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AuthorTopic: Tips on moving to Linux?  (Read 12752 times)

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Offline Ral-Clan

Tips on moving to Linux?
« on: March 26, 2014, 11:43:42 AM »
Hi guys,

I'm sticking with Windows XP for a while yet as it has several applications I really like and it supports some older hardware (graphics tablet, pro music card) I need to keep running.
However, I'm considering my upgrade path for when I am finally forced to leave Windows XP in the future. I'd prefer to not have to use Windows 7 or 8.

So for the first time I am very seriously considering Linux. I would like to start by dipping my toe into Linux with the aim of eventually make it my day-to-day OS in a few years. In order to ease myself into it, I'd like to set up a dual boot Windows XP / Linux system and slowly migrate as much of my work as possible over to Linux as I get used to it. My computer is an older Windows XP era box: Intel Pentium4 running at 2.8Ghz, hyperthreading CPU with 3GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive.

I know very little about Linux, so am grateful for all recommendations and answers to the following questions:

1. What type of Linux would be the most widely compatible and still good on a system from about 8 years ago (specs above)?
2. For my purposes (gradual immersion), should I create a partition on the 160GB hard drive for Linux, or buy a 32GB or 64GB USB stick and install on that?
3. Any tips or good guides on creating a dual boot system?
5. Any tips on creating a Linux partition on a hard drive WITHOUT having to destroy and re-install the XP partition that already exists there (i.e. Swissknife?)?
6. Any complications or pitfalls I need to watch out for on a dual boot system?
7. Are all Linux strains compatible? I don't want to be stuck with a Linux branch that can't run common binaries.
8. In future, will I always need a Windows XP partition to run my legacy Windows XP applications, or is Wine under Linux good enough now?

The things I am going to miss most are the EXCELLENT (truly outstanding) quality of WinVICE and WinUAE emulators on Windows. These are 99.8% perfect emulators. I've heard the quality of Commodore emulation is not quite as good under Linux (emulators not as well developed). For instance, I push WinUAE quite hard, running intensive Amiga graphics and 3d rendering packages and timing-critical MIDI software. It performs like a champ.

I also have a semi-pro PCI audio card (M-Audio Delta 192) which I use for music composing. It's a high quality, low latency card and I hope there have been Linux drivers for it.

I'm also really going to miss Sony Vegas non-linear video editing software, for which I paid $100. It's superb. Is there something equivalent on Linux?

Thanks for any input you have...
Music I've made using Amigas and other retro-instruments: http://theovoids.bandcamp.com
 

Offline XDelusion

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 11:47:42 AM »
I'm no Linux pro, I generally find my self hating it after a while, but with that being said, I've been running Linux Mint Mate Edition for a few months now and am really quite fond of it.
Earth has a lot of things other folks might want... like the whole planet. And maybe these folks would like a few changes made, like more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and room for their way of life. - William S. Burroughs
 

Offline Borut

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 12:52:12 PM »
Quote from: ral-clan;761263
Hi guys,

I'm sticking with Windows XP for a while yet as it has several applications I really like and it supports some older hardware (graphics tablet, pro music card) I need to keep running.
However, I'm considering my upgrade path for when I am finally forced to leave Windows XP in the future. I'd prefer to not have to use Windows 7 or 8.

So for the first time I am very seriously considering Linux. I would like to start by dipping my toe into Linux with the aim of eventually make it my day-to-day OS in a few years. In order to ease myself into it, I'd like to set up a dual boot Windows XP / Linux system and slowly migrate as much of my work as possible over to Linux as I get used to it. My computer is an older Windows XP era box: Intel Pentium4 running at 2.8Ghz, hyperthreading CPU with 3GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive.

