I am considering switching my laptop to Ubuntu Linux. Anyone have any suggestions?
Question: What will I need to prepare to make this happen? Will this thing be anywhere near as nice as it was with Vista? Can I run windows apps within it? Is there any decent music production software that I can run (I am a musician)? I have an HP DV6 series laptop (known for overheating). The pre-installed hard drive burnt out after the first few months of owning it, and the restore set won't restore on the new drive. Instead of just calling HP or Best Buy and having this situation corrected, I am going to wait a month or so for more computers to come with Windows 7 pre-installed and break the laptop in some elaborate imaginary accident (love that warranty) so I can just get something new. In the meantime, I have a fairly decent machine to try out linux on and I would like to give it a shot. Ubuntu was suggested to me, so this is the one I want to try, but I want to see what is offered to cater to my hobbies... I may not want to switch back to windows. jorgestudios- Windows Vista Home Premium 32 Bit edition running on a 64 bit processor is not a good thing. For the record- I'm not planning on using windows on this machine. I have other computers I can do that with- I just want to make sure I can use it for the same things I used windows for. And what's with the downthumbs? Aside of jorgestudios, I can't see one reason to thumb anyone down, and even his answer isn't all that bad.
Best Answers: I am considering switching my laptop to Ubuntu Linux. Anyone have any suggestions?
You would benefit from installing Ubuntu in one of three ways: 1. WuBi: Ubuntu has a WuBi installer that installs Ubuntu as if it were an application inside Windows (works fine with Vista and 7). This will let you run Linux applications like Amarok on Windows as if it were running under Ubuntu. 2. Virtual Machine: You can use a program like VMWare Server ( http://www.vmware.com/products/server/ ) to install Ubuntu. This lets you use Ubuntu with out the worry of hardware conflicts (though with Ubuntu hardware conflicts are extremely rare). This is also a good idea if you want to slowly migrate to Ubuntu as your main operating system. 3. Dual Boot: Before dual booting your machine you should run Disk Cleanup at least once and Disk Defrag at least 3-5 times to optimize your disk space. Backup your computer to make sure all your personal data is safe. Put the Ubuntu disk into your laptop and reboot into the LiveCD. Check out through the LiveCD that all your hardware works, and then install Ubuntu. When you are setting up your partitions, make sure to do a MANUAL change and DO NOT format your NTFS partition (you can resize it and give it a mount point but DO NOT format it). Let the install program do its magic and then reboot and make sure that both Ubuntu and Windows are working perfectly. Have fun with Ubuntu and remember that Synaptic is your best friend.
As the other posters have said windows cannot reliably read and write to ext3 formatted partitions. It is not clear how you have your system partitioned. I would assume that you have your ubuntu files spread over the 5 hard drives, and it would depend on how they are set up as to whether you could remove ubuntu without losing you music and videos. There are a couple solutions that I can think of: 1. If you have another hard drive you could format it to NTFS (I don't think linux can do that), and copy everything from one ext 3 hard drive to the NTFS drive. Format the ext3 drive that was copied to ntfs and continue with the second ext3 drive, etc. Or at least copy all the files that you want to keep. The newer ubuntus can read and write to ntfs. See the first link. 2. Install win 7 in a virtual machine on ubuntu. See the second link. 3. Install win 7 and run a dual boot. You would not be able to access you ubuntu files from win. Warning: this will wipe out grub and you will have to configure the win 7 bootloader to include ubuntu. All 3 proposals have pros and cons. Good luck
I have no idea what you think is "nice" so there is no way I can tell you if linux will be as "nice" as vista. I do know that linux is very many times more customizable than vista, so if anyone does not like how linux looks they CAN change it. I don't find vista especially nice. Google for linux desktop images. I would suggest that you get the ubuntu livecd and give it a try. It will run kinda slowly because it is running entirely from the cd and will not make any changes to your system. You can also see if there would be any issues with any of your hardware and ubuntu. Ubuntu does have a lot of multimedia programs, that are great for watching videos and playing music. I am not familiar with music production so I do not know what it may have for that purpose. You can get a pretty good idea of what software is available (all for free) at allmyapps.com. It is a new website to publicize ubuntu apps. If you like the way ubuntu looks and there are no hardware issues you can install it with windows and have a dual boot. You would select which OS to use when you start your computer. For future reference as one other poster said you can use a virtual machine; either linux or windows can be the host and you can run the other inside it like any other program. This is very handy if you will be switching back and forth from windows to linux frequently. If you do decide to install ubuntu I would strongly suggest that you read the documentation for installing and running ubuntu. Windows is not like linux and you will soon get into a lot of difficulty if you try to function in linux the way you do in windows. You cannot run windows programs natively in linux. You can use a virtual machine or install in linux a program called WINE. WINE can run SOME windows programs with a varying amount of success. There are also windows emulators that try to run windows apps but they all vary in success and ease of use. A virtual machine is the very best solution. Good luck
Ubuntu is the most popular version of Linux right now. You can download the disc image here: http://www.ubuntu.com/ You probably want the 32-bit version unless it's a new laptop. After it is downloaded you just burn the image to a CD using a burner capable of burning images (such as Roxio). Then make sure you have backed up everything you want off of the laptop, put the CD in the tray, shut down the computer and turn it back on. After that it's just like installing any other operating system, just follow along as it prompts you to.
I knew some moron would suggest a MAC. Did you read his post? He just build an AMD Phenom system, he can't use MAC. If you never used Linux before, Ubuntu is very user-friendly and popular to ex-Windows users in that regard, but if you are instilled in certain programs or (god forbid) games, you won't find the switch very easy to cope with. You essentially need to forget about using the programs you are used to altogether. Although some software, like Limewire Pro, is available on Linux as well, most Windows software still is not. If you are a open-minded and a techy-kinda-guy then you should be able to pick up on it rather easily. I messed around with it about a year ago, the Feisty version, and I really liked it but stopped using it because I always had a need to use the old programs I always did. Not every program for Windows has a Linux equivalent. If you are in the mood for an iffy-adventure, switch to Ubuntu, if you just want to use your computer, downgrade to XP SP3. That's by advice.
Assuming you already burned both Linux ISO files to CD / DVD, give Oracle's free Virtual Box a try: Download and install it, then, get the Vbox Installation Guide from there, too, for the 'slightly geeky' step by step instructions. Check out the Screen Shots, too. When both Distros are successfully installed, you will be able to run all 3 OSes at the same time. TIP: This also assumes your laptop's CPU supports Hardware Visualization, AND has at least 3 GB of System RAM. On W 7 + VBox, I'm running Linux Mint, 98Se, and XP, just for the fun of it. That's 4 OSes running at once.
If you have your own answer to the question I am considering switching my laptop to Ubuntu Linux. Anyone have any suggestions?, then you can write your own version, using the form below for an extended answer.