Why Linux?

rfo
rfo used Ask the Experts™
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Why is Linux ten times better than windows?  If I partioned two drives will i be able to use windows? Can you have both linux and windows available for whoever wants to use it? (if my sibblings aren't comfortable w/linux..they can use windows) If not, can i unistall linux and use windows like before? One last question, what's the best linux out there? Redhat, Suse..what?

..Thanks a millions in advance ;)

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There are many reasons why Linux is superior to Windows. Too many to list here. It's free, it's fun, bugs get fixed almost immediately, it's more secure, it's endlessly configurable, etc...
  Yes, you can have a dual-boot system.  If you uninstall Linux you will of course have to change the Linux partition back to a Windows partition(an easy procedure).
  The best Linux distro out there is a personal choice(I like Slackware) but for beginners I would choose Mandrake.  It is very easy to setup, which seems to be the main stumbling block with newcomers.
Linux is not "ten times better than windows". It is different than windows. Different in ways that may make it ten times better *for you*.

I've recently installed linux as a second OS on my main computer. It looks and feels great. I can customize a lot of stuff that you could never do with windows. I'm sure that I'll stop using windows in a while.

BUT... I'm still trying to get my sound card to work as well as sharing files with other computers in my NT domain. I know this is possible (as are all things in linux) and I know that the information is out there. I just have to spend the time to learn it.

Installing linux as a second os is called "dual-booting". There are many PAQs about it and there are plenty of resources on the web.

Regarding "what's the best linux..." - I agree with ThePunisher. Mandrake 9 installed really easy for me and looks great. On the other hand, it seems to be a little easier to find information on RedHat. Both disros try to make it easy for new users.

For more information, give these a try:
http://www.linuxnewbie.org/
http://www.linuxnewbieguide.com/
http://www.linuxquestions.org

I made a few screenshots for a friend which you can see at: http://www20.brinkster.com/Monchanger/Mandrake/Mandrake.html

Oh, and check your hardware to see that it is compatable. Most hardware is, but you never know...

Hope this helps and good luck,
Monchanger
rid

Commented:
I cannot add much to the above, really. One comment possibly could be made about the hardware. A great many of the problems that crop up for those who start with Linux, seem to be related to hardware that requires specialized setup to function correctly, or at all. Examples are sound cards an the more advanced video adapters. If you have a chance to check up compatibility issues in advance, by all means do that. Also remember that a dual-boot setup is simple and straightforward only in theory, and in a perfect world. Don't ever forget that golden rule #1: Backup your valuable files - from both systems!

Regards
/RID
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rfo

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Commented:
Thanks everyone..I really appreciate everything you've done for me. I guess Mandrake 9 is what i'll be getting. ;-)

ps. Thanks Monchanger, i really got a feel on how linux windows look like. Again thanks a million. :)
Some more good stuff for you...

I just saw this featured on Linux.com - a fellow called Deepak has a few well-written articles on his site at:
http://www.symonds.net/~deep/stuff/linux/index.php
The "Is Linux for You?" article reminded me of your question and I thought you might like to read it.

This is an introduction to linux from Linux.com which I also noticed today. It features some basic information as well as a little about the different available distributions.
http://linux.com/article.pl?sid=02/03/09/1727250

Commented:
For dual-booting, make sure there's unallocated space on the harddrive, then start the Linux install and use that space.

Any proper Linux installer will setup GRUB to let you boot Windows at your choice, and if you edit the GRUB configuration file (/etc/grub/grub.conf IIRC), you can set the default to be Windows, change timeout, and in general tweak your booting options over the hill :) I use GRUB to have several experimental Linux kernel available at the flick of a 'switch'.

Graphics cards usually work right out of the box.

Most likely hurdle will probably be the sound card. Linux has two sound systems (ALSA and OSS). In most cases it'll work right out of the box, though.
rfo:
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