I know very little about Linux, so am grateful for all recommendations and answers to the following questions:

1. What type of Linux would be the most widely compatible and still good on a system from about 8 years ago (specs above)?
2. For my purposes (gradual immersion), should I create a partition on the 160GB hard drive for Linux, or buy a 32GB or 64GB USB stick and install on that?
3. Any tips or good guides on creating a dual boot system?
5. Any tips on creating a Linux partition on a hard drive WITHOUT having to destroy and re-install the XP partition that already exists there (i.e. Swissknife?)?
6. Any complications or pitfalls I need to watch out for on a dual boot system?
7. Are all Linux strains compatible? I don't want to be stuck with a Linux branch that can't run common binaries.
8. In future, will I always need a Windows XP partition to run my legacy Windows XP applications, or is Wine under Linux good enough now?

The things I am going to miss most are the EXCELLENT (truly outstanding) quality of WinVICE and WinUAE emulators on Windows. These are 99.8% perfect emulators. I've heard the quality of Commodore emulation is not quite as good under Linux (emulators not as well developed). For instance, I push WinUAE quite hard, running intensive Amiga graphics and 3d rendering packages and timing-critical MIDI software. It performs like a champ.

I also have a semi-pro PCI audio card (M-Audio Delta 192) which I use for music composing. It's a high quality, low latency card and I hope there have been Linux drivers for it.

I'm also really going to miss Sony Vegas non-linear video editing software, for which I paid $100. It's superb. Is there something equivalent on Linux?

Thanks for any input you have...


Hi, I am also new to Linux since a half year when the XP on my IBM R40 laptop (1,7 Ghz 512 RAM only) collapsed.
I dicided to use Mint because it looks similar to XP. It has a common base with Ubuntu which is the most mainstream Linux nowadays, after it in the ranking is Mint.
I use the XCFE desktop beacause it is more lightweight - I looked also at all the other desktops of Mint but there is not a big difference in how they look - at least for me.
For some things I still have to use XP - e.g. for updating my TomTom (crappy thing btw. not only because Linux support is missing). When You install Mint next to an existing XP there is no hassle (nothing is destroyed) to make the partition before the installation because You are guided inbetween the installation process.
All hardware I use (onboard wlan, sound and gfx) quickly worked without any additional hassle for installation. Printers are installed faster than you can put a paper into the tray - automatically with no interaction needed.
You need no antivirus. Using midi files wasn´t easy for me - I wondered that they did not worked out of the box - because most things do so.
The standard XP was at first a little faster than Mint but after a half year now it is slow again. Mint runs the same speed as in the beginning.
Sometimes Libre Office crashes. Overall I am quite impressed of Linux and it is better then I expected even that I use it on an quite weak HW, especially regarding the RAM.
 

Offline Fats

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 01:48:32 PM »
Quote from: ral-clan;761263
8. In future, will I always need a Windows XP partition to run my legacy Windows XP applications, or is Wine under Linux good enough now?


Running XP in a virtual machine (VirtualBox, KVM, ...) will be most compatible. Wine won't likely be compatible with all the software.
For virtual machine 3GB may be on the small side but that also depends on the Linux distro chosen. I upgraded my old computer to 4GB for that purpose but I only need to run the VM once in a while anymore.
Trust me...                                              I know what I\'m doing
 

Offline stefcep2

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 02:15:59 PM »
I think most of the risk with running XP is overstated.

I haven't updated it in maybe 12 months, runs as well as ever and no malware.  I use  Zone Alarm firewall, I do not log in with an administrator account, I use AVG free.  And commonsense: there are NO Nigerian Princes who want to transfer their riches into your bank account!

Maybe you can still keep going for a fair bit longer.

I know there's a few Linux fans here, but in my experience, no, it doesn't "just work".
 

Offline Oldsmobile_Mike

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 03:48:34 PM »
I love Windows 7 (hate Windows 8, but that's a different story), properly configured it's what I install on all our business PC's. That being said, for older systems that can't run 7 I install Ubuntu. It's the easiest to setup, most user-friendly (in my experience), and has the best online support forums for when you need help. A basic Ubuntu install will give you everything you need (latest versions of LibreOffice, FireFox, music & media player software, the only thing I install on top of that is a screensaver package since the default install includes no screensavers. Throw GIMP and VLC on there and most users won't need anything else).

