your question, I recommend the MATE version of Linux Mint for users coming from Windows.   Just pick the latest 64-bit LTS (long-term support) version (19.2/Tina).  Link: https://www.linuxmint.com/release.php?id=35

How it fits into the GNU/Linux family: It is an Ubuntu-based distro, which itself is Debian-based.
 

Offline ebclr

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #58 on: September 02, 2019, 09:47:33 am »
It's worth check this link

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/install-win10

You can have both worlds together at full speed
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #59 on: September 02, 2019, 03:39:32 pm »
What's the point? If you really need Win10 for something, run it in a VM so you can isolate it from everything else.
 
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Offline ledtester

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #60 on: September 02, 2019, 04:47:13 pm »
What's the point? If you really need Win10 for something, run it in a VM so you can isolate it from everything else.

But maybe you don't want them isolated. Being able to run Linux apps and utilities directly on Windows files and vice-versa can be a powerful combination.

Here's some testimony from WSL users. Many mention they use WSL to avoid having to set up a virtual machine:

https://www.reddit.com/r/bashonubuntuonwindows/comments/cwii0w/what_cool_things_does_wsl_enables_you_to_do/

 

Online Nominal Animal

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #61 on: September 02, 2019, 04:50:54 pm »
WSL is Windows' equivalent of Wine for Linux, and certainly has its problems.  It is definitely not a replacement for a Linux system, just a compatibility layer that lets you run some Linux applications.
 

Online rstofer

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #62 on: September 02, 2019, 05:38:01 pm »
Then there is cygwin.  I use if specifically for the gcc and gfortran compilers.  These are the underlying tools for eclipse with the CDT tools and Photran (Fortran add-on).

Cygwin also uses the X-11 package for a graphic interface but I have never used it.

https://www.cygwin.com/faq.html

I guess it depends on WHY the OP wants to use Linux.  If it is general disgust at Windows, he better get over it.  No matter how bad he thinks Windows is, Linux is worse.  OTOH, if he wants to use the tools, as I do and highly recommend, then dual-boot or a dedicated machine is the way to go.  Everybody has a left over machine sitting in the corner, collecting dust.  The nice thing about Linux is that it will run on some fairly old hardware.

Here's another off-the-wall idea:  The new Raspberry Pi 4 is quite a powerful desktop machine.  I have one running on my desk at the moment and it's fun to use.  All it needs, besides the Pi itself, is an HDMI monitor (or TV set, I suppose), and some kind of USB based keyboard and mouse.  I bought a couple of the high dollar kits simply because they include a suitable power supply (5.1V 3A USB C connector with switch) and a fan with heatsinks and a ventilated box.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product

So, if a monitor or TV set is laying around, $100 plus a keyboard/mouse will provide a complete Linux environment.  It's not bad, faster than you might expect and clearly fast enough for my little command line Fortran projects.  It compiles and links in a blink of an eye and the output is even faster.

I know, everybody is chuckling at the old guy promoting a Pi, but this is a pretty serious machine.  No, it's not as fast as my I7-7700K but it doesn't need to be for most command line stuff.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #63 on: September 02, 2019, 05:56:47 pm »
I guess it depends on WHY the OP wants to use Linux.  If it is general disgust at Windows, he better get over it.  No matter how bad he thinks Windows is, Linux is worse.  OTOH, if he wants to use the tools, as I do and highly recommend, then dual-boot or a dedicated machine is the way to go.  Everybody has a left over machine sitting in the corner, collecting dust.  The nice thing about Linux is that it will run on some fairly old hardware.


I just don't see it. I've been using Linux pretty heavily for several years now and while it's not free of problems, it doesn't have any of the crap that irritates me (and many, many others) about the current version of Windows. The only reason I'm not using it on everything is that Win7 is still viable and I still quite like it but if the only version of Windows that existed was 10, the choice would be dead easy, Ubuntu or Mint wins hands down, no comparison. Win10 runs fine in a VM for those rare times when one really needs Windows.
 
