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wlayton27

Linux users? Looking for advice . . .

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Been gone a year and the site's changed a lot, so correct me if I'm posting in the wrong spot ...

 

Looking at reformatting my system with Linux as an alternative for MS Windows. But I'm not sure if it's a good idea. Any present Linux users out there that can give me some advice?

 

Currently using iTunes, Rhapsody, Verizon wireless USB router, Adobe Acrobat, and Virtual Drive (PowerISO). Would these apps still work inside a Linux system (I suppose under a MS Win XP partition)?

 

Does Linux allow me to create a Bootable Flash Drive?

 

What is the right Linux package for me and how much does it cost?

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Just so you know, belongs in open Source dude, that much has not changed. That said, have you used any linux OS before? What did you like? Prefer KDE or gnome desktop? What hardware do you have?

 

Many will recommend Ubuntu, being the "in" thing at present, but it's really up to you. I can recommend PCLinuxOS, Linux Mint, and perhaps Opensuse as a friendly desktop OS, all those have decent controls, hardware support, and multimedia support. I'm currently trying out Fedora 9, and am actually quite pleased with it, but it may not be for you. My best suggestion, if you can, is to grab a few livecd's/dvd's, from the net, or from the covers of some newsstand mags, and try them out on your system, see how well everything works for you. Pretty sure most of the apps you described have alternatives, no idea about your usb router, as I don't have one. Ethernet works fine, usb is hit and miss when it comes to modems and other non-mass-storage devices, at least so I recall reading.

 

The majority of linux distros are free of charge, free to download, the only real cost is your time, and your bandwidth. That said, once you've got things set up how you want, administering a system has proven very simple and straightforward, at least in my experience. Grab some disc images, burn some livecd's, and give them a spin. Also, signing up at the forum of the respective distro you are trying out, for additional support and advice, would also be an idea, as they could perhaps answer your questions with more assuredness, as some may have had your very issues, and be able to suggest how to deal with those issues. Good luck:)

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Never used Linux before, so I have no idea what I'm getting into...

 

Current PC is a 1-year-old storebought Toshiba notebook, but I'm considering building a desktop system when(..if..) I get settled in someplace. DVD drive broken, and I have no intention of fixing it ... but I am thinking about purchasing an external USB case for an internal desktop blu-ray drive. In the meantime, it would be important for me to be able to download the OS and port it straight to a bootable USB flash disc. Need to know if that's possible.

 

Haven't really searched for software designed for Linux users, but all the software I see to download is available only to MS Windows and MacOS. Planning on partitioning my HDD to include WinXP under Linux. That way I can still use iTunes and my USB router software. Pretty sure there are plenty of good alternatives to PowerISO Virtual Drive that work on Linux OS.

 

Mostly looking for basic advice on where to browse around for a bootable OS that I can partition multiple operating systems (DOS, Win95, XP, ?MacOS?); also any info on Bootable 1Gb flash drive options (I want to be able to boot the computer on any OS without using the HDD or DVD drive).

 

I've seen some super handy software downloads from users on this site (such as the Damn Small Linux image file), but they mostly require burning to disc. Also, burning an OS to bootable DVD still burns FROM my current OS ... doesn't that create a disc with my current system format with a different system file? That sounds like a useless venture. MSWin went through some trouble ensuring that I can't be able to format a system drive other than my current boot version; and Microsoft hasn't displayed any boot-disc creation features since MSDOS.

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In the meantime, it would be important for me to be able to download the OS and port it straight to a bootable USB flash disc. Need to know if that's possible.

check out unetbootin

 

Haven't really searched for software designed for Linux users, but all the software I see to download is available only to MS Windows and MacOS. Planning on partitioning my HDD to include WinXP under Linux. That way I can still use iTunes and my USB router software. Pretty sure there are plenty of good alternatives to PowerISO Virtual Drive that work on Linux OS.

Most distro's have their own internal package management to handle software installation. iTunes is supported by wine to varying degrees, however if you're just looking to manage an iPod there are alternatives in Amarok and Rythmbox. While I'm not familiar with 'PowerISO virtual drive' I imagine that most of the functionality would be found in K3B or similar. As to your USB Router, you'll need to do some diggin to see if it's supported. Without wanting to persuade you're choice of distribution, Ubuntu has a great community and you may want to start your search here.

