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Standard User HappyRockets
(newbie) Thu 28-Jul-16 14:19:04
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Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 or 10


[link to this post]
 
Despite being extremely close to the deadline for the free Windows 10 upgrade, I still haven't purchased Windows 7 Ultimate due to the insane high prices for a retail copy.

For the moment I have a Windows Vista PC that I initially decided to upgrade to Windows 7 with. However the computer is more than 7 years old, so I am wondering if there is any point investing any more money on it and should rather buy a new PC with Windows 10 installed.

I have never tried Linux because it sounded very complicated but I am now curious about taking advantage of the old computer and finally learning how Linux perhaps works smile

Besides, it is free according to articles I googled. I wanted Windows 7 Ultimate because you can switch langauges whenever you want. To my knowledge, this feature is not available in a regular edition?
Retail versions of W7 Ultimate happen to cost more than 200 dollars and I heard that you cannot fully trust an OEM version if you decide to revert back to Windows 7 after testing Windows 10.

Should I take the plunge and take advantage of the opportunity to learn Linux or should I make the upgrade to Windows 7 or 10? Since the computer is old, it would not matter much if I damaged it by fooling around in Linux.
Standard User micksharpe
(legend) Thu 28-Jul-16 17:50:14
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: HappyRockets] [link to this post]
 
Go for it. You have nothing to lose. You could even try running Linux in a virtual environment such as VMware. Linux Mint seems to be the "distro du jour".

Edited by micksharpe (Thu 28-Jul-16 17:59:59)

Standard User HappyRockets
(newbie) Fri 29-Jul-16 08:54:53
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: micksharpe] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by micksharpe:
Go for it. You have nothing to lose. You could even try running Linux in a virtual environment such as VMware. Linux Mint seems to be the "distro du jour".


Thank you micksharpe. Glad to hear that you suggest I go for Linux. I am completely new to it so will take some time to do the necessary research before beginning.

Are you suggesting that "Mint" is the best Linux version for beginners? From this Digital Guide I found online they give a quick overview of why they believe Linux is a great alternative to Windows.
https://www.1and1.com/digitalguide/server/know-how/l...

I did not know there were so many different versions but it mentions "distributions" like Debian, Gentoo, Fedora, Red Hat, openSUSE, but I had only heard of Android and Ubuntu in the past.

Do they all represent a different level of complexity? Is that why you suggest to go with "Mint"?

One concern I had with Vista was that support would soon expire. My impression from this article and others is that Linux is considered more flexible and secure. Will all the programs (outside of windows) that worked on Vista be compatible with Linux?

I have a lot of software that is pretty old, but I guess that, if they are not compatible on Linux they may work on Windows 10 when I buy a new laptop in the future.

Another digital guide article on the same site mentions that Linux offers lots of open source applications for hosting, like solutions for blogs etc. I started learning HTML on W3schools two weeks ago, so cool to read that Linux seem to be a great choice when I continue to learn about homepage construction smile


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Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 29-Jul-16 09:41:43
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: HappyRockets] [link to this post]
 
Windows programmes won't necessarily work on Linux. There is a popular windows emulator called Wine that can help but it isn't guaranteed and performance may vary.

There are a lot of distributions of Linux as it is based on an open source platform so various people have created their own versions. Mint is the most "user friendly" distribution at present but it goes in waves.

Linux is a different proposition to Windows with positives and negatives. For most people what they do can be done just as well on Linux but it doesn't mean it will be best for everyone and to some extent depends on what applications you run. Even at the apps level there are often alternatives to Windows apps available but that adds to the learning curve (for example if you current use MS Office you can either try and run that under Wine or you can get an Office alterative such as OpenOffice - but OpenOffice is somewhat different to MS Office and doesn't always play nicely with MS Office formatted files so work may be required to fix how files are displayed).

As far as web server software is concerned most of what is available on Linux is also available on Windows so not necessarily the deciding factor.

Old software may work on Win 10 but it just as easily may not. It is a try it and see.
Standard User HappyRockets
(newbie) Mon 01-Aug-16 08:25:49
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ian72:
Windows programmes won't necessarily work on Linux. There is a popular windows emulator called Wine that can help but it isn't guaranteed and performance may vary.

Old software may work on Win 10 but it just as easily may not. It is a try it and see.