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Online rstofer

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #64 on: September 02, 2019, 06:17:20 pm »
I just don't see it. I've been using Linux pretty heavily for several years now and while it's not free of problems, it doesn't have any of the crap that irritates me (and many, many others) about the current version of Windows. The only reason I'm not using it on everything is that Win7 is still viable and I still quite like it but if the only version of Windows that existed was 10, the choice would be dead easy, Ubuntu or Mint wins hands down, no comparison. Win10 runs fine in a VM for those rare times when one really needs Windows.
I guess because EVERY time I try to do something a little off the trail, I spend a lot of quality time with Google.  Absolutely NOTHING works for me right out of the box beyond the trivial desktop.  Minicom - oops, it isn't installed.  Find out how to install it on Google: sudo apt-get install minicom.  Oops,'minicom: cannot open /dev/tty8: Permission denied'.  Oops, have to add the user to a special group which can be easily discovered by, again, Google.  Then we're back to the command line and sudo.  But first, I have to log in as root to add the user to 'sudoers'.  And on and on it goes.  What's with udev rules?  How come I can just plug and play on Windows but Linux wants to argue about it?  Don't even get me started on Broadcom WiFi or Nvidia graphics.  How do you find out which repository to use?  The distro creators won't include them because the drivers aren't open source.  Off to Google again.  Google becomes your best friend.  What's with the Unity desktop with the buttons on the wrong side?  You used to be able to change the locations but the developers decided they knew best and removed that capability.

Seriously, I think of Linux as a major PITA for anything off the main path.  OTOH, I like using the terminal window and the command line tools.  So I use it anyway.  I use Linux quite a bit but I don't think it is within a mile of the convenience of Win 7 or Win 10 for the user.

But, hey, that's just based on my use case.  The vast majority of users will never need minicom.  Or any other USB devices that are a bit off the path.  Maybe they'll have the good sense to skip over Nvidia graphics cards.



« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 06:37:53 pm by rstofer »
 
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Online rstofer

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #65 on: September 02, 2019, 06:27:03 pm »
Raspberry Pi 4 takes 0.237 seconds to compile and execute this program:

Code: [Select]
      program Popul8

      double precision lambda, p0, p1, t, pop
      integer i

      p0 = 3929214
      p1 = 5308483
      lambda = log(p1/p0)/10.0
      print 20, p0, p1, lambda

      do 10 i = 0,100,10
        t = float(i)
        pop = 3929214.0*exp(lambda * t)
        print 30, i+1790, pop
  10  continue

  20  format('!',10x,'p0 = ',f12.0,/
     +       '!',10x,'p1 = ',f12.0,/
     +       '!',10x,'lambda = ', f7.5,//)

  30  format('!',10x,i4,f13.0)

      end program Popul8

!          p0 =     3929214.
!          p1 =     5308483.
!          lambda = 0.03009


!          1790     3929214.
!          1800     5308483.
!          1810     7171916.
!          1820     9689468.
!          1830    13090754.
!          1840    17685992.
!          1850    23894292.
!          1860    32281887.
!          1870    43613774.
!          1880    58923484.
!          1890    79607349.

This was an exponential growth problem from my grandson's Differential Equations course.  Just for giggles, I coded it in Fortran.

This new Pi 4 is a pretty sweet machine.  I have a second kit as linked above plus another board-only in transit.  Given a spare monitor and keyboard/mouse, it's easy to come up with a Linux machine at a very interesting price.



« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 06:39:48 pm by rstofer »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #66 on: September 02, 2019, 08:58:38 pm »
Then there is cygwin.  I use if specifically for the gcc and gfortran compilers.  These are the underlying tools for eclipse with the CDT tools and Photran (Fortran add-on).

Cygwin also uses the X-11 package for a graphic interface but I have never used it.

https://www.cygwin.com/faq.html

I guess it depends on WHY the OP wants to use Linux.  If it is general disgust at Windows, he better get over it.  No matter how bad he thinks Windows is, Linux is worse.  OTOH, if he wants to use the tools, as I do and highly recommend, then dual-boot or a dedicated machine is the way to go.  Everybody has a left over machine sitting in the corner, collecting dust.  The nice thing about Linux is that it will run on some fairly old hardware.
Again very bad advice!
First of all Cygwin sucks bad and has many flaws. It tries to emulate a Unix environment under Windows but there are too many differences in the designs of both OSses to make this impossible (for example Windows doesn't care about uppercase and lowercase characters in filenames). If a program is compiled using Cygwin I avoid it because it will have a problem as some point.

Using an old computer or dual boot is going to suck. Dual boot takes too long to start (and you need to close down all your programs) and an older computer will (usually) be slow (besides using extra electricity). A virtual machine really is the best way to use both Linux and Windows because you can use both together (*) and get the strong points from both.  Any other way is just a crutch.

* For example: I can copy the advertisement at the top of this page from Firefox running on Linux and paste it into a Word document in a VM running Windows. Again; wirtual machines are more than just a way to run one OS on top of the other; virtual machines are a way to use multiple OS in a way the result is greater than the sum of the parts.

