Should I switch from Windows 7 to Linux?

Dowd March 16, 2011
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I’m currently running on Windows 7 and am interested in all things Linux. I have never used nor seen it, but want to try it out. Through basic research I have learned that there are many types and was wondering what type (system?) would be best if and, over windows. I run a lot of high graphics games (Warhammer Total War Starcraft 2) and would appreciate some stick and rudder.

Thanks!

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  1. Victor Dugas
    April 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I have used Windows since 1993. About 2 years ago I found that I was getting frustrated with hackers on my windows servers and I was using the best security software available for windows anywhere. Not to mention...using the best antivirus and anti spyware available for windows meant that I was only formatting every three or four months on average. I tried Ubuntu and my servers had not been hacked since and there has been no issues with virii. Really, it depends on ones taste and tolerance for flaws in the Windows operating system that have been around since the advent of Windows...and some new ones (possibly as many as 100,000-200,000). Ubuntu has some flaws, but most (as mentioned in other comments) can be fixed through the vast network of Ubuntu help sites. Most hardware is "Out of the Box" meaning that the drivers are automatic. Wine won't run all windows software, but it will run most without problems. However, using Ubuntu now for 2 years, I would never go near windows, for me it is too dangerous...it is unsafe, insecure, buggy, troublesome, problematic and a virus magnet. This means that one or two games that run only in Windows won't run well in Wine, but that is my only sacrifice.

  2. Jason Smisek
    March 26, 2011 at 11:41 am

    For anyone that isn't into video games. Ubuntu is the easiest version of Linux to use in my limited experience. If you need something like Netflix compatibility. I find running virtualbox on Ubuntu with a windows virtual in seamless the best solution.

  3. Pat
    March 25, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I would definitely try it out with virtualbox first, because not everyone will prefer Linux and this way you don't make any real changes to your system until you are sure. Virtualbox is user-friendly, but powerful and not dumbed-down for use by stupid people. I totally recommend it. I also recommend Linux Mint. It has all the bells and whistles to make your transition a good one and. Remember that Linux is not Windows and some things will take a while to get used to. If you give it some time I think you will like it. Also, I agree with Anomaly, there is no need to limit yourself to just 1 OS. There are thousands of flavors of Linux, so try a few of them on live cd or virtualbox. Personally, I use Linux Mint as my main OS and run Windows 7 in virtualbox.

  4. Anomaly
    March 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Why do you think you need to switch? Why is it one or the other? Why not use both? I see no need to use one OS only.

    As for trying out Linux I would create a bootable USB drive with persistence and you can try out Linux that way.

  5. TKO
    March 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I agree with what every body said about using Ubuntu in a dual boot mode, as a way to learn about Linux. The only change I would make is that instead of using Ubuntu, use a variation of Ubuntu like Linux Mint or Pinguy 10.10. They're both Ubuntu but a lot of the hard work has been done already, like improved menu's, codec's already installed video players and etc....

    Personally I started out with basic Ubuntu and did all the modifications myself, but once I did a reinstall a few times, I just started Using Pinguy (It's brand new so it's not as famous as Linux Mint, but in my opinion it's better) on every new reinstall

  6. FIDELIS
    March 16, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Hello, if you are just trying it out, I would say go with a virtual machine like VirtualBox or install the wubi installation. If you use a virtual machine, all you do is download the virtual machine and once installed, install linux inside the virtual machine like you would normally do the normal installation. Follow the steps described on the following link to do so:
    http://www.my-guides.net/en/content/view/112/26/
    http://www.justskins.com/linux/virtualbox-linux-windows/1502

    Link for VirtualBox:
    http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

    The wubi installation will install linux within windows and you access it like any other program.
    http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/windows-installer

  7. Mike
    March 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    I don't recommend installing Linux in a Dual-Boot. I have seen so much people ending up reinstalling Windows because they made a wrong click or didn't remove the bootloader properly.

    Also, I can tell you right away that you won't be pleased running the latest games under WINE.

    If you want to test-drive Linux I suggest to use virtualization under Windows!
    Get a VM Software, and run Linux in a Virtual Machine. It will also spare you from doing a reboot every time you want/have to do something under Windows.

    VirtualBox (free)
    http://www.virtualbox.org/

    QEMU (free)
    http://qemu.org/

    VMware Workstation (payed)
    http://www.vmware.com/products/workstation/

    Parallels Desktop (payed)
    http://www.parallels.com/eu/products/desktop/pd4wl/

    VMware Player (free, only runs Appliances)
    http://www.vmware.com/products/player/
    http://www.vmware.com/appliances/ (you can find pretty much any Linux Distro there)

  8. Dowd
    March 16, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Alright thanks for all the help guys ill keep that in mind. any other tips you can think of would be appreciated.

  9. Roy
    March 16, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Noeuro is right on the money about user-friendliness and about dual-booting. I always recommend Ubuntu for new Linux users. I dual boot it and Windows 7 on my home PC as well.

    You can get Ubuntu from http://www.ubuntu.com/ or Fedora from http://fedoraproject.org/. If you go with Ubuntu, I would recommend starting out with the Windows Installer - http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/windows-installer. It's a good way to give Ubuntu a "test drive." The advantage to this method is if you find it's not to your liking or isn't working out for you, then you can uninstall it as if it were a Windows program.

    As for WINE, if it isn't enabled right out of the box, you can just go to the software installer (in pretty much any Linux distro) and install it. I'm not really sure whether Ubuntu has it installed by default, because I boot into Windows to run all my Windows software.

    If I can give just a short response to your question, "Should I switch from Windows 7 to Linux," I would say, "Maybe, but not hastily." In other words, whether it's a yes or a no depends on you, your hardware and your software. And by not hastily I mean don't get rid of Windows altogether, at least not at first. Eventually you may want to, but I would encourage you not to until you know you're ready to.

  10. Dowd
    March 16, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks noeuro that did so couple more questions. where should i get it from, does both ubuntu and fedora come with the WINE emulator and what other know how should i have before starting this?

  11. Noeuro
    March 16, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    I dual-boot Ubuntu and Windows 7. I have used a few Linux distributions and have found the most user-friendly ones to be Ubuntu and Fedora. Both of them tend to pick up almost all hardware out of the box with no problems, and if a driver is needed (for wireless for example) help is available in forums or is easily accessed with a Google search.

    I would recommend dual booting because of software compatibility. Quite a lot of Windows software will run using WINE which is a Windows emulator, but to ensure that everything will run perfectly, keeping a Windows partition for games on your hard drive is recommended. This is especially the case because some graphics cards are not 100% compatible with Linux and while the third party drivers may make them functional, you might not have 100% performance that you would get with the official Windows drivers.

    I hope that my answer has been of some help and I'm sure a few people will mention things that I haven't covered.

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