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Is Linux Right For Me?

I hate windows, hate hate hate, and that alone is probably reason enough to switch, but I am worried about things with linux..... Mainly I use my comp for school, downloading content via piratebay/isohunt, light gaming (have an xbox 360), media (HDMI to TV), you know, the normal stuff, here are a few questions I have....

How easy is it to switch?

Will I still be able to do those things I have listed?

What distro is good for me?

I have heard linux isn't very pretty (doesn't matter too much, just wondering) but how bad is it?

Any key advice for a new user?

I really want to make the switch, but I use my computer constantly and can't afford too much downtime, I am fairly good with a computer, just do not do any programming stuff,

Thanks for any help and I really appreciate it,

Eric

Comments

  • Hi Eric!

    Games are what your XBOX-360 is for, but there are some games that play really well on Linux (including World of Warcraft!). All the other stuff you have listed there is quite do-able in Linux, easier in some distros than in others.

    I suggest you Google "Linux Distro Chooser" and take the li'l quiz it offers. Based on what kind of computer you have, what you want to use it for, your own level of expertise (or lack thereof), and of course, personal preferences. On newer computers, all the big popular ones probably fit the bill, but of the Top Ten, I like SimplyMepis (rock-stable, having a "Windowsy" familiarity) and Linux Mint (simpler than Mepis in my opinion, but maybe a little less stable on some hardware) because they both come with proprietary drivers and multimedia codecs either already there or immediately and easily available.

    No registry errors - Linux has no registry!
    Immunity from most viruses
    Lots better security - even if you really mess up, you may trash one user account, but you won't lose the whole computer! Just delete the old account and create a new one
    Free of cost! Never ever pay for Linux - much less for software simply to plug the holes in a faulty operating system
    Re-install without losing personal data, e-mail, settings, etc! Impossible with Windows.

    I could go on! But my enthusiasm might get the better of me again, lol.

    Enjoy!
    Robin
  • CCFlyfisher wrote:
    I hate windows, hate hate hate, and that alone is probably reason enough to switch, but I am worried about things with linux..... Mainly I use my comp for school, downloading content via piratebay/isohunt, light gaming (have an xbox 360), media (HDMI to TV), you know, the normal stuff, here are a few questions I have....


    How easy is it to switch?
    Will I still be able to do those things I have listed?
    What distro is good for me?
    I have heard linux isn't very pretty (doesn't matter too much, just wondering) but how bad is it?
    Any key advice for a new user?

    I really want to make the switch, but I use my computer constantly and can't afford too much downtime, I am fairly good with a computer, just do not do any programming stuff,

    Thanks for any help and I really appreciate it,

    Eric




    Robin is right good info . The best thing is when u get to no linux u can tweak it and hack it to suit your self and your computer .IT JUST GETS BETTER
  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,180
    CCFlyfisher wrote:
    I have heard linux isn't very pretty (doesn't matter too much, just wondering) but how bad is it?

    The others are right in their recommendations, your have over 300 distributions to choose from it all depends on your personal preferences and a quiz will help you to find the best fit.

    But the line above is really disturbing me because the desktop effects and enhancements that people rave about on windows and Mac were on Linux distros first. Pretty much everyone I show my system to raves about the look, feel and functionality compared to what they use. Since Linux based systems are fully customizable you are free to make it what you want including as aesthetically pleasing as you wish. Checkout the desktop picts at http://www.linux.com/community/forums?func=view&catid=20&id=196 for examples of the various looks you can get.
  • Robin,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, I took the quiz and Linux Mint was in the 100% results , along with a few others but I think it sounds like that matches me the best and is the one I would be using.
  • Craig,

    Also thank you for responding. Customizing is one of the major reasons for my interest in Linux, I absolutely hate all of the bloatware attached to windows that bogs down my computer.
  • mfillpot,
    Once again thanks for the response. All of my information about Linux comes from impressions that I got when hearing about it for the first time over a decade ago. Unfortunately, I think that is a large reason that many do not switch over. The screenshots that you showed me look amazing and blew my previous thoughts on Linux away.
  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,180
    I hear those same questions often, and it really doesn't help that in most technical education programs they have an intro to Linux class that only shows the students the command line. The best thing you can do to explore the multitude of distributions that is available is choose some you would like to test and download their Live CDs to test them without actually installing them.
    If you then find interest in a specific flavor you can install it in virtualbox to test it further or do a physical installation to use it with the full power of your hardware.
  • altNull
    altNull Posts: 65
    Linux is great for the following reasons:
    [ol][li]1. Servers (better security, better resource management, cloud computing, ect)[/li]
    [li]2. Networking (better management, better security, ect)[/li]
    [li]3. Development (compiling, community, ect) [/li]
    [li]4. Virtualization (VirtualBox, VMWare, Zen)[/li]
    [li]5. General Desktop Use (ie - Documents, Email, Internet)[/li][/ol]

    Linux is not designed for:
    [ol][li]1. Gaming (you have to work hard to play games on Linux with Wine)[/li]
    [li]2. Non-Computer Users [/li]
    [li]3. Microsoft Lovers [/li]
    [li]4. Mac Worshipers [/li]
    [/ol]

    But anyone can become a Linux user. The easiest thing is to download and burn a copy of Ubuntu onto a dvd. Then install and use with the Ubuntu forums. Another thing that will help you is to get on the freenode IRC and go to the #Ubuntu channel for help - there will be users of all calibers on there that can help you.

    If you still want to game - then dual boot Linux with Windows. There are several HowTos online to help you with this, but be warned that dual booting Linux with Vista is not recommended by anyone - upgrade to Win7. You can also dual boot with Mac OSX as well, but you'll need to follow the HowTo exactly.

    Good Luck

    --altNull--

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