My Recent Experiences with Linux!

As a staunch Windows OS supporter, it's been quite a few years since I've installed a Linux distro for myself to experiment with. Why? The installation process (at the time I experimented last time) was complicated and frustrating, as was just using Linux itself.

So, after reading a few questions and comments here and there, I decided it was time to give it another shot. I first downloaded and set up an Ubuntu Studio ISO in an Oracle VM Virtualbox VM. I was suitably impressed with both the installation and relative (and intuitive) ease of use.

Encouraged by that result, I decided to try another Linux distro called ChaletOS which claimed it would give newbies like me an easier transition to Linux by giving me a familiar GUI interface to Windows 7. Again, I wasn't disappointed. Linux distros have indeed come a long way since I last experimented.

Installation was an absolute breeze and puts both Windows 7 and Windows 10 installers to shame! Ease of use? Fantastic, especially with the ChaletOS build. I think I'm starting to understand why Linux tends to have such a 'cult' type following.

I've still got a lot to learn and experiment with, but my first impressions are nothing but positive. If you're in a similar position to me, I'd encourage you to give Linux another try. By setting up in a Virtual Machine, you have nothing to lose and potentially, much to gain.

Cheers...

Andrew
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by:noci
My experiences were quite the opposite....
Meaning i have been a Unix/Linux/OpenVMS  for years and after using windows NT for a few years i dropped it like a brick
(2000 - 2002 era).. after DLL Hell, and incompatible updates etc. made my system unusable.
After Microsoft installed a Native Language Java VM on my english language system, the hell realy broke loose.. needed 2 days to restore backups and recover everything to working order as i had before, only to find that  microsoft  did that a gain a month or so later.
After that i reinstalled the system with Linux + Tools & restored all my documents  from the Windows Backup and never looked back.
(My Father in law did have a windows laptop, which after an upgrade could not upgrade itself anymore (the upgrade ruined a Windows Upgrade..., this system didn't have recovery media or a reasonable means for backups..., so i installed Linux on it...
A friend of his only thoutght it was a queer windows if you needed to run LibreOffice if you want word or excel... except that it then all worked without problems. So Experiences may indeed differ.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)
Different horses for courses I'm afraid!
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by:Brandon Lyon
Ubuntu is a great starting point because it's easy to use with a huge community. At some point when you feel more comfortable with Linux I recommend trying a rolling-release cycle distribution such as Sparky Linux or Manjaro.

I would also recommend playing around with different desktop environments. You don't have to install different distributions to try them, most can run on any flavor of Linux. XFCE, Gnome, Mate, Cinnamon, Unity, LXQt, Budgie, KDE... they all feel a little different. Personally I love XFCE or Mate but each one has pros and cons.

The hardest thing for me to get used to at first was that Linux is different than Windows. Home directory, file structure, software installs, permissions, networking, partitioning, etc. Once I got the hang of those things I found them to be easier than Windows (except for networking).
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by:Andrew Leniart
Thanks, Brandon, some great tips there that I'll make use of.

I doubt I'll ever move away from Windows as my preferred operating system environment - I've just been using it too long now and am way too old to start from scratch, but I do enjoy learning about different technologies and Linux has certainly aroused my interest enough to the point where I want to continue exploring it.

The hardest thing for me to get used to at first was that Linux is different than Windows. Home directory, file structure, software installs, permissions, networking, partitioning, etc.
Indeed, it's where I find I'm struggling a little myself. Much the same when it comes to a MAC OS X when I use it. But given enough time and participating in some Linux communities should help me overcome my ingrained thinking of how "Windows" does things I hope :)

Thanks for your comments of encouragement :)

Andrew
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)
Maybe one day Linux Desktop will be the favour ed OS when Windows dies!
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by:Andrew Leniart
Just further to the above, what I find I'm loving is the "speed" of the Linux environment.

Programs fire up so much faster, despite being in a VM. I can't get a comparable performance from any of my Windows VM's and I've got all versions of Windows (both Desktop and Servers) all the way back to Windows 98 SE right up to a current Windows 10 Pro desktop. Speed wise, there's just no comparison - Linux wins hands down and I give all my VM's the same amount of resources. 4GB of RAM and dual processors when they're supported.

Experimenting is fun! :)
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by:Andrew Leniart
Hi Andy,
Maybe one day Linux Desktop will be the favour ed OS when Windows dies!
Hehe.. That I don't think is ever likely to happen :)
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by:Andrew Leniart
My experiences were quite the opposite.... Meaning i have been a Unix/Linux/OpenVMS  for years and after using windows NT for a few years i dropped it like a brick

Suggest you take another look noci. I'd recommend trying ChaletOS (ISO downloadable from here) and installation, once the ISO is downloaded, takes all of 5 minutes in an Oracle VM VirtualBox. If anyone is used to Windows, this particular distro makes you instantly feel right at home. Very cool indeed imo.

Andrew
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)
There will always be Linux Unix Windows and Mac people and you'll never change them!
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by:noci
Hi Andrew after i had several reinstall under my belt in the Windows system (necesitated by failed updates..., not pilot error, unless Microsoft is considered the pilot).
I meant to say  i dropped Windows like a brick. and have been using Linux exclusively from 2002 onwards.  Without ever installing it again due to mishaps.   As mirrored disks are a breeze in linux i use those on most of my systems. So Hardware problem recovery have mostly been waiting for a disk to synchronize, or moving disks to new systems.

