View Full Version : Getting Started On Linux

02-15-2002, 08:07 AM
I'm just about to attempt a switch from Windows to Linux. But knowing absloutly nothing about the platform its self I have a few questions before I begin:

1: What version? I need one thats kind of midway. I don't want it to be too advanced but I also want to avoid the total newbie one. I'm mostly going to be using it for school, net (just browsing, nothing too advanced) and programming.

2: Can I get office? Right now I have all my files saved through office XP. They are vital for school so i can't risk losing them. What sort of office suit is there in Linux and can it read from office XP?

3: How do I network it? So far I've been careless and lazy, just letting windows handle the networking for me. My computer connects through a shared connection with an XP machine. This is set up automaticly with windows but I'll need to find out how to do it on linux and I've got no idea where to even start looking (and no I can't change the os on the other computer).

4: What do I need to keep devloping for windows? The major assignment for the programming course I'm doing at school has to run under windows. What do I need to compile for windows and what do I need to run something compiled for windows.

5: How do I change my file system? Right now both my hard discs are running with NTFS. I need to keep the data on atleast one, so how do I just convert the file system with out a full format?

6: What happens when I get bored? What games are out on linux and how availiable are they?

I know this is a big post by yet another annoying newbie, but I will be very grateful for any help you do give.

02-15-2002, 09:22 AM
1) For someone like yourself, try Mandrake or Suse... they are the most user friendly, however don't expect to just "hop on over to Linux" and know exactly what you're doing.. for the love of God, make yourself another partition and make a dual boot... just in case you get scared.

2) Staroffice is the closest thing, and no, it won't read your XP documents. Try saving them to text files, and ftping them to a site on the net and then retrieve them the same way... or figure out how to use Samba.

3) Networking can be easy... but it can also be very tricky.. start by asking your questions on www.unix.com (I roam that board from time to time)

4) You can develop your C apps easily under Linux... if you're developing specifically for Windows tho... I'd check out VMWare or a windows emulator.. (I never used one, so I can't help you there)

5) You will have to use the formatter that comes with your distro of Linux. Linux or any version of unix uses an entirely different file system and you will lose all your data in the transfer to the new format... sorry..

6) Games... hmm... most are portable, some are not.. if you want to play games, stick to Windows for the most part.

I think you need to do some reading and research before you go into this full bore.. and start reading posts on www.unix.com . Linux doesn't hold your hand like Windows does and you may find yourself in over your head in a hurry. The learning curve is steep my friend.

02-15-2002, 03:07 PM
I found networking Redhat a breeze. Then I just set up wu_ftp on my linux machine, replaces file sharing easily.

02-15-2002, 03:18 PM
Trust me, unless you plan to use it for some sort of router or server, Linux is completely useless (with a FEW exceptions, like Pixar going to an all linux render farm, or Square's all linux render farm, but it's a pain in the ass to use.)

02-15-2002, 06:50 PM
Counter-strike will run on Linux.

02-15-2002, 08:03 PM
Where can I find out how to set windows and linux to run on the same computer. I tried to set windows up to run in a partition once and really messed it up.

02-15-2002, 08:13 PM
1. Install Windows first ( in this case you've done this already )

2. Install partition magic and make a partition of ext2 fs. Or use the partitioner provided with the Linux cd, which might be more confusing.

3. Install Linux on that partition, you can choose which partition you want to install to during the installation of Linux. And Linux has a boot loader which you can use, or just use a floppy disk. I don't know if you can use boot.ini to boot Linux though.

If i don't explain clear enough here are some linkz: