Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

From Windows to Linux In No Time
OStatic ^ | 27 July 2012 | Sam Dean

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.  


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: linux; windows
Personally, I like Fedora
1 posted on 07/29/2012 2:19:12 PM PDT by ShadowAce
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Salo; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; stylin_geek; ...

2 posted on 07/29/2012 2:20:18 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce
they may wish for more advanced documentation

cd /usr/src/linux

Then read the source code.

/johnny

3 posted on 07/29/2012 2:23:02 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

LOL! I don’t think that’s what he was talking about......


4 posted on 07/29/2012 2:26:08 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce
There are countless users of Microsoft's Windows operating system who become Linux users each year

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.

5 posted on 07/29/2012 2:29:19 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

Linux is good back up works good.. check out OSL2000 for dual boot...


6 posted on 07/29/2012 2:35:26 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Moonman62
When is the last time you booted a live cd? Many issues have been addressed. My brother had me open and print .doc files that his Apple wouldn't.

/johnny

7 posted on 07/29/2012 2:36:15 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Moonman62

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.


8 posted on 07/29/2012 2:39:06 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

...and back to Windows 7 even faster.


9 posted on 07/29/2012 2:42:49 PM PDT by CodeToad (History says our end is near.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce
i put ubuntu on my laptop last year and spent a total of a half hour with it.

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.

10 posted on 07/29/2012 2:44:44 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Woe to them...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce
I've tried one Linux distribution (I believe it was Ubuntu but I'm not sure) that boots from a USB stick. I got stuck on trying to find and download a compatible wifi driver for my HP dv6. (Perhaps I just didn't know what to look for.)

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.

11 posted on 07/29/2012 2:55:30 PM PDT by Bob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bob
Suse 11.2 has a live boot DVD. I'm using Suse on my laptop machines, and CentOS for my servers.

/johnny

12 posted on 07/29/2012 2:58:49 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

btw... is there a free unzip software for Vista?


13 posted on 07/29/2012 3:00:18 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce
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."

Now that's just funny!

14 posted on 07/29/2012 3:01:55 PM PDT by upchuck ("Definition of 'racist:' someone that is winning an argument with a liberal." ~ Peter Brimelow)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GeronL
No idea. I don't run Vista.

/johnny

15 posted on 07/29/2012 3:02:02 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Moonman62

I had Linux Mint (Mate) installed and on the Internet in less that 10 minutes... It has come a long ways.


16 posted on 07/29/2012 3:02:27 PM PDT by Bikkuri (Choose, a communist, socialist, or Patriot)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce
Linux, in all its forms, is for geeks. Always was, always will be--geeks, IT/database folks, and wannabe rebels who just hate corporations. It will never be as accessible or usable as the commercial products. It will never support as much hardware as commercial products . . . and it will never-ever provide the wide selection of native programs that consumers need.

The profit motive works. Commercial products are better because those who produce them get paid for it.
17 posted on 07/29/2012 3:03:10 PM PDT by Sudetenland (Member of the BBB Club - Bye-Bye-Barry!!! President Barack "Down Low" Obama)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sudetenland

Quick!! Tell JR and John before FR fails!!!!


18 posted on 07/29/2012 3:06:14 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: GeronL
btw... is there a free unzip software for Vista?

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.

19 posted on 07/29/2012 3:07:49 PM PDT by upchuck ("Definition of 'racist:' someone that is winning an argument with a liberal." ~ Peter Brimelow)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce
Not to mention Hot-Mail (microsoft owned, run on linux), Yahoo, Google, and pretty much anyone that has a serious web site.

/johnny

20 posted on 07/29/2012 3:10:33 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Moonman62
Linux makes a great rescue disk, yes, but Linux still lacks in hardware compatibility (never I encountered hardware incompatability) and usability.

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...

21 posted on 07/29/2012 3:21:42 PM PDT by hamboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: upchuck; Bob

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.

...............................

BTW

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.


22 posted on 07/29/2012 3:25:20 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

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.


23 posted on 07/29/2012 3:33:32 PM PDT by Random_User_250
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

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.


24 posted on 07/29/2012 3:35:28 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce
In this post, we covered a die-hard Windows user's immersion in Ubuntu...

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.

25 posted on 07/29/2012 3:39:40 PM PDT by EricT. (The GOP's sole purpose is to serve as an ineffective alternative to the Democrat Party.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

Firefox is okay, but with Konqueror browser, even Yahoo won’t work properly. weird.

Not ready for prime time?


26 posted on 07/29/2012 3:42:45 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

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.


27 posted on 07/29/2012 3:51:40 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper
Suse 11.2 has a live boot DVD. I'm using Suse on my laptop machines, and CentOS for my servers.

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.)

28 posted on 07/29/2012 3:55:03 PM PDT by Bob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: GeronL
btw... is there a free unzip software for Vista?

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

29 posted on 07/29/2012 4:20:58 PM PDT by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

Thank you for this.

marked for later.


30 posted on 07/29/2012 4:21:33 PM PDT by ElPaseo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

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.


31 posted on 07/29/2012 4:22:15 PM PDT by rawhide
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce
Tell JR and John before FR fails!!!!

And Cisco, Stanford University and many, many other companies, universities, etc.

32 posted on 07/29/2012 4:25:01 PM PDT by scripter ("You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." - C.S. Lewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: GeronL
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.

33 posted on 07/29/2012 4:33:08 PM PDT by cothrige
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: cothrige

It basically crashed my computer. That is “hard”. Somehow my computer picked up something called “Stuffit” and it was super annoying.


34 posted on 07/29/2012 4:49:19 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Moonman62
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.

35 posted on 07/29/2012 4:52:22 PM PDT by cothrige
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

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.


36 posted on 07/29/2012 5:07:42 PM PDT by cothrige
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: GeronL
I have loaded Linux a few times. Running off a disk is really cool.

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.

37 posted on 07/29/2012 5:12:40 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: CodeToad

This.

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.


38 posted on 07/29/2012 6:10:51 PM PDT by MtBaldy (If Obama is the answer, it must have been a really stupid question)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

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.


39 posted on 07/29/2012 6:30:40 PM PDT by expat1000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

>>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.

http://sourceforge.net/directory/os:windows/freshness:recently-updated/?q=zip


40 posted on 07/29/2012 6:34:50 PM PDT by expat1000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

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.


41 posted on 07/29/2012 8:26:07 PM PDT by Vide
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bob
Can anyone recommend a specific Linux distribution that will boot from a read-write DVD?

Puppy.

42 posted on 07/29/2012 8:45:18 PM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

“btw... is there a free unzip software for Vista?”

7zip. Practically the best free software ever. In ANY category!


43 posted on 07/29/2012 9:22:49 PM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

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.


44 posted on 07/30/2012 9:00:48 AM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson