New to Linux

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New to Linux

Postby A New Linux User on Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:07 am

I'm a computer geek, certainly literate with Windows, having used various Windows operating systems for almost 20 years. For me, Linux is a world of mystery, ripe with confusion and frustration. I'm really trying to give Linux a shot, but this isn't the first time - I've tried to get into Linux, in the past, particularly Ubuntu, but found it massively over-complicated the simplest of tasks, which frustrated me to no end. When I use an OS for media, work, or play, I shouldn't need to learn programming!

I'm so impressed with this version of Linux, that I'm hooked in, but whether I will stay, is entirely a different matter. I do have a dual-boot setup, with Windows 7 towering over Linux, giving it evils at every twist and turn. I need Windows 7 for banking, gaming, and the programs that aren't on Linux. Why do I need Windows 7 for banking? You ask. Well, I'm a sensible, careful user, and you can jab me with a pointy "Paranoid" stick if you like, but I'm sensible enough not to throw my personal details to someone over an operating system of which I don't yet know the details; I consider that common-sense, but some people consider it an excuse to hurl abuse at them. :|

The browser - I'm of course referring to Firefox - looks really nice in Linux, and I love the font display; it seems to look a lot more pleasing to the eye. I also find Skype looks far better in Linux, with a much more discreet UI.

I find the sound and graphical performance of Linux to lack, certainly when compared to Windows. When I play music, it sounds terrible in comparison, and I sometimes spot the slightly lower graphical performance, on a Facebook game, when moving windows, and other stuff of which I can't think. I've got a 990FX motherboard with a perfectly decent sound chip, and a 560Ti model GPU, so I don't see why it wouldn't behave flawlessly. Thankfully, sound and graphics do still work, and acceptably, but it is a shame that it doesn't work quite a well as in Windows. My brother also has sound and possibly graphical issues with Linux, and he's also trying to get into the swing of things; he also has a decent rig.

I like the overall GUI of Linux; it's sleek, that's for sure. I'm not sure how I feel about the "start menu"; it looks nice, but it doesn't seem productive - maybe I just need to get better accustomed to the new menu.

So, it looks like I'll be loiting aplenty, on these forums, as I will for-sure need help.
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Re: New to Linux

Postby The-Wizard on Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:01 pm

Welcome to the Mint family forums

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Re: New to Linux

Postby js3915 on Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:13 pm

Welcome,

Think you'll find eventually you will slowly replace windows with linux over time... =)

=)
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Re: New to Linux

Postby A New Linux User on Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:29 pm

Thanks, but unfortunately, much as I would like to have Linux, it has completely messed up my installation of Windows, and now I'm having a nightmare trying to fix the damage it dealt. :( I might later try and get Linux on a USB device, but ATM, I'm pretty bitter about it.
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Re: New to Linux

Postby Crewp on Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:16 pm

Welcome to the Mint forums.
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Re: New to Linux

Postby realitykid on Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:08 am

A New Linux User wrote:Thanks, but unfortunately, much as I would like to have Linux, it has completely messed up my installation of Windows, and now I'm having a nightmare trying to fix the damage it dealt. :( I might later try and get Linux on a USB device, but ATM, I'm pretty bitter about it.


Happened to me too. That's why it is recommended, and any self-respecting IT professional will tell you the same, that you backup your entire drive, and then make a backup of your backup, and then another backup. Things go wrong, it wasn't the fault of Linux. I've dual booted many times, and only once did I have this problem. I simply made peace with it and stuck with Linux full time. Much happier about my decision.

Now, I understand that you have important software that runs only in a Windows environment. If possible, re-install Windows, then back it up. 1TB external hard drives come pretty cheap these days. Maybe a 500GB one may suit you better, depending on how large your current drive is.

Here's a 1TB Western Digital external for around $68.49. http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Portable ... hard+drive

Or a 500GB Toshiba external for around $50. http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Canvio-Ba ... hard+drive

Honestly, I'd spend the extra 20 or so dollars and get the 1TB. Either way, you can use them to backup your Windows install along with all of your important data. At least this way you'll have a backup. You can use Clonezilla to clone your entire drive to the external, it doesn't cost anything extra other than a USB flash drive or a blank CD/DVD. http://clonezilla.org/

After that, try setting up a Linux dual boot again. If you need help, all you need to do is ask. This is an outstanding community from what I've experienced.

If you want to know a little about my knowledge of computers, here it is.

I've been using computers since at least 12 years old, maybe younger. I'm nearly 21 now. I'm three terms (each term lasting about 2 and a half months) away from getting my CNT (Computer Networking and Technology) associates degree and A+ certification. I've been playing with Linux off and on for close to 7 years, since 7th grade. In 11th grade I took an Information Technology class that used the same material that Cisco uses to train people in the IT field. I currently run three Linux machines, and a single Windows 7 virtual machine in case I ever need to run Windows only software such as Office. I also act as the computer administrator of the house making sure that the two Windows machines that my mother and fiancee use work well along with our home network.