Ok, I see. I guess this makes it a tougher choice for people in general to select Linux in contrast to Windows. I wonder, do the programmers who make the software have to add additional compatibility with Linux, and if they do, do they have to select specific Linux versions as well?

There are a lot of distributions of Linux as it is based on an open source platform so various people have created their own versions. Mint is the most "user friendly" distribution at present but it goes in waves.


I read up on Mint a little further and as you said, this version seem to be the most similar looking (behaving?) to Windows. I think I am going to start with Mint. They mention the word "Cinnamon" together with Mint. Checked Wikipedia for an explanation but did not fully understand if this was a special version of Mint. Going to have to take this very slowly smile
Standard User TinyMongomery
(knowledge is power) Mon 01-Aug-16 09:13:07
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: HappyRockets] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by HappyRockets:
I wonder, do the programmers who make the software have to add additional compatibility with Linux, and if they do, do they have to select specific Linux versions as well?
As Linux is a completely different operating system to Windows, it has a different Application Programming Interface. Further complicating things, the format of executable program files and shared libraries differs between the two (ELF vs PE). This means that either an emulation layer is required to make Windows programs run on Linux or they have to be rewritten and recompiled to do so.

The question about different versions of Windows, and compatibility of programs, is an interesting one. There are differences between different distributions of Linux and this means that most programs have to be compiled for the specific distribution. With the popular programs this is done by the distributor, who supplies a repository from which programs can be downloaded. Other programs may have to be compiled by the user, or will only work on specific distributions.

As an example, I have been trying - unsuccessfully - to get VMWare Player running on my Linux Gentoo setup. So far I have failed (and this is from someone who has been using Linux for nearly 20 years and who reconfigures and recompiles their kernel on a regular basis).

The short answer is that Windows programs will not necessarily run on Linux.

===============================
Don't blame me - I voted Remain
Standard User APTMAN
(regular) Wed 31-Aug-16 00:24:09
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: HappyRockets] [link to this post]
 
Try a 'Live CD' first to see if you like it then if you do you can install it.

http://www.pclinuxos.com/get-pclinuxos/kde/

Join the forum and you will get help.
Standard User blfamily
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 29-Sep-16 07:50:36
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: HappyRockets] [link to this post]
 
I hope you joined the growing numbers of Linux Ubuntu users around the globe. Linux & Ubuntu is actually easier than windows - no registry to worry about, and very secure compared to windows, no need for an AV.
Downsides includes if your PC uses an AMD GPU, you will find the fglrx driver is no longer supported (that is the AMD official one); which will mean playing games becomes slightly restricted - War Thunder for instance won't work with the alternative (you could use Ubuntu 14.04, however that now requires the latest Kernel driver, which removes Fglrx! - leave as is or go for go the earlier version 3.13).
Enjoy Linux!

Steve
Standard User glossywhite
(committed) Sat 15-Oct-16 13:54:04
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: blfamily] [link to this post]
 
Please allow me to clarify some things:

#1 Linux is only the kernel (an incredibly complex and powerful hardware software interface, and a lot more besides), written & maintained by Linus Torvalds et al, NOT the entire OS; the software wrapped around the Linux kernel is mainly from the GNU project, started by Richard Stallman. To call a distro "Linux" is like calling a car "engine".

#2 "Wine is not an emulator": this is precisely what the acronym "WINE" stands for.

Here are some fabulous documentaries about GNU/Linux:

"Revolution OS"

https://youtube.com/watch?v=jw8K460vx1c



"The code, Linux"

https://youtube.com/watch?v=XMm0HsmOTFI
Standard User TinyMongomery
(knowledge is power) Sat 15-Oct-16 15:40:12
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: glossywhite] [link to this post]
 
#1 The usage of "Linux" to cover both the kernel and userland is so widespread that it is pedantic to introduce pettifogging arguments about not calling distros "Linux". OSX contains many GNU components, but nobody calls it OSX/GNU.

#2 Actually, as the Wine FAQ tell you, it should really be Wine is not just an emulator. It's an emulator on steroids.

