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

Skip to comments.

Opinions wanted as to Linux on home computer

Posted on 07/26/2004 9:07:32 AM PDT by job

I downloaded Red Hat version of Linux last night. I am having trouble even get started installing the software. Before I invest any more time, is it worth me installing Linux on my home computer? I do not write my own software. However, I am attracted that the system is free, and the applicable software is cheap Lindows office, $29.

I would like your thoughts. Also, will all my Windows based software work with Linux?


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: computer; linux

1 posted on 07/26/2004 9:07:35 AM PDT by job
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: job

Fine if you want a hobby;
not ready for prime time if you use a computer as a tool.


2 posted on 07/26/2004 9:10:28 AM PDT by Redbob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: job

I have never used Linux, but know that expert opinion is to the effect that it has won a niche in the server market and some specialized applications, but is still a hard stretch for PC use.


3 posted on 07/26/2004 9:13:53 AM PDT by Rockingham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Redbob
We have racks of Linux servers. But we use Windoze on our desktops.

I first ran across Linux in 1991 and know a great deal about it. But would not use it exclusively on a desktop. Not yet.

4 posted on 07/26/2004 9:14:45 AM PDT by isthisnickcool (Strategery - "W" plays poker with one hand and chess with the other.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: job

I kept my machine as a dual boot for a while. I really like Linux, but you have to be prepared to spend a lot of time fussing with it. There was a part of me that loved fussing with it...but then I'd need something done in a hurry, and I didn't know how, and I had to climb up that learning curve one more time.


5 posted on 07/26/2004 9:15:15 AM PDT by prion (Yes, as a matter of fact, I AM the spelling police)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: job

www.lindows.com...smooth as silk


6 posted on 07/26/2004 9:16:17 AM PDT by mo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: job

I use the Suse version of Linux which co-habitates well with the Windows operating systems.

http://www.suse.com/us/


7 posted on 07/26/2004 9:17:28 AM PDT by chuckr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: job

You might do better with Mandrake. We had my daughter (17 yrs old) using it for several months, and she did just fine. I think the install is fairly simple as well. I don't recall if she or my husband installed it though.
I used SUSE a couple of years ago on my "office" machine, and it was pretty easy to use. I'd almost run it again just for the linux penguin version of Mr. Potato Head ;^)


8 posted on 07/26/2004 9:17:57 AM PDT by visualops
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: job

Mandrake 10 or 9 are easy installs - and as always redhat. Most of the other distros are derivatives of redhat. I just got RH ES - ill be installing that this weekend.

Download the boot cd from mandrake and check out it out with out installing it


9 posted on 07/26/2004 9:19:39 AM PDT by ezoeni
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rdb3

Ping


10 posted on 07/26/2004 9:19:47 AM PDT by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: chuckr; job

The SUSE did work great as dual-boot.

job, your Windows software won't run on Linux unless you use WINE.
There is a linux equivalent for alot of stuff, but if you are big into gaming forget it.
At this point linux is best as a desktop if you're just doing internet & office work.


11 posted on 07/26/2004 9:22:28 AM PDT by visualops
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: job

It works great and is solid. But like Apple, don't expect to find a lot of software, and you may also have problems finding all the drivers to make your equipment compatible. It is a very slow drip from the technology faucets...


12 posted on 07/26/2004 9:23:51 AM PDT by TommyDale ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." --Hillary Clinton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: job

Don't use it on your primary home system unless (a) you know what you're doing (b) you have a lot of time for twiddling.

I've used it off-and-on as dual-boot (and VMWare) for years, because there are a lot of good technical network tools.

But for day-to-day home use you might best stick to Windoze.

Or run it on a second home system if you're just getting up to speed on Linux (one of its virtues is that it's less demanding than Windoze, so you can run it on cheaper, secondhand gear).


13 posted on 07/26/2004 9:26:06 AM PDT by angkor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: job
Your best bet is to start off with Knoppix, which boots from CD and automatically detects and configures hardware.

You don't actually install it to your hard drive, though you can if you decide you like it.

