I want to stop using windows

Hello , I have been building windows based computers for some time, recently during a crunch I bought a premaid computer, which came with windows vista, It was in fact so bad that I dont even use it and I recently noticed that updates for windows xp were changing it in some ways to work like the vista! I have decided Its time for me to start bulding computers based on linux, Unfortunatly I know nothing about it, I dont even know where to begin, thought I have heard a few good things about ubuntu however you spell it. But Im completly lost there seem to be so many versions and not many seem to explain themselves very well for a new user. Basically I need a free downloadable version of some linux based operating system, that can install itself from a cd drive. Also I have some basic questions such as:
1 Will programs work with it ? ( Are all my old programs going to be trash ?)
2 Is My video card going to work with it ? (nvidia 8500 gt 512 mb)?
3 Is there a 64 bit version ( I have a core duo which can run 64 bit) ?
4 Is there some (easy) way I can Install it to a secondary drive an load it instead of windows for testing purposes ?
5 What about the rest of my hardware ? Will I be able to find drivers so my stuff works?
I would really appreciate any help and or info about this stuff, and I have looked at a bunch of sites , but like I said they dont make much sense to a total new user like me, thank you.
UPDATE: Well thanks to all your help I was able to intall 64bit version 7.10 Ububtu. It worked great from the Live CD, in fact it actually worked better then it did when I installed it. While the Live Cd was able to use my wireless card to access the internet, the installed version was not able to, Also on start up there was an “failure to allocate memory” Message I would put the whole message but it flashed to quickly. I closely tried to follow all the help files regarding the wireless issue but it just kept seeming like the system wasnt even accessing the card , almost as if it was in some kind of internal endless loop. Still trying to find out what is wrong. Obviously I cant just use it from the Live Cd , and I also cant use it if it cant acess the internet. Everyone was definitly right about all my programs (and drivers also) being trash. Luckily tho ubunto came with a pretty good list of open source programs(Gimp included!) Though I would have to say I found the way you have to install programs to be more the quirky, But i probably would have gotten used to it. Hopefully I can get it to work , though that memory allocation error doesnt give me much hope.If I cant get it working Ill have to move on to trying solaris, is there a blender for Solaris ? Incidently I downloaded the blender 64 bit version to try out with the Ubuntu, it worked great, and the render time also seemed to improve. Thanks for all the help and suggestions , please keep them coming!!
I have to say how amazingly fast it was to render animation on ubuntu 64 bit, very nice especially considering I dont think I was using the video card, because I was running it from the live cd.

  1. No.* You won’t be gaming, or running things like Photoshop, etc. You will need Linux programs (there are many alternatives that work equally well to most programs).

  2. Yes. Nvidia has by far the best support for Linux.

  3. Yes. Most distros (distributions) have 64bit versions. I’m running Fedora 7 x86_64 (64 bit) right now.

  4. Yes. Some distros will partition that for you now. You’ll use a bootloader (GRUB or LILO) to choose if you want to boot Windows or Linux. It’s called dual booting. You can also test a LiveCD (Linux that can be run off a CD).

  5. Usually it’s all supported out of the box.

*There are ways to get around this, like WINE, but you’ll end up with more headaches than it’s worth.

Not to plug my site, but I’ve got some beginner guides on Linux you might want to check out.

Use an easy-to-use wide-spread linux distribution. It will save you a lot of time as the propability of driver support is much higher and the possibilities to get help even is higher. Ubuntu is a good idea, you can even get the CDs shipped to you for free.

I will just answer your questions now.

  1. Your programs are going to be trash. That is the whole point of a different operating system… if you are using (open source) software like Open Office or (cough) Blender then there are “builds” for linux. Don’t be fooled by emulators for Windows (like Wine), they work, but I can only recommend them for the worst case that you have some very specific software you have to use and have no other chance.
  2. Yes. Driver installation got a bit easier the last years.
  3. Yes. If you choose Ubuntu you can select the 64 bit version for shipping. I had problems with that using a 64 bit processor…
  4. Hm… it is quite easy if you know what you are doing. If not, then please find someone who does and supports you (i.e. is physically doing the installation). Otherwise you might loose data.
    There are so-called live CDs which let you run linux directly from CD without any installation at all. This is nice for a first impression, but as you can’t customize and as the speed is lower and ram usage higher it is not the real experience.
    There is an Ubuntu installer called Wubi which lets you install Ubuntu in a file in your Windows hard disk. That may be a good idea for a try.
  5. Depends heavily on the hardware. There is a lot of (cheap) hardware that relies on certain Windows routines and is not (well) supported in Linux. There is even a lot of new hardware that needs some time till it is supported in Linux. Just with the latest Ubuntu release (7.10) the widespread Broadcom WLan chips are supported…


