Windows XP end of support today - how about using Linux instead?

  Happy37 19:12 08 Apr 2014

Further to my previous thread titled "Windows XP end of support 8th April 2014 - PC query" here:-

click here am now posting this new thread to ask (if in connection to that thread), I can somehow install Linux on my Windows XP/Windows 8 Pro dual boot PC to carry on doing what I am doing in Windows XP but to use Linux instead?

All I want to do from today with Windows XP is the following:-

I want to record my favourite radio shows using a Windows Media Player radio stream (MMS protocol) via the Internet.

I am using Audacity 1.2.6 to record as I have found that it has been the most reliable over the years under Windows XP Pro.

I also use a timer programme called AudRemote that starts, stops and saves the recording for me.

Now to Linux.

Am a complete novice to that. Have done some reading about it, but that's it. I know I will need to download and use Wine in Linux for Windows Media Player to work. What about Audacity 1.2.6?

Will the AudaRemote timer work in Linux too?

click here Zorin OS serve my needs? Which version of Linux do I install and use please?

Grateful for any advice on my scenario - many, many thanks in advance.



I Will

  momist 19:52 08 Apr 2014

Hi, I have tried Zorin myself, and it's not ready for a Linux newbie yet. I've been using Linux now for about 10 years on and off, and exclusively for the past three. For someone coming new from Windows, I would recommend Linux Mint to start with. That gives yous a choice of desktop interface environment, MATE or Cinnamon. Go with Cinnamon if your hardware is good enough, otherwise MATE. Mint is based on Ubuntu, but easier for Windows exiles, and the Ubuntu forums are quite relevant. Don't try to use Wine until you are very comfortable in Linux, it's not an easy route. Look for Linux equivalents of what you are used to and use those. Audacity runs natively in Linux, and there are media players of all kinds, some of which are very similar to Windows Media Player.

Good luck, and enjoy!

  Happy37 20:00 08 Apr 2014

Thanks momist.

Very useful.

I have a dual core 2.66Ghz PC with 8GB of RAM, loads of HDD space and so on. Fast graphics so all is OK on that front.

What media player in Linux do you recommend?

Is it just a case of downloading Linux Mint, burning to CD and installing on a partiton?

I am using Windows XP on one hard drive as well as Windows 8 Pro on another.

Can I install Linux Mint on another partition?

Will any media player handle the MMS protocol in Linux Mint?

Thanks again.

  Happy37 21:19 08 Apr 2014

Unless momist has not read my reply yet, can anyone else experienced with using Linux please advise?



  LastChip 12:42 09 Apr 2014

OK, I've been using Linux now for about 10 years and for around 5-6 exclusively.

I'm not into recording radio, so I don't know enough about that side of things to comment. A search though for "recording radio programs in linux" should yield some results - in fact, about 1.5m.

The advice given to try Linux Mint is sound and whichever desktop you use, you'll have a very similar experience to XP.

Make sure you download the compatible version for your computer. In other words, if it's a 32 bit machine, don't try and load the 64 bit version - it won't work and you may wonder why. However, the 32 bit version will work on a 64 bit machine, though why you'd want to do that I don't know.

All the Mint versions are a "Live CD" (or more correctly a live DVD). This means you can set your computer to boot from the CD/DVD drive and try out the system without installing it. You can then see whether Linux will do what you want and if there are any issues with your hardware. Of late, hardware is less and less of an issue.

Updates can be done by the click of a button. Don't let anyone tell you "Oh, Linux, you have to use the command line for everything". That's absolute rubbish and you could potentially go for the rest of your life and never know what it does. However, for those that take the trouble to delve a little deeper, it's an awesomely powerful tool.

The live CD/DVD will run very slowly compared to an installation. Don't think for one minute the speed your seeing is representative of a full installation. In general, Linux uses far less resources than Windows.

Don't expect to learn a new system in 5 minutes. I've lost count of the people I've tried to help that try it for 5 minutes or so and say it's not XP. Of course it's not. That's why your trying something new!

If you want a system to just use and not continually nursemaid, than Linux is a very viable answer. Don't worry about anti-virus, anti-malware and all that nonsense. You don't need it.

Many people do not know how to burn an iso file correctly and fall at the first hurdle. You burn an iso file as is, using an iso burning program. Popular burners in Windows (such as Nero) include such an option. In other words, don't try and extract it or anything - just burn it as is. And burn it at the slowest speed your burner will cope with.

I'll keep an eye on this thread, but will be loosing the Internet later today temporarily while it's upgraded. But I will attempt to answer any further questions you have, providing I have the answers.

  Happy37 12:58 09 Apr 2014

Hi LastChip,

Thanks very much for the excellent advice.