Knoppix finds and installs hardware modems, but does not work with Winmodems. If you have broadband, it should find your network card without a problem.

The only way to know if Linux is appropriate for YOU is for YOU to actually try it, rather than listening to people with one agenda or another.

14 posted on 07/26/2004 9:26:20 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help fund terrorism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Redbob
if you use a computer as a tool.

I disagree. I have these tools running all over the place. And they work far better than windows these days for actually "doing work". They just dont have the little entertainment features like latest vid codecs and the cool apps that come out for ms stuff.

I would highly recommend people getting to know this now. Things are a changing fast.

from a former MS employee for a years and years. :o)
15 posted on 07/26/2004 9:27:20 AM PDT by ezoeni
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: job

I installed Linux Mandrake 9.1 on a computer I bought without an operating system. It was slow and buggy. When I removed it, using the instructions from the Linux website, my HDD went belly up. The HDD manufacturer (Sony) says removing Linux voided the HDD waranty.

I bought Windows ME on Ebay for the same price I paid for Linux. Windows is lightyears ahead of Linux! IMHO.


16 posted on 07/26/2004 9:27:24 AM PDT by mugs99 (Restore the Constitution)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: job

It doesn't sound like you really know what you are doing.

Windows software can work under Linux using WINE, which emulates windows for the software. However, it can be very tricky to set up.

You really won't need any Windows software to do everyday computing. Most distros come with almost any software you would need. Openoffice.org gives a complete office suite, Mozilla or Firefox browsers for net surfing and there are several e-mail programs. There are only a few commercial games available for Linux, although most distros come with a ton of simple timewasters.

Set up your system dual boot or dedicate an older system to experiment with.

Windows is still a better option for the typical home user since most commercial software is Windows-only. Linux will work very well if you need a powerful server or an inexpensive box for web browsing and word processing.


17 posted on 07/26/2004 9:28:10 AM PDT by MediaMole (Microsoft math: 1 inch = 2.4 centimeters)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mugs99

partition magic is your friend - for easy formats. Would have saved your drive in a few clicks


18 posted on 07/26/2004 9:28:55 AM PDT by ezoeni
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: job
it depends greatly upon what you use your computer for. As others have said on this thread, if you do lots of hardcore gaming, you will probably need to keep a dual-boot situation for that.

If you use it for doing graphics, office-type stuff and internet, you may well find it to be a godsend to keep from having to deal with the virus windows of the day. If you want servers for stuff like webpages, or audio linux can do more than you can shake a stick at.

Some stuff that should be easy though, are not. Take printing for example. If you want to set up a local printer, no problem. Attaching to network printers isn't much trouble either. However, if you want to share your local printer with others on your local network, it's a PITA.

As far as your windows programs go, Linux will run windows programs under WINE, but unless you just really need to run the windows program, you're better off using the Linux equivalents. StarOffice is an excellent replacement for microsoft office, with the exception of ms project and visio.

If you use your computer for managing your personal finances, GnuCash is bloody awesome. With linux you have a choice of many different versions of software for many things. It might take a while for you to figure out exactly what you want, and what works best for you, but the time invested is better for you in the long run IMO, as once you learn how things work and have your system set up correctly, your system will run for quite a while without banging your head up against walls quite as much as you are probably used to.

One of the things that will keep me from ever using ms windows again is that I just can't use a computer anymore without having multiple desktops. I normally run with 8 separate desktops, each containing specfic programs so I always know where to find them. Given the type of support work I do, working within the limitations of windows would slow me down so much it just isn't even worth thinking about.

19 posted on 07/26/2004 9:42:18 AM PDT by zeugma (The Great Experiment is over.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: prion
I kept my machine as a dual boot for a while.

Is it pretty easy to set up a dual boot? I was going to set up a partition on a hard drive with linux, but haven't looked into what was involved with doing that. I'm thinking that I only need to set aside a few GBs on the hard drive for linux?

20 posted on 07/26/2004 9:46:22 AM PDT by Chesterbelloc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ezoeni

LOL...Yeah, my twelve year old neighbor told me that too. I'm an old mechanic, not a computer whiz. I'll stick with Windows and leave Linux to you younger and brighter guys!


