T Nation

Linux Operating System


Does anyone use or know about Linux?

I've been on youtube watching videos about it and reading on the internet. My understanding it another operating system (OS)?

I'm thinking of using it on my old computer desktops I have at home.

What does everyone think about it?
Does it totally replace my old OS system that I am running now? I'm just worried about losing some things, such as Steam and games, that I run on my computer that has Window XP as a OS.

Waits on the nerds of T-Nation to come out


You can setup a dual-boot configuration on your machine where you can choose whether to load Windows or Linux. Dual booting is a little more complex but may be a good option if you're not 100% sure you want to go with Linux and just want to try it out.

If you're not very good on the computer, I wouldn't recommend it. I used some different Linux distributions and never found one that I really could live with, I ended up just upgrading my hardware and living with Windows Vista. Not to mention, setting up some of my hardware meant hand-editing some extremely cryptic configuration files. I could be wrong on this, but I don't think you'll be able to run Steam games (or many games at all for that matter) with Linux.

In my opnion, Linux is great for application servers, web servers, etc, but for using the internet and playing games I just don't see it competing with Windows.


I wouldn't classify myself as a nerd, but I have learned a thing or two about Linux.

You could replace your old OS but there are many programs which would not function on Linux. There are also many varieties of Linux to choose from which are all different and would take some getting used
to http://distrowatch.com/. If you have an old PC to screw around with, a basic and user friendly distribution of Linux is "Ubuntu" http://www.ubuntu.com/ it's completely free and you can set it up to run on a PC along with another OS at the same time(you just choose when you start your computer). For steam and other games there are windows emulators that you can run the programs from, I have not used them but there's surely some info available around the net if you look for it.



Okay thanks frankjl and JT778,

Ya I don't game on my laptop and don't care for it much. It runs on the windows vista, would Linux be a better choice perhaps? Or should I just update my stats for it.


What are you looking to do on your laptop?
Wine allows some windows games but I dont know about steam.

If you already payed for vista, mine as well use it. I hear its a real resource hog though.


Just basically use it for doing school online and making word documents nothing else. Would switching to Linux make my computer a little faster? It actually takes 5-8mins to upload my main desktop screen, I keep it in hibernation or standby so I don't have to wait so long to get going on it.

EDIT- I'll get my actual specs for my laptop when I get home.


FWIW I've never installed any form of Linux on a laptop. I wouldn't assume its as easy as installing it on a Desktop.


Okay I'll have a look more around on the internet.


Try ubuntu linux. www.ubuntu.com. You'll want to download and burn an install cd. I use it on all my machines and it's great for newbies and pros. You can use open office to read and write word docs and firefox to surf the web. The forums are great for help, but all in all it usually works out of the box. Note that for you-tube to work you need to install the adobe plugin.

Edit: I forgot to meantion that you can load the CD and try it live off the cd without installing it to see if you like it.


It all depends on personal preference, here's what you can do to try it out.
Download and create an Ubuntu live CD. This will allow you to boot up into Ubuntu Linux and get a feel for it before you decide to install anything. There are several tutorials online which you should be able to follow fairly easily.

When you boot up the Ubuntu live OS you can check out the built in word processing and Microsoft Office like tools. If you decide to try this you wont have to worry about loosing any information because it does not effect your hard drive, though you will not be able to save anything either.

This would be my suggestion for anyone curious about trying a Linux OS, if you don't like Ubuntu you can find other distributions to create live CDs from. http://distrowatch.com/ as I posted earlier can give you information on most distributions.



I'm a fan of Ubuntu. I have a Vista partition and a Ubuntu partition on my laptop. Works just fine for me. (I do a lot of coding for UNIX and Linux systems)

Ubuntu is a pretty user-friendly, but it's still not for the complete computer noob.

You'll be able to get the hang of it after a while.

I wouldn't say you are going to notice any vast performance increases though, especially since you are using it for pretty basic purposes. But hey, it's free.

You'll probably need to brush up on your terminal commands.

IMO Linux systems are slightly easier to maintain because you never really end up installing endless amounts of useless software like you normally do on windows. Plus most modern malware targets windows systems.


If you're fairly computer literate I would suggest Linux. I like Ubuntu because it is most similar to windows so it is easier to use for most people.

The thing I found to be a little annoying is the compatibility with programs. Its hard to find a linux version of a lot of programs, so you usually have to do a lot more things than simply install a program.

The command line in linux is very powerful since you have the rights to change anything in the coding of the operating system, unlike windows. Give it a try and see if you like it


Go to sun.com (Sun Microsystems) and download Virtual box. Fantastic piece of free hardware. You can run Linux, Ubuntu would be an excellent choice as a virtual machine, all the while keeping Vista or XP or whatever you are using. Now you have time to acclimate and see if you like it before going nuts. If you have trouble with understanding how to run and install a OS in Virtual Box, there are lots of videos on Youtube, Bing, and Google.

I run Virtual Box on my Mac and run the free beta of Windows 7 on in. Best of both worlds. Good luck.
While you are there, might as well download Open Office, that is if you don't have a good office suite. I use it in place of MS Office and have not problems or complaints.


So... I really don't think that the words:

Should provoke the words:

Although I would kind of like to watch that process unfold.


I just signed up as a member on here and I can't believe my first post is on a Linux topic. Your probably not going to get much good advice or help on this forum but this might give you a direction to start in. I would suggest doing any/all of these if you are interested in Linux to get started.

-Burn a copy of Ubuntu Linux on a CD and boot on your Newer/Vista computer. DO NOT INSTALL, you can use it from the CD to browse the web and some basic things for 10 minutes just to see how it works until you get bored (kind of limited on usage).

-Do the previous step on an Old computer which you do not care about losing any data on. This time actually install it.

-On your Vista computer install Vmware Player and download the Ubuntu Virtual appliance. You can use Linux inside windows without effecting anything on your computer.

If you have trouble doing any of these without using Google for help Linux is probably not for you anyway.


I've got a multuple boot of vista, ubuntu and a couple other linux distros, vista might take 45 seconds for me because I keep everything organized and cleaned up, but ubuntu takes maybe 20 seconds, even though I use it the most and never clean it up.

If you're just doing word processing and surfing around the net, I'd say linux is a great choice. Ubuntu is simple enough I would think. The repositories make software installation a breeze 90% of the time.

Of course follow the previous advice of trying the liveCD version first, and virtual box is a great idea... Though I actually use VMware on linux to run Vista as a virtual machine to do some things.


I would recommend staying with my Sun Virtual Box over Vmware because it is free and seems in many ways better. Then, as the poster says you can run it in windows on a virtual machine. Easy.


Ubuntu is becoming more user friendly (although slowly). People usually are turned off at the concept of Linux as it is more complex to maintain and operate than Windows. I run a KDE and windows partition on my computer but for you I would recommend Ubuntu.

A good place to get started is the ubuntu forums. http://ubuntuforums.org/
You can find useful info for beginners.



As has been said, the best idea is probably give Ubuntu a try via the Live CD route. Its come a long way over the years and is easy to use. I've put my dad on it (it was a challenge to get him to use the mouse) and he's very happy with it.

Like everything else, it takes time to get used to new things. It's not Windows, so you'll need to get used to where everthing is. However, you shouldn't really need to go anywhere near crytic configs unless you fancy venturing under the hood. The menus have all the options for changing settings. I'm currently running it on my laptop (I'm a software dev by the way) and have been for a number of years.

I'll tell you one thing - out of the box ubuntu beats any windows version hands down in driver support. Only recently were there issue on laptops with wireless drivers. That seems to be pretty much solved these days.

Your only issue as has been mentioned is gaming, but that can be overcomed with a dual boot system. I'd advise you to read up on some tutorials and see if you feel comfortable with doing it. It's not really that hard at all.

Otherwise, there is plenty of free software that works just as well as the paid for M$ version (open office for a start).


Ubuntu installs (at least since 8.04) automatically detect if you have another OS installed and ask if you would like to dual boot the system. The installer is very easy to understand, but if you find yourself nervous have another computer up and running so you can google various things as they come up during installation.

I only use Linux (ubuntu) at work, and have a dual booting laptop at home.