Quote
I guess because EVERY time I try to do something a little off the trail, I spend a lot of quality time with Google.  Absolutely NOTHING works for me right out of the box beyond the trivial desktop.  Minicom - oops, it isn't installed.  Find out how to install it on Google: sudo apt-get install minicom.  Oops,'minicom: cannot open /dev/tty8:
I think this is more due to that you know how to use Windows and have much less experience with Linux yet. People tend to forget that they have decades of experience with solving Windows issues. Finding drivers for Windows can be just as daunting as it is for Linux. Try to install a driver for a scanner or printer on Windows for example.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 09:05:32 pm by nctnico »
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Offline soldar

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #67 on: September 02, 2019, 10:09:45 pm »
I guess because EVERY time I try to do something a little off the trail, I spend a lot of quality time with Google.  Absolutely NOTHING works for me right out of the box beyond the trivial desktop.  Minicom - oops, it isn't installed.  Find out how to install it on Google: sudo apt-get install minicom.  Oops,'minicom: cannot open /dev/tty8: Permission denied'.  Oops, have to add the user to a special group which can be easily discovered by, again, Google.  Then we're back to the command line and sudo.  But first, I have to log in as root to add the user to 'sudoers'.  And on and on it goes.  What's with udev rules?  How come I can just plug and play on Windows but Linux wants to argue about it?  Don't even get me started on Broadcom WiFi or Nvidia graphics.  How do you find out which repository to use?  The distro creators won't include them because the drivers aren't open source.  Off to Google again.  Google becomes your best friend.  What's with the Unity desktop with the buttons on the wrong side?  You used to be able to change the locations but the developers decided they knew best and removed that capability.

He, he, I just went through this with GTKTerminal. Pretty much the same PITA. Found out if you run the program as plain user then it does not have the credentials to open the serial port. Yeah, everything requires searching and finding out. It took me a while to find out the launch command line needs to be :"gksu /usr/bin/gtkterm". I find myself replicating lines, commands and parameters I do not understand and hoping I do not make things worse.

One thing I find annoying is that in Linux the files of a program are strewn all over the place. In Windows you pretty much have all the files in a folder in the "Program Files" folder but in Linux you can't find anything. I install something and I like to know where it went. Try to find the icon files and they can be anywhere. A disorganized mess.

Part of it may be that I do not know Linux as well as I know Windows but, Linux is definitely much more complicated!
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Offline james_s

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #68 on: September 02, 2019, 11:10:43 pm »
It's all a matter of what you're used to. I can't count the number of times I've gone poking around in the Windows registry or done other tricks and hacks to get things working, the only reason it's usually not too hard is that I've been using Windows for decades.
 
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Online rstofer

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #69 on: September 03, 2019, 01:51:22 am »
First of all Cygwin sucks bad and has many flaws. It tries to emulate a Unix environment under Windows but there are too many differences in the designs of both OSses to make this impossible (for example Windows doesn't care about uppercase and lowercase characters in filenames). If a program is compiled using Cygwin I avoid it because it will have a problem as some point.

I install only the gcc and gfortran tools from Cygwin.  It's either that or install the equivalent from MinGW.  One way or another, the Eclipse IDE has to know the location of a native compiler/linker to build native applications.  Of course, it also needs to know the location of avr-gcc and avr-libc for AVR cross-compiling.  Same for ARM and Python, etc...

I have only used Cygwin as Unix a couple of times.  It more or less works but I have a version of 2.11BSD running on my PiDP11 consoles.  That is real Unix, by definition.   FreeBSD and all the other 'BSDs are derived from 4.3BSD (and possibly 4.4) and 4.3 is very close to 2.11.  So close you can use the same manuals.

Cygwin is no better or worse than WSL except that it is possible to interchange files between Cygwin and Windows.  It is not recommended between WSL and Windows.  You are not to copy and paste into the WSL directory structure.

The nightmare that is minicom is still with us.  I just tried it with Linux on a Pi 4 and, sure enough, you have install it and when you do you don't have permissions to use it.  Kind of odd as the user 'pi' is a superuser.  But not a  uucp user...

Just keep Google open when using Linux.
 

Offline scatterandfocus

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #70 on: September 03, 2019, 07:55:36 am »
pcdroid13, if you can, install your Linux distro of choice to it's own drive.  It could be an old drive or whatever you like.  Windows tends to be hostile toward other operating systems in a dual boot setup, so don't be surprised if you having problems booting down the line in a dual boot setup.

