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Christian95's avatar

Best Linux?

Asked by Christian95 (3253 points ) October 8th, 2009

I want to switch on Linux but i don’t know what to choose?Any recommendation?Does Linux run on Intel Dual Core 2 and Gigabyte motherboards ?Can I play Windows Games on it?

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14 Answers

Cartman's avatar

I have transferred to Ubuntu (presently 9.10) and “cut all ties” with other alternatives. I’m super happy with the transition and find much to be easier and more straight forward than the alternatives. Ubuntu runs on pretty much anything if you select the proper release. There is also a wonderful community at Ubuntu that can help out with the most bizarre problems.

Then again, I don’t rely on any particular software for my job (apart from spread sheets and word processing) and for that Open Office is a great alternative. There are alternatives for most any application but you will have to make up your own mind what is right for you.

markyy's avatar

@Christian95 If you have to ask if you can play games on linux, you might not be ready ;) If you still want to try Linux, I think Ubuntu is the easiest distro around for Windows users.

I’m not a Linux geek at all, altough I do have Ubuntu 9.04 installed for a couple of weeks now. I found it incredibly refreshing how easy it was to install. Everything worked out of the box for me, no drivers had to be installed manually, not even for my printer.

Having said that, I do have some issues with Ubuntu:

> I need Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator (there are alternatives and workarounds, but really I need that shit to work properly and easy), and I too like to play a game every now and then. So I went for a dualboot installation with xp. I downloaded some .lit books yesterday and just reading the tutorials on how to convert those to a readible format in Linux made my head spin. Dualbooted into xp, click click, done.

> There are no executables (.exe) which is horrible. You’ll find yourself solving problems for an entire afternoon on something that could have been solved with 2 clicks before (in windows). That doesn’t mean everything is difficult to install, in fact a lot of stuff can be installed with the software manager that comes with it, but if it’s not in there prepare for a lot of work. Sometimes Ubuntu allows .deb files to be installed automatically, which is great, but because I went for the 64bit version of Ubuntu they don’t work for me. So get the 32bit if you want to prevent that.

Christian95's avatar

@markyy I’m not very happy with Windows that’s why I want to switch on something else
My favorite OS is Snow Leopard X so I’m wondering if there’s any Linux that acts or at least looks like a Mac OS

markyy's avatar

I switched for the same reason. I’m just trying to say there is no ultimate OS that solves all your problems. Windows is bad, horrible, but you’ll learn to appreciate some of the simplicity when using Linux (even if that simplicity only comes from years of experience).

Ubuntu is very easy to modify visually. That shouldn’t be your top priority though. Another issues I have is with flash. It’s very slow and disappears (turns white) very often.

Thammuz's avatar

Any recommendation? Yes, considering it’s your first time go for Ubuntu

Does Linux run on Intel Dual Core 2 and Gigabyte motherboards? It runs on pretty much everything, and if it doesn’t out of the box it will after a little tweaking.

Can I play Windows Games on it? Yes and no. some games can be emulated via Wine or Cedega. Still if you want to play you’d better make a dual boot.

the100thmonkey's avatar

Ubuntu 9.04 is probably the better option, although you may want to consider Kubuntu instead .Kubuntu uses the K Desktop environment – KDE, which some consider more Explorer-like.

Personally, I use Ubuntu (with the GNOME desktop) and Fedora. I would recommend Ubuntu to a novice user as, in my opinion, better-supported on-line – the official Ubuntu forums are busy and friendly. This is not to say that Fedora is unsupported, though.

If you install the 64-bit version of Ubuntu, make sure you install the 32-bit compatibility libraries. This will allow you to run 32-bit software properly. You should just be able to double-click .deb files and install the software, although for things like browser plugins, this may not be the case. It’s possible to install the 32-bit version of Firefox, for example, and use that as default, which will obviate any problems with 32-bit plugins on a 64-bit browser.

Gaming on Linux is problematic – you can use WINE or Cedega (which contributes code to WINE) to run Windows-native software under Linux, but this is hit and miss. Some games run flawlessly, others do not run at all. Check out the WINE Application Database for a list of games/apps and how well they run. Note that Punkbuster-enabled games are particularly problematic for WINE users – a very common Punkbuster problem is “Unknown API Function” – which basically means that the Punkbuster server doesn’t recognise what the host OS (Linux) is doing, and kicks you from online play.

If the game runs on an ID Software engine, then the chances are much higher that not only will the game play well, but that it will have native Linux support. ID Software always code their engines to use Open GL over Direct X, and thus Linux supports the engine out of the box, with no need for extra API compatibility libraries (Which is what WINE is, essentially). Hence, games like Doom 3, Unreal Tournament 3, Quake Wars: Enemy Territory, Urban Terror, Quake 3, etc… are all natively available on Linux, and work with the Linux version of Punkbuster.

As others have mentioned, a dual-boot set up is also useful – it will allow you to play those games that don’t work or aren’t available under Linux, and can also come in handy if you break your Linux install – Linux is not Windows, so there’s always a chance you’ll break something, particularly if you start messing around with “sudo” in the command line before you are ready.

It has also been mentioned that you will need to find replacements for the software you’re used to under Windows.

For MS Office, there is Open Office. I actually prefer this to MS Office, and use it on my XP install at home and at work – it can read and save .doc, .xls, .ppt and .db, and is also able to read the latest versions of Office files – .docx, for example.

For Photoshop, there is the GIMP, or a derivative GIMPshop, which has had its UI tweaked to make it more similar in appearance and behaviour to Photoshop.

Adobe make a Flash player plugin which runs natively on Linux, although there are performance issues on lower-end computers. I don’t think this will be an issue with a Core2 Duo processor. AFAIK, there is no Flash-content creation program for Linux, but I may well be wrong as I don’t code Flash.

What software do you consider critical to your computing experience? An answer to that will help us to recommend software to install.

Vincentt's avatar

I really depends on why you want to use “Linux”. And no, none of the Linux distributions will act like OS X. They’re all different so they act differently, and will take time to learn.

kyle94481's avatar

Linux Mint is a great distro for people, It has a great community and you can always get help from just the XCHAT IRC program already on there. I personally like it more then Ubuntu, as it’s more lightweight. Heres a great test you could take to see what you would be best suited for http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/

Truefire's avatar

I second the Linux Mint suggestion, (it’s Ubuntu made simple) I have a gigabyte mobo and 2gb of Gskill RAM. Works great for me. I dual-boot Windows 7 for some basic games, but nothing else has really been needed. OpenOffice and the GIMP (photoshop like) are things I was already using in Windows.

BBQsomeCows's avatar

best linux…......for what purpose?

jerv's avatar

For a Linux n00b, basic Ubuntu may actually not be the best choice.

Mint is based on Ubuntu but adds a lot of cool stuff.
Super OS (Formerly known as “Super Ubuntu”) is another Ubuntu-based distro with many extras built-in.
I have also had good luck with Mandriva One and SUSE , finding both adequate for my needs and easy to configure and use.

As for basic Ubuntu, I have not been impressed with it and thus would actually recommend against it.

arrannorth's avatar

I would genuinely recommend a netbook linux version fo any one new to Linux – they are ridiculously simple, and typically hardware support is good – although some tinkering is normally required to get everything perfect. Although, always remember you can try Linux from a USB, or Live CD first.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix – is really neat. Obviously designed for netbooks, but it will suit general needs.

Trend is heading towards online apps – so consider looking at office suites online e.g. services that google provide. Very easy to migrate all of your desktop based documents online – plenty of guides out there.

Take a look: Ubuntu Netbook Remix

As a designer, I think the GUI is really beautiful – fantastic job from who ever worked on it.

Hope the above helps!

arrannorth's avatar

Also worth a mention, is Hackintosh

Worth a look if you are feeling daring!

unused_bagels's avatar

I’ve found that Linux Mint (based in ubuntu 9) is absolutely painless to switch over to from windows. I recommend it.

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