Skip to comments.From Windows to Linux In No Time
Posted on 07/29/2012 2:19:06 PM PDT by ShadowAce
There are countless users of Microsoft's Windows operating system who become Linux users each year--an important part of the engine that drives the popularity of Linux. In some cases, these migrating users want to escape the malware storm that afflicts the Windows ecosystem; in some cases they want to run Linux alongside Windows (a dual-OS strategy that has its advantages); and in some cases they want to use specific applications that are available for Linux.
For those who want to make the switch from Windows to Linux, there are a lot of good free resources that can help. There is also a lively, and pretty funny, discussion of the topic going on online. Here are the details.
Slashdot has a good discussion up on what the best Linux setup is for the user migrating from Windows. There are several informed users posting in the discussion thread who are recommending the Zorin Linux distro, which is specifically designed to cater to the Windows audience. It offers a Windows-like interface and actually lets you flip between different interface types on the fly.
Other commenters in the discussion have snide comments. Here's a good example: "I suggest giving showing them Windows 8 first. After that, the change to any of the major Linux distributions will seem trivial."
There are actually a number of free resources available for Windows users who want to take the Linux plunge, as we covered here. Here is a concise collection of these resources:
PC World has a good Getting Started Guide for Windows users who are interested in Linux. The guide discusses benefits of Linux, what you need to get started, and how to turn a Windows PC into a dual-boot computer, which can be one of the best ways for Linux newbies who are used to Windows to get started. Users can also brush up on the most popular Linux distributions here.
I always like to investigate a new topic with a good book as a guide. Test Driving Linux: From Windows to Linux in 60 Seconds is a free online book that can get you started with both Linux and several open source programs. Beginners will find it approachable, and it covers everything from basic Linux commands to user interface conventions that differ between Linux and Windows. The chapters of the book are online links, so you can just peruse the Table of Contents to go straight to the kind of material you're interested in.
It's always instructive to hear from other Windows users who have immersed themselves in Linux, and there are complete stories about this type of switch available online. In this post, we covered a die-hard Windows user's immersion in Ubuntu, which includes lots of good information about going from Microsoft's OS to Linux.
Along the same lines, MyBroadband has put up a good introductory post specifically about switching from Windows to Linux. It covers the flexible desktop environments that you can use with various Linux distros, running Windows and Linux concurrently, and more. Among educational Linux sites, it's also worth looking into Unix-Tutorials.com.
As Windows users dive into Linux, they may wish for more advanced documentation and the good news is that there is a wealth of it available for free. In this post, we covered free online books and guides that can take the Linux beginner toward more advanced know-how, and in this post we discussed how a USB thumb drive and online resources can get new Linux users going very quickly.
If you've been using Windows for years but are interested in Linux, now is the time to experiment. You can run both operating systems if you choose, which means you don't have to ditch favorite applications. Hopefully there are some useful resources here.
Then read the source code.
LOL! I don’t think that’s what he was talking about......
Countless? I think they are embarrassed to say how few. Linux makes a great rescue disk, but Linux still lacks in hardware compatibility and usability. Only dedicated Linux geeks have no problem with that.
Linux is good back up works good.. check out OSL2000 for dual boot...
I have loaded Linux a few times. Running off a disk is really cool. I could go online without a problem and use Open Office.
I could not figure out how to do anything else. Why does Linux make “unpacking” compressed files so hard? I never did get to play Scourge 3-D with Linux... the Windows version is kind of buggy.
...and back to Windows 7 even faster.
As much as I detest msft, I can't imagine trying to get by with underground alternatives. It's like switching from a Ford to a DeLorean. It might look cool for a while, but...the Ford's probably always gonna get me to work and I can get parts anywhere.
Can anyone recommend a specific Linux distribution that will boot from a read-write DVD? I'd like to try it before I put a dual-boot loader on my hard drive.
btw... is there a free unzip software for Vista?
Now that's just funny!
I had Linux Mint (Mate) installed and on the Internet in less that 10 minutes... It has come a long ways.
Quick!! Tell JR and John before FR fails!!!!
It's been while, thank goodness, since I've used Vista. I think there may be unzip software built into the OS. Double click the zipped file and see what happens.
If that doesn't work, try 7-Zip, it's free.
Even if I've been using Linux since Red Hat 5.0 I still boot Windows to run Adobe Lightroom, Facebook video calling. Instead of Linux I got a
hackintoshed HP netbook running Apple OS X 10.6 which is cool...
7Zip works fine!
I had accidently set IE as my default unzipper. Let me tell you, do NOT ever do that. It’s not pretty. I had to log off to make it stop flashing black and white.
I rebooted with a live disc, PCLinuxOS or something. I am online with no problem. I can imagine all you need is an old laptop without a hard drive, just use the live disc and a memory card and you are A-okay.
I’ve got a Zorin/Ubuntu/Win 7 triple boot on my netbook. Personally I like using Linux but I don’t think I’ll ever make a total switch away from Windows.
I tried to login to my nephew’s Hero Up account but it told me you need a Windows or Apple O/S to play. Weird.