21 posted on 07/26/2004 9:52:03 AM PDT by mugs99 (Restore the Constitution)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Chesterbelloc
Is it pretty easy to set up a dual boot?

There's an application that came with Red Hat that gives you an OS choice at boot. This has been a while ago, so I'm hazy on details. It worked fine until I accidentally messed up a driver or something, so that Linux wouldn't boot. At that point, I couldn't get it to boot anything, because this little application sat at some very low-level place and intercepted my boot attempts.

What I ended up doing was keeping Windows and Linux on separate drives (let's face it - how many more or less useless 500 meg or 4 gig drives do you have in a drawer somewhere? They're fine for Linux) and booting to the Linux side, as desired, off a floppy.

The neat thing is, Linux can read MS-DOS-formatted drives, so I could store all my big, clumsy data on the big DOS drive, and just keep my programs on the little Linux drive.

22 posted on 07/26/2004 10:01:35 AM PDT by prion (Yes, as a matter of fact, I AM the spelling police)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: job
It really depends on what software you are running. I maintain a dozen computers for various friends, family and relatives. Half of them Windows, a quarter Linux, a quarter MAC OS X.

For those who want basic web, email and document handling, a Linux setup is more stable, just as easy to use (I recommend SuSE), lower cost, and fewer hastles with security, virus and pop-up problems.
23 posted on 07/26/2004 10:17:26 AM PDT by ThePythonicCow (I was humble, before I was born. -- J Frondeur Kerry)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Chesterbelloc; prion
I set up dual boots by installing Windows first and get it running the way you want, then change that HDD to be a slave, and installing Linux on a new master drive. I put the bootloader (usually GRUB) on the MBR of the Linux drive and set up an entry to point to the Windows drive.

Works like a charm every time. When you boot up Windows, it doesn't see the Linux drive at all, keeping your linux install safe, and Linux can read the windows drive very well. The new 2.6 kernal can even write to NTFS partitions now.

24 posted on 07/26/2004 10:53:58 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: job
I am having trouble even get started installing the software.

You do not mention what hardware you are trying to install this on. RH won't install on hardware that is too slow these days. For instance, the installer won't run on my Pentium 120 that I use as a firewall.

Also, do you actually mean Red Hat, or do you mean Fedora? I would try Fedora (from the Red Hat site), if you are trying to install RH 9.0.

25 posted on 07/26/2004 11:06:39 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: E. Pluribus Unum; job
I would agree. Knoppix is a great way to learn how to use Linux with out installing anything. It comes with WINE already installed. I was able to play/use any windows files like music and videos. I didn't try opening any excel or Word files. I'll try that next. I could see everything on my HD that has Win2000 on it.
26 posted on 07/26/2004 11:32:01 AM PDT by neb52
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce; prion

Thanks! I have quite a few old small hard drives lying around and I never even thought about using them. I'll install one of the them and put linux on it. I got the Mandrake version of linux because I heard it was easier to get configured. All I really need to do at this point is create a linux build of a game I'm making.


27 posted on 07/26/2004 11:41:11 AM PDT by Chesterbelloc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: neb52; E. Pluribus Unum; job
I third that.

Knoppix (or one of these other Linux distributions) is a knice way to knoodle around with Linux without committing to it.

If you later want to install Knoppix on your hard drive, here are some tips.

28 posted on 07/26/2004 1:34:40 PM PDT by martin_fierro (Zydecodependent.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: MediaMole

That is correct.


29 posted on 07/26/2004 3:02:17 PM PDT by job ("God is not dead nor doth He sleep")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: job
It all depends on what you do with the computer, if youre just a browse and mail guy linux might be worth it.. if you use digital cameras, scanners, and the like best stick with windows.

what specifically are you having trouble with?

30 posted on 07/28/2004 1:33:48 PM PDT by N3WBI3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: job

Red Hat isn't a favorite these days. Suse, Mandrake or Debian seem to be quite popular, better supported and more usable.

If you just want to test the Linux waters, download Knoppix and boot from a CD (save your config and files on a USB key or USB hard drive). OpenOffice and a couple web browsers, as well as lots of other software, are included.