On distros, two popular ones aimed at people who use desktop computers to do desktop things rather than for development or tinkering with and customizing are Ubuntu and Manjaro.  And there isn't anything wrong with tinkering and customizing, but you'll probably want fewer os issues to deal with in the very beginning.  Ubunutu is based on Debian.  Debian tends to have good stability but stays behind the cutting edge as a tradeoff.  Ubuntu is less stable than Debian in my experience, in trade for a little more cutting edge.  Manjaro is based on Arch.  Arch is always riding the cutting edge and can be as stable as anything else, depending on how you choose to configure it (you configure most everything to your liking in Arch) and how you choose your updates, but it would be tough going for someone who is spanking new to Linux.  Manjaro is pretty much a pre-configured Arch distro that is much easier to use as a daily driver, especially if you are new to Linux.  And Manjaro is only some weeks behind the latest and greatest that is available in Arch.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Ubuntu for various reasons.  Part of it is choices made by Canonical over the years, and part of it is bugginess that I have experienced in Ubuntu.  But Ubuntu has a good community.  I am a fan of Debian, but it intentionally stays behind the latest and greatest for stability.  Debian also has a good community, although not as exciting as what you might find elsewhere.  I am a fan of Arch too, but not so much the Arch community.  And I am a fan of Manjaro, which has a good community.   Personally, I would recommend Manjaro to anyone new to Linux.  It has the benefits of following rapid Arch development, having the latest packages available (software) as well as the AUR (Arch User Repository of user created packages).  It is pre-configured as other begininer friendly Linux distros such as Ubuntu and Mint.  And I think stability tends to be better than Ubuntu.

Whatever distro you choose to try, just keep in mind that the Linux environment is a collective of professional and hobbyist developers and tinkerers of all sorts.  There will be some rough edges along the way.  Linux distros tend not to be as polished as Windows and Mac OS.  But in most cases, you also won't have to deal with the sorts of privacy issues you see on operating systems such as Windows.  And Linux distros don't try to keep you in the dark, as in Windows.  If anything, you are over-encouraged to dig in to find out how something works, configure things to your liking, and tinker as much as you want.  And much of the native Linux desktop software tends to be less polished than commercial desktop software available on Windows.  This isn't an absolute, and there is some polished desktop software on Linux (and commercial software), but it is generally true.  So before complaining about something being not to your liking, remember that the guys/gals who developed it might just be someone like you, who decided to go a step further and get involved in development for personal interests, or a company who developed something just enough for their own needs.  Also keep in mind that many Linux users tend to love Linux for the power of the commandline enivronment, which absolutely wipes the floor with Windows in that respect. 
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 08:04:19 am by scatterandfocus »
 

Offline edy

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #71 on: September 03, 2019, 05:05:32 pm »
Hello users,

This question may be offtopic here, but i need your kind suggestions. I am now going to reinstall an operating system in my computer.
I had Windows 10 earlier. Now I am thinking to use Linux. I have not used it before so I have a few doubts.

Will it be difficult to use and understand Linux?
Will Linux be faster than Winodows 10?

I'm coming in late on the discussion so I'm sure some of my answer will have already been posted, as I didn't bother to read the entire thread. First of all, welcome to trying out Linux! It will be a bit of a learning curve but at the end of the day, you will come out better for having the knowledge even if it doesn't become your "daily driver". Although depending on your use case, like many of us on this forum here, we use Linux for often all our personal, and some even our work computing needs.

>  Will it be difficult to use and understand Linux?

Yes and no.  :-DD

Initially it will be tougher but fortunately there are plenty of places to check. Get used to Googling questions, pick up a Linux book, and learn. Installation can be fairly EASY these days with many distributions, if you can manage to make yourself a bootable USB key. That may be harder for you to do than the actual install... just getting to download the proper ISO and using a number of different tools to write to make a bootable USB key, and making sure you get past your BIOS settings to let you boot it!

You will need another computer to be able to do this, so you need to buy a few USB keys, at least 4 GB each, download a few distros and make yourself a few LIVE USB bootables... then you can try a few different Linux distros out and see which you like more.


> Will Linux be faster than Winodows 10?

Yes and no.  :-DD

Generally I find Linux to be faster but that is because I am using it on slower machines and I am customizing the Linux distro to one that has very little overhead. For example, I may use a desktop environment that is very "light" and there are Linux distros that are efficient, slim, take up little HD space, and will run much faster than say Windows 10.

However, that is not ALWAYS true, and it also depends on what you mean by "faster"? Does that mean gaming on Linux will be faster? Not really... You still have to push the same amount of calculations through your processor for graphics, etc... Sometimes you will not have optimized drivers for Linux, but you will for Windows. Will it calculate Fractals any faster? Again, this may have nothing to do with the overhead of the system. Windows 10 I have found to be fairly efficient and I have it running on older computers.