===============================
Don't blame me - I voted Remain
Standard User BatBoy
(sensei) Sat 15-Oct-16 15:50:16
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: glossywhite] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by glossywhite:
To call a distro "Linux" is like calling a car "engine".
It's like calling a walnut a walnut instead of walnut kernal smile
Standard User glossywhite
(committed) Mon 17-Oct-16 00:43:46
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: TinyMongomery] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by TinyMongomery:
#1 The usage of "Linux" to cover both the kernel and userland is so widespread that it is pedantic to introduce pettifogging arguments about not calling distros "Linux". OSX contains many GNU components, but nobody calls it OSX/GNU.

#2 Actually, as the Wine FAQ tell you, it should really be Wine is not just an emulator. It's an emulator on steroids.


The widespread application of incorrect terminology or naming does not make it a good reason to perpetuate doing so.
Standard User TinyMongomery
(knowledge is power) Mon 17-Oct-16 08:47:48
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: glossywhite] [link to this post]
 
Let's see what the Linux Foundation has to say on the matter: https://www.linux.com/what-is-linux

===============================
Don't blame me - I voted Remain
Standard User glossywhite
(committed) Mon 17-Oct-16 23:11:16
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: TinyMongomery] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by TinyMongomery:
Let's see what the Linux Foundation has to say on the matter: https://www.linux.com/what-is-linux


Great! smile

Now let's see what the fsf - those responsible for the writing of the majority of the OS software into which Linus' amazing kernel, slots, without which GNU/Linux OS' would be *just* a kernel floating around for no purpose, has to say; you do, after all, want a fair and balanced perspective and not just showing ONE side of the argument, I'm sure?

https://www.gnu.org/home.en.html

Of course Linus Torvalds isn't going to put up a fight if the whole OS happens to be mistakenly coined "Linux" - that suits his causes just fine; it's free publicity and how convenient for him, eh?

Edited by glossywhite (Tue 18-Oct-16 01:24:37)

Standard User TinyMongomery
(knowledge is power) Tue 18-Oct-16 08:55:31
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: glossywhite] [link to this post]
 
Perhaps we should rename it to

GNU/BSD/Intel/Red Hat/Texas Instruments/Samsung/Google/SuSE/IBM/Microsoft/Linux?

That would far more accurately reflect the situation than either of the suggestions so far.

===============================
Don't blame me - I voted Remain
Standard User glossywhite
(committed) Tue 18-Oct-16 13:50:22
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: TinyMongomery] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by TinyMongomery:
Perhaps we should rename it to

GNU/BSD/Intel/Red Hat/Texas Instruments/Samsung/Google/SuSE/IBM/Microsoft/Linux?

That would far more accurately reflect the situation than either of the suggestions so far.


Do it tongue
Standard User TinyMongomery
(knowledge is power) Tue 18-Oct-16 14:42:58
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: glossywhite] [link to this post]
 
I think I'll stick with the simple name that everyone else uses. smile

===============================
Don't blame me - I voted Remain
Standard User Lethe
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 18-Oct-16 20:32:57
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: TinyMongomery] [link to this post]
 
Guys, you are starting to sound like MS users.

Linux is the kernel. The major tools that run over the shell of the kernel are a majority from GNU/FSF.

Distributions can use all, some, or other variants of this. But the kernel is usually the linux kernel (herd is about, but not yet ready after 20 odd years).

Now, on top of all that you have window managers, or desktop environments. The former being something like fluxbox or blackbox and the latter being something like Gnome or KDE. For embedded systems somethong like (or based on) busybox is used.

I sometimes use xfce4 DE, but now use DWM WM 99% of the time ( see http://dwm.suckless.org/ ).

But whatever, it is still a GNU/Linux system, no matter how you say it.

NIck

Edited by Lethe (Tue 18-Oct-16 20:46:45)

Standard User BatBoy
(sensei) Tue 18-Oct-16 21:04:40
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: Lethe] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Lethe:
but now use DWM WM 99% of the time ( see http://dwm.suckless.org/ ).

But whatever, it is still a GNU/Linux system, no matter how you say it.
Sorry, that's a tad confusing. Are you saying dwm is a GNU/Linux system because I think that is incorrect?
Standard User Lethe
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 18-Oct-16 21:47:37
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
Nope - I was just saying I use DWM on a GNU/Linux system. Please pay attention.
Standard User BatBoy
(sensei) Tue 18-Oct-16 22:17:12
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: Lethe] [link to this post]
 
Thank's for the clarification
Standard User glossywhite
(committed) Tue 18-Oct-16 23:55:06
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: Lethe] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Lethe:
Guys, you are starting to sound like MS users.

