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antimatter

Windows XP to Ubuntu

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Well, lately I've been thinking about making the switch from Windows XP to Ubuntu, not that I've really been having issues with XP, but just because I like Ubuntu a little better.

As a few of you (Cap'n Refsmmat, insane_alien) may know, I tried to boot it up on my sister's old laptop, and in the process of making a partition, the laptop shut off, and I still cannot turn it on.

On the computer I'm using now, a more powerful desktop, I tried using the Live CD to run it, and it seemed to work fine...with the exception of it not having internet...

Also, I've heard from some people that Linux doesn't support as many programs as XP does, is this all that true? One of my friends says that it doesn't support any games...insane_alien has told me otherwise, but in spite of all the help he gave me in setting up Ubuntu, I'm still a little skeptical.

So while I won't be making the switch for quite a while, I was wondering if anyone had any tips, or if anyone could tell me some advantages it has over XP.

 

(If anyone has any advice on dual-booting, that would be excellent as well.)

Edited by antimatter

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I can't help you with the old laptop problem, sadly, BUT

 

If you're worried about compatibility issues (there are issues, indeed, though not all that many) - do like me: A Dual-boot computer. I have both Ubuntu and Windows XP on my machine, and when I reboot, I can choose which to load.

 

I usually work with ubuntu, and only when i need something I turn to windows XP.

 

That's relatively safe :) There is a slight issue -- XP doesn't read the ubuntu file system very well (I think there is a fix to that, but not sure) -- in any case, I just save all files either on the XP-based partition, or on my external drive.

 

Had no problems with internet after installing from the LiveCD btw.. the livecd is not fully custom to your own pc, so having problems with drivers isn't surprising.

 

Anyhoo, good luck :)

 

~moo

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So making the partitions isn't too difficult? My friend (MrTizzay) said it was a real pain.

And then of course Ubuntu "couldn't recognize" his graphics card, and his computer 'died', or something like that, you can ask him if you want.

 

So the internet wasn't working because it was a LiveCD? That's relieving, I thought I'd have the same problem if I installed from it.

 

I don't really know much about this whole thing, but does dual-booting cause your computer to slow down? If it does, I should probably not do that until I can purchase more RAM so my computer runs a little faster.

 

Are there any real advantages to having Ubuntu?

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No, dual-booting won't slow your computer down, at least not in my experience. There's nothing actually running in the background or anything like that -- you either boot one OS or the other one.

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Ok, that's good.

Another question, do you need any drivers for Ubuntu?

When I used the LiveCD on the desktop I'm on right now, it seemed to run fine (with the exception of not having internet), though it gave me a message at the top saying there were 'driver updates'. I was told to ignore that message for now.

But are there any necessary drivers to run Ubuntu?

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That depends on the computer you're using. Generally Ubuntu's pretty good at figuring out what it needs and installing it; otherwise, look around on http://ubuntuforums.org for details on how to get Ubuntu to work on your particular hardware.

 

You'll have to do some research to see what specific models and manufacturers built your video card and such.

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boot up the liveCD on your desktop again and run the command

lshw

in the terminal (you can get to the terminal by going to Applications>Accesories>Terminal.

 

wirte down anything you can find about ethernet then post it here and we can tell you what the problem is and how to fix it.

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Games will be a bit of a problem compared to windows, I don't really use computers for gaming.

 

If your computer is not just off the shelf there are probably drivers provided in the repositories for what ever you want.

 

As for linux supporting less programs that's pretty much crap, what the difference will be though is that programs made for windows wont work unless there's a linux version (the reverse is also possible). Ubuntu is a packaged distribution so most of the programs you install should be from the package management systems, the ubuntu repositories can be looked through here:

 

http://packages.ubuntu.com

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Ok, so far it all sounds really good, and once I boot up the LiveCD again, I'll run the command that insane_alien wrote.

 

to Klaynos, what do you mean by 'off the shelf'?

That's one of the reasons I want to dual-boot sometime during the summer, so I can still game with XP, but I've heard dual-booting is real pain to do (i.e. reformatting the hard drive, setting up the partition), is it really that bad?

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dual booting isn't bad, ou don't tneed to reformat anything. just shrink the windows partion, make an ext3 partition (optionally a ext3 home partition as well) and a swap partition and you're all set i can arrange to be on IRC to talk you through it if you want.

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"not just off the shelf" -> not brand new, so you've not just taken it off of the shop shelf recently....

 

IIRC the ubuntu installer talks you through most of it trivially... Although I've never chosen the "sane defaults" option from the installer...

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Yeah the new HardyHarHar Ubutu version (i love you ecoli!) is REALLY simple, you don't even have to mess with the partitions, you just tell it if you want the entire computer or a dual boot and it does everything for you.

 

I think it took me about an hour to set it all up including messing around with the terminal a bit to understand how apt-install works.

 

It's VERY simple.

 

Of course... I can't guarantee that weird errors won't appear.. that can happen in any OS, though.