You may find Linux "faster" and more responsive if you are using a light desktop environment on an old machine. The advantage of Linux is that you can run it on fairly old hardware but be current as far as your software technology/patches and functionality, whereas Win10 may choke on the older computers simply because of lack of resources. Your old computer may run WinXP perfectly fast but it is not updated and will have vulnerabilities and problems running certain new software. Your Linux machine will still help you take advantage of your old hardware but on the latest bleeding edge of the software development, although you will still need to have minimal levels of RAM to do certain things.

ANYWAYS....

Welcome to your initial embarkation on Linux. I would recommend you start off as I mentioned with simply creating a number of LIVE USB's of say the most common/easy 4 or 5 distros, get your computer and BIOS to cooperate, and then spend some time booting those and trying them out. I did this and I even have a few "persistent" USB's which let me write files, so I never touched the hard-drive in my computer. When you are ready to commit to one distro, you can always dual-boot it on your Win10 machine and you have flexibility for a while, until you are ready to completely drop Windows completely.
 
I would AVOID... setting up a bunch of VM's. You won't necessarily feel the speed of the system this way. You also wouldn't feel the speed with Live USB keys as the read/write rate on those might be fairly slow also, but the VM's would add a lot more overhead. I would make persistent Live USB's if you really must save files (or just plug another USB key to save to and keep your Live USB untampered). You won't be able to really config and install apps to your Live USB, nor would you want to. This is just to play around and see if it will run and you can function in there. Then I would set up a dual-boot machine, and finally one day abandon Windows.

PERSONALLY: 

I use Ubuntu Studio as it comes with a whole bunch of productivity stuff built right in. Then you can install other packages as needed. I have WINE in there configured so I can run tons of Windows games no problem. It has been my main daily driver for years now. Although I've but Lubuntu my kids older computers, and I have bootable USB's of Mint, Tails, and a bunch of others.

https://ubuntustudio.org/



« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 05:17:09 pm by edy »
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Offline scatterandfocus

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #72 on: September 03, 2019, 05:53:59 pm »
pcdroid13, to clarify a point of my last post of installing Linux to it's own drive, I should have also said to install the Grub bootloader (or whichever bootloader your chosen distro uses) to the same drive as Linux.  So then you will have to use your computer's boot options menu for choosing which drive to boot from rather than choosing which os to boot from a single bootloader as when using a dual boot setup from a partitioned/shared drive.  In other words, Windows will still have it's own bootloader and your Linux distro will have it's own bootloader, which eliminates common dual boot issues where one or both operating systems end up not being able to boot.  And you might need to enable the legacy boot option in your machine's bios/uefi in order to get Linux to boot.  I'm sure further details are out there if you need it.

One other thing is is that Windows and Linux tend to use different time systems by default, and no matter which way you set up the two operating systems on the same machine, you may see time difference issues from the getgo, such as when switching between operating systems the time is off.  The easiest way to deal with this is to set your Linux distro to use local time.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 06:05:04 pm by scatterandfocus »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #73 on: September 03, 2019, 06:38:19 pm »
I would AVOID... setting up a bunch of VM's. You won't necessarily feel the speed of the system this way. You also wouldn't feel the speed with Live USB keys as the read/write rate on those might be fairly slow also, but the VM's would add a lot more overhead.
In part this is a misconception. The biggest problem of a VM is that it needs to emulate a hard drive from a file. For good performance you'll need to use an SSD but it is not like a VM is useless without an SSD. I'm using CAD software in a VM all the time and there really aren't any performance issues. However you have to make sure to disable the swap (virtual memory) on Windows in a VM.
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Online rstofer

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Re: Linux OS for a new user
« Reply #74 on: September 03, 2019, 07:22:59 pm »
I'm writing this on a Rasberry Pi 4.0 so it's not like I don't use Linux.  I have it on at least 4 machines, not counting a half dozen Pis.  I USE it all the time but I don't recommend it to casual users.

When you opt to use Linux for your daily desktop you will be joining a group that represents less than 2% of desktop users worldwide.  The folks that promote Linux like it a lot, no doubt!  The thing is, after 25 years, Linux has not even made a dent in desktop usage.  The market has spoken!  Windows costs money, Linux is free and they can't even give it away.  You would think FREE would garner more than 2% of the market.  There are reasons why it doesn't!

Linux is worth knowing but the best way to play with it is on a left over machine.  Everybody has at least one machine sitting in the corner, gathering dust.  Although my fastest workstation does dual-boot, I'm not convinced this is a safe way to go.  I may just reinstall Win 10 and move Linux elsewhere.  I have it on 2 leftover laptops, maybe that's enough.

BTW, this Pi 4.0 is a pretty sweet machine!  I already had a 27" HDMI display for use with my Surface Book so it's no big deal to use the Pi as a desktop.

 


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