 

As Midnighter has already alluded to, the flavour of the month appears to be Ubuntu and varieties (Kubuntu / Xubuntu). As far as popularity can be used as a benchmark Distrowatch suggests that openSUSE, Mint and Fedora are all reasonable choices also.

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I recently moved over from Windows to Linux.

 

The only issues I have are with photo editing (I am sure it's just user error) and ripping, editing, and making dvd's.

 

Everything else I have no problems with. They have media players and music players. And pretty much everything else you have multiple options where as in Windows you had one program that would do it.

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Verizon wireless USB router

 

The USB router is really the only thing that concerns me. It comes down to whether there are drivers available (either binary blob or GPL in the kernal tree).

As has been noted already, USB modems and routers have patchy support. If you have an ethernet port on the router, that'd be the way to go. Also if one distro dosn't support your router do try others as you may find that support can vary between distro's. As you can try most common distro's from a live CD for the cost of a download, I'd try several an go with the one that feels 'right' for you and your hardware, you'll be able to install the same software in the end anyway.

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stick to windows

 

 

 

ive found time and time again linux sucks anuscake when packaged for desktop use. Im not a biast fanboy because i use it on the servers in the house.

 

Small bugs in releases for the distro's ive tried, shitty media (video files) support, asshole hardware manufacturers not releasing source or good drivers, gaming void (hey neverball is on linux or hey theres that single game dev that releases linux binaries or hey wine works good) doesnt count

 

also openoffice sucks ass compared to office 2k3/2k7. Im not at the point in my studies where there is no point in using a latex editor so i only use those for all my big documents. Ive had many problems with openoffice formatting (not saying office 2k3/2k7 is perfect either..) but since most the documents i recieve are 2k3 or 2k7 i dont use oo.org. Mainly cause so many times the formatting just goes to shit.

 

Even my mum could pick out some of the flaws found in ubuntu when she just used it for a email box. and by flaw i mean something that sucks anus about it. Windows were drawn slowly in gnome with nv or nvidia driver used and you cant copy images from firefox which at the time was the default browser.

 

 

 

There are many situations and applications where linux is a great choice as the operating system but most of them dont fall in line with regular home use IMO.

 

 

If you really want to try something different just for the sake of it go for a hackintosh build. It has lots more commercial software and if you want to be a fanboy people will give u slightly more respect than if you went linux fanboy styles.

Edited by B82R3S

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stick to windows

 

ive found time and time again linux sucks anuscake when packaged for desktop use.

 

Yet many people, myself included, have no problem with using it as a full desktop replacement. Maybe you're just not doing it right.

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In the meantime, it would be important for me to be able to download the OS and port it straight to a bootable USB flash disc. Need to know if that's possible.

check out unetbootin

 

Haven't really searched for software designed for Linux users, but all the software I see to download is available only to MS Windows and MacOS. Planning on partitioning my HDD to include WinXP under Linux. That way I can still use iTunes and my USB router software. Pretty sure there are plenty of good alternatives to PowerISO Virtual Drive that work on Linux OS.

Most distro's have their own internal package management to handle software installation. iTunes is supported by wine to varying degrees, however if you're just looking to manage an iPod there are alternatives in Amarok and Rythmbox. While I'm not familiar with 'PowerISO virtual drive' I imagine that most of the functionality would be found in K3B or similar. As to your USB Router, you'll need to do some diggin to see if it's supported. Without wanting to persuade you're choice of distribution, Ubuntu has a great community and you may want to start your search here.

 

As Midnighter has already alluded to, the flavour of the month appears to be Ubuntu and varieties (Kubuntu / Xubuntu). As far as popularity can be used as a benchmark Distrowatch suggests that openSUSE, Mint and Fedora are all reasonable choices also.

 

Tried downloading unetbootin yesterday and it didn't download properly, so I just redownloaded it and it's working :> Now I just have a quick question ... I make a USB flash drive bootable with the Linux version of my choice, can I partition that drive and install full WinXP to it and boot up from that rather than my HDD? ...Or am I just going to be using the flash drive boot as a jumping board into learning Linux? It would be easiest for me right now to stick to Windows, but I want to run my start up from a flash drive so I can reformat my HDD without getting a new DVD drive installed. It's been over a year since my last reformat and the glitches are building up...