Oh good lord! Ubuntu has been unusable since version 10.10.
I gave it a good long try, upgrading from 10.10 to 11.04 to 11.10-- all stunk on ice. I went back to Ubuntu 10.04 and disabled updates.
Firefox is okay, but with Konqueror browser, even Yahoo won’t work properly. weird.
Not ready for prime time?
I attempted to play a game that was on the live disc and my entire system went dead. I couldn’t get it to turn back on until I took the battery out and I rebooted into Windows Vista.
Thanks for the tip. I'll give that a try. Are there any problems finding drivers for the Suse distribution? (I had a devil of a time finding them for Ubuntu.)
I believe that the ability to unzip files is built into Vista... I know it is in Win7. Personally, I always use 7zip, and you can get it free from download.com Mark
Thank you for this.
marked for later.
My large IT company next laptop refresh is soon coming with Linux OS, (Redhat I believe), with Windows running underneath it. Some guys are already testing this platform and they love it.
And Cisco, Stanford University and many, many other companies, universities, etc.
Why does Linux make unpacking compressed files so hard?
Hard? What is hard about double clicking, or simply typing unrar, unzip, tar or whatever in a terminal? I am stupefied at the things people find difficult. Don't buy a new phone, or DVD player or such, because they will be "hard" too. Perhaps impossibly so.
I must be weird. When I need to do something I have never done before I simply read some instructions and then do it. It is only hard if no instructions are available, and that is hardly true for such basic tools as tar, unzip, unrar, etc.
It basically crashed my computer. That is “hard”. Somehow my computer picked up something called “Stuffit” and it was super annoying.
I think they are embarrassed to say how few.
Embarrassed? About what? Who cares about how many people switch from Windows to Linux? I certainly don't. I am confident that crap whisky outsells top shelf single malt Scotch, but I don't use that as a guide as to what I prefer to drink. I am also confident that the number of people who eat at McDonald's every day outstrips those eating at truly fine restaurants too, and by a wide margin at that. So what. Does that make McDonald's better? Hardly. All that matters is that, thanks to the community of users and contributors that does exist (however large or small the number may be), Linux and GNU are both fantastically competitive products providing many people with choices they wouldn't have otherwise. Nothing embarrassing about quality, and that is what we have.
Unpacking a file crashed your computer, and installed a program which won’t run on Linux? That is certainly interesting. But, I don’t really see how it demonstrates that unpacking itself is hard. It might show you did something you shouldn’t have, or were trying to open something which shouldn’t have been opened. These are equally possible with any OS and so it doesn’t show that a particular task is hard to do. Double clicking is simply not hard, and since that is how the same thing is done in Windows it just doesn’t seem possible to argue that it is harder in Linux.
Me too, and like I said it makes a great rescue disk. I used Linux as my desktop about ten years ago, but reluctantly went back to Windows. Every year or so I try a few distributions, get disappointed and stay with Windows. This past year, one of the "spins" had a virus and tried to steal my email account.
I actually have a dual boot system on my Toshiba Satellite with Win 7 and Ubuntu. I was trying to help a friend who’s SATA interface died on a Gateway 23” all in one machine. It’s not really feasible to buy and install a new motherboard. I’ve got him back online using Ubuntu and Firefox from a flash drive. Ubuntu doesn’t like my Toshiba at all, maybe because it’s a newer machine. I need to take it off the Toshiba but that’s no simple task either and with a 1 Tb HDD it really doesn’t bother me too much. Simple fact of the matter, as others have said, is Linux is not ready for prime time yet and probably never will be.
Amazing the first paragraph doesn’t mention cost as a reason.
That may not matter a whole lot to westerners, but software is the same price in Asia as in the west, therefore a much higher percentage of disposable income. Windows Ultimate costs more than most people here (Thailand) make in a month.
>>btw... is there a free unzip software for Vista?
Any that work on Windows 7 should work on Vista, but Vista? What a terrible OS.. Anyway, there are many. Personally I like peazip. Sourceforge is the first place to look for safe freeware.
Tried, liked and used Ubuntu Fiesty (7.04) but found myself increasingly dissatisfied with succeeding versions. Finally, the 12.04 upgrade did me a favor by breaking my installation.
I switched to Mint 13 MATE (polished Gnome 2) and I’m loving it. I’ve gone from using Linux for a couple of days every six months (to fix stuff broken by the semi-annual Ubuntu upgrade) to pretty much full-time use.
Will 2013 be the “year of the Linux desktop?” Nope. But if Microsoft doesn’t come out with a quite radical service pack for Windows 8 P.D.Q. I can see Linux getting to 10% of a static/declining market in a couple of years.
“btw... is there a free unzip software for Vista?”
7zip. Practically the best free software ever. In ANY category!
Fedora user here as well - aside from having used it going all the way back to FC2, I live in the Raleigh NC area where Red Hat also makes its home. Seems only fitting to use Fedora.
I think for new entrants it’s likely that Ubuntu or one of its variants would make more sense as I think that its selling point is its ease of use and ease of getting started.