Linux- worth replacing Windows 7 with?

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by CasinoBoyale, Dec 6, 2011.

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  1. Afternoon,

    I've got fed up with how slowly my laptop is running at present, and have decided to do something about it. Upgrading the RAM is out as far as I can tell, as any major change in dimensions will mean that the machine won't fit together properly (I think...). It's also bloody expensive. So I decided that upgrading the OS might be a good idea, and heard many good things about Linux.

    From what I have read, my computer will run faster on Linux because the kernel (?) manages the memory better, meaning that tasks are done more quickly. This seems good enough, but after this I'm pretty much lost. Now from what I understand, Linux, like UNIX before it, is a command-line (or shell) based interface, where one types commands to ake the computer 'do stuff'. However, when I look at distrubutions like Ubuntu or GNU, I see window-based platforms that remind me stylistically of the mac OS, which is somehat confusing- does one still need to learn the linux commands in order to make the damned thing work, or is it more simple nowadays?

    Secondly, all of the advice I've read online is very one-sided one way or another: think "microsoft/apple/google are evil!" v. "open-source is theft!" type fundementalism, and you'll know what I'm on about- I want to know whether Linux really as good as people say it is, and is the windows NT 6.1 kernel that windows 7 runs on really that much worse than the Linux one?

    If anyone can offer an impartial opinion, then I'd be grateful.

    Thanks

    CB
     
  2. I have used Canonical's Unbuntu for years with no problems. It has the same functionality, a similar graphical user interface, a better (in my view) browser, good word process/spreadsheet etc software and it doesn't hang or fall as often as MS products do. As games are built around, invariably, a Windows environment you're a bit stuffed but as an operating system it's hard to beat. Loads faster and is quicker all round.
     
  3. Are you sure that your PC is running slowly due to Win7? In my experience Win7 runs beautifully even on old machines that were originally Win XP OEM. My family has two laptops that both suffered mystery slooow boot (eg several minutes) under Vista, but now they zip along with Win7.
     
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  4. To be honest there is no real problem with having both on the same laptop, you can delete windows or just use it occasionally, there is no need for any expert knowledge to install it.
    My recommendations are Linux Mint or Ubuntu, look for the phrase, "dual boot" if you want both on the same laptop.
     
  5. From a basic end-user point of view, Linux and Win7 are pretty much identical in terms of what they do - point and click with the mouse and there's a browser, or there's some word processing, or there's some image editing etc. If you want more freedom in how you use your system or want to really get into being an 'understander' rather than a 'user' then Linux is the way forward, although to be fair there is lots of hidden stuff in Win7 that 99% of people will never find or need to find.

    I find Linux Mint is probably 25% quicker than Win7 on my PC, but that's probably as much down to the lack of additional crap that I've got installed on the Win7 partition. So if the bottom line is that you want to make your laptop run faster, uninstall all the crap and clean your hard drive now and then.

    If you want to try Linux and have a USB drive hanging about, then Universal USB Installer – Easy as 1 2 3 | USB Pen Drive Linux is a good place to start.
     
  6. ^^ What they say. Get Linux Mint from Download - Linux Mint (you want the DVD version). Once burned to disc, reboot with the disc in and you'll be running Linux Mint from the DVD without altering your Windows set up.

    If you like it, install on your hard drive (either dual boot as above or be bold and replace Win7 (which is my advice)). Bear in mind it'll be slower when you initially run it from the DVD rather than a proper hard drive install.

    There's loads of help available on the Linux Mint forums but 99.9% will work out of the box (just like Windows).
     
  7. In my opinion it all comes down to what you use the laptop for. If there are proprietary Windows programmes that you use then you will either have to learn to live without them or find an alternative.

    If you use it for generic office type work and browsing/email then Linux is for you.

    I've been using Linux for over 15 years and I've seen it develop into a perfectly useable (free) OS which is equal to, and in many cases betters, Windows.

    That said I now use Windows 7 mostly, purely because there are some programmes for which there is no equivalent, on the flip side Mrs Dummy has been using Linux since she became exasperated with M$ productes some years ago and has never looked back. And she isn't a geek by any stretch of the imagination.

    Give me Linux every time, my favourite flavour being Kubuntu because I'm a big fan of the KDE desktop and Ubuntu's brilliant software management.

    Roadster's advice sums up how I would advise the way forward for you to give it a go.

    Good luck, there's plenty of advice to be gained here.
     
  8. I installed Ubuntu on one of my laptops (mostly due to a problem with Windows authenticity) and was surprised at the speed improvement. What I would say is that, one of the reasons Ubuntu is faster is that it isn't all singing all dancing (and TSRs are one of the things that slows any OS). If you want added functionality (including for features you would expect to be standard) you will have to download extra programs. Another thing which might upset people is the first time you connect to the internet, you will want to upgrade to the latest version, and the hundreds of updates take ages, and might take more than one attempt.
     
  9. Same here. I find Win7 to be MUCH faster than XP, including rebooting. I actually like it.
     
  10. First of all, back everything up. Test the backup. Then check it again.

    Now Win 7 isn't half bad, so if a few tweaks and a clean out can sort things out why make things difficult ?

    But if you are still unhappy or curious then download and burn a few Linux live cds and have a play. One of the things that can be difficult to grasp is the fact that you can choose a GUI with Linux as opposed to Windows/Mac where you get what you're bloody well given. And that the GUI does not equal the distribution.

    Now, GUIs can be distinctly Marmitey, so I'd try a few if I was you. Ubuntu uses Unity, Fedora Gnome, Kubuntu KDE and so on. Personally I've moved to Fedora and Gnome 3 but you may well find true enlightenment in another.

    Once you're happy with running it off a Live cd try installing it as a dual boot on your lappy. Truth is, some apps will only run properly on Windows. WINE is an emulator for Linux that might allow you to run what you want, but it is by no means a miracle cure. Games in particular, realistically it's Win7 or nothing these days and it's the only reason I keep a Win7 boot around.

    Macs are lovely but pricey, gaming is pretty pants on them but if you just want to get shit done and can afford them they're great.
     
  11. I actually replaced my system drive with an SSD drive. After the motherboard screen, 18 seconds to the login script. Although I have a PC, you can get SSD drives in 2.5" format at a reasonable cost and they don't need any special mountings. Improves the performance massively, so if you want to stick with Windows 7 (in my opinion the best Windows offering to date), this may suit you. Doing this will also force a reinstall, which may be no bad thing if you've had the lappie for a while.
     
  12. I really like Linux based OS, was using Ubuntu in parrallell with windows at one stage, only because my addiction to WOW needs to be fed, and i cannot get ubuntu to run it.
    I have family in Singapore who run nothing but Ubuntu on all his systems, work social etc. It does need a level of knowledge to run that can be quite daunting, but it does seem worth it if you can accept that somethings wont run, such as WOW and high end on line games. But then again he uses the x box to kill americans on line so no worries.
     
  13. If Win 7 is running slow, I would doubt that Linux will improve it much. Something else is going on the slow it down. I run W7, and only a few seconds to boot up, (no Dos screen anymore?).

    What AV are you using?
     
  14. Symantec I think- I'm loath to change it, as the last time I did AVG (the new one) had a fight with whatever was left of the last one and buggered up my machine for about a month. Also, I think that the IT dept here require symantec, but I'm not 100% sure- I'll dig out the Ts and Cs.