Request help:migrating from windows to linux

Well I am a long time MS windows user wanting to switch over to Linux.I did some research and found that a number of linux distributions are available.Thers Debian,Fedora,Ubuntu,kubuntu…I am a bit confused.I basically want to use linux for 3D and other graphics related work.My computer has quite an old configuration(PIII:eyebrowlift:).I cannot go for an immediate update.Hence i am trying other options to see if they work.

Recently I have been experiencing sluggish performance with windows.Some of the threads on this forum suggest that Blender has superior performance in Linux than windows.I want to give it a shot.What Linux distribution do you use/prefer?

Before you make a complete switch, you might want to install Virtualbox and install some different linux distros into it.

Play with that until you’re familiar with it enough to make the real switch. It’ll save you quite some tears and stress hormones.


Is using Virtual Box the same as dual booting linux? Ive been looking into doing that lately, but haven’t got up the guts because of all the hard drive formatting bits. With my inexperience with this stuff it all sounds kinda scary.

The first thing you want to do is check your hardware for compatibility. I recommend downloading the Ubuntu Live CD and booting your computer from it. If you run into problems that can’t be fixed easily while running Ubuntu this way (e.g. no network access, no sound, USB devices not recognized etc.) do not install it.

Installing Linux is a piece of cake, however if your hardware is unsupported it can quickly turn into a nightmare. So make sure everything works prior to installing it. That is the purpose of the Live CD.

No, VirtualBox emulates a VirtualMachine, like vmWare or VirtualPC.

It simulates a computer within the operating system you installed it in. With CPUs with Hardware Virtualization (C2D / A64(AM2) or higher) and 2Gib+ RAM you almost recognize no difference to a native installed OS.

You create a local file on your existing HDD which contains the Virtual Machine.
You can either put a Linux CD in your CD Drive or mount a Linux image into VBox´s virtual CD drive and boot from there. Once you start to install the VM installs itself into the “container file”.

Trying OS´s without touching your actual system
Being able to make snapshots of your VM
Being able to exchange the whole VM with others because VBox provides a uniform enviroment.
If you shipwreck your VM simply delete the imge file or restore a snapshot.

With a dual monitor setup you can simply run the VM on the other screen in fullscreen, or just run it in a window, as you like. you can attach the VMs network to your own via NAT, or install a host network interface and bridge it through.
For example you can setup a whole linux webserver in a virtual machine, and make it accessable from your PC or to the WWW. It runs in a “sealed” environment. You can also reach the VM then from outside via SSH or use the remote screen option to directly control the VM. Endless possibilities :smiley:

Down to one point: VBox allows you to mess around with other OS´s without harming your actual system. (beside you delete one of the shared folders on the host machine from the guest´s UI)

oh and its recursive:
host: XP -> install VBox -> Guest:linux -> install Vbox in guest -> guest gets host -> install vista in vbox. ^^

and once you checked if your hardware is compatible and you want to get serious with linux i strongly recommend debian lenny (testing) beta2 netinstaller :smiley:

The testing will be frozen soon and released as stable. And with the GUI installer its a piece of cake.
The advantage over (k)ubuntu is, you have all the up to date packages in the repository and no packages altered by ubuntu to be incompatible with the original debian packages.

And Fedora is rather for hardcore compilers than users looking into linux.

Virtualbox is an invaluable tool if you want to try out different operating systems. However since vbox is an emulator, if you are concerned about performance you won’t have the same speed you would if you were running a native install - for this situation, a live cd might be closer to the speed you will get once you install the OS to the HD.

I would recommend you trying out Xubuntu. From their site (www dot xubuntu dot com)
"…is fast

Xubuntu uses the Xfce desktop environment, meaning that it will run fast while still delivering a user-friendly interface. Older computers feel lively again, while newer ones will run faster than ever before!"

u might wanna try wubi aswell, it installs either ubuntu, kubuntu xubuntu without the formatting needs, and u can deinstall it like any other normal windows program.

I have tried it and it works nicely. it turns ur pc in a dualboot.

Only problem im having with linux is that after i installed the restricted drivers, (a pop up message in ubuntu says that there are restricted drivers available and then i can choose to install them.) the next time i boot, it leaves my screen black.

Yeah, I’d recommend trying it out in Virtual Box. I too would recommend using Xubuntu, its nice and user friendly, and the window manager is superb.

hey mates!!! Thnxx fr the quick responses…Lots of downloading to do…I will post when i see some performance improvements!!!