Linux is the kernel. The major tools that run over the shell of the kernel are a majority from GNU/FSF.

Distributions can use all, some, or other variants of this. But the kernel is usually the linux kernel (herd is about, but not yet ready after 20 odd years).

Now, on top of all that you have window managers, or desktop environments. The former being something like fluxbox or blackbox and the latter being something like Gnome or KDE. For embedded systems somethong like (or based on) busybox is used.

I sometimes use xfce4 DE, but now use DWM WM 99% of the time ( see http://dwm.suckless.org/ ).

But whatever, it is still a GNU/Linux system, no matter how you say it.

NIck

Pah! Don't come here with your rationale and logic and baffle the masses with simple facts, they'll just try and argue that the sky is green and the grass is blue, regardless of proof to the contrary. I'd surely like to sit them down in from of Richard Stallman and let them voice these incorrect assumptions to *him*, and see what his reaction is... one can only imagine, LOL!

>> https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/2d/6c...

tongue

Edited by glossywhite (Wed 19-Oct-16 00:01:42)

Standard User TinyMongomery
(knowledge is power) Wed 19-Oct-16 07:23:01
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: glossywhite] [link to this post]
 
Actually, Stallman doesn't like GNU/Linux. He says it should be GNU + Linux. wink

===============================
Don't blame me - I voted Remain
Standard User TinyMongomery
(knowledge is power) Wed 19-Oct-16 07:24:25
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: Lethe] [link to this post]
 
Why do you ignore the contributions from BSD; from IBM; from Google; from ....?

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Don't blame me - I voted Remain
Standard User TinyMongomery
(knowledge is power) Wed 19-Oct-16 07:29:38
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
Let's not forget XWindow, which is a major part of most GNU/XWindow/Linux distributions.

===============================
Don't blame me - I voted Remain
Standard User BatBoy
(sensei) Wed 19-Oct-16 08:14:09
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: TinyMongomery] [link to this post]
 
... Microsoft.

I saw this in the inquirer - http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2166123/mic...

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft entered the top 20 in the list of Linux kernel contributors, coming in 17th place ahead of Linaro and Canonical.

Microsoft, a firm that many Linux users believe tried to kill off Linux through SCO, is the 17th most active contributor to the Linux kernel project since version 2.6.36. According to figures released by the Linux Foundation, Microsoft submitted 688 changes, one per cent of the overall changelog.

Microsoft's contribution in the grand scale of Linux is tiny, with Red Hat, Intel, Novell and IBM accounting for almost 25 per cent of all changes.
Standard User TinyMongomery
(knowledge is power) Wed 19-Oct-16 08:49:37
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
There are so many different contributors to Linux that I think it would be silly to pick out a particular one. GNU software represents between 8 and 13% of a modern distribution (depending upon window manager used). I'd say that this doesn't represent a large enough portion of the operating system to be given special billing.

===============================
Don't blame me - I voted Remain
Standard User glossywhite
(committed) Wed 19-Oct-16 15:01:37
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: TinyMongomery] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by TinyMongomery:
Actually, Stallman doesn't like GNU/Linux. He says it should be GNU + Linux. wink


I've watched many full length RMS lectures over the last 10 years, and in every single one of them he explicitly says fhat either "GNU/Linux" or "GNU+Linux" aee acceptable and valid, so long as you pronounce the hard "G" in "GNU", as "Guh-Noo".

This 2 minute video of RMS will concisely spell it out for you, unambiguously:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=cO-zRU21HZY


As for all the comments regarding "why isn't X or Y company included in the title of the OS?" - simple - RMS & his GNU system were there on tbe scene first, long before anyone else had even heard of them OR Linus' Linux kernel, and certainly long before Google was even conceived.

It's good to get your facts straight when debating a subject you consistently demonstrate you lack knowledge about, as most of the last few comments attest to.
Standard User BatBoy
(sensei) Wed 19-Oct-16 15:23:48
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: glossywhite] [link to this post]
 
Android is Linux based. There's no Gnu in there and I believe it's far more successful than Gnu
Standard User TinyMongomery
(knowledge is power) Wed 19-Oct-16 15:38:55
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: glossywhite] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by glossywhite:
It's good to get your facts straight when debating a subject you consistently demonstrate you lack knowledge about, as most of the last few comments attest to.
Thanks for the condescending remarks, but I am very familiar with the history of Linux and the Free Software Foundation. Probably more familiar than you are.