Notable exceptions are laptops. Those disks (pre SSD) died every few years.  There data backups have been needed for restoring documents, due to new processors in new laptops  new installs were needed. With one notable exception, i had a laptop where the nvidia adapter had overheated.., system still running, only the screen stayed black... From that system i had to recover some files.., it was an excercise in blind typing....  f.y.i. I mostly use Gentoo Linux and Debian (mostly on RPi) / CentOS  for some projects.
Some though is needed to buy laptops for Linux as some hardware suppliers go for latest fashion in Bluetooth, Wifi that might  not have support in Linux yet.  Anyway not the latest Fashion Laptops also means one can get them cheaper... ;-)
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by:Andrew Leniart
Hi noci,
I meant to say  i dropped Windows like a brick. and have been using Linux exclusively from 2002 onwards.
Ahhh.. thank you for clarifying. Now your first comment makes a lot more sense to me :-)

I'm still playing around with Windows lookalikes until I start to get the hang of how the Linux file system operates. Then I'll give the more command line driven builds a try. After using Windows for about 20 years or so, it's quite a large learning curve for me but the builds I've tried so far (Ubuntu and ChaletOS) are certainly different to what I tried many years ago and have encouraged me to explore and learn more about this environment.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the most impressive things to me so far is speed, not just of the OS, but how quickly software loads when compared to Windows and in all honesty, with the software I've experimented with so far, I can't see that much of a loss when it comes to equivalent packages on a Windows install. Maybe that's because of a lack of bloat in Linux? I don't know, but I'm sure determined to find out :)

Cheers...
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by:Andrew Leniart
There will always be Linux Unix Windows and Mac people and you'll never change them!
Oh I don't know about that Andy. I guess I'm a "Windows" person and I probably always will be, but I see definite advantages in using a MAC for some things and no doubt, I'll find uses for the Linux OS as well. I like all types of technology and so long as it's relatively easy to use, I always try to keep an open mind. :)
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)
We have to work across all platforms and always have!

There was once a time We thought Linux would become the Desktop of choice and were involved very early days of deployments of Linux Desktops and LibreOffice it was it Sun Office it was a long time ago

To replace Windows to save costs in a few organisations but it was early days and the tools for MASS deployment to 10,000s of PCs were not mature when there were handfuls of Linux Distro

We thought at that moment that it was possible for Linux to replace Windows

Maybe it will one day when I'm gone but we feel too many Linux Distro today and confusion

Ask 13 Linux DevOps Guys what there fav is and you'll get 14 different answers!
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by:Lucas Bishop
Ah, I remember my first experiences with *nix. My second tech support job was supporting an app that ran on HP-UX. I had no experience with Unix, so ended up installing FreeBSD on a computer in my house just to get up to speed faster. Got hooked -- setup bind, apache, postfix, etc. and fired up my first diy server just for fun. Those days are long gone, but nowadays when I do have a computer at home, Linux is a requirement -- unless I can afford a Macbook.

The only struggle I have with *nix is drivers...

In related news, Microsoft is slowly coming around:
https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2018/04/microsoft-linux-custom-kernel-azure-sphere
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by:John
I have Ubuntu running as a VM. It was fairly fast to install but not much there.

I just did the Windows 10 V1803 install. 3/4 of an hour to download (similar to Ubuntu); 3/4 of an hour to install. SIMPLE. Click on Update and wait. Nothing more.

All came out the way it started.

Yes, I have tried Linux. Years ago and recently. Nothing to make me even consider switching.
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by:Andrew Leniart
Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience John, they're much appreciated.

I have Ubuntu running as a VM. It was fairly fast to install but not much there.

Indeed, but many may consider that a huge PLUS rather than a negative.

One of the things I find myself needing to do with every fresh install of Windows 10 is to spend a good 15 to 20 minutes removing all of the unnecessary bloatware that Microsoft forces on its users, rather than just giving them the option of installing it IF they want it.

Not to mention all the Privacy settings that are needed to be adjusted after a virgin install of Windows 10 if you don't want Microsoft to monitor what color undies you're choosing to wear each time you use their operating system! :)

3/4 of an hour to install. SIMPLE. Click on Update and wait. Nothing more.

Just out of curiosity, how many clicks and confirmations did you need to do during the installation of the Windows 10 VM as opposed to the Ubuntu install? :-)

Yes, I have tried Linux. Years ago and recently. Nothing to make me even consider switching.

Different courses for different horses I guess. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

Regards, Andrew
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by:John
Interesting discussion. I always encourage people to use what they like. Businesses tend to adopt Windows and I have businesses with that.
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by:noci
Some businesses do, other use other software that requires yet other systems.
My daily bread comes from running OpenVMS environments.( 99.999+ uptime requirement RTO = 15minutes max total per year planned or unplanned).  Quite different specs. And some Unix clusters almost the same requirements, slightly more relaxes max 1 hour of outage a year, that predict arrival times of busses & light rail trains at  (~60,000) stops with a continous update from vehicles. with announcements on each stop for the next 3 vehicles.
(and about 6 stops ahead of a vehicle).   Somehow windows is not even considered to be remotely an option for those environments.
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