Yes on all accounts. And by the way Inmare, WINE Is Not an Emulator! And it does work for the majority of software, but not all. Photoshop works, and so does the trial version of Halo for PC (though the full version of Halo does not work for some reason). And usually Wine will run programs as well as Windows does anyways. In some cases it works faster.

However, it is still recommended to use Linux programs. For instance, use Gimp instead of Photoshop and Open Office instead of Microsoft Office.

Contradictio in facto… Wine is an emulator, even if the people behind it find it “cool” to deny it (as they find “recursive” acronyms cool… kids in this respect). Not a whole Windows emulator but for some APIs. And it is not fun to use Windows programs with it. Another GUI layer toc configure, more hardware access problems, program data interchange problems maximised…

Also, iirc, the Core Duo is not 64 bit, but the Core 2 Duo is.

I run 64-bit Ubuntu, and the only issue I’ve had is with Flash, but that’s fixed with nspluginwrapper.

actually, photoshop 7(and cs 2 to some extent) is doable(wont be easy though) and some games are playable too, just check out http://appdb.winehq.org/

That’s why there was an asterisk ;).

And I think knellotron is right about the Core Duo not being 64-bit.

yes, but you weren’t givin’ details! :wink: and with some games, like wow & guild wars, i have not had more head aches than its worth! :slight_smile: so…

and yes, iirc then indeed, core duo is 32bit…

No, it isn’t. An emulator uses a COMPLETE reconstruction of all functions of a system* using nothing but SOFTWARE. For WINE to be an emulator, the ENTIRE Windows operating system would have to be recreated PERFECTLY, with hardware ALSO simulated, since hardware is part of the *SYSTEM. Wine only uses the basic Windows API to allow you to run a Windows application as if it were on Windows, without having Windows itself. A program runs on a system by connecting to the system’s API, which controls the app. Linux’s API won’t run Windows applications because it is programmed differently. WINE is the same as the regular Windows API, so it runs the application as if it were Windows. The reason why it is not EMULATED is because it isn’t Linux software simulating Windows, but Linux software activating Windows API to allow Windows applications to run NATIVELY.

Oh, and kids couldn’t write something on the scale of WINE, so your theory of kids being the ones who love recursive acronyms and therefore that the people who make WINE must be kids is totally bogus.

By the way, I’ve never had any problems with WINE. The only things I’ve ever had to do is try to load a ton of DLLs into WINE’s Dll directory. Other than that, Wine works on its own for me. I use Ubuntu, by the way.

You can also run Microsoft Internet Explorer under WINE. Check out IEs for Linux.

I use wine to run some programs that i just happen to like the windows versions for. Grabit for one, and i use it to run Winrar, as i hate HATE extracting archives from teh command-line, and Quick-Par, etc etc. I find wine to be a very useful app with really good compatibility, but using it for Gaming is almost a waste of time. Starcraft. That’s about it :stuck_out_tongue:

For gaming tho, there are a few companies that release Linux versions of their games. Not many, but some. The Open Source games out there are sometimes pretty decent.

I’ve not had too much trouble with any of my hardware, and in a couple rare cases I’ve found the linux setup of my hardware to be a lot less painless than the Windows setup. Of course, Even if you do use Nvidia cards, there’s still a certain level of annoyance in trying to troubleshoot Xorg if it doesn’t install properly or something. When i upgraded to Gutsy i removed and reinstalled my drivers and rebuilt my xorg.cong about a dozen times trying to figure out why it wasn’t using my drivers. Then i read it was an issue with the glx-server and i just had to remove that. Boom, worked perfect after that. So yeah, sometimes it’s a problem that you don’t even realize is a problem. Definately bookmark a couple good forums like teh Ubuntu Forums and stuff and learn a bit about X.org before you start goofing about with Linux, so you can know how to recover from a bad X config. If you can keep your desktop alive so you can surf the web for answers you’ll be able to get as much help as you need :stuck_out_tongue:

Linux gives me a ‘stiffy’ :smiley:

  1. Most of your programs won’t work, but like it was already pointed out, it is possible to use WINE to run some. It depends on how the developers make it; if its too Windows attached, chances are it won’t work. But it might as well do it…
  2. nVidia works wonders under Linux. They have nice support for Linux system, at least better than ATI at the moment.
  3. Yes, most distros have a 64bit version, although I am not sure the Core Duo is 64bit?
  4. You don’t really need to install it to test it; most distro allow you to use a LiveCD, which allows you to run the OS through a CD. It is a bit slow, but at least you can check the perks and such, and see if you like. In any case; most distros come with a partitioner and give you the option when installing.
  5. Linux has the awesome ability to run even in a coffee machine and a toaster. Most main stream companies have drivers for Linux; but retain from buying stuff that says “MICROSOFT” cause chances are it won’t work right, or at least, with all its perks.

I’ve been using Debian for a few years now and I’ve seen major changes in the ease of use and setup of Linux just in the time I’ve been using it :D. Without a doubt Linux is far superior to windows (especially Vista) in almost every way. Once you learn a few of the basics about how it works and how to move around in it, it’ll blow you away. No joke every time I have to use windows anymore it feels just like a kids toy. If I’m not mistaken most distros have a LiveCD now that you can boot up from and see what its like without even having to install it :eek:. I’m using Knoppix like this at work as a recovery and diagnostic CD. I personally haven’t had any problems with basic hardware such as motherboard drivers and such, but many peripherals can be a problem such as printers, scanners, camcorders, cameras, ect… I know I had to change my mindset on this, I used to buy whatever and just expect it to work, now I research what is supported by Linux before I buy anything!

As far as games go there are quite a few that run on Linux and there seems to be more interest everyday. I currently have:

  • UT2004 (UT3 is supposed to be released for linux too!)
  • DOOM3 (ID has said they will continue to release new titles for Linux)
  • QUAKE4 (Quake Wars was just released for Linux)
  • Cold War (a sneak around game similar to splinter cell)
  • Penumbra Overture (very scary game by the way)
  • Babylon5 (open source space battles and missions)
  • Wind Commander (open source space battles and missions)
  • Beyond the Red Line (open source space battles and missions)
  • Nexiuz (open source fps)
  • sauerbraten (open source aka cube2 fps)
  • Alien Arena (open source fps)
  • Planeshift (open source online role playing)
  • Flightgear (open source flight simulator)
  • VDrift (open source race car)There’s alot more then this, but these are some of the best IMHO. Most of my old games will run under wine (although some require alot of messing about to make work :no:). The bottom line for me was I had gained alot more experience in dos and windoze then I realized (like what to do when this or that happens) and that was the hardest thing about switching, everything was a little different but if you can make it through the hard part at the beginning you’ll never look back :evilgrin:.

you forgot enemy territory, Quake wars :smiley:

Tried the demo for that, very sweet :yes:
Gona have to beef up my computer though :eek:. oh well, guess this was just the excuse I was looking for :evilgrin:.

Linux rules

I just bought this two games because they work very well in Linux and I like id software for supporting Linux :slight_smile:

I never bought Windows-only games because I don’t use Windows anymore and if more games comes for Linux I will continue to buy them.

You qoute the Wine’s people definition of emulator which is made up so that Wine is not an emulator. But I think this is neither the forum nor the thread to discuss this.

I didn’t wrote that kids wrote Wine, I said that in respect of finding idiotic acronyms (and defining themself what they don’t want to be even if they are) they behave like kids. There are a lot of 20 to 30 year old, who behave in a lot of ways like kids. Especially in software engineering; looks like this is an industry which keeps you young… to the better and the worse.

Then it seems you don’t like Wikipedia’s definition either:

An emulator duplicates (provides an emulation of) the functions of one system using a different system, so that the second system behaves like (and appears to be) the first system.

According to this, WINE is NOT an emulator.

WINE is not an emulator because all WINE does is redirect calls. For instance, instead of making X application call wingodknowshwat.dll, it’ll call a WINE reverse engineered .dll.

An emulator would require a complete OS.