I incline more to the attitude of Eric Raymond, who has no axe to grind. And I think everything that there is to be said about this diversion - none of which helps the OP - has been said.

(By the way - BSD precedes GNU by many years - as does IBM. crazy)

===============================
Don't blame me - I voted Remain
Standard User glossywhite
(committed) Wed 19-Oct-16 16:38:16
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: TinyMongomery] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by TinyMongomery:
In reply to a post by glossywhite:
It's good to get your facts straight when debating a subject you consistently demonstrate you lack knowledge about, as most of the last few comments attest to.
Thanks for the condescending remarks, but I am very familiar with the history of Linux and the Free Software Foundation. Probably more familiar than you are.

I incline more to the attitude of Eric Raymond, who has no axe to grind. And I think everything that there is to be said about this diversion - none of which helps the OP - has been said.

(By the way - BSD precedes GNU by many years - as does IBM. crazy)


Yes, I was lazy with my quoting and didn't clarify that the last few sentences were in general, and not referring to you. I'm sorry, I'm just more than acutely aware of the (rather obvious) logic of the who/why/when/where of the GNU and Linux naming and what it all stands for, and it appears that a few people in the thread lack the will to do basic research before boldly mocking those who know better.

Anyway, people can call it whatever they like, erroneously or not, because facts don't alter based on opinions, just so long as they understand there's people who clearly understand it and there are those who might enjoy a little in depth research and education before attempting to pick holes in clearly established facts.

I'm off to fry bigger fish, I've derailed this thread, I take responsibility for that and won't waste any more time on this nonsense, sorry everyone, have a nice day. smile

Edited by glossywhite (Wed 19-Oct-16 16:40:58)

Standard User Lethe
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 20-Oct-16 17:59:30
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The final say on GNU vs Linux


[re: HappyRockets] [link to this post]
 
To put everybody out of their misery, I just built a new linux kernel tonight, and here's what 'uname -a' says (on Slackware):
Text
1
Linux palantirII 4.8.3.dsdt #4 SMP Thu Oct 20 17:50:49 BST 2016 i686 Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU N455   @ 1.66GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

Edited by Lethe (Thu 20-Oct-16 18:01:02)

Standard User TinyMongomery
(knowledge is power) Thu 20-Oct-16 20:01:51
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: HappyRockets] [link to this post]
 
I have never tried Linux because it sounded very complicated
I guess this thread has shown you why a lot of people avoid Linux! wink

===============================
Don't blame me - I voted Remain
Standard User Lethe
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 20-Oct-16 20:17:15
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: TinyMongomery] [link to this post]
 
If your IQ is equal to the latest MS offerings, then yes.
Standard User BatBoy
(sensei) Thu 20-Oct-16 20:26:15
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: Lethe] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Lethe:
If your IQ is equal to the latest MS offerings, then yes.
I'm not sure what you mean by your IQ and why it affects which operating system is in use
Standard User TinyMongomery
(knowledge is power) Thu 20-Oct-16 20:37:52
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: Lethe] [link to this post]
 
The latest offering from Microsoft is Windows Server 2016. I'm afraid that I can't claim that my IQ is quite that high. wink

===============================
Don't blame me - I voted Remain
Standard User glossywhite
(committed) Wed 26-Oct-16 17:01:34
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Re: Thinking of installing Linux on older computer VS Win7 o


[re: TinyMongomery] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by TinyMongomery:
I have never tried Linux because it sounded very complicated
I guess this thread has shown you why a lot of people avoid Linux! wink


GNU/Linux isn't anywhere near as complicated as the arguments of the people who profess to be "experts" (you find plenty of know-it-all types in these GNU/Linux "communities" {I use that word VERY loosely - REAL, physical world communities know one another closely and help each other out}) - I find GNU/Linux easier to use in a vacuum, with only a one-way flow of static documentation information to me from the internet, sans ANY "helpful" user information from people unwilling to JUST give you the answer to the question you asked; no - they want to TELL you what to do and give an "opinion" you never sought.

Technology and science is as complicated as we make it, and plenty of people want to shout and be heard and seen as "clever" because they worked out something which other know-it-alls made unnecessarily convoluted in the first place.
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