 

Looking at Fedora Linux ... seems like the best option right now ... but 4Gb? My flash drive isn't quite THAT big. Gonna try Damn Small Linux first and then go from there. But isn't there a Linux platform that allows users to simultaneously use multiple OS (say Win and MacOS on one machine)? I don't plan on spending too much time in Linux, but I want to use it to manipulate my computer into using any OS version I want whenever I want.

 

Should also mention my internet usage is limited (I don't get a signal in my room, so I go down to the coffee shop for a couple hours a day) so I can't be downloaded tens of Gbs for new software.

Edited by wlayton27

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Tried downloading unetbootin yesterday and it didn't download properly, so I just redownloaded it and it's working :> Now I just have a quick question ... I make a USB flash drive bootable with the Linux version of my choice, can I partition that drive and install full WinXP to it and boot up from that rather than my HDD? ...Or am I just going to be using the flash drive boot as a jumping board into learning Linux? It would be easiest for me right now to stick to Windows, but I want to run my start up from a flash drive so I can reformat my HDD without getting a new DVD drive installed. It's been over a year since my last reformat and the glitches are building up...

Theorectically yeah but you would need to tweak it in order to have it run smoothly. E.g. make sure the swap file is on a HDD rather than the flash drive. I've not done it before but there are resources around the net to achieve just that. Like this one.

 

Also there are a bunch of guides around for getting XP onto EEEPC's which, of course, have no optical drive including this one.

 

On the topic of Distro, Damn Small Linux is a great live disc but lacks the feel of a full desktop once installed. I was using it as full time desktop about 3yrs ago and can say that it will only give you a taste and you'll probably be left wanting. There are other ways to get a hold of an image including Ubuntu's Ship it and LinuxCD.

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I have another suggestion, rather than booting from your USB stick, and that is to use VirtualBox.

 

VirtualBox is free software from Sun that allows you to use multiple OS's at once. Virtualisation is what you are thinking of when you mentioned running multiple OS's at once. Although there are various types, without going into it too much, VirtualBox would be ideal for you to try Linux, from Windows!

 

You can download it here. Once installed, you can add a "Virtual Machine", which runs the other OS just like another application. You don't even need to burn a CD, just download the iso and select it.

 

Once you get used to the idea of Virtualisation, you can wipe Windows, install Linux, and then run Windows in VirtualBox instead. There are probably a number of tools to help you convert your Windows install to a Virtual Machine for use with VirtualBox.

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Bios isn't set up for a EEEPC, and I'm currently using Win Vista x86 ... I have a digital copy of WinXP I wish to install, but I'm not formatted on it now... so this idea's shot.

 

Currently using DSL to get started on Linux, and you're right about that feeling of bein' "left wanting." Just downloaded a full Linux Manual to pour through, and cked my router service for Linux USB modem info ... seems my USB router works on Ubuntu to say the least, but I want to try it out on Fedora. Find out soon enough if that's possible. Doesn't seem to require a new drvr download, but I have to set up the modem options manually... instructions make it look simple enough.

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I have another suggestion, rather than booting from your USB stick, and that is to use VirtualBox.

 

VirtualBox is free software from Sun that allows you to use multiple OS's at once. Virtualisation is what you are thinking of when you mentioned running multiple OS's at once. Although there are various types, without going into it too much, VirtualBox would be ideal for you to try Linux, from Windows!

 

You can download it here. Once installed, you can add a "Virtual Machine", which runs the other OS just like another application. You don't even need to burn a CD, just download the iso and select it.

 

Once you get used to the idea of Virtualisation, you can wipe Windows, install Linux, and then run Windows in VirtualBox instead. There are probably a number of tools to help you convert your Windows install to a Virtual Machine for use with VirtualBox.

Downloaded VirtualBox from your link, but install fails with error "another program currently installing." Prob try redownloading tomorrow. Advice sounds pretty good tho.

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Downloaded VirtualBox from your link, but install fails with error "another program currently installing."