 

~moo

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Ok, so basically the latest version of Ubuntu will just walk through the dual-booting?

I don't have to do any reformatting or anything?

 

I'm still a tad skeptical if I want to go through with it, after all, I don't really know the advantages of having Ubuntu over XP.

Not to mention I don't really know what apt-install is, or how to use it.

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As for linux supporting less programs that's pretty much crap, what the difference will be though is that programs made for windows wont work unless there's a linux version (the reverse is also possible). Ubuntu is a packaged distribution so most of the programs you install should be from the package management systems, the ubuntu repositories can be looked through here:

 

http://packages.ubuntu.com

 

Wine is also getting better at emulating windows programs. So, it's possible that if a program only works on windows (and there's no good open-source equivalent, you could get it to work on the windows emulator).

 

Ok, so basically the latest version of Ubuntu will just walk through the dual-booting?

I don't have to do any reformatting or anything?

No, you'll just have to partition your disk. It shouldn't be that hard, you just have to decide how much space you want to 'give' to Ubuntu.

 

I'm still a tad skeptical if I want to go through with it, after all, I don't really know the advantages of having Ubuntu over XP.

Not to mention I don't really know what apt-install is, or how to use it.

It really depends want you want to do with your machine. Ubuntu is great because it is, by definition, customizable. You can go through your entire computer life without having to purchase any software, and the online support community is great.

 

The problem, is that, especially using a laptop, you're almost certainly going to need that online support community.

 

I still haven't been able to get my sound issues working yet on my laptop. And, I haven't been able to figure out how to update the bios without Windows. (that's why I'm getting my harddrive replaced, so that windows vista can work).

 

The best advice I can give, is try it out. If you don't like it, you can also get rid of it.

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boot up the liveCD on your desktop again and run the command
lshw

in the terminal (you can get to the terminal by going to Applications>Accesories>Terminal.

 

wirte down anything you can find about ethernet then post it here and we can tell you what the problem is and how to fix it.

 

Ok,

Here's what I got under Network (I'm transcribing this as best I can from the recently resurrected laptop!)

 

*-network

description: Ethernet Interface

Product: 3c905c-TX/TX-M (tornado)

Vendor: 3Com Corporation

physical ID: 1

bus info: pci@0000:02:01.0

logical name: eth0

version: 78

width: 32 bits

clock: 33 mhz

capabilites: bus_master cap_liost ethernet physica;

config: boradcast=yes driver=3c59x latency 80

 

and that's all I can write for now.

Is that enough? or is there more I should copy down?

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okay, ubuntu has that driver. should work fine. could be a DHCP/static IP issue. its half two in the morning, i'll get back to this later.

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Ok, I resurrected my sister's laptop (don't ask, I removed teh battery, replaced it, and then after attempting to turn it on several times, the screen flickered on), and installed Ubuntu on it. So far it's working fine, I'm just trying to get internet, but that shouldn't be a problem anymore...at least I'm off teh LiveCD.

 

If I want to downgrade to Xubuntu because of the awfulness of the laptop, is there a way to do it without having to uninstall Ubuntu, and then install Xubuntu? Or is that just wishful thinking?

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Yes. Hit Applications->Accessories->Terminal. When it opens up, type

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

and hit enter. You'll put in your password and then give it some time to install all the Xubuntu stuff.

 

Next time you restart the computer and get into the Ubuntu login screen, you should be able to choose between Xubuntu and Ubuntu via the little menu at the lower left. (Or something, I'm not sure what. But you will be able to choose.)

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Yes. Hit Applications->Accessories->Terminal. When it opens up, type

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

and hit enter. You'll put in your password and then give it some time to install all the Xubuntu stuff.

 

Next time you restart the computer and get into the Ubuntu login screen, you should be able to choose between Xubuntu and Ubuntu via the little menu at the lower left. (Or something, I'm not sure what. But you will be able to choose.)

 

fk that! hit Ctrl-Alt-F1 login and type:

 

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

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OK, thanks for the apt-install command, as soon as I get teh internet working I'll do it.

Actually, Ubuntu seems to running a lot smoother than XP, so I still don't know if I need to switch.

 

Unfortunately the Internet still isn't working, but I'm trying to fix that...I think I need a driver for the network card...which is a bit of a problem...

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I think these days I'd recommend instead of using apt-get use aptitude I just prefer it a bit, but it makes very little difference, it'd be a very similar command...

 

sudo aptitude install xubuntu-desktop

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If you recommend it, I'll most likely get it (One teh internet starts working).

but is it easier to use or something?

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it's exactly the same to use it just gives you a bit more information about what it's done/going to do.

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Ok, so I've figured out the problem with my internet. I don't think it recognizes my sister's network card. It's a Belkin Wireless Notbook Network Card, and the model is F5D7010.

Anyone have any suggestions to get it working?

I've looked around online a bit, but I haven't found anything useful yet.

Edited by antimatter
Incorrect Model Number

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