Your mileage may vary.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 03:53:38 PM by Oldsmobile_Mike »
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Offline commodorejohn

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 04:54:16 PM »
Tips on running Linux: don't. It's a bloated mess of an operating system made of forty years of layered kludges to take it from driving serial terminals on PDP-11s to running a graphical desktop on modern PCs, the UI for Linux and Linux software alike is universally mediocre-to-vomitous, and there's typically three or four different versions of every software package tailored for every desktop environment except the one you're using, with at least a one-in-fifty chance that installing one will break some other completely unrelated program because of ridiculously arcane dependency trees. Stick with XP.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/MT-32/D-10, Oberheim Matrix-6, Yamaha DX7/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini, Ensoniq Mirage/SQ-80, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600, Hohner String Performer

"\'Legacy code\' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup
 

Offline Iggy

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 05:12:40 PM »
@ commodorejohn

Sounds like you are describing UNIX, because Linux hasn't been around for forty years.
And Linux continues to evolve.
Further, virtually all OS' can drive a terminal, personally I've found that useful.
Linux is no more kludged than Windows.

That being said, I'm not giving XP up yet either.
I'm typing on a laptop under XP right now and I have one desktop at home with XP on it (that dual boots with Ubuntu).
My netbook runs Win7, but I tend not to use it because its slower.

And perversely enough I spend more time using MorphOS than Linux or XP.
"Not making any hard and fast rules means that the moderators can use their good judgment in moderation, and we think the results speak for themselves." - Amiga.org, terms of service

"You, got to stem the evil tide, and keep it on the the inside" - Rogers Waters

"God was never on your side" - Lemmy

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Offline Acill

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2014, 05:15:37 PM »
I wouldnt say its a mess if you stick with a mainstream release. You cant go wrong with Ubuntu. The latest release is quite nice. With its built in App store you can get just about anything you need and know it will work and play nice with your system.
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Offline commodorejohn

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 05:19:53 PM »
Quote from: Iggy;761279
Sounds like you are describing UNIX, because Linux hasn't been around for forty years.
And Linux continues to evolve.
Linux hasn't been around for forty years, but it slavishly reimplements the twenty-plus years of UNIX cruft it adopted wholesale in its initial development. And it continues to "evolve" only in the sense of piling on more layers of cruft in an attempt to be a modern desktop OS without having to revise the design to fit that goal.

Quote
Linux is no more kludged than Windows.
Ohhhh yes it is.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/MT-32/D-10, Oberheim Matrix-6, Yamaha DX7/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini, Ensoniq Mirage/SQ-80, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600, Hohner String Performer

"\'Legacy code\' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup
 

Offline Iggy

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2014, 05:28:45 PM »
Quote from: commodorejohn;761281
Ohhhh yes it is.

Your opinion.
"Not making any hard and fast rules means that the moderators can use their good judgment in moderation, and we think the results speak for themselves." - Amiga.org, terms of service

"You, got to stem the evil tide, and keep it on the the inside" - Rogers Waters

"God was never on your side" - Lemmy

Amiga! "Our appeal has become more selective"
 

Offline commodorejohn

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2014, 05:38:09 PM »
Quote from: Iggy;761282
Your opinion.
[youtube]pWdd6_ZxX8c[/youtube]
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/MT-32/D-10, Oberheim Matrix-6, Yamaha DX7/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini, Ensoniq Mirage/SQ-80, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600, Hohner String Performer

"\'Legacy code\' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup
 

Offline Iggy

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2014, 06:26:49 PM »
And...that's just silly.
Kind of like defending an OS that uses a flat database like the Windows Registry.
"Not making any hard and fast rules means that the moderators can use their good judgment in moderation, and we think the results speak for themselves." - Amiga.org, terms of service

"You, got to stem the evil tide, and keep it on the the inside" - Rogers Waters

"God was never on your side" - Lemmy

Amiga! "Our appeal has become more selective"
 

Offline cgutjahr

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2014, 06:27:02 PM »
Maybe you guys can take the "Linux sucks" discussion to some other thread?