Try reboot and run the installer again, might be a hung installer process. Edited by lew~

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Yet many people, myself included, have no problem with using it as a full desktop replacement. Maybe you're just not doing it right.

im just being real, most people dont.

 

perhaps he should try the open source alternative software he will be needing to use first before he switches OS.

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Yet many people, myself included, have no problem with using it as a full desktop replacement. Maybe you're just not doing it right.

im just being real, most people dont.

 

perhaps he should try the open source alternative software he will be needing to use first before he switches OS.

 

 

No, you're just giving your opinion, not the same thing.

 

The advice that he(?) should look at trying out some open source apps on windows is valid, but as has been stated, if he's determined to try this, downloading and trying out Livecds would be the best bet, to confirm hardware compatibility, and to see if any obvious problems arise. In the end, only he can decide what to do, but as one has already expressed an interest, giving your own opinion as "fact" offers nothing useful.

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The Linux learning process is going well so far ... will be a while b4 I'm ready to commit. My Linux Guide seems to be placing Fedora at the top of my list of choices ... nothing there I didn't know already.

 

DSL is a decent startup program for learning Linux use, but it doesn't allow me access to my storage devices at all. The swap file is located in memory near as I can tell, so the directories I'm browsing are all "virtual." Nothing I do makes any permanent changes (which is safe to say the least), but without net access I have no access to help while I'm loaded in it. Commands "man," "info," "help," and "apropos" are not available at all. Would really like to mount (create access to) my Linux Manual pdf file in DSL, but I currently don't see any way to do that (any ideas?). The manual includes "exercises" like class lessons that I should complete before I delve deeper ...

 

Tried using VirtualBox to run DSL from Windows, but I haven't figured it out yet. Perhaps I need to download a working DSL Virtual Hard Drive? Only VHD file I have is Windows 95 (don't ask how I got it) but it fails to load in VirtualBox (not compatible?); just tried it to see how VirtualBox works...

 

BTW my boot-up and shut-down in DSL is wicked fast compared to WinVista. Just a few seconds and it's all up and running, and power is off before my finger even leaves the power button on my laptop. Do you guys think I could expect that kind of speed in Fedora?

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In a word, no.

 

Like all linux 'everything in one' distributions they are, straight out of the box, comparable to xp or vista in that area.

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Been gone a year and the site's changed a lot, so correct me if I'm posting in the wrong spot ...

 

Looking at reformatting my system with Linux as an alternative for MS Windows. But I'm not sure if it's a good idea. Any present Linux users out there that can give me some advice?

 

Currently using iTunes, Rhapsody, Verizon wireless USB router, Adobe Acrobat, and Virtual Drive (PowerISO). Would these apps still work inside a Linux system (I suppose under a MS Win XP partition)?

Okay... your mileage with Windows software will vary. Such software has to run using WINE, a compatibility layer for Unix OSes that implements the Win32 API and allows such software to run. It's buggy, and it's not a substitute for Microsoft Windows (if you want a substitute, I'd point you to ReactOS). Drivers do not work in WINE. So PowerISO/VirtualDrive will not operate (they emulate a SCSI host) and your USB router's software may not work either.

 

For many of the apps you list, there are equivalents... for instance many use Amarok as an alternative to iTunes -- there are many others. Best bet is to explore the packages available from your distribution of choice -- you may find something you like there.

 

Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for Linux, however, most of the opensource ones are faster and run better 90% of the time. Likely the desktop you choose will come with one -- give it a try first before wrestling Adobe's offering. As for the writer -- Print-to-PDF is a feature built-in to the Common Unix Print System, and many apps have an Export-to-PDF (OpenOffice.org and Firefox come to mind) built-in... so you'll probably find you don't need it.

 

PowerISO/VirtualDrive are also unnecessary under Linux. ISO images can be directly loop-mounted from the command line ($ denotes a user prompt):

$ sudo mount /path/to/cdimage.iso /mnt/cdrom -o loop

and voila... the contents of that ISO will appear magically in the directory, /mnt/cdrom. You can place it anywhere you like -- the directory only needs to exist, and for best results, it's best if it's empty before mounting. To unmount:

 

$ sudo umount /mnt/cdrom

Looking at Fedora Linux ... seems like the best option right now ... but 4Gb? My flash drive isn't quite THAT big. Gonna try Damn Small Linux first and then go from there. But isn't there a Linux platform that allows users to simultaneously use multiple OS (say Win and MacOS on one machine)? I don't plan on spending too much time in Linux, but I want to use it to manipulate my computer into using any OS version I want whenever I want.