Many people in this community have had a ton more experience than I currently have. So there is no doubt in my mind that you will find plenty of help here if you are ever in need of it.

If you decide you want to shy away from Linux for awhile, that's fine too. The door is always open for you.

Welcome to the forums. :)
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Re: New to Linux

Postby A New Linux User on Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:23 am

"That's why it is recommended, and any self-respecting IT professional will tell you the same, that you backup your entire drive" - within reason, yeah, and I'm fully aware of this. Backing up Windows wasn't much of an issue, in this case, since as you know, the bootloader can be restored and the data itself kept safe. Also, I have all my important information on my external HDDs, where they are free (or as close as) from OS screw-ups. I'm certainly not a new computer user, if that was your impression; I'm just new to the Linux OS.

I solved the problem; it took a few hours, but managed it; I was trying to save both, but gave up and focused on getting Windows back. All I had to do was restore the bootloader, and then optionally, scrap Linux - well, I imagine I could've set up some sort of different Linux bootloader, but at that point, I just wanted out. Linux is at fault, primarily since I installed Linux = Windows went screwy, and the same thing happened to my brother; I suppose I could point blame at Windows for not supporting it, but since Linux was designed to run alongside Windows installations, I don't see how that's the case. Linux had some issues, for both me and my brother, and we both just kinda gave up with it. Tell you what, though; it certainly has some nice features, and I'll miss the GUI. I did look up the installation procedure, and I couldn't see anything either me or my brother did wrong; Windows 7 showed up on the "GRUB", but when we went on it, we got a blank screen, then back to the loader, all within about 1 second.

I've also dual-booted a fair few times, albeit with Windows operating systems; typically, Windows XP + Windows 7, or, going further back: Windows 98 Second Edition + Windows XP. Yes, sticking with Linux is fine for you, but not a solution; I considered it, but ultimately, it would have been a silly decision, based on my needs and that.

I already have 1TB internal, 1TB external, and 500GB external, so I think I'm good. I might get a smaller internal drive to install Linux on, completely separate of Windows, so it can't do any meddling.

Anywho, since I won't be using Linux for a while, likely until I get another HDD, I won't be coming back here for a while.

Thanks for the welcome.
Last edited by A New Linux User on Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New to Linux

Postby anandrkris on Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:38 am

On bootloader -
Broadly, you can install Linux bootloader (say grub2) on MBR or have it separately installed in another /boot partition. The former approach has the risk of screwing up your windows and in latter approach you allow Windows to boot Linux for you. I used EasyBCD to make a Linux entry in Windows bootloader.

May i know which approach you had undertaken? More on below link
http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2011/06/11/dual-boot-linux-mint-11-and-windows-7/ which helped me and was pretty much a newbie when I installed linux mint few months ago.

On hardware, Linux OS can not do much unless hardware manufactures are being co-operative. Many are reverse-engineered drivers, so expecting perfect support is not realistic in all cases.
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Re: New to Linux

Postby A New Linux User on Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:43 am

Hi, anandrkris

Just caught me before I left. I installed Linux on a different partition, within the same HDD on which Windows was installed. I pretty much just followed the CD's installation as per the usual, and did nothing particularly fancy. I won't be doing anything with the boodloader, at least not with Linux, as I don't fancy it going belly-up, again.

Agh, typically, when I installed Linux, I used /windows (loader) or something like that, when, according to that link, I should've used /boot. ¬_¬ Blame my brah; he told me to do it. Haha. I'll try that next time, since I can just restore the bootloader; the process itself doesn't take long. Installing a new OS you know diddlysquat about, in the early hours of the morning = not my best idea.

Suppose I have no choice but to entirely take back the whole "Linux screwed up my Windows installation"; I'm big enough to admit I screwed up, if that link is right. Lol I'll let my brother know where we went wrong, and see if he can give it another shot, although he seems pretty intent on trying Ubuntu again. Mistake #1 - check!

"Many are reverse-engineered drivers, so expecting perfect support is not realistic in all cases." - Indeed! I had a feeling that was the case - ah well.

Thanks for the link/post, and ciao for now!
Last edited by A New Linux User on Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New to Linux

Postby daveinuk on Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:52 am

How did you install it in the first place? If you opted for the 'install alongside windows' option that may have been the culprit, or from what I understand of it, it could be.
I went straight for a partition resize to create a separate (45gb) partition for linux, then chose the 'something else' option in the installer and told it to install on the empty new partition.

This way when you boot you get a linux grub menu with windows as an option as you'd expect, both OS's are separate then and not inside one or the other, just a more sensible way to set up IMO.
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Re: New to Linux

Postby A New Linux User on Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:54 am

Hi, daveinuk.

Yeah, that's what I did; I would never ever install two operating systems on the same partition. xD

OK, heading off, now! Bye!
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Re: New to Linux

Postby A New Linux User on Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:58 am

...aaaand I'm back on Linux. I managed to install it properly, this time. :roll: I have got Windows 7 pointing to the Linux GRUB, and so, they are both separate and nothing meddles with each-other. :P Windows 7 still works, and Linux works, at least, so far. I did get a BSOD when I started up Windows, a moment ago, but it worked fine the next time; it might've been a fluke for God knows what other reason, ... perhaps because I had previously hibernated, inbetween sorting the installation out.