I find it interesting that on my laptop OpenOffice for Linux opens faster from my Knoppix CD than OpenOffice for Windows does off the hard drive.


31 posted on 07/28/2004 1:40:54 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neb52
I didn't try opening any excel or Word files. I'll try that next.

OpenOffice on Knoppix opened all my Word and Excel files perfectly, but then I don't exactly have any overly complicated documents that use all the Microsoft bells and whistles.

32 posted on 07/28/2004 1:44:21 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: job
I use FreeBSD as a "desktop replacement" for users who really only need a web browser, a mail client, and a word processor. FreeBSD differs from linux in how it is licensed, and a bunch of subtle distinctions that only matter to a geek -- otherwise it's just another free alternative to Microsoft that can run on the same hardware.

You can try FreeBSD out without risking your system by burning a bootable FreeSBIE boot CD. Basically, you download a CD image, burn it to a blank CD, then reboot.

If your PC is set to boot from CD-ROM, it will boot into FreeBSD. You can try it out, and if you don't like it, eject the CD, reboot, and you're back in Windows (or Linux) with no harm done and no lasting effect on your computer.

33 posted on 07/28/2004 10:25:24 PM PDT by Nonesuch (Unix for the paranoid: http://www.openbsd.org/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: job

Obtain a reasonably powered used computer. Pentium II or III's work well. The more generic the better. Barebones and low cost kit computers work well also due to their generic nature. A hard drive with at least 2 gigs (laughable by today's standards), a BIOS capable of booting from a CD or alternately a 3.5 inch floppy drive, and a reasonable amount of RAM. Download your Slackware 10.0 iso file and burn to disk. Read the installation instructions on the CD and print them for reference. Boot the CD or optionally from the floppy boot images on your future linux box and follow the menu driven installation. After you've formatted the drive, created your filesystem, installed everything you want from the CD, and have written the boot information to the master boot record, remove the media, and reboot from the hard drive. Watch those wonderful boot messages scroll by. Log in as root. Start perusing your new file system. Look for something called "HOWTO" files in /usr/doc/ and use the program "less" to read them. They will be your bibles for a while. The program "man" is the basic help system, and the familiar DOS commands for filesystem navigation and manipulation (cd mkdir rmdir) work as usual, except del is now called rm and dir is now ls. Each evening after you tire of freeping, log into your linux box and learn more. A book or two from the library on unix works wonders. The more inquisitive you are, the faster you will learn. Disregard comments regarding lack of available software, unfit for the desktop and other mid-nineties mantras. That is the way grasshopper.


34 posted on 08/11/2004 1:59:11 AM PDT by SpaceBar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SpaceBar

three-day-weekend do-I-really-want-to-try-this bookmark.


35 posted on 09/03/2004 4:21:03 PM PDT by LearnsFromMistakes (In newspaper spell-checkers, why is 'liberal' always spelled 'm-o-d-e-r-a-t-e'?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: job
Definately take it for a testdrive and form your own opinions. After some time of skepticism, I downloaded a version that can be booted right from a CD, without affecting your windows. It is called "Penguin Sleuth", and can be found at http://www.linux-forensics

This will give you a chance to use it without committing. I for one popped it in and was immediately impressed. Next weekend, I will be installing either Red Hat or Mandrake completely.

36 posted on 10/25/2004 9:36:44 AM PDT by dware (Go then. There are other worlds than these.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: job
I multiple boot WinXP Home edition, SuSE Linux 9.0, QNX, and BeOS. SuSE is really easy to install if you use a store bought disk. I installed it off of the web for free, which is more complex, but not super hard, but not for PC novices. You can also try it with a bootable CD.

Of course the main question is why? Why do I do it? Because I can. ;^) I use Linux as a back up really to surf, e-mail, etc. But with OpenOffice, you can do just about anything you can with MS Office. I also use OpenOffice with Windows. If you want games, Quicken, etc, then linux is not quite as user friendly.
37 posted on 10/25/2004 9:44:23 AM PDT by machman
[ 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