 

Should also mention my internet usage is limited (I don't get a signal in my room, so I go down to the coffee shop for a couple hours a day) so I can't be downloaded tens of Gbs for new software.

With many of these distributions, there is a minimal install option, although you're quite right... Fedora is one of the fatties. (I have a saying... "Fedoras belong on heads, not on disks") The restrictions on your wireless seems to suggest Ubuntu (with the offer of free discs) is an ideal choice. Many sellers on eBay, and retailers such as EverythingLinux sell copies of Linux distributions for a small fee... or if you can wait a while, Canonical (who produce Ubuntu) are happy to post a disc free of charge -- the catch being it'll take a month to get to you since it's sent surface-mail.

 

Others on this forum may also be happy to burn you a disc and post it to you.

Edited by Redhatter

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Probably should have been more informative with my first post. Laptop with no DVD drive limits me to downloading and "unetbooting" the OS to flash drive. Seems a file size larger than 2Gb could be a prob for me because the thumb drive couldn't be formatted in "Fat16." My current plan is still to try Fedora and see if the flash drive will boot up with it ... trouble is it could be a waste of a download if there is no way to use it on my system.

 

Also somewhat concerned about my Master Boot Record. Will Fedora's installation (on flash drive with swap file on HDD) mess up my current Vista startup's MBR? My Linux manual tells me that Windows doesn't actually use the existing MBR and overwrites it on each startup...

 

NEwhoo, downloading Fedora 10 myself using a download manager so I can stop and resume while I'm online. File size of Fedora 10 is 650Mb there-abouts, so I shouldn't have any problem mounting the ISO to thumb drive. Online download help file says it requires 9Gb of HDD space ... so I must not know what I'm doing. I clicked the primary site download link for the full first-time install ... is this meaning the installation will require an internet connection so I can finish downloading the related apps for my current system?

 

And if anyone out there thinks beyond a doubt that Ubuntu is better for me than Fedora ... speak now or forever hold your peace ....

Edited by wlayton27

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Probably should have been more informative with my first post. Laptop with no DVD drive limits me to downloading and "unetbooting" the OS to flash drive. Seems a file size larger than 2Gb could be a prob for me because the thumb drive couldn't be formatted in "Fat16."

FAT16 won't help you there. Here's the deal:

 

  • FAT16: 2GB max volume size, 2GB max file size
  • FAT32: Multiple FAT16 volumes ("clusters") bundled together allowing volumes larger than 2GB -- but file size still restricted to 2GB
  • NTFS, EXT3, ...anything else: no such silly restriction

My current plan is still to try Fedora and see if the flash drive will boot up with it ... trouble is it could be a waste of a download if there is no way to use it on my system.

 

Also somewhat concerned about my Master Boot Record. Will Fedora's installation (on flash drive with swap file on HDD) mess up my current Vista startup's MBR? My Linux manual tells me that Windows doesn't actually use the existing MBR and overwrites it on each startup...

If you don't install a bootloader to the MBR, it shouldn't mess it up.

 

NEwhoo, downloading Fedora 10 myself using a download manager so I can stop and resume while I'm online. File size of Fedora 10 is 650Mb there-abouts, so I shouldn't have any problem mounting the ISO to thumb drive. Online download help file says it requires 9Gb of HDD space ... so I must not know what I'm doing. I clicked the primary site download link for the full first-time install ... is this meaning the installation will require an internet connection so I can finish downloading the related apps for my current system?

That would sound about right. By the way... check your units... it's very unusual to quote file/disk sizes in terms of Megabits and Gigabits. 9Gb is just a fraction over 1GB.

 

And if anyone out there thinks beyond a doubt that Ubuntu is better for me than Fedora ... speak now or forever hold your peace ....

Ubuntu is a one-CD install. That disc you download has all the basic essentials of a desktop up and running, and thus may be better suited for your needs given the issues regarding internet links.

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