Much appreciated. So I can just download the distro from and just burn an ISO to a DVD and see if how it runs? And to actually install it, I would need to run the setup to install it from the disc?

There are so many different ones on there, so which ones do I choose?

I am a complete novice with Linux, so please excuse the questions.

Here's the caveat in my situation.

I have Windows XP Pro installed on one hard drive in its own partition.

I have Windows 8 Pro installed on another hard drive in its own partition.

So, how do I decide which drive/partition to install Linux Mint to please?

Can I make a partition using Windows XP/Windows 8 and use that? Or can I specify which hard drive/partition I can use in the setup?

I don't want to lose Windows XP or Windows 8. I have moved all my crucial stuff to Windows 8. I only want to record radio using Windows XP or Linux if it will do the job.

I know how to burn an ISO, so I might do in Windows 8 with a DVD at the slowest setting.

Hope this covers some of the questions I have for now. So I might not even need anti-spyware, anti-virus etc?

I have a dual core G620 2.66Ghz PC with 8GB of RAM, loads of HDD space and so on. Fast graphics so all is OK on that front.

If I can get Linux to work with a media player that handles the MMS protocol, then I hope it should work.

Good luck with your Internet upgrade, hope it all goes well.

Please do post back when you can. Looking forward to trying something new, and I know it's a learning curve.

Thanks for all your help so far; much appreciated.


  Bris 20:16 09 Apr 2014

Just to answer a few of your questions:

If you look on the Mint site you will see all of the versions listed. Go for one that has LTS against it as this stands for Long Term Support. New versions of Mint come out about every 9 months so its a bit of a pain to keep having to install a new version that frequently but the current LTS version is version 13 (Maya) and will be supported until 2017.

When you boot from your live DVD you can run it from there as though it was installed and you will see, on the desktop, an icon called "install Mint". If you double click on this it will search your HDD for any installed OS and give you the option of installing Mint alongside it or to use the entire HDD.

My advice would be to get a third HDD to experiment with as installing Linux on a disc that already has an OS can sometimes go wrong (rarely).

In your case your XP disc would seem to be the obvious choice for a dual boot but I would make sure you back it up before experimenting preferably by cloning it to the third drive as mentioned.

My own experience with regard to the 32 bit 64 bit debate is the opposite to what others have experienced and the advice widely available in that I was unable to install the 32 bit version on a 5 year old pc and gave up until I decided to give the 64 bit version a try and it installed OK!

I hasten to add that I am not a Linux expert but have tried a number of distros and my favourite by far is Mint, I just love it, maybe because I come from a Windows background. I have just installed it on a neighbours PC running XP.

Give it a try, you wont be disappointed and good luck with it.

  Happy37 20:38 09 Apr 2014

Hi Bris.

Thanks for the great advice; much appreciated.

It's clearer now so I might as well think of making a start.

On the Mint page; I only see Mint 16 Mate, Cinnamon, LMDE, KDE? So which one?

Last but not least, can't I install on a partition of a particular HDD or not? If yes, what do I format this to, or will the Mint setup detect this and do the setup accordingly for me once I decide to install?

How do I run from the CD - just put it in and away it goes and boots?

Thanks again.


  Happy37 20:40 09 Apr 2014

If I cannot use a partition, I might have to get a third hard drive instead.

Thanks again.

  Bris 21:06 09 Apr 2014

On the Mint home page click on "download" then "all versions" click on "maya" and choose the Cinnamon version. Download the 32 bit version and try that and if problems download the 64 bit version.

If you choose to install alongside XP then take that option in the install window and Mint will then run Gparted which is a partitioning tool. You will need to make space for Mint by dragging the slider to the left to reduce the size of your XP partition. You dont need to create any partitions as the install routine will do that for you it just needs some unallocated space.

To run from the DVD just boot from it, you may need to enter your BIOS settings to change the boot order so that your DVD drive is first on the list. Note that it may take a while to load and be slow to run as a DVD drive is not the fastest device to run an OS from.

Using a third HDD will allow you to experiment without the worry that you may corrupt or wipe your existing XP installation but that may not be a particular concern for you.

  Happy37 21:25 09 Apr 2014

Thanks again Bris.

Downloading now. Will burn the ISO to a DVD and see how that goes on my PC before I try to install.

Having said that, can I not install it alongside the Windows 8 install instead, or MUST it be alongside the Windows XP install? Any advice why this mus be like this?

You said that I don't need to create any partitions as the install routine will do that for you. It just needs some unallocated space.

Well, I have unallocated space on BOTH my XP Pro and Windows 8 Pro drive. Can I use either space?

Thanks again. Have learnt so much in such a short space of time.

Much, much appreciated.


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