I've got the 4 partitions, that an article told me to use:

/ - where the main OS files are; I made this 10-15GB.
/boot - where the GRUB or whatever else I use, is/goes; I made this 500MB, I think.
/swap (or similar name) - you know the score, here; I made it 4GB, which hopefully is enough for my 8GB RAM machine.
/home - again, you know the score, here; I made this 15GB or thereabouts.

Just going to update, install some software, customise to my preferences, and then start fiddling with stuff, while reading up on stuff. I'm trying my level best not to be a stubborn git, so as to take advantage of both operating systems, and so far, it has paid off.
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Re: New to Linux

Postby realitykid on Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:30 pm

A New Linux User wrote:...aaaand I'm back on Linux. I managed to install it properly, this time. :roll: I have got Windows 7 pointing to the Linux GRUB, and so, they are both separate and nothing meddles with each-other. :P Windows 7 still works, and Linux works, at least, so far. I did get a BSOD when I started up Windows, a moment ago, but it worked fine the next time; it might've been a fluke for God knows what other reason, ... perhaps because I had previously hibernated, inbetween sorting the installation out.

I've got the 4 partitions, that an article told me to use:

/ - where the main OS files are; I made this 10-15GB.
/boot - where the GRUB or whatever else I use, is/goes; I made this 500MB, I think.
/swap (or similar name) - you know the score, here; I made it 4GB, which hopefully is enough for my 8GB RAM machine.
/home - again, you know the score, here; I made this 15GB or thereabouts.

Just going to update, install some software, customise to my preferences, and then start fiddling with stuff, while reading up on stuff. I'm trying my level best not to be a stubborn git, so as to take advantage of both operating systems, and so far, it has paid off.


Awesome! Glad to see that things have worked out for you this time around. Hope that you find Linux as enjoyable as the rest of us do.
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Re: New to Linux

Postby jesica on Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:43 pm

Good day and welcome to the forum :mrgreen:
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Re: New to Linux

Postby DrHu on Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:00 pm

Since Linux, Microsoft and Apple OS X are similar in operation, at least as far as desktop motions are concerned: even some common hot-keys are identical
--I can't say I even understand the reticence that a windows user will have with a similar desktop operation, in fact even installing software is just as simple
    If you use the provided package managers and stick with the Linux distributor's choices

And just like a windows OS or an Apple OS, if you only use the desktop tools provided, there is little if any problem
--the only issue is that you never really understand the underlying OS functions/operations or methods, and therefor cannot solve that many issues that may occur

For a windows' user, that wants a windows OS experience, no choice:stick with a windows OS
http://archive09.linux.com/articles/36424?tid=94
--for a windows user, a guide about Linux..

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 324AAYE7YJ
    The argument that Linux is hard to use makes no sense with todays Linux distributions. Linux is no more difficult to install, configure and use than any other system. The reason that many people find Linux distros "difficult" to install is because they've never installed an operating system.
--presumably for a long time windows OS user 20+ years, you should have little difficulty with that point: installing an OS and understanding its basic functions and operations..

http://rikkiendsley.com/?p=115
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsof ... 6848.shtml
--maybe it's not just the windows' user that has a problem..
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Re: New to Linux

Postby A New Linux User on Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:19 am

"the only issue is that you never really understand the underlying OS functions/operations or methods, and therefor cannot solve that many issues that may occur" - Not so - I have been solving problems with Windows PCs since I was a kid.

"in fact even installing software is just as simple" - Yes, with the programs that come with Linux, but not all the other programs or games that exist online, and, like a lot of Linux users, you didn't mention that uninstalling isn't so simple.

Just wanted to give a little update, ...

I didn't give up. I was determined. My brother, who also had Linux problems, and gave up as a result, was like "I have no idea how you are so determined." xD I stuck it out, and while there are problems here and there, I am having a pretty fun experience. I'm now on KDE, because XFCE, nice as it was, lacked the performance, sexyness, and some features that I really like on KDE. Unfortunately, KDE has Skype sound issues, which I still can't figure out how to fix. :| I'm loving Linux, and I rarely use Windows, lately. ;) The more I use Linux, and the more I learn about it, the less indifferent I am towards it, ... but I know that indifference will only fade so much, ... Linux still has its issues.
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Re: New to Linux

Postby jesica on Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:02 pm

Welcome to the forum :mrgreen:
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Re: New to Linux

Postby realitykid on Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:35 am

A New Linux User wrote: Linux still has its issues.


As does any other OS. I've never had a perfect experience on any OS, be it Windows or Linux. I can't say much about OS X as I don't have a Mac. But I can say that iOS isn't my cup of tea, and Android, my preferred mobile OS, itself has a major issue that needs to be fixed.

Anyway, continue to stick to your guns and you'll probably find Linux to be even more enjoyable than Windows. I usually don't have many Linux related issues.
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