Quote from: ral-clan;761263
1. What type of Linux would be the most widely compatible and still good on a system from about 8 years ago (specs above)?
Ubuntu is the most beginner friendly one, has the biggest and most friendly user base (i.e. very easy to get help) and comes with comfortable workarounds for problems like proprietary drivers.

Ubuntu switched to a new desktop a few years ago though. The change is not as extreme as the one in Windows 8, but it's driven by the same idea ("same GUI on Desktop and handheld/touch devices") and it might take some time to get used to it.

If Ubuntu's desktop ("Unity") is not your cup of tea, use Linux Mint instead. It's based on Ubuntu, but uses more traditional desktops.


Quote
2. For my purposes (gradual immersion), should I create a partition on the 160GB hard drive for Linux, or buy a 32GB or 64GB USB stick and install on that?
Ubuntu (and Linux Mint, IIRC) can be tested using "Live" DVDs/USB sticks. You might want to try that first.

Ubuntu can also be installed in parallel to an existing Windows install, without having to reformat your existing harddisk partitions. There even used to be an option to install Ubuntu into a directory on your Windows partition, that's a killer feature if you just want to "check it out" - not sure if that option is still available.

Quote
3. Any tips or good guides on creating a dual boot system?
If Linux is the second OS you install, the install process usually takes care of everything - including stuff like importing Firefox bookmarks from the Windows partition.

Quote
5. Any tips on creating a Linux partition on a hard drive WITHOUT having to destroy and re-install the XP partition that already exists there (i.e. Swissknife?)?
Ubuntu does that for you. You should still create backups first, obviously.

Quote
7. Are all Linux strains compatible? I don't want to be stuck with a Linux branch that can't run common binaries.
Mostly compatible, but might require some work. If you choose one of the big distributions (again: Ubuntu), you won't encounter Linux software that you can't run. Ubuntu and Mint are compatible (mostly, depending on what versions of what libraries a particular Ubuntu/Mint version is using.).

Quote
8. In future, will I always need a Windows XP partition to run my legacy Windows XP applications, or is Wine under Linux good enough now?
Depends on the apps. Wine is quite usable for a lot of stuff, games might need a problem.

Personally, I'd simply install Virtualbox and run WindowsXP under Linux. For safety reasons, make sure it doesn't have net access. Virtualbox can hide the actual Desktop and make the windows of your Win applications behave like windows of native applications (move them around on the desktop etc.)

Quote
The things I am going to miss most are the EXCELLENT (truly outstanding) quality of WinVICE and WinUAE emulators on Windows.
VICE on Linux should be as good as WinVICE, FS-UAE is using a different approach than WinUAE (Launcher + Emulator excutable, + "ingame" menus that can be used via Joystick) but is very good already and improving constantly.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 06:30:43 PM by cgutjahr »
 

Offline commodorejohn

Re: Tips on moving to Linux?
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2014, 06:44:45 PM »
Quote from: cgutjahr;761285
Maybe you guys can take the "Linux sucks" discussion to some other thread?
Maybe not. ral-clan is a Windows user looking at maybe switching to Linux, which is exactly where I was two and a half years ago, and I put weeks of time and effort into the endeavor, only to discover that it isn't good, doesn't get better with familiarity, and I'd have made better use of that time banging my head against a brick wall. I'm just trying to save him the pain.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/MT-32/D-10, Oberheim Matrix-6, Yamaha DX7/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini, Ensoniq Mirage/SQ-80, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600, Hohner String Performer

"\'Legacy code\' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup