Does Anybody Use Linux ?

  B.J. 11:16 11 Sep 2011

I have bought a new 'barebones' desktop unit from Novatech, Box with Power Supply, Ram and Mobo with Dual Core CPU fitted. I've swapped all my bits over (hard drive, dvd and such) but although after boot it seems to load up windows and gets to the screen where I choose a user, I can't move the cursor across the screen, although the boot says Mouse enabled. All the bits I'm using are from my Dell. I was expecting my XP to work from my hard drive,I have no XP disc with my Dell.Do I have to buy XP again or do I use Linux. Does anybody use Linux and is it worth changing from Microsoft? B.J.

  Ex plorer 11:55 11 Sep 2011

Best guess, Might be wrong here, but I am not to sure you can swap HDs from one PC to another with different MOBO as there may be driver issues.

  Taff™ 12:08 11 Sep 2011

And licence issues. XP cannot be transferred like this and almost certainly won`t work. Even if it does the XP install will not pass verification with all these hardware changes.

You can easily try Linux on the new rig by running it from the CD first without installing it. Definitely worth doing and you might be surprised how good it is.

In any event, if you want a new MS operating system you would surely buy Windows 7.

  Strawballs 12:10 11 Sep 2011

There will definately be a driver conflict and the operating system from the dell machine will know it is now in a different machine that is why you are having problems.

If you want to use Linux I suggest you download and burn to disc Ubuntu as it is quite close to windows in the way it works, you can also run it from the disc to try it before you install it.

  Strawballs 12:10 11 Sep 2011

There will definately be a driver conflict and the operating system from the dell machine will know it is now in a different machine that is why you are having problems.

If you want to use Linux I suggest you download and burn to disc Ubuntu as it is quite close to windows in the way it works, you can also run it from the disc to try it before you install it.

  SparkyJack 12:14 11 Sep 2011

Explorer is right Windoze reads new Mobo as 'New' machine and theire conditions of use is, new machine - new windoze - Your machine having been a propriety machine[DELL who have a 'non standard' way of going about things] with 'built in Windoze makes life a little more complicated too.

So what to do.

Check your Dell documentation- there is allmost certainly a recovery/backup sector on the drive -usually 'D' with CD/DVD as 'E'

If there is try pressing F10[ for starters] at POST in see if you get a restore or recover line up.

Otherwise you are down to buying a new Windoze or Downloading Linux.

Downloading UBUNTU 10.10 will format the harddrive and install the system which includes Open office and many other 'get you going' packages After that Ubuntu software centre offers masses of all sorts of software to download and install - all free.

If you find that the download and install route is tricky - then Amazone through one of their market out lets sell a UBUNTU 10.10 disk for less than a fiver.

  B.J. 12:17 11 Sep 2011

Thanks for the replies folks I have always been happy with XP so if I had to buy Microsoft again it would be the cheapest XP I could get, I don't like paying twice for the same thing. That's why I'm considering Linux. B.J.

  robin_x 12:20 11 Sep 2011

No you can't.

You could make your own XP boot disc from the files on the drive (might be better sticking it back in the old PC for familiarity to do this. ie you can boot into XP to do it)

Or you could do it in Linux (it is only copying files around and burning)

As a newbie to Linux myself, I would recommend you start with Ubuntu (it's quite a learning curve)

But getting Firefox up and running is not too arduous. Wired network should be detected automatically. Wireless, go and setup your SSID and passphrase.

Ubuntu Software Centre also makes it a doddle to install apps. Double click etc and it takes care of it.

I find as a beginner, infrequent Linux user, everything has to be Googled how to do it. eg how to make a shortcut. how to install xyz program. where is my hard drive how to change screen resolution etc etc

Ubuntu download

Pinguy is not bad either and Mint is popular

Have fun

  cocteau48 12:31 11 Sep 2011

Linux Mint enter link description here

is closer to the look and feel of Windows than Ubuntu

  octal 13:09 11 Sep 2011

I've used Xnadros, PCLinuxOS and for the last few years Ubuntu, the only place I use Windows is at work, that's not my choice, it is on a corporate network.

I can't think of a good reason to go back to Windows, Linux does everything and more than what Windows used to do for me.

  LastChip 13:39 11 Sep 2011

Does anyone use Linux?

Around 80% of the worlds web servers, Google, Facebook, your router and me and octal and a few others here. Oh, and that's completely ignoring the worlds fastest super-computers, that almost exclusively use Linux. So if I use it, it's got a pretty strong pedigree ;-)

All joking apart, you will be fine using Linux. But be careful about which distribution (distro) you choose.

Ubuntu, through marketing, has undoubtedly become the best known and most common distro that new users gravitate to. But in my humble opinion, is not necessarily the best. The last release - 11.04, was a bit of a disaster and one that will either work perfectly with your hardware or be a nightmare. The problem is, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason why that's the case. It also uses the "Unity" interface, which if you're into smart phones, you'll probably love. But it's quite different from what everyone's been used to and can be disliked. It also dumbs down the true power of Linux, which personally, I don't like.

The truth is, there will be a Linux distro you like. It may not be the same as me, or anyone else, but you have several hundred to choose from and about six of those could be considered mainstream. Distro Watch lists most of them.

As cocteau48 said, Linux Mint is a popular distro and in my opinion better than Ubuntu for a number of reasons. Others to consider would be, Open SuSE, based on SuSE, which is an enterprise strength distro, used in commercial operations all over the world. Likewise, Fedora, which is the free version of Redhat, probably the biggest of all commercial Linux distros (particularly in the USA). But be aware, Fedora tends to be leading edge and can hence be a little unstable. Debian, which I personally use and on which Ubuntu, Mint and a number of other distros are based on. Also CentOS, another Redhat clone, but this time based on the full Redhat enterprise release and therefore, as solid as a rock!

So no shortage of options. Keep in mind, (and this is where people get it wrong all the time), Linux is not Windows. What do I mean by that? You need to spend a little time learning how Linux works. For example, everything is case sensitive, you can't use Windows programs (applications) in Linux. There is an exception to that, but it's not worth delving into now. So you don't try and run an .exe file in Linux; it won't work. Having said that, Linux has it's own native applications that will replace everything you use in Windows and all legally for free.

Having now used Linux for probably three years or so exclusively, there's no way I would go back to Windows. In fact, when I'm forced to use a Windows machine now, I find it so frustrating, I could cheerfully throw the keyboard through the screen! All the hassle of keys and licensing and restrictions is everything that is bad about computing.

If you live anywhere near Southend, the Southend on Sea Linux User Group (SoSLUG) is organising a software freedom day next Saturday 17th September in the Victoria Plaza and you can see Linux systems in operation and even try an installation for yourself, just to prove how easy it is.

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