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From Windows to Linux II


I tilted this thread "From Windows to Linux II" because my questions are very similar to the original "From Windows to Linux." I hope this is OK. I have read those replies but I still have some questions about the best way to make the change to Windows. This is my situation:

I'm currently running Windows Vista Home Premium in 4 GB of RAM, an AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X 2 Dual Core Processor 3800+ 2.00 Ghz. I have 100 GB free in my C/ Drive, where Programs are installed, and only 1.36 GB left in my D (Recovery) Drive, where my documents are. The computer is a Gateway GT5220 with an nVIDIA GeForce 6150LE and a wireless card.

I use this computer to surf the Web, process video files, including the pesky .m2ts ones, do a lot of word processing in OpenOffice, and organize my photos. I burn DVD's with the video files. I also have an external USB Black Armor drive, and I use iTunes for my music. I have purchased several albums on iTunes and would like to be able to listen to them in Linux, but I believe iTunes won't work with it. I'm not sure how to go about that. I have a Navigon GPS with a USB connection for the computer. I tend to have HP printers at home. I use Lumix for my digital cameras and also have a Canon Vixia as a video camera.

Ideally, I'd like to get rid of my Widows OS altogether, clean the hard drive and run a leaner machine with my files, but I don't know if that's the best route. I don't know either which distro I should go with. It seems that Ubuntu is the most popular one but maybe that's a false perception on my part.

I thank you for all your time and appreciate any suggestions you can offer me.


  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    The hard drive space available in your windows partitions cannot be used for a Linux distro unless you install it in a virtual machine or resize those drives to create some Linux partitions. A Linux based distro can easily be installed in less than 10GB, but I recommend 20GB+.

    1. The m2t files cannot be played or you can easily convert them using ffmpeg in nearly any Linux Distro.
    2. Openoffice is still the best bet for a document suite, so you are already prepared for that.
    3. you can use one of several quality photo suites to organize your photos, my favorite is digikam (http://www.digikam.org/).
    4. The external usb drive should have no issues interacting with a Linux based system.
    5. Currently itunes cannot be installed on Linux based systems even though an emulator. If the downloaded files are m3p files then they cannot be played, but if you have been downloading mp3 files it will be easy. IF you can live without itunes then there are several good audio player apps for Linux than can interact with the ipod.
    6. Your GPS device is questionable, if you can tell us what make/model it is then a google search should help to figure out if it will work.
    7. HP printers are preferred, they even have their own app called hplip for a linux printer manager.
    8. Some digital cameras just show up an external hard drives, other require the use of gphoto2 (through a photo suite) to pull the files from the cameras. I have not seen a digital camera that I have been unable to interact with.

    There are several choices for Linux based distros in which you can find one that will fit your needs, the top ones I recommend for new users are fedora, ubuntu and mandriva. I recommend you download the live CDs for those distros and test them out to see which you like most.
  • Thank you so much for your detailed answer.

    If I download those live CDs, will they guide me through the process of partitioning my hard drive, or should I do that before hand?
  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    JRA2010 wrote:
    Thank you so much for your detailed answer.

    If I download those live CDs, will they guide me through the process of partitioning my hard drive, or should I do that before hand?

    A live cd can be used to partition you hard drive, but if you want to keep windows it would be best to use it's partitioning utility and run the disk check at least twice after shrinking the partition. The reason for this is that the window shrink tool stops you from shrinking any space that contains data to preserve the filetable and the disk will freak out for the first couple boots so checkdisk will be needed to correct whatever screwed up the filetable.

    Once windows has been shrunk you can use the live CD to setup the linux partitions which you should have at least a swap and a / (root) partition, the swap should be 2xRAM or 2GB whichever is smaller.


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