First thing: Virtualbox does not support 3d acceleration for your graphics card. So if you want to use linux for 3d Applications, virtualbox is not the way to go. But if you want to migrate i would suggest using a dualboot system, if you’ve got a Harddisc with enough space. (better solution would be putting linux on its own harddrive, though)
I am using ubuntu and am fairly happy with it. This is because ubuntu has great support in forums for all kinds of problems you might have or get into. So especially for beginning with linux ubuntu is a great system.
Anotuher advantage of ubuntu: you can burn a cd and test the system directly from CD without installing it and if you like it you can install it directly from the Live-System.

The difference between Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu are the Windowmanagers. Ubuntu uses gnome, kubuntu KDE and Xubuntu, as Aloyr already mentioned, uses XFCE.

What kind of Hardware do you have?

Mr Kewl,
Jester King pretty much nailed it with suggesting VirtualBox.
I’d like to suggest a Linux distribution that may have gotten overlooked when you conducted your search for an replacement for your existing OS. Because of the fact that your computer has an Intel P III processor, you would be well off learning about “puppy” Linux.
Puppy Linux is a small tiny beast that would indeed give you the performance boost you want. The big and latest Linux distros are not much different in speed compared to Windows XP. Yes, there are users out there how neglect the maintainance of their machines in a way that they don’t defragment, install a ton of useless apps and then go on to bragg on some forum how Blender on Linux has superior performance.
Blender runs well on XP and Linux.
Given that a computer is kept up to date there are small differences but they are not worth writing about.
We are using Paldo GNU/Linux which is perfect for our needs as it has the latest software versions. For example, they made blender 2.48 available the day it was released … same with Gimp 2.6

The link for puppy is:
I think version 4.1 was just released a few days ago. It would be worth your time to learn more about puppy and take it “for a walk” :slight_smile:

Well I am writing this from post running kubuntu(6.06).I am currently running this as a live CD and havent yet installed kubuntu on my computer.I downloaded the linux build of recent Blender 2.48 and unzipped it but I cannot run that.When I click the Blender executable file,nothing happens.

Do i need to install kubuntu in order to run Blender?
The Blender site reports that the linux build requires “glibc 2.3.6”.Can u point me to the download location?

Sorry for shooting so many questions.I really have no knowledge of linux and googling doesnt solve all problems!!:o

What kind of Hardware do you have?

I have a PIII 1.1 Ghz,512 mb RAM with intel onboard graphics.I am not a pro just a 3d hobbyist:D

@onemanblend: Puppy does appear to be a cool os.I went through their site.I will surely try it out.Thnxx


on most cases you should not need to install kubuntu to the hard drive to get blender to work. the live cd uses a ram drive as a temporary storage, so your situation will depend on how much ram you got.

anyway, since blender is part of the *buntu distros, you could probably open up a command line and type

sudo apt-get install blender

or just find the package manager application (under k->applications->system->adept package manager) and search & install blender.

one thing, though: the version of kubuntu you are using is a bit dated, so I am not sure what (if any) version of blender was included there. the current version is 8.04 (hardy heron) and comes with blender 2.45. if you can, i would recommend trying out that version.

Problem: You are not using the latest version of it, and Kubuntu is not friendly for computers with low RAM or lower specs.

I would get the LATEST version of Xubuntu, because it will run on low-spec computers easier, and will have the latest libc6.

The 6.06 version, although being long term support, is not the best way to go if you want to run the newest Blender from the Live CD.

When you go to actually install the operating system, and are doing partitioning and all that, there’s two steps (in my expierences in (k)ubuntu). get out a pen and paper (real ones!!) and write down all the sizes (in mb) which it tells you in the first step, and what you want them for, formats, etc. Then you’ll have this in the next step.

Also I would recommend making /home in a different partition from / (root). That way a “clean” install doesn’t touch your user files. Isn’t linux nice!

One of the main differences between Windows and Linux is that Linux gets better with each upgrade, not worse. Would you want to run a two year old version of Blender? Probably not. It’s the same thing with Linux. Get the latest version, even if your hardware is not new.

By the way, you may not be able to run Blender from a Live CD anyway because it requires hardware-accelerated 3D graphics drivers (unless you run the static MesaGL version). You can’t install these drivers when running the Live CD because all changes to